Monday, November 30, 2009

cranberry tea

One of our favorite holiday traditions,
generously shared by sweet friends, several years ago.

Cranberry Tea

In a small pot, pour
1 - 12 oz bag cranberries (fresh or frozen)
8 1/2 c. water

bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes.

1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. sugar*
1/2 c. orange juice concentrate
1 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
3 cinnamon sticks (or about 3 tsp cin.)
1 tsp whole cloves

Simmer another 10 minutes
- or not -
and serve warm

*if you aren't used to regularly reducing sweetener
you'll probably want to add
another 1/4 c. honey or 1/2 c. sugar
we like to toss all the pulp that we strained out
into a small saucepan
and add some more spices
and simmer on the back of the stove for a few days.
just because.

two year-old plans

"My Papa's gonna get me married;
he's gonna get me a mom
and I'm gonna nurse my baby with momma milk
he's gonna get me some garlic oil."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

all in a day

waiting for Gramma & Grampa to get here

Gramma Joyce told Ton' he looks like
one of those boys on the TV

5 generations

Josiah, taking Brandon for a ride

"Everyone in the house, get outside.
You have got to see something amazing!"
Jeremiah out in the kayak for the first time - by himself

Lily can't get enough of sweet baby Aiden
and neither can Mimi; the downside of a big family
is - we all have to share the baby

Thanks, Papa & Grampa
for fishin' fun!

Aiden is just about tired of all the excitement

Aunt Lexi taking care of her baby.
Who needs dolls when you have a nephew?

all in all - a great day
would've been perfect if TJ could have been with us, too

Thursday, November 19, 2009

lunch with one of my buds

I had a dream about going to Eunices!"

I'm not quite sure
how Josiah had dreamed of lunching
at a place he'd never heard of,
but there you have it.
While Lily was at Lana's to 'help take care of Aiden'
(we all miss her terribly!)
Josiah ran some errands with me.
He wanted to 'go to a store for lunch' while we were out.
We pulled up to the fabric store,
conveniently located right next to a small restaurant.
We'd never tried it, but I figured it'd be a good chance to;
we were pressed for time, had to get back to our Lexi soon,
but the lunch rush was over, so it seemed like a good option.
When I suggested it to Josiah,
well - we already know what he said.

I can't recommend the restaurant
but the company was awesome!
I love you, my Josiah

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lexi's new word

silly girl, she saw Ton' grab the carrier
and thought it was for her.
(good bub that he is, Alice was quickly replaced with Lex')

before I forget

We had some pretty tasty muffins this morning;
while I still remember how I made them
I figured I'd write up the recipe.

Get Her Goin' Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 1/2 c. freshly ground white wheat
1/2 c. bran
1/4 c. flax seed, ground
2 cups real milk
1 Tbs lemon juice

Mix well, cover with a towel and let this soak
anywhere from a half hour to over-night
(if you use 'bought flour' - you can skip the soak)


1 egg
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. sugar
1 Tbs b. soda
1 1/2-ish tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. or so chocolate chips

Stir 'till mixed and put in greased muffin tins
top with a bit of brown sugar & cinnamon mix
bake at 375 for 22 minutes

mmm, mm, good
(take a look at this)
completely unrelated...
I am totally in love with this little girl!
I fell asleep last night with a smile on my lips
and her precious little hand cupping my cheek.
Life is sweet.

Monday, November 16, 2009

growin' up

way too fast

it could help

We 're getting more than a little tired around here
of all the crying and whining.
The little patients
are taking a toll on our patience.
"Just a minute, Lily, I need to clean out your ears."
I wondered why on earth Ton' would think to do that.
She must have had some huge blob of earwax, I thought.
Then he said, "There. Now your ears are clean
and you can hear better
so you won't have to cry nearly so loud anymore."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

our newest creation

not a creation, so much as a copy
I'm a much better copier than creator.
Megan bought some awhile back,
so I've had 'em in the back of my mind for several weeks.
Today was the day.

With help
one only took 12 - 15 minutes;
it'd have taken 8 - 10

a quick fix

I've said it far too many times,
"Stupid people should be shot."
And yet
more and more often
I'm finding that
am one of the stupid people.
My entire life
I have been plagued with a problem,
Lana has, too - a lovely gift from my mother:
a waist to hip ratio that few clothing manufacturers recognize.
That is to say
-with rare exception-
if something fits in the rear
the waist is huge.
Given that we three also share a
comfort over fashion
a cute belt just doesn't do the trick.
I found a pair of like-new Lee jeans at a yardsale for a dollar.
One of the few brands that sometimes fits decently.
Seeing that I'm pretty desperate for jeans right now
-owning all of 1 pair that fits anywhere-
I bought them.
(and another pair - Crazy Horse. fit perfectly. who knew?)
When I tried the Lees on after I got home
the waist was about 3 inches too big.
"But they fit great in the butt," Tyler generously pointed out.
I didn't mind too much, though;
I figured the one pair that did fit well was worth $2
so I didn't really waste any money.
But now I had this pair of jeans that almost fit
but didn't.
In the semi-quiet
(this house is never completely quiet)
when everyone else was sleeping
I realized how easy it would be to solve my problem.
and I wondered why on earth
I'd never thought of it before!
After taking off the little leather label,
I simply cut thru the inside layer only of the waistband
on both sides of the pants
right behind the first and last belt loops.
Ran some elastic in one hole I'd created
and out the other.
Stitched one side
tried 'em on
adjusted the elastic
and stitched the other
Clothes shopping just got a whole lot easier
if only there were a simple fix
for our shoulder to bust problems....

Friday, November 13, 2009

who's your daddy?

Tyler has made numerous pairs of 'slippers' over the years;
looks like Josiah's going to follow in his footsteps.
(stupid pun completely intended)


"One of the great things about this house
is we have great art-hanging spots!"
exuberantly shared Jeremiah the other day.


I'd just been thinking,
"We don't even have a dectent place in this stupid house
to hang our art projects;
I have to hang them in this nasty window."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

next time - La Fiesta

I really wanted to go out to eat tonight.
I'd left some of the dishes and pans from last night
(I know - always leave the sink shiny...)
add in all the dishes and pans of today
and I was still cleaning the kitchen at 6:30 tonight.
I really didn't want to go messing up the kitchen again.
we'd already blown
our eating-out budget (and then some) Saturday.
The envelope was beyond empty.
Grocery money's been going fast,
I didn't figure I could squeeze out an extra $30.
Gas - how could I finagle this as a 'gas' purchase?
(I was pining for Mexican...)
I almost talked myself into using some of the 'blessing money'
but blessing myself just seemed a bit wrong.
I dutifully put away the dishes I'd just washed
so I could get to the mill & mixer
and set about making dinner -
meximelts on homemade tortillas
with rice and Nate's fabulous green salsa.

Somewhere in the making of dinner
Brandon stepped on a fork
in just the right(?) way
that it punctured his toe.
To make matters worse,
some of the skin was pushed up into the wound.
I called my momma.
I cried.
He cried.
He soaked his foot all through dinner.
We both quit crying.
Mom said we probably needed to take him to the ER
We've been to the ER
once already this past month.
It wasn't a pleasant experience.
We haven't even paid for that visit yet.
I knew it would hurt like the dickens to get that skin out, though.
I was going to try numbing it with clove oil.
Tyler said I may have to cut the skin
then pull the piece out.
Do you people think I am made of steel?
(Lana thought I might do an at-home circumcision for Aiden;
no worries - she had a book I could use detailing the procedure)
We sterilized the needle and tweezers
and placed the clove oil soaked cotton ball on his foot.
And then we got him ready to go to the hospital;
there was no way
either Tyler or I would be able to inflict the pain
pulling that piece of skin out would cause.
Clove oil is good, but I don't know that it's that good.
Next time,
we're going to La Fiesta;
it'd a been a whole lot cheaper
and a bunch more fun
than a trip to the ER

one tiny thing

A few weeks ago
I ordered The Messies Manual
after reading that Jen was excitedly waiting for her copy
after she ordered one
cause one of her readers highly recommended it.
So desperate to get this house in order,
I seriously considered paying the extra 4 bucks
to have it overnighted.
As soon as it arrived, I hightailed it to my room;
I didn't even make a cup of - well - anything first.
This book was going to solve all of my problems.
You can see that this doesn't bode well
for the poor book.
Rather than being hasty,
I should have at least checked the profile
of Jen's commenter who did the recommending.
She has two dogs.
no children.
While reading the first half of the book,
I discovered
that I am not
what one would call
a messie.
I simply have a larger than average sized family
in a
smaller than average sized
and some of them are messy.
Tucked into the second half of the book
along with some elaborate systems
that I certainly don't have time for
was one little jewel.
The 30 second rule.
Which states
'if it will only take 30 seconds to do - do it now'
or something along those lines.
I haven't gotten anybody else to abide by the rule yet
but I have found myself
many times
going to set something down, to put away later
and thought, "30 seconds - that's all it'd take. 30 seconds".
Even when I'm super rushed
I can probably spare 30 seconds.
It's revolutionized my house.
No - not really.
it has helped my mindset.
And that's a good thing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

open mouth, insert foot

"You shouldn't say that;
it sounds like you're tempting God," Tyler told me last week
when I told him I could not get sick right now.
That it would put me over the edge.
I spent about a third of the summer sick
- which is totally unlike me -
and that
coupled with some other stressful issues
being home - alone - (while sick...) with the little ones
while Tyler, Tony and Brandon
put in a collective 500+hours on Luke & Lana's house
'bout did me in.
I'm still in recovery mode;
one step forward
and three steps back
lots of days.
it makes perfect sense
that I do not want to get sick.

So far this week
I've got 3 sick kiddos.
As my friend Susie would say, they're droppin' like flies.
To say I'm hoping I'm not next
would be an understatement.
I really didn't mean to test God!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

under the sea

thanks (again) to teachkidsart
we went from whining
"I can't draw a fish"
over and over and over
"Thank-you, Momma, for doing this with us!"
multiple times

Lily had difficulty with the 'paint the entire page' concept;
she much prefers to thoroughly saturate a spot with color.
If you look closely on the right side of her paper,
under one of her baby fishies
you'll see her very first person!

Josiah's lionfish (and baby)

Jeremiah added babies, a turtle, and a jellyfish
(fabulous scissoring, Bud!)

Brandon and I
wished we would have been more generous with the salt
(love this guy's eye & mouth!)

This could certainly have been a two day project;
I think we spent about an hour and a half painting.
It was fun to do it all together
but the boys want to do it again
and make sea turtles instead of fish
and I think we'll paint & salt the background one day
and make the turtles the next
then come back later and cut & paste.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

beauty in the rough

Tyler and I have talked
about how important beauty is to our well-being
but we'd never really realized it before.
Spending my days in this ugly (really ugly!) house
has made me even more aware of my need
to be surrounded by beauty.
I wouldn't have considered that a need before
but I sure do now.
(I still argue with myself over this - I shouldn't need to look at lovely things
sure, I like to - but to need to? It almost feels like a character flaw to me.
but, alas, that is where I am right now.)
That's probably why I've been more diligent
to 'do art' even though I don't feel competent in that area.
In learning about art and artists
we are bringing more beauty into our home.
Ann writes often about beauty
and recently concluded that
God is everywhere
is everywhere.
We need only to look for it.
What can you find that is beautiful today?