Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kora!

I have been a mother for 12 years. My brain can hardly wrap around that fact. But here in the house we have a girl, nearly as tall as I am, who proclaims the truth of this amazing fact. Kora begins her last year before becoming a teenager today! Happy 12th birthday!

Kora loves horses, loves to read (especially about horse and dragons), is an incredible help to me, and amazes us with her growing maturity and understanding of her faith. She and I can now share shoes. And she was a really cute baby too. Wanna see?

Kora at 6 months old.
Kora at 1 year.
Kora at a year and a half.
Kora at 2.
Kora at 4.
Kora at 8.
Happy birthday, Kora!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stickin' Close to Home

Unusually, no one in our family has left the house much in the last few days. Kelly has been off from work, which is a good thing since he and Brynna have had a Christmas cold that they have been doing their best to spread to the rest of us. Kora, Aubrey, and I have all been fighting off symptoms, but so far we haven't given in. Lauryn and Hailey seem to be okay so far. Ashlynn is not sleeping very well at night, which isn't helping Kelly or I either one.

So between the fevers, coughs, runny noses, and new toys, no one has wanted to go much of anywhere. We've watched a lot of movies, played some games, and put away most of the Christmas stuff. While I love Christmas trees, Advent calendars, etc., once Christmas is over, I can't wait to get the extra stuff out of my house. A house with six children in it has enough clutter.

So, no stores, no after Christmas sales, nothing. But starting Monday, assuming this cold bug doesn't get the better of me, I am starting in on some house cleaning and organizing. Usually I do that over the summer, but I was too busy recovering from childbirth. Oh, and redecorating. I also need to do some school planning for the next semester.

Hopefully I won't be taking care of anymore sick kids instead!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Amazon makes it too easy

This is what I got for Christmas! My husband is so spoiled by Amazon: a couple of clicks and my gift is ordered, wrapped, and delivered two days later.

My girls gave me a gift certificate to order accessories for my new iPod, that I am still learning how to operate. I wanted it mainly to listen to audio books. There are so many accessories and such that go with it that I am a little overwhelmed. I know I want some sort of docking system with a speaker system, so I don't have to listen with the ear buds or headphones. I am also debating whether I need the arm band if I have the speaker system. And isn't there some sort of device to make it play in your car's speaker system?

If you know anything about these things, I could sure use your help...

Picture from Amazon.com, my husband's best friend. :-)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Whole Hearted Mother Conference

Don't forget about the Whole Hearted Mothers Conference coming up! Don't know what that is? Well, let me tell you about it...

Every year, I am privileged to attend a conference that encourages me in my calling as a mom while providing a fun getaway with some of my friends. It is called the Whole Hearted Mother Conference, and registration time is upon us! If you are interested in finding a conference where you can hear Sally Clarkson speak, check out the dates and locations below! Every year I come away blessed. I'd love to see everyone at the Texas conference!


January 23-24, Charlotte, NC (Church at Charlotte)
Conference Early Registration Deadline:
Friday, DECEMBER 26 (Save $10)

Hotel: The Marriott Charlotte SouthPark
Room Rate: $109/night (guaranteed through December 26)
Reservations: 704-364-8220


February 6-7, Irvine, CA (Crowne Plaza Irvine Hotel)
SPECIAL Early Registration Deadline: Friday, NOVEMBER 14 (Save $20!)
Early Deadline: January 9 (Save $10)

Hotel: The Crowne Plaza Irvine
Room Rate: $85/night (guaranteed through January 23)
Reservations: 949-863-1999


February 20-21, Irving-DFW, TX (Dallas Marriott Las Colinas)
SPECIAL Early Registration Deadline: Friday, NOVEMBER 28 (Save $20!)
Early Deadline: January 23 (Save $10)

Hotel: Dallas Marriott Las Colinas
Room Rate: $83/night (guaranteed through February 6)
Reservations: 972-831-0000

Click here for info on the Texas conference.

Click here to register for the Texas conference.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Don't you know what causes that?

We just got back in town from another trip to our home town. The past several years, my family has celebrated Christmas together the weekend before Christmas. Sometimes it was hard for the sons-in-law to get off enough time to travel to Odessa on Christmas and it was getting harder to coordinate everyone's schedule. So a few years ago we started setting aside that weekend as our time to get together.

Even though it was an extremely short trip, it was a good one. We always enjoy way too many pies. And my sister Sarah make the best fudge EVER. Seriously, no contest. It is the best. She even makes some with a dark chocolate topping just for me.

I just had to share a funny from the weekend. Almost 7 years ago, when I called my youngest sister to tell her I was expecting another baby (our youngest at that time was only 8 months old), she immediately turned around to tell her husband. From the background, he said, "Good grief! Tell them to stop sharing toothbrushes!"

Ever since it has been a family joke.

Fast forward to this weekend. We are exchanging gifts and Sarah hands Kelly and I our gift from them. A movie, and...

a new toothbrush.

We all died laughing. Except for the kids, of course, who could not understand why all the grown-ups were laughing about a toothbrush.

(By the way, this in NOT an announcement of any kind. My sister just thought it would be funny, and I wanted to share our laugh for the weekend.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Christmas Tradition

In spite of travel, sickness, stress, and other factors, we are holding to our Christmas traditions this year.

This year we are reading Bartholomew's Passage. Who else is reading one of these three Advent stories? (The other two are Jotham's Journey and Tabitha's Travels.)

We added a new cd to our Christmas music this week. Last week, a friend sent us link to this and I just had to buy the cd.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The First Conversation with a Four Year Old

The other night at dinner, the girls were all speculating on what Ashlynn's first word would be. We had two camps: those hoping for "mama" and others hoping for "da-da."

And then Lauryn had to put her 2 cents in:

"I hope her first word is 'bad tricycle'!"

No, Kelly and I Have no idea where she gets this stuff.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Catching Up

I cannot believe that I am still fighting this bug. I just today started wrapping presents and have let a thousand little things go this season. I just hope I am back to normal soon!

In the meantime, here are some things that I have missed blogging about lately:

Aubrey played her first offertory at church yesterday. Of course I wasn't there, so I sent the camera with Kora. I instructed her to get a couple of pictures of Aubrey warming up before church. She followed my instructions to the letter, but I realized after I uploaded the pictures that I failed to mention that I wanted one of them at least to be of her face!

Here are some pictures with faces: on the 6th, the girls performed in the studio's Christmas recital. Aubrey played "What Child is This?" and Kora played "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring."

Kora and Aubrey found this hat that goes with some "Baby's First Christmas" pajamas and have been putting it on Ashlynn nearly every day. At least someone around here is getting in the holiday spirit!

Isn't she just the cutest thing ever?
Tomorrow: the first edition of Conversations with a Four Year Old!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's a good thing I'm done Christmas Shopping

I was sick two weekends ago, and Thursday I started feeling bad again. Feels like the same thing, and my husband and one of my kids have had the same thing. I don't know if I caught it again or if this is a relapse, but here I am with another wasted weekend on my hands. Fortunately I only have one gift card left to get and I am DONE with Christmas shopping.

Here is yet another good reason to start Christmas shopping in January - you never know what December will bring. Whether it be health issues or financial issues, any kind of hiccup in your lives can really cause problems this time of year, especially if you have a large family to organize gifts for and/or a limited budget in which to do it.

So after Christmas, make yourself a chart with everyone you need to buy for next year, and set a goal to buy/make a certain number every month between now and next November. Jot down ideas for each person and keep a look out for great gifts and you'll be surprised at how often you'll find a sale or coupon for them. And buying some every month will cut down on stress next Advent season!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm curious...

So what's everyone asking for Christmas?
One of my favorite pictures from last year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tex-Mex: Baked Chile Rellenos

If you are like Kelly and me, there is nothing in the world like good ol' Tex-Mex food. And certain dishes are harder than others to recreate in your own home. One of these is chili rellenos, a pepper stuffed with various ingredients (usually ground beef, onions, sometimes potatoes and cheese), breaded, and fried. YUM!

This is a little time consuming for everyday cooking, but I recently came across a baked chili rellenos recipe that comes pretty close to the real taste, but with the ease of everyday cooking. After some tweaking, here it is:

Baked Chili Rellenos

3 large poblano peppers
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced
10 oz. Monterrey jack cheese (or more)
2 T butter, melted
5 eggs, well beaten
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t cumin

1. Rinse peppers and cut off stems. Remove seeds and dice. In a skillet saute peppers in about a tablespoon of olive oil until soft. (If you want to be more authentic, roast them over the grill before dicing.)

2. Brown meat and onions. Drain and set aside.

3. Spray an 8 in square casserole dish with oil. Then layer half of the peppers, half the meat, and half the cheese. Repeat.

4. In a small bowl, mix beaten eggs, butter, and spices. Pour over pepper mixture. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes. Serve with spanish rice, and your choice of veggie.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

I'm going to a cookie exchange tonight, and I made these cookies. The only change I made was adding more chocolate chips than called for. Very yummy! Crisp on the outside, soft and chocolate-y on the inside with the heartiness of oats. So if you are in the mood to make, go check it out!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Lauryn riding the horse at my parents' house

It's not what you think.

Giddy-up, horsey!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Pants

When my youngest sister got up to roast my dad, she told one of her favorite stories. When she was in junior high, my dad had these pants. She describes them as M.C. Hammer pants, but they weren't quite that bad. But, my dad had the temerity to wear them to the mall with my two sisters in tow. They went to a music store, where some rock music was playing. My dad then proceeds to start two-stepping to this rock music in the music store! He tried to get my sisters, who were about 14 and 17, to dance with him, but they wanted to crawl under the carpet and hide. And he did this while wearing these pants:
My mom had found them in a closet a few weeks ago and set them aside for my sister to use as a visual aid at the roast.

Unfortunately when it came time for the party, my mom couldn't remember where she had put them! Even she got a good laugh out of her "senior moment." Of course, my sister found them under a bed at the house a day or two after the party!

So for Thanksgiving, my dad modeled them for us. We decided they were the perfect Thanksgiving pants - the flaps Velcro closed at the waist and are completely adjustable. Perfect for making room for that extra piece of pumpkin pie!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Dad's Surprise 60th Birthday Roast

I really did intend to get a post up on Saturday, but I got sick over the weekend. I was doing well to get from the sofa to the computer just to check email. I had a long list of things I wanted to get done over the weekend - including a haircut - and none of it was done. So I am still playing catch-up.

So anyway, about a year and a half ago my mom came up with the idea to have a surprise birthday party for my dad, who turned 60 in November. So for months we threw around ideas of what to do. When my mom went to their church to reserve the facility for the party, the preacher's wife suggested making it a roast. My mom knew a good idea when she heard one and we were on. The preacher was asked to be the emcee, their Bible study group was set to bring side dishes, and my mom was providing the meat.

My two sisters and I were each contributing 20 presents so that he would have a grand total of 60 presents to open on his 60th birthday. If you've ever wondered what 60 gifts looks like, here it is:
While the sons-in-law took my dad off for lunch and a movie, my sisters and mom decorated the church. My youngest sister, Sarah, decorated the cake.

My mom had spent several hours on a picture board filled with pictures of my dad, from baby pictures to pictures of him holding each of his 10 grandkids.

Can you guess who he's holding in this one? My mom had made us matching outfits.
My mom had led my dad to believe that the girls (meaning my sisters and me) were preparing a special dinner at the house as he had been given strict instructions not to come to the house until my mom called him. So when everyone had assembled, she called my dad to help her with something at the church before going to the house.

And in he walked.

After eating, their preacher started in on the official ceremony: the mourning ceremony for my dad's youth. :-) Their preacher was hilarious and utterly ruthless.
In between speakers, my dad opened a few of his gifts. These are tassels for his bicycle (my dad is a serious bicycle rider, logging in hundreds of miles a year).
Here are Kelly and I saying something extremely witty and funny.
My mom told about the night they met on a blind date and how my dad drove off from the drive-in movie theater spot with the speaker still hooked to the window of the car.
I'll post more later, as this post is already very long. But it was a great evening. My sides hurt from laughing by the time it was over. Love you, Daddy!

Friday, November 28, 2008


We are back home, looking forward to sleeping in our own beds. However, we had a wonderful week. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get pictures of my dad's surprise 60th birthday and roast posted. But tonight I am too tired. My sister, mom, and I did manage to get up at - gulp - 3 a.m. and were out the door at 3:30. We got back to the house just after 7:30 after hitting Kohl's, JC Penny, Target, Sears, Staples, Shoe Carnival, Game Stop, Kirkland's, and of course McDonalds for some shopping nourishment. My sister hit a few more places after she dropped me off at home so I could feed a baby and help get our suburban loaded up.

My verdict is: if you go with others it is fun, and if you have things you definitely need to get, it is worth it, especially in a smaller town where the crowd isn't too bad. I had a few things on my Christmas list still to buy, and I was able to cross several of them off for much less $ than I had originally planned for them.

However, it means that I dozed on and off all the way home today and can't wait until Ashlynn goes to bed tonight so I can crawl in too. But I do feel a sense of accomplishment.

Lessons learned this week:

1. Chocolate meringue pie is a must for any major holiday. (Actually, I've known this for years.)

2. Everyone needs a father who has a friend with a wood-working workshop that would rival the one on New Yankee Workshop. We have some cabinets that needed new doors, and Kelly was able to go with my dad to make new ones. All we need to do is paint and attach!

3. Sometimes, a week away from home is just needed.

4. If you speak at a roast, you better be prepared with something funny or embarrassing to share about the roastee, or the MC - even if he is a pastor - will give you a hard time.

5. Never think your vehicle will somehow be less packed to the gills on the return trip, even if you are leaving behind a huge box of gifts.

6. If you need a self-esteem boost, go to the Curves in my mom's hometown. I went with her to workout three days while we were there, and the ladies there just couldn't believe that I had 6 children, that I was old enough to have six children, that I was not still in my twenties, they thought that homeschooling my kids was wonderful, etc.

7. A six year old can do a whole lotta damage at grandma's house in the course of a week. Just a few of the highlights: picture frames (knocked over, thankfully not broken), curtain rod (broken), glass lamp shade (broken), large, decorative plate from Greece (broken by a nephew who was being chased by said 6 yo), and countless bumps and bruises, usually resulting from her habit of walking in one direction while looking in another one.

8. If you are getting up at the crack of dawn, um, rather, the middle of the night to go black Friday shopping, make sure there is a Dr. Pepper in the fridge the night before, and don't just assume.

9. If you are getting up to go black Friday shopping, have a game plan. Know what you are looking at where, when everything opens, and take someone along who will stand in the checkout line while you look. Also wear comfy shoes and a sweatshirt (which I forgot to pack, and it gets cold where we were!). [By the way, I learned this because my sister is a pro at it. She knew exactly what to do and when!]

10. Make sure you actually leave for home with the baby in tow, because all the grandparents, aunts and uncles as well as cousins who have no sister will threaten to sneak off with her, especially when she spends a week smiling and flirting with everyone in the house.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


My mom, sister, and I have made our lists and checked them twice. We are planning on getting up and getting out to hit the stores at 4 am. I've never done this before, so we'll see how it goes. Somehow we always seem to be either in the middle of nowhere on Thanksgiving or I have a newborn, or am pregnant and too tired to get up and go. But this year, I am braving the cold and the crowds to get a few deals. The baby is big enough to leave for a few hours, and my sister is very motivated so she'll drag us up and out.

Am I the only nut-so getting up in the middle of the night tomorrow? I also plan on checking a few on-line places for a few things. Anyone else planning on hitting the computers tomorrow? Has anyone heard when the big on-line shopping day is? Isn't that normally on a Monday?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Still here

So here we are in west Texas, in the land where the electric lines and oil pumps are taller than any tree, and the land is flatter than flat. But the nights are cold and the mornings nippy. What trees there are have golden leaves. And the sunsets can't be beat. Okay, can only be beat in Hawaii.

My mom and I are preparing for Thanksgiving in a couple of days. We also celebrated my dad's 60th birthday Saturday night with a surprise party and roast. That was tons of fun. If you've never been to a live roast, it is a blast. When I am able I will post pictures.

Just wanted to let you know we are alive just enjoying our getaway!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Have you ever packed up for six kids - make that six girls - including one baby, plus two adults for a six hour road trip for a week long stay? This includes snacks, blankets, air mattresses, sleeping bags, a keyboard (so my girls can practice their piano for an upcoming recital - yep, we are either dedicated or obsessed, take your pick), jackets ('cause it's actually cold where we are going), stuffed animals, movies (mobile DVD players are the best invention since...since...the washing machine!). This isn't counting all the medicine, toiletries, clothes, jammies, ponytail holders, diapers, wipes, juice, etc.

Well, neither had I until this week. And it isn't a job for the faint hearted. But we are looking forward to our first getaway in nearly a year. We are going to see my parents. My sisters and their families will be coming in as well. My dad recently had a big birthday, so it seemed like a good excuse to get together. And my hubby racked up so much overtime on his recent trip that we are going to stay through Thanksgiving! I will also get to meet my four month old neice, Callan. Should be a full house!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Aubrey!

Aubrey is 10 years old today!

Aubrey was born ten years ago early in the morning at Presbyterian Hospital in Oklahoma City. The first thing I noticed about the new baby was that "it has red hair!" Then I asked whether it was a boy or girl, as the way she was lying, the umbilical cord was keeping me from seeing for myself.

She is my husband's "Mini Me." She looks like my MIL and acts just Kelly! She has a great sense of humor and a very sharp wit. She loves horses and likes grammar and Greek in school. She just started taking piano lessons this year, and is doing very well.

Happy birthday, sweetheart!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More surprises...

This time, it's the baby who surprised us.

Tomorrow "Mommy's Little Sidekick" will be seven months old. (Someone tell me how can that be?!?)
So to celebrate, she cut her first tooth yesterday.
Yeah, she's happy now.

Monday, November 17, 2008


For the past two weeks, my husband, Kelly, has been away on a business trip. He was slated to come home on Thursday the 20th. So after 14 days of single parenting, I sat down at my computer yesterday afternoon to print off some stuff for school this week. Kora and Aubrey were at a birthday party, Ashlynn and Hailey were upstairs asleep, and Brynna and Lauryn were next door playing with friends.

I heard the door open, and I leaned over to see which one of the girls was coming in from next door. But it wasn't a girl. It was MY HUSBAND!

When he got to work Saturday morning they told everyone that the mission was over and to go home the next day. But did he let his family know? NO! He decided to surprise us. And it worked!

A friend brought Kora and Aubrey home from the birthday party, and I was able to take pictures of their faces when they walked in and saw their father. I'm sure my face was even more comical.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Motherhood is a noun. I like to think of it as the ultimate noun: it's so all-consuming that it is a person, place, thing, and idea all at the same time.

Every day thousands of women go to doctors, fertility clinics, and adoption agencies in order to become mothers. Every year, countless books are written about how to mother (a verb in this case). And yet it can also be very frustrating and seemingly stingy in its rewards. It's very obvious if you are a failure, and yet the rewards of a good job are few and far between, at least at first.

When I first became a mother I had all these ideals about what motherhood would be for me. I envisioned trips to the park and zoo, chocolate chip cookies and milk, bedtime stories and fuzzy pajamas. I didn't think of hours of crying babies, sick and whiny children, rotten attitudes and ungratefulness (oh, and sometimes the kids are like this too!).

One of the hardest things for me to get used to as a mother was the constant interruptions. It seems that a mom can never get a project or job of any length (this includes using the restroom!) completed without at least one interruption. I've had to stop dinner preparations to nurse a baby, stop and kiss endless numbers of boo-boos, and put on my mom's referee uniform more times than I care to think about.

This used to really frustrate me, and it still does at times. But with nearly a dozen years of motherhood under my belt and half-a-dozen kids, I had an epiphany: motherhood is all about the interruptions. Mothering isn't what you are doing when you are interrupted, mothering is dealing with the interruptions. Most of the lessons a child learns comes from what we think of as interruptions.

Child falls and hurts self - he learns that we are to care for those who are hurting and can't care for themselves

Siblings argue - they learn how to resolve disagreements

Child gets frustrated with school work - he learns that he really doesn't know everything

Baby cries in the middle of the night - he learns to rely on the unconditional love that forces a bleary-eyed mother out of bed.

I like schedules, routines, plans. I still don't always like interruptions. But I am hopefully learning patience. Because, when you think about it, in many ways life is all about the interruptions. The unexpected illnesses, the job losses, family squabbles and many others make up the topography of our lives, the ups and downs, the mountain peaks and valleys.

So while I used to think of motherhood strictly as preparing my children to be adults, I now also think of it as preparing me for life and, ultimately, for eternity.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I have lots to blog about. Really I do. And yes, I realize this post, like the last several have been very short. While I have lots of ideas for posts swarming around in my head, I have little time to type them up. And when I do have time, I do not have the energy. Fortunately, I can always resort to posting cute pictures of my kids.

I knew they were good for something.

So stay tuned. Soon I plan to blog about everything from motherhood, to raising girls, to organizing your time. I just have to get my energy back from doing all these things myself! In the meantime, I'll leave you with another gem from my three year old (almost 4!).

She is not only our "class" clown, but is also an inventor of words. She has a word of her own invention that means "both hungry and thirsty."

Get this:


Today, she wasn't hungry or thirsty, so she told us she was "un-ate-acated."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I am NOT a stay at home mom.

Great post!

I am not a stay at home Mom. My husband has told me so. I was slightly taken aback. And all this time that is what I thought I was.

This morning, God nodded in agreement with my husband. He whispered in my ear as I read from His Word, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent (us)” ~Jn 9:4

Epiphany moment: I am not a stay at home Mom. I am worker of Him. God’s employee.
Read the whole blog post here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Whole Hearted Mother Conference

Every year, I am privileged to attend a conference that encourages me in my calling as a mom while providing a fun getaway with some of my friends. It is called the Whole Hearted Mother Conference, and registration time is upon us! If you are interested in finding a conference where you can hear Sally Clarkson speak, check out the dates and locations below! Every year I come away blessed. I'd love to see everyone at the Texas conference!


January 23-24, Charlotte, NC (Church at Charlotte)
Conference Early Registration Deadline:
Friday, DECEMBER 26 (Save $10)

Hotel: The Marriott Charlotte SouthPark
Room Rate: $109/night (guaranteed through December 26)
Reservations: 704-364-8220


February 6-7, Irvine, CA (Crowne Plaza Irvine Hotel)
SPECIAL Early Registration Deadline: Friday, NOVEMBER 14 (Save $20!)
Early Deadline: January 9 (Save $10)

Hotel: The Crowne Plaza Irvine
Room Rate: $85/night (guaranteed through January 23)
Reservations: 949-863-1999


February 20-21, Irving-DFW, TX (Dallas Marriott Las Colinas)
SPECIAL Early Registration Deadline: Friday, NOVEMBER 28 (Save $20!)
Early Deadline: January 23 (Save $10)

Hotel: Dallas Marriott Las Colinas
Room Rate: $83/night (guaranteed through February 6)
Reservations: 972-831-0000

Click here for info on the Texas conference.

Click here to register for the Texas conference.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Where's the baby?

Now that she's crawling, Ashlynn is getting into some interesting places.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I think I am finally used to looking at my girls and seeing shorter hair. It took quite a while. I was so used to looking for the waist length hair, that I did a double take when I would see the shoulder length (or shorter) hair. Of course, it is nice to only need to clean the vacuum cleaner brush out every other week.

What surprised me is how sad I was when they cut it. I had practically begged Kora to cut hers before, and they all complained when I would take them once a year to get a couple of inches cut off to trim it up. But once they each had 11-12 inches cut off (that's nearly 4 feet of HAIR!) I felt bereft somehow.

You see, I was known as the lady with all the girls who had such beautiful hair. Every time we went out in public clerks, cashiers, other customers commented on their hair. How beautiful it was, how long, and of course the red heads always get special attention.

Now I am just the lady with all the girls. Just the one with all six girls and no boys. Yep, we just fade into the background now. :-)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Recipes

Here's a couple of yummy recipes I have recently added to my menu rotation. Oh, and I know I've told a couple of people that I would post my new two month menu plan. And I will. Eventually. Now that I've been through it once I have a bit of fine tuning to do, and then I'll get it up.

Anyway, here is a yummy recipe for inexpensive chicken legs or thighs. I have to uncover mine longer than this recipe says or I need to turn up the temperature or they don't brown like they are supposed to, so feel free to play around with it.

Also here is a great comfort food dish. Inexpensive, easy, and yummy.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Is it YAY! or Oh No! ???

Guess who started crawling today!?!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Well, I just got back from our local elementary school (the only times I've ever been in are on election days) and voted. I tell you, 9:30 am is the best time to vote in my precinct - I was behind 2 people. All the before work crowd had gone, and the lunch crowd had yet to appear.

Did anyone else catch the Saturday Night Live Presidential Bash last night? I am not a follower of SNL - I can't remember if I've ever watched an entire episode. But I was flipping channels last night and caught a good bit of it. I loved the fun it poked at the pro-Obama media bias. I don't know who the actress is who plays Sarah Palin, but she has her down pat. And I didn't watch the presidential debates this year, so can I assume from the parody that McCain's head kept popping into the shots, even when he wasn't speaking?

Oh, and I'm sure everyone saw the Cabbage Patch kids on eBay, right? They were one-of-a-kind reproductions of McCain, Palin, Obama, and Biden, auctioned off for some charity. Did everyone see the final bids for these dolls?

Joseph Biden - $3,550, 01
John McCain - $6,000.00
Barak Obama - $8,400.00


Sarah Palin - $19,000.00

And yes, the Palin doll is wearing red lipstick.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Phonics Lesson with Hailey (Aged 6)

Me: Today we are learning that "ay" says a. Remember when two vowels are together, the first one talks and the second one is silent. Hailey, look at the page, the words are not on the ceiling. What does "ay" say?

Hailey: I don't remember.

Me: Remember, the first one says its name and the second one is silent. So what does this say?

H: Oh yeah, a. [pronounced as a long a]

Me: Very good. Now let's read some words that have "ay" in them. What's this word? [I point to the word "pay."]

H: Puh. Puh. Piiiiiiiiiie. Pie.

Me: No, remember this is an "a." The "a" says its name. What is its name?

H: Oh yeah. A. Puh, puh, paaaaaaaay. Pay.

Me: Very good. (She reads a few more words.) Very good. Now let's read some sentences that have these words in them. (I point to the first sentence: Fay, Kay, and Clay will stay at a home on the bay for two days.)

H: Faaaay. Fay. What's a fay?

Me: It's not a thing; it's a girl's name.

H: Oh. Fay, Kaaaaaay. Kay. What's a Kay?

Me: It's a girl's name, too.

H: Oh, Fay, Kay and Claaaaay. Clay. What's a clay?

Me (trying not to let my frustration come out in my voice): It's a boy's name.

H: Oh. Clay will staaaaay. Stay ate.

Me: No. Look at the word. Does it have an "e" at the end?

Hailey just stares at my nose.

Me: Hailey, look at the word. Does it have an "e" at the end? (She shakes her head no.) Then what does the "a" say?

Hailey: I don't remember.

Me: (Sigh.) Remember an "a" says /a/ (like in apple) if there is no "e" at the end to make it say its name?

H: Oh yeah. At a home ["Very good," I interject.] on the bay. What's a bay?

Me: Its kind of like a lake.

H: Oh.

Me, after waiting for several seconds: Hailey, look at the book, the words aren't on the ceiling.

H: At her birthday party, do you think Piper...

Me: Hailey, let's talk about that later. Let's just finish reading right now.

H: Okay. Bay fuh, fuh ... [I tell her that "or" say or] for two daaaaaaaays.

That was one sentence. One down , five more to go that morning. By this time I am really wishing I was a coffee drinker. Or that I had a Dr Pepper. Or chocolate. Or all of the above.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Reformation Day

Last night our church celebrated Reformation Day at a member's house. Each year we have a theme country - one of the countries instrumental in the reformation. About every other year we do Germany, which is, of course, the heart of the reformation. We start off by eating supper together.
A table full of German food! And a kitchen full of German desserts (somehow I didn't get a picture of that!)

We also visited, er, uh, fellowshipped. Is that a word?

You know her, right?
This is Kora and Addie. Addie is an adorable toddler in our church. Kora wants to grow up to be her mother. Seriously though, Addie has been adopted be several of the teenagers and almost teenagers at church. I'm surprised she ever learned to walk, as they are always carrying her around. Kora loves that little girl, and the feeling is mutual.
Finally everyone started gathering in the living room and quieted down. It was time for some hymns.
Here's hubby, our song leader.
Brynna has fallen in love with two of the older couples in our church. Here she is with one of them. She sits with them at meals, talks with them before and after services (she waits for them near the front door if we are at church first), and here she sits with them while singing.
After the hymn-sing (which included "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" by Martin Luther, of course) the younger kids went to another room to color pictures of Martin Luther.
Our pastor gave a brief history of Luther's life and some of his contributions to the church. He also talked about why it is still important today.
We look forward to Reformation Day every year!