Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We've been boo'd!!

Tonight coming home from Bible study there on our porch awaited the official kick off to fall!! The kids BOUND out of the car when they spotted it....oh what fun!! Here is what we found on our porch...That's right, once again, we've been "Boo'd" if you have no idea what I'm talking about feel free to go back to last year's post It's so much fun!! It truly makes our night and officially kicks off our fall season each year when we get boo'd. This years basket was filled with cookie cutters, cookie mix, candy corn colored taffy (oh boy were we all excited about that!! YUMMMM!!), cotton candy, adorable Halloween napkins, a Halloween dishcloth, and lots of other fun goodies!! Plus, of course, the adorable basket that it all was in.

And check out our great boo sign now PROUDLY displayed on our front door (and see our little Cookie dog peeking out the window since I have to get a new curtain from a store that isn't close to me and I have to take the time to get over to that town to get one...sigh...oh well...)

So...HAPPY FALL Y'all....hope you have a wonderful, blessed, fun fall FILLED with smiles and laughter and time with your neighbors. I am sure blessed almost daily by the wonderful neighbors that surround me!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

An Apple A Day....

Today my sweet hubby picked up 1/2 a bushel of these for me

they are WineSaps FYI and isn't the basket simply BEEEEE-U-TIFUL??!! My sweet neighbor's precious mother ("Marvelous Mrs Mary" as my kids call her) who lives in Buffalo gave it to us filled with Easter goodies this past spring on one of her blessed are we? Isn't it gorgeous filled with apples? just Love this basket!!


First I peel, cored and sliced them (and pointed out to sweet hubby my need for a new peeler, corer, slicer contraption. Mine was purchased before I married and has been well loved and used and......... has about had it)

While doing that, John Mark did this:

He asked if he could eat the whole bowl...this kid LOVES apples
(but Gala's are by far his favorite)

Then, I did this. All the liquid is provided by the apples,
just cook them for a while to get them super soft!
Then I mushed and mashed, and mashed and mushed
and added some other yummy goodness to the pot
(brown sugar and cinnamon)
And then once again put my parents old canner to good use and did this:

I made 7 pints of applesauce. My son could go through those in a week if we let him

So, tomorrow, we're going back to buy a whole bushel, perhaps a different variety to do a taste test...this one is going to be hard to beat we all decided...we'll see. I hear it's good on gingerbread. Hmm...might be time to make some. I've not in ages and ages....

Oh yeah...and we also came home from the baseball game & other adventures today to a house filled with the stench of a sick I called hubby and asked him not only to please pick up the apples, but also PLEASE get a steam cleaner. And once you pay to rent one...well you must clean ALLLLL your carpets, right? So here I sit at 11 at night, taking a bit of a break. From furniture moving, vacuuming and steam cleaning...well hubby operates the cleaner, I just help with the prep work. I didn't document that part of the day with one deserves that...ugh.... but it turned it to a big part of our day so I had to mention it

last weekend I canned scuppernong jelly. I'm thinking salsa is next (after more applesauce). I'm having WAY too much fun canning stuff. I might like it more than baking...hmm...that's a toughie, but I do really enjoy it! Is it odd that I get a thrill every time I open my pantry and there are more pretty jars filled with things I canned then there are metal cans filled from the store? Those pretty jars make me smile every time I see them.
Hmm.....wonder if anyone has a wonderful recipe to can pumpkin since they are starting to pop up everywhere.....and it happens to be one of my favorite things to consume (and smell)!, and I'm thinking it could be really pretty in jar!!!

So once again I pose the question...why oh why do they call it "canning" and not "jarring"?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ob la di ob la da....

arrgghh...I've tried to fix it but blogger has some margin hiccup tonight. Sorry for all the oddities!!

This is a video of pictures taken around our town/area. I didn't take it. A friend passed it on to me. But this is what it has looked like all around us this week.
Yes, we are okay!! We had little to no damage...really the only tiny leak we had isn't worth mentioning at all.

The video doesn't even show you some of the worst hit areas. It's truly just humbling!!

It's amazing.

But as it always does...LIFE GOES ON, it's funny like that! There isn't alot of options but
to keep going with it.
John Mark had a baseball game last night.
It was so much fun (ooo....his coach is SO hot! more on that later for sure!) But as
we arrived and the parents saw each other for the first time in a couple weeks because
of all the rain we all had to trade our stories of the week's events. It is just amazing.
The world is filled with wonderful people is what you are reminded of when
things like this happen. The red cross at one of the shelters was turning away donations as
they've been inundated.
Communities helping each other is such a wonderful thing. Seeing that every
congregation from every denomination is trying to help. neighbors are helping neighbors,
and the world keeps going. and For just a moment we are reminded that we are
surrounded by good, kind people!

That kindness truly exists.

It makes me wonder what the world must have been like when God destroyed it with the
first flood...whew... It must have been a lonely place for Mr and Mrs Noah and their family.

I'm so blessed!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"there's gonna be a floody floody"

UPDATE: It's getting pretty bad here. I've been listening to the police scanner tonight and it's so scary how many people have been trapped in their homes, trapped on their vehicle, 'swept away' and hanging on a tree....etc etc....

This picture is from much earlier tonight right on the corner by our church bldg. This is right where we drove by coming home from worship tonight- this is what happened not to much later...and the rain is still coming down.....and we now have a sinkhole between our's and our neighbor's house. It's 'only' about 4ftx4ft and 3 ft deep, well at least that's what it was a few hours ago, haven't checked it lately.
Schools have had to close.....Truly this is amazing...

WOW....time to find some Gopher Wood and look up the ark dimensions. It's crazy rainy here. Truly, this part of the world has been my hometown since I was in 6th grade and I've never seen anything like it.

Look HERE for some viewer pictures from today (go to the slideshow at this link), but keep in mind after nightfall the rain moved in in downpours again...and is still falling. Thankfully I drive a 'tank' (96 Lexus LX450 - like a toyota landcruiser) other cars on our way home from worship tonight weren't faring as well....many were stopped on the side of the road, stalled out, trning around etc....we were turned around on our usual route home. Two trucks flagged us down saying not to go that way we wouldn't be able to get of them was a great big utility truck...just wow!! After so so many years of drought, rationing water, etc...this is amazing!! I'm not complaining. Just in awe!!


okay....SO I'm realizing that there are some sad sad souls out there....

those that have not discovered the joys of Etsy!

that's right. Really....if you haven't. You need to!

Christmas is coming up and so I thought I'd clue you in, that is if you don't know already...
because you should...everyone should

Etsy is as they say "your place to buy and sell all things handmade"

That's right. It's the perfect place to find that perfect gift for the person on your list who has everything. It's just tons and tons (seriously it can be overwhelming) of handmade goods.

And other simply delightful knit toys she creates...with her own two hands

seriously do you know how wonderful it is for me to find fun dangle CLIP earrings

(that's right I just get weirder and ears aren't pierced...okay they were...but's a long boring story). For a mere $6 I got fun Halloween dangle earrings....well I got lots more than just those.

Anyway...just a heads up...if you hadn't discovered the wonders of need to!
There are some marvelously talented, artistic, creative people in this world...and since I don't happen to be one, I love Etsy all the more!!

so go, check it out

(you guessed images)

Our schedule has really been coming together around here...and I LOVE it!! Remember my purchase of the book "Managers of their Home" I'll do another post about that and our new schedule soon...(promise). But for now, here's one thing it reminded me, one thing I've struggled with ever since committing to school my children at home...

Didn't I already say that?
yeah well I'm a little slow apparently. I needed the reminder.
(I'm sure I'm alone in just feel sorry for me and tilt your head and nod a bit with a solemn look on your face and a bit of a furrowed brow when you think of me)

Going from a stay at home Mommy of 2 kids in public school to a home educator I've realized was a bigger leap then I thought it would be.
And I'm not talking about the teaching part (this time). I'm talking about the realization that basically.....
I work....
I have a job (granted I think it's the greatest job on earth).

Last year I would go for coffee with friends, baby sit for friends, run errands, volunteer, etc etc during the school day...professing "what a blessing it is that I am at home" or I would find myself saying "just call we are at home pretty much every day"
sounds good.....

except that I wasn't changing my life to reflect the change in our home. So we would spend a ton of time rushing to catch up...which meant Mommy wasn't always a delightfully fun teacher - or Mommy - to be around. I was still trying to do all the things I'd done when the kids were in Public school and then do school.
This summer I did a lot of thinking of what I wanted this school year to look I wanted it to look, and how I needed to change my mindset so that I could accomplish everything I wanted to....and my kids not hate me for it. I had to have my own little vocabulary lesson....

"N-O spells......"

I recently spoke to another homeschool Mom who has had the same problem. Her husband finally made a sign for her front door "please do not disturb between the hours of.......& ....... school is in session" and she turned her ringer off on her phone.
I generally don't answer the phone during lessons....BUT sometimes when the kids are finishing up a worksheet or something I have been known to answer it since they are occupied...then they finish and I'm still on the phone an hour later.....and then we're behind and pushing it or we don't get done what we'd planned because the kids get distracted because I wasn't engaged.

I learned in this book, I'm not the only one.

But I have to set boundaries...for my sanity and for the benefit of my children and the health of my home.

but the problem is my friends don't all realize see, to the world outside these 4 walls i'm still seen as a 'stay at home Mom' so I still get calls to get together with friends, do this or that. you know the call "hey would you mind taking on...." ....and I HATE and I mean HATE to turn them down....
but if I say yes you know what it means??
it means my kids are not in school.

hmm....I'm pretty sure those with kids in public school wouldn't think it was okay to let their kids skip school so the Mommy could enjoy a cup of delicious coffee (caramel machiato please) and fabulous company.
errrrr.....that doesn't really work.

So friends (not speaking to one in-particular AT ALL). I'm so sorry, but I hope you will understand, that although my insurance package and retirement might not look the same as a public school teacher...I still have a responsibility to my students to clock in to work and teach them.....(don't worry I've factored some 'me' time into our new schedule...I am not deprived.)

Truly I Love My life and thank God each and every day that I have the privilege of educating my children at home. It's a great job - I love going to work every day

(okay ALMOST every day)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

An Assault on My Senses

Have I told you about my sister in law? I have two wonderful sister in laws. Truly I'm blessed. One of which lived in China for quite a few years.
Back when she first went she would send the most amazing emails home that would have us laughing and crying. Then a computer savvy friend of hers set up something like a blog...before blogging was cool and there were all these free sites. So she would keep us all informed of her adventures through her site. She has such a gift for story telling. It helps she's an English/Literature teacher, but truly she's gifted. We all kept telling her she needed to publish her writings. Our friends and family would say the same thing when we would send them the link. I mean the stories are just great!! And she finally did....and it's AWESOME!!

I happened to just go on Amazon tonight looking at it for some reason and saw that they only have 5 copies left. It is hilarious and enjoyable!! It is a great read. Yes, yes I'm completely and totally biased. I will admit (I find her amazing!). However, my friends that have read it are not, they think it's great too!! It's a great read on the cultural differences encountered when traveling!! It's a great book for those the enjoy travel, but also those that just dream about heat up a cup of tea and set back and enjoy!!

If Amazon runs out, you can also order from Barnes and Noble and

Monday, September 14, 2009

Remember the pitcher I mentioned here. Well this weekend while visiting with my cousins and sister over some yummy homemade ice cream after my GrandMother's funeral, come to find out we all had fond memories of the pitcher in her fridge. Funny how one simple thing can mean so much to you and leave a big memory!! It wasn't some huge expensive gift, big was what was always in the fridge at my Granny and GrandPa's house in Old Hickory, TN (LOVE That place!!). it was a sure thing. you could depend on it being there after a game of tag with cousins, or shooting bb guns, or playing with the neighbor's granddaughters.
You KNEW that the pitcher would be there full of ice cold water to sip on.
Well come to find out the pitcher that is one of those precious memories for me, one of my cousin has at his home
(don't you think he should give it to me?? I mean I even blogged about it for goodness sakes).

My sister and I had no idea. We'd assumed it had been dumped or donated LONG ago.
Isn't it funny though that all of us would have taken that pitcher as a precious family heirloom and treasured it as a precious connection to our grandparents?
I'd love to know how much my Grandparents paid for that pitcher I'm certain it wasn't much, and I'm sure another could be found and purchased easily....but it would not mean the same or be as treasured.

I love that simple things create such long-lasting memories.

I think there is a lesson in that....and a hope

(oh and the picture was my 'sweet' cousin's way of rubbing it in...ha ha....he posted it on facebook. The pitcher is continuing to create memories as we all pretend squabble over it's rightful owner, who will it be willed to next, etc etc)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

This craze over the President's speech to school children makes me sad. Just the statuses on facebook alone have shocked me...then there's the news....UGH!

I think it's great for a president to encourage our school children. I'm glad that President Reagan started the practice of talking to our school children. What? A republican has done it too!? YES and guess what so did Bush. And Democrats freaked about Republican's are freaking over Obama doing it.
Sad I think.
Is Obama my favorite president. Nope. Did I love and adore and agree with all Bush did. Nope.

But my question is this....when is the last time you GENUINELY prayed for President Obama?

I Timothy 2:1-2
1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

I wonder when is the last time you gave thanks to God for our President? Whether it be Bush or Obama.

I'll be honest I'm horrid at remembering such things. But I need to do better. I need to show my children a better example of praying for the authorities. I don't want them to grow up negative and with 'dooms day' attitudes when someone they didn't vote for gets elected. I want them to know that no matter what comes in their lives they have a faithful God who will be there to hear their prayers.
Is that the message I'm sending??

I you haven't watched it, I encourage you to. I will be showing it to my children today.
WHAT? A Mommy who lives in the south, Christian conservative, that homeschools and doesn't have to show them the 'dreaded speech' that so many kept their kids out of school so they wouldn't have to watch it -
is showing it to her kids BY CHOICE?! YES I AM!
And we will be following the video with a prayer for PRESIDENT Obama and our country and our country's children! And we will be sure to include a prayer of thanks that Obama took the time to encourage the children in this country. So many do not have supportive parents who take a genuine interest in their children's education. As a foster parent and from volunteering a ton in my kids public school when they were there I know that to be true. So I don't think having a president whether republican or or white...encourging children to stay in school is a bad thing at all. Was his speech changed because of the public's reaction. Probably...and I'll be thankful for that too, because I think this was a great speech!


(not my photo...found it on google images but I can't remember where - sorry!!)

God and Butterflies....

My Granny loved both.
I love my Granny.
After 101 (January would have been 102) years my Granny's earthly body (I like how my Mother referred to her body as her 'earthly costume') finally decided yesterday it was ready for her to move on to the eternal one! I'm SO happy for her. She wanted this. When we celebrated her 101st b'day with her she said with a chuckle "I've been trying to stop having these" and at Christmas with a mention of Santa Claus she said "well, I thought he died years ago!"

My Granny was quiet and humble. Hysterical and sarcastic. She held on to her humor til just the last few weeks. My sister reminds me of her sometimes....
it makes me smile since they have the same name.
But my Granny could make me laugh....hard! (so can my sister)

My Granny loved my Grandpa. IMMENSELY!
He's been gone since I was in 6th grade.
(Is it odd that I still tear up thinking about that dreaded phone call?)
A large part of the pain of losing him was knowing they would be apart.
Her love for him serves as a precious example to me even still.
she LOVED him. Truly and wholly and absolutely LOVED him!

My Granny (and us) lost my Aunt the first year I was married.... I lived the closest at the time so I was the first to 'get to her' when we got the news my Aunt had completed her time on this earth. I got a ticket trying to get there to be with Granny.

My Granny used to always have a bag of Creme Drops waiting on her kitchen table when we arrived. I never ate them anywhere else or hardly ever have seen them but if ever I see a bag of them anywhere I think so fondly of my times at Granny and Grandpa's (but shhh...I don't really like them)!

She always had chocolate milk in the fridge too (What a TREAT!)...and the coolest water pitcher ever. I loved drinking water at her house!

I was with my Granny the morning of Sept 11, 2001. John Mark and I spent the night with her the night before....we had a wonderful night, popping popcorn and chatting about the past. It was truly a great night!

My Granny adored her son, (my Daddy).
Truly adored him.
Peace was brought to her by just his voice...sometimes just the mention of his name.
He has been an incredible son...INCREDIBLE.

My Granny. Made Me Smile. Loved her Family.
Loved God, and Loved butterflies.

I love that my Granny is happy!