Monday, November 23, 2009

On The Move

Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been blogging much at all lately. The reason is, the Finicky Frog is on the move. My husband has accepted a position at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and we have been in a rush to get everything situated and packed. Our house is now on the market, and we're praying and hoping for a quick sale.
I am hoping to have some time set aside to keep up to date on all of your wonderful blogs, and to keep you all posted on our progress. We would appreciate all of your continued prayers as this will be quite a change.

We are so excited about this new adventure, and we can't wait to find out what God has planned for us there. We are beginning to see many of our prayers being answered, and we are so thankful for what our Lord has done. This has been a long road and we know that the journey is just beginning.

Monday, November 9, 2009


There seem to be a lot of birthdays this week. Several of the blogs that I follow have someone turning a year older and it just wouldn't be right if we didn't follow suite.
A dear longtime friend of mine is expecting her second child in December and she reminded me of all the trouble I had bringing Maddie into the world. If my memory hasn't failed me, I remember approximately 5 months of bed rest with
at home monitoring and a tributaline IV pump that kept me from going into labor. If I laughed too much I would go into labor. If I watched the news I would start contractions. If I drank too much water, sure enough, contractions. Then if I had to pee they would start again. Of all things, this child decided to wait two weeks after my due date to enter this world. But just like Madeleine came out in her own time, she continues to set her own pace.

This pace is usually full force and full throttle. When Maddie puts her mind to something, I know it will get done and done well. You could say she's competitive, but I think it's more how God made her. She's always been that way and I hope she never changes.
For example, when she was about 4 she decided that she wanted to do the splits. Every day she would stretch and practice until she finally did it. It became "her thing". We would be in the store and I'd turn around and there she'd be on the floor. Shwoooop! Down in the splits!

Her sense of humor keeps this family ticking as well. Leave it to Maddie to crack everyone up at the table with some quirky comment. Is that a middle child thing? I don't know.
Mostly I love her tender heart. She really has a compassion for children and you see how much unconditional love she has for them. When she gets around little kids it's like she just lights up.

Sunday her dad had to leave to go down to Muncie where he got a job. (Oh yeah, where we will be moving soon). We didn't have the time for a cake
and dinner, so her one request was her dad's awesome pancakes.
He really makes great pancakes!
As you can see on her face, pure joy for pancakes.

As you see on this face, she realized there was no icing to lick off the candles.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Giveaway over at Prairie Flower Farm!

There is a wonderful blog I've been following called Prairie Flower Farm. She is doing an awesome GIVEAWAY for her 100th Blog entry. It's a beautiful window with scripture on it, and you just have to check it out! Be sure and tell her The Finicky Frog says, "HI!"

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fanny Packs

Our schedule for the weekend was changed a little with unexpected sleep overs for the kids. That tends to throw my menu that I planned for the week off. When the kids are gone, it makes sense to make some simpler meals for dinner.
I've really fallen in love with this No-Knead Bread Recipe, and I decided to do a little experiment with it for dinner tonight. I made some super delicious little dinner pockets that were made out of the bread recipe. I stuffed them with ground sausage, onion, mixed veggies and mozzarella cheese. They ended up being HUGE because they rose so much in the oven. We laughed about how they were no longer just little pockets. Now they were "Fanny Packs".

The Bread Recipe is:
1 1/2 TBS Active Dry Yeast
1 1/2 TBS Sea Salt
3 Cups Warm Water
6 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour

Mix it all together and it makes a big wet ball of dough. You don't knead it! It needs to sit for at least 2 hours to rise and then you can use it. Or, if you have it in the fridge, it should be set out for about 40 minutes.

It makes a really wet dough that can stay in the fridge for up to two weeks covered with a little tiny bit of air allowed in the container. One batch makes four pizzas or fanny packs. Check out the link above for more recipes.
When the dough has set out for at least 20 minutes, sprinkle a little flour over the top of the batch to make it easier to cut. Divide it into fourths and form dough balls. Sprinkle corn meal on a pizza peel or cutting board and let the dough rest while you get all of your filling ingredients together. Cooking all the filling will take about another 20 minutes and that will give you your 40 minutes. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 550 degrees.
For the filling I used:
1 lb of sausage
1 small chopped onion
1/2 a small bag of mixed veggies
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Shape the dough into a pizza.
Put filling and cheese
on one half.
Fold over and slide onto a baking stone in a 550 deg. preheated oven for about 8 minutes.
This was so good! We sat around talking about all the different things we could fill it with. For example, sloppy Joe's, pie filling, pizza fixings, chicken pot pie, etc.
I'm so glad when a cooking experiment turns out so easy and delicious.
I'd love to hear what you would put in your "Fanny Pack".

Have a Blessed Week Everyone!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fabeau Chapeau

The Finicky Frog hopped home one day with her parcels full of beautiful vintage hats. "The craftsmanship is just simply divine.", she said. "Oh how I long for those prim and proper days."
I completely agreed and told her that this dusty pink Henry Pollack Bucket Hat
was my favorite. "You should definitely wear it out as the weather gets colder," I said.
"Look at the detail!", she exclaimed. "The satin trim gives it just the right amount of shimmer. And the wide grosgrain ribbon matches the wool felt just perfectly!" She went on about how its delicate veil wrapped around creating the illusion of a soft glow. She decided that when she wasn't wearing it out, she would have it displayed on her dressing table for everyone to admire.
I may be able to convince The Finicky Frog to part with this beautiful hat if you would like it for yourself.
Stop into my ♥shop♥and take a little peek and tell me what you think. There are several other hats that I'll be adding over the next week, so, be sure to stop in often and see

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What's On The Menu

The weekend Daryn was laid off, we decided to go to Lowery's Meat Market to stock up on some good meat. We spent $200 almost right on the nose, and that has provided enough meat to last at least 2 months (we're hoping 3). I had learned so much from not eating out in September, and it helped me be more intentional about making a menu and sticking to it. So, I thought that I would share with all of you what we'll be having this week!

Monday: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (made from leftover hamburger from Friday's Pizza Night)

Tuesday: NY Strip ($2.58/lb) w/ Baked Potatoes

Wednesday: Beef Stew with Potatoes, Carrots and Onions

Thursday:Cheeseburgers and Homemade Steak Fries

Friday: Leftovers (there are always plenty)

Saturday: Homemade Pizza

Sunday: Maddie will be cooking for school and she's selected the Mediterranean (menu still to be announced)

Here's the amazing part...we had all the ingredients for everything already in the house. I won't really have to go to the grocery for much at all this week. This is such a blessing and God has really pressed on my heart about using what he's already given.

1 Timothy 6:17

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

When you go through a lay off, you realize that fortune is fleeting and how quickly things can suddenly take a challenging turn. Even during these times we can be comforted by His provision. In this verse, it doesn't say that God just provides enough. It says he "richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." I've also learned that when I'm more intentional about using what God has provided, it makes it easier to do the second part of the verse.

"Be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share." This tells me that there will also always be enough to give away, but I find it difficult to do when I don't even recognize what I already have.

When things were tight as a child, my mom would always make "OOO Golly!" This meal often was a soup or rice dish with a little bit of anything and everything in it. It never was the same and sometimes, I'll admit, it looked a little funny. It was called that because sometimes when we would see what was for dinner we'd say, "Oooo Golly! What's that!!???" Most times it went from "Ooooo" to "Mmmmm", and there was always plenty to last several days.

So, here's the challenge: Make a menu, stick to it, and plan at least two meals with food that is already in you cupboard. Easy!

I would love to hear about what wonderful recipes you come up with.

Also, I would like to open an opportunity for prayer. We totally understand getting to the point that you feel you just can't pray any more. So, please let us know if there is anything you would like us to intercede for. Our God is a Mighty God and he is able to take care of all your needs.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fix It Friday

We all have those unfinished projects that, due to lack of time (or energy!), have been sitting and waiting for the final touches. We have set a goal to get at least one of these projects done per week while Daryn is laid off. We've had everything that we needed to finish a padded headboard and we decided to get going on it Friday.

A while back we had replaced the cheap-looking, flat-faced wooden doors with new six panel doors throughout our house (keep in mind that we got these new doors at Lowe's for $19 a piece, and it makes a HUGE difference in the look in the house!). That project left us with a lot of worthless doors sitting in the garage that we would pull out when we needed extra tables for garage sales (which works really well). We had the frugal idea to take one of the 32" doors and turn it into a padded headboard for our queen size bed.
We already had all of the supplies: 2 two by fours for legs, the door, left over batting from the kitchen cushion project, fabric that I had bought 4 years ago for curtains that I changed my mind on, and some more scrap fabric for the back.
First, Daryn cut the door to the width of the bed. Then, he cut the two by fours to slide up into the door to add more stability because the doors were hollow. It's like having a giant mortise and tenon joint for you woodworkers. He added a bunch of screws to hold them in, and it was done. He primed and painted the half sticking out as the legs of the headboard.

It only took about an hour to cover the headboard and finish it all up. First, we stapled the batting to the door. Morgan was eager to lend a hand.
Then we stretched and stapled the fabric over the batting, making sure it was nice and smooth.
Then we stapled the scrap fabric on the back to finish off the project and make it look nice and tidy (even where no one will see).

Voila! It's done and it's super easy.
I now know why all of those design redo's use this project. It looks great, it's fast, and it's easy.
I encourage you to use your time wisely during a lay off. It can be a very productive period, and remember, as soon as you get your next job you won't have the same amount of time that you do now. Gather up the supplies that you need for a project that's needed to be finished. If you are like us, you already have most, if not all, of the supplies that you need to get it done.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Surviving A Lay Off

On Friday, October 2nd my dear husband was laid off from work....again. Seeing how he is a union electrician, we've been around this block several times . "Praise God" the last job he was on lasted over a year which was such a blessing. But, in the end, we knew that the job would wrap up eventually, and here we are again.

We know that we aren't alone in times like these, and we are deciding to use the knowledge that we've gained over the many lay offs we've been through to help those that are facing this challenge for the first time.

So, over the next few months, we intend to shine some light into these dark times.

First and foremost know that God is always with us!

Our memory verse for school this week is...

2 Peter 1:3

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who has called us by his own glory and goodness.

If you are going through any difficult time, be it a lay off, illness, or trial of any kind, memorize this verse and hide it in your heart. Pick it apart and pray over it. Start with the first three words, "His divine power" and find comfort in them. We aren't talking human power. This is supernatural power. That is the power through our Lord Jesus Christ.

"...has given us everything we need for life...", this means food, clothing, shelter, friendships, family, work, etc.. It's all taken care of. It doesn't say will give us. It says has given us.
"....has given us everything we need for....godliness..." Every spiritual need has been given.

"...through our knowledge of him..." Know him, seek him, find him = everything we need for life and godliness.

"who has called us by his own glory and goodness." He's calling you right now in the midst of this trial to trust in who He is, glorious and good.

I will be adding some insights on how to spend wisely and make meals stretch farther. There are a lot of ways to save on expenses and many that we always fall back on. Our family knows this for sure, we eat better, spend more time together and love each other more when we have less. Be encouraged in this time because you will discover new things about your family and yourself. It is a time of revelation as to where your treasure truly is.

Please stop in often and know that you will always be encouraged here. Also, if you have any frugal tips that will help others, be sure to post them in the comments. May God Bless You ALL!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pirates of Penzance

I grew up watching musicals and old movies, and I hardly remember a weekend going by when I didn't get to see Cary Grant or Gene Kelly. Music was a huge part of my childhood, and I had many musically talented aunts and uncles. My mom was a trained opera singer who was constantly singing in the car with me and my brother. In fact, I really don't remember listening to the radio much, because if we went somewhere with my Uncle, we sang in the car too....sorry, side thought there. My dear husband, however, did not grow up knowing the lyrics to almost every MGM musical. He came from more of a Nascar environment and somehow, thankfully, came out musically talented as well. But, he was very unfamiliar with the old movie scene and often didn't know what I was talking about when I said things like, "Oh yeah, like in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."
I was determined at an early age to expose the children to the phenomenon of musical theatrics. One of the most memorable moments was when we watched West Side Story and the kids cried because they didn't understand all the fighting and violence. "Mommy, (sniff, sniff) why are you making us watch this?"
Since the kids have recently had a growing interest in this genre, it has been a much better experience for everyone. I've gotten to relive a lot of wonderful memories, and I have loved watching them be enthralled by the musicals and movies for the first time.
One of our most loved favorites, that has become a staple in our house, has been The Pirates of Penzance. Daryn is always giving a try at being "the very model of the Modern Major General" and the kids "often" are claiming to be "Orphans." I'll chime in with my rendition of "poor wandering one!"
We jumped at the opportunity to go and see it at the Nappanee Round Barn Theatre this weekend. My brother, sister-in-law and my nephew all decided to go, too, and it was a great to make it a big family. We were in the mezzanine seating and it was perfect. I really can't imagine a bad seat in the house. It's such a small theatre and they have it set up so well.

Pictures from Amish Acres Round Barn Theatre
Now, of course it wasn't Linda Ronstadt or Kevin Kline, but this little band of performers gave it their all. My favorite scene are when they sing "WITH CAT LIKE TREAD!" and "Sighing Softly to the River." It was just hysterical!
What is your favorite old movie or musical?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

30 Days Later...

...and September has turned out to be one of the best months I've ever experienced. We went without television and eating out and what we got in return was far greater than anything we had expected.

We were blessed with some amazing family time and we were never at a loss for something to talk about. I realized how funny my kids had become and how many little jokes they had between each other. We laughed so much more this month than we had in a long time and it was good medicine.
Family time is so precious and we came to the realization of how much we waste when we have the television on. Our productivity sky rocketed and we were able to accomplish so many things we had put off and also some new and exciting things we had never tried before.

The kitchen table once again became the hub of activity and conversation.

(We got to enjoy more Mama visit too. "WE LOVE YOU MAMA!!")

All our meals were home cooked and eaten together. We lingered there longer laughing and joking and telling stories. We all participated in several game nights, and we even picked up some new games at the Thrift shop for a fraction of the cost of a retail store. School started there this month as well. I have to say that this was the best way to start out the year. Less distractions and more focus on the task at hand.

I also had made a commitment to Blog over these 30 days and that also turned out to be an amazing experience. Thank you all for your wonderful comments. They were always great encouragement along the way and I truly hope that I continue to hear from you all more. I discovered that there are so many amazing women out there that I can learn new things from.

I learned to make great bread, hot dog buns, pretzels, new craft inspirations and, of course, some amazing decorating ideas. All of this came from you wonderful ladies out there blogging your little hearts out. Thank You!
I also celebrated my 1 Year Etsy Anniversary with a GIVEAWAY that turned out great. And today I can celebrate my 100th SALE on Etsy! Be sure to come back for another GIVEAWAY...but give me a day or two to think about it because I was so surprised to have reached it today and I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet!

I'm the most thankful for God's blessing through this time. He is so good to us and he so often is just waiting for us to put some of the distractions aside and spend more time with him. We prayed more as a family over these 30 days and we had so many more conversations with him as the center.

Thank you all for coming along on the journey and I'm so excited about what is yet to come.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


This is one of my favorite pictures of the girls. We were waiting on the side of the road for the Memorial Day Parade, and there they were doing their sister thing. Deep in conversation about something, I don't know what. It still amazes me how two completely different personalities can come out of the same mother.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Compelled to SHOUT!

I woke up early Saturday morning, with a feeling of urgency. A patriotic stirring if you will, inspired by my own complacency. Politics was always something I shied away from in the past, because I know it can create an amazing amount of discontent between people. I've seen it and experienced it enough that I avoided it like the plague. However, the last election changed so much for me. I feel as though if I don't truly take a stand for the freedoms I have, they will be lost forever. They will be lost and I won't be able to blame anyone but myself because I sat back and did nothing, said nothing, let the pen be idle, and inspired no one else to do anything.

Last night was such a moment of awakening to the true spirit of our country. My nephew plays the tuba in his High School marching band, and my brother had told us that Friday night was going to be his last home game to play as a Senior. There wasn't a hesitation to stand with him in one of his final moments that he will remember for years to come. We gathered up the kids and my mom and headed out to the game. It called for some rain but we were going to brave it and "make memories" together with my brother and his family.

There were so many people. It was crazy, but good crazy cause it's a football game and that's what you expect. Teenagers everywhere, and it was a task getting through the crowd. My mother had her scooter, and we decided to hang out down by the end zone next to the stands. It was just easier to stay out of the way in such a large group of people. This is the largest High School in the area, and when you drive by the school it looks like a college campus. It looked like most of the student body and then some were attending this game.

The band came out in all their splendor-- drums drumming and horns blazing. I'm not just saying this because my nephew is playing, but they have an impressive presence about them. The prelude to the game was about to begin and The National Anthem was announced and we were all asked to stand.

Why is this not understood among people? Here is a moment to stand and be still! Here is a moment to respect what gave you the right to be here in the first place. It's not about that piece of fabric flying around. It's about the men and women who fought for your freedom. It's the liberty that it's stands for. It's a moment, a short moment that calls for unity among its people to be still and stand.

We've been to more sporting events than I can count in the last year, and I'm always amazed at what happens. So few stand and be still. So few put their hand on their heart. So few even are quiet.

Our children will do what they are taught. They will respect what they are shown as worthy of respect. But I tell you, of the hundreds of teenagers that stood before me in that crowd, I didn't see any stop. And the sad thing was how many adults didn't stop either.

My kids know, you stop whatever you're doing and put your hand on your heart and you face that flag and you be quiet unless you are singing along. It's as simple as that. The reason is because of the man that stands with them. My husband is a Marine Corps Veteran and if we didn't, we would be disrespecting his service, my grandfather's, their uncle's and everyone that stood with them at home and on foreign soil.

A few weeks ago we were at the Blueberry Festival, and we were walking to get seats for the fireworks. Daryn and Wesley had gone to get our chairs from the mimivan, so it was just me and the girls for a moment. There were tons of people, and it was crowded. But, clear as day, you could hear them announce The National Anthem. We stopped and I heard something behind me that I will never forget.

There was a father and his young son that I never saw their faces, but I could hear them as if they were talking to me. "You stand still, boy." the father said. "Put your hand on your heart and don't move a muscle." Again in a crowd that only about a tenth took the time to stop shopping and eating and walking and talking, we probably looked a little odd standing still, with our hands on our hearts. But that doesn't matter does it? When I heard that father behind me, it stirred a confidence that we are not alone. There is hope!

Things are moving fast in this country, and we don't have time to continue being complacent patriots, parents, Christians, friends, husbands and wives. Because if we do, our children will be lost. If they don't know how to stop and stand in recognition, how will they know how to fight for freedom?

Now, if you are like us, you will be at more sporting events with your kids than you can count this school year. They play the national anthem at all of them, and if they don't, they should. Show them your patriotism. Don't be so complacent that you can't teach them how to honor their country, founders, and veterans for a few moments.

They will learn what to do somewhere.

Time Magazine

Don't be patriotic when you feel like it. What if that was the thinking of every president before or every serviceman in the field. Where would we be then? I realize that there have been a lot of comments about this photo, and I don't really question whether or not Obama will say he's a patriot. But see, he represents us. He is supposed to reflect what we want and I'll tell ya, if he went to that football game, he would have seen that it's ok not to put your hand on your heart. It would be ok not to sing, it would be completely fine to walk around and talk like nothing was going on.

I did see one girl stop. She was with her friends who all looked to be Freshmen. It was like she was stumbling in a way and uncertain what she should do. She stopped and put her hand on her heart, but then she started looking around and she quickly pulled her hand down. What was that? Was she embarrassed? She walked away and was caught up in the conversation her friends were having. It's sad, it's really sad.

So, what will you do?

If you come back to my blog, and I hope you do, expect to hear these questions periodically. This is part of the whole package. I'm a Christian, wife, mother, home maker, homeschooling, businesswoman and patriot. In other words; I am nothing without Christ, the spiritual leader of my home is my husband, I am blessed with 3 amazing children, my home runs like a machine, I teach my children based on the Word of God in a strict conservative environment, I produce a quality product to help financially support our household, and I am an American that believes I can be everything prior because of where I live and because of liberties and freedoms that I refuse to have taken away from me or my children.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My New Scrap Catcher

I just got my new Scrap Catcher this weekend from Scrapguild, and it's just perfect. I love the colors and it's so much bigger than I was expecting, which is perfect because I have really bad aim when I'm pitching my threads and fabric bits. I just LVE IT. I'm really torn about using it for scraps though. It's so pretty I haven't wanted to take it down stairs to my shop, and I'm considering using it as a thread holder for when I'm crocheting in the family room. It perfectly hangs from a table and it also perfectly hung from the arm of the couch. Such a dilemma! I just might have to get another one! My sister-in-law stopped by this afternoon and I had to show it off to her. Go and check Clare's items out on her shop. The quality is excellent and that's saying a lot coming from a very "Finicky Frog".

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Apple Picking

Our "Minivan Adventure" today took us to
apple orchard in Berrien Springs, Michigan.
We do our best to make this a yearly tradition, and it's one of the best things about the fall.
We threw in A Prarie Home Companion CDs for the ride and it was a trip full of laughter and music. But most importantly, it was about being together and making memories.
The weather was just perfect, a little crisp and cool with a slight overcast.
We had a plan:
One bag of cooking apples
One bag of eaters:
*golden delicious
(Clearly we're big fans of the Fuji apple)
We get there and we're told that Fuji won't be available until next week.
That's ok...we're resourceful. It was time for a little taste testing.

It was like an apple smorgasboard!

We found that we weren't big fans of Mutsu apples. However, we LVE GALA! Oooooooooohhh....this is a wonderful apple. It's super sweet! So sweet the apples were sticky just hanging there! It was like eating apple pie right off the tree!

The smell of the vineyard was thick in the air. It was like someone opened the biggest package of grape Bubbalicious in the world and handed everyone a piece to chew. I wasn't planning on getting grapes and I really don't know what to do with them when I have them, but I'm thinking I should go back and get some next week. You know, when the Fujis are ready!

All in all, it was a really wonderful day hanging out with Mama and the crew. Morgan had a blast taking all of these wonderful pictures (except Maddie took the flying apple picture here...your welcome Maddie, I made sure they knew). Wesley helped Mama fill her bag and carry all of the other apples to the car. The plan is to go back next week and get the elusive Fuji....maybe grapes...those peaches really looked good...I didn't get a pumpkin yet.

I'd better go make a list!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Primitive Design

Here is the newest addition to my shop, the Primitive Damsel Garland! I just love all the warm and cozy fall colors in primitive crafts. And I have a huge affection for things that are old and rusty. But I think that my favorite primitive design would be the penny rug. It's like a little mini quilt that tells a story. All those bits and pieces of fabric from your favorite crafts all wrapped up in a beautiful design.
Blanket stitching also has this little warm and cozy place in my heart. It's so simple, and yet it adds an artistic element to the fabric. I'm always amazed at how different thing look before the blanket stitching is added.
I have one room in my house completely dedicated to primitive design. That's our family room and where we spend most of our time. To me it's the coziest room and it's a nice place to gather as a family and hang out. Primitive design is also so much more kid friendly. Usually, I buy things that look old and shabby, and the more you use them the older and shabbier they get which is perfect for the family. All this chatter has inspired me to take some pictures to share with you all. But that will have to wait until another day.
God Bless and Sweet Dreams Everyone!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How Cute Is This?

This may never happen again because it's never happened before.
They were all sound asleep nuzzled in and cozy together.
Now that's friendship.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How Time Flies

There are those days when reality hits you right smack in the face and you realize how quickly time has flown by. Five years ago, we moved to Florida and we lived there a grand total of exactly one year. While we were there, we visited the "Happiest Place on Earth", Disney World.

Tonight I came across pictures of my kids posing with Mickey and having a blast. But what I realized was how little they were, even though I know at the time I really didn't think about it.
We road on Space Mountain and I thought for sure I would lose them all in the dark abyss. I remember screaming because they were in the car in front of ours. My bottom was flying off the seat, and I new their little bums had flown off never to be seen again.

Now they are big! So close to adulthood it scares me. I know in another 5 years I'll look back and realize how little they were again.
This afternoon, I got to see how much my oldest daughter Maddie had grown in her maturity. The kids were playing basketball in the gym of the church where they have their art class. Little kids and big kids all together killing time. Her basketball accidentally bopped a little girl about the age of 4 and she fell to the ground. Without a moments hesitation, Maddie immediately ran over to her and scooped her up and comforted her like a little mommy. "I'm so sorry. Are you okay?"she said as she helped her too her little feet. It's become a snap shot in my mind that I'll never forget.
There are so many times that I wonder if I've raised them well. Will they do the right thing when faced with a challenge. It's moments like today that God shows me that they'll be just fine.
I know all our kids are probably in bed now. But, in the morning surprise them with a huge hug and look them right in the eyes and tell them you love them. Time goes by so fast and they really need to know that you're with them the whole way.
God bless!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Diamond and Her Chicks

The prelude to this post is that I designed a pincushion with a little blue chicken on the bobble. While I was stitching away, my mind began to wander on about chickens and farming, and I still am not sure why the chicken ended up blue other than the pearls just went so well with it. While I was musing about my dream of living in the country, I realized that I had an opportunity to use this moment as a writing prompt for my three wonderful children. At least once a week, we have creative writing, and it usually involves something weird like a purple monkey driving a taxi. I give them a time limit of thirty minutes and just that little bit of pressure causes them to come up with some of the most creative stories. It doesn't matter where you are in the story, it all comes to a screeching halt when the timer goes off. It's a lot of fun, and they like it, too because they know they'll be done in 30 minutes. ! So, the winner (of sorts) for the best interpretation of the Pearls and Chickens Pincushion goes to Maddie. We had Mama choose the winner, and with a lot of hesitation and not wanting to make the others feel bad, she made the final call.

Now without delay, here is her story.....

Diamond and Her Chicks

This is a story about a chicken. Her name is Diamond. Diamond has three sisters and one brother, and their names are Emerald, Ruby, Amethyst, and Bob. They were hatched into a rich chicken farm where every chicken is spoiled. They live in cocobolo wood homes, with silk curtains, angora rugs and golden nests.

Now, Diamond is a special chicken. She looks different, eats different, and does lots of different things from all the other chickens. Diamond is blue. She was born blue and she hatched out of a very soft and shiny egg. Diamond only eats with silver utensils, not with just her mouth. She thinks it's the proper way to go. And Diamond loves to make pincushions. She started out making them with the curtains, shiny pebbles, and the golden hay. Every time she makes one her owners come, take them to their gift shop, and sell them two by two.

Well, one day Diamond, Emerald, Ruby and Amethyst were laying eggs. They were clucking when all of a sudden they heard a plunk! It sounded different from the other eggs laying. Amethyst looked under her and said, "One white, one brown. Nothing different here."

Then Ruby looked under herself and said, "Two white, one blue. Nothing different today."

And then Emerald checked under herself also and exclaimed, "There are only two eggs! Oh, wait! Two brown and one white. Whew, nothing unusual. What about you, Diamond? Anything different?"

Diamond stood up and saw two pearl eggs. "Well, what do we have here? Two pearl eggs."

"Two pearl eggs?", asked Ruby and Amethyst.

"Yep. One. Two. I bet you have to keep them extra warm for good chickies." advised Emerald, fluffing her feathers in a pocket mirror.

"Well, I'll wait until hatching time and see what happens."

Diamond waited twenty one days, and on the expected day all her eggs hatched!

"Hello chickies. How are you? chicks!", exclaimed Diamond.

The owner heard her squawk and saw that she had two blue chicks.

"How do you think they became blue?", asked one owner.

"I don't know. The silver utensils, maybe.", replied the other.

"Didn't the hen that layed Diamond use silver utensils to eat, too?"

"As a matter of fact she did!"

The End


Monday, September 21, 2009

My Brood

I couldn't figure out anything to blog about today.

For those of you that don't know, I've set a goal to blog for the entire month of September.

In my attempts to find inspiration in my photo albums, I came across these pictures....unedited and uncut.
For your viewing pleasure.


Please note. I did not take any of these pictures.

They were either taken by themselves or each other.

(ed. note--I think she's...well...I don't know)

(ed. note--Flash too bright maybe?)
Clearly these last two were playing with the camera and amusing themselves.

I just love these crazies!

(ed. note--Look's like he's trying to imitate a Sumo wrestler!)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

I have flipped head over heels for this 5 Minute Bread Recipe. First of all, it's super easy! It literally takes 5 minutes to throw it together without any kneading. Yes, I said without kneading! We've made bread and pizza with it (all these recipes are together in the link above). But today was extra special.
We made Pecan Cinnamon Rolls.
Ohhhh, if all of you could have been in the house this morning you would have gotten to smell the wonderful aroma. Tasted the amazing goodness. Heard the silence at the table as everyone savored. Seen my husband drooling at just the thought of homemade gooey-ness.
In fact, while I was taking these pictures, his head was over my shoulder making "mmmmm...Yummm....Ohhhhh!" noises.
But, I told him he had to wait till I got done. All of you needed to see it before my brood got to it.
I think I may do a little experimenting with making the rolls the night before and then letting them rest for about 40 minutes out of the fridge in the morning. Also, the thought of using apple in the middle sounds pretty good too. You'll have to give it a try and let me know what you think. I still want to give a Big shout out again to The Country Blossom who passed this on from her
Mother Earth News Magazine.
Thank you KATY! You've been keeping my family very happy lately with your wonderful recipes!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cricut Crafty Clare

Clare was the winner of my 1 Year Anniversary with Etsy GIVEAWAY! Entering the contest reminded her that her shop, had also had a 1 Year Celebration. You've really got to check out her shop because she has the cutest Cricut Dust Covers and Scrap Catchers. HERE'S the BEST part...She's giving ONE away! She was inspired to have her own GIVEAWAY on her Blog CricutCraftyClare too!

Now, I don't have a Cricut and Clare and I have already discussed this LOL. It is on my "tool" list (along with a Kitchen Aide Mixer...Honey did you read this??). (ed. note--I know, with the dough hook) But, even though I don't have a Cricut, I do have scraps. In fact, my floor would be so thankful not to have a bunch of strings and fabric pieces dropped on it all the time. And, if you are anything like me, a Scrap Catcher that is super cute would make your craft room complete!

Just take a few minutes and Hop on over there and check it out and be sure to tell Clare D. The Finicky Frog says "Hi!".

Friday, September 18, 2009

Couldn't Be A Better Day!

I've got about 15 minutes to fulfill my blog of the day, and a full day it has been. We got up early and finished out school for the week. The kids were hitting it hard because they knew the sooner we finished, the quicker we could get out of the house. The rest of the afternoon was spent hanging out with my mom and doing a little shopping. We've been so busy with school the last couple of weeks that we haven't got to see her much. We LOVE YOU Mama!!! Got home and made some delicious home made pizza using the 5 Minute Bread recipe (check in tomorrow for a link). Then spent the evening hanging out with awesome friends, good conversation, and eating great chocolate chip cookies! It couldn't be a better day! Woooo...I did it and 5 minutes to spare!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Alaskan Inspiration

This year I want to make sure that the kids do a lot of hands on projects.
They are getting older, but that's no reason not to bust out the glue sticks, scissors and craft paper!
Morgan has been studying the geography of the United States, and we have come to Alaska (because they are in alphabetical order). One of her projects for Alaska was to make a game board from the facts that she's learned. She worked on it for about 3 hours today, and I couldn't be more proud. I sat down to play with her and she had DANGER cards, Fact cards and Detours. It was a very color coordinated game board too!

She centered the game around the Iditarod in Alaska (so cute). Some of the Danger cards read: "Oh no! You're lost in the Boreal Forest! Miss next turn." and, "Someone stole your sled along with your goods! Anchorage has your supplies!". Some of the Fact Cards read: "Screeeech! You see the Yukon River. GO and get some gold!". That card makes your game piece get stuck in the middle of the board with all the towns. My favorite Fact Card was, "Go to Wasilla and meet Sarah Palin!" He he!

She did such a great job, and I asked her where some of her ideas came from. She said it was from all of the Alaskan books she's read. (She's a read-a-holic!) She's read a series by Tracie Peterson called Yukon Quest. She really fell in love with this series of Christian books.

I was so proud of her work today and it's moments like this that my heart just bursts!


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