Tuesday, December 29, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things....

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

One of my favorite movies growing up was The Sound of Music. I would watch it even though my brothers would go around making gagging sounds. (They did the same thing when I watched Days of Our Lives later in life.) I have often wondered throughout the years why one of the songs from The Sound of Music was and is a popular Christmas song. I haven't ever complained because it brings back fond memories. I have often used the tune to sing about my favorite things to my children and about their favorite things as well. This Christmas I am thankful for these favorite things...

Free ballet tickets from a wonderful friend!
A beautiful sister that was willing to go with me and spend the day together.
Having a crazy bout of insanity and getting a dog that will eventually probably be bigger than me. She is a german shepherd, boxer mix. We love her!
Getting a huge snowstorm, and going out shopping during it.
My sweet Noah boy. This child keeps me happy.
Mister Zane. His smile melts me.
Ceci and Stevie and their tongues. Both of these girls give me great joy.
Baxter, my helper and enforcer. It's not easy having a child taller than you!
My Mom and Dad. I am so glad that they live close to us and share in our lives.
My sister again. I look up to her example in all areas of her life. She is SUPER!
My lovely husband Steve and my brother-in-law Lincoln. They are both silly and serious and seriously .......
The kids all having fun with McKay.

I have loved my holiday season. Spending time with family and friends, cleaning, cooking, eating and vegging has been wonderful and has definitely kept me from getting sad!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I feel like I have been very blessed over this Thanksgiving Holiday.
Wednesday: Baxter, Ceci, Zane and Noah cleaned their rooms. Stevie tried but didn't get very far. Steve stopped on his way home from work and picked up Mckay our nephew. The kids played and had lots of fun. Steve and I made 2 pumpkin pies, 1 apple pie, and jello dessert and rolls. Steve then made the kids go to bed around 10:30 since they were going the "turkey bowl" football game in the morning. Stevie, Zane, Noah and Mckay giggled and giggled and giggled. I was in bed listening with a smile on my face. It was just so cute!!!
Thursday: I got up early and made the family pancakes. Mom was shocked when I came over around 8am to get the smoked pork to put in the oven. I think she thinks I like to sleep all day!!! I later made stuffing and was ready for Thanksgiving. What a wonderful day! The food was great, painting toenails was fun and felt really good, watching and helping everyone make gingerbread houses was enjoying, and the evening was topped off by singing Christmas carols. Absolutely the best!!!!
Friday: I think I read two books and didn't do much else.
Saturday: Steve and I intervened and cleaned Stevie's room. She wasn't allowed in and we threw lots of junk away. Hopefully, she will never miss it. Ceci talked me into going to the library since she had been blocked from their site for owing $10.00. She even paid the fine herself. She must not want me to include it in her birthday presents this year. (last year I paid a $27 fine for her b-day) I of course returned the three books I had checked out a couple days previous and checked out some more. Read until late-ish. Finally decided that I had better start thinking about school again :( Corrected papers for about 1 1/2 hours.
Sunday: I was a very bad girl and stayed home from church because I had soooooo many papers to correct. I have been correcting them for about 5 hours. I am sick of it!!!!!!

As you can see I was able to relax for most of my break and was also able to recoup from being sick with a sinus infection. I think I'm going to be able to go back to school tomorrow feeling rested and caught up and feeling better. Yeah:)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Just because

I just wanted to post this picture because I liked it. Noah is being kinda silly but it isn't often they will sit that close and enjoy it. I love it when they are getting along. It's one of those things that I pray for often. LOOK FURTHER--THERE ARE TWO NEW POST BELOW THIS ONE TOOOOO!

Derby Car Event and Cake Auction

Noah wanted to make an aircraft carrier, but caved in and let me talk him into an easier cake. Boy was I glad and Noah was actually able to make this one virtually by himself. If you can't tell it is a Monster Truck Madness cake. It took to cake mixes-one yellow and one chocolate mixed to make them both marble cake. I shop sales and they only had one chocolate mix left on the shelf--I walked through the whole store looking for an endcap with another but to no avail. So the marble cake just had to happen. We then made my yummy homemade chocolate frosting and covered it with graham cracker crust crumbs. Noah and Stevie really enjoyed breaking up the graham crackers with the rolling pin in a bag, adding the sugar and butter and throwing it on the cake as dirt. Little boys loved the cake. The winners paid $25.00 for it. Cakes weren't going for as much this year, but we were still happy.
This is Noah's sling-shot car. Boy was it ever fasssssttttt.
Stevie's steamboat car. It weighed 8 lbs. Being heavy didn't seem to make it any faster than a regular car. She really enjoyed helping make it, but refused to race it. Stevie made her brothers to that. She was afraid it would hurt someone.
Baxter heading up up the track together.
Zane showing off his braces. Gotta love that smile.

Holy Cow--It's a Slug!

We just had to take a picture of this slug that we found in our yard. There is a story behind it, of course. While Grandpa and the kids were out working on cutting up the trees they came across a small snake hiding in the trees. The snake was pointed out to Stevie and she refused to believe it was a snake. She kept insisting that it was a slug. Everyone out there thought she was a nut!!! Steve later told me that while working on the tree house that they had seen a really big slug and that he could perhaps understand her confusion. Well I still didn't really believe in huge slugs--I'd only seen the Utah variety I guess. So when working outside and running across this critter, we had to take a picture to show off. Stevie was quite happy to prove to us all that slugs can indeed be as big as a little snake. HERE HE COMES!!!
Look at the size of this critter. He was about five inches in length. Quite gross huh!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Couldn't sleep

I got up this morning at 4:20am. I couldn't sleep. I went upstairs and did the two day old dishes, they were beginning to stink. I don't understand why when I am so busy that five children can't smell them and take pity and do them. Then I came downstairs and turned on Steve's computer, he left this morning for Jeffersonville, IN and so now I can use his computer whenever I want without comments about me having one, why do I need to use his. Anyway, I went through my normal routine of checking my three emails. Not much there, amazing how much more junk email you can get than junk mail in the mailbox these days. I then checked out the blogs and was happy to see a new posting. I have loved seeing Becky and Mary Jo's holiday pictures and notations. I also checked out a couple friends blogs and got really excited about Shelly's square foot gardening. Steve and I gardened like that the last couple of years that we were gardening in Utah. Loved it. Tina, you and I should talk about it!! I then went and looked to see what my brother-in-law Lincoln has been up to. I must say that I have always appreciated Lincoln's positive spin on life. I need to be more like him! Now I need to go weigh myself to see if I lost any weight yesterday, and take a shower. I was going to exercise, but the blogging won out. Zane and I need to leave by 7:30am because he has Starbase Atlantis camp this week about 45 minutes away. I will then stay down there and work on my "stupid" research paper until 3:oopm when I go pick him up to bring him home. Luckily the paper is due Friday--so it has to be done and gone, yeah!!! Thanks to all those that are making these days possible: Tina, for taking Stevie and Ceci even though she has a foreign exchange student coming. Mom and Dad, for watching Noah and letting me use their printer since I have used up all the ink in mine. Baxter, for going on the bike trip. Steve, for going to Jeffersonville. I feel so blessed--I LOVE YOU ALL!!! Well hopefully you don't mind my rambling, I enjoyed it!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Some of my favorite things about Summer

I love walking out onto my front porch and seeing these beautiful hibiscus trees.  I bought them at either a Amish or Menonite nursery earlier this summer.  I was attracted to their braided trunks and big beautiful flowers.  The only one that was bloomed out when I bought it was the pink one.  I bought the others hoping to have three different colors.
Stevie is standing by the red one.  This one doesn't have a braided trunk, but I still liked it.  You can see how big the flowers actually are with Stevie standing there.  I was so excited to see two blossoms at the same time on one plant.
Lovely isn't it?
Finally my favorite!  I was blessed with a bright yellow.  This one really makes me happy.  The touch and orange in the middle is precious.  I don't know how many of you remember that my bedroom was yellow as I was growing up, buttercup yellow.  I loved it.  I am trying to decide which room in my house I can paint yellow?
This is a leaf of my elephant ear hosta.  This baby measures about 16x20.  It is huge.  I love it.  We all love watching this plant grow.  I was so upset when a horrible storm tore off it's biggest leaf.  Within a week this new even bigger leaf replaced it.  The heavens are shining down.  It also helps that Dad has put in a drip system to water most of my plants.  (My dad the life saver--not only for  the plants lives, but for mine as well.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Things I hate about May

May is not my favorite month. Yes, the countdown for the end of school starts but so does the countdown for many other things as well.
At School
1. Dibles testing on all of the children.
2. MMSR's (Maryland Model of School Readiness, we get money. Do I ever see any of it???) on all of the children (online, by hand, and on a spreadsheet)
3. Classroom supply order for next year when you aren't even sure if you'll be teaching the same grade. I get a big whopping $250 for the entire year.
4. Grades.
5. Comments on said grades all to be positive and feel goodish.
6. PTD (Primary Talent Development) folders for each child.
7. Fill out cumulative folders on each child.
8. Stay after school M, T, and Friday for the next two weeks until I am done.
9. This is only May, still have to take down my room and clean it in June. Yuck!

For Masters
1. Start next class on Wed. This is the one that will be every night for three weeks in June.
2. Write 12-15 pages on my research paper.
3. research some more
4. read tons
5. Stay after school and work weekends on it all until I am done.


We will all be happy if I retain my sanity and my hair and my jolly good attitude.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Okay, so you all put me to shame every blasted week as you post and post and post.  I read them, I laugh, I cry.  What I am basically saying is that they keep me going.  I can't get up in the morning or go to bed in the evening without checking to see if someone else has posted.  I LOVE it!!!  I feel bad for not posting and wait until some event happens in our lives that prods me into it.  Steve has always told me that I don't like to make decisions or state my opinions and so I have used that as an excuse to not post.  Well let me tell you he's right!!!  I don't like to make decisions about where we are going to go or when we will leave.  I don't!  I also kinda of  don't like to state my opinion because I just hate contention.  So I guess I need to get over it and untie my hands and let er rip.  I'm not sure I can do it, but I'll try.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sailing through

Mom and Dad in Tina's room during the recovery process.
Tina in her room after "sailing through" surgery. Tina went in for surgery this morning at 7:30 am. Mom, Dad, and I waited in the waiting room with baited breath until 12:20 when they let us know that she was in recovery. We could finally breath normally again. Her surgeon came out and let us know that everything went really well.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I'm so excited

Ya know the song, "I'm so excited, I just can't hide it, la la la la la la la laaaa lllllaaa." Well, I am excited. Steve called me that other day from work and told me that his work his sending him to Puerto Rico. He asked if I would like to come along. I said, "Absolutely!!!" We can use this trip to celebrate the fact that I will be done with my masters..... I am way excited!!!! We will be going in August right before school is back in session.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Zane is now an 11 year old scout

Zane's Crossing Over Ceremony: Zane was shaking like a leaf thinking that he may fall off that dangerous bridge. Zane is sure happy to now be an eleven year old scout. He has a really good leader and the boys are really nice. He seems to be excited to go.
Zane's Arrow of Light Ceremony: This was so cool! These boys den leader started playing an Indian type song on his flute. They boys came in very solemn and slowly taking the whole thing very seriously. They then called Zane up and each of them spoke to him and gave him advice. It gave me the tingles. They then awarded him his Arrow of Light. The boys especially liked the animal hats that they were wearing!
After the two ceremonies, Zane left to go swimming with the 11 year old scouts and the younger scouts, Noah included, went geo-caching with Steve. They were searching for a container full of candy. They were happy to find it and pig out!!

Pinewood Derby

Noah wanted his car to look like a Hershey's chocolate bar. He and Steve cut the car in halfish lengthwise and then cut 10 small rectangle pieces. Noah then sanded them all so that they were roundish. He then glued them to the top and spray painted it all a lovely shade of brown. He then modge-podged a wrapper and foil from a king size special dark candy bar onto it. It looked really nice. Everyone at the derby loved it.
Zane wanted his car to look like a wing from the side. I should have taken a picture from that view, but didn't. He and Steve cut it to Zane's specifications and then Zane sanded it down. He then sprayed it with a stupendous shade of orange. (I really like it!) He wanted the top to be "cool" so he and Steve found this wallpaper on the computer and printed it. They then modge-podged it onto the car. Everyone loved his car too and were amazed how he got the design.
The cars closer up.
Stevie waiting patiently for cars to come down the track. We are so glad we went and enjoyed ourselves immensely. Our cars didn't win first or even second, or even third this year, but the boys just really didn't seem to mind. They had fun anyway!!! I wish I had taken a picture of the dessert we took. It was a popcorn cake. Noah found the recipe in one of the kids cookbooks that I have. He popped the 16 cups of popcorn that the recipe calls for. He then proceeded with the recipe, not thinking to take out the uncooked kernals. His popcorn cake was a landmine. You never knew when or if you were going to lose a tooth. We decided that we had probably better leave it home. Zane went into the kitchen and made another popcorn cake and learned from the former mistake and took out all the uglies. We took his cake to the derby and everyone gobbled it up. They were both yummy!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

My men got home from the winter freeze out last night. Steve and the younger boys were exhausted. Baxter seemed just fine and probably could have gone again. I worried about them the whole time they were gone because I knew that they were hiking into their site at night and it was suppose to be snowing and also having freezing rain. I was also worried because I know that even though Steve has always loved to hike that he is getting older, is out of shape and his knees and feet bother him. I kept telling them last night that it was a character building activity. My two younger boys learned that they could do something that was really hard for them. They hopefully also learned that when they don't feel like they can go any further and that they have done their best that their load will be lightened so that they can finish. (Steve and Dan B. took part of their load) But ya'll understand what I'm alluding to. Hopefully they also realized that even though their dad knew he would be in considerable pain when he got home that he was willing to go with them because he loves them. They all probably really went for the paintballing in the mountains. Sounds like they really enjoyed that. By the time they hiked down off the mountain they were completely covered with freezing rain. (Boy am I glad I wasn't there.) All things considered I think it was a good experience all around.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's Over

It has been the best of times, and I can't bring myself to say the worst of times, but they haven't all been the best. We have had a nice relaxing break, but I must admit that I am somewhat pleased that we will be going back to school tomorrow.
PRO: I am ready to go back to school and have the children listen to me and behave without threats of hot sauce or death.
PRO: It will be nice to have my children go to bed on time and get up early again.
CON: I am however not looking forward to packing lunches every blessed morning. It wouldn't be so bad but not all of my children will eat sandwiches, mainly Ceci, so I have fallen into the trap of making her and Baxter and occasionally Noah wraps and Zane and Stevie sandwiches. I know I made my bed, but sometimes I still find it uncomfortable. Then I have to deal with remembering who likes what in regards to fruit and snacks. WHAT A PAIN!!! But I guess it is worth is when I FEEL like I am saving money.
PRO and CON: I will miss Stevie and her shiny self, but will enjoy being able to go to the bathroom without a visitor, and enjoy some alone time without 20 questions popping up all day long.
PRO: I will be able to use my computer at school without having to fight a child to get off of it.
CON: Homework will start up again. Me sending it home and my children receiving it.
PRO: I will hear the children start to practice the piano again. I really do enjoy this, I am not just saying it.
It is a good thing that we experience change in life so that we can appreciate all that we have. I love and am very grateful for my home life and I am also very grateful and love what I do at school too. It may seem like a double edged sword at times but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Slight flashback

A couple of days ago my kids started talking about movies that they really liked when they were younger. They mentioned Free Willy 1-3, Hercules, Beauty and the Beast, Independance Day, Saturday's Warriors etc... Stevie and Noah had very little if any recollection of these movies so the kids crawled under the stairs and pulled out the four or five boxes of VHS movies that have be stored under there forever. They also pulled out the VHS machine and hooked it all up. Our family room looked like a tornado had hit it. It reminding me of when Baxter used to pull out all of our videos and build with them and makes roads etc.. (I think he was around 2) Anyway, Stevie and Noah got to experience all of the movies that the older kids had been mentioning. All the kids enjoyed listening to the tapes rewind, kind of a lost sound. Now Stevie is as hooked on Free Willy as the other kids were years ago. I don't know if Steven and I can go through another Free Willy phase as the first one almost killed us but we will endure. Hopefully the videos will find their way back under the stairs before long and life will get back to normal.