01 December, 2009

Coconut Cake

Saw this today on Mennonite Girls Can Cook and well it just looks wonderful. So I bought all the ingredients I didn't already have here and plan to make it tomorrow for our supper tomorrow night.
We briefly attended a little local church and there is a wonderful lady that makes a cake that looks very much like this one. I can't wait to find out if it is like her's.

I will post my own pictures once it is done.

23 November, 2009

A quilting blog that is what dreams are made of

So I found this great blog on a forum that I frequent. I don't know that I will ever have a craft room that looks as good as her's but goodness it sure makes one dream and plan and dream a bit more.

I also have to say that I still haven't made it to the bottom of the page that I've linked too. But I'm getting there. There is just so much to read and look at.

Enjoy!!!!

Thought I'd share a cookie recipe

If you read Country Living this is in the newest edition.

This is called Tea Cookie Dough and with this one recipe they give you four cookies that you can make.

I made the one called Roly Polys and they are very good. I didn't have any hazelnuts but will be trying them again with pecans.

So here is the basic recipe:

1 stick of softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/4 flour

beat the butter until fluffy then add in the sugar, vanilla and salt. Then gradually add in the flour.

Now to make the Roly Polys

Preheat the oven to 325.
you need to mix in 2/3 cup finely chopped hazelnts once the flour has been incorporated.
Roll the dough by the tablespoons into balls and place 1 inch apart on baking sheets.
Bake until cookies are firm and just beginning to brown. about 20 minutes. Let cool about 2 minutes. Place 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a bowl, then gently toss the warm cookies to coat. Place them on a cooling rack to cool completely. Toss in powdered sugar one more time to coat thoroughly.
This will make 24 cookies.

A few notes on what I did. I used blue bonnet butter, I don't add salt to anything I cook. I also used fresh ground whole wheat flour. As I mentioned I didn't have any nuts so we just left them out, this time. I also doubled this. Yummy.

12 November, 2009

Went shopping for winter coats today

What an adventure that was, I have been watching a really cute one at Old Navy.com but by the time I went order it they were out of it.

So today we went into Old Navy and I found a really cute one for Rachel and a handsome one (only the one I bought isn't a wool blend)for Caleb. And then I found this one (not sure if the one in the store was a wool blend, but I will be calling tomorrow) for all of the older boys that I am hoping Grandma will get them for Christmas as they need nice coats for town and church. They've got a ton of play coats/fleece things to wear here for playing and getting dirty, but nothing that is decent enough really for church.

I also found out that the only line store is not the same as the in person store, meaning what they have on line you may not be able to find in the store if at all.

I would love to find a really good coat pattern that I can use over and over, but until then I suppose I'm going to have to buy ready made things. The wool ones would be wonderful, except for the fact that they have to be dry cleaned. Wool is a wonderful fabric and I know it was the only thing that was used for coats, pants, underthings and socks but how did they clean it so that they were still able to wear it when they needed it?

I suppose I'll just have to wait until tomorrow when I can call the store to find out what the fabric is of the peacoat there.

The funny thing is the whole reason I went in there in the first place was to look at some tops for myself. My sister Julia had lent me a shirt while we were in FL and I really liked it. But I didn't really see anything that I liked. That is when I decided to go see what they might have in the coats for Rachel as she only has a heavy sweater, and since they keep saying it's going to be a cold winter I figured I'd better get her something warmer.

I'd love a new coat, that is a tad bit shorter, I have a beautiful red trench coat that Mom & Dad bought me when we first got to Germany, it is wool and we bought it in a German department store, it still fits and looks pretty good. If you don't count the burn mark on the one elbow. Some friends and I had gone to the local club one night and had to move all the coats, so we could all sit at our table, I didn't know there was a light bulb in the planter thing and my coat sat on it for a good while. When I went to put it on I noticed it, cause it was hot, OUCH, I was so upset, but so great full that the whole thing didn't go up in smoke. I was and am still so very careful with it now, learned my lesson there.

20 October, 2009

She's two!!!


Yesterday my baby girl turned two! How did that happen? This was taken by my sister Julia when she and our brother were up from FL on the 1st.
She is getting so big.

Happy Birthday baby!!!!

A post

The children and I went up to KY last Thurs to see Mary and her girls. We got in around supper time, we all ate chili and rice that she had for us, which was very good. Then the children watched a movie while we ran to Walmart. She helped me pick out a new skirt and two new tops. See I have lost a bit of weight this year and some of my clothes are becoming sloppy because they are too big. Deanna is also currently working on a new dress for me, which I will get tomorrow.
Friday we all, I mean all 12 of us just spent the day lounging at Mary's in our jammies. It was great. Because I know I relaxed and that Mary did too.
Then around 7 or so we ran Ashlee up to church for teen night, it was cold outside. We went back to the house and talked and looked over the school stuff Mary's using this year with the girls. Around 11 we had to go pick up Ashlee.
Saturday the day just flew by, before we knew it it was time for her and the girls to go to a 50th wedding anniversary party. We quickly ran across the street to the bulk store where I got my 50lbs of oatmeal, some cookies, recipe cards and some spices. Then we got back to the house and said our goodbyes.
The children and I made lunch, ate, then packed the van and tidied up a bit. Still feel like I left her with a mess. I'm sorry, and I love you!.
We then headed over to Marion, KY to the Amish community to get everyone winter shoes. They all have wonderful new black boots. Unfortunately because I was rushing a bit, I think Jadon may have ended up with a size that is too small, meaning not a lot of growing room. So we will probably be heading back up there the middle of November to get him the proper size and this pair will more than likely go to Deanna, as they are only a half size larger than what Caleb got. I could save them for Rachel but I think that they do have shoes that look a little bit more girlish.
We left there and drove home, got in around 10pm. Not bad and I also did it on half a tank of gas.
Now to see how well the gas mileage this week on our trip to FL. We leave Thursday morning I'm shooting for 4.30ish as it is a 12 hour drive and I really want to get down there in time for the children to be able to run around a bit before having to put them all back to bed. We are going down for my Grandmother's 90th birthday.

01 October, 2009

Thursday 1 Oct

Today I had my routine Dr's apt everything went well, my numbers were all very good. I've even lost 11lb since 1 June. I am working on loosing even more by the time I go in in Jan.

Then we went over to Mom's to visit with Robert and Julia who are up from Florida for a couple more days. Julia took school pictures of the children, several different shots for a family photo, lets be honest in total I think she said that she took over 600!!!! I should think that something in there will be worth using as a Christmas card.

Then Noah and Matthew marched in the Homecoming Parade with their Cub Scout troop, only I ended up marching with them!!!! I havne't walked a parade since high school. My legs are a tiny bit sore, oh well it'll help with that weight lose goal of mine.

Once that was over we still had to go to their soccer game, they lost by one point. But honestly the only team was NOT playing fair. But our referees were not calling anything, so what can you do.

We came home and everyone was in bed rather early for such a full and busy day. I do believe that they are all done.

29 September, 2009

Today's happenings

I am really trying to post more often. Monday I think I started a post but then had to stop to do this or that and it now sits in my drafts.

So today I got up, we all ate fresh peaches. Mowed the front yard, I still have the back, the back back, in front of the barn, the orchard, and then we have to rake it all and do it probably once more to make it nice until Spring. Yipppeee!!!

The boys had a soccer game tonight on the one field in our area that doesn't have lights so we had to be there for a 5:30 game, it takes a hour to get there from my house. We went they played really good the boys are getting more aggressive towards that ball. Noah took one in the face from a teammate. I am sitting on the other side of the field and I could see the red splotch on the side of his face. Coach got him to calm down and then once he went back into the game, Noah got kicked in the leg trying to get the ball from the other team. He was having a really rough time. Sadly they lost this game.
The ref that was there was talking to coach after the game and I am not sure but I think one of them was talking about possibly getting some type of Soccer league going if we can pull together enough children to play. Might be something we will be looking into.

Tomorrow we have a trip to Columbus Air Force base & the Library, a run to see Deanna in Tupelo to get some clothes from her that Emily has out grown and a new dress she just made for Rachel. Then we have church tomorrow night.

Thursday I have a very early Dr's apt, then we will probably spend some time with Robert & Julia(my little bro & sis) who are visiting from FL. Then Noah's Cub scout troop is marching in the Homecoming Parade at 5, then another Soccer game at 7. ok I am tired now just writing all that out.

Friday we have a new Co-Op from either 9am or 10am till 2. Then hopefully get to spend a little bit more time with Robert & Julia.

Saturday the older three boys have 4H Archery practice from 12-2, yippee I get sun burnt during that time. but they need the practice. We will do this only until it gets too cold to practice then pick it up again in probably Jan or Feb.

Next week shouldn't be so busy, I hope.

09 September, 2009

First night of Awana!

There is excitement abound as we are getting ready to head out for our first night of Awana. All 6 of the boys will participating so it should be a lot of fun helping everyone with their different verses each week.

I will post an update on how things went when I get back home.

I think I might have found a piano teacher.

Yesterday at soccer practice I mentioned that I was looking for a piano teacher and one of the Mom's said that her daughter-the only girl on the team-has been taking lessons from a wonderful lady in town for the last 8 years.
She just had knee replacement surgery, but this mom thought that she was accepting new students.
So I am praying that she is and that we can get the boys started. They all said that they would like to take lessons so we shall see.

01 September, 2009

Boys Scouts, Soccer, Art classes and 4H Archery

So we've added in private art classes, on Mondays Matthew & Jadon will go, then on Tues Thomas, Aric & Noah will go. There are a total 5 in the older boys class and 4 in the younger set. Today was the first class for the younger ones and they each drew an apple. I am impressed with how well they both did. But then Ms. Joyce had them doing shapes and Jadon caught on really quickly, but not Matthew and he was a little bit upset about it. So we will be working on that during the week so that when he goes back next week hopefully he will do better.
These classes are probably only going to be for this semester, then on an individual basis-as in the boys that would benefit the most right now.

The oldest two boys had their first Boy Scout meeting last week and found out that they will be going on their first camping trip this weekend. They are over the moon excited. I am too, but also nervous on how I will be able to get them in a timely manner on Sunday. But we will work it all out.

I am still waiting to hear when the Cub Scouts will be meeting and who their leaders are. So we will got over there tomorrow and see if they are meeting.

Soccer is going really well, they have practice tomorrow night and I believe the first game is Thursday. It was left off of the schedule that I was given so I was a bit surprised when Thomas mentioned it to me. But at least he told me on Friday and I won't be finding out tomorrow.

Our 4H Archery instructor called the other day and I finally got back to her today, and she is going to start practicing this Saturday. So Noah will be the only one to practice as the older two will be camping but that is a good thing as he will get a little more one on one with Coach Kim.
So it looks like we will be doing this till it gets too cold to practice then picking up again in Jan or Feb with the competition in March again.

I am still on the hunt for a piano teacher, praying that we are able to find one soon and close.



30 August, 2009

We've finally joined a Church!!!

We've gone to this Church for the past two weeks and I joined this morning. They still have to get a letter from my old Church back on FL.
I asked about the children and the two that have been baptized will have to go forward and join themselves, so that should happen tonight.

Choir practice is at 4:30 tonight and I would like to go and be a part, I am just not sure what to do with Matthew & Jadon, Caleb & Rachel will sit in the stroller for me and then the older boys can sit quietly. But my Matthew just seems to like that when we are in Church and it's not service time then that means RUN!!!. I've gotten onto him so many times, but he still just doesn't seem to understand. But we are working on it and he WILL UNDERSTAND that it is wrong to run in church.

Well I started this after church Sunday afternoon, must have gotten distracted and never hit post.

So I need to add that all of the children went into the nursery and played while I was at Choir Practice, then they sang in Children's Choir, then we had evening Sunday School class, then the evening service. At the alter call Thomas, Noah and I went up and they joined the church as well.

Now to continue praying for Aric to get Baptized and for the others to come forward when they are lead. I also took the 1-3rd grade Sunday School class, and plan on helping with a Awana girls class on Wed. They serve a meal before Awana on Wed nights so I am going to see if we can't help out there as well.

Shelia told me that they were up to something for me along the lines of a few watching the children while some of the ladies take me out to supper. Not sure when that will happen but it just blew me away at the thought that they would do this for me.

God is so good and I truly feel that we are home in a good family.





28 August, 2009

Do you ever just not have anything to say?

We are just taking it day by day right now. I feel like I have a lot to say but then once I begin to write it always looks like I am just babbling and not really making any sense.

We are not doing well in the school department right now. No one wants to listen to me, no one wants to do their work on a daily basis, nor in a timely manner. I am dealing with some character issues that are the heart of all the problems-discipline, school work, obedience, respectfulness, just the general I'm the mom and you are the child stuff. But it just all seems to be compounded this year with the lack of getting school work done.

I know that no matter what they don't graduate until I say they do and they have met my requirements but gee you'd think that they would all like to be done around 18 or 19. The other thing I think is that for our family getting a drivers license/learners permit isn't something that needs to happen right at 15 so that isn't even a driving(haha punn intended) force.

We did sign up for Scouts and started Soccer practices this week. We have our first game of the season on the 14th, which should prove to be a very busy day. I had already scheduled my Pedicure for that Monday at 3.30 and it takes about an hour. Then from there we will have to get something to eat as we will not be home. About the only good this is that the game is at 5.30 but over in Fayette, but with us already being in Winfield it won't take that long to get down there. But we will still have an hour drive home. We shall drive around the world by the time we get home that night.

Awana sign up is this coming Wed at Church and then we start that the following Wed night. I do think that all of the boys are excited about this.

I am praying that with the outside influence of Christian men & women from Church, and from Scouting and even the sports that this will give all of them the kick in the pants that I just can't seem to get.






21 August, 2009

I'm still here, just been quiet.

Just trying to put one foot in front of the other without stumbling.

We started a new church, ya I know I thought that I had found where we were to go and it is a wonderful little church. But they aren't going to be involved with the AWANA program and that was something that I was really looking forward to.
So we attended this new Church Sunday morning for S.S., church and then evening service. We also went back on Wed night. The Awana sign up is the 2nd with the first night being the 9th.

I have also signed up the three oldest to play Soccer, this will be the last year that Thomas can do anything locally unless state legislation changes in favor of Home Schoolers. They are also going to be participating in Boy Scouts.

So between Church, Awana, Soccer-for now, and Scouts we should have plenty of outside activities to do. But I am still on the lookout for a piano teacher, perhaps we'll find one by Spring.

The sports will change with the seasons, as we end Soccer, we'll go into Basketball, then 4H Archery, then possibly Baseball, then a short break till fall when Soccer starts again. I'd like to find a swim team but that looks to be something that is to far away and with daily practices, which would leave out doing anything else.

I just keep praying that the extracurricular (sports mainly) that the older boys need in order to meet the requirements for the different Military Academies that they are hoping to attended are able to be fulfilled.

21 July, 2009

Money troubles

How is it that I can plan everything down on paper so well? But in reality I also end up making a mess. Richard got his first real paycheck last week, I knew what had to be paid, knew how much overage there was.

I had already planned on taking the children to Birmingham for some fun time. Which included Build A Bear, Godiva for me, Chick fil-A for lunch, and that at another location Barnes and Nobel, Franklin Covey-for me, and looking around Pottery Barn Kids and The Apple store. So I took out the set amount and spent all of it and a little over not to bad, I wasn't concerned.

The next day I went about paying the bills that needed to be paid, yes I know I should have paid them first. Anyway we went to town to Walmart, to get some things for school, paint for the dining room and groceries. Here again lies a problem, I spent too much on school stuff that could have waited till the end of the month, and I have since learned that Alabama will be having tax free school days this year, so school stuff really could have and probably should have been put back. I had been in the store for over 2 hours, I know everything in my Walmart-there is no reason to spend that much time in there unless I am getting two carts full of food.

Then we wake to Wed, and finally catch Richard on line, guess what, he let's me know that he took out money a lot more money then I remember ever talking about, so much money in fact that I shouldn't have gone to Birmingham. Ugggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg how many g's can I put there?

So now I sit here with no money for the next 10 days, had to borrow Matthew's birthday money to put gas in the van and I feel like a fool. I love my husband very much, but why does it always seem that when ever I try to treat myself to something nice, anything nice it blows up in my face and I feel guilty for doing it?

I was going to go to a spa that is in a really nice hotel at the end of the month, get a message, a facial and just have a dat to myself, let grandma and papa have the children. But I can see now that I won't be doing that this month or any month.

I am just going to pay the bills, get groceries, and what school stuff I need, and make sure that there is always money there for Richard should he need it.

18 July, 2009

Our school year and what we are doing/using.

I can't wait to start. Our box can't get here fast enough.

So for this school year we are going to be doing:
Sonlight Core 5-which is a study of the Eastern Hemisphere,
Saxon math on four different levels,
Singapore EarlyBird,
HWT,
Sequential Spelling,
Sonlight LA 5,
Sonlight LA K,
Sonlight Science K,
Apologia Astronomy,
Rosetta Stone French,
Piano-using books that I already have here at home,
P.E. they will do Soccer, Basketball, 4H Archery and possibly Baseball in the Spring. This is the last year that Thomas can do any sports with our community as they only allow them to particapate until age 12 . Because most of the schools are so small that is around 7th grade so they let them play on the high school teams. We can do 4H Archery until they are all 19 I believe.
Bible will be memory verses and AWANA activities.
Art is about the only thing that I don't have, but we might add that in later in the year.
Typing
I also have Sonlight 3/4, and Before Five in a Row for Caleb & Rachel. They will also do Fantastic Frogs for Math, and lots of fun activities to keep them both busy and out of trouble.

We are going to start tomorrow with our Math, HWT, French, Typing, Piano and Spelling. Then next week we will add in most of the rest, I have to wait for the Science book as Mary has it and I still need to order the LA, but I will have all the books.

Core 5 is a very full Core and there is a lot of work to be done, I am already looking at taking at least 10-15 extra weeks to complete this one. We will work until the last Friday in July, I already have most of our holidays marked on the calendar, which of course are always subject to change.

This year with Richard leaving we did take a summer break and it has been chaos. They need to know what is going to happen everyday or they all get into trouble. So we are getting back into our full year schedule.

Praying for a wonderfully productive year.

Been kind of quiet here.

The children have been sick since we came back from our trip, Rachel had a double ear infection that required two rounds of antibiotics. Aric & Matthew had this sinus thing in their eyes so bad that their eyes would literally run like your nose, it was the strangest thing I think I've ever seen. Thomas, Noah, Matthew and Caleb all also had to take a round of antibiotics. Every time I think that they are better, Rachel seems to get a low grade fever for a day or two, she did this on Wed & Thur but seems totally fine today.

We've gotten the couch moved finally, boy was that an adventure. I had to move the refrigerator in order to make the doorway of this bedroom. I still have to finish painting this room, I am not looking forward to using the oil based primer again but it is needed since there is wall paper glue everywhere and it is very hard to get off, and latex primer will end up with ugly results and have to be repainted.

Thomas helped me pick out the color for the dining room, it is called antique peach and I think it is a Dutch Boy paint, which is a brand that I have not used before so I am hoping for good results.

Thomas & Aric are going to be moving into my old bedroom with Rachel. I am going to give our queen set to Mary and her girls, the bed is only 3 years old and really nothing wrong with it other than Richard and I don't like it. So for a little while the boys will use it, then I will set up the last set of bunk beds in there for the them, and Rachel will use her crib/toddler bed.

I am going to decorate the room for her, but not in a way that the boys won't mind sharing the room. I found some really cute drapes at Pottery Barn Kids, they are a green with white dots and match the back of her quilts, which are also PBK. I love PBK stuff I just wish that is wasn't so expensive, but we do live 2 hours from an outlet so that helps, A LOT!! We did see a really cool rug at Target that I might get, but might not with these drapes we shall see.

I finally have almost everything out of the storage stall in town, still need to sort through all of it. A tiny part of me says to just toss it all on the burn pile and call it a day, but then I feel that I need to go through all of it to see what is there. Stuff that takes up space, that I probably don't need, can't use or wouldn't now anyway.

So this week we are going to finish with the the new living room, I still have a ton of stuff in here but we are going to take it all out to the barn building. Speaking of barns, this fall I plan on going through all the stuff that is up in the barn loft-which should be fun as our barn is old and sometimes when you are up there I really feel like the building is moving ever so slightly. But it needs to be done as I truly have no idea what we have out there. Which is so sad, that we have so much stuff that I don't know what I have.

Finally have an address for Richard, yeah!!! Now we can start sending him boxes, letters and fun stuff. I also found out that I can mail a footlocker to him with a pad lock, it can't weigh more than 70lbs, which I think that right now it might, so we will probably have to unpack it again to lighten it up some.

So that is what I've been up to, trying to get everyone on the mend. Have a great day.

04 July, 2009

I've begun some of the remodeling.

I am slowly working on getting our house fixed up, it was supposed to be just for us, but now it might be so that we can sell.

I am working on moving the living room into our smallest bedroom and making this my bedroom too. The two oldest boys & Rachel will stay in my old room, and the others will stay in the room that they've been in.

We took the side rail off of Rachel's crib so that she'd have a big girl bed yesterday and she thought that was just the coolest thing. She did wake up during the night a couple of times, got in bed with me at one point and then I found her on the floor this morning.

So today we go into our new living room, where we've already moved the TV to, but the boys have decided that they still need watch movies on the little TV. But I guess I don't mind too much since Rachel loves to watch Toy Story 2 every day.

My house I'm sure that I've mentioned it before has wood walls, not over anything either. Just tongue and groove pine. Why the couple that we bought the house from felt they needed to wall paper everything, the ceilings included, I will just never understand.
While we were in the new living room yesterday, moving stuff around so that we can get the couch in there and get it all set up I decided that I was going to take the wallpaper down and just go ahead and paint this room. The other thing this gentleman did was take drywall mud and filled in the grooves in all of the other rooms except this one, so once the paper was done it didn't really look that bad. But I really want a room in my house that looks fresh and clean, well now it does or at least the one corner from window to window does.

Now all we need to do is actually figure out how we are going to move this sofa sleeper couch. I have a very tight space in the entry of the kitchen, because my fridge and upright deep freezer make a cube, so we are going to try taking the couch and standing it up on end and sliding it that way into the room. Praying that this works. I will say that this new couch, is lighter than the other one that Mom & Dad gave us.

The fun things yet to do are:
trying the mattress that is in this couch and how comfortable it is
deciding if I'm going to take my comforter and pillows back & forth every night
getting a small area rug for the living room for the children to be able to lay on
putting up mini blinds and curtains to help keep the room cooler
adding more shelving that runs the length of the room to make better use of storage-I've seen this many times at IKEA
the biggest thing I think will be how well Rachel does with me not being in the room with her, she won't be alone yet but it's not Mama.

Tomorrow we are finally going into town to get a new roller, paint thinner, some different paint chips to look at and see what I like and don't. As much as we need the rain I am hoping that the sun will be out at least for a little while, while it is on that side of the house so that I can see what the room looks like, because as much as it does look nice I am not really sure that I like it. But is temporary until I get in there tear out the walls.


02 July, 2009

a brain storm

So I am sitting here trying to gain as much information about the great state of Texas.

Yes, while we were out there we really liked it, a lot. Liked it to the point that we are now talking about moving out there once Richard gets home next year. I do have my work cut out for me as the Dallas/Ft Worth area is huge.

The weather was wonderful, yes it was hot but for this Floridian it was a different hot, I personally enjoyed it, but not the hot in OK it was terrible. The heat here in AL is bearable but somewhat like FL hot, I guess there is a lot more humidity here. I am thinking that maybe we weren't really outside in the heat and that is why it didn't seem all that bad. Maybe I need to run out there in the next couple of weeks to see what it's like now or next month.

So my point here is today I thought about the idea of buying a pop up camper, I think that it would be a good size for us to start with. It would probably be cheaper to buy a camper, live in camp grounds while looking for a new home.

I began my search on line for pop ups and what they cost and sleeping space and well they aren't as expensive as I thought they'd be. I might even go down to the dealer ship I called and look at one or two. My biggest concern is towing weight-and how much stuff we'd be able to take with us.

I have already found one camp ground that is right in one of the areas where we were, not necessarily where I'd want to live but it would make I think a good base camp.

it is time to really downsize and only keep the really important stuff. I am talking down to the prairie schooner full and that is it. Prairie schooners were only like 4X12 and that was all the space that they had to take everything that they needed and that mattered out West. I have always said that as a high school project the boys would build one that works, and hey if we really get into reenacting then we could take it with us and set it up or something, I am sure that there we wagons with the troops just wouldn't use the hoops/rings to put the top on. But anyway I am totally getting ahead of myself.

I really need to get back out to TX so that we can figure out which areas would be the best for us, the biggest being what Richard does for work. If he's going back to OTR and is able to get back on the account he was on, the we have a certain distance that he can be from he place of work so that he's able to come home on his weekends. Not sure how it would work if he's on a different account and all but we will figure all of that out as time goes by.

The best part of this whole thing is that along with schooling the children, trying to keep a tidy home, and the homestead which at this point is a bust-I am down to one lonely chicken which I still need to run over to Mom's, plus church and anything else extra that I decide to add in. I now have a project that will take a lot of time and gives me a goal to look forward too. Which God willing will help to make the days go by that much faster.

27 June, 2009

Planners-all digital(iPhone), paper or a mixture???

I am trying to decide if I want to invest in new planner pages for next year or if I should just get the best apps for what I am looking to do and just get really nice journals for the hand writing that I feel I must do daily.

Some of what I am looking for:

Grocery shopping/menu planning
freezer/pantry inventory-to stop over buying
budget pages
bill paying schedule
savings plan
school resources & planning
goals
attendance record
homeschool planner/daily schedule
ideas-for what ever
appointments
trips-and all the necessary info for them
van maintenance
a total inventory of what we actually have

all the stuff that I need to try to keep in one place and not loose.

I know there is a calendar already on the phone and I do use it, but there really isn't enough room for everything that I tend to try and jot in a day.

I was thinking of 2 pages per day that way, I have a small daily log of what we did for school, plus appointments, and just what ever notes. But then I want to be able to get to this stuff a year from now if needed. How can I get stuff off of my phone? I love that I can go back over the years and either pull my F.C. storage binder off of the shelf or a school yearbook/planner down. But I'd like to have them all in one book. I am also struggling between the Classic and full size sheet binder size. I have the classic, but everything else is a full sheet of paper.

I have several different homeschool planners, or software things where I can print out all the pages I need and make my own. Which I have done several times over the years. I just can't decide what I want.

I usually end up with two or three single subject spirals full of stuff-thoughts, bible verses, ideas, planning, just my journal, bills. You name it it ends up in there. But then I also have my planner where I tend to try and write a short synopsis of what we did for the day, even it was really nothing.

I have my bills under control as far as storage and I will be doing that again from now on. But I need a paper or list of what is due and when, where I can look at it often.

I like my phone and I using it all day, but I also like paper and pen very much. What would you do?

Finally, our trip to see Richard

Well the children and I left around 9:30 Wednesday morning, stopped and got gas at Walmart so we were on the officially on the road around 10. It took us roughly 12 hours to get to Lawton, OK. I don't know why either. But we got to the hotel, I put everyone to bed and hopped in the shower and went to bed myself.

Thursday morning the children were all run through the shower and we loaded up to head over to Ft Sill. We got on post but didn't have a map and I had no clue where anything was, so I went to a building I was told would have one, they did but it really wasn't the greatest. But Richard was in that same building, and he came out right as I was leaving and gave me his map. So we went to the PX, got breakfast at Cinnabon yummy, and waiting for him to call me letting me know that he was done and we could pick him up.

Once we got him, we went to the Commissary for food stuff then got on the road to head to Dallas/Ft Worth. It was a really nice drive, and didn't take to long, there are even parts of the highway over there where you can do 75 mph. Yup it's posted that fast it was cool and yet a little scary. I really can't imagine going that fast with a lot of traffic around.

So we arrived in Dallas and head over to The Central Market, this has to be the coolest grocery store ever. But right beside it was a really nice educational store that I have to get the receipt for because I've forgotten the name, but there are a couple here in AL. The Central Market is only in TX. I don't even know how long we were in that store but it was late, so we headed to our hotel and then I made our supper-hummus, turkey, cheese, sprouts, carrots all in a wrap. They were very good. The children started falling asleep and we called it a night.

Friday we got up, headed to the mall to the Build a Bear, and began making our new family members. We didn't do the voice recordings in the ones for Caleb and Rachel because they didn't have any and the truck hadn't arrived yet. So Caleb got a frog and his name is Hopper Rachel got a kitty and her name is Francis. Then the voice things arrived and they boys had picked a puppy for Richard and they said "we love you Daddy" and we put that in Georges paw. He will be traveling with him for this trip. I plan on sending him more clothes so that he can have fun and send us pictures.

After we were done there we headed over to IKEA, we looked at everything, ate lunch, looked around some more. The boys that were able to went to the play place for an hour, while we looked some more. I have no idea what time we got there but it was almost 9 when we left. Before we left that part of town we also went into The Container Store, which was a great place. A lot of organizational type stuff, like the bag said Contain yourself!

Then it was time to go back to the hotel, fix supper and baths. We had very late nights the entire trip.

I have to mention about our meals, we were on a tight budget this trip, so we had really only had two hot meals and those were the meatballs at IKEA, so yummy and the chocolate cake. Anyway we had turkey wraps with three different types of sprouts, hummus, some really good dill mustard, nice spicy cheese, shredded carrots. We also had lots of fresh fruit, fresh baked bread, some cookies that I am going to try to make here-Cranberry w/pecans they were so good.

Saturday was our lazy day, we watched Discovery channel most of the day. Rachel and I took a really long nap. Then I think it was around 5 we went to Target and Sam's. Caleb and Rachel got new summer sandals. I got some really cute flip flops that are really comfortable. We went back to the room with our stuff and had supper and pretty much went to bed.

Sunday we went back to IKEA for a few hours, ate dinner there, decided on Rachel's bed, mattress, which colors of BIlly bookcases I'm going to be getting. Tried to figure out which cabinet face we liked, and counter tops. When we weren't able to really look at anything else we left there and went back to The Central Market. We got more yummy food, looked at all the stuff that we missed the first time, which I think that there was still more stuff to see. Then it was back to the room for supper.

Monday it was time to head back up to OK. So we cleaned the room, loaded the van and got on the road. When we got back, there was a bit of a grassy area in front of the building Richard was living in with a nice gazboo, so we just let them run, play and be out of the van for a few hours. Richard washed all of our clothes, while they were all playing. Then it was time to get to the hotel, where we had supper. Caleb and Rachel got the bath given to them by Daddy. Everyone was wound up so silly. But then it was time to run him back to post, we took some silly pictures before we said our goodbyes and then we went back to the room. I talked to him for bit, but Rachel was being silly and wouldn't go to sleep. So I had told him I'd call him back, I didn't cause I feel asleep. So I called him in the morning and we talked for a little bit. Somehow the bag of socks I had taken out with me got left in the van so I ran those over to him, we didn't get to see him which is probably a good thing because Caleb was having a hard time of it. When we had left the night before he kept saying we never ever never leave Daddy, over and over. I had to keep telling him that yes we do because he's going to work.

After giving him well his buddy Roland the socks we quickly got on the road home, even though the trip seemed to take forever to get there it went rather quickly coming home. We really only stopped 4 times maybe, potty, gas and that was it.

I got home around 10.30 I think, got the really important stuff inside and then we all went to bed.

Over all it was a wonderful trip, stressful yes but I think that was mainly because we weren't home in the van so much. But in the end it was so great to spend time with Richard for the children to be with their Daddy and to make those special memories that I hope they don't ever forget.

I will come back and post some of the few pictures that I have. Don't know what I was thinking in not really taking pictures.






He's on his way.

Just got a text saying that they are outta here. Not sure when I will talk to him again, praying that it will be soon.

I love you honey. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

16 June, 2009

Our trip is upon us, and I don't want to go......

Now don't get me wrong I really really want to see Richard, because he's my husband and I love him very much.

But at the same time I don't want to make the drive, deal with being in hotels for the next 6 nights, having to eat out for all/most of that time, lots of driving in strange places.

I am regretting not just trying that much harder to find a flight for him to just come home and we go do something around here.

MMMM I wonder if he couldn't still rent a car and drive home or hey what about if he just drove half way??? I know he probably wouldn't and couldn't as they were supposed to have all of their travel arrangements set a week ago, but ya know what things happen and plans change.

The biggest thing is I don't want to say goodbye again. That is the hardest part of all, saying good bye. It will be a long time before we get to see him again, probably Feb or so.

I am praying that I am in a much better mood in the morning when we leave because right now I am really not looking forward to making this drive, and it's making me feel terrible.

Pray for me please.

13 June, 2009

Our trip is mapped out, but always subject to change.

The children and I will leave here on Wed, drive about 5.5 hours and stop. Prayerfully I'll be able to find a park or something where they can go run and play and express some of the energy that they will have all stored up from sitting in the van that long. Now don't get me wrong, my children travel wonderfully, I have the greatest bunch when it comes to riding in the van. It's just once we get there they really do need to run. Thurs morning we will begin our way over to OK for final 5.5 hour drive, where would should be able to find a park somewhere on Ft Sill for some more energy release. I still don't know what time Richard will be able to sign out for the weekend, so I will have to find stuff for us to do until we can get him.

Once we pick him up we are heading down to Dallas. We will probably just go straight to our motel for the night depending on the time.

Yes, we are going to the big city, to go shopping at Build A Bear where we are going to make some animals for the two youngest so that they will have something here to love on while Daddy's gone, and we might even make something for Daddy to take with him. Then we are going to go to IKEA and really look around, I do hope that this store isn't all that different from the one in Atlanta. Because then I would get confused and the one in Atlanta is a whole lot closer to home. But we are on the search for a big girl bed for Miss Rachel, as she keeps climbing out of her crib and I am afraid that she will get hurt. So time to move on and then since I don't really want to buy a toddler bed and then a twin bed later we are looking at some that are toddlers/twin. Yes, it may mean having to get two mattresses but I think that is going to be cheaper than a second bed, but we shall see.

Then we are going to go to a grocery store, in Richard's civilian job he's a trucker. Gone for two weeks at a time, home for Drill and one family weekend a month or that is what it is supposed to be but anyway I digress he has a run that takes him out to Haltom City, TX and Central Market. He often says "some day I'm going to have to bring you out here, because this place is so cool." Well Honey here's my some day, we are going to look at all of the very cool produce, cheeses, meats and just everything. Then after that I have no idea what we are going to do, besides probably head back to OK and say our farewells.

At this point I think he's going to take his R&R again around my Birthday in Feb, I am not sure what we will do while he's home but maybe a trip south to FL or something fun. Not that staying home isn't a good thing, it's just hard because then he wants to work and I'd rather just visit with him and let his spend time with his children.

The best part is that while we are having this mini vacation we will also be celebrating Richard's B-Day(12th), Father's Day, Our 12th Anniversary(28th) and we will also be celebrating Matthew's 7th B-Day(9 July) as this is the one birthday that Richard seems to miss the most.
It will be a long trip ending up being over 2000 miles round trip. But it will all be to short, not enough time, to just spend time together.

I know that God is in control and Richard will be back home for his R&R before we know it, then he will be back from this deployment, with possibly a new direction for our family and life.

05 June, 2009

I haven't been blogging much lately

I am still in a little bit of a fog I guess, everyday around 2 or so I still need that nap. Like eyes closed and sleep is here, no fighting it. But there have been a couple of days where I've been fine.

We are planning on going out to OK on the 18th, unless Richard tells me different, we will stay till the Tues morning. We aren't really sure what we are going to do yet, but it will be a nice mini vacation.

I finally found my camera it was on the school bookcase on a box but behind a game. So I will be getting some new photos up really soon.

I have been looking at a set of dishes for several months now and the other day I just decided that I was going to go with a different set since it was right there in the store and I wouldn't have to wait and it was a tiny bit cheaper. But once we got home with them and I really stood there and looked at them I knew that they weren't what I wanted. So I ordered the ones I did want, and took the others back to the store. I picked them up at Walmart today, I used that ship to store and it saved me 50.00 in shipping. I have about half off them in the dishwasher, once it's done I'll load it up and get the others done.
While the dishes are washing we've emptied the cabinet and it is all ready for those new dishes. I am going to get rid of all the extra kitchen stuff and only keep what I need and really use.

I have a goal in mind and I am going to reach it.

I will post a photo once I have a place setting washed.

30 May, 2009

We've said our first goodbyes

Yesterday was the official farewell for Richard's unit. They had a ceremony that lasted about an hour, then there were refreshments-but we didn't get any. Richard's parents had also gone up and my FIL has over the past three weeks had surgery on both of his feet, the second surgery being this past Tues so he was still in a bit of pain. So Richard talked with them for a bit, then helped him to the car and talked a little more.

Then they left and we had to come all the way home for some important papers that I had totally forgot to bring with. And because of the it blew the entire day. We weren't able to really do much anything else. Came home grabbed papers, turned around and went right back up to find a FedEx box/store and sent them off, then he ran into Sam's for a couple things. Then we ordered Domino's-which where we live is not something we get, well since we've been here in AL this was like the 3rd or 4th time. Then the children got baths and went to bed. Rachel had a very late nap and was not ready to go back to sleep, but finally did. We got about 45 minutes of adult time before he had to run off and finish packing and leave to go back to the unit at 0200. He came back to give everyone kisses and hugs, but since all the children were sleeping none of them remember it, nor do those that responded to him recall doing so.

I talked to him bit ago and they are on their way to OK, if they had driven from AL they would problaby just be getting there.

He is supposed to get 4 days leave while in OK and I will be driving out there so that we can try to do the things we were going to do today. And hopefully just spend some family time together.

In 28 days he will leave the country. His orderers are for 400 days, I just saw them yesterday and I haven't had time to count out roughly when that means he will be back and home. But we are going to make a calendar that goes backwards and tear a page off everyday till he's home again.

The frustrating thing of the day was that my camera is missing and I wasn't able to get any photos of him and the children. But we will find it before going to OK.

22 May, 2009

Now here is an update of what happened while I was gone.

Where to begin.

I was going to announce our that we had been blessed again with a new little one due around the beginning of Dec, however that little one was so special that the Lord took him/her home the Saturday before Mother's Day.

After a possible bit of over doing it on Thursday I woke very early Friday morning with some spotting, thought that it was my warning to take it easy. But as the day progressed I realized that was not to be the case. By Saturday morning I knew that this was something I needed to be seen about. So I loaded up the other children and headed to my Mom's. They were all well taken care of by there Papa and other family members for the rest of the day, as we headed to the ER an hour and a half away.

We got there around 10am, were quickly entered into the system and tucked into a back room, blood was taken, the Dr came in and I more or less stated that I wanted an ultrasound to know what was going on. He seemed surprised and had the well it's what it is and that's that. But he had no more than left the room and then he was back saying that there was another mom there and I would be able to get one soon. After that was done, we waited some more, then they finally came in and said that I could get dressed and that the Dr would be in soon.

I was so worried about my Mom eating(she's a diabetic) that I forgot to eat myself, we had had breakfast around 9.15 and it was now 3pm. I was graceful enough to tell my Mom that I was going to pass out before doing so, and I thank the Lord that I was sitting in the chair and not still on the exam table. She was able to yell for help, and I was quickly woken up, placed on a bed and taken out of our little hidden room to round front right off the nurses station. Leads were placed on me, and an IV line was started-to which I still have a bruise almost two weeks later, my head was below my feet, my sugar was tested and found to be normal and I was quickly given fluids.
My OB Dr finally arrived to let me know that our little one was no longer there and I needed a D&C to make sure that every thing was removed for my health.

Over all from start to finish once he said what was going to happen it took 30 minutes. From the Anesthesiologist coming in to talk to me, to going to the OR, to being in recovery and geting to my room. Once in my room I was able to eat a clear liquid meal, get up and walk, and use the loo. Once I did all of those things I was able to go home, however I had forgotten to inquire about the Rogham(I am sure I am spelling that wrong) shot, I am A-neg and therefore need this shot, but the nurse had never given it before, and didn't realize that she needed to get it from the Lab. While in the course of talking about it I realized that I have now had this shot 16 times, since all of my children are Positive blood type I must get it-they do go back and forth with A and O, so twice each for the seven living children and two for my miscarriages.

I went back to the Dr today for a follow up and other than my iron is a little low, I am doing okay. It was a bitter sweet thing though as I should have been there for the ultrasound that would have given us our due date. But the Lord had a much greater need for this little one back in Heaven than here on earth and I will wait until it is time to meet him/her, knowing that He is always right.

We stayed at my Mom's while I was recovering as I was not allowed to drive for 48 hours after and then developed a really bad headache that ended up lasting for a full week.
We returned home on Tues, only to leave and head up to KY on Thursday to see Mary, the girls and Heather, Bryce and Bryce Eric who had come home from PA for the Battle of Sacramento.
This was my first reenactment, and I was going to learn. I am very interested in the War between the States and attending reenactments. So this was a learing trip, to see how much work is involved, what you do while you are there, and living like they did back in 1861.
The children had a wonderful time, the older boys didn't make it to the solders camp like they wanted to, but they did enjoy standing right behind the cannons on Sunday during the battle. They were really loud, but I believe that they were actually louder over in the crowd on Saturday.

There is a good bit of an investment involved with reenacting, the clothing wouldn't be that difficult as the way they dressed back then is very much the way I am dressing us now, or I am working towards, plus I can make most of our clothing myself. I did buy a blouse while there but I plan on taking it apart to make a pattern. I already use cast iron to cook with, dishes are pretty easy to come by, some use china, other use the speckled tin plates. There are several antique stores around where I should also be able to find glass jars, little bottles, and other props to add to our display.

I see the largest expense being the tent and such, but it will last for a very long time and there is plenty of room for our entire family.

Items in the tent would need to be hidden or covered if they were not period.

I fell though that at this point we will continue to attend other reenactments to learn more, work on collecting items for our own use, and then perhaps next year we can camp with Mary and the girls.

We came home on Tues it was very late, Wed we had an eye exam for Aric, Noah and Matthew, they all did so well that the Dr said it would be two years before he would need to see them again. Then today my Dr visit, while we were down in Tuscaloosa we went to Barnes and Noble and looked around. I bought two books for the children to use in school and they all looked at different things. I found a couple new Klutz books that I am thinking about getting, didn't see the one that I was going to get. We headed home with a yummy loaf of Panera sour dough bread, something I have not been able to figure out with fresh milled flour.

Mom and Dad have a couch for us that they are going to try and bring over this weekend if the weather is nice so we have been cleaning up in between all of the running around. There seems to be school stuff everywhere. I also can't find my camera which I really must do, I have a welcome wreath on the front door and there is now a bird's nest now on it, I feel bad that we are going to be opening the door and praying that there aren't any eggs in it yet. I will probably go around and look tomorrow. I hope that they do not attack me, I am going to try to get some pictures if we can find the camera.

Of course because of all the medical issues and traveling the grass is now two feet tall in some places, I really hope to get out there today now that it is so late/early and get some of it cut.
Last bit of news it that Richard will be back in AL on the 26th, but will NOT be coming home as they have more paper work and will be requiring him to stay in a hotel up close to the unit, of course it's not just him the whole unit is doing this, just those that live close by can go home. So this means that we will not get any family time before he leaves on the 30. But once they get to OK he should get at some point 4 or 5 days off, and I am more than welcome to drive out there to see him. UGGGGG the Army just doesn't make any sense sometimes. I am not sure what we will do yet, but I am sure that either I'll head out there or he's going to be renting a car to come home for those few days.

But that is pretty much every thing has happened in the past two weeks. I have missed reading blogs, posting on here. But at the same time it was a good thing to spend time with my family and friends, I did have my phone, but it just isn't the same thing as having a real keyboard.
Blessings to my readers, may the Lord bless you as you go about your day today.

Sorry for any typos or bits that just don't make sense it is really late and I really don't have a clue why I am still up. God bless.

I'm finally back online

I have been off line for the past two weeks because my modem and new router and house phone bit the dust during the storms we had.
We were very blessed that the house didn't burn down at that time too. The splitter for the DSL was sent flying in about 4 pieces, along with the router plug, the phone plug, the modem box popped apart and the base to the phone burnt the box it was sitting on. My wall was also scorched along with the phone line and jack.
What a mess. The best/worst part was the fact that I just had the modem and router replaced, but this time I also had to buy a new phone too.
But the modem and router were set up tonight and I am back.
So did anyone miss me??

29 April, 2009

Pre-teens and a camera

Seems that one young lady that I know and love, got a hold of my camera while we were at her house week before last. This is what she took.

Aric laying on the couch beside Becca.
Jadon playing with his coat.

Thomas making a funny face.

Caught red handed!!!

Ahh the photographer.

Matthew making a really silly face.
Noah and a pretzel that looks a little like Matthew.

I think that there might have been one more photo but really how many do we need of little boys sticking their tongues out at us?

Now this last one I think that I actually took, before I ran off to put Caleb to bed. They were all enjoying the caramel corn that Mary had made earlier in the day. I didn't get any, cause they ate it all.






I am thinking that maybe I should get Becca a camera for her birthday, I do believe that she might really enjoy one.



28 April, 2009

Some pictures around our place.

So I went out yesterday and was looking over the couple of spots that my FIL had tilled up for me. I needed this done to plant the blueberries, blackberries and the grapes. I still don't know for sure where I am going to put the blackberries yet, but I have an idea.



I realize that they are way to close together, but at least the ground is broke. I also know that the grass should have been cut super low, than raked up. So I am thinking that we are going to have to have him come back over and do it again, so that the ground is turned over.

It is hard to tell but there are actually 4 plots here.
Thomas and Aric were raking the tops off of these beds.


Here is the start of our orchard, but after looking over at Lisa's blog I see that I need to do the bottom of these trees differently. We just made a big circle around the bases and left them. I did get this mulch mat while we were up in KY and I put it around the plum tree in the front yard, so I might see if I can find more of those locally. If not I will get them up there next month.

We have several different apple, plum, pear, and peach trees out in the orchard. I think one of my peach trees didn't make it through that last frost though. I have thought that I would add more trees next year, but we'll see.

Here you can see what I was cutting, and how much more I have to do. Somewhere down there in the left corner is a pole and a dirt road, that is the edge of our field, the large trees are our wooded area.


This is where the grapes are going and behind that is the garden, I am going to ask a neighbor to come turn this over because it is just too wet to use the walk behind tiller on.

27 April, 2009

Rachel and Jen

While we were in KY we went over to our friends house and all the children played with each other but this whom Rachel played with the whole time.


Lovin on Jen.

she is such a great dog.

and then there was the barn cat.

25 April, 2009

Being crazy lazy today

I was all set to go outside and get another day of mowing done, but then my FIL called to say that he wouldn't be over as he wasn't feeling well.

I am sore, tired and just totally being lazy and I know that.

I really need to be emptying out a bedroom so that I can move Rachel and I into it. Once that is done. my old room with be empty. What I would love to do is gut it to the studs, which really won't be that hard since my house has wood walls, yes there is actual wood over the studs through out my entire house. Then it was all covered including the ceiling with WALLPAPER!!!!!! But the worst part was since this is supposed to be a tongue and grove type wood, most of the boards have shifted some or something, but the couple that we bought the house from thought the best thing to do was take dry wall mud and fill in the gaps. UGGGGGGG. So here I have this cute tiny house that was built in 1939 that has no insulation, drafty old wooden windows and beautiful wood that has been ruined.

So what's a girl to do???? Why, pull all the wood out, run electrical wire and plugs where needed, insulate, slap in two windows, then drywall, mud, and paint. I can't wait, well except the insulation part and maybe the windows as I've never put in a widow before. But hey, there is always a first time for everything. I will probably have my mom & dad come out to help when I get to that point. I may also only replace the front window as the side one is where I plan on adding a new bathroom, but then I suppose that window could be reused in the bathroom. Need to think about this.

Now that the room is done in my head and life is good, the boys are going to go in there for a while, and they will only be sleeping in my newly remodeled room, but then again I might just move out remodel and then move back in. We shall see.

I am going to put the boys in there and take their room and make it our dining/school/my sewing room, I might even put the tv in there. They have to sit at the table to watch, might not be so tempted to spend the day watching sitting on that wooden bench of theirs. They have two closets in there and they will be great for storage of everything that I don't want them getting into which lately seems to be everything.

We need a larger home, but until the Lord opens the doors on that one, I am going to make the very best of this one. Even if it means getting rid of almost everything.

I have always said that if you took all of the school, craft, and sewing stuff out of my home it would be empty. But in that same thought what ever would I do without it all here.

So instead of doing what I should be doing I am sitting here writing about what I should be doing. It isn't going to get done if I don't get up and do it.

Off to clean some more, I just don't think that I am going to make it outside today. Probably save it for Mon after my eye Dr's apt.

24 April, 2009

Mowing the grass, part II

Well I went out this morning when my FIL arrived, see he has a tiller and we don't, and I needed to have some ground tilled so that I can plant my grapes, blackberries and blueberries.

He got here and we went outside and I showed him where I wanted them to go and how wide the area should be, so he made really quick work of that.

Thomas go the new weed eater out of the box and put it together and took off around the house, getting it look nice again. Once he was done we changed the oil in the mower, it was having serious issues with me trying to cut the ditch last night. Doesn't like the angle I guess. So Thomas had what he thought was the oil plug under the mower, but I wasn't sure and well I didn't get what he was point to. FIL came over and showed us, even took out the plug-which was a good thing.

Back in business, I take off in the orchard did a couple of passes and it was already 10:30-who turned on the oven. It was time to stop, at least where I was currently cutting, way to much son for this pale skinned lady. So I went up under my lovely large oak tree, which provided great amounts of shade for most of the day. I worked up there for a while, but still have a good bit in front of the barn, around what was the pig pen, and under the tree-where I have the iron table.

I was finally drawn into the house by hunger and a plan, I am going to move everyone around and put the dining room in the boys room, put the boys in my room and put our room in the third small bedroom, where the dining room was going to go. So I came inside to get started on cleaning out a room, but instead I sat down to cool off and ended up taking a short nap on the couch. Once I woke up I did make it to my room and went through some stuff-really need to get rid of a lot more, vacuumed the corner I cleaned up, and debated about taking another nap on the bed.

Around 5, maybe 5:30 I went back outside as I knew it would be a lot cooler and tackled the orchard. It took me till well after 7 but I got it done.

So tomorrow, I will be working on planting those trees and bushes and perhaps cutting the last bit of high stuff and waiting for the lower stuff.

Off to bed, I am not going to sleep on the couch again. Pictures tomorrow I promise.

23 April, 2009

Mowing the grass

I didn't make it outside yesterday, just lazy I guess.

But I did get out there today, and my hands are killing me. I have a brand new weed eater push mower. We had one last year too, but Thomas didn't check the grass and killed that one before it was a month old.

So today I went out around 4 and started on the back side of the house, there is at least an acre of land just around the house. I normally cut a little go work on something else come back and so forth. We not tonight, I went out there and hit the back yard, then did the side yard, then the front yard, and then had started on the ditch. UGGGGG my palms are very red and sore. We had to run into town for oil for the mower and to get a new weed eater, the one we have is dead.

Thomas will run it around the house and other places where I just can't get to with the push mower. I am hoping that Thomas will be able to get the riding mower put back together so that we can use it too.

But until then I am looking at a self propelled mower in the hopes that it won't hurt my hands so much.

Off to bed so that I can get up and cut another two acres or so, and then plant some grapes, blueberries, black berries and the last of the fruit trees.

22 April, 2009

Shelling popcorn for the first time.


Rachel was hard at work when we first got there.

Jadon taking his turn, it was very windy and chilly the day we did this.

Matthew was giving it his all in turning the handle. Becca was watching to make sure that he did it right.



Thomas and Aric are taking turns at the shelling machine.

Caleb was stretching to reach the top to put an ear into the shelling machine, while Noah was turning.

Caleb and Ashlee picking up some that had fallen out of the pan, this was just part of what we did and then some that was already shelled when we got there.

They all had a wonderful time and thought that it was pretty cool to make popcorn. It was very windy and chilly on Monday when we did this. The best part was when we got back to Mary's and we tried 4 different caramel corn recipes, yummy. The children didn't really care for the Gingerbread caramel corn, but they all enjoyed the regular kind. So much so that I didn't really get any. Oh well we have plenty of popcorn here at home, plus we even took some still on the cob.

Back home

We made it home yesterday right around 4, which means that even though there were a few stops that I thought took a little to long didn't.

But now I must tackle the yard, the grass a grown a foot. Well it looks like it has grown a foot.

Still have plenty to plant and and getting the garden started.

Off to work outside for the day.

20 April, 2009

Blogging from KY

The children and I have been here at Mary's for almost a week now and having a blast.

Sadly our time is almost over, we are heading home on Tues.

Here are some of the things that we have done:
went grocery shopping-had to stock the pantry for this large army.
tried to mow the yard-Mary hit a rock on the second day and the mower is now at a friends house getting fixed.
made a new skirt-Mary did this, Ashlee needed one, but Mary cut it in a way to make it hang on Ashlee in a certain way that it ended up being my size and would have produced a large waste of fabric, so I bought zipper and now have a great new skirt.
patched up wholly jeans-seems that all the jeans that they packed needed to be fixed so that they could attend church.
went to church-great services both in the am & pm.
eaten some great food-some of our normal meals, like nachos, oatmeal, pancakes, breakfast quiche without a crust, homemade pizza, just to name a few things.
went to the Bulk food store-I got a 50lb bag of oatmeal, baby pretzels covered in yogurt, and sugar wafer cookies, and will probably get some more before we head home.
Went to the park to play and celebrate Caleb's birthday with chocolate cake and popcorn.
Tomorrow we are going over to one of Mary's friends house to see their garden, greenhouse and possibly get a little bit of fresh popcorn.

I still need to get the pictures of our park trip off of Mary's camera and will post those soon.

I so don't want to go home but we must, but we are going to try to come up again next month for the Reenactment. I am very interested in what happens at one since I have not ever been to one before.

But it is crazy late and I must get some sleep. I will probably post again once we get back home

17 April, 2009

An afternoon at the park

Christina helping Rachel climb up the slide ladder.

There is a lovely little park just down the road from Mary's house that all of the children enjoy playing at. The weather was beautiful so we loaded up and went down to celebrate Caleb's birthday, we took a large bowl of popcorn and a yummy chocolate cake. Everyone played and had a great time.




They made it to the top and are getting ready to go down.

Aric and Matthew on the swings, I think Aric had something in his eye.





The train tracks are right there next to the road so getting to see the train this close it really fun. Thomas and Matthew are watching. We've also decided that we've seen some of these same cars here in AL.


Becca and Noah on the swings. Swinging is their favorite thing to do.




In the front we have Christina and Rachel, Becca and Kaden, then in the back are Matthew and Jadon.



Caleb at the top of the slide.




Happy Birthday!!!!



Caleb 3 years old.

14 April, 2009

test 2

Yet another test, seeing which way I prefer.

Testing

I am try this posting different ways from my phone.



Making some changes

I thought that I would change the look of the blog to a more summer look. I like this template, it has pretty neutral colors, but I am still looking for something that I can keep all year and just make a seasonal change as needed.

I do have to say that I don't like that you loose all of your pictures, all the more reason to find one I really like and leave it alone.

So what do ya think?

12 April, 2009

Workboxes

After looking at a few more blogs, I think that I have found the containers that we are going to use.



These with 6 drawers each but you can add more to them so I am going to get 10 of them so that each of the boys have 12 drawers. I have figured out what they will each do during the day. We will use funny faces on each drawer once they are finished with their work. These will also take up a lot less floor space than the shoe racks would. We just don't have the room to do the left and right aspect. But I do believe that if they can see that they funny faces are there then that will be good.

So far the ideas that I have for hands on/fun drawers are lots of math, arts & crafty things, science. So here is my list:

Draw Write Now books
Math Dice
Counting bears & scale w/activity cards
Frogs, logs and activity cards
Cuisenaire Rods & different books, Roddles
Lacing beads
Geo Shapes/Pattern blocks w/triangle tray or hexagon tray, different activity books
Geo boards and activity books
Dot to Dot books-numbers, letters, math puzzles
Word searches
paper airplane book-they have to copy the parts and put the plane together
Wikki Sticks and books
Can you find it? books
Geo puzzle
toob farm animals
Dr. Drew blocks
Klutz Lego book
Klutz How to build Castles
Snap Kits
Stained Glass coloring pages
Equate Game
Horse Bingo
Math book puzzles
Origami
Varies Art books
Lap Harp
Caluladder pages
Match It
Math War
Nature Study book
Water colors
Knights
Human Body pages-various workbooks & Enchanted Learning website pages
Building thinking skills -Not sure what books or software I am going to get yet.
Quilt block History of Pioneer days
Melissa and Doug wooden ABC's
The Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine
Piano books
piano practice
guitar books
guitar practice
a wooden loom
Magnetic letters
Magnetic numbers

Their drawers so far are lining up like this:
Thomas Aric Noah Matthew Jadon
1Bible Bible Bible Bible Bible
2Hands Piano Snap LA/RA LA/RA
3LA/RA LA/RA LA/RA hands hands
4Piano hands Math Math math
5Art Math HWT HWT Art
6Math Art Piano Art Piano
7Science Science Science Piano HWT
8History History History hands Hands
9Snap HWT Art History History
10hands Snap @Piano Science Science
11HWT @Piano Hands @Piano hands
12@Piano Hands hands hands @Piano

Of course the 6 hands on/fun boxes will change, Piano will be every other day or I will rotate so that everyone gets time at the piano. Plus I am going to add in guitar books but we need to get a guitar first.

But this is the tentative plan for now. I am sure that as we start working things will change.


10 April, 2009

Downsizing, organizing, and planning

I am getting ready to downsize in a huge way. I am just feeling more and more that we are to give away things, but not somethings.

The children have way to many clothes, like buckets and buckets and buckets. I am not kidding. How this happened I really don't know because honestly I haven't really bought anything for anyone in the last 3 years. Socks, underwear, a pair of jeans for my supper skinny guys and shoes.

But even knowing this does not explain why I have at least 20 totes and that many large garbage bags full of clothing. Richard is just as bad, he has so many things that he doesn't even know what he has.

Now my clothing is pretty simple, I have two skirts that I wear on a regular basis and about 6 tops. I have a new work skirt laying on the ironing board waiting for elastic and to be hemmed.

I want to get everything cleaned sorted and just give it away. There is a few boxes around here for Hannah House and Kings Ranch that I could put the stuff into, there is also a church over in my Mom's town that has a thrift store that is currently asking for donations. Then there is always the 25 cent yard sale. Just put up a huge sign that everything is a quater each, might make a fortune. LOL probably not.

But then there is the stuff that just gets in my way, all the kitchen gadgets, the movies, and the tv. As much as I would love to send the tv away, there are good things about it, like those Planet Earth DVD's, we don't have Directv any more and I will probably leave it that way. We just have a Netflix subscription and what I find a Walmart. I finally bought Wall-E the other day and it is really cute, I might get them Bolt in a month or so. We are also looking at getting some fun DVD's for school work. I have seen where you can get all of the Magic School Bus. But before I get these things I need to get rid of a ton of others that we no longer watch or just don't want. Perhaps I will make a DVD box of movies and send them to my sister in Germany.

I would rather spend my extra money each month on books, puzzles, games and other things that are going to have a purpose. I love the fact that the boys can be doing something and they are learning but don't realize it.

So my goal for the rest of the month is to go through all of those bags first since they are really a pain to store. We are going to pull out 7 outfits each, once they have their 7 they will be able to change with a new bag if they see something else that they would like to keep, but other wise it is all going away.

Oh and I didn't even mention all of the books that we have. I am wanting to sort our books by subject, so that we have science, history, math, and so on. A lot of the books that we have are things that I was able to pick up for our school board back in FL. So they are old library books, most already have the Dewey system stickers on them. I have thought about using that to organize our books which would be a great learning tool, however our little library here doesn't use it. You can't even look up a book yourself you have to ask the librarian to do it for you. And the picture books are just there. The other library they have their books color coded based on the authors last name, that way you atleast know which cubby the books belong into.

The bonus here is once I get all of this done I will have a lot more space in that new storage barn. The faster it gets cleaned out and organized the faster I can make it our school house. The hardest part will be figuring out how to put AC out there without making a whole in the side. See I just ordered a stock building, you can have windows and such put in, but I just wanted a building to get us started. Richard has already mentioned something about getting a second one later. So what I will do is get a larger building with windows and a normal door.

The best part will of course be all the extra room in the house. The boys have been double bunking with Thomas & Caleb sharing, and Matthew & Jadon too. We really need to get that third set of bunkbeds up. I am praying that we will be able to add on or something in the next year or so. That would be the biggest help, to make a large boys bedroom, a smaller girls room, a true school room, and a family room. I can see in my head what I want, I just don't know if it will work.

Oh well I am off to sort clothing.