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Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's all about the balance...

The word in itself seems so simple and unassuming. To live a happy and stress free life we are told we need to balance work and play. The bank tells us to avoid charges, we need to properly balance our check books. Dietitians tell us that to maintain a healthy weight we are to eat a well balanced diet. Just thinking about all this  balancing is stressing me out. In an effort to really try, I decided to give it my all today and try to live a well balanced life. Let's see, I am going to balance out the fact that I have a clean house (girls had a picnic with my parents today which led to uninterrupted cleaning) with the fact that I have a messy car. There is just not enough time in the day to tackle that project! I am balancing the fact that I have two dogs with having two cats, and with the cooler weather means that they ALL reside in the house now. Which means my clean house will last about a day. We balance organic food with harmful cleaning products here all the time. Cleaning up after all these critters takes some serious cleaning products.  In an effort to save money I clip coupons, only to end up going over budget at the grocery store because a certain something was on sale :-0 Who can resist a little orange sticker that says SALE??  And just in case that isn't enough to insure that I lead a stress free life, tonight I will eat a candy bar while working out on the treadmill. Trying to make sure my children have  a well balanced diet means taking one for the team from time to time. The eating of their Trick or Treat candy just has to be on that list....Hey, at least I tried ;-)

Be careful case you haven't heard, life is all about balance!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The annual neighborhood meet and greet.

I strongly dislike Halloween. The celebration of death and gross things makes the back of my neck tingle. Early on in our parenting we were faced with the decision, do we or do we not take our kids trick or treating. I had many fond memories of growing up in the country and us 3 neighborhood kids visiting all our neighbors and being rewarded with delicious goodies. Now many years later we are raising our children in that same setting. We decided that we would not celebrate the holiday, but would still participate in trick or treating. We don't allow scary costumes, and have went over the reasons of why several times. Last night the evening started out with a lovely dinner cooked by my lovely Mom, with friends and family there to enjoy it. My husband and I escorted Nancy Drew, a tiger and a princess on the hay ride, that my girls helped my Dad prepare. It was beautiful, decked out in lights and all....cause ya know, we don't have street lamps in the country ;-) As he drove them from house to house (and picked up a few passengers on the way) Mike and I got to walk around the neighborhood with our good friends. We got to see neighbors that we only see once a year. Found out that one had passed away yesterday, one was battling a life threatening illness, and one had just moved in. It was a time to create community, something that is seriously lacking today. It was a very nice evening.  As I lay in bed replaying the events of the day, I couldn't find anything questionable or evil with how it all played out, and my children have great memories with their Grandparents that they can look back on. We could be totally wrong in our decision....I am easily wooed by chocolate and peanut butter you know, but I fear that if we didn't let our kids participate they would get the wrong message. I would have shared some awesome pictures, but of course the battery in my camera was exhausted. Who knew you had to charge such a thing? ;-)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Today...we eat!

I am thinking we are finally on the mend from whatever virus has plagued our house these past couple of days. Appetites and energy were at a all time high today ;-) With both of those things in play...we baked...and ate. We had marble twirl muffins for breakfast and then promptly started working on our snack. We decided to make the staple cookie around here...a recipe that was given to me by one of my sweet sister-in-laws. This one cookie is so good that it alone warrants the purchasing of oats in bulk ;-)

And of course local honey too...

This recipe is so easy a child can do it...


1 cup quick oats
1 cup dried milk
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 bag choc chips

Mix and roll into flattened balls. Refrigerate. Eat. Eat more. :-)

With full bellies we headed outside (after school of course ;-) to whittle the day away...literally!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

His and Her's

In marriage sometimes the lines blur between who actually owns a certain object. We share just about everything here, but there are a few things that I can actually say "this is His"...or vice versa. Thought it would be neat to document that in photos. :-) (just in case he tries to take my stuff)...just kidding of course!

His truck. No car seats or left over snacks are left in this guy. Isn't it a beauty? You know how many groceries you can haul in the back of this thing... 

My car. Full of car seats and so many leftover snacks and water bottles that every time we get somewhere and open the doors I have to chase down something that fell out for fear of being prosecuted for littering.

Our sinks. They look very similar don't they? But if you could see the whole picture you would see that his has two windows on his side and I only have one. Not to mention that mine is right next to the potty, which is not always a good thing ;-)
His and her drinks of choice. His being the one loaded with sugar and calories, mine loaded with nothing. Now if I would drink his drink on as regular basis as he does I wouldn't fit into a single thing I own, with the exception of my bathrobe maybe. No, he on the other hand can drink it all day and still keep his gorgeous good looks and figure.
His shovel. I kid you not, if I ever ask for his help with planting anything from a tree to a small annual flower, he goes and jumps on this thing to come and dig the biggest hole known to man.
Her shovel. Now when I need to dig a hole I am a little more Eco friendly ;-) mainly because it takes so long to dig a hole with this thing though....hmmm, guess that's why he prefers the other.
His stove. We heat our house with wood through heating hot water that then somehow heats our whole house...I don't really know how, it's a mystery to me, but I do know it works and it's practically free to keep my house at a steady 79 degrees all winter.
Her stove. Just in case the power goes out it's nice to have a back up. Isn't it cute? I noticed sweet man didn't decorate his like I did mine :-) I have been known to make many meals on this thing...I wouldn't dare try cooking in his for fear of loosing an arm or something.
Even though we have different tools or ways of getting things done, it is such a blessing to be able to work together around this place we call home.  (the other two princesses boots where in the wash)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Down for the count...

It took every bit of energy to pull my sleepy head out of bed yesterday morning. I chalked it up to me and the hubs staying up late watching movies and eating everything we could find in the pantry, but after I groggily knocked over a stack of dishes (and broke most of them)  that I had washed the previous night and let hang out to dry (I don't dry dishes, why would you do such a thing when they dry on their own) and then lost my cool when princess 3 decided to show me she was feeling better by doing some ballet moves WHILE holding a glass of milk. Needless to say the milk ended up my newly washed rug. (still trying to get this place to not smell like 2 cats, 2 dogs, 26 baby chicks and 5 humans live here).. After blowing it over something as silly as milk I remembered that I was supposed to be showing these girls that I love them more than a clean house and material things. *sigh* maybe tomorrow I can work on that I I am tired.

I herd the students into their school room thinking we have to do some kind of school just in case anyone asks.

Do not be fooled by their outfits..It's not Christmas, two of the girls just really wanted to wear those dresses, and it's not morning. The other princess just preferred to spend her day in pj's . Hey, it's less laundry if they don't ever change clothes. ;-) We managed to finish our 5 day unit study of Autumn, and it only took us 21 days!!! The only reason I pressed on at all to do school work today was that it involved food :-)

At this point I realize not only am I tired, but I have been blessed with the we finished off our school day with vocabulary thanks to PBS and  Martha Speaks, and our Science with the help of Fetch with Ruff Rufman...followed by some puzzle solving skills with Pat Sajack and Vanna White. Sweet man made a lovely dinner of Pb &J followed by Krispy Creme donuts. Boy do I hate to waste a donut on the flu....but I ate it anyway, two to be exact. (bad idea)  As I went to bed thinking the Lord really has too much faith in me with this whole schooling my girls thing, He reminded me that we bonded today and they learned some really great life lessons. Like when they grow up and feel like they just aren't having enough patience with their children, they should probably just take the day off and stay in bed :-)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The long awaited breakfast in bed......

So, with Hope running a fever most of the day yesterday we knew church was not going to be an option this morning. With us having a Sunday together here at the house, and no one having to go anywhere, I came up with this wonderful idea and decided to run it by my sweet man. As we were getting ready for bed last night  I mentioned about how nice it would be to have breakfast in bed...I then felt the need to clarify breakfast for ME in bed. Aren't I selfish? It is supposed to be a day of rest ya know.. I have never had the pleasure of such a thing, and movies always make it seem sooooo romantic. I don't think I got a good answer as to if he thought it was as swell of an idea as I did. So as I lay in bed wide awake this morning, and sweet man NOT wide awake. I bring up my great idea again. His response, which was hard to hear I might add with his face buried in his pillow.. "The only way that's going to work is if I go out and BUY the breakfast"... "sure" I say...Hey, I'm not picky :-) By the time he gets back all 3 little princesses have joined me in the bed. Thinking this is not how it works in the movies...further thought led to the sticky mess of jelly their hands will become and the crumbs they will leave on my nice clean sheets. So our "breakfast in bed" ended up down at the table with the WHOLE family....I guess I have waited this long for it, what's a couple more years? ;-)

Thought I would leave you with a couple of cute pictures from around our house :-) (since sweet man just showed me how you go about doing such a thing)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

If you give a Mom a muffin, she'll remember she made cookies.

If you have never read "If you give a Mom a muffin" by Kathy should take a few minutes and pop on over for a good laugh and a good understanding of what my day was like. Hubby had to work and I still had one  child down with a stomach bug. When one of my kids are sick I let them watch cartoons basically all day, and since the tv is on the healthy ones take full advantage and hang out in front of it as well. With everyone being occupied and entertained without needing my assistance (Praise the Lord) I was left with a whole Saturday stuck at the house and no real plans. What does one do with a day like that?...Well I'll tell ya..You make breakfast cookies...and then remember you need the give the dogs a bath because the house has went from smelling like a Yankee candle to smelling a little bit like the pound. After their bath I remembered I hadn't fed the 26 new baby chicks that are residing in our laundry room, or the 2 recently shaved cats that I keep tripping over as they are trying to remind me that they like to be fed promptly at 7:00a.m., not 10:00a.m. After I get everyone squared away in the house I mosey outside to feed the free ranging chickens, who despite the fact that they have 40 acres to roam, insist on waiting on my back steps for me to throw out last night scraps and todays feed. I have learned not to leave the porch without my trusty broom, as it is needed to dual with the rooster if I need to walk past where "his" girls are. I keep trying to remind him that even though I don't eat chicken...the husband does! I ended up getting the house cleaned up and put back in order rather quickly with the help of the tv as a babysitter. Seriously, why do I not let my girls watch more tv????, it's AWESOME! ;-) I notice that my front entryway is rather dark despite the fact that I have every light in the house on...I hate a dark house, so I root around in the garage until I find a gallon of white paint. That should do the trick I think. It only takes FOUR coats of white paint to cover barn red....and while I have the paint out I might as well paint the trim work. I finished the project with having only one animal step in the paint and track little white paw prints all down the as you can guess my next project was scrubbing and scrapping paint off my hardwood floors. At this point I remember I forgot the strip the beds and throw the sheets in the I head back upstairs to tackle that. Feeling a little bit tired and hungry, I remember...Oh yeah....I made breakfast cookies!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

A good day despite the evidence

So today was one of those days that you just think is going terribly wrong, but when you get to look back at it you realize it was just what you needed. On my way to co-op this morning I was praying (with my eyes open of course, I was driving ya know) that the Lord would just help the day to go smoothly, the teachers and helpers would show up, and for Him to just make it a stellar of a day. As soon as I finish my conversation with God my cell phone rings, only I can't find the thing because I have TWO jackets on and pants with pockets and in my haste to get out the door I couldn't remember which pocket I deemed appropriate for a cell phone. After it goes to voice mail, and I swerve into the other lane a bit (remember me and technology don't mix well) I find the thing. It was the Pastor calling to let me know that the road directly in front of the church is CLOSED!!  I immediately start doing these breathing exercises that are supposed to reduce stress, and let me tell you I have never done an exercise that relieves stress! I immediately question the Lord as to how this is supposed to be a stellar day.?? Oh ye of little faith...that should be my nickname I believe. We had a late start, but I tell you what, a home schooling  Mama that has taken the effort to get her kids dressed and pack a lunch will not let a little thing like a closed road deter them from their destination. I saw one Mom take advantage of her 4-wheel drive to totally bypass the road, several parked at an adjacent ball field and walked, and others found an alternate route. We enjoyed coffee and conversation together and then had combined classes. As I was enjoying my lunch and some great conversation with friends and a cute little girl who kept eying my cookies in my lunch bag, I look over and see Hope getting ready to toss her cookies...LITERALLY. I loaded my crew up as fast and one possibly can when they don't even know where 2 members of their crew are, and we headed home as fast as we could. As soon as we get home she throws up on the only floor in the house that I took the time to mop this week. Even in her discomfort she looks up and me and says "Mama, I'm sorry I made such a mess for you".  In that moment I look at her and realize I need to make more of an effort to show these girls that they mean way more to me than a clean house and material things. With all that being know I was a mopping fool after that! :-)

Because I need something else to occupy my time :-)

So many cute and funny things happen when you are in the process of raising children and animals together. I want to remember these precious times later, and after some friendly prodding from my Aunt, I have decided to try my hand at this thing called technology. Blogging....the new journal I guess. So here we go...