Saturday, February 28, 2009


It's Saturday so that means. . . . swimming lessons. . . Yippeee!!

Their excitement is contagious, isn't it?

Then I looked DOWN. . . L O V E L Y.
A fall pedicure gone bad!
These tootsies are usually covered up!

Then I looked UP. . . What a beautiful flag, huh?
And what a great reminder to be thankful for the freedoms we've been given in our land of the free and the brave.
And thankful for the men and women who have faught and are fighting today to sustain that freedom.

I am also thankful for the Christian, Godly principles upon which our country was founded.
In God We Trust. . . may America never be ashamed to proclaim this founding truth.
MSNBC is taking your vote at their website.
Go to MSNBC HERE and place your vote.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I thought this was sooo cute when I read it on Life with my 3Boybarians.

I thought I'd try it.

This is my interview with:
(each separately)

11 year-old Mr. Z,
7 year old Mr. H.,
4 year old Mr. A. and
9 year old Mr. C. . . .

1. What is something mom always says to you?

"I love you."
"Go on a time out."
"Ummm, I love you. and I need to train you."
"Ummm, do your chore, ummm, no TV"

2. What makes mom happy?

"When no one fights."
"To do my schoolwork and not disobey you."
"Me saying, I love you, Mom"
"When we do something for her when she doesn't know it and we surprise her."

3. What makes mom sad?

"When people do fight."
"Me getting into a fight and hitting someone"
"Not talking nicely."
"When we don't do something right on school and she get's frustrated."

4. How does your mom make you laugh?

"By being sarcastic."
"By tickling me."
" Ummmm, nothing. Tickle me, but I'm real ticklish when dad tickles me."
"uhhhh, when she does something like is funny on TV"

5. What was your mom like as a child?

"She went to school & lived in CA."
"You liked playing with your trains and playing with someone your age."
"I dont' know!"

6. How old is your mom?

"Uh, let's see. . . . 41? No. . . definitely 40!"
"Ohhh, 25!"

7. How tall is your mom?

6 feet, 8". . .wait, No you're not that tall. . . 5'11".
"I don't know that one!"
"7, 8, 9, 10?"
"Oh, I know. . . 5'11."

8. What is her favorite thing to do?

"Go out to Chinese food with dad without the kids."
Ummmm, let's see. . . . go on the computer and do stuff?"
"Ummm, be on her blog."

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?

"She takes a nap."
"Just sits around and does my dishwasher job and stuff."
"You watch TV when I'm outside."
"Ummm, go do her blog."

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?"

"A singer."
"Playing tennis."
"What does that mean?"
"mmmmm, cooking."

11. What is your mom really good at?

"Taking dad out to eat."
"Ummm, mmmm. . . writing stuff on the computer that you want to say."
"Designing things."

12. What is your mom not very good at?

"Singing. . . no, I'm just kidding, uhhhh. . hunting."
"Playing UNO"
" Building an airplane."
"Ummmm not yelling and getting frustrated."

13. What does your mom do for a job?

"Uhhh, for a job? She cleans the house."
"Do schoolwork."
"You like help someone up when someone pushed them on the ground."
"She's our teacher."

14. What is your mom's favorite food?

"Ummm Chinese."

15. What makes you proud of your mom?

"Being my mom."
Nothing really. . . ok here's one-- I'm proud at you that you're my mom." "
Ummm, oh I know, saying I love you to me."
"She umm, teaches us, she's a good mom and teaches us how to behave."

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?

"Mickey Mouse"
"I want you to be Spiderman. . . a girl pink Spiderman!!!!"
"Ummm, that spy girl."

17. What do you and your mom do together?

"Uh, we clean the house and do school and cook."
"We, ummm, we play games sometimes."
"Cook things."

18. How are you and your mom the same?

"We both like a clean house.
" We aren't. . .me and my dad are the same.
"We aren't."
"We both like to cook."

19. How are you and your mom different?

"I hunt. She doesn't"
"She's a girl and I'm a boy. . and she's my mom"
"Cause God made you be bigger than me and you're a girl and I'm a boy."
"She doesn't like having video games and I do."

20. How do you know your mom loves you?

"Cause she says it."
"Cause she's my mom."
"Cause you are bigger than me and you are an adult."
"mmm, by staying home and teaching us."

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?

"He's handsome."
Because he believes in Jesus."
"Hmmmmm you like kissing each other. HAHAHA"
"That he can pick up a job really quick when he lost one."

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?

"On dates with dad."
"Chinese. McDonald's and Culvers"
"Ummmm, it's hard because you like to go so many places. . . out to eat."

Well, there you have it.

A dose of (humbling) reality from my kids perspective. . . from our house to yours.

Now your turn to try it. . . if you dare! :)

Happy Thursday,


Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I'm on a constant quest to prepare more nutritious snacks and meals for my family.

On a recent trip to our local health food store I found something new. . . to me that is.

Sorghum syrup.
Sorghum is made from 100 percent pure, natural juice extracted from sorghum cane. It contains
NO chemical additives of any kind.
Sorghum contains iron, calcium and potassium. Before the invention of the daily vitamins, many doctors prescribed sorghum as a daily supplement for those low in these nutrients.
Sorghum tastes similar to molasses except molasses is a by-product of the sugar industry, whereas sorghum is the syrup produced when the extracted juice from the sorghum cane is boiled down.
I've made two recipes with the sorghum: Ginger Cookies and Old-Fashioned Sorghum Cookies
They were both delicious!

(Pictured are the Ginger Cookies)
Ginger Cookies
3/4 C butter
1 C sugar
1 egg
1/3 C Sorghum
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2-1/2 tsp ginger
1-1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 C flour
Mix butter, sugar and egg until creamy. Stir in sorghum. Sift dry ingredients together and add to first mixture. Mix well. Cover and chill for 1 our. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Roll dough balls in sugar and place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes at 375 degrees, or until lightly browned. Remove from baking sheet and cool on rack.
Old-Fashioned Sorghum Cookies
(This recipe has no eggs and no added sugar and they were just as yummy as the Ginger cookies)
4 C flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1-1/2 C Sorghum
1/2 C shortening, melted
1/4 C butter, melted
5 T boiling water
Divide flour in two parts; to one part add soda, salt, and spices. Combine sorghum, melted shortening and butter and boiling water. Blend in the flour mixture thoroughly. Stir in remaining portion of flour. Chill overnight. Turn out on clean dry surface that has been generously dusted with a mixture of equal parts flour and sugar. Roll to 1/4 inch thickness, and cut into desired shapes. (I simply rolled them into balls and they turned out fine)
Transfer to greased baking sheets, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8-10 minutes.
So next time you have a hankerin' for somethin' sweet, try this more nutritious option.
Happy Wednesday,

I Heart Faces

The theme this week over at i heart faces is "Black and White". Here's my submission of a photogenic little guy with a bright dimpled smile.

There are many, many wonderful entries each week. Check it out HERE !

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Church Family Fun

On Sunday our church had a family fun day at a local christian camp.

Kids and adults alike had a great time!

An awesome tubing hill. . . broom ball. . . ice skating. . . horse drawn sleigh rides. . .
hot chocolate. . . relaxing by the fire. . . playing games. . . knitting. . . and a very tasty chili supper.

It truly was a fun day with church family.

The kids were worn out and slept very soundly that night!

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, February 23, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, February 23, 2009

Outside my window...the skies are blue, the sun is shining and it's 21 degrees. Warmer than the -10 in the early am.

I am thinking...that in these difficult economic times God provided a job for my husband and I am thankful that we did not have to move.

I am thankful grandpa celebrating his 92nd birthday today!

From the learning rooms...we read about Booker T. Washington, learned about using the dictionary, math story problems, & AWANA.

From the kitchen...the left-over rotisserie chicken is simmering on the stove and will make a delicious chicken noodle soup for dinner.

I am wearing...a cream colored sweater, pumpkin colored vest and black pants.

I am creating...a grocery list.

I am shopping tonight.

I am reading...a No Greater Joy magazine.

I am start a new walking routine.

I am hearing...Mr. H laughing as he teases Mr. Z. (The laughing will soon turn to crying.)

Around the house...we're cleaning up from lunch and will soon have quiet reading time and listen to Story of the World.

One of my favorite chocolate along with a cup of coffee.

A few plans for the rest of the week: The first piano lesson for the three oldest boys and two home school co-op clubs.

Here is picture thought I am sharing. . . The kids spotted three woodpeckers out the window this morning. I quickly snapped a picture of one.


I hope this Monday is a great start to your week.

You can check out other daybooks or create one of your own HERE.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My Favorite. . . Salad Dressing

Back from swimming. . .Time for lunch.

The kids are having Kraft Mac n' Cheese.

Can I make something a bit healthier for myself?

Ah, yes my favorite salad with my new favorite dressing.
My favorite salad is:

Spinach, apple, mandarin oranges, golden raisins, sugar-toasted walnuts, & Parmesan cheese

The easiest, most delicious homemade dressing:

1/3 C maple syrup

1/3 C olive oil

1/3 C apple cider vinegar

I think you'll find it tasty too!

Hope you're having a super Saturday!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


It always surprises me how a sunshiny day can boost ones spirits.

It's not even that I was feeling "down" but the brightness outside simply puts a skip in my step.

Today was one of those bright days.

After a little schoolwork. . .

(Miss polka-dot has to grab a pencil and a school book. . . just like everyone else!)

It was time to play outside.

The beautiful sunshine was a bit deceitful though.

Only 18 degrees today.

Then after a co-op basketball game and a few errands, my little baker (Mr. J) made some

delicious banana crumb muffins. (Guess I buy too many bananas, huh?)

(Kelli's picture from "No place like home")

I found the recipe over at "No Place Like Home". You can go to Kelli's post HERE to check out her scrumptious muffin recipe.

I hope you had some brightness in your day too.

Happy Thursday,


Wednesday, February 18, 2009


This crepe recipe has become our new family favorite for any meal of the day.

Kathy's Crepes

8 eggs

2 C flour

4 C milk

3 T Oil

3 T Sugar

3 T vanilla

Mix together in a blender.

For fruit topping: Place frozen fruit in pot, add a little water, a little cornstarch and a little sugar. (How's that for precise baking?)

Simmer until thickened.

Top crepes with fruit, maple syrup and a dollup of whip cream.

Is this dinner or dessert, huh?

It's delicious. . . You have to try it!


Wednesday Blessings,


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's 38!

Look who toddled out onto the deck to see what she could see?

Yes. . .in her bare feet!

And look what she found!

There's so much to see outside!

It's 38 degrees here today. . .that's spring-like for us!

Happy Tuesday from the woods,


This week at iheartfaces the theme is "wonder". I wonder what Mr. J. was thinkin' about as I snapped this photo down at the lake one summer day in July of 2006.

Tuesday blessings,


Monday, February 16, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, February 16, 2009

Outside my window...there are grey skies and a white snow covered landscape.
I am's not what I say but how I say it.

I am thankful for...the progress I made on my filing project this weekend.

From the learning rooms...we've worked on AWANA, three spelling tests, and math.

From the kitchen...I'll be making meatloaf for dinner.

I am wearing...a brown knit sweater and black pants.

I am creating...piles of laundry to be done today.

I am the hardware store for light bulbs and bring the kids to AWANA tonight.

I am reading...a chapter of the Psalms to the kids during our "table time" in the morning.

I am husband's meeting goes well for him this afternoon and that the basement ceiling water leak does not continue.

I am hearing...the sound of the washing machine.

Around the house...two kids are on a time-out for not speaking kindly, one is napping, and the others are hungry for lunch.

One of my favorite our worship time at church on Sunday mornings.

A few plans for the rest of the week: The usual routine with interspersed surprises to be sure.

Here is picture thought I am sharing. . . A picture of Miss A. taken outside after returning home from church yesterday.

Stop by HERE to see other daybooks or to create one of your own.

Hope you are having a magnificent Monday!


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Consider It Joy

Consider it joy, pure joy, when troubles come,

many trials will make you strong.

This is part of the lyrics to a song titled "Consider it Joy" by Graham Kendrick.

We sang this at the end of our service today and it continues to play in my mind.

Based upon James 1:2 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Sometimes I wonder what trials my (now) little ones will face.

It breaks my heart to think of them having troubles come their way. Though indeed, they will.

I cannot hold up a shield to block every "arrow" aimed at them.

I must remind myself that those trials will develop their faith and a spirit of perserverance.

Lord, more than they ever realize now, they need to develop a close relationship with you. Help me to nurture that most important connection.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Changin' it up!

As a home school mom it seems every now and then I simply need a change from the daily school routine. Today was one of those days.

So instead of the usual textbooks, we changed things up a bit.

Here's our day in pictures. . .

We made patriotic valentine's for the two parties coming up. . .

Our volcano erupted. . .
Miss A. played with Play-doh for the very first time and loved it!

We worked on puzzles and played some favorite games. . .

The kids enjoyed making chocolate covered pretzels. . .

And valentine cut-out sugar cookies.

They were even allowed to spend computer time on

And after 4 loads of laundry, which is still piled on my kitchen table, I'm all tuckered out!

My change of pace day may not have been restful but it was definitely refreshing!

Hope your busy Wednesday had a touch of refreshment too!


P.S. I gave yesterdays' basketball court 3 hours and then decided the new drywall truly was worth protecting! Poor boys, huh? Mommy kicked them out of the family room and into the rec room.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hang Time!

I always hesitate before I head down stairs. . . I'm never quite sure what the kids have been up to since I had been down there last time.

This time I knew something was up.

I was right! The furniture had been moved, the rug rolled back and blue painter's tape had been placed throughout the floor.

Mom, Look! Our new basketball court! These are the 1, 2 & 3 point lines for playing "pig"!

The new NERF basket from the AWANA "store" last night.

The bench?

At least they decided the floor needed vacuuming before the big game!

Even Miss A. thought about getting involved.

It did get a little wild. Mom's rule: " Only 2 boys playing at one time! "
Is it ok Mom? Do you like it?
"I guess it's OK for now. We'll have to see how it goes. "
(Just wait till Mr. E. gets home tonight. He'll jump right in with the rest of them!)
When will I get my nice, neat family room back? I think I'll give it one week and then I'm done.
And that's life with 5 boys for ya!

Hope you're having a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, February 9, 2009

i heart faces - week 5

The theme this week over at iheartfaces is "SILLY".
Well, we've got silliness here, that is for sure. Just which one do I pick is the question.
I couldn't resist the beautiful baby blues of my nephew in a state of silliness!


And here's my Mr. E Puckering Up!

We had many fish fry dinners last spring. I (think) this may be a Crappy? I'll have to double check on that piece of info. I don't know my fish! (OK, it is officially a crappie but I spelled it incorrectly)

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, February 9, 2009

Outside my is cloudy and grey, but the temp is 35!

I am thinking...tomorrow will be more productive, I hope!

I am thankful for...a computer.

From the learning rooms. . . we "spun our wheels" and accomplished little today.

From the kitchen...I'm waiting for the cooking fairy to stop by.

I am "uniform": Black sport pants, brown long sleeve shirt and my oatmeal colored vest.

I am creating...a Valentine's Day card for my grandpa.

I am clean up the house while the kids are at AWANA. (Mr. Z suggested that would be a good idea!)
I am reading...'08 Better Homes and Gardens magazines from my mil.

I am begin and finish my dreaded filing project!

I am hearing...Miss A fussing and the Nancy Drew Mystery Audio Series playing on the computer while all the kids are listening.

Around the house...the clutter is beginning to pile again.

One of my favorite a restful night's sleep. I'm hoping for that tonight.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Make Valentine's Day cards & treats for both home school groups.

Here is picture thought I am sharing:

Look at this adorable little guy I took a few shots of yesterday. . . Tooo cute!!

Check out other daybooks or create one of your own HERE
Hope you had a marvelous Monday!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Found It!

I had lost my favorite Fudge Brownie recipe. . . Until tonight. When my Mr. J asked his nightly question, "What's for dessert, Mom? How 'bout I make brownies?", my sweet tooth gave in and I decided to search again.

And I found it!

I think it will soon be your favorite too.

Fudge Brownies
1/2 C butter
2 sqares (2 oz) unsweetened chocolate
1 C sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 C flour
1/2 C chopped walnuts
Grease an 8x8x2-inch baking pan.
Melt butter and chocolate.
Remove from heat; stir in sugar.
Add eggs and vanilla; beat lightly just till combined (don't overbeat or brownies will rise too high, then fall).
Stir in flour and nuts.
Spread batter in pan.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Cool. Cut into bars. Makes 16.
Photo from: Flickr (They were gone before I could take a picture!)

Hope you had a splendid Saturday!