Friday, January 29, 2010

Have you seen this one?

Mr. E and I laughed ourselves silly last night!

We were remembering this commercial which aired during the playoff game Sunday night.

Did I add laughter to your day?

A giggle?

A smile?

Hope so.

Happy Friday!



Thursday, January 28, 2010

Birthday Wishes


It's birthday week around here!

If you're interested in putting together a collage such as this,

head on over to PICNIK.

It's a user-friendly site and such FUN!

Happy Thursday!



Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sara Beara


Happy 6th Birthday, Sara Beara!

We're sending birthday wishes your way;

Love, laughter and lollipops!. . . May these be yours today.

Never call you "pumpkin", we promise, no way;

Hugs & fun times comin' when we see you this spring in May!


Aunt Heather and the rest of the "gang" too!


I recently attended a church council meeting and noticed that one of the members was "doodling".

Bored, I wondered?

Creating a visual illustration, maybe?

No, just doodling.

The conversation turned to doodlers and the comment was made that doodlers retain more information than nondoodlers.

I later Googled "doodlers" and found that indeed a study had been done and printed in TIME which showed exactly that.

In a delightful new study, which will be published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, psychologist Jackie Andrade of the University of Plymouth in southern England showed that doodlers actually remember more than nondoodlers when asked to retain tediously delivered information, like, say, during a boring meeting or a lecture.
Read more:

The pages in my mind turned to our daily "table time". 

Every morning we gather together at the table for a review of the  days' schedule, Bible, read-alouds, and spelling.

It has been my practice to expect the boys to sit quietly, eyes on me.

Five boys.

One hour.

Yeah, right!!

It has no doubt caused some frustration and impatience on my part and theirs.

Until. . .  I was at this meeting and heard about doodlers.

The light bulb went off and I made an announcement the following morning. . .

"You may each draw in your notebook during table time."

Wooo Hooo!  The boys were excited and they've been doodling ever since!

And there has definitely been less distraction and goofing off.

The doodling has turned into drawing throughout the day.


We've had the Draw.Write.NOW. set of books for many years.

The boys still pull them out every year mainly during the winter months.

It's always interesting to see what they create.

So here's to doodling and drawing during roundtable meetings or mom's table time!

Happy Wednesday,


LiveJournal Tags:


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Heart Faces-Texture

I_Heart_Faces_Photography_125The theme this week over at I Heart Faces is Texture.  I look forward to "one day" learning Photoshop and adding textures.  Until then, I use Picnik.  And Picnik came up with some pretty cool "heart bokeh" which I thought would qualify as "texture".


Hope you had a sparkling good Tuesday!



Monday, January 25, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook


For today January 25

Outside my window.....grey skies, 32 degrees.

I am was nice to wake up feeling more rested today.

I am thankful for.....the car I am able to borrow from my parents while mine is in for repairs.

I am pants, cream turtleneck and rose-colored sweater.

I am son crying and another offering frozen peas to place on his "ouie".

I am creating.....piles of laundry.

I am be leaving for the dentist for my teeth cleaning appointment.

I am reading.....Learning With the Movies, A Guide for Education and Fun as we are considering joining Netflix.

I am praying.....for a friends' baby to be born healthy and not too soon.

I am remembering.....a childhood friend who died of brain cancer four years ago.

I am hoping.....this lingering headache does not stay much longer.

On my mind.....I just learned that the car repairs needed are due to a "silo full of corn" which has been stored up inside my vehicle.  The little critters who have been doing the storing have caused all sorts of damage which will now require an insurance claim!

From the learning rooms....Apollo 11, Civil War, and the start of Teaching Textbooks math program for my 4th graders.

Noticing that....boys have LOTS of energy and the wrestling increases during the more housebound winter months.

Pondering these words....."I have so much to do (today) that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer."  Martin Luther

From the kitchen.....Chicken soup in the crock-pot for tonight.  Love that crock-pot!

Around the house.....I still have two main projects on my January "to organize" list.

One of my favorite things.....a happy surprise when the kids unexpectedly clean up the kitchen without being asked.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....I'm planning on the usual routine, the usual tasks and commitments. . . and then the usual unexpected happenings thrown in for "good measure".

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....


Thank you for stopping and visiting my daybook! If you'd like to visit others who are participating or write a journal yourself, please stop over at Peggy's at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Happy Monday in January!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Simply Grand Favorites

Looking back on the week. . . a few of my favorite things.

  • Our kind, generous, talented, gifted, neighbor stopped by to show her latest quilting creation.

Isn't it beautiful?! 

This was a gift to her daughter.

Her quilts are works of art.


  • A favorite picture taken during Little A's bath time:


  • Love this tea!


  • An insight from my Haven Today devotion this week:  Whoever has my will is my master.  I must surrender daily my will to Him and He will strengthen my resolve.
  • I've exercised more this week which feels great!
  • I've allowed myself a little sweet treat every now and then day.  These little squares are the perfect little bit of chocolate:


  • a favorite thing? No. But it was a first.  And a moment I will not forget.  You know when you're driving at night and you look in your rear view mirror and you see these blue and red lights flashing directly behind you????  I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong until I realized. . . I was driving without my lights on!  The policeman could not have been nicer and gave me a verbal warning.  Phew! 

We're ready for the weekend! 

Big game on Sunday. . . Go Vikings!

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Simply Grand Books

I'm always curious about book recommendations for the kids.

Last week my sister e-mailed me the 4th-6th grade reading list for their school.

I ordered a few from our library and one in particular has been a favorite around here:

A Baseball Card Adventure, Jackie and Me  by Dan Gutman.


Here's a synopsis:

Like every other kids in his class, Joe Stoshack has to write a report on an African American who's made an important contribution of society.  Unlike every other kid in his class, Joe has a special talent:  with the help of old baseball cards, he can travel through time.  So for his report, Joe decides to go back to meet one of the greatest baseball players ever, Jackie Robinson, to find out what it was like to be the man who broke baseball's color barrier.  Joe plans on writing a prize-winning report.  But he doesn't plan on a trip that will for a short time change the color of his skin-and forever change his view of history and his definition of courage.

Other books in the series include Babe & Me and Honus & Me.



Our boys have loved collecting sports cards for the past two years.

Mr. J had some Christmas money to spend this week.  His gift of choice?



A favorite book of mine this week was:  Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull


This is the dramatic and inspiring true story of runner Wilma Rudolph, who overcame childhood polio and eventually went on to win three gold medals in a single Olympics. “A triumphant story, triumphantly relayed.”—Publishers Weekly

This story captivated the boys' interest and brought tears to my eyes.

You and your kids will love this book!



Happy Reading!

Heather $


Monday, January 18, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today January 18

Outside my window......Grey skies, 27 degrees, not bad for January.

I am thinking.....that I'm glad to have exercised already this morning.

I am thankful for...... another week of good health around here.

I am wearing...... black pants, black turtleneck and a sage green vest.

I am creating......DVD's of pictures taken over the last 4 years.

I am organize that messy "catch all" drawer in the kitchen this week.

I am reading.....magazines and photography books my mother-in-law brought to me.

I am praying.....for continued diligence in regular exercise and healthy eating.

I am remembering.....the excitement and relief in my mom's voice as she told me she tested negative for the breast cancer gene.

I am piles of clean laundry which have yet to be folded will disappear sometime today.

On my mind....what to fix for dinners this week.

From the learning rooms.....the kids had fun with a science experiment this morning.

Noticing motivation for teaching this morning is low.

Pondering these words. . . "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."  Martin Luther King Jr.   

May we discern the character of others and prayerfully ask God to strengthen our own.

From the kitchen.....split pea and potato soup.

Around the house.....I made an effort to clean up the clutter yesterday and it feels good to wake up to order.

One of my favorite clean kitchen counters.

A few plans for the rest of the date with friends, meeting at church, sports club, piano and preparing for a lesson on character building.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....

My parents are in town for the week and my mom brought a few of my "back in the day" clothes from her cedar chest for Little A to wear.


Thank you for stopping and visiting my daybook. If you'd like to visit others who are participating or write a journal yourself, please stop over at Peggy's at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Happy Monday,


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Just always remember. . .

Parenting is hard.

It's hard when you see behavior which needs to change.

It's hard giving necessary consequences and knowing

that happiness and glee will not be the response.


It's hard when the happy faces turn to disappointment, or anger, or discouragement.

It's hard, yet necessary, to consistently, firmly and lovingly set the ground rules and issue "penalties" when necessary.


Through the years of love and discipline I want our kids to just always remember. . .

There is nothing you can do to make us love you more and there is nothing you can do to make us love you less.

You are loved.


God loves you even more than your earthly parents.

And there is nothing you can do to make Him love you more and there is nothing you can do to make Him love you less.

He loves you.


I hope you always remember.



Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

So yesterday I had 4 very ripe bananas in the refrigerator and the kids were hungry. . . again.

So I Google "banana bread" and find out there is a website dedicated to banana bread recipes!

You can find it at

So I find one which catches my eye. . .

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread



* 1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
* 2 tablespoons (55g) melted butter
* 1 large egg white
* 1 large egg at room temperature
* 1 cup (250ml) banana puree made from 2 very ripe bananas
* 1/2 cup (125ml) sour cream
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/3 cup (60g) chocolate chips


1. Butter a 9-inch (23cm) square pan and line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).

2. Sift together in a bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix in the sugar.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, egg white, egg, banana puree, sour cream and vanilla.

4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and stir in the wet ingredients with a spatula until almost mixed. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until just combined, but don’t overstir. Stop when any traces of flour disappear.

5. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until the center feels lightly springy and just done.

6. Cool on a baking rack.


So I serve it to the family and everyone is pleased except. . . Mr. E!

He prefers his banana bread free of nuts and chips.

He said he's told me this several times but I continue to add chocolate chips.

Hmmm. . . I guess he's right.

I think I've had "selective hearing" on his banana bread comments cause I really like chocolate chips  in my banana bread!!

Truth be known. . .Mr. E ate every last bite and went back for seconds!

Next time I'll have to make one for him and one for me.


Seriously, this was a delicious recipe.

And you can decide. . . chips or no chips?

Happy Tuesday,



Monday, January 11, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, January 11, 2010


Outside my window.....cloudy, grey skies with snowflakes lightly falling

I am thinking.....about how and when to incorporate exercise into my daily routine.

I am thankful for.....Christian radio.  It would be a very sad day if ever that freedom were taken away in our country.

I am pants, white turtleneck and brown vest.

I am hearing.....The music from the radio in my bedroom.

I am creating.....a more organized pantry.

I am the library today to return a Christmas book and pick up a few I ordered online.  I love the online service available with the library system.

I am reading.....a new magazine we received in the mail entitled, Home Educating Family.

I am praying.....for a friends' witness to his unsaved father experiencing health difficulties.

I am remembering.....the sweetness of holding a my newborn babies since visiting a newborn in the hospital yesterday.

I am hoping.....a new activity for one of my children is both challenging and encouraging.

On my mind.....deciding upon summer vacation plans and a possible spring get-a-way trip for me.

From the learning rooms....Lewis & Clark this afternoon!

Noticing love of photography is challenged during these biter cold winter months with little sun and my hesitancy to bundle up & face the cold in order to take natural light pictures.

Pondering these words...."Things never run smooth accidentally." 

-George Pfleeger (my maternal grandfather)

From the kitchen.....a roast in the oven and lots of left-overs from the weekend. Yeah!

Around the house.....Christmas decorations all put away.  Yes!

One of my favorite things.....a cup of warm tea in the morning.

A few plans for the rest of the activities, cleaning and visits with family.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....

I don't know why my house is so messy when I have such great help!

And look. . .Little A can even give directions while vacuuming.  Wonder where she gets that from? ;)

P.S.  This was outfit #3 for her today.

 vacuum1 vacuum2

Thank you for stopping and visiting my daybook.  If you'd like to visit others who are participating or write a journal yourself, please stop over at Peggy's at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Happy Monday,


Happy Birthday, I Heart Faces

I_Heart_Faces_Photography_125 I Heart Faces is a photography site focused on the art of capturing faces and their various emotions. Each week, people from across the world have the opportunity to enter their favorite face photos into a themed photo challenge. A “Guest Photographer Judge” chooses ten of their favorite photos which are then displayed on the I Heart Faces web page.

In honor of their first anniversary. . .

"Our theme this week will be "Best Face Photo." You should enter the face photo that you love the best that you took either in the month of December 2009 or in early January 2010. This is not the week to look through your archives for a favorite photo! We want something that is fresh and new and that shows off where you are in your photography journey right now."

Happy Birthday to iheartfaces and congratulations Angie and Amy!

A favorite photo I took on December 22, 2009.

This one always makes me smile.  I can feel the tender emotion.



Sunday, January 10, 2010

Incredible Game

Football is an incredible game. Sometimes it's so incredible, it's unbelievable.”

- Tom Landry


I must say I do not watch football on a regular basis.

But when the Packers are in the playoffs?. . . let's have a party!

A party complete with chili and Fritos, fruit and scrumptious fruit dip.

And it's always fun when the game is exciting to boot!

Exciting is an understatement for this one.

The Packers came from behind and tied the game. . . twice!

It was really incredible. . . unbelievable at times.

It's so fun to hear the kids screaming with delight at each Packer touchdown.

The Packers vs. Cardinals score was 51-45. 

Cardinals won in overtime.

This was the highest scoring game in NFL playoff history.

“It’s clearly one of the toughest losses I’ve been a part of,” Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said. “I’m very proud of our football team and fight. This is a hard game to swallow.”

We were all disappointed since the hopes were high.

We'll look forward to next year.

Until then. . .we're rooting for #4.

How about you?

Now, about that simply scrumptious fruit dip recipe. . .

I must share it.

1-8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1-7 ounce jar marshmallow creme
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Add chocolate shavings and stir all together.

Serve with fresh fruit.

You'll love it!

Happy Sunday! 


Friday, January 8, 2010

Simply Grand. . . Books!

The boys have enjoyed several books this week.

And since I'm always interested in hearing recommendations from others...I'll share ours with you.

The Creation Adventure Series by author, Paul Thomsen, has been a big hit around here.

I found them in our church library.  (It may have been the time I brought Little A into the library during the church service. . .She was becoming a bit disruptive in the sanctuary, deciding to "play" with the light switch!)

You can find them at Amazon too.


"An entire nation sat on the edge.  A would-be assassin's bullet had found the chest of Ronald Reagan, America's president.  Dr. Ben Aaron, the surgeon who, with only a moment's warning, was thrust into the most important operation of his life.  This book tells the story of these intense moments of reliance on the God whom Dr. Aaron loves and serves."


"Colonel Jim Irwin is caught in a deadly avalanche in the mountains of Turkey.  Injured and buried under rock and snow, his mind drifts through memories of thrilling journeys to the moon and spectacular flights in supersonic jets.  He ponders the remarkable handiwork of God ixhibited in the creation of the earth and moon, and is miraculously rescued by his team."


Two teams of scientists experience instances of God's grace in their difficult and dangerous search for Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat in Turkey.


Another recent favorite around here is Full Draw by Steve Chapman.

An October day in the woods turns deadly... for the hunter. Another great read for the outdoorsman or woman. This exciting and suspenseful story will keep you on the edge of your seat! A wonderful family read!

And then there is Poachers Caught! by Tom Chapin.

This collection of 35 stories defines Tom Chapin's 29 years as a game warden in northern Minnesota. It will interest anyone concerned about the protection of our natural resources-and everyone who likes a good story.

Z-man has been riveted by these stories.  Although, I was informed that there are a couple of "bad" words used.  I guess the poacher language can get a bit. . ahem. . ."flowery".

Well, my Christmas cards were mailed this morning and my 2010 calendar is now in place.

So I'm ready to start the new year. . . 8 days late! 

And the Christmas decorations?   They're comin' down tomorrow. 

I'm hoping to persuade everyone into a happy. . .

"Let's take down Christmas decorations together!" mood.

We'll see.

Happy Friday night!



Thursday, January 7, 2010

A few favorites

  • My FAVORITE picture taken over the Christmas holiday. . .

Meet my beautiful niece, Rachael.

With a God-given heart for care giving, she always keeps a watchful eye on Little A.


  • My new FAVORITE, L'Oreal Bare Naturale Gentle Lip Conditioner.

lorealYou've gotta try it! 

Your lips have never felt so smooth. 

Perfect for these winter months.

And it's "96% of natural origin".



  • My FAVORITE winter activity?

Hmmm, let's see. . . that would have to be ice fishing.


GOTCHA!!  I am not an outdoor winter enthusiast. 

The ice fishing lover would be my handsome Mr. E.

I, on the other hand, prefer the warmth and comfort of the indoors.

  • FAVORITE child?

Nope. . .I love all six of them just the same.

With all the love in this mother's heart.


Happy 1st Thursday of 2010!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook


For today January 4

Outside my window.....Cold, 19 degrees, the sun is trying to peek through the grey skies.

I am thinking..... that it feels good to get back into our "normal" routine. 

I am thankful for.....good health for our family during this holiday season.

I am wearing.....cream crew neck sweater and black sweats.

I am hearing.....the boys starting a fire in the fireplace to get the "chill" out of the air.

I am creating.....a list of places in the house to re-organize.  January seems to be my month to clean up clutter spots/drawers/closets around the house.

I am going.....nowhere on this bitter cold January day.

I am reading.....God Stories. . . a gift from one of the boys this Christmas.

I am praying.....for our family members who lost an uncle, dad, husband & brother this morning.  Our Uncle Ed began his new life with the Lord today after battling Parkinson's.

I am remembering.....Uncle Ed with his vibrant, warm, generous, welcoming, God-loving, personality.

I am make more Crock-Pot recipes this winter.

On my mind.....the 4 pounds I gained over the holidays!

From the learning rooms....we'll be introducing a few changes to the curriculum this month to better suit different learning styles.

Noticing that... Our Christmas cards are still sitting on table waiting to be addressed and mailed and all those sweet holiday treats are gone. . .  good thing considering what's "on my mind", huh?

Pondering these words....."All the great blessings of my life are present in my thoughts today."  Phoebe Cary

Amen and may it be true of my thoughts today.

From the kitchen.....Ham and bean soup is in the crock pot.  Yeah!

Around the house.....More Christmas decorations to be put away.

One of my favorite things.....a daughter who delights in her nap time and even reminds me it's time for "nigh, nigh".

A few plans for the rest of the week.....I haven't thought much beyond today yet.  Sometimes it's a moment by moment life, ya know?

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....

This boy loves getting lost in "Legoland".  It's fun to see.


Thank you for stopping and visiting my daybook.  If you'd like to visit others who are participating or write a journal yourself, please stop over at Peggy's at Simple Woman's Daybook

Happy Monday. . . or Tuesday I should say as I'm late in posting this.