Friday, January 23, 2015

Another sick day

We're in for round two, unfortunately!  Oldest has it and think I am coming down with it.  Not a fun experience, being sick.  It'll pass, eventually!!!!!!!!!!!

Today's thankfulness:

  • Kevin coming home
  • cut wood drying
  • things put away
Will get back to longer posts!  Enjoy the short and sweet for now!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sick day posting!

Older kid coming down with what younger kid had!  Just the good again today:

  • good co-op with the boys ~ they made airplane launchers (check out the link to Frugal Fun for boys; lots of great things to do)
  • time for small group
  • early bedtime, but not as early as yesterday
One of those days that just can't think of all the good!  Know it's out there, but just hard to remember to make note of it.  Life is like that sometimes.  Good to keep an on going list.  Please!  No judgement that I haven't updated the 2015 list in a week or two.  Maybe this weekend.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Short and sweet today

Had lots ideas for cute pictures and funny lines.  Turns out, I'm just to tired today to be worried about a long post.  Thankfulness for the day:

  • evening activities being canceled
  • needed veg time
  • easy good, dinner
  • heating pad
  • finding my fleece jacket
  • almost bedtime!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Another Day, Another Birthday

Yes, our boys birth dates are only a week apart!  It makes for some crazy times over the years.  When they were younger, their friends were mostly sets of brothers, their age.  Made it so convenient to have a friends party ~ 3 hours or so, 10 to 12 kids in the house, along with a few extra adults, and we were done till the next year.

Having seen this years round of birthdays, it was a bit more work, a bit more baking, more cleaning, but less parental involvement.  The boys each did their own thing with their friends.  We just provided food.  The kids ages, for both parties, were between 12 and 18; that made cooking easy - pizza, chips, lemonade, cake, and ice cream.  All things we can do well!  DONE!!!

Anyway, today is about Ian.  He's officially 12!  He seemed quite happy to have gotten exactly what he wanted: cash, Lego's, Duct Tape, Crunch Bars, and an Itunes gift card.  So easy!  Especially when friends took care of some of it without know what he REALLY wanted.  Love when things work out that way.  It's just cool.

The good for the day:
  • almost finishing our bathroom
  • seeing color combinations I liked (see photo below)
  • train whistle (it truly never gets old for me), for some reason it helped me focus today
  • seeing delight in my child's eyes
  • lunch out with the family
  • easy dinner ~ catered to the 12yo ~ hot dogs and chips

 Barn Yard Red Ipad easel, Yellow ware bowl,
and green scale in the back ground.

 Someone had asked if I would make 12 number 12's
and hide them around the house for him to find.
A tradition that got started a few years ago, that he
really enjoys.

 Cupcakes for the final round of sweets!  Just a quick
glaze of icing.  The ratio of cake and icing
was much better with these.  And
not much left as most went to Scouts tonight.

 Recycled a bag, for his gifts tonight.
Can you see the pile of 12's.  He found them all,
but needed a hint for two of them.

Can I have a candle please?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Odd day for photos

So let me just jump right into the photos today:

 odd combination of things, on the smallest counter
in the kitchen.  Something from each of the three members
at home!

 Mentioned some time before Christmas that we needed
new kitchen hand towels to my MIL and showed
her the ones I really liked.  She
picked these out for me.  I like how
bright and cheery they are.
They seem super absorbent too.

 Passing into the kitchen, saw a cheek needing to be
kissed.  It made him laugh.

 a visiting lady bug!

 The owner of the blue water bottle, busy at school.
Not sure if he was aware I was taking photos.
What is that, Jennifer S., the "Mamarazzi"?

Someone was so excited by the
word cheese, she came with her blanket
and begged awhile.

Even though the day was long; lots to get done; things to wash, dry & fold; there is much to be thankful for.  Counting it all joy.
  • leftovers for lunch and dinner
  • fun picture day
  • starts of a new play
  • getting most of a to do list done
  • being okay with what didn't get done
  • feeling tired at the end of the day (both physically and mentally, in a good way)
  • looking forward to the last of the celebrations tomorrow
  • thankful for a teen keeping laundry going
What has brought you joy today?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Early Edition

Anyone remember that show?  Guy gets the newspaper early and goes around saving people.  I decided to blog write early today in the hopes of being off of electronics by dinner time today.  Didn't sleep well last night and it's been a gray day.  Both of those factors equals one heck of a tired mom.  I have successfully resisted the urge to sleep.  Instead, have printed a bunch of biology stuff for the next several weeks for Mr. 9th grader, gave some lessons to the 6th grader on how to take an open book test, gotten dinner started, made more coffee, opened some "old" mail and separated it appropriately, took a break for chocolate milk, cleaned the kitchen a bit, and may read some after posting here.  All this since we got home about 1:30 PM or so this afternoon.  Ready to crash and burn, but boys have a few key things to finish up today before sleep is an option.  One is working on Biology and History, while the other cleans his room.  I snicker, because in high school I dreaded the Sunday afternoon homework routine.  It was the pits.  Think Mr. 9th grader would agree with me.  He's already taken a power name this afternoon.

The good today:

  • at a glance with Kevin, kind of agreed on something, to be discussed more, but still can communicate with a nod
  • being taken out to lunch after church
  • walking the dog, even if it was cold.  We both got to stretch our legs
  • encouraging a church friend about a few things for himself and his wife
  • son wanting to fill out a leadership form, for Youth Group
  • other friends checking in on me
  • getting dinner started early ~ mild Italian sausage in a marinara sauce, with bread

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Another Saturday, Another Party

Ian's birthday is coming up soon, so he got to claim today to have some friends over.  Was rather pleased that he kept the guest list short and the length of time short too.  Had I planned it out, there might have been more 6th graders for a longer time period.  Thankful he didn't know what I was thinking.

What I like about having people over, is that we clean and the house stays that way for a couple days anyway.  Hopefully we'll keep it "clean" longer than we did after last weekend.  heheheehe!

Thankfulness for the day:

  • clean house
  • pizza for dinner, again
  • leftovers for another day
  • time to read
  • cool presents for an almost 12 yo
  • time for Netflix
  • warm clothes in a not so warm house (we keep the thermostat in the high 60's)
  • beautiful sunset
 Sunset tonight!
Love the orange/gold, pinks, and purples!

 Birthday Card

Duct Tap Wallet kit!
A successful gift.

Nifty Star Wars Fighter
Plain and pilot not to scale.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Traditions

Seems often now, that the boys ask what is for dinner, then remember that it is Friday and realize it's pizza night.  13 plus years of pizza on Friday night, you'd think they'd have it down by now.  lol!  Sometimes I forget and don't have crust, sauce, cheese or anything ready for it.  Whoops!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Remembered the dough in time this week, but forgot about the sauce, so I had to do a quick version.  Still turned out alright though.  You master the quick after 13 years.

Overall a good day, so here's the highlights:
  • not having to go anywhere early in the morning
  • leftover donuts as part of breakfast
  • boys did most of school on their own
  • Quest Sold Out for our 6th grader
  • one hair cut down, one more requested
  • sunshine and blue skies for a pleasant change in scenery
 comfortably doing school, in shorts,
while listening to music.  He keeps his grades
up, so why not?

pretty puppy eyes!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Planning, Schooling, and Laziness

all rolled into one day.  Don't think we rolled out of bed until after 8:30, maybe closer to 9:00 AM.  At least the younger one and I.  We just needed the sleep and it felt wonderful.  Especially when the coffee started kicking in.  Thought it would be a no drive day, but a couple places needed/had to be hit.  Oh well!  At least they were relatively quick!

School took awhile, but that has been the normal lately.  We just seem to be having a lot of days where school is a bit here and a bit there.  Not a solid, straight amount of time.  It's getting accomplished, boys are learning.  Learning book stuff and learning how to roll with life's oddness.

Began planning for Ian's birthday.  He's looking forward to having friends over and to his actual birthday.  He's making requests for cakes, icing, and ice cream flavors, to the extent that I had to get a cook book out to explain the difference between a yellow cake and white cake.  Knew it was basically the differences between the whole egg versus the yolk, but was curious about the other stuff too.  Not a whole of difference beyond that, more the proportion of ingredients.

Things to be thankful for today:
  • slow morning
  • remembering to getting things done
  • early bedtime
  • finishing up round one of cakes
  • writing this blog post early
  • relief from a tension headache
  • making donuts with new pans

  •  Regular sized donuts, made in new pans
    this morning; liking them already!

    Something lovely from facebook
    this morning!

    Wednesday, January 14, 2015

    Just the Good

    that is all I've got for today ~ no chit chat!
    • audition for upcoming play for Ian
    • nap after therapy this morning (couple hours I think)
    • Kevin getting a nap today (talk about tag team parenting)
    • sheets and towels washed, dried, folded and put away by Kevin
    • EASY dinner
    • first bible study of the semester
    • call backs for kid who auditioned earlier in the day
    • older son getting to run lights for "The Mix"

    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

    Birthdays, Cake, Sugar Overload

    That was today!  Finding the joy is easy when you celebrate a child's birthday.  Hard to believe there have been 15 of them already.  He's completed 15 years of life already.  That is 5,479 days (including 4 leap years).  How does the time go so quickly?  He's changed from a 6 pound something, approximately 21 inch baby to a tall (over 5'6"), skinny teenager.  Wow, is all I can say.

    The good:
    • birthdays
    • three layer cake
    • leftover ice cream
    • music
    • presents
    • brief moments in the house, alone
    • decorating, quickly, for birthday

    Monday, January 12, 2015

    Some Days Just Got To . . . . .

    let it go!  Structure, order, to do lists ~ out the window today, if it weren't raining most of the day!!!!!!

    Rained all day long.  Miserable kid all day long.  New pain inflicted by Ortho ~ check.  Desire for sleep all day long ~ check and double check.   Coffee pot cranking out the coffee, even late into the evening ~ check.  Van with minimal gas and early morning "mom taxi job" ~ check.  With all the men in bed, pandora playing, coffee beside me, maybe I will get semi caught up on computer related "jobs" I have.  If only it were paid jobs!  Guess you could say they are in that I get to drink my favorite coffee, listen to any station on Pandora I want, and wear pj's if I want.  The money would be good to though!

    Can I finally find the good, when I can't hear rain and it's late enough in the day that the gray clouds aren't noticeable.  Yes, I can and here it goes:

    • Kevin gassing up the van for me
    • getting the most needed thing done for tomorrow accomplished first
    • miserable/ortho inflicted kid laughing by the end of the day
    • listening to Pentatonix "That's Christmas to Me" while working
    • realizing I don't have to listen to their "Frozen" song!
    • a dog that will come in to "Milkbone" when I don't want to be a door attendant
    • kicking back (while working) and watching Netflix with the family
    For the photo portion today, I am totally uninspired!

     Here is an oldy!  Someone turned 6,
    9 years ago tomorrow.  Look at that blonde hair!

    Sunday, January 11, 2015

    More Celebrations and Some Missed

    that is how this Sunday rolls.  Mr. E (if you watch Scooby Doo, you might get it.  If you know our kids names, you know which I'm talking about), is still coughing, a lot.  Five doses of antibiotics and several doses of OTC stuff and he's still sounds horrible.  May need to go back soon, to the doctors, and see what's up!

    Anyway, he and I stayed home from church because he didn't sleep well.  Came time to make a call about the afternoon celebrations (Christmas/Birthdays at his grandparents) and he was still coughing a lot and cranky.  Naps, me working on various things and trying to be quiet.  What an afternoon that can me.  Missing my loud Pandora tunage!

    Needless to say, the evening home was nice enough.  I made nachos, with taco meat even, for dinner.  One of the options kid threw out, that I could follow through on.  We watched "Nut Job" and now he's off having a bit of fun by himself.  I should finish lesson planning for the week, but wanted to wrap a post up early for a change.  Here I type, in total avoidance of what SHOULD be done!

    Other guys will be home soon, lessons will be finished, we'll hang, get folks to bed, and I'll see about a few more chores.  For now it is me and my "Journey" station on Pandora.  Nothing like a bit of Queen Classics and Bohemian Rhapsody.  I probably like this station so much because of my siblings.  There are a lot of songs they grew up.  They always seemed to win on what station played, so I grew up listening to their favorites!

    Anyway, the point of the blog, thankfulness:

    • extra time at home
    • getting chores done
    • kid napping
    • comfy clothes all day long
    • easy, pleasing dinner
    • time with just the four of us
    • son coming home from church, with another birthday present (I need to remind him to send thank you notes!) from a friend who was sick
    Giant Darth Pez Dispenser
    Cool gift, even for the non-Star Wars
    Mom can appreciate!

    Saturday, January 10, 2015

    Celebrations, Homemade Stuff, and life

    We celebrated Simon's birthday, early, with friends.  Quit the evening having scattered teens arrive.  Found out feed them food, have things for them to do, and let them be.  Bunch of good kids!

    Ian had a rough go though.  He wants to be a teenager, now.  He hits this periodically, when his older brother hits a new milestone, new activities, new life things, he wants to join in immediately and miss out on his own adventures.  Didn't help that he has a nasty head/chest cold and an ear infection.

    Bright side of it all, we got a lot of cleaning out, good junk food made, and then relaxing all evening.

    Good things for today:

  • making home made powdered sugar
  • home made chocolate cake
  • teenager having fun
  • fire going throughout the late afternoon and evening
  • leftovers of all the good food

  •  Chocolate Cake

    left over powder sugar

    For the sugar, I just blended, in small batches, regular sugar.  The better the blender you have, the finer the powder you will have.  I sifted it, as well, to get out clumps.  Liked this as we are trying to avoid corn products, except for real, non GMO Corn.  Not always possible, but where ever possible we do!

    Friday, January 9, 2015

    Long days can lead

    into some forgetfulness.  Had enough on my mind, I actually typed out a to do list, with some items having dates by them, so I didn't forget or get ahead of myself.  One thing forgotten was writing out my thanks.  So, a natural consequence, write it Saturday morning, in the quiet, and back date it to Friday.  I have grown accustom to writing ahead or day late, just won't rat myself out for which posts!  Writers prerogative?  Whatever, right?

    Thankfulness for the day:

    • getting kid the right meds for his cold
    • independent kid getting school finished
    • getting a lot of stuff done around the house despite 3 trips out
    • time for feet up and Netflix, twice even
    • getting more stuff into "It's Deductible"
    • husband who likes to cook
    • being tired at the end of the day
    I'll leave you with what is a beautiful photo for me:
    The vacuum and broom are being kept, but
    the other items in the foreground are getting donated.
    This is the "cleanest" this area has been in
    a very long time.  It might even be empty soon.

    Thursday, January 8, 2015

    Living in 2015

    sure has it's advantages and disadvantages.  Obvious advantages are some medical advancements, technology, safety in travel (assuming you don't drive when you shouldn't be), being able to snap photos quickly and see if they are good or bad.  The bad side of this age is the instant gratification of being able to do so much, so quickly.  At least in my corner of the world.

    I was really struck by this, when coming home after picking up my van from the shop.  Beautiful sunset that I would have loved to take a photo of,  but the camera was home.  It struck me funny because, even 20 years ago, you had to wait on the film to be developed to see if photo turned out all right.  Almost immediately, a song came on the radio and I didn't recognize the artist or song.  What to do in a situation like this?  Grab the smart phone, open up the Sound Hound App, and figure it out.  Being close enough to home, knew I probably wouldn't get to hear either the artist or song title.  I know, I know, first world problems I was experiencing.  The song was "Call My Name" by Third Day.  Very cool song.

    Side note here (and possibly showing my age): don't start a blog post without an outline or notes in place, if you don't plan on writing it all in one sitting.  Lost the train of thought and not sure how I was going to transition into todays thankfulness.  It was a brilliant one, when I first started typing, but the computer got set aside and thoughts got lost.  Oy vey!

    Jumping into the list:

    • being able to wing co-op class (forgot a couple things and it still turned out well)
    • beautiful sunset, with or without the camera
    • music
    • being able to drive my van (I forget how "high" it is in comparison to Kevin's car until mine is in the shop for whatever reason).  It's not as big as a big SUV, but still good sized.
    • making kids happy by saying "fish and fries for dinner"
    Truly simple things in life today are making me happy!

    Wednesday, January 7, 2015


    Feeling resolute in many ways, this evening.  Over little things and over big things.

    Resolute to:
    • be more active
    • take the steps more
    • move more
    • purge more stuff in general
    • organize more paper
    • get ahead in school organization
    • take care of the house better
    • take better care of myself
    • more arts and crafts
    Now I have no idea how I plan on doing all this, but it does contribute to thankfulness today in:
    • general feeling of being okay
    • getting ceiling in our bathroom painted
    • 2 and 1/2 hour nap
    • avoidance of some chores tonight (please ignore my resolutions above for now)
    Time to kick back for a time and just be!

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

    First Snow of the Season

    It never surprises the folks around here that the schools don't seem to know how to deal with snow.  It had be predicted, with a fair amount of certainty, yet schools were not delayed or canceled in our county.  That meant waits of an hour to hour and half at buss stops, busses not showing at all, kids not getting to school till noon (when they start about 8:30 to 9:00 AM).  Parents were mad and I get that.  The county messed up because "it was suppose to start at 4:00 AM but didn't, it started a bit later.  Even the government, who takes care of the roads, didn't pretreat like they have in the past.  It was a mess, because the snow did come, just a bit later than anticipated.

    We stayed home and choose to not take chances on the roads, a nice treat to stay home all day on what would have been a busy day.

    Thankfulness for the day:
    • first snow fall (and no shovels!)
    • neighbors taking care of whole pipe stem
    • making chocolate syrup
     Not much, but enough to make life difficult.

     Starts of homemade chocolate syrup ~
    this would be sugar, cocoa powder and pinch of salt

    homemade vanilla extract for when syrup comes
    off the stove top

    Monday, January 5, 2015

    All Over Kind of Day

    All sorts of stuff, all over the place today.  We started back to school; which, all things considered, wasn't to bad.  One got finished fairly quick, the other still battling a cold and took a nap.  Alls well that ends before dinner!  Woo Hoo!  Even managed laundry, worked briefly in our bathroom (pealing paint issue), and a trip to a couple stores.  The good for the day:
    • pretty sunrise
    • more organization in basement
    • organizing a party for our almost 15 yo
    • getting use to not having tv on most of the day
    • today's date ~ 1/5/15
    What I'm missing today:
    • all the Christmas lights ~ house feels dark!

    What happens to a pretty view when taken threw a screen!

    Sunday, January 4, 2015

    Sunday ~ last moments of vacation

    we'll be back at the grind tomorrow.  School and other things will be in full swing!  Ugh!  Not ready for it all to be back at it.

    Today was a bit lovely, a bit long, a bit busy, and now a bit slow.  Oldest and I made it to church today ~ Ian just can't seem to shake the cold he has.  Spent an hour chatting with a friend I don't get to see as much as I'd like too.  Got caught up on life and things going on.  Lovely time!  Ran into another friend and chatted, briefly about ladies Wednesday Night study and my blog, how I had ideas for sketching things out, writing a post, etc. for today.

    More even more time ~ short periods ~ with two other friends as well.  Very cool day at church.

    The doodling that has been running through my head today.  Drawing out JOY with a star for the center of the O.  Kept thinking of "Jesus, Others, Yourself".  In chatting with friends, sometimes others and yourself gets a bit mixed, one comes before the other.  That's fine ~ keep in mind doing for others before yourself, but take time for yourself too.  I'll be pondering this over coming days!  So today it's:

    • finding small moments of joy
    • cleaning
    • staging items to purge
    • meeting with friends
    • church
    • getting ready for 14 yo turning 15 yos

    Saturday, January 3, 2015

    3rd day of the year

    Any resolutions kept?

             Any resolutions dropped already?

    I'll just say I haven't started yet.  Been a rough few days.  What I thought would be a simple bathroom fix isn't.  It's becoming stressful.  We're beginning week 2 of it.  Not fun.  3rd time in just over 12 years this bathroom has gotten an overhaul.

    The day was a mess ~ to put it nicely.  This is as raw as I feel like being when I don't know know who all is reading my blog.  To me it was just a crazy bad day!  Resolutions are hard to think up and follow through on bad days.

    On the bright side, I did do a little grocery shopping and came home with a few bananas and an avocado, so that's a small step toward healthy, right?

    Three things to be thankful for, as it is the third:

    • fruit and veggies
    • chocolate chip cookies made and cleaned up by someone else
    • smell of oil based paint finally dissipating

    Here's one New Year's Resolution:
    to have a beautiful picture with each blog post.
    It maybe relevant to the post and still beautiful
    or I may just search the web for something that strikes me.
    This came from a website called:

    Friday, January 2, 2015

    Resolutions and Calendars.....

    resolutions ~ yes or no?

    big and lofty goals or little ones that can be managed and then work on new ones?

    One thing I'd love to do is to be able to have a list of "must do" items and "would be nice to do" items.  Went to Pinterest, (where else lately) and found this form.  What I like about it:  it has space for 7 days, a menu for the week, and shopping list.  The creator even made several in different colors so it doesn't get boring!  Think I'll have to try this for awhile and see how it goes. Not sure I'll start one for today as it's Friday, but maybe print some and start Sunday.  Now if I could only find a desk top calendar that would fit the holder I have.  Love the holder, but no one seems to have a calendar the right size for it.  Oh Well!  Will see how the weeks roll and what I stick with.

    Here's a sneak peak of the form I like!
    It's from artsyfartsyma.  Check out the
    link above.

    Thursday, January 1, 2015

    First Post of 2015

    It is January 1st of 2015.  Won't honestly be long till I hit a milestone, age wise, that ends in a 5 and begins with a 4.  Being the the youngest of 5 kids, the mile stones never seemed that big.  I looked to my siblings, their spouses, and their friends and saw beautiful people getting older and the the big numbers never seemed so big.  I have my own friends, too, that have experienced a bit more life than myself as well, and they have weathered the storms of life with grace as well.

    So it's the morning after New Year's Eve; the boys made it, I didn't.  They are sleeping, I'm typing out my first post of the year.  Curled under blankets, watching the shades of sunrise change the landscape.  Listening to something "quiet" on Pandora.  Seeing my neighbor (who reminds me a lot of my dad) scrape the windshields of their cars and rearrange the driveway because someone needs to leave.  Coffee is ready to be poured, just can't quit muster the desire to move the computer and uncover from the blankets.  (lol!  I made it, I am back, only slightly chilled, with coffee & white chocolate syrup).

    The limbs have an orange hue;
    the sky a brilliant light blue;
    the sky still!

    Beautiful beginnings to a beautiful year