September 25, 2009

Wildlife Refuge

We went on a field trip with the homeschool group to the Sand Lake Wildlife Refuge today. It was rainy, so that was kind of a downer, but the kids didn't seem to care. We went on a nature hike and checked out the scenery. We didn't see a whole lot of wildlife, due to the rain, but we did see a few things...here's some pics of our day:

On the trail....This is a huge watch tower...I'm not sure how high it is, but believe me...it's up there!!
Anyway, the guide said we could climb up as high as we wanted and of course Sophia would have gone to the top if I would have let her, but I got freaked out after one flight...hey, it was slippery, those steps were wooden and old-looking....
but Noah on the other hand...he was up to the very top in no time!! I was so impressed. No one else in our group made it to the top except for two other 13-year-olds and the guide!
Way to go Noah!!

Here's Sophia taking a toad from me. She's no prissy girl, that's for sure!

Fun Day!

Stocking Up

I've never canned before, but with an overabundance of tomatoes, I thought I'd give it a shot. I had already made a huge batch of salsa and spaghetti sauce. The salsa, of course, got eaten right away, but I did freeze the spaghetti sauce. So it did get me into the "store-up-your-food-for-the-long-winter" mood. Squirrels feel like this, I'm sure?? Mom gave me the "easy" directions for canning my own tomatoes and I went for it! I must say...it was a lot of fun! Yes readers, I'm very easily amused, but you should try it!
Step 1: Drop your clean tomatoes in HOT water.

Step 2: When the tomatoes get really hot, their peels will pretty much just fall off...peel them.

Step 3: Put the peeled tomatoes in clean, hot jars. Sprinkle a little salt on top of tomatoes.
Step 4: Submerge in simmering water for about 45 minutes. When you take them out of the water, they won't be sealed, but as they cool they will seal and it makes this cute little *pop* sound!!

Step 5: Stand back and admire your domestic endeavor....
then take pictures and blog about it! ;)

September 23, 2009

The Hiding Place

This is Ms. Corrie Ten Boom...and her story is amazing. I just finished reading "The Hiding Place." I've always been intrigued by WWII stories, but this book is her testament to surviving the Holocaust and the story is incredible. She wasn't Jewish, she just wanted to help save them. She helped so many and there was so much activity around her house, she was found out by the Gestapo, and her and her whole family were sent to concentration camps.
I won't tell you what happens, but she obviously survives and lived on to help thousands of prison survivors.
Here's the thing about her that's truly amazing, though. She completely and totally trusted God throughout her whole ordeal. Through fleas, lice, beatings, solitary confinement, sickness, you name it, she was constantly believing that God was using this horrible situation to His glory. And she smuggled her Bible into the camps and her and her sister lead tons of other prisoners to the Lord.
Here's what she said:
"Lord, because I do not have the answers to these things I do not therefore conclude that there are no answers. You know why, Lord, and when I am strong enough-wise enough, loving enough-you will show me, too."

Also, when she was later asked why she prays so much for patience and shouldn't God's gifts to us last forever, this is what she said:

"Oh no!" If we could store up love and understanding and self-control, she said, we would stop turning to God. "He wants us to draw our supply fresh from him each day."
If you haven't read her book, do!! You'll bawl your eyes out...I'm sure of it, but it's also very inspiring. It makes you realize I need to give thanks even when I'm not happy! She gave thanks for fleas! I'm not kidding...when you read it you'll see!

September 22, 2009

Fall Has Arrived!!

Fall is here, everyone!! I love fall!! It's my favorite season...although I do love something about all the seasons. I'm sure I'll catch some more shots of the season as the leaves change, but this this my vines on the front of the house just starting to change. It just couldn't be more beautiful!
Here's what I love about Autumn:
*The smell in the air
*Pumpkins
*Changing leaves
*The smell of cider
*Making apple butter
*Nature...it's so amazing watching the plants and animals get ready for winter, like how do they know what to do? It's too cool...God is so much smarter than me :)
I had Noah write a poem for the first day of Fall for his language arts today. He assured me it was very hard to find words that rhyme when you're trying to write about one thing. So I told him that not all poems had to rhyme, so that's what he went with.
Here it goes:

My Fall Poem
by Noah
In the fall
the leaves come tumbling down.
Some kids frown
because they wish it was summer.
There you go...I guess he did rhyme a little :) Pretty good for his first poem.
Have a wonderful fall, y'all!!



September 21, 2009

Happy Birthday to You!!

Tessa's turning 23!! Happy Birthday, Sista! I hope you're having a great day. It was fun to get together with you last night for dinner...oh, the crazy celebration!!
Wishing you a wonderful 23rd...I love you and I pray for blessings all over the place for you!!
Love Ya!! XOXO



September 18, 2009

Random Conversations with Jack II

This morning....

Jack (shivering in the kitchen waiting for breakfast): Mom, I'm too cold! I've got Moose Lumps!

Me: LOL!!

Jack: Well, not really Moose Lumps, just Lumps with cold on them!!

{Even though he was saying this with a super-whiny voice, I couldn't help but laugh my head off!!! Oooh, Jack...I love you, sweetie-pie!}



September 16, 2009

Dang It!!!!

Monday...a normal day...the kids are settled down for the afternoon, I am unusually tired, so I'm going to get a few quick chores done before I take a 20 minute cat-nap. Dishes...check. Garbage out...check. Oh, what was that?? A pan of uncut Rice Krispie bars? Oh, I better get those cut up real quick and have maybe a sliver of one :) Well, the lovely ceramic pan that they were in had a small crack in it (unbeknownst to me, of course) and as I'm cutting away with my left hand, steadying the pan with my right, the corner busts off and my hand drags across the break, slicing my finger...not good!! After trying to get the dumb thing to quit bleeding for two hours, I realized I couldn't lie to myself anymore...I needed stitches! I HATE stuff like this!! Not that anyone would enjoy it, but four stitches later...here I was...tired and cut! :( Dang it!!




September 12, 2009

Camping Out

This post is a little outdated, but I wanted to share it anyway. Last Sunday night, Jarrod and the boys did a little camping. They didn't do anything too crazy...they just went to the backyard! They set up the tent and we made a fire and did the roasting of wienies and marshmallows. It was all good fun. The boys actually slept great out there. I expected to see them emerge around 6 am, but they slept till 8! Jarrod was a little tired from sleeping in between two little roller-arounders, but they had a great time! Now of course they want to do it again this weekend!

Ready for night-night...
Jack-O...




September 10, 2009

First Field Trip

Last Friday, the kids and I went on our first field trip of the year! We went to Watertown to the Goss Opera House and Museum where they have a great King Tut display. It's a display of all the treasures found in the tomb of King Tut in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. They are actually not the real artifacts, but pretty darn close replicas. This display travels around the country. They used to let different museums around the world take the real artifacts and display them, but too many of them were getting damaged in transit, so they keep them in Egypt now. King Tut was really interesting...his father was Pharaoh and one of the only Pharaohs that believed in one God, but the people really didn't like that. Tut became Pharaoh at age nine and was killed at age 18. Really sad, but really common! This was the "coffin" for his organs...liver, intestines,etc. They carried in this box in the funeral procession.
Those little ladies on the sides are goddesses protecting it.
This is what his throne looked like...and right behind Jack's head is his royal septor!! Very cool!
After the museum, we got lunch and went to the zoo. Here's my little eaglets in an eagle's nest :)
It was a great day (besides Sophia's severe crabbiness on the way home due to no nap!)...we had a lot of fun! Many more field trip posts to come!!



September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jarrod!!

It's Jarrod's birthday!! Happy Day, Man of Mine! You never want to make a big deal of your birthdays, but it is sooo something to celebrate! God put you here 28 years ago so you could be the wonderful husband, daddy, son, son-in-law, uncle, brother, brother-in-law, cousin, grandson that you are! You are such a blessing to all of us!
Thank you for all your hard work and your long hours to support your family...thank you for loving and supporting me in all my endeavors... thank you for being firm, yet loving with our three bebes, so they will know how to someday be independent, functioning adults...
We love you...we love you...we love you!!
Happy Birthday, love!

PS: I'm off to make your favorite...pecan pie!!


September 3, 2009

Shabbin' It Up

Ok, so I just have to share with those of you who may not know that I love, love, LOVE to go searching for old pieces of furniture and transform it into something totally shab-i-licious. Just the other day I went antiquing on my bday and we ended up finding some great stuff!


Here's a picture of all my great finds that day.....


Sophia isn't in a "big girl" bed yet, but she'll soon be graduating to one and when she does, I plan on sprucing up her nursery into a totally shabby chic, little girl haven! I love the Shabby Chic line at Target, and I did buy her some sheets already, but as I was shopping I was looking for some really cute pieces to make it really cute. I found an adorable iron bed for $35!! Can't beat that! And then as we were about to leave, Mom found this dresser. It was super cute...lots of sweet girly details...detailed metal pulls, built in jewelry boxes on top...need I saw more? SOLD! I knew instantly it was meant to be pink. So here is the makeover pics....

Before...cute, but just wait....
a work in progress...
Viola! You may want to click on this one and take a closer look to check out the craftsmanship here :) I'm totally kidding...it couldn't be simpler. Clean the dirty thing, paint with the perfect pink, sand the heck out of it with electric sander. Super simple!
P.S. Did i mention those sweet little pulls!

September 1, 2009

First Day of School

Following in mother's family tradition, I couldn't resist taking a "first day of school" photo. We were usually standing by the backdoor with our backpacks on and our hair done perfectly. My kids looked pretty cute, but they just headed up the stairs for school :)
I asked the boys to stand on the toy box in front of the map for their First Day photo and they both grabbed their bibles for whatever reason and hopped up. Then Sophie hightails it to the bookshelf and hops up there right along with them. It was too cute. Well, it was her first day too, after all!
We had a great first day...the kids were so excited about everything! Seriously, Noah was like "Spelling? Oh, that's easy! That won't take me long...spelling's not that bad, Mom!" We'll see how long that lasts! :) There was a few challenges though...mainly Sophia, but that's just the life of a home school family! It really is a blessing to teach my kids...it's not always easy, but it's truly a rewarding job.
Blessings,
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