Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Felicities ::: August 29

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Things that make me happy.

  • flowers from Travis ... just because


Flowers ... just because

  • being done with grocery shopping!

  • pepper jack cheese

  • twitter

  • connecting with old friends of Facebook (I was found by a friend from high school today, and several dear friends that I used to go to church with recently!)

  • watching this one grow up ... when did she get so big?


When did she go from 5 to 15? :)

(She's on the phone with a dear woman from church who offers to come over and watch the munchkins every so often.) :)

It's late in the day, but there's still time to link over at Becky's!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Monkey Bread



This is not low-fat. :)

4 tubes of buttermilk buscuits, cut each biscuit into 4 pieces (with scissors)
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 stick oleo (butter)
1 cup brown sugar

Take all 4 tubes of buttermilk buscuits, cut each biscuit into 4 pieces (with scissors). Coat each piece with a mixture of 1 cup sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon. Stack in greased bundt pan (spray is okay). Melt 1 stick oleo and one cup brown sugar. Pour over chunks. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Turn out of pan at once.

Devour, licking lips repeatedly.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

'Tis the Season


  • dance started back up yesterday for the oldest (as did my exercise at keeping the littlest two occupied and out of trouble for that hour)

  • Awana starts up in about a week!

  • my husband steps in to some new responsibilities at church with our community outreach and tutoring program

  • and also starts his seminary course for this fall

  • women's Bible studies kick off in about two weeks

  • trying to figure out a new daily routine ~ where Noelle gets a little one-on-one time to do some pre-K and the others are into mischief

  • scheduling dentist appointments and dr. check-ups for some

  • trying to find the balance in the "want-to's" and the "need-to's" that make up my day

  • re-prioritizing a few things ... things that I want to do are getting the back burner because I spend too much time frittering away at other things. Changes need to be made.


And a fun picture, just because:

A Garden Girl (what she calls herself)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What's on Your Nightstand ::: August

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This month I stumbled upon a WONDERFUL treasure in the children's department of our local library ... Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson. I grew up with Anne as I know so many did. She was a kindred spirit of mine as soon as understood what the term meant and my books have been read ... and read ... and reread ... and I am thoroughly looking forward to presenting my 10-year-old niece with her own set of the books in the near future.



This book tells the story from the beginning. It starts at the marriage of Walter & Bertha Shirley (Anne's parents) and concludes as Anne is arriving at the station house at Bright River ready to step into the lives of Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. You meet Mrs. Thomas who took her from the first after her parents' deaths and also Mrs. Hammond (who had twins three times in succession!)

I enjoyed this book. I did have to remind myself that it was NOT written by L.M. Montgomery. It is missing that spark that is in an L.M. Montgomery book that makes it magical, whether you are reading about Anne, Jane of Lantern Hill, the Story Girl, or Emily of New Moon. That said, I think Ms. Wilson did a good job capturing the flavor of Anne's personality and spirit, so that makes the book very believable and enjoyable for me. If you are a kindred spirit of Anne Shirley and have not stumbled upon this book, I would encourage you to add it to your nightstand. I know I'll be looking to add my own copy to my home library shelves soon.

To find out what is on other nightstands around the blogworld, head on over to Five Minutes for Books!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook ::: August 25

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Do visit Peggy's to see all the other daybook posts this week!

FOR TODAY

Outside my Window ... steamy warm weather. Rain is in the forecast and I wouldn't be upset for a reason to hunker down inside with books and munchkins.

I am thinking ... that I have an enormous amount of printing this week to do for church.

I am thankful for ... the fact that my children all finally sleep through the night, consistently! This has been a loooong road, and there are exceptions, but I am getting at least 7 hours every night in a row for the first time in several years. It is good.

From the kitchen ... lunch was grilled cheese, applesauce and a few chips. Dinner tonight will be potato soup, I think.

I am creating ... lots of little forms / postcards / handouts for church. With everything kicking off for the Fall in the next two weeks, it's been busy.

I am going ... no where today. :)

I am wearing ... baby blue knit (athletic-y) pants and a white t-shirt. My mommy-uniform when I am going to be doing lots of cleaning and laundry.

I am reading ... The Bride Bargain, The Willoughbys, and rereading Elizabeth Foss' Education in the Heart of My Home.

I am hoping ... my friends Lauren and Christina have their babies very soon!

I am hearing ... the washing machine and dryer running.

Around the house ... major purging in the girls' room in the last week. My 2yo and 15mo have entirely toooooo many clothes. I will say - I do think that having several extra dresses in 2T/3T are very handy when potty-training. We do lots of dresses these days for N2 because she can manuever in the bathroom easier than with shorts or pants on. However, and don't think that I am not EXTREMELY thankful, we get LOTS of hand-me-downs, and I need to be more ruthless on just keeping what we need and not everything. Their room and clothes are already looking so much more manageable and cleaned out and I have a huge pile of wonderful little girl clothes to take to Goodwill.

One of my favorite things ... Mondays. Fresh week. Fresh plans. Fresh goals. And lots of clean laundry.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... Tomorrow is N1's first dance class of this year and she is EXCITED!!!! She is taking the 4/5yo ballet/jazz/tap class and is giddy with the thought of making loud noises on the floor with her new tap shoes. They are very loud. That is all I will say about that. We are also grabbing a quick bite on Wednesday night with some friends that are flying through town as they move to a new city and job. Thankful that they are coming this way. Those are the big weekly events - the family has been invited to a lakeside birthday party on Saturday; Travis and I also get to go out to dinner on Saturday sans munchkins. There are several couples in our church that all have August anniversaries so my sister organized a night for us all to go out to eat and celebrate our anniversaries together.

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

Backyardigan's Live thanks to Grandma!
My Mom (Grandma) with 4 of the 5 grandkids. E spent the afternoon with Grandpa while we all went and saw the Backyardigans Live show on Saturday!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Felicities ::: August 22

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Things that make me happy:

  • friends that are coming to town for a quick visit

  • buying new coloring books at the Dollar Store

  • sitting outside on the deck and reading and watching my munchkins play

  • Diet Coke!

  • a quick morning trip to the zoo

  • hearing my littlest one say "luuuuuu uuuuu" (love you)


Link up your Felicities over at Becky's!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Posting ... or a lack thereof

I've tried to start my Daybook entry several times this week, but just haven't had the time (or the focus) to get at it. Things have been hoppin' over here in our little world and not enough hours. :) So, of course this must be summarized by a bullet-point list.

  • potty-training. Still working on this with my #2 girl. Part of it is going really well and part ... not so much. However, the promise of a brand-new Dora nightgown has been revived and reminded and there has been renewed enthusiasm and effort. On tap today is to make a little chart for the wall so she and Daddy can check it off each evening. My girls are all about checking off the chart.

  • our women's Bible studies at church are kicking off in about 1 month so every free moment on the computer has been spent doing proofreading and layout design for one of the studies. (If you are a local and interested in an expository Bible study for women, I cannot speak highly enough about our women's coordinator. I would love to give you details about it!) This fall we are going to walk through 1 Peter. As I emailed our women's coordinator when I sent her back some proofs last night, it's not really fair that I get to see all these study sheets because now I wish our study started this week instead in another month - it's going to be good (and hard!) I am looking forward to the challenge ... once we get them all proofed, finalized and printed (the next project).

  • pre-K is still going well with N1. We hit a wall with our Olympic lapbook last week, but the beauty of homeschooling? We just left it there and have moved on! (It was a VERY cool lapbook, but the concepts - Olympic oath, the olive branch wreath the athletes wore - a bit much for her). This week is all about FARMS and very fun. We are reading farm books from the library and will hopefully go to the zoo on Friday and visit the farm there (if we aren't rained out). We've also started our first chapter book, Farmer Boy, and the girls play and draw while I read.


Anyway, there's more, but I have about 30 minutes before the girls are out of their beds (I've put a clock in their room and they are to stay in their bed until they see the "7" - a huge help to me!) Back to work before they appear and hopefully I'll be checking back in soon. :)

Thursday Thirteen



Thirteen things that are in this pile on my desk...

  • a cookbook that I bought at the library sale today - "Our Favorite Casseroles - Favorites from Home Economic Teachers." How cool does this sound??

  • a postcard from Lee Company saying that it's time for our bi-annual a/c / heating service call. (Didn't we just do this?)

  • Isolation by Travis Thrasher ... to review.

  • a sales flyer from Joann's

  • a free issue of Memory Makers that came in the mail today

  • postcards for our church's 20th anniversary homecoming celebration that need to go in the mail this week.

  • an old picture of the girls

  • old letters that I cleaned out of a cedar chest.

  • two cards that I received from students when I worked at an elementary school. I need to scan them in and share them ... they are precious to me. :)

  • graduation cards that I *blushes* never sent.

  • the Managers of Their Home book ... I've read this. Now I just need to put some of it in practice.

  • E's birth certificate info that I need to put back in her file.

  • Look at that! There were only twelve "catagories" of things in that pile. Better than I expected. :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Big Words

One of those all important words and getting it on video for the first time. :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Felicities ::: August 15

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Things that make me happy...

  • coffee (and I notice this is a staple on many a Friday Felicity list!) :)

  • staying home all day on a Friday and just being

  • organizing and shuffling to make things work better

  • a plan for doing Bible consistently (and making it fun) for my big girl

  • writing with pen and paper

  • my job for my church - it's been busy this week and will probably stay that way for several months with new projects and events, but I love it


Link up over at Becky's and tell us what makes YOU happy today. :)

Adding This ....

to today's Friday Felicities list:



Today's lunch - homemade humus, pita bread and apple slices. Yum and double yum. :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Little Bits

Yesterday we had our outing to visit the Bicentennial Mall in downtown Nashville. While the fountains that we were expecting to frolic and splash in were broken, the girls were still able to get sufficiently wet to make it a satisfactory trip.

Bicentennial Mall

Betsy Boo wasn't sure about venturing into the water alone ... sitting on the side was exciting enough if she didn't have big sisters to hang on to.

Bicentennial Mall ::: Cautious

Bicentennial Mall

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

A few Natalie quotes ... she has been quite funny of late. The vocabulary is expanding and, I think, because she is talking earlier and clearer than Noelle was at this age, it's even more hilarious to see how her two-year old mind works. For example:

Me: Natalie, do you want to take a nap with me?
Natalie: No, you go take a nap with your ownself.

Me: Natalie, you are being whiny like a baby.
Natalie: No (while whining) I whining like a Nah-nee*.

The other day she and I were reading a story together that she picked out: "Seeping Bootie and da Feery Dogmudders".

And lastly ... you know that knock knock joke where the child says banana over and over (and over and over) until they finally get to the one where they say "orange you glad I stopped saying banana"? That is favorite in our house right now. (Over and over and over and over...) Anyway, Natalie's version of it is as follows:

Natalie: Knock knock
Me: Who's there?
Natalie: Orange juice
Me: Orange juice who?
Natalie: I just going to drink it! :)

*Nah-nee = Natalie-ese for Natalie :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook ::: August 11

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Do visit Peggy's to see all the other daybook posts this week!

FOR TODAY

Outside my Window ... we just came inside from enjoying some UNBELIEVABLE Tennessee weather for August. It's 83° with no humidity. Perfectly lovely.

I am thinking ... that although life is busy, I love my life and am very blessed. :)

I am thankful for ... bedtimes - mine and my girls'. :)

From the kitchen ... crockpot Mexican lasagna is ready to serve, along with a salad and some watermelon. I'm hungry!

I am creating ... a less cluttered home. :) We went through toys today and have a huge box that we cleaned out.

I am going ... no where today. Monday is home and laundry day and that's just what we (along with the aforementioned toy purging).

I am wearing ... pink knit pants and a white t-shirt.

I am reading ... No Other Gods by Kelly Minter, still plugging away (on week 5 now). And, I'm rereading A New Song by Jan Karon. Also picked up The Creative Family by Amanda Soule. Inspiring. Wonderful. And I'm only about 1/3 of the way through.

I am hoping ... to make some headway on a few church projects this week. I just need to jump in and start working.

I am hearing ... the squealing of my girls because Daddy! is! home!

Around the house ... need to do a final pick-up for the day and get jammies on the munchkins. But, with a box load of toys gone - it looks good!

One of my favorite things ... the Olympics. I don't really follow sports, but I am loving watching a little Olympics in the evenings.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... tomorrow is errand day for us (pick up paper for church and maybe take the girls for a run in the splash fountains at the Bicentennial Mall). Otherwise, other than maybe a mid-week library and grocery run, we don't need to get out much this week! So our plans? Home, enjoying this beautiful weather, Olympics, reading, etc.

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

Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Felicities ::: August 8

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Things that make me happy...

  • Dunkin' Donuts coffee (my husband bought me the BIG bag at Sam's for an anniversary treat!)

  • fun mail

  • finding old senior pictures of my friends in my desk ... and deciding what to do with them ;)

  • sugar snap peas

  • watching the Olympics tonight (and looking forward to showing Noelle some of the gymnastics in the next couple of weeks ... I think she will LOVE it)

  • making some new goals (and seeing where I have come ~ or not come! ~ from this one and this one)

  • pandas ... they are just cool and we have learned a lot about them this week!



For more Friday Felicities, link up over at Becky's.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Artwork



N1: Daddy, do you know what this is a picture of?

Daddy: Is it the ocean?

N1: Nooooooo! (incredulously!) It's me outside in the backyard in the rainstorm standing with my umbrella for 20 minutes.

Daddy: Ah. I see!

Quirky Me

Here are the rules:
*Link the person who tagged you.
*Mention the rules in your blog.
*Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours.
*Tag a new set of six following bloggers by linking them.

Michelle tagged me for this one a forever-long time ago and I'm finally getting to it. :)

Six quirks about me....

1. I am not terribly squeamish when it comes to treating injuries. Now, watching something get eaten (a la Animal Planet) or someone blown up (a la 24) is an entirely different story.

2. I am an expert in removing splinters. Most of the time I can get the splinter out without tears ... well, on children other than my own. Mine think I am going to sever their hand with a straight pin.

3. I have no feeling on my stomach. I *think* a nerve was clipped during one of my c-sections, but who knows. All I know is that I can touch my stomach and not feel it. Eew. That icks me out sometimes.

4. I love having popcorn in the evening after the girls go to bed. And, we make it on the stove top. And we use this popcorn salt. We buy popcorn kernels in 50 lb. bags from Sam's. I can't go back to microwave popcorn. I am spoiled.

5. I have Safari, Internet Explorer, and Firefox on my computer. Why three browsers? I don't know. Right now, Safari is my favorite. It just has that sleek Mac look. (I like the sleek Mac look, but I am a PC girl at heart).

6. I really really REALLY wanted to buy this a few months ago. It was one of the rare moments where I wished I had a little boy so that I could justify my purchase. I mean, COME ON ... Taters of the Lost Ark! It doesn't get any better than this. :) (Oh, and if we ever have a boy, I am going to buy him this and tons of these.) I just don't think my girly-girls would appreciate it quite the same!

I am going to pass on tagging anyone since I think I'm the last to get to this. However, if you want to have at, feel free! And let me know so I can come see your list. :)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Lesson Plans ::: China

This week we are tackling the giant country of China in our school work! With the Olympics starting on Friday, I had planned to do a combined China/Olympic week, but there is (obviously) a lot one can do with even just a pre-K overview of China. :) Our week is going to touch on the following items:

  • mark China on our world map

  • look at China's flag, comparing it to the US flag

  • look at Noelle's name in Chinese as well as the Chinese numbers

  • talk about the panda! We are going to work our way through this lapbook on the panda.

  • we also have this neat magazine to read together, and it will hold many of the answers we need to construct our lapbook. Coincidence? I think not. ;)

  • for our snack and craft on Thursday, we are going to try panda pita pockets. I personally doubt pandas eat this, but it certainly looks yummy!

  • watch the San Diego Zoo panda cam.

  • listen to Chinese music. (We actually have a CD of a Chinese choir here at home so we'll dust that off, but you can find videos of Chinese music on youtube.

  • dinner on Friday will be Chinese! We'll have fried rice, egg rolls, and lo mein noodles; I've also bought a few fortune cookies and some chinese egg noodles for them to try. Then we will watch some of the Olympic opening ceremonies on TV.


I'm very excited about this week! Along with our China activities, we are steadily working through our math workbook and winding up Explode the Code (finished off "y" and started "v" this week.)

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook ::: August 4

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Do visit Peggy's to see all the other daybook posts this week!

FOR TODAY

Outside my Window ... just a hot Tennessee afternoon.

I am thinking ... that this weekend was very, very fun. Lots of relaxing, talking, hanging out.

I am thankful for ... how well potty-training is going with N2. We went and only bought diapers for one little girl this weekend!

From the kitchen ... dinner tonight is upside down pizza. I'm also thinking about making a batch of chex mix in the crockpot for the munchkins (and me!) to snack on this week).

I am creating ... goodies bags for a birthday we will be celebrating a few weeks (early October, actually). But I had an idea that I wanted to try out so I'm going to get started on those this week hopefully. :)

I am going ... grocery shopping (well, this morning I did). Now we are in for the day! Hopefully the next stop out will be E's 15 months appointment on Wednesday.

I am wearing ... knee-length denim skirt and pink t-shirt.

I am reading ... No Other Gods by Kelly Minter, still plugging away. And, I'm rereading a Mitford book right now. I needed something familiar.

I am hoping ... a friend is on the road to recovery.

I am hearing ... silence. It is rest time.

Around the house ... laundry and more laundry today! Must clean out the girls' overnight bags and put everything away from the weekend.

One of my favorite things ... iced tea. Yum. The official summertime drink.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... we are starting our weekly "unit" on China this week. (I was going to do a combined Olympics/China week, but decided to spread it out over two weeks so this is the China part). We have a dr. appointment for E on Wednesday (15 month check-up), but other than that, no big plans out of the house. I'm looking forward to the opening ceremonies of the Olympics on Friday night and we are going to eat a special Chinese dinner here at the house while we watch. Well, I'm optimistic that we will have a Chinese dinner. It could be that some of us eat Chinese and N1 some of us have chicken nuggets. :)

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

Shepherd Day Camp ::: Zoo

I can't remember if I've shared this, but if so, I still love it. :)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday Felicities ::: August 1

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How is it August already?? Starting the month off with a few things that are making me happy. :)

  • celebrating my anniversary this weekend (six years) :)

  • with my husband (of course!)

  • without my children

  • getting to sleep all. night. long. two nights in a row

  • eating out at places that don't specialize in chicken fingers

  • maybe going to a movie

  • talking, planning and dreaming together


For more Felicities or to link up your own, head over to Becky's. :)

Shepherd Fish Fry ::: How-To

Several asked after this post for our fish fry recipe ... it is soooo easy! We don't even have one of those fancy deep fryers. We just use a tall pot (like a stock pot) and put about 3+ inches of oil at the bottom of it. (We used regular vegetable oil). For your batter, all you need is pancake batter and 7-Up. That's it! Buy a box of Bisquick and dump a couple cups into a bowl. Slowly add your 7-Up until it's a nice consistency. You don't want it too thick, and you don't want it too thin (so that it runs off your fish as you dip it). It's hard to explain ... next time we cook up fish I'll try and remember to take a picture a la Pioneer Woman. LOL I can tell you that it looks thinner than regular pancake batter would look. Then, you drop them gently in your hot oil (and the oil needs to be good and hot!) until they are a golden brown. Pull them out and let them drain on a paper towel to remove the excess grease. A note: when you are frying your fish, don't put too many in at one time - we probably cook 5-6 pieces at a time. Otherwise, they will lay on top of each other and start sticking to the bottom of your pan or each other. Then it's just a mess to get them out and to clean your pan later. Less is more in this case. :) (Oh, the hush puppies were just a bag mix from Martha White ... bought at Walmart. If you are frying fish, hush puppies are a must!)

Anyway, that's our secret batter recipe in a nutshell. My Dad got this recipe many, many years ago from a friend that worked in the meat industry. At the time, this was the way that Captain D's prepared all their fried fish. I don't know if that's changed, but it is our family's recipe and VERY tasty as you can see from this crazy girl below. :)

Shepherd Fish Fry ::: Middle Munchkin

ScrapHappy ::: A Recent 30-Minute Thursday Challenge

DSC_8554pp

The challenge: scrap your favorite song. This is a song that I've been wanting to scrap ever since Travis played it for me ... all about Daddy's and daughters. Written out here with a picture of him with each of his girls from our summer vacation.

If you leap awake
In the mirror of a bad dream
And for a fraction of a second
You can't remember where you are
Just open your window
And follow your memory upstream
To the meadow in the mountain
Where we counted every falling star


I believe the light that shines on you
Will shine on you forever
And though I can't guarantee
There's nothing scary hiding under your bed
I’m gonna stand guard
Like a postcard of a Golden Retriever
And never leave till I leave you
With a sweet dream in your head


Trust your intuition
It's just like going fishing
You cast your line
And hope you'll get a bite
But you don't need to waste your time
Worrying about the market place
Try to help the human race
Struggling to survive its harshest night


I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you'll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you