Wednesday, September 28, 2011

you been blessed

I don't imagine this looks like anything more
than a messy pile of laundry to you,
but it looks like love to me.

You see, around here, 
people don't fold a load of whites
unless told to.
Usually more than once.
And since it's such a dreaded task,
I try not to ask anyone to do it too often.
This afternoon,
 - unasked -
Jeremiah got a load of whites out of the dryer
and folded the entire load!
I saw a stack of towels on the counter
when I came out from putting the girls down for their nap
and wondered what was up ~ I hadn't told anyone to fold them...

He told me,
"You been blessed."

Then he decided he needed to make some little cards to leave,
where he's left his mark.
(well, technically, he made huge cards, I helped him re-think the size ;-)

He went on to do some cleaning in my room, too;
I had to stop him - he was trying to sort stuff
that I've had trouble sorting....

Then Josiah, ever the copier of his big brother
(you may have noticed it on the sidebar..)
got in on the action, too

I found this card where a stack of movies had previously been.

Thanks, Jeremiah (and Josiah) I have indeed been blessed!

Baked Alaska Pie

I need to get this recipe to Lana
and figured
I may as well post it here.
Ya'll can thank me later...
This is one of only two recipes I have from Tyler's mom
and it's been requested as a birthday dessert 
by at least one someone 
each of the past 24 years, making it
(not counting cookies) my most-made-dessert ever.

Baked Alaska Pie
(the large family version)

preheat oven to 350
In a 9x13 pan*, put 4 c. Angel Flake coconut
and 1 stick of butter, melted.
(I like to melt my butter in the pan in the pre-heating oven
to keep from having an extra thing to wash ;-)
Mix together, press in bottom of pan and bake 'til golden
(about 1/2 hour)
This will burn your eyes at some point;
it's okay, and totally worth it!

Set crust aside to cool.

A little later, in a double boiler, stirring occassionally
melt 2 2/3 c. mini marshmallows (or 16 large, cut up)
2 - 4 oz packages German Chocolate **
1 - 12 oz can evaporated milk
When the chocolate and marshmallows are thoroughly melted,
remove from heat and add 1 tsp vanilla and mix well.
Cool to lukewarmish.
(I can just see the offers to write cookbooks flooding my in-box)

A small serving spatula works great for this next part:
Layer 1/2 of a 1/2 gal Great Value French Vanilla Ice-cream
(I suppose you could use another vanilla ice-cream, if you just must)
onto the cooled coconut crust.

Pour the still slightly warm chocolate sauce over the ice-cream.

Arrange the remaining  ice-cream over the sauce.

Freeze for several hours 
then top with an 8 oz container of Cool Whip
and return to freezer for a few more hours before serving.

mm mmm good!

* you could use the next larger size pan (10 x 14ish?) if you had it.
** Using German Chocolate yields the tastiest results, 
but using semisweet chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups) 
 is almost as scrumptious and lots cheaper!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I knew a woman

I once knew a woman. 
She poured herself out taking care of her family. 
She gave and they took 
until one day she discovered she was empty. 
She’d forgotten to take care of herself
and found herself in a deep dark dessert valley
for more than two years. 
She cried out to God but He did not seem to hear her. 
She called out to a few friends, but they told her to run to God. 
She wanted to die. 
She prayed to die. 
But of course, God wasn’t listening. 

I knew a woman. 
And she was me.
I decided in April that I needed to fix my body,
 so that when God decided to fix the rest of me, I would be ready. 
I only wish I would have gone to see Dr Baker sooner.

I struggle with sharing this part of my life for several reasons. 
Mostly because I don’t wish to remember it;
 the past 26 months are better forgotten, I think. 
I'm not worried that you'll think less of me
(although you may)
because you can't possibly think any worse of me
than I do.
At this point (getting better, but not fully healed) 
the only good I can see of my time ‘in the valley’ 
is my husband’s love.
 I have always known he loved me. 
Loved me – period. 
But for the first time in my life, I felt unconditional love. 
Which is different from knowing.

I had planned on waiting until I was fully recovered, 
so I could share the ten step program for climbing out of the dessert. 
But I’m throwing it out here now
 because first of all, 
I don’t think there is a ten step program 
and secondly – because I want to say
 if you aren’t you - seek help now
Don’t wait 
until you truly believe the world would be better off without you.

Tyler told me last month
 that he really didn't 'believe in' hormone cream
  but he could clearly see it was working. 

Sometimes God heals people instantly. 
Sometimes, he uses modern medicine
 (as much as I hate to admit it ;-)
I knew a woman and she was me. 
But I am getting better.

Friday, September 23, 2011

boys on both ends of the teens

 Since Ton' was gone most of the day on his birthday last week,
the kids made a bunch of cards for him
(complete with a cereal box mailbox)

he needed a little help reading the ones from Lily

Jeremiah made Tony's birthday banner by himself - spelling and all

it's not T's birthday ~ I just threw this in 'cause I can :-)

 Lest you think my boys always look good...

handsome doofuses ~ but still doofuses ;-)

heading to the ugly egg for Brandon's awesome gift

you know how my boys are with shoes? yeah. bikes, too, apparently
(wipe them down after just about every use they do)

it's not Keiron or Luke's b-day either...
 Josiah was sooo tickled to find a hat for his bub
that he could afford to buy.

completely unrelated to birthdays,
except that I took this picture
walking back to watch Brandon ride his new bike...
I thought the LEM was pretty through the (dirty) window :-)

I like having 'pretty' to look at!!
We have tinfoil.
On our house.
I know you're jealous.
Happy birthday to my 2 favorite teens in the whole wide world.
I love you both to the moon and back!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

who needs project runway??

I've never seen the show
but really ~ could the contestants pull off this?

Two 36" squares of faded koolaid dyed silk.
Who knew?

 simple, elegant

 so clever

 and really, 
quite modest

I'm kinda wanting one for myself.
I didn't 'set up' this photo shoot ~ I just happened upon it,
and grabbed my camera...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

evolution of a quilt

on a rainy Saturday

I drew a grid on batting with disappearing marker

this will be bordered by pinwheels

I'm lovin' it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

silly Lily

I had to chuckle 
when I got into Lily's school-box 
to borrow her pencil sharpener
(why didn't I buy myself one??)

 My friend, Susan, would be so proud.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

figured it out

I know why our house is always a mess.
is what our 'pew' looks like
by about 10:45 
on Sunday mornings.

And there's not even any food in the equation....

Saturday, September 17, 2011

there is a certain satisfaction

in a well-stocked needle case.

Now ~ if only I could find time to put them to use...

Friday, September 16, 2011

her momma's girl

Yesterday evening
for the first time in seven (!) weeks
I felt like I might be able to actually take a walk,
so the girls and I put our running shoes on
and headed out the door.

Plan was - we'd go to the end of the street
and if I thought I could handle more
(and the girls were up to it)
we'd walk the cemetery, too.
It was slow going - walking with 2 flower loving girls
(tiny wild flowers speckle our street)
but that was probably for the best.
We were all doing fine,
so we crossed the street.

To Lily's complete and utter delight
perfectly good flowers
were abundant in the burn cans throughout the cemetery.
My girl
stood there digging through the trash
with the hugest smile
exclaiming all the while,
"I just love flowers!
Oh Momma, thank-you so much for letting me get these!!"

She talked non-stop for the next half-hour 
about how much she loved flowers
and what all she was going to do with her new-found treasures.
I wish I'd had a video camera to capture her joy,
but these day-after pictures will have to suffice.

I love you, precious girl!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

just because

there is no such thing 
too much
of this gorgeousness
I could just eat her up!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

can you hear me now?

I'm on the phone with my oldest,
but I can't hear him very well
and it's obvious he can't hear me either.
I pulled the phone away from my ear
to see if perhaps I'd inadvertently pushed the mute button 
or something.

I had the phone upside down.

Monday, September 12, 2011

the kitchen stool

I forgot to take 'before' pictures,
but the entire stool
looked like the seat - covered in paint and putty
(and falling apart)

I planned on painting it
(of course ;-)
but once I went after it with steel wool,
it became a challenge to not have to paint it.
I probably spent a total of 2-3 hours cleaning it up
and was so pleased 
that I even managed to get the plastic step paint-free!

I had quite a time
figuring out what to cover the seat with.
I decided I should go with something I love,
seeing as the stool
will be hanging around the kitchen all day - every day.
There's no fabric I love more
than California Dreamin'
so I dug out my beloved stash
and pulled my 3 favorites.
The one that looked best with the black step 

The only problem 
I didn't want my precious fabric getting dirty,
and let me tell you,
we can get white nasty
I remembered reading once about making floor cloths
by coating canvas with floor finish.
It just so happens
that I use floor finish
as the topcoat on my furniture....
I put several coats on,
and then a few more, for good measure.
And now we have a waterproof
and wipe-able
California Dreamin' kitchen stool!

which also doubles as a piano....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

... and repeat

Most evenings after dinner,
Tyler reads a few verses and we discuss them.
Recently, we spent about a week on Colossians 4:6.
One of our children, in particular,
really needs work in this area.
Several times a day, said child will hear,
"Is your conversation full of grace and seasoned with salt??"
to help him remember...

Last night,
there was an ugly altercation in the boys' room.
Josiah's feelings had been hurt
 and he wildly spewed out venomous words.
Before Tyler or I had a chance to intervene,
we overhead,
"Josiah! Your conversation sure isn't full of grace and salt!!
You know what it's full of?!
It's full of dirt!!"


Also last night,
we found some videos taken shortly after we moved here.
Apparently, we'd gone to Silver Dollar City
the day before one of the movies had been filmed,
because someone asked Jeremiah (then 2)
if he'd had a good time there.
That led to Jeremiah asking,
"Why don't we ever go to Silver Dollar City
or places like that anymore?"
We already knew it, of course,
but watching our big kids 
in those videos
 showed us 
how overly immature our youngest children are.
When we moved, Brandon was younger than Jeremiah is.
And wayyy more responsible
and helpful.
And delightful.
Our older children were expected to be contributors to the family.
And they were!
I could not run the household without their help
and they knew it.
These four?
These four are mess-makers.
And they do not contribute
 to the extent that they are/should be capable of.
They are selfish and disobedient.
Frankly - they wear. me. out.

I had the brilliant completely lame idea of hopping in the car
and chasing the sunset.
We were too late for the sunset,
but it was a good opportunity to tell the kids
we don't do things like 
go to SDC;
we hadn't been in the car 5 minutes
 and there'd already been all sorts of squabbles.
Tyler said, "Jeremiah, you asked earlier
why we don't go to Silver Dollar City.
This is why.
Your (meaning all of the littles) disobedience and selfish behavior...."

For the rest of the evening
and again today,
they've given us lots of opportunities to point out,
"this is why....."

I was fixing dinner when I overhead Lily
- who has no clue what SDC even is -
say to Lex,
"Lexi! This is why we don't go to Silver Dollar City!"
Yes, I know; we have a lot of work to do!

green belts

The boys tested for their green belts yesterday.
They all passed,
but Mr Townsend told me that the next belt is trickier to earn...

flying Christian T

Speaking of tricky - most of my pictures were lousy
but I did get a few good ones of some of the fans...

our Benjamin buddy

Kieron - 6 mo.