Friday, November 29, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday with a Pink Full Body Suit


Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We had lots of great food, but amazingly don't have too many leftovers (other than turkey...we have tons of turkey).  I made 3 different pies (pumpkin, apple and chocolate) and today they are all gone.  And it was just us.  Pie yesterday for dessert, pie with dinner and pie for breakfast will do that. 


I saw a friend's family pictures on Facebook yesterday and suddenly remembered, Oh...I need to do our family pictures before Christmas to send out with our Christmas letter  blog post. Last year, I think I did them like Dec. 22nd or something.   Last year we lived in FL, so taking pictures outside in late December was not a problem.   It suddenly occurred to me that family picture taking will be much more miserable when it's 35 degrees outside, and I don't really want to take pictures with everyone bundled up in heavy coats.  And, outside is so much better than inside...especially our inside.  So...I ordered a cheap ($9) tripod on Amazon (last year I did them without a tripod), but a tripod would have made it so much easier for my do-it-yourself family portraits using the self-timer.  So, I'm hoping we will have a nicer, warmer weekend day coming up.  I'll let you know how it goes...or not (if it doesn't go). 


I also spent a bit of time perusing family pictures on Pinterest to get ideas of poses, outfits, etc.  I stumbled across a blog  from an Australian photographer which featured a family I actually know through a church group.  It was weird. 


I have an eye doctor appointment this morning. I haven't been in oh...5's time.  The office texted me this morning as a reminder and then I had to text back to confirm.  Which I find totally annoying..because 1) I hate texting and 2) if I make an appointment, unless I call you, I'm going. I shouldn't have to call back or text it to confirm.  


So what are you doing for Advent?  I am a total advent slacker.  We don't even have an advent wreath. I keep thinking I should buy one, but then I never do.  I think I'll just print out a picture and let the kids color a new candle each week.   All the other cool bloggers are blogging about their great Jesse tree ornaments and homemade advent calendars and all the other cool stuff we do.  And, we do nothing.  I'm thinking about doing a slight Jesse tree thing and just printing out a picture each day and reading the reading.   But, that will probably last like 2 days before I forget.   So..we'll see.   And, I'm terrible at remembering to buy candy to put in shoes for St. Nicholas Day.  

And, I have done ZERO Christmas shopping so far. ZERO.  Slackers R Me.

Anyone have any good links for Jesse tree devotion and simple coloring pictures to print? 


And Ben has already started job searching for lawyer jobs once this school year is over.  I feel like our life is one big perpetual job search.    So, please for that please.  Thanks!

7. little brother is getting married in May!  We are beyond excited about it.  And, my family (except for Elsa who would not cooperate) gets to be in the wedding party, which we are beyond honored about.   Ben is the best man (because he IS the best man) and we decided that he's going to wear this 

with this underneath.

Actually, I'm going to put one of those pink full body suits on my Christmas wish list as well.  Cause..who wouldn't want one of those?

Now, go see Jen for more quick takes!
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Thursday, November 28, 2013


Today I am thankful for:

A sinkful of dirty dishes because it means we have plenty of food.

Books all over the floor because it means we have the freedom to educate our children the way we want.

Cute kids

Pretty (and silly) girls

A husband that works hard, is an awesome daddy and always makes me laugh. Plus he sports a sexy beard. 





The fact that even though it's cold outside and we live in enough of a wooded area to see deer, we haven't seen any mice or evidence of mice in our house (I live in fear of mice).

All my friends...both near and fair.

And all of YOU dear readers.  Yes, I'm thankful for YOU...for taking the time to read my writing, for your comments...and for all the friends and new people I've met through the bloggy world.

Happy Thanksgiving!  May you all have a Blessed and Happy and Food-Filled Day!

(Linking up with Cari and FLAP)
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Lonely Thanksgiving with Recipes

The title is a bit melodramatic, but we're alone this Thanksgiving.  Just us.  In years past, we've always gotten together with either family or friends....(except for that first year we were in Florida, and we went to the beach..because ya know, it was 80 degrees).   But, down here in Virginia, we're too far from family and haven't really made any good friends  (although I did invite another family over, unfortunately they can't come).  C'est la vie.   

So, it's slightly depressing being alone, but we're still going to have a Thanksgiving feast, and, at least I don't have the pressure of having to have a clean house.  Plus, we get to eat all the pie ourselves. 

This is what we're having,



Of course.  I love snatching up turkeys super cheap when they go on sale.

This year, I'm hoping  to get the perfectly moist and juicy turkey.

To achieve this, I'm going to roast the bird in an oven bag and shove melted butter, garlic, salt and spices under the skin.  You just melt butter and mix it with some minced garlic, sea salt, and whatever other spices you like (I tend to go all Simon and Garfunkel like with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme).  Lift the skin of the turkey and shoved that yummy butter mix underneath it and then roast as you normally would.



Since we are all gluten-free and healthy down here, I'm going to try Cam's Gluten-Free Stuffing Recipe.  With a few modifications.   Instead of ground pork, I'm using sausage and I probably won't use all those spices.  I am using mushrooms though, which means that I might be the only one eating it, but hey..more for me!


Cranberry Sauce

It's wicked easy to make your own cranberry sauce.  Just mix sugar with fresh cranberries and water.  Boil it all together and mash.  Super yummy and super easy.


Sweet Potatoes

I just slice sweet potatoes, place in a backing dish and dot with ample butter.  Sprinkle with sea salt, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Bake at 400 degrees or so until the  potatoes get soft.  

Super yummy!


Mashed Potatoes

I boil several potatoes (skins and all) along with a peeled onion and a few cloves of garlic.  Once the potatoes are cooked, mash all that up with butter and some sea salt.  Mix in milk to make that creamy consistency.  These are so good!  The onions and garlic really adds a delicious flavor.


Roasted Green Beans

Toss green beans with olive oil, salt, and garlic powder, Spread out on a baking dish and roast in the oven until they are well...roasted.  Soft on the inside and bit crispy on the outside.  



I'm not 100% sure, I'll be making this, but I do love a good loaf of artisan bread.   So, I think I'm going to make the Gluten-Free Crusty Boule.


It's super easy and super tasty.  One could maybe even make the claim that it's sorta healthy. 

Swedish Apple Pie.

I saw this recipe on Colleen's blog and KNEW I had to make it. 

I'm pretty sure I can just sub in gluten-free flour and it will be fine.


Because my other desserts contain fruit or vegetables so they don't count as dessert (right?). 

I'm going to make it crustless, because with an inside like that..who needs crust?  I've never made this recipe before, but it looks easy and delicious.  And contains tofu, which makes it sorta healthy as well, right?

And, because I have to link-up, I'm linking up with Cari for T-Day recipes

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

WIWS: Ghost Baby

Linking up with FLAP for another WIWS.

I have no idea what happened in these photos, but Elsa looks kinda ghost-like and ethereal in them.  Either my photographer is really talented or really creepy.  Anyway, I can promise you that Elsa is alive and well and vigorously breastfeeding as I am typing this. 

So, I doubt anyone cares where I got this outfit, because the pieces are so old, I don't even know where I got you couldn't recreate it if you tried.   Good Riddance, right?   

Except for the boots...I got the boots at Wal-Mart. 

It is extremely cold outside right 35 degrees sweaters for everyone.   At least it feels extremely cold  to me.   Those of you in Alaska can feel free to laugh. 

And, I have nothing more profound to say, so I'll just share some pictures.

Elsa's first ice cream cone.  She liked it. A lot!

And, everyone won chess medals at the chess tournament yesterday. (To win a medal you have to win at least half your games).  So, Yay!

And that's all she wrote. 
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Friday, November 22, 2013

7 Tips to get Past That Novemeber Homeschool Slump

A Homeschooling Year in Review

August-October:  It's the new year, you have new books, new pencils.  You're excited, your kids are excited.  The weather is nice, there are lots of cool field trips and you can revel in the fact that you are frolicking in the park while the school kids are slaving over desks. 

November- February:  The weather is colder, the books are looking a little worn, and if you have to look at another long division problem you're going to scream. You wonder why your 6th grader suddenly forgot how to multiply fractions and you start looking longingly at the big yellow bus.  You feel like you SHOULD be doing more for Advent and the Liturgical year but you just can't figure out how to fit a Jesse tree in among memorizing multiplication facts.

March-June: The weather starts to warm up, you can see the end of your books, there are conferences to attend and curriculum to buy and you start to get all excited and think that maybe, just maybe you can do this for another year. 

July: In between trips to the beach, you try to fit a little school in, but it's summer time...NO pressure so you happily abandon the books for impromptu pool dates. 

Is that what your year looks like?  On Monday, I attended a mom's night out with a couple moms from our homeschool coop and naturally we started discussing...what else...homeschooling.  And it came up that a couple of us go through these seasons of the year.

So, I thought I'd post a little bit of encouragement and tips to help us all get past that winter slump


Mom's Night Out 
My favorite thing ever.  If your homeschool group or area doesn't plan one one..then YOU plan it.  It's super, super easy.  Doesn't have to be fancy..just put the word out that you'll be at such and such restaurant at such and such time.  And, plan to stay until closing.  And, here's a don't have to spend a lot of money or order a lot of food.  Some moms order a full meal, some just get a drink, some just dessert or an appetizer or every combination thereof.   If you have a young, nursing baby you can't leave, feel free to take them along....and everyone else stays home with Daddy.   It's just so uplifting and fun and necessary to get out with your friends, without the kids.  We have the most interesting discussions at Mom's Night Out (and we don't just talk about our kids and homeschooling...words like puberty and masturbation sometimes get thrown around) and you really get to know your fellow moms that way.


"If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing badly"  G. K. Chesterton. 

This applies to homeschooling as if it's worth educating your kids at home (and it IS) then it's worth doing badly.

And, keep in mind that as long as you are an involved, loving parent (and I'm guessing that if you are reading this blog, you ARE), then you're kids will be fine...and they will learn STUFF.

And, sometimes the schools do school badly.  Not all of them..and there are some great schools out there...but let's just say that a certain teacher I know and love has come across a few students that do not have certain very, very basic academic skills (like the ability to label the United States on a map by middle school), so you're probably doing better than that.


Do a new project...badly. 

Find a fun, interesting project to do....and do it badly...or at least not perfectly.

This in an imperfect, very-messy project board my kids made for a geography fair.  But, they did it all on their own and they actually learned something and who cares if it's not perfectly, perfect.

Even the baby helped.


Take a Mental Health Day...
Really, it's okay to just take a day off to relax and have fun.   Take a fun field trip, go to the park. or just watch educational movies on Netflix.  Public school kids have movie days too...remember those (always the last day or two before a break,  kids did nothing but have parties and watch movies).  If they can count it as part of their 180 days, YOU can too!


Bake Cookies.
Everyone loves cookies.  And, sometimes an afternoon is just calling out for a nice plate of warm, homemade cookies.

Even better if your kids can do it all on their own.   And, you can learn a lot from baking cookies...fractions, science, home economics.

You can make even make them healthy....throw in some flax seed, use a healthy flour (like coconut flour), add in nuts and dried fruit..and remember dark chocolate is a health food.  Stay tuned for a future blog post about my healthy cookie recipes.


Go to the library.

There is nothing like a trip to the library to boost everyone's spirits.  Show your kids the non-fiction section, tell them to find 3 interesting books to learn something new....about anything they want.  And, if they are old enough...have them write a report on it.  But, if they don't want to do that, just have them narrate what they learned, or make a video of them talking about their new-found knowledge.   It's fun, it's easy and requires almost no planning.   Not to mention when you get home, everyone is QUIET because they are all busy reading their new books.


Throw a party

Just because....and you don't have to invite anyone else.   Serve up those cookies you all baked, and everyone sits at the table, eats cookies, drinks tea (or lemonade or decaf coffee) and does math.  Call it a math party.   We love parties around here.

Oh and hey...speaking of parties...tomorrow is my birthday. I'll be makes me feel so OLD....I'm on the downhill to 40!  We're celebrating by taking the kids to a chess tournament.  Fun times around here...I tell you!  Actually, it is fun because Ben stays at the tournament with the kids and I take Elsa and the car and we go have fun exploring a new city and do some (thrift store/clearance sale) shopping even.  

Now, go see Jen for more Quick Takes. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Amelia Felt Shame (Third Person and Theme Thursday)

Amelia awakens just as the sun is peaking through the window blinds. She instinctively reaches over to feel the reassuring breathing of the young tot sleeping beside her. With a jolt, Amelia suddenly realizes that it is Saturday and that they need to leave the house promptly by 9:15 AM to get her older daughters to Little Flowers Club on time.  Amelia is never prompt or on time...but she always has hope that this...this will be the day she gets it together and achieves punctuality.

With that thought in mind, Amelia jumps out of bed, rushes to the bathroom for a quick teeth brushing and heads to the computer for a super quick email check, just in case she got any pressing new emails overnight.  In the living room she spies her eldest daughter and convinces her to to on a morning walk/run/roller-blade.  Amelia will do the walking and running and Heidi will do the roller-blading.  Her second oldest daughter, Greta, asks if she can come along.  Amelia ponders this for a minute, wondering if the petite 9-year old can keep up with the pace and intensity Amelia desires.  Greta assures her that she can keep up and Amelia acquiesces to her accompanying them...also on roller blades.   John, her five year old son, begs to go along as well, but Amelia puts her foot down there, knowing that he would never be able to keep up, and insists that he stay home with Daddy.

They hurriedly get ready....Amelia finding sneakers and her two daughters finding skates and helmets.  She quickly dresses her third daughter...the young tot, straps her into the jogging stroller and they set off.  Thirty minutes in and Greta is tired.  Amelia, sighs, does some mental calculating and decides that at age 9, Greta is plenty old enough to skate the last three-tenths of a mile home, down their quiet, tree-lined, rarely traveled street by herself.   However, because she is a bit of a neurotic mother, Amelia calls her husband at home and tells him that Greta is on her way home and if she doesn't make it in ten minutes to go look for her.  Then, 15 minutes later, Amelia calls her husband, just to make sure.   All is well and Greta arrived home safe and sound.    But now, now, Heidi's legs are so, so tired.  So, Amelia sends her home by herself and walks/runs the last 15 minutes by herself..before heading home for some much needed breakfast. 

Once home, Amelia settles in at the computer with a delicious breakfast of yogurt topped with nuts, raisins...and of course chocolate chips.  She catches up on some blog reading, and then suddenly looks at the clock, realizes that it is 9:10 and she hasn't even changed clothes yet and isn't ready to go. 

She jumps up, starts yelling at Heidi and Greta that we need to leave RIGHT NOW and they need to get their shoes on and get to the car IMMEDIATEY..and to please take Elsa and buckle her into her carseat. 

Amelia quickly grabs jeans and a sweater, throws them on, runs in the bathroom to brush her hair and then is ready to go.  She reaches into the dark closet, pulls on shoes, grabs her bag and runs out the door.   It's 9:21 AM...only 6 minutes behind schedule..not too bad. 

Amelia plans to go grocery shopping while her daughters are at Little Flowers,  After being on the road for 10 minutes, she suddenly realizes that since she took the car her husband usually drives, she doesn't have the baby sling she usually uses during grocery shopping.   Oh well, she thinks.  Elsa will just have to sit in the grocery cart seat..even if she doesn't like it. 

After dropping the girls off at Little Flowers (only 7 minutes late), Amelia heads off to Wal-Mart.  When she arrives, she realizes with a sinking feeling that Elsa is asleep.....and she doesn't have a sling. Amelia sighs, lifts the sleeping tot out of her carseat, and settles her onto her shoulder, where she promptly falls asleep again.  Amelia resigns herself to grocery shopping while carrying a sleeping 19-pound toddler on her shoulder. Oh, the sacrifices we mothers make, she thinks. Slowly, Amelia makes her way around the store, methodicallly grabbing the necesary items and throwing them in the cart...meanwhile her left arm is aching with the exertion of holding a sleeping toddler.  However, despite the difficulty of carrying a sleeping child, Amelia enjoys the warm weight of the snuggly toddler on her makes her feel very..maternal. 

Mid-way through the store, Elsa wakes us and Amelia happily buckles her into the cart for the remainder of the shipping least until they get to the check-out line where Elsa starts her hallmark screeching and demands to be picked once again, Amelia ends up holding the young tot.

Finally, finally, finally they are on their way out of Wal-Mart and back to the church to retrieve the girls from Little Flowers Club. 

Once there, Heidi and Greta are both having a great time playing with their friends and since it's a nice day, Amelia decides to take Elsa out and sit at a bench and let the girls play just a bit more before leaving.  
While sitting outside, a nice couple that she hadn't met before approaches her and says

"Hey, we just saw you at Wal-Mart."  

Amelia laughingly replies,
"Everyone goes to Wal-Mart, it's right around the corner," all the meanwhile thinking..."I don't remember seeing you there, but then again, I was pretty distracted." 

Finally, Amelia realizes that her ice cream is melting in the trunk and she best be grabbing her daughters and heading home.  Reluctantly they all say their goodbyes, head back to the car and drive home.

Once home, Amelia makes her lunch and naturally sits down to check email and Facebook.  Sometime during the afternoon she wanders into the bedroom and lies on the bed next to her husband for a short conversation.   Amelia stretches her legs out on the bed, glances at her feet and suddenly realizes to her horror...that these, THESE are the shoes she pulled out of the dark closet and wore all day.

Amelia felt shame.

There is probaby a Wal-Mart bashing meme out there someplace with her picture on it...showing the freak lady who wore two different shoes to Wal-Mart.

Her mind flashed back to the couple who saw her at Wal-Mart. The thought, "no wonder they noticed me, I was wearing two different shoes.  They were probably thinking...hey there's that freak lady with the two different shoes again," flitted through her mind. 

Amelia resolves to never just pull shoes out of the dark closet again without first checking for a match and decides that eventually she will be able to laugh about the incident and after all, it will make great material for a blog post. 

So, Amelia is linking up with Kelly for Third Person Thursday and Cari for Theme Thursday: Shame. 

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What We're Reading Wednesday: Teaching In Your Tiara: A Homeschooling Guide for the Rest of Us

(yes, this is an affiliate link, so if you click and buy I get a penny or maybe even two). 

A few weeks ago it was Rebecca's birthday and she was kind enough to give out her book for free on Kindle.  Since I'm all about free stuff, I snatched it up, quick as can be.   

So...what to say about this book?  Well....I'm in my 7th year of homeschooling (I started in kindergarten oldest is in 6th grade) and I still learned a lot from this book.   And, not just from the high school chapter, I was able to gleam great insights from every chapter.

Teaching in your Tiara is written in an easy, conversational tone.  It feels more like having a conversation with a good friend than reading a book written by an "expert."   However, in some ways Rebecca is an expert, as she has 7 children, running the gamut from baby through high schooler and has dealt with both gifted children, learning disabilities and various learning styles

The book is divided up into chapters, each dealing with different issues that homeschoolers face...everything from the decision to homeschool to curriculum choices, finding support, socialization, common mistakes, learning differences,  housework and how to maintain your identity.   

Her practical, common-sense, no-nonsense approach makes this book a great resource.  Even though I've been doing this homeschooling thing for several years now, I found myself finding new tips and ideas and, that's a great idea, I never though of that

This is not a "feel-good" book that waxes poetic about the benefits of homeschooling and bashes the public schools.   Homeschooling is not for everyone, Rebecca acknowledges that, and I found her chapter concerning the decision to homeschool to be particularly insightful. 

I would recommend this book to both new and experienced homeschoolers or any parent who ever had the thought of homeschooling flit across their mind.  Heck, I'd even recommend it for non homeschoolers as it has some great practical advice that would helpful to any mom, homeschooling or not.

Now, go see Jessica for more great book reviews.   

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

What I Wore Sunday: Bell Bottoms and Fashion Advice

This is actually what I wore last Sunday Saturday, but I didn't get a chance to post it because my computer died.   Normally we go to Mass on Sunday morning, but last week we went on Saturday evening because the university right down the street from our house was sponsoring a half-marathon on Sunday, and we were worried about the traffic.  Seeing as how we're usually on the late side anyway, we didn't need anything else tying us up.   So we decided to go the night before, was which a big mistake with Elsa, because she got an F- for behavior and I had to take her out, where she decided to let go of 3-days-worth of stored-up poop, and naturally the diaper bag was back in the pew, so it was lots of walking back and forth in and out of church. 

Anyway, here is what I wore.  Bell bottoms! 

When I was a kid, we used to stay at my grandmother's house and snicker at my aunt's old high school year book with the 60's hair styles and clothing. I was all I will NEVER wear bell bottoms.  And, my mom and grandmother were all Yes, you will, everything comes back in style.   

Sure enough.

So, this picture is for my mom...yes Mom, I will admit that I am wearing bell bottoms.

  Oh sure....they don't call them bell bottoms now...they call them flared leg or boot cut.....but....they are bell bottoms. 

And, actually these pants aren't even really "in style" now...I'm still stuck back in the early 2000's but I LOVE these pants.  LOVE them!   They are super comfortable and super flattering and I love them.

And, I hate the "skinny jean" style of pants/jeans that everyone is wearing nowadays.  I think they are only flattering on women with very narrow hips (which is definitely NOT me). I don't think you necessarily have to be skinny to wear them, but you do have to have narrow hips in comparison to the rest of your body.

 In recent years, I've been trying to have a more classic, timeless wardrobe and the flared pants look is a lot better for me than pants with tighter legs.  The wider legs balance out the wider hips while "skinny legs" just make the hips look wider (and mine are wide enough)!

So, the pants are Studio 1940 (they were given to me, but I want to run out and by 2 more pairs of this brand because I love them).

The shirt was thrifted, and I love this shirt (it's all one piece, not a sweater and a shirt).  Although looking at the picture, I don't think the color combination of the red shirt with the brown pants really works so I likely won't wear this outfit again.   But, I really love each of these pieces separately!

And, here's what I wore today.  

I also love this skirt.  Along the same vein as dressing for your body type, I've discovered that I just can't wear flared skirts.  They make my hips look wider, while straight skirts are a lot more flattering.   I love this skirt because it is fitted and straight at the waist and flares out at the legs, so you still get the flared skirt look without the extra flare at the hips. 

So, the belt is from Amazon.  The boots are Wal-Mart.  Everything else is either thrifted or given to me. 

And do you like the outfit better with or without the belt?

I say "with" but dear hubby says "without" so I'm asking the internet?  

What says you dear internet readers?

Now, go check out FLAP for more fashion ideas.
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Friday, November 15, 2013

7QTF Bentrup Babblings, Mind-Boggling Auto-Correct and the Chromebook

Time for another 7 Quick Takes Friday...linking up with Conversion Diary


So, in the tradition of the Family Es, we've started playing Thorn and Rose at Dinner time.  The gist of the game is that each person goes around and says what their thorn (the worst thing that happened to them that day) and their rose (the best thing that happened to them that day). 

Here is a typical day.

John:  My thorn is that I didn't get ice cream.

Daddy the Lawyer:  You can only count a non-occurrence if there was a reasonable expectation of it's occurrence.

John:  My thorn is that I didn't get ice cream.

Me:  There was no reasonable expectation of ice cream today, so try to think of something bad that actually did happen.

John: Okay, my thorn is that I didn't get what I wanted for dinner.

Me: I give up. 

My kids just do NOT get this game.   Either that or their life is just so charmed that the worst thing that ever happens to them is that they don't get ice cream. 

Clearly this day did not have a thorn, as he got ice cream. 

And, from Greta..the safety pup 


Greta: (as she is getting out a butter knife to spread peanut butter on bread).  Mom, can you please move out of the way.  I don't want to accidentally stab you with this knife. 

Those dangerous butter knives. 


Greta: How did people cook before stoves were invented.

Heid:  They cooked over fires.

Greta:  So, say they wanted to cook soup.  First they had to very carefully gather firewood.  Then they had to build a fire outside their house because if they built it inside, their house might burn down. Then they had to watch out for the fire and put their crockpot on the fire, being careful not to get burned.  Then they had to put their soup in the crockpot, being very, very, very careful.  Then their soup cooked.  Then, they had to throw water on the fire to put the fire out, before they could take their pot off the place where the fire used to be.   And, they had to be very careful so they didn't burn themselves.  So, I'm glad stoves were invented.

Because no one ever burns themselves on a stove. 


I love homeschooling.

Every morning and afternoon my oldest daughter makes coffee (don't worry it's decaf) and the kids all sit at the kitchen table and drink decaf coffee with obscene amounts of cream and sugar and play Uno.  Yes, my homeschooled kids sit around drinking decaf coffee and playing Uno.   Even more funny, they call it is party.  Everyday's a party around these here parts.  Don't worry, they do actual schoolwork too.

Yet, another picture showing a crooked picture on the wall.  Doesn't this lady every hang her pictures up straight? Not to mention those dirty feet on that little boy. 


Greta: I'm going to make up a new holiday.  It's called Grown-up Halloween.  And, what it is that grown-ups go around and knock on people's doors, but instead of getting candy, they get money.  So, Mom, you can put it on your blog and tell all your friends and start a new holiday. 

So, there you have it..I'm starting a new holiday.  I hereby declare that on Grown-up Halloween you can go around knocking on people's doors asking for money.  


So, I spent a few days last week laptop-less and learned a few things from it

I ended up using our Kindle fire to check email and Facebook and spent an inordinate amount of time trying to respond to a friend's Facebook question about stevia (you know, that calorie-free green leafy plant that is all the rage as a non-caloric sweetener in crunchy circles) and the Kindle kept changing the word "stevia" to the word "africa".  That's "africa", not even "Africa" I mean, I could NOT type the word "stevia", kindle kept changing it and how they got "africa' from "stevia" I will never know.  Even more mind-boggling is that they spelled "africa" just like that with lower-case a, and while I am not the grammar police, as far as I can tell, the names of continents are proper nouns and should always, always, always be capitalized.   D'oh!  I hereby apologize to all the people I thought were lazy and stupid for not using proper was probably just auto-correct.


I replaced my old laptop with a Chromebook.  (yes, that is an affiliate link, so if you click it and buy ANYTHING from Amazon, I get a penny or two...or just click on the link on the side before you shop).   Anyway, so far I really like it and I think the Chromebook is a great inexpensive laptop option for people like me. It doesn't have a CD/DVD drive and you can't download programs on it (like Microsoft Office) but for my purposes, it is just fine and I can use Google Docs to create documents.   I don't download programs or play games anyway and almost everything is online these days. 

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cold and Suffering

Baby it's cold outside.  Cold!  After spending 3 years in Florida, my blood has thinned, and we're just not used to these sub-65 degree temperatures.  

I had to have the following cold weather conversation with my kids.

There are these nifty inventions called shoes and socks and sweaters and coats.  People wear them when they are cold, and they suddently feel warm.  I realize that you may not be familiar with such an unsual item as a coat, but really we have a bunch of them in the closet, go put one on and go back outside. 

Yes, I really am that sarcastic.  They love it. 

But, while I'm sitting here complaining about the cold, secretly I love it.  I love the brisk, invigorating feeling. I love wearing sweaters and boots and jeans.   The heat makes me feel sluggish and slow while the I find the cold air invigorating and refreshing. 

But, I think the biggest reason I love the cold, is that you need the cold and the winter and the dark to appreciate the summer and the sun and the warmth.    Just like, sometimes we need to get sick, to appreciate our health.   Or we need to feel lonliness to appreciate our friends.   I think those who have lived through wars are better able to appreciate peace.    We don't get to choose which suffering we have, but we do get to choose how we respond to it.   So, this winter, while we're suffering through frigid temperatures and chilling winds I will remember my Florida friends, who are frolicing in the warm sunshine and how much I longed for the cooler days during those endless weeks  years of hot sunshine.

There is nothing so wonderful as that first warm, sunny spring day after a long cold winter.   Right, now, these 55 degree temperatures feel absolutely freezing, but after a long, cold winter, 55 degrees can feel downright balmy. 

Bring on winter!!!

So, for today's Theme Thursday (guest hosted by Mary Kate) I bring you a few older pictures from winters past. 

2009...I love this picture...the framing of the windowsill..the little head peeking outside, the setting sun.

Again...circa 2009.  I especially love twilight in the winter and gorgeous sunsets over snow. And, yes Heidi is wearing a super fancy dress in the snow.  Why?  I have no idea, but she was probably wearing snow pants underneath it.  And, John is none too pleased with the snow.
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