Saturday, May 31, 2008

This Week's Wrap Up

I thought I'd get back to doing a little summary of our week.

We started out the week w/ my parents and SIL & BIL all at our house, building beds, clearing out flower beds and otherwise getting stuff done. Then things quieted down. Other than grocery shopping we pretty much stayed home the rest of the week. We explored our "yard" abit more, the girls are getting into the "groove" of helping w/ laundry. It works well for them to bring me the wet clothes out of the laundry basket, but I find it's quicker and easier to just take the dry clothes down without their help, which they're fine with LOL.

We played some games, got back in our groove of spending some time on Kindermusik each day, read stories . . . and they did lots of playing outside and in while I unpacked and such. They have taken over the "coat closet" (which is under the stairs, so quite small anyway) as their "secret room" in which they have some sort of question & answer show a la the intro part of Veggie Tales (you know how Bob & Larry start the show out w/ some "question from a view", that kind of thing. It's most amusing to listen to. Eventually I'd like to store things like my vacuum cleaner in there but right now they're so enjoying playing in there that I guess I'll find someplace else for the vacuum LOL.

Yesterday we went to the last Kindermusik class (except for the end of class party next week) they weren't overly excited to be going, and A essentially refused to participate, though from her seat in the back of the room next to me, she did quietly join in a little bit. L had a rocky start but then did fine. And despite the struggle we've had with them telling me they don't want to go to Kindermusik (which started when dh started the new job & was gone all week but home on Fridays, so I think it was having to leave Daddy that let to them not wanting to go, and then yesterday that we came from Mama & Papa's house threw them) yesterday afternoon they asked if we could try to find a Kindermusik class near our new house. I'm not sure if they'd do as well w/ a different teacher, I'm not sure financially we'll be able to swing another class come fall . . . lots of unknowns but I told them we'd see. I find it interesting that they're interested in continuing when it's been such a struggle these last few weeks.

We spent yesterday afternoon at our old house. I was packing the odds and ends that we ran out of time to finish up when the moving van came. The girls alternated between playing on their own and the dish network hadn't been turned off yet so they watched tv a bunch of the afternoon, but other than some whining about "can we go YET" they did great. I got the main floor done and started on the bedrooms, so we're more than 1/3 done and are coming back next weekend so should be able to wrap everything up with no problem. Tomorrow I'm hoping to finish the upstairs and at least start on the garage &/or basement. And we need to load up as much stuff as will fit to take back with us. . .

Today was rainy (originally we'd thought we'd use our FONZ (National Zoo) membership one last time to go to the Baltimore Zoo) so we just stayed at Mom & Dad's house. The girls didn't want to go to "Mama & Papa's Sabbath School" w/o Mama (she's sick), and I decided given all the other upheaval in their lives right now, I wasn't going to try to force the issue. We read stories, listened to a new CD Mom got that has stories from our church history on it. Most of it is over the girls' head (according to Mom, I haven't listened to it) but one of the stories was one that the girls had heard in another kids' book Mom has (about Ellen White being hit by the rock, for those who know SDA church history) so we listened to that one. I have to admit that I fell asleep, but I think it held the girls' interest pretty well (my falling asleep isn't a criticism of the CD, I just don't do well just sitting and listening to ANYTHING!). Then L was wanting to play a game but didn't like the first several I suggested so I pulled out Egypt to Canaan and she wanted to play it (I see from the product description that it says age 8 & up, the box on mom & dad's (that was ours when we were kids) doesn't have an age range on it and I didn't remember how "advanced" it was). Last time I was here I'd gone through the question cards and divided out the ones that I thought the girls would know or could learn easily, so we played it using those cards for L (& A when she joined the game) & the harder ones for me (though I realized I needed to "adjust" how many spaces the cards said since harder questions tend to let you move more spaces, but since the girls don't read and I was just reading all the questions I could adjust that as needed). We also played that the girls got to move whether they knew the answer or not, since part of it was about them learning. But they did pretty well. A named 8 of the 10 plagues of Egypt (though the card said to name them in order & I just asked her to name them) which I thought was pretty good (and one of the ones she missed was lice which, everytime we read the story about the plagues the girls ask "what is lice?" so it's not suprising that she had trouble remembering it. The other one she missed was darkness). I'm hoping they enjoyed it enough that we can play it from time to time when we're here so that it reinforces the questions/answers that they don't know.

One of my questions, the answer was Mephibosheth (I don't remember the exact question, something about Jonathan's lame son I think) who the girls had never heard of (& for that matter, when I answered it, dh said "who?") so we had to take a break for me to tell them that story. And of course they couldn't comprehend why his nurse thought that David would hurt him, didn't she know David was nice? But, I guess he DID kill Goliath, maybe that's why she thought he was mean . . . it was a rather interesting conversation LOL. Makes me think they're inching closer to being ready for the Bible in Living Sound CDs.

They also got to find some of the first strawberries in Grandpa's garden (the rain let up enough for us to walk out there & back) and built with Lincoln Logs with Papa and such. But apparently the highlight of the day was this evening when Papa showed them the fun of throwing a balloon at the ceiling fan. Dad had a whole box of balloons that are at least 20 yrs old so we didn't have to worry about popping them, there were plenty more. They had a blast throwing balloons up for the fan to hit this way and that. And declared it "the most fun ever!" And mom could "participate" by sitting in a chair and watching it all (& blowing up more balloons when they popped).

And tomorrow is another long, boring day at the old house, entertaining themselves to the best of their ability while dh & I get stuff done.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Why Would They Do That?

For the past year or more we've been using exclusively raw milk in our house. But, I haven't taken the time to hunt down a source for raw milk since we moved (the closest seller on is 15+ mi away so I was hoping to get up there and find someone closer) so I've just been getting regular milk from the grocery store. The girls took one drink and flat out REFUSE to drink it! Mommy, this is unhealthy milk, it tastes gross!!!

Which of course led to a discussion of WHY it's different. I didn't go into too much detail but told them that they cook this milk and take things out of it. To which L said "but they take out the healthy parts, why would they want to do that?" Good question, kiddo! I didn't bother going into the whole history of why they started pasteurizing and homogenizing milk, figured that might be abit confusing at this age LOL.

Needless to say, the girls have informed me that I NEED to find healthy milk again LOL.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cute kid quote of the day

The "baby" geese (who are more like adolescents) are grazing in our front yard at the moment & when the girls came outside & saw them up close they said:

"Mommy those babies aren't babies anymore, they're toddlers. With a toddler appetite!"

Hee hee, it made me giggle.

Come Tour Our New House

I finally got pictures taken, woo-hoo! So, without further ado, come look around our new house :) It's still a work in progress, so don't mind the mess.

First things first, see my clothes line? I'm so excited about this!! LOVE the smell of fresh dried clothes :) Even the girls commented on how good they smell (w/o any prompting from me!)

Still messy, but here's our front porch & door. SIL did a great job of clearing out that front flowerbed this weekend. I want to get a bird feeder to put on top of the post (that "bell shaped thing" is to keep squirrels away from a bird feeder, so I might as well use it LOL).

The entry shelving. I LOVE this! Eventually I want to make another shelf to put in that top space. The pass through looks into the kitchen. From here you can go straight into the kitchen, left into the living room or right up the stairs.

This is where the wood cookstove would have been in the kitchen originally (and possibly a fireplace when the house was first built? I don't know if they would've done the mantel & such over the stove or if that's a sign that it was originally a fireplace?) The recent remodeling added (or replaced?) a desk area. I love the big long mantel above, eventually I want to make coordinating labels for all my dry goods to make that shelf look abit more uniform.

The rest of the kitchen (or most of it) standing against the sink/dishwasher area looking toward the front door next to the fridge is the doorway to the dining room.
One of my favorite parts of the kitchen, kind of a butlers pantry area (though mis-placed for a butler's pantry LOL) in the corner by the basement door. I love these glass doored shelves that go all the way to the ceiling. And underneath are nice big cabinets that will house my recycling among other things.

The dining room. Still has some extra stuff in it (that printer cart thing isn't likely to stay in there & I realized after the picture was taken that I hadn't moved the rags from the shelf, but it's a start.

The living room (standing in the doorway from the entry). Tables still need tablecloths (must still be packed somewhere LOL) and I want to get a slipcover for the less than gorgeous recliner. Deep windowsill is a great place for our laptops when not in use though LOL.
The rest of the living room. The recliner in the last picture is facing this TV to the left is doorway into dining room to the right is doorway to entry.

Now upstairs. At the top of the stairs is the hall (this is looking toward the stairs from our bedrooms) the whole left wall in this picture is one big closet (accessed by 3 doors). I put shelving in it & filled it w/ the girls school stuff & toys.

Next to the big closet is the door into the bathroom. The last tenants left the decor, which I'm more than happy to leave up, it's even "my" colors, although the navy hamper doesn't coordinate real well. Toilet is beyond the sink (left side of picture). There's also a door next to the tub that goes into the upstairs furnace room w/ additional storage space in the eves.

And finally, the girls' loft!! I realized it's hard to get a picture because it takes up the whole room, but you get the idea.

And the rest of their room. Door is closet. They're trilled to have Princess the horse in their room instead of in the basement like she was in our old house.

Our room (with L posing). Dad built our bed too, to sit over the bench that runs the length of the room. I have a bedskirt to hide the storage area underneath, just haven't put it on yet. Also want to buy (or have Dad make) some sort of shelf thing to sit on the bench on either side of the bed & act as a nightstand, for the moment we're using packing boxes LOL.

The rest of our room. Bed is to the left. My parents have a small dresser we'll put across from the closet door, not sure where the fan will end up (it's useless where it is, since the closet is between it & our bed, but it's out of the way anyway LOL). Haven't decided if the 2nd cedar chest (on the left in this picture) makes things too crowded or not, might move it to the other side of the bed, or might store it)

The play/school room is the least "done" room. The girls' computer is really the only thing that's in position. Dad will build us a table thing that sits over the monster printer (on the floor behind the computer) and the copy machine (that currently is still on the floor in the living room) will sit on top of it. Stuff on the bench is still waiting to find a room, as is the stuff in boxes on the left side of the picture.

And finally, the other corner of the play/school room. printer is to the right, door is to the left. Playstands are currently being used to stack boxes on. I'm still trying to decide if we want them in there at all or if we want to call it totally a school room and get rid of the playstands . . . we shall see . . .

And that ends our tour. I guess I didn't take pictures of the stairs (really should, they're impressively steep LOL) or the basement oh . . . I DO need to take pictures of the shelving in the stairs to the basement, but that will have to wait for another day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Enjoying Nature

Here are some of the pictures I took last week as we explored our new home. These are in no particular order.

The woods.
The waterfall just up the path from our house.

Our house, from the creek. The slide/climbing thing has been moved and this weekend Dad put a clothes line across in front of the basement door (from the tree to the end of the porch), but you get the idea.

This pond is right across the driveway from our house. See the geese?

The field behind our house, look at all that lovely lack of people :)

A wanted me to take a picture of the leaf she found on our walk.

Standing at our front door looking out (actually it looks better now, one of the projects SIL helped with over the weekend was clearing all the weeds out of that flower bed so now you can actually see the clematis and other flowers that were there)

Standing on the porch and looking up the hill. The girls' slide/climbing thing is now up under that tree. The little white building keeps tempting me to get chickens LOL.

The girls walking across the bridge just down the hill from our house.

The creek that runs under the above bridge.

The baby geese, and their parents, in our yard.

Woo-hoo!!!! All is Right in My World

We have internet, ahhhhhh! After supper this evening I spent a few lovely minutes sitting on the front porch listening to the birds sing, enjoying the peace & quiet, and surfing the web LOL.

I also officially finished unpacking the kitchen stuff today. I'm sure there are odds and ends I've missed, but there are also still completely empty cabinets so I think we're doing well. And I'm pretty sure all the actual boxes of kitchen stuff are now empty.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to take some pictures of some of the rooms & will try to get them posted, but we'll be at the old house this weekend wrapping up lose ends so I'm not sure how much I'll get done before I need to start packing for the weekend.

But, I'm back online woo-hoo!!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Busy Weekend

Still without internet at home sigh, though dh said he might be able to set things up such that I can use my laptop here at his office, so if he does that I can post pictures.

My parents & dh's sister & her husband were all here this weekend helping us with projects. The major projects were beds. Dad built a platform bed for us that fits over the odd "bench" in our room and then he built a huge double loft in the girls' room. That was a huge project but it's functionally done, we might do something different with lighting at some point and it needs to be painted at some point, but it will work for now. And the girls are delighted. And I'm excited to be able to work on unpacking in their room & the playroom now the bed is done. We did determine that the dollhouse bookcase (that you can see if you scroll down abit on this page from a LONG time ago LOL) will not go up the stairs so we had to send it to be stored at my parents' house. Now I need to decide if I want to put a different bookcase where I would have put it in their room or just have less shelf space in their room.

Dad also put up my clothes line & I hung out my first load of laundry today, woo-hoo!!! Dh is rolling his eyes at how excited I am about this, but I really am.

On a not so exciting note, the washer leaks, so we'll have to bug the landlord about that.

A really enjoyed helping Dad with all the building projects. And was a good "go-fer". L thought Mama should play with her all the time, but mom was able to help me with a few projects inbetween. And Mom, SIL, and the girls all helped me to weed the flowerbeds that I'm wanting to put herbs in. I wanted mom to help me with that in case there was something non-weed in them. The one bed does have a rosebush (that was pretty much totally hidden by weeds), a clematis (that's currently in bloom, so I was able to figure out that one for myself, not what it was, but that it wasn't a weed) & I think mom said the 3rd bush was a rhodedendron which is done blooming but there were enough mostly dead blooms hanging on it that I was pretty sure it was a non-weed too.

And now we need to get our tired kids home to bed, so I'll sign off for now. I'm hoping to get pictures of at least a couple rooms taken this week and posted if dh can set me up to use the laptop here (or if Comcast gets it's act together & we actually get internet at home).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

We made it

Still no internet at home (I'm at dh's office), but we're here & I've unpacked 25 boxes so far LOL. Tuesday was a LONG day, but we survived. I've been writing daily updates that I'll probably post at some point for those who want the blow-by-blow of the whole experience.

Ever since dh started working here he's been telling them that his department secretary, who lives in one of the other houses on the property we're on, has a 7 yr old dd who can't wait to meet them. Today she was here at the office from the time she got out of school till her mom leaves work so we came over so the girls could meet her (& I could check e-mail) they took a little while to warm up but now they're running around w/ her having a blast, so I'm getting some extra computer time while they play LOL.

I took some pictures yesterday when the girls & I explored part of the property but will have to wait & post them sometime when I have wireless (may try to talk dh into letting me go to starbucks tomorrow to take advantage of their wireless (& use my giftcard LOL).

Stuff seems to be fitting in the house better than I thought it might. I love that the kitchen/basement is designed w/ TONS of places to store jars of food & such. Dh hadn't noticed all the shelving tucking into corners until I started filling it LOL, I told him it's because the house was built back when women had big gardens & canned all the extra & stored it to feed their family all winter :)

Girls are loving exploring the new house & yard.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Signing off . . .

Moving van comes tomorrow. Now sure how soon we'll have internet at the new house. There's a McDonalds with wireless & a play area about 15 min away so if I go too throughly into withdrawal I can take the kids to play (if it rains all week as predicted I may do that just to burn off kid energy. DH said he wasn't feeling good this evening & went to bed right after the kids, so prayers that he caught it early enough and doesn't get sick would be appreciated. And some prayers that the rain holds off till Wed would be MUCH appreciated as well (though for unloading it looks like heavier rain will be in the morning and it'll just be scattered showers by the time we're unloading so hopefully that won't be too bad).

And in farewell, I leave you with a picture of the last night in our house. The girls (& Daddy) fell asleep while I was reading bedtime stories tonight, they were all so cute I had to snap a picture :)

Watch out for Guys in Flashy Cars

One of the families on our cul de sac has a boy a few months younger than my girls but the mom works at least part time & they have a fenced backyard with a swingset & such so she usually has the kids out there so we've just never really crossed paths. Last week one day when I was packing in the garage B (the little boy) was outside playing with his new car (one of those battery rechargeable ones) and tried to get the girls to play with him. They took a little time to warm up to him, but finally decided to ride with him in his car. This picture was actually taken a couple days later when B was outside the same time as us again. L ended up coming back in the house but A & B had a BLAST!! We've been having fun teasing her about her "boyfriend" and she gets all embarrassed about it LOL. I'm sad that they just became friends & now we're leaving. Maybe he'll be outside some when we're here cleaning up over the next few weeks so they can at least play together a few more times (they rode bikes together this evening too). Anyway, just had to share the picture :)

Menu Plan Monday

Moving Van comes tomorrow so this week's menus are pretty un-planned based on not knowing how things will pan out.

Today is leftovers to clear out the fridge (and not waste time cooking when I need to be packing).

Tomorrow Breakfast I have homemade "egg mcmuffin" type things in the freezer that I made one day last week when I was scrambling eggs for fried rice.
Lunch I'm hoping to make sandwiches at least for the kids to eat as we drive up to the new house (or might rope my mom into doing it while we load the truck) if we run out of time it'll be fast food that we grab on our way up.
Dinner we're ordering pizza since we're hiring some of the 10th graders from the local school to help us unload, we figured pizza would keep them happy & not waste anyone's time fixing food.

The rest of the week will be scrounging whatever is unpacked first &/or making a run to the grocery store for easy semi-convenience foods.

Not sure I'll be online to post it, but I plan to be back on track with actual menu planning by next week :)

Check out everyone else's menus here.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Countdown to the Move

DH got home from his last week "away" last night. Because by the time he goes to work again we'll be up there, woo-hoo!! Still TONS to do here! And it's looking like rain from now till post-move so that will make everything nice & muddy & yucky . . . UGH!!!

But, slowly but surely we're getting stuff packed, and having all our "last time" things . . .

Today is the last Kindermusik before we move (though I think we'll end up missing next week & then being here for the final two, since we'll have to do repairs, clean-up, etc at this house anyway.

Tomorrow will be our last Sabbath at our church (the weeks we come back I suspect we'll be at my parents' church or something)

We got our last milk from "the farm" this week (and a week from today I'll be checking out the farmer's market up there to see if they have raw milk, and in general to see what they have) if they don't the following week we'll be going to check out the closest farm on (but it's 18 mi away so I'm hoping to find something closer).

And I still have a huge to do list:
Kids' toys still need to be packed (though some have been & they've been helping with that)
Kitchen cabinets are empty but there's still kitchen stuff piled around the room waiting to be put in boxes
The deep freeze is all "boxified" but I need to put the stuff from the upstairs freezer into boxes & put it in the deep freeze
I packed most of the bathroom stuff awhile back but there's the odds & ends that I need to get into another box to get us to "living out of a suitcase" status in the bathroom.
Boxes throughout the house need to be stacked in the garage for quicker/easier loading the day the truck is here.
There are half-full boxes sitting throughout the house that I need to consolidate & finish filling
I have one more load of clothes laundry to do on Sunday and a load of wipes/towels to do on Monday & then I can pack the laundry room (& the wipes & such).
I've been working on printing off directions to places I'll want to go in the first week or two up there since I don't know how soon we'll have internet at the house (one of the directions I printed off is the library which hopefully will have internet so I can at least run over there & check e-mail every couple days)
And I'm sure thousands of other things I haven't even thought of LOL.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Quick Biscuits

Today for lunch I figured I'd whip up a batch of biscuits. I adapted a recipe from

Quick Biscuits

2 c flour (I used half ww, will probably add a little more ww next time, since they weren't too "wheaty" at 50/50)
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 c oil
a generous 3/4 c milk (or buttermilk, or yogurt)

Mix everything together into a stick dough, drop by spoonfuls onto a baking stone (recipe says greased baking sheet for those who don't use baking stones) Bake 10-15 min at 425. If you want non-drop biscuits you can use the original recipe I chose the drop biscuits for a number of reasons. 1) I'm lazy & dropping is easier than rolling & cutting (though the kids would've enjoyed the rolling & cutting) 2) the original recipe calls for shortening instead of oil and I don't have any, nor do I like to use it. I've substituted coconut oil (solid @ room temp) for shortening in other recipes with good results but I'm running low on it at the moment and order it online so trying tomake it last till my next order. 3) the board game we were playing took longer than anticipated and I didn't want to push lunch back longer while we let the dough rise. I think L's eaten 4 or 5 of these and A's had at least 3 . . . so they're a hit! In fact, when L asked for "another one" for the umpteenth time, A's worry was "we need to save some for breakfast!" I assured her we can make more for breakfast LOL. I've been trying various muffin recipes for breakfast use, especially on Sabbath morning when a "grab & go" breakfast would be much easier, but haven't managed to make any that the girls like, so perhaps biscuits is what I need to be doing instead, dh will like that idea better anyway LOL.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday - Jott

I discovered the coolest little thing a couple weeks ago. It's this handy dandy little site lets me call e-mails to people. Now I suppose if I actually had text messaging that might accomplish the same thing, but I don't (well, I do, but I have to pay per text message & I'm cheap, so for all intents & purposes, I don't).

There are things I think of as I'm driving down the road, or running errands or sitting in the girls' Kindermusik class or . . . that I want to tell people but it's not something that I need to tell them right. this. minute. I don't need to disturb dh at work to tell him that I drove past a sign advertising a house for rent in our neighborhood (which at least seems to answers our question about whether renting our house is allowed). But I have a terrible memory & chances are, by the time I get home, I'll have totally forgotten about that sign (even though I'll drive by it again as I come into our development). Here's where Jott is awesome. As soon as I passed the sign I called up Jott and told it to send Rodney an e-mail telling him about the sign.

And it's all 100% FREE!!!! Here's how it works. Register your e-mail address, and tell them your cell phone #, then call from your cell phone # so they can get it all linked together. Then on their website tell them the e-mail addresses of people you want to be able to e-mail on the run, including a name to recognize it by. Now we're ready to go. So, when I saw the above mentioned rent sign I called Jott. And it went like this:

Jott: Who do you want to jott?
Me: (dh's first name)
Jott: (dh's full name) is this correct?
Me: Yes
Me: (speaking slowly and clearly) There is a sign in front of our development advertising a house for rent on xxxxx Dr. So I guess rentals are allowed by our HOA.
Jott: Got it . . .

and then it gives options of re-recording and I don't remember what all else, I hang up at that point LOL.

And it sends Rodney and e-mail, and me a copy, with the message as I said it (or as it heard me) typed out PLUS a link to the actual recording so if he gets the message and something doesn't look right he can listen & see what I really said.

So far I've been pretty impressed with how well the voice recognition works. I need to remember to spell out words that are proper names (Aldis became Oldies, for example) but that's to be expected.

I can send myself reminders, send dh reminders . . . etc.

And that's what works-for-me this week.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Five Things About Me is hosting a meme/giveaway, and you know I can't resist the chance to win free stuff LOL. So . . .

5 Things About Me:
  1. I can't go to sleep at night without reading for at least a few minutes
  2. I'm moving one week from today and REALLY should be packing instead of posting blog entries & such.
  3. I hate getting dirty, therefore I hate gardening (but do it for the free, pesticide-free food)
  4. I didn't like cake in any form as a child, and it's still not my favorite, I eat it for the frosting, or to be polite LOL
  5. I've known my husband for half my life (and in 2 more months, I'll be able to say I've been dating/married to him for half my life LOL)
Go join in the fun at MommyFest.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Free E-books

CurrClick is giving away a whole bunch of homeschooling ebooks & unit studies & such as a Mother's Day Gift!! Even if you're not a homeschooler there are some "household management" type things (some nice looking printables for making a Bible Study/Church/Prayer Journal, a Mom's Chore Organizer (that I haven't looked at yet) etc. And some of the worksheets & unit studies might be fun Summer activities for your kids. So Check it out here. (warning, the downloads are running slow, probably because it just "opened" an hour or so ago, so those of us who wanted to be sure to get it, are all trying to download at the same time LOL).

Menu Plan Monday

This is our last week of menus before we move. My mom sent home a bunch of leftovers this weekend, so we'll be eating them up (which means less cooking YAY! And working on clearing out the fridge and such . . . here's the tentative plan, but it can be hard to gauge exactly how long leftovers will last & such, so who knows LOL. Check out for more menus.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

This Week's Wrap-Up

Our moving date has changed AGAIN (at least I don't think I've mentioned this change yet, but I'm losing track LOL). Anyway, as of right now, the plan is to move a week from Tuesday! That's just over a week away EEEK!! LOL. And the girls have been pretty needy this weekend so we couldn't get as much done as we'd hoped. Fingers crossed that I can finish packing all but the bare necessities this week while dh is gone (yay!! Last week of that!!!) so that we can wrap up the final odds & ends next weekend & Monday without too much stress! (yes, probably wishful thinking but a girl can hope LOL).

Mother's Day was lovely and low-key (just like I like it LOL). DH & the girls made blueberry pancakes for breakfast and the girls went out & picked dandelion and mint leaves for me and made cards. A even thought to pick some of the mint w/ the roots attached (or maybe it was accidental, I don't know) "so we can plant it at the new house" :)

And after a day spent packing & such we went to Taco Bell for dinner (my choice, I didn't want to cook but also didn't want to deal w/ the crowds of a "real" restaurant or the mess of asking dh to cook (I love him, and he's an awesome cook but I'm constantly amazed at how many dishes he uses LOL.).

So, a quiet day at home with my favorite people, can't beat that :)

The girls, especially A, are enjoying helping packing. And as long as I solicit their help they are even ok with packing toys. We packed the dollhouse furniture and blocks today, and I'm hoping we can pack a bunch more toys over the next few days :)

Other happenings this past week: Our last lunch with Mama & Papa (obviously we'll eat with them again, but we have met them for lunch once a week since the girls were a month old except when they or we have been out of town or sick or something, and now that tradition is at an end). We didn't realize it at the time since at that point we thought we were moving on Friday instead of Tuesday which meant we would have gone up one day that week.

Our last time going to the farm to get milk (my friend Kim will get it for us this week). The girls told the cows goodbye. I'm so hoping to find as great a farm to get raw milk from in our new town!

The girls are practicing their writing skills by writing on some of the boxes (so hopefully the people who help us unload the truck will be able to read their writing (I'm also sticking colored stickers on all boxes so if the writing's unreadable they can figure out the room based on that (& I'm pretty confident I can read the writing enough to figure out what to unpack when LOL).

The reality of leaving friends is starting to sink in. The girls are talking about missing their friends, but also excited about meeting our new neighbor girl at the new house.

Overall, they're still excited about the move though.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Feast


When someone smiles at you, do you smile back?



Describe the flooring in your home. Do you have carpet, hardwood, vinyl, a mix?

We're moving in just over a week, but this house is mostly carpeted, vinyl in kitchen & bathrooms, hardwood in the entryway. New house is mostly carpeted, vinyl in the kitchen & I think tile in the bathroom.


Write a sentence with only 5 words, but all of the words have to start with the first letter of your first name.
Lucy Locket loves licking lollypops

Main Course

Do you know anyone whose life has been touched by adoption?
Yes, my younger brother's adopted, so our whole family has been.


Name 2 blue things.

My girls' eyes :)

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mother's Day Blog Bash!!

The Mother's Day Blog Bash over at Notes from My Nest starts today, why not pop over and see what other moms have learned about motherhood. I wrote my post for this bash a few days ago. But there's still time to join in the fun, just write your post about "Now I Know . . . " and link to it in the Mr. Linky over at Notes in My Nest.

In Everything Give Thanks . . .

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thess. 5:18.

This text has been one that I struggle with. In EVERYTHING give thanks! That means even on a terrible horrible no good, really bad day, we are to be thankful for all that terrible horrible stuff that's going on . . . I'm not there. There are days when I am most definitely NOT thankful, but with God's help, I'm working on it. . .

There are many things I LOVE about the house we're moving to. Mostly having to do with it having tons of land around it, even some woods and a creek and a pond . . . we're going to have so much fun exploring! And I'm thrilled that the kids can play outside whenever they want (as opposed to only when Mommy has time to sit outside with them). But I'll admit, the challenge of condensing everything we own into a much smaller house has been, well, challenging. But here are a few things I've already found to be thankful about in anticipation of the smaller house.

I think I've mentioned in passing that we use cloth wipes instead of toilet paper (most of the time). The laundry of it is no big deal for me, but one of those little annoyances in life has always been figuring out how to divide the wipes amongst the 3 bathrooms (powder room, girls' bathroom, master bath) so that they all get low at approximately the same time. It never happens, one bathroom always runs out first and we end up shuffling between the bathrooms for the last few days before I wash a load. Well, as I was folding wipes (which really just means laying them in a pile) a couple weeks ago, trying to figure out, as always, how to allocate them into the 3 piles, it hit me. At the new house there is ONE bathroom! No sorting required! All the TP wipes will go in one big pile and that pile will go in one bathroom and when it starts to run low, I know it's time to do another load. Easy peasy!!! That's something I'm thankful for about having only one bathroom.

And then I was thinking about schedules and such once we move. And I was telling myself that as soon as we get moved I need to pull out our daily/weekly/zone schedule & start following it faithfully again so the house never gets a chance to get to the point this one was when I started that system. And to get the girls back used to helping with chores consistently (with the time constraints & chaos of moving, their "chore" has been to entertain themselves while I spend most of every day packing, sorting, etc. but it means that we're back to where they whine if I do ask them to help w/ chores). Anyway . . . as I thought about that, I realized that different house means different zones, and was thinking I better tweak the zones I had to reflect the new house. And then I realized, smaller house = way easier zones!!! I haven't gone through & re-done all the specific chores, but just as I was thinking about it, I could easily come up with the zones, why? Because I like to do 8 zones (so everything gets deep cleaned once every 2 months) and the house has exactly 8 rooms, easy! I'm giddy over how easy it was to re-assign zones :)

So those are just two of the ways I've found recently to be thankful for challenges :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Win a MomAgenda!

Those who've been reading my blog for awhile (or like to poke around in the archives, hee hee) have heard me sing the praises of my MomAgenda before :)

And now Jenn of is holding a contest to win a momAgenda! Participating in the momAgenda contest is as easy as creating a blog entry that links to the contest and to For more information, see the official contest blog entry: Win a momAgenda!

Book review: Vaccine Alternatives

My mom shared with me a book printed by her employer called Vaccine Alternatives How to Prevent and Treat Illness Using Natural Remedies by Ervin Davis (at this time, I'm not sure where this book is available to buy, or if it's available yet. It should soon be available to purchase here).

I have to admit vaccination is something that I wasn't sure about, but went ahead & did up through 12 months for the girls, with the exception of chicken pox & MMR. While I haven't done indepth research into vaccines since then either, as I learned more about whole foods, avoiding chemicals in foods, cleaners, etc. . . . it was kind of a common sense thing (for me) that at the very least additional research was needed. Why would I be careful to not cook on aluminum because of the risks involved but then allow a doctor to inject it into an infant? This book, for the place I was at in my "journey toward healthier living, answered the questions I still had.

The book claims to present both sides and it does, to an extent, but it's obvious that the author isn't a fan of routine vaccination. I'm not sure it would be possible to write an "unbiased" book that truely gave both sides short of having it co-written by 2 people, one who was pro-vax and one who wasn't. While it's one thing to say that each family must decide for themselves (which this book does) it's nearly impossible, to write a book encouraging something you believe to be harmful. And this seems to be the case in this book.

That said, regardless of where you stand on vaccination, this book does a good job of presenting the stats surrounding the diseases typically vaccinated for in this country. As well as good, overall advice for building a healthy immune system whether you & your children are vaccinated or not.

Dr. Davis starts by giving a general overview of how vaccines are made (as a vegetarian, I find it disturbing that most are cultured on such appetizing things as monkey kidneys, and less you assume that just because it's cultured on it, doesn't mean it's in it, vaccines that are cultured on eggs (or chicken embryos) are to be avoided by those allergic to eggs, because of the allergic reaction), and how they work. Then he goes through each of the standard infant vaccinations (in the USA) and tells specifically the stats for the disease, the possible complications of the vaccination (and in some instances the stats surrounding those complications) as well as what the vaccine contains, and in most cases, what it's cultured on.

He follows with general "healthy living" advice, that shouldn't be a surprise to any SDA (he basically goes through the 8 health rules, although he changes the terminology to use IMMUNITY as an acronym for them). I should probably note that he recommends a vegan lifestyle, though he seems to recognize throughout the book that most of his readers do eat dairy & eggs (it struck me partway through that he doesn't say much about the dangers of meat, I think, he's written this book assuming that his reader base is primarily vegetarian).

The remainder of the book focuses on herbal remedies. He talks first about vitamins & such that are beneficial to the immune system, he gives whole food sources for all of these but also indicates dosage in most cases should a person choose to use supplements. He then gives some basic information on how to prepare herbal remedies (though I don't think I'd want to attempt to make a tincture, glycerite or capsule relying exclusively on the information in his book. Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal gives good directions should you want to venture into these though I'll admit, they're move involved than I choose to attempt, I just buy my tinctures & glycerites LOL). The last part of the book gives specific herbal, and whole health, advice for preventing & treating the diseases that are typically vaccinated against. This is more of a "reference manual" rather than something to just read through. I don't anticipate needing to know prevention or treatment of malaria in the next few days, so I just paged through & read some of the more likely illnesses (like the flu). The advice seemed good overall, listing specific herbs to be used for each, some hydrotherapy suggestions (and brief explanations of how to do these techniques in the appendix, though like the herbal stuff, I'm not sure it's complete enough to use as a complete guide for it), and common sense things (like fresh air, keep patient warm, avoid sugar, drink lots of water, etc.).

In addition to the hydrotherapy information the appendixes also include a basic travel/first aid kit list, resources for further information on the topics covered (herbal remedies, hydrotherapy, etc), and additional suggestions for those traveling overseas.

All in all! It's a book I'm glad to add to my herbal remedies library. The combination of herbal remedies AND the more common sense/laws of health reminders is helpful when you're dealing w/ a sick kid & just want to see a list all in one place of things to use for that illness.

Things I would change. While he alludes to the problem of antibiotics and such in dairy, he never addresses the topic of organics at all. I would expect some recommendation, along with whole foods, to be aware of the pesticides and such that are in some conventional fruits & vegetables. He addresses the dangers of all the chemicals and such in our homes, when talking about fresh air, but seems to indicate that just making sure to also get some outside air is sufficient, I believe house plants is the only thing he mentions for actually improving indoor air, whereas I think a recommendation to limit the chemical substances we use in our house.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Here's this week's menu (I am loving have it all in a calendar that I can just link to LOL). To see other menus, go to orgjunkie.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sheep & Wool Festival

Today we went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. This is the 3rd year we've gone. It is free (parking & admission) and along with the plethora of wool products (from roving to yarn to gorgeous sweaters & such) and other handcrafted items for sale (some year I'm going to ditch the kids & just spend an entire day wandering the shopping area with saved up Christmas money or early Birthday money (or both) in hand LOL), and the farmer (shepherd?) targeted stuff (sheep judging, farm equipment auctions, etc), they have some great educational stuff like sheep dog herding, sheep shearing, spinning, weaving . . .

Some highlights:
  • While we were waiting for the sheep dog herding, L some some other kids running around the outside of the arena, and wanted to do it as well, A was busy picking buttercups, so L did it by herself, it was a BIG arena and she ran all the way around it (there were few enough people that I could watch her the whole time around.
  • As we were leaving, L declared the funnel cake her favorite part LOL
  • We saw a mandolin player (I think that's what the instrument was anyway) and the girls really enjoyed watching him for quite awhile
  • A woman at a booth selling weaving looms was kind enough to give us (& another family w/ 2 little kids) a wonderful demonstration of how weaving is done, I have to admit, I was pretty fascinated too :)
  • The sheep shearing was the same guy as last year, and just as fascinating! The girls were more interested in it this year (was still abit over their heads last year). Though they were rather concerned about whether it was hurting the sheep (a valid concern, the way they hold the sheep, though they assured us that it was comfortable for her LOL)
  • Walking through the sheep barns was just as big a hit as last year, A found a sheep who said "baaa" back at her every time she said it (probably coincidence, but she thought it was pretty cool LOL)
  • We also got to see/pet alpacas and angora goats
The weather was gorgeous, sunny, breezy, not too hot, not too cold! Couldn't have asked for better.

You can see other people's homeschool highlights here.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday Feast


What was your favorite cartoon when you were a child?

We didn't have a tv at all until I was 6, and then watched very little, and very selectively. So I never really watched cartoons per se. My favorite show was probably the land of make believe portion of Mr Rogers


Pretend you are about to get a new pet. Which animal would you pick, and what would you name it?

A new pet is very low on my list of things I'd want right now LOL. But the girls are lobbying for chickens when we move. They'd get to name them, so it could be anything from things like peep, to made up words we've never heard of (they have long-term imaginary friends named So-so and Gosha, among others) or would never consider for a name (they have dolls named, respectively, Pancake and Pizza, among other things). It also wouldn't surprise me if one ended up named Pepper, the name of the chick I had as a little kid, and a story they ask for quite regularly.


On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy getting all dressed up for a special occasion?

3, maybe? Once in a great while, it's fun, but for the most part it's just more work than it's worth LOL

Main Course

What kind of music do you listen to while you drive?

Usually kid music, or at the moment, kid stories. If I'm alone, lately I've been enjoying some old Christian CDs (from my high school years LOL) that I found while cleaning :)


When was the last time you bought a clock? And in which room did you put it?

Hmmm . . . it's been awhile, probably the travel alarm I bought to have on my side of the bed since there wasn't room for anything else while the cosleeper was up. That was probably a year ago, maybe 2.

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