Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I am completely unsurprised at the results of this quiz.

Which Classic Heroine are You?

I am:
Jo March

Josephine March, from Little Women, is a tomboy who loves writing, acting, and her family. She dreams of seeing the world and publishing her book.

51% Jo March
33% Elizabeth Bennet
32% Eowyn of Rohan
31% Anne Shirley
29% Maid Marian
29% Wendy Darling
21% Emma Woodhouse
20% Jane Eyre
14% Helen of Troy
13% Juliet Capulet

So, people who know me best, were you surprised? LOL. I bet not a single iota. I was slightly dissapointed that I didn't have more Anne Shirley in me.

On the homemaking front, I must admit, the reason my blog has been so scarce lately is because I have been in a bit of a funk. Nothing looks right. I look at other blogs and I just get jealous because they can take such simple things and make a beautiful display from it. I have no display skills, and my beautiful things always end up looking like clutter. My surfaces have three choices
1. Bare
2. Cluttered
3. "Ummm, what was she looks a bit stupid".

Somebody send me some tips on how to make the tops of my bookshelves, tables, and mantle all look fabulous.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What's For Dinner?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Carrots and Celery, served in a big pot of melted butter? With a side of shredded chicken? Nope. That's just the start of 8 pot pies. I kept two out for tonight's dinner

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Here they are all piled up. For the fun of it I included an onion sketch I did once upon a long time ago. Yes, that's an onion, and yes, there is a reason I don't draw for a living. One of these days, I am going to get that onion and it's sister drawing of a teeny pumpkin, framed and hung in my kitchen. It doesn't actually matter much to me that it looks more like a striped squished ball than a vegetable. I just like to look at it, knowing I stretched myself to do something that was not a God-given, born in my soul talent. I challenge you to try a new skill. It is heartening to a. learn you can do something you never thought you could do and b. Learn why people who are actually good at what you just learned to do get a lot of money for their efforts. Appreciation can be best gained by self effort. True. And worth the price of a community class.

Monday, January 22, 2007

No one can have too much love

And every dog needs a friend. right?

We brought this itty bitty girl home Sunday night and she has stolen our hearts in a big way. She might be tiny, but she has the attituude of a BIG dog. She has already rolled Heidi over. I don;t know how she did it- but this is one fearless little dog. They called her Sally at the shelter and we think the name fits her just fine. So, we welcome Sally to our home, and we welcome all the love and joy she will bring us.

Sweet sweet doggies, tuckered out from playing tag and from figuring out who was going to be the boss of every single toy.

This is their favorite game. Heidi will pick up a toy and bring it over to Sally, just for the opportunity to play Tug of War. Surprisingly- teeny little Sally wins, much of the time. The boys and I (with the help of a friend) made several of these tug toys. I saw them made at Petsmart for 6.00 and said "I can make that!". And so I did. They are just strips of flece, braided and knotted. It was a super easy project for the kids, and so cheap that I don;t mind if they get shredded and destroyed by Heidi the destoyer dog.

We found Sallly from This petfinder page If you are on the lookout for a new pet, please check out Petfinder. It helps to link up animals who have no home, with people who have room in their hearts and home for four legged (and some two legged) creatures.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Tag: I'm it

So, Danielle has informed me that I am now a member of the six things about me game. I am to list six weird things about myself, and then, I am supposed to tag six new people. That should be fun...I don't think I KNOW six people!

1. I have a freckle in my eye. Look real close and you can see it right outside my pupil. It is a real, honest to goodness freckle and matches the rest of the browny red spots that can be found here and there all over my face.

20. I had close to twenty different majors and minors while in college. I, however, have not a single degree. The ones I am closest to finishing are Theatre and Sociology. I have a semester left for both degrees. The above picture is a publicity picture done for a production of "Twelve Angry Jurors" I played a pregnant juror #6.

3. I love Dandelions: They are my favorite flower. In my not so humble opinion, there is nothing more beautiful than a field of green green grass, dotted here and there with dandelions. NOTHING.
(dandelion skirt and top made by me)

4. I enjoy body art- tattoos. I am a fairly conservative person, who grew up as a PK (Pastor's kid), and people are usually shocked by the revelation that I have a tattoo. If Dustan was not so appalled by the idea, I would have my body covered. As is it, I have one, a dandelion (go figure) that wraps around my belly button. One half is the flower head, and the second half, on a different stem is the seeded head...with a few seeds blowing away in the wind. When I got pregnant, it looked more like a sunflower than a dainty dandelion, and after I had a baby, it looked more like a mess than any form of actual art.

5. I had an 11.13 oz baby at home. In the comfort of my own bed.

6. Because my public school teachers called my mother at least once a week, crying because I was such a rotten parents were forced to pull me out of school and homeschool me. I was homeschooled 3rd-12th grades with a stint in a private school in 7th. That didn't work out so well. I had detention every single day, and 4 swats during the year. There is nothing more humiliating than being a 13 year old girl receiving swats at school. It was horrible, but it didn't encourage me enough to act more appropriately. It made me even more obnoxious. Now I am so very fortunate to have a daughter who takes after me. I am getting very close to sending all my former teachers a note of apology. I have already apologized to my mother--nearly every day.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Resolution #1

I made several resolutions for this year. The first one is to take frequent walks, as a family, and to get the kids outside more often. We have started taking long daily walks and once a week we trek out to the walking park. Dogs are welcome there, and the kids love to run and play.

Crisp Air+ Blue Skies= ahhhhhh

Here are my mountain climbing expertsPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And lunch on the run (or on a break during the run) Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

We had a homemade trailmix. I have to make my own because Dustan hates black raisins. I throw in peanuts, walnuts, pecans, choco chips, golden raisins, and cranberries. I get all the ingredients and throw it into a big glass jar. It makes a handy treat, and sometimes, when I feel lazy, we have it for lunch. It worked perfectly for our outing today.

I challange you all to take a walk today. No excuses. If it is raining, take an umbrella, if it is snowing, wear warm gloves and a hat. I promise, you will have a better day (and maybe life) because of it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Beware of Wild Cows

I think my son gets his creative skills from my father. My dad is amazing in his ability to enjoy and create things. He was never like this when I was growing up. I guess he was too busy writing term papers or sermons to use that side of his brain. Now that I am an adult, I have learned all kinds of things about him that I never knew. He has composed music, he paints, and apparently he makes some really beautiful tiles. He needs to find a kiln, because as soon as I move to a permanent home...he is tiling my entire kitchen.

Here is Marcus' current effort at being creative. He made this puzzle for me to figure out, and what an incredible warning! never know when you might meet up with wild cows, and now I know. If I ever see a wild cow...BEWARE. Cute kid.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Like a chicken with its head cut off.

A crazy chicken.
6:00 Wake UP
7:30 House work is done
7:45 Wake up kids
8:00 kids are dressed and they have picked up their madatory five things before breakfast. So feed those buggers some cereal.
8:30 School with Marcus
9:30 school with weston
and all during that time, field seven incoming calls.
10:00 make close to thirty phone calls and stress out about how to get everything done.
10:45 receive a phone call from Teen MOPS co-coodinator. She wants to meet at 1:00 at her house
11:15. Kids have on shoes and coat. Weston has on a striped shirt, inside out, a brightly colored pair of pants with a friggy print, and no socks. No time to change. Esther has chocolate icing smeared on her face (because somewhere during that crowded mess we call morning, I found time to give them a snack of grahm crackers with choco icing- a treat from my own childhood.) Wipe Esther's face.
11:16 Oh crud. Cell phone is dead. Plug in cell phone.
11:17 Pack kids in car and run inside to put dog away and grab the cell phone which had less than a 5 minute charge.
11:30 On the road to the other side of St Louis. I have to pick up my fresh meat order and be at Christals by 1.
11:31 Realize I am a crazy nincompoop idiot woman.
11:40 get lost in St Louis. Good thing I had 5 minutes on my phone. A quick call to Dustan gets me back on the interstate going the right direction.
12:00 I am at the butcher's. They just finished my order...but it's lost. I order half a pound of bologna and american cheese while they search for my order
12:15 They found it and bring it to the van. reload the kids and pass out slices of bologna and cheese for a lunch on the move.
12:30. Field off the whining from thirsty kids (yes, I forgot to buy water).
12:45 Arrive back at house. Unpack meat while kids are still in car and listen to the dog whine because he needs to go out.
1:00 Teen Mops planning meeting
2:10 Arrive at home. Grab dog and put him in van for a trip to the park.
3:30 Arrive home and begin to boil 6 chickens...who frankly, have all had their respective heads cut off. No running around for them!
4:00 Sit down to blog
I still have to make dinner and Marcus has basketball practice tonight. When he gets done, I will conk out, literally.

Here is my fridge, after being piled with 4 chuck roasts, 16 pounds of chicken breasts, and 30 pounds of ground beef. The six headless chicken are already boiling on the stove. I bought enough meat for four months of my meal plan.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Four Week Meal Plan

My life has been chaotic lately. i have forgotten important appointments. I have started to procrastinate important tasks. I have run out of precious time to do all those things I lov to do. In an effort to simplify the most stressful part of my life: cooking, I have made a rotating Four week meal plan. I worked under the constraints of needing sandwiches on Mondays because Dustan does the cooking (I am at Mops), one soup per week, and Sunday had to be a super fast meal.

Four Week Meal Plan

Week One:
Monday: Caccitore Chicken Sandwiches with green beans (These are chicken patties topped with marinara and parmasan cheese)
Tuesday: Black Bean Chicken with corn
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Chicken Noodle soup with buttered bread
Friday: Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
Saturday: Hamburgers with fries and salad
Sunday: Chicken Quessadillas

Week Two:
Monday: Ham sandwiches with chips and apple slices
Tuesday:Pot Pie
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Potatoe soup in bread bowls
Friday: Cowgirl Beans with cornbread
Saturday: Spagetti with salad and garlic bread
Sunday: tacos

Week Three:
Monday: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and tomato soup
Tuesday:Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday: Bean Soup with biscuits
Friday: Angel Hair Pasta with shrimp and Spinach
Saturday: Shephard’s Pie
Sunday: Marinaded grilled chicken or steak with salad and veggie medley

Week Four:
Monday: Tuna sanwhiches with apples and peanut butter and chips
Tuesday: Savory Herb Beef Roast with mashed potatoes and green beans
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Chili with cornbread
Friday: Quiche and salad
Saturday: Chicken a La King with peas
Sunday: Citrus Dijon Chicken with broccoli

Most of these meals can be frozen which I plan to do. I am working on a shopping list now.

Monday, January 08, 2007

How to plan a party in 2 days.

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You read that right. Two days. At our house, birthday kids rule. They choose the theme and get their way in almost everything they want. King or Queen for the day.

Well, I thought Weston wanted a birthday party at the grand place off all-pull-your-hair-out-evilness...Chuckie Cheese. Two days before his party, Weston informs me that, "You don't listen good mommy. I want to go to Chuckie Cheese. But NOT on my birthday. I want a castle pirate party. At home."

Okay, so I am a bad listener. But I do throw one heack of a thrown together party. Oh, and I really pulled this two themed party off. Castles. AND pirates. Sheesh.
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Here were the party plans. Feel free to use them for your own use.
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Funfetti cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Some were sprinkled with gold glitter and others had a skull and bones sloppily piped on.
Ruby juice: 7 up with cheery koolaid ice cubes
Pizza from Little Ceaser's. I like easy and I like cheap.

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Craft- making jeweled goblets. I bought the goblets on clearance at Target for close to .50 cents each. We just glued on flat jewels from the craft store. The kids loved it.
Who stole the Gold game: The King (or Queen) sits on the "throne", his back facing the other children. I place a gold foil rolo under the throne and pointed to one kid to "steal" the gold. THe King turned around and the kids chanted...
"King King, Where's your gold?
Somebody stole it,
From under your throne."
THen the King would guess who had stolen it. I gave him two guesses. If he guessed right then he got to keep the gold. If he guessed wrong than the theif got to keep the gold. Either way, the thief became the next King. It was a tone of fun until all the rolos melted in the kids' hand. LOL
Treasure hunt- We did the high tech version. For his birthday, we gave Weston an electronic pirate chest. You hide the bottom half of the chest and the top half is an electronic map. It lights up blue when you are "cold", yellow when you are "warm", and red when you are "hot". The kids had a blast with this.

We all had fun at far less money and far fewer germs than would have been had at Chuckie Cheese.

Here is a pirate and pirate mommy!
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Friday, January 05, 2007

Who are our neighbors?

For some reason, that thought weighed heavily on my mind last night. The story of the Good Samaritan kept running through my mind. And then that follow-up question. The question of all questions. Who are my neighbors? How can I say I love my neighbors as myself when I am overweight...nay, obese, and yet there are those who have no food to eat at all? Heavy thoughts for 11:00 at night.

This morning I woke up to a letter from All God's Children . I look forward to their newsletters whenever they come because it is so heartening to read about the work that they do. This letter was not heartening. It was terrible, and I have shed many a tear over the news that it held.

This is a long post: Bear with me, but it has a backstory.

Almost six years ago, Dustan and I felt that we wanted to add to our family. Adoption has always had such a large place in my heart. Adoption is one of my favorite Biblical principles and I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame. So, we began a long journey into adoption. We looked and waded through an overwhelming amount of information and agencies. One agency stood miles above the rest. One agency grabbed my heartstrings. All God's Children . They not only were an adoption agency, but they did relief work. Amazing relief work. Their story is incredible (I urge you to order and read the book offered on their site). They would go into what seemed to be a god-forsaken country and offer the greatest thing of all. HOPE. They began to help out existing orphanages. Government ones, nasty places, where no child should be. They painted and provided workers to hold and care for the babies. All babies need love, oh how much they need love. Can you imagine never being touched except for a diaper change? And so, these babies began to be loved, and held, and nourished, and so many of them found families, that would love them the rest of their lives.

But do you realize that their are children all over the world who will never be adopted? Either they have health or mental, or just legal issues that won't allow them to be adopted, or just realistically speaking, they will not be able to find a family. There are thousands of these children. Flooding government orphanages around the world.

All God's Children takes care of these children. They offer them a home, and caregivers who provide more than just food and clothing. These children are given a place to live, to eat, and to be loved. They now have beautiful homes filled with hope.

Back to my story: Dustan and I eventually went with another agency because All God's Children Did not yet have an adoption program in Guatemala, our country of choice. we felt such a strong pulling there, it was the country who would birth our second child. Or so we thought. Right after sending off a check to the INS, I got some funny news. I was expecting the very child who will celebrate his fifth birthday tomorrow! Weston Mathis King has filled our lives with joy, and on the eve of his birthday I read what has to be the saddest most heartfelt letter ever written.

The writer of the letter says that because of lack of funding, they have had to close down one of the Hannah's Hope homes that they had begun in the very country Dustan and I had chosen to adopt from. Right before Christmas, Jan had the horrible task of choosing which children would have to be returned back to the government orphanages. Please remember that these are not children who will temporarily be there. These are children, who, for one reason or another, will live there the rest of their childhood and maybe longer.

Are these children my neighbors? These precious beings, created by the very loving hands that created my precious Weston? Am I somehow responsible for this tragedy? My heart is heavy...and somewhat heartbroken. In y mind, everything about this points to a very clear declaration of what God wants me to do. He wants me to give. I only wish that I had done more, and done it sooner.

Please, dear blog readers, in honor of my son's birthday, will you visit the All God's Children website? Will you read about them? Will you read about the work that they do? And then will you consider making those un-adoptable, but not un-loved or un-wanted, children you neighbors?

The letter mentioned that if everyone on the mailing list could send in a one time gift of 30.00, that it would allow them to continue one home they still have in Guatemala, as well as Ethiopia, and China. And, what's more, they could increase what they are doing.

My wish, is that by sharing my heart, I can find three readers who are willing to give. It's a one time gift that will bless the hearts of a child, all the way across the world.

If, this ministry is not calling to you. I urge you to be generous to another one. The season of giving may be over for most of the world. But the season for caring for neighbors will be here, every day, every year.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I am having trouble posting pictures on blogger right now, and an effort to continue posting...I would like to pass on this wonderful site

One Hour Craft

It has some lovely projects for kids and right now they have a tutorial on teaching children to sew, using a sewing machine. The tutorial is worth reading, as it has some wonderful advice (like sewing at first without the needle, and making a game out of it).

UPDATE: I was able to post my pics, and the result is the post below this one.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A quilt for Marme

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My mom, (who goes by the name Marme) loves sheep. This started when my aunts (who go by the name of c.r.a.z.y), decided she needed to collect "something"...anything. It was an effort to make gift giving easier I believe. Crazy aunt Brenda collects rabbits and crazy aunt Peggy collects cows. I won't even say what my other crazy aunts collect. Anyhow, when Marme couldn't choose "something" to collect, the crazy aunts chose for her.

And our house was overwhelmed by angels, most of them naked, and very ugly. We had fat dimpled baby angels, whose perky heinies plumped out under soft real feather wings. We had snooty, tall and slender angels that had ceremic wings that drooped down their perfectly arched backs and puddled in the floor. We had pictures of angels watching people do all kinds of things...always watching us, those angels were. The problem was that Marme did not care for angels, especially the naked baby ones, and so in defense of her home being invaded by them, she chose to collect sheep. The sheep are cute, cozy, and all her sheep have such funny little personalities. Over Christmas she bought a porceline fatty sheep that is glazed in green and looks as if it weighs 400 pounds AND was sat on my a rhino. She has itty bitty beady eyes and in my honest opinion is the weirdest thing I have ever seen. But Marme loves her, and had been waiting until after Christmas (for Chrsitmas money) to buy her. Marme petted the ugly squatty sheep the whole way home and I swear I heard her mumbling, "I am taking you home now baby...taking you home." I think craziness might be a gentic flaw in that side of the family.

All that to say, my mother adores sheep. And my sister-in-law Carrie, knowing this, decided to surprise her for Christmas with this extrordinary example of beauty.
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The top picture is my mother hiding underneath it because she is crying her eyes out and she doesn't want anyone to know it. Which is silly, because what else would she be doing under there...and she wasn't exactly quiet about it either.

Carrie is fairly new to sewing, and this is, I think, her second quilt. The entire thing is hand quilted, and is beyond lovely.

I am guessing my mother went to bed mumbling, half in her sleep, "Go to sleep my little babies, go to sleep." Because Marme is just crazy that way.

Monday, January 01, 2007

A homemade Christmas

Here is a finished picture of the quilted wall hanging after MIL opened it. My machine was really acting up on me and the bobbin threads kept jumbling up. MIL is inspecting the mess in this picture. I was proud of it, the quilting part was really difficult and because we all know that I have an issue with finishing things...I am proud that it even got completed in the first place.

My little ones made this nativity set while staying with Grammy Pammy. I think it is ingenious, as well as the most beautiful nativity set I have ever seen. It's made from toilet paper rolls and almost 100% done by the hands of children. Grammy Pammy thought they were making it for her. That was the plan anyway, but when they finished, they couldn't bare (bear?) leaving it there, and so...It come home to me, and it will be my main nativity set next year.