Thursday, August 31, 2006

Recipe Thursday

A family favorite.

Dessert Nachos:

blueberries, strawberries, flour tortillas, cinnamon and sugar, vanilla yogurt and mini chocolate chips/chocolate syrup

Make your nacho chips by cutting flour totillas into chip size slices. Spread them on a baking sheet and lightly spray with water. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. I always have a mixture of 1 part cinnamon to 2 parts sugar on hand. Bake 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees.

Remove from oven once they have reached desired crispness. Move to plate. Then assemble by spooning vanilla yogurt over chips. Then sprinkle mini chocolate chips or chocolate syrup. Top with blueberries and stawberries.

This is no exact science. Put on what works for your family. I like using the mini choc chips if you are eating them still warm because they melt on their own. But I have made the chips earlier in the day and then assembled after dinner and used the choco syrup.



Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Days taking shape.

We have pretty much settled into a routine for chores around here. Mondays are spent doing the weekly house cleaning with the boys doing all their "drawn" chores then. They do their "basic" chores when they get up every morning. I am having to remind them less and less and instead just do a check up. They have responded to drawing for certain chores and it seems they see it as a fair way to handle it. Wise One has drawn toliet and bathtub duty for 3 weeks now. He asked me why and I said he is going to really good at it and then he will get a lighter load! He accepted that. Rowdy One seems to always draw vacuuming. Needless to say he really works hard for that 50 cents. The vacuum is as tall as he it. But he doesn't give up.

Our schooling consists of alot of cooking and reading, with some spelling and multiplication for Wise One. Rowdy One has been busy with "bean" art for several weeks now and that includes patterns that he makes himself. I am waiting on some things I have ordered and also am still reading several books. Some on Charlotte Mason and some on Classical Education. I believe this is where we fall.

While it is still hot as blazes here I do know our summer is coming to an end. September, hopefully, will be a more set routine that we have all had a time to get used to.

Prayers being said for "30 Days of Nothing" and how our family can adapt to it in a healthy, productive manner.

Prayers continue for my friend and her children as they adapt to their new life.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Quote Monday

"Whatever our situation in life....we can and should surround ourselves
with friends who not only understand us, but also inspire us to make the most of
our current calling

Beverly LaHaye

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Little things.

I made dinner for my friend tonight. Our boys played and we sat at the kitchen table and talked of her new life. The one without her husband.

It overwhelmed me when I walked through their front door. Overwhelmed me with tears. Took my breath away.

"You know what I am gonna miss?" she asked, "The way he drank a coke. It never seemed to touch his lips. I always asked him how he did it. I am gonna miss seeing that."

"You know what I will miss?" I said, "The flicker in his eyes when he smiled at me. He was genuine. So sincere. Just a little flicker that I would miss if I weren't paying attention."

"You know what else? The way his hand felt. The grooves." she said.

"It really is the small things, huh?" I asked. "The small details. The small things that seem silly. That is what we miss when someone is gone. Nothing big. Just the small things."

We cried. We laughed. We cried some more. We tried to make sense of the senseless things. We talked of the future. We talked of the past. We talked of a magical rewind button. We talked of what ifs. And of many, many small things.

Pay attention my friends. The small things are what matter. The details that are easy to overlook. The moments that seem too silly to make note of. That is the living that one misses. That is the thing that makes one ache to the bone, knowing that the hum will not be heard. The tap of the foot that shook the table will not be felt. The cold feet in the night. Seeing the keys tossed on the table. The movement of the hands.

Little things.


Monday, August 21, 2006

Quote Monday

" Our job is not to staighten each other out, but to help each other
." Neva Coyle

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Three weeks

and it still feels like a dream.

I still think we will hear his voice. Or laugh. Or call to come over and eat. I still think he will call to ask Chosen One to come help him with something. I still think I may pass him on the road. Or run into him at the gas station.

No, instead a newly planted tree marks his final resting spot. I pass it everyday and look his way.

Three weeks since his last hugs for his boys. Three weeks since he last kissed his wife. Three weeks since she last saw his smile.

Life is so very short.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I must tell you about the family member known as four legged one. I love this dog! Love him! He is sweet. He is gentle. He is nice looking. If he was a two legged one I would want to marry him!

Chosen One convinced me to get a dog. Talked about it for several years then came home one day and said "in X number of months we will have a dog. A breeder is giving us one." I heard dog and couple of months and thought, this too shall pass! Well, in X number of months four legged one was brought home. And what a wonder he is. He loves me like no other. Well, I am the one that feeds him or at least reminds someone to feed him. I am the one that bathes him. I am the one that gives him clean water. And when I am feeling really wild and crazy I attempt to walk him! He is eighty pounds of big ole' lovin' and not that easy to walk!! It is more like a cartoon where I am being pulled with my feet in the air straight back hanging on to the lease and the dogs ears are blowing in the wind. Get the picture? Yeah, wild and crazy I must feel to attempt that!

He follows me and sits wherever I am. Not under foot, just moves from room to room with me. Very sweet. He loves on me when I am down. Lays at my feet when I cry. Clears the room when I yell and talks back when I get on to him. It really is cute to hear him talk back. And those eyes. We have our own language. I am honored to speak it with him.

Yes, Chosen One, YOU were right to convince me to get a dog. He is a wonderful addition to our happy family. I can not imagine life without him. The past year watching him grow from a tiny puppy to a big ole puppy has been fun! And getting to know his personality has been even better.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I am just stopping for a bit.

I am getting myself all worked up and I just need to stop. So I am. Nothing says I have to start homeschooling today. Or tomorrow. Or the next day. I need to listen to my heart. And my gut. And it is telling me to stop. To rearrange. To take a moment. To clear my head.

These last couple of weeks have been tremendously hard for my family. We are watching a friend suffer and mourn her life partner. My husband and I are having conversations we didn't want to have but know that we need to. My kids are wondering about us. Will their parents not be here one day? Could we be removed from their lives in an instant? While this is all part of life and I know we will get through it I also feel we must let the process work. We must feel the feelings, have the talks and pay attention to the details. School can wait. We are living life right now. A hard part of life but a part that is teaching us a lot.

So......we continue to cook. We continue to read. We continue to play games. With that we are learning. But all the other stuff is on hold. I checked out "The Well-Trained Mind" from the library today. I am eating it up. I am searching for some Charlotte Mason books to read.

While visiting Classic Adventures I stumbled upon this and found my mission statement: What do I want them to take from this year? It is taped to my refrigerator door and I read it every morning. When I feel overwhelmed, I read it. When I get down in the dumps, I read it. When someone questions why I have not started offically homeschooling, I read it.

Sometimes I just have to get off the bus for a bit. I have to remember that.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Want a giggle?

Listen for a small crash in the garage. Quietly open the door to see your hubby kicking stuff, mumbling things under his breath like "this place is full of crap", "where did all this crap come from" , "I'm gonna throw all this crap away one day"! Then as he looks up and notices you standing there say "hmmm, and who does most of this crap belong to?" Then with a smile quietly close the door.

Really, it is the small things that can give you a giggle!


Thursday, August 10, 2006

And the winners are.......

*S'mores Cheesecake, my pick.
*S'mores Sandwich Cookies, Wise One's pick and a total hit with everyone.
*And in regular Rowdy One fashion he just wanted to make up his own. Basically it turned out to be S'mores Brownies.

It was a wonderful day. They enjoyed making their shopping list, doing the shopping, scanning their purchases and mixing them all up. At one point as Rowdy One stirred his brownie mix and it went from light brown dry ingredients to the dark brown wet ingredients he looked up with the biggest smile " I made brownies!" Why, yes, Rowdy One you did. Now we have to cook them.

We finished out our day by making up a chores list. We have struggled with how to divide chores in our house. The boys are close enough in age to do most of the same things. Here is what we are trying.

Base allowance is for daily stuff...make bed, pick up clothes, keep bathroom straight, etc. They lose money every time I have to remind them to do a chore on their daily stuff chore list. Twenty-five cents a pop!

Then they draw for chores like vacuum, clean toilets, clean bathroom sinks, scrub bathtub, sweep, clean kitchen sink, empty garbage cans etc. Each of these have an amount attached to them, some a quarter up to seventy-five cents. They get that amount added to the base allowance when they have completed the chore.

Luckily Wise One was born on an even day and Rowdy One was on an odd so we have used that to settle some things. They get to pick their seat in the van if it is there day and stuff like that. Well, we went a little further with chores. If it is their day and my laundry day then they help me with laundry. They also set and clear the table for meals, empty the dishwasher and take out the recycling. And one big point to them, if there is a dispute over a TV show they get to call the shots if it is their day!

All and all they did a wonderful job today. I worked hand in hand with them in showing them what I expected from their chores. We had an intense session on how to clean a toilet properly!

We were all in good spirits and they responded well to my instruction. They were proud of the house at the end of the day. They were proud of themselves! Next week they will be making menus and one day a week will be their meal, with them planning and making dinner. With my help of course!

I would love to hear how other manage chores and such!


National S'more Day

Go here to learn more.

We are picking recipes, making a grocery list and going shopping. The boys are in control on this trip. Then we are coming home making several recipes and then taking our creations to the bank, city hall and probably the library. Family members work at each stop, except the library but we told them what we are planning and I thought it might be nice.

Here are some recipes we are looking at:

S'more Sandwich Cookies, found in a Taste of Home Cookie magazine
Altering a brownie pizza from a Pampered Chef cookbook to make it S'mores-y
Silver S'mores, from Summertime Treats *recipes and crafts fro the whole family*
Grilled Pound Cake S'mores, from Southern Living magazine
Indoor S'mores, from a cereal box
S'more Clusters, recipe found here
S'mores Cheesecake, found here

The boys will choose and then we will set out to gather our ingredients. First official day of homeschooling. This day was actually on the calendar as the start day. I just tried to push us yesterday and well, we see how that turned out!!!


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Some days you're just glad when it's over.

Today is one of those days.

*Wise One had a major meltdown that lasted 45 min.
*Leftovers for dinner. Lefterovers no one really was hungry for in the first place.
*Having to say "cut it out" "stop that", "can you PLEASE lower you voice", "whatever you just threw, go pick it up", "no, do not pretend with the scissors" one to many times today.
*Dog hair all over the new slipcover.

Oh and today was our first day of homeschooling. Great. Just great.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

You know what I keep hearing.....

"It is what it is."

I keep hearing that. EVERYWHERE!


Not so sad today, just kinda dull.

I think I may be coming back to life a bit. I am still really tired. My emotions are settling a bit. My mind is still racing with "what ifs". But I am up and moving a little earlier today so there is hope that something will get accomplished. I still don't feel like talking much.

Today is the day public schools start in our town. Guess this makes us OFFICIAL, we are really SERIOUS about this, my kids are not in school, HOMESCHOOLERS! We are heading to the library and for a bit of fun.


Saturday, August 05, 2006

34 years

Today I am 34. My friend was 34 when he passed away last Saturday. My mother was 34 when she lost her mother.

I remember the day I turned 33 I cried because I thought this is how old Jesus was and I had just heard about a 33 year old aquaintance that just discovered she had cancer. She did not see 34.

When I was 22 I could not imagine having a child as that was the age my mother had me.

At 17 I could not imagine being married. My parents married fresh out of school and just celebrated 38 years.

The years do not always make me feel "grown up". Today I feel like a little lost child that does not know what to do.

I am 34 and I am sad. But I will celebrate with my family. I will blow out the candles more for my boys than me. And I will make a wish. A wish that know matter when my number is called I will have lived a life that leaves good, happy memories. I will have lived each day and cherised it for what it was.....time. Time to talk. Time to hug. Time to just be.


Friday, August 04, 2006

Thoughts that I just have to write down.

Take pictures.

Tuesday afternoon after the clothes were picked out, "no not a suit, he was not a suit person", after the flowers were chosen, wildflowers for a man who loved the outdoors, and after his place was chosen at the cemetary, we purchased a tree to be planted next week, we sat and chose the pictures. Pictures of him with hair, without hair and with a mullet (!!). Pictures of him with the boys, of him camping, of him building, of him in the water, of him hunting, of him in high school, grade school, his first baseball picture.

Take pictures. His 6 year old will know him through pictures. His 9 year old will remember him through pictures. We will all see his smile through pictures.



Chosen One and I have had some hard conversations this week. Things like who would you want to be your pallbearers, what do you want to wear, what are your favorite flowers, what music would you like. Stuff like that that we really don't want to think about but when crisis hits it sure is nice to know the wishes of your loved one.

I am so tired and so sad.