Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mom!. . . Watch Me!

It was a big day around here.

Unbeknownst to the rest of  us, Mr. A headed outside this morning with a mission on his mind.

He was going to try and ride a 2 wheel bike.

Never before had he been on a 2-wheeler, never before even ridden a bike with training wheels.

And just like that, he’s riding around the yard saying, “Mom, watch me!”

We even went on our first bike ride together, just him and me.






Hope your Wednesday had some fun surprises too!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Me and the radio

The last few days I’ve spent over 11 hours driving in the car.

I usually bring a book on CD or a good sermon series for my listening pleasure.

But this time. . .I forgot.

So it was me and the radio.  And here’s what made an impression. . .

Most played country music song. . . .Kiss a Girl by Keith Urban.

Most talked about news story. . . the swine flu.

Why are we not restricting travel between Mexico and the U.S. such as other

countries are doing?

Will illegal aliens in Mexico will be diverting to the U.S. seeking free health care

and infecting citizens at the same time?

Most surprising and disheartening news story. . . Obama speaks at Georgetown University.

But ONLY after stating he will only speak if the Christian symbols which would show behind

him at the podium are COVERED UP.  Unfortunately, Georgetown buckled and painted a piece

of plywood black to cover up the monogram IHS, which stands for Jesus.  Remember,

Georgetown is a PRIVATE University.  Our President is controlling religious symbols in a

PRIVATE forum.

HERE'S the story if you care to read it. 

And no, I do not agree or even believe the White House statement

that this request was simply to “create a proper setting” for the President’s speech. 

And no, this has NOT been a standard request by former U.S. Presidents.

Does this sound just a little “end-timesish” to you? 


OK, I’ll get off my little political stepstool and get back to editing photos. 

Then my blood pressure can return to normal.



Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thankful for the simply mundane

While I am home this Thursday. . .

the clothes are in the dryer,

the sun is shining and the sky is blue,

the kids are happily watching a baseball game on TV,

the piano is being played,

the dishes are being done after hotdogs for lunch,

happy plans are being awaited for the weekend,

the basketballs are bouncing out at the court,

cleaning the bathrooms is on the to-do list,

and little Miss A will soon be tucked in for her afternoon nap.

Yes, I am thankful for these simple, mundane household happenings today.

Others long for simply mundane days. . . Others are in the midst of crisis.

Please read. . .Please pray.

 My Charming Kids


I can really only imagine.



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WFMW-Laundry Organization


On July 4, 2007 we moved into a home we had been renovating for two years.  As many of you know. . . moving includes purging.  Purging of all that stuff you’ve collected over the years.  I love to get rid of stuff and live as simply as possible.

For me, along with moving less stuff I was inspired to develop a new plan of attack and simplify the never ending chore of LAUNDRY.  There are so many steps to laundry, aren’t there? . . . .Laundry to the washer, sort laundry, wash laundry, dry laundry, resort laundry, fold laundry, laundry back to its home room and finally put away (my least favorite part).  So I came up with this:

Every person, has their own laundry basket or every bedroom has its own basket, depending how many are in one room AND

every person or room is assigned a laundry day.


For instance, today was Mr. A’s laundry day.  At 5, he is asked to bring all his laundry in the basket to the washer.  He places everything, but shirts which I spot treat, into the washer.  The older kids (7 & up)  put them into the dryer when ready.  Then I fold and put them back into his closet and the older ones put their own clothes away.  I don’t have to think (I like tasks which require little thinking). . . whose shirt is this? . . .who’s underwear is this?  Every person has a basket, their clean clothes go back into their basket and the older ones fold and put them away. . . or on a good day I will fold and they will put the clothes away. 

I do not do a separate load for whites and colors.  Each child places all their laundry in one load and I add white vinegar (which I recently read was a laundry freshener and anti-bacterial;check it out ) and I wash in cold water.   I was using bleach and was told this is not the healthiest for our septic system.

Everyones church clothes are brought to me and I do a special load at one point during the week so I can take special care of those items.

I use to do an entire load of just socks!  Then I’d really have to wonder whose was whose.  Not anymore!  Socks go back to the person they came from.  It’s funny but I still end up with unmatched pairs and those go into the “unmatched sock box” and eventually get put back together. . . a good project for someone needing “a project”.

One other tidbit. . . .I got rid of all dressers!  No more stuffing into a drawer.  All the closets have shelving and a small place for hanging.  Shelves include individual plastic tote bins for underwear, socks and pajamas.


It works for me because. . . it simplifies! 

Visit "Works for me Wednesday" at the We are THAT Family blog to read more helpful hints!

Happy Wednesday!



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Heart Faces – Self Portrait



Kids entry:  I didn’t know Mr. Z was making faces in the window while I was outside snapping a few shots of myself to check out the lighting for a self-portrait. 

As it turned out, I thought it qualified for a unique self-portrait kids entry.



Adult Entry:  Now this was a challenge!  I’d much rather take a picture of someone else.  And some of the close-up shots I took. . . yikes!  (Major self-criticism)  The smirk on my face tells you how silly I felt taking a picture of myself.  I wasn’t sure about not using a flash in my bathroom but I had skylight above me which ended up providing enough light.



Go to I heart faces HERE to check out many other inspiring self-portraits. . .  such as this one HERE by Heidi at Mt. Hope Chronicles!

Happy Tuesday,


Monday, April 20, 2009

Simple Woman’s Daybook – April 20, 2009


FOR TODAY Monday, April 20, 2009

Outside my has been in the 30’s and snowing all day.

I am thinking...about flower girl dresses for Miss A.

I am thankful . . . that my kids are now old enough to help out with chores around the house.

From the learning rooms...three children are working on biographical reports.

From the kitchen...I’ll be making a big pot of chili tomorrow.

I am pants and a white turtelneck.

I am creating...bridal shower invitations.

I am bed soon.  (yes, this is another “nightbook”)

I am reading...”my charming kids” blog and praying for Stellan who will have heart surgery tomorrow.

I am hoping...I don’t get this cold virus which is traveling around the house.

I am hearing...the SciFi channel playing rather loudly in the background. . . my husband’s favorite!

Around the house...the young’ins are asleep and I have a kitchen to tidy up.

One of my favorite a Sunday afternoon nap, which I had yesterday.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Two doctor apts., one basketball game, two homeschool co-op groups and a trapping class for Dad and the boys.

Here is picture thought I am sharing (taken today)...

As they say. . . April showers bring May flowers.  Would that include SNOW showers?  Hope so.


Peggy Hostetler hosts this weekly daybook.  Visit her blog HERE.

Hope your Monday had a touch of marvelous among the mundane. :)



Saturday, April 18, 2009

Family Work Day!


Today was a family work day out in the yard.

You really don’t realize how big your yard is until you. . .

Sweep, Rake, Blow and Trim it!


We are seeing signs of spring!  Yeah!


And although we did hear the occasional. . . .


And I did bribe the kids with ice cream;

They all did very well staying focused and accomplishing our tasks.

And although I have an aching back and sore feet. . .

It felt wonderful being outside and working together.

Hope your Saturday had some wonderful in it too!



Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Morning Traditions

There are two morning traditions which make me smile:

Waking up to this vision of cuteness when the boys bring little Miss A into bed with me. . .


And Crock Pot Oatmeal . . .


I do love my crock pot.  Since I’m not up early enough to fix everyone breakfast  the kids like to eat breakfast before

me, they can easily help themselves to warm oatmeal.  The consistency is more like tapioca pudding.  We really like it.

You can cut the recipe in half. . . this one feeds eight.

Happy Wednesday!



Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I Heart Faces – Easter



It’s amateur week over at I heart faces.

Little Miss A is a bit of a challenge for me to photograph since she is always on the move and a bit more serious in nature.

I was able to capture this little grin on Easter Sunday while she was wearing her cute little sailor dress:




Go to I heart faces HERE to submit your own photo or look at other entries of the week.

Happy Wednesday!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Simple Woman’s Daybook, April 13th

FOR TODAY, Monday April 13th

Outside my’s 30 degrees and cloudy
I am thinking... we need to “hit the books” hard for the last home stretch of the year.
I am thankful for...a fun, celebrative, sunny, Easter day with family.
From the learning rooms...the kids are counting how many lessons they have left for the year.
From the kitchen...I’ll be making my favorite split pea soup this week.
I am pants, black top and black sweater.
I am creating...Easter picture collages.
I am stop at the insurance company today after a car mishap with a tree on Saturday!
I am Country Living magazines my mil gave me.
I am get my hair cut soon.
I am hearing...Mr. A and Mr. H playing in the kitchen. . . “ice, ice p a r a d i s e!” ?????
Around the usually cluttered countertops are all clean!
One of my favorite things...worship and praise time on Sunday mornings.
A few plans for the rest of the week: 2 homeschool groups, 1 basketball game, piano lessons & the last AWANA for the year.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...easter09

Go to Peggy Hostetler’s blog HERE to read other daybooks or create one of your own.

Happy Monday!



Sunday, April 12, 2009

He has risen. . . He has risen indeed!





E aster is here. . .He has risen indeed!

A day of celebration with friends and family.

S o hard to imagine His horrible suffering,

T hen His resurrection like no eye has ever seen.

E ternity is secure for you and for me.

R ejoicing this day. . . He has set me free.








Easter Blessings to all,



Thursday, April 9, 2009

Remembering and Thankful

I remember the event very well. 

You know how certain moments in life are engrained in your mind? 

It was 3 years ago today, Sunday, April 9, 2007.

My husband, at the age of 42 experienced a life-threatening aortic dissection.  Thankfully, we were at church when the symptoms presented themselves (major pain, very similar to a heart attack) and thankfully there were two nurses by his side encouraging him and arranging for him to get to the hospital which was thankfully 2 miles away.

And after a slew of tests revealed nothing other than high blood pressure the doctor thankfully decided to run “one more test”; a CT scan which revealed that the lining of his aorta, the largest artery in the body which originates from the left ventricle of the heart, had torn due to unknown high blood pressure.  An unusual situation for someone his age.

Aortic dissection is a tear in the wall of the aorta that causes blood to flow between the layers of the wall of the aorta and force the layers apart.[1] Aortic dissection is a medical emergency and can quickly lead to death, even with optimal treatment. If the dissection tears the aorta completely open (through all three layers), massive and rapid blood loss occurs. Aortic dissections resulting in rupture have an 80% mortality rate, and 50% of patients die before they even reach the hospital. If the dissection reaches 6 cm, the patient must be taken for emergency surgery. Quote From Wikipedia.

Thankfully he was able to immediately be flown to a larger town where thankfully my husband’s family lives and thankfully where our brother-in-law is a radiologist at the hospital. 


(Yes, the morphine drip had kicked in and he wanted to take pictures of the helicopter ride with his dad’s pocket camera. Crazy!)

I arrived a few hours later and was thankful to hear that surgery would not be needed and thankful that my husband was receiving very good care in the cardiac ICU. (a surreal moment indeed)

Meanwhile on the home front. . .Thankfully our team of friends ministered to our family in awesome ways. . . Meals, laundry, loving and taking care of our five young kids, yard work, visiting us at the hospital, and most importantly praying for us.  Thankfully my sister was able to leave her family and fly in from out of state to take care of my family for a few days and thankfully my parents were on their way back from a road trip out west and would care for my family after my sister left. 

Thankfully, I was able to stay at my sister-in-laws’ home and thankfully she was able to drive me to and from the hospital each day since we were advised that I not drive. . . I remember thinking that was a very wise decision at the time.  All of these friends and family who ministered to us were truly and thankfully “Jesus with skin on”.

Back in ICU there were concerns that my husband’s kidneys were “shutting down” and his lungs were filling with fluid.  Were his vital organs beginning to shut down?  I was on a roller coaster ride all week while trying to remain patient and strong.  Thankfully God very clearly gave me the strength to remain calm and clear-headed all the while I continued to think. . . I’m being carried, I am not alone.  

On Wednesday, my husband was put into a drug induced coma.  This was just what his body needed to get his blood pressure to be continually stable. dadcoma













On Easter Sunday (one year later from the Easter Sunday when both my husband and I were baptized), hallelujah, he was awakened from the coma and thankfully all levels remained stable. 


Five days later he was released from the hospital.


Today, thankfully, his aorta has continued to remain stable. 

We are thankful for an awesome God who heals and carries.  We are thankful for every day we have together as a family.

I recently found this verse in Isaiah.   I know this to be true:

. . . I am He, I am He who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

Today is the Thursday before Easter Sunday.  It was also this Thursday evening, after a church service, 32 years ago, at the age of 10 when I thankfully gave my life to Christ.

I will always remember. . . always be thankful indeed!




Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Signs of Spring

There have been a few signs of spring around here lately. . .

AWANA Grand Prix races,



the sound of bouncing basketballs,

bike riding,

weekly basketball games to attend,

walks with the stroller,

swingin’ out at the swing set,


BBQ chicken on the grill for dinner tonight,

and our first lunch at the picnic table.

I must say. . .I’m reeeealy looking forward to seeing some green. . . and flowers! Can’t Wait!

Happy Wednesday!


P.S. Mr. E. would like the world to know that his daughter actually asked for his arms to hold her last night when she was sad, rather than the usual mommy arms.  His heart was very happy (to say the least!).


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It’s Tuesday?!


This was the look on my face (with some added embarrassment) as I arrived at the doctors office today for a scheduled WEDNESDAY apt. with little Miss A and the rest of the crew. 

Oh no! Today is Tuesday?! 

Thankfully, the Dr. was gracious enough to see us since she had a break in her schedule.

It’s always scary when my mind seems to leave me every now and again.  I’m in my early 40’s. . . I hear this may be happening more often in the future.  Yikes! 

But hey, I do have an extra day in my week now!


I thought the faces on these Easter eggs decorated this afternoon depicted my state of mind rather well.




Monday, April 6, 2009

The Simple Woman’s Daybook, April 6

FOR TODAY Monday, April 6

Outside my window...a bright sunshiny, yet very windy, chilly day.

I am thinking...I need to get back into my homeschool routine.

I am thankful for...healthy and whole children.

From the learning rooms...our spring break has lingered too long.

From the kitchen...I’m thinking about what to fix for a family Easter dinner for 15 on Sunday.

I am black sport pants, brown shirt and oatmeal colored vest.

I am creating...Easter cards.

I am shopping.

I am reading...cookbooks—getting Easter dessert ideas. yum! yum!

I am have more energy tomorrow.

I am husband checking in on sleeping little ones.  (Yes, my daybook is a “nightbook”.  I’ve run late with everything today!)

Around the house...we tackled the mudroom today and threw all the snowpants downstairs. (That means we’ll probably be getting a big April snowstorm, right?!)

One of my favorite a fresh loaf of homemade bread.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Two Dr. apts, two basketball games, coloring eggs, food pantry, and a Sat. as well as Sun. Easter celebration.

Go HERE to read other daybooks or create one of your own.

Hope y’all had a marvelous Monday!



Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Little Fun!

(This post inspired by my very funny and creative friends over at I HEART FACES)

Hi Honey, I’m glad you came to read our blog today.  Remember our fun family photo shoot last summer?IMG_6854

Remember how you wondered where all your hair went?  And if you were reeeeally that bald?!

And remember “back when”, when you had that Manchu mustache?. . .

And you know how you’re the King and I’m the Queen in our house?. . .

And you know how I keep tellin’ ya how I love to edit photos? Well. . .

LOOK what I can do now with my awesome photo editing skills!!!


Happy April Fools Day to you. . .the King . (I just crack myself up, don’t I? hehe)

With Love,

From Your Queen


P.S. Isn’t it interesting what your wife and kids do while you are hard at work during the day?

We just want to play.

Spring basketball started yesterday.

The boys were sooo excited!

They even practiced outside in the snow.

With an eye on the clock they could not wait till 6:15 . . . time to GO play basketball!

Much to their surprise the coach did not have them play basketball. Instead, he had them practice (the fundamentals) of basketball. 

Drills. . . lay-ups. . . chest  passes. . . free throws. . .foot work.

Disappointment.  We just want to PLAY the GAME!

REALITY hits hard!  You have to work to succeed at the game.  Michael Jordan really did practice basketball!

I find the same frustration true for myself.  I just want to take awesome pictures. . . Aperture, f-stops, lighting, cropping, editing?  Oh, this can be hard and a definite learning curve is involved.

Then I got to thinking. . .

More important than hobbies and sports, how am I equipping myself and teaching my kids to succeed in this “game” called LIFE.  Our spiritual reality is . . . we have an opponent.

“A final word:  Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.  For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:10-12 NLT)

How are we to equip ourselves against our opponent?

“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.  Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.  Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph. 6:13-17 NLT)

We are in a daily battle, aren’t we?  And it is hard to daily step forth equipped for battle and to daily train our kids and be an example.

We just want to play.

Thankfully we have hope.  As Christians, one day. . . one glorious day. . . we will simply PLAY.  

heaven“We’ll worship God in everything-singing, playing, talking, eating, traveling, exploring, relaxing.  God says we’ll serve Him forever.”

(We’ve enjoyed reading this book Tell Me About Heaven by Randy Alcorn.)



For now, I fight the battle by praying, reading the Good News, keeping the faith, pursuing righteousness and peace (some days more successfully than others!) . . .and looking forward to that day of never-ending joy and PLAY.

Happy Wednesday!