Monday, November 30, 2009

How Mean...

...that my daughter, Cadi, would try to make me think that her best friend, Rachel would do something this mean!

Shame on you, Cadi...

But, I love the mean face, Rachel...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Get Used To It...

I should have noticed it, right?

Even a year ago, when these photos were taken, Sydnee was changing from that girl with too much arm, too much leg, doesn't know what to do with herself little girl... into a young lady.

Now, she is still only 11...

but, the changes are there.

She isn't a "little girl" anymore.  She isn't grown, but she isn't little.  Mothers notice these things.  Dads try to ignore them... But, life moves on.

I should have noticed that although she still loves to play... whatever the cool thing to play is... she now spends a lot of time listening to music and reading.  She wants to be around when the older girls are all chatting with mom.

I am not a fan of change.

Where kids are involved, it just means you are getting closer to that time when they will strike out on their own and you won't get to be a part of the "everyday".

I don't like it.

I may not like it, but either way, it is happening... and I'd better get used to it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fun and Yum...

The kids are enjoying tinker toys.

They gather around and "build" some of the most inventive things.  I was never good at tinker toys.
That is why I am always amazed at what they show me.

Oh, and yes... that is our 20 year old down in the floor building... a car, microphone, airplane... I'm not sure.

Momma done good!

Daddy will never let her get away...If only for this recipe. LOL.

Above: Fudge Crinkles

Below: Todays bread... Oh the house smells wonderful!

Fudge Crinkles

1 box devils food cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together first 3 ingredients.  Dust hands with powdered sugar then roll dough into 1 inch balls.  Roll in powdered sugar and place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake 8 - 10 minutes.  (My oven needs the full 10.)  Do NOT over bake.  The cookies will puff up during baking and then flatten during cooling.  Take out of oven and place immediately on wax paper or foil.  If you try to put them on cooling rack they will fold aound the bars of the rack.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Get Over Myself...

I looked out the window and couldn't believe my eyes!

I knew it was cold, but... really?  This?  Now?

Within 90 minutes we had about 5 inches on the ground and I wanted to cry.

The kids were overjoyed!

I was in a deep depression...

I know, I know... I have heard it all before.

What you must understand is that when you grow up in Alaska...

You get a lot of this stuff.

I am just done with snow.

I love the idea of global warming.

I just wish I saw it happening... because around here, we are not experiencing that "theory". 

We are in a snowstorm... and we all know what that does to me.

Okay, now I have cried about it. 

I have moaned and thrown a fit on the floor.

I have comtemplated moving to Arizona or Texas...

Now, I will smile and get over myself.

** These pics are from last week.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

An Adoption Story...

This is my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.  They came to visit us over the holidays and showed us the video that their church had put together after their adoption.  This is worth watching... They get it!  They get why this "calling" is so very important.  They get the impact that you have on someones life... I am so proud... so very, very proud of them...

Sweetstory from Sunset Christian on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Beyond Measure...

Today was a very special day in our home...

after two years of struggles and tears and fights...

we were awarded the best thing in the world!





A necklace given...

that symbolizes a love that can never be broken.

I would love to tell you more, but right now I am full of so much love, gratitude and... tears that I can't talk about it... even in writing.

-- Just know that God has blessed this family beyond measure...

And Then it Was Gone...

I found a recipe the other day for a really easy pineapple upside down cake.  It was so easy that I thought I would give it a try.

This is what it looked like when I first took it out of the oven.

... and this is what it looked like 5 minutes after that!

You can imagine what it looked like 5 minutes after that!

Since I am the kind, generous person that I am... I will share the recipe with you.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1 can crushed pineapple (about 15 oz)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
5 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla

Drain the pineapple but reserve the liquid.  Mix 1/4 cup melted butter with the brown sugar, 2 Tbsp of reserved liquid and the drained pineapple.  Spread in the bottom of pan.  (You can use bundt or 9x13)

To the rest of the reserved liquid add enough water to make 1 1/3 cup.  Set this aside.

Combine flour, baking powder.  Set this aside.

Cream 1 cup butter with the white sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla, beat for 1 minute.  Add the flour mixture alternately with the juice... beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Pour over the pineapple mixture.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  Check with a toothpick.

When I make this in a bundt pan I turn it over on a large plate so you can see the pretty pineapple.  When  I make it in a 9x13 I don't bother.


Oh, I just figured out where I got this recipe from...
MotherHen at Meanwhile, back at the Ranch.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Need Help...

Okay, this is a little embarrassing.


I have to tell you all the truth, right?  That is afterall what the blog is all about... letting you all see a true glimpse of our lives.

Deep sigh...

I am a coffee sniffer!

I don't drink it very often... because I need to put too much sugar in there and I try to stay away from that as much as possible these days.

My daughter works at the big corporate coffee place that so many people seem to love, though... and when she brings her coffee drinking daddy a bag each week... I sit and... well... sniff.

Yes, I love the smell. 

I know it is weird, but it satisfies some weird place inside of me.

I'm sure I need help...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Searching For Trouble...

Every mother knows that the sound of silence in your home can be really scary!

I mean, if it gets too quiet around here... that usually means someone is in BIG trouble.

So, when it got too quiet the other night, I went in search of the trouble makers...

I was very surprised to find...

Quiet children.

They had climbed into Brysen's bed to... ahem... sniff sniff.. READ!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Breakfast Helpers and a Recipe...

We don't eat cold cereal very often anymore.

Infact, I don't even know if we have any in the cabinet right now.

I try to start the kids off with something warm in their tummys.  They seem to give me better behavior and the school day goes a lot better... not to mention it is so much cheaper!

If you get up in time to help momma she really appreciates it.  There is always a job available.

No one is too young to help!

While we are talking about breakfast, let me share with you what I made the kids this morning... Oh so good!

This tastes like an oatmeal cookie for breakfast!

Amish Baked Oatmeal

In a mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 cups quick cook oatmeal (not the instant stuff) and 1/2 cup brown sugar.

To that add:
1/2 cup milk (I use skim)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

combine well.

Grease a 8x8 pan.
Pour into pan.

You can do what I do and make this the night before and then refrigerate it until morning or you can mix it and cook it in the morning.

Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

You can eat immidiately.  However, I let it cool for 5 minutes or so and then it is easy to cut into squares.  This recipe is easilly doubled (or more) if you need to feed a crew like we do.

For toppings ( if you want them) you can do whipped cream or fruit or even put it in a bowl and pour milk over it.  SOOOOOOOOO  GOOOOOOD!!!!!!!

Even the boy asks for seconds or thirds!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Doing It Well...

These pictures are from... well, about a month ago. 

Mark was working on the second set of bunkbeds that he made....

and where Daddy is...

the boy is!

Showing a boy how to be a man is one of the most important jobs you will ever do...

...and you are doing it well!

I Promise...


Things are looking better...

A few days after Ari came down with... "The Crud"... Lily suddenly had it too.

It has NOT been fun! This is not a pretty sickness.

Today has been much better!  Instead of temperatures hovering around 103 or 104 they have been around 100.  The girls have also been up moving around... actually playing today!  Hooray!!!!!!  Now, we just need to get that sick look out of their eyes and get them the rest of the way to Healthy.

I know, I know... I didn't upload any photos... but I soon as I get off of here I will take care of that.  Oh, and I really should tell you all about the Amish Baked Oatmeal that my children devoured this morning!  Can you say... Yummy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Uh Oh...

Now, Lily has a fever... Before I gave her some medicine it was 103.7!!!  Yikes!

They are feeling better now with some meds and a fresh shower.  I hope this thing stops here...

On a better note, Mark got the bedroom walls finished.  The kids had picked a couple of holes in the sheetrock... small ones but they needed to get fixed... They are all done. 

We are still on the lookout for a mattress for the last bed. 

Mark made dinner tonight!  How nice... We had bbq hamburgers and roasted potatoes... It hit the spot just right. 

Then my brother called and we talked for about an hour... I miss him tons!

Okay... now we are going to head downstairs and watch, "The Tale of Despereux"... I don't think I spelled that right... but I am too lazy to go check.

I will try to get some photos uploaded tomorrow so you can see a little of what has been happening around here. 

Oh, that reminds me... I need to make a shopping list... tomorrow is Friday.

Night all...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Promise... I Am Not Trying to Neglect You...

I just happen to have a very sick little two year old girl... who needs my love and attention.

She has been sick for the past few days and probably has another 2 or 3 to go... so give me a little room and I will be with you as soon as possible...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happy Day...

We received snow over the weekend... and we all know how I feel about snow.

I am, however, trying to enjoy the newness of the snow.  It should melt off for the most part in the next few days... and then the forecast if for more snow!

Deep breath

Deeper breath...

Okay, I am prepared.

We got a lot done over the weekend.  We did some Christmas shopping... Usually I am done by now... but, not this year!  Ooooppss.

We did a major clean up of our bedroom... which was needed so badly.  We just don't have enough storage in this house... at least, the kind of storage a house with many people living in it needs to have.  Unfortunately, sometimes my bedroom becomes the storage place... We tossed things and shoved things and cried a little when we had to throw some things out...  but now, it is clean and in order.  Hallelujah!

We have a busy day today as well.  There are a couple of walls that need some touch ups since we moved furniture and the kids... well, they are kids.  So when  Mark gets home, that will be his big job.  I need to work on laundry... the never ending job.  I also need to clean out our baskets.  We have these baskets by the front door.  Everyone has one... and it holds our shoes and stuff that used to clutter up the entry.  That needs to be cleaned up big time.  It isn't messy just a bit overflowing.

By the way, my niece turned 25 over the weekend...25!!!!  How is that even possible?  I thought I was 25!!
Happy Birthday, JaNae!  But... please stop getting older... it is hard for me to claim 25 when you are so grown up!

We are making all kinds of plans for the visit of relatives for Thanksgiving.  I am soooo excited!  The kids are sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited!!!!!!  Cousins and uncle and aunt and grandparents... oh my!

Happy day to all of you!  Put on a smile, and fill your heart with JOY!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Muddle Through...

God has been "dealing" with me lately...

It all stems back to love.

He wants more from me... from all of us really... but right now, He is dealing with me.

Even when I know He is right, I don't always like it.  I struggle.  I rebel.  I fight.  I try to make excuses and "hide". 

In the end, I always recognize His wisdom.  I always end up giving up my feeble, human nature for what He has called me to. 

Why do I fight?  Why do I struggle?

Even in the struggle... when I am thrashing and begging him not to "make me" whatever... I know that He is the only answer.  His word says our walk will not be easy... we will struggle, we will sacrifice.  We will face oposition. 


Yes, Lord... I hear you... and I'm getting there.

Thank you for waiting while I muddle my way through.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Boy Time...

Can a boy have too many sisters?

Not if he can get some alone time once in awhile!

Alone time... Daddy time... boy time...

It all means time for the men to be men.

Who knows what all they do when they have man time... I don't really care... scratching, burping, getting greasy, dirty, etc... they love it!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Speed Racer...

You could never tell that a couple of months ago the very same girl was scooting around in a bright pink cast!

There is NO stopping her!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fun Night...

We just got home from the movies.  We had so much fun!  We ate popcorn, airheads, and drank soda... well, I had water.

It does me good to hear those great big belly laughs coming from the kiddos!

Now, we are all tired, full and the kids will be heading to bed in mere minutes...

Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with moments of pure joy.  Thank you for letting us truly love each other.  Thank you for loving us and blessing us with these amazing human beings.  Thank you for giving me such a wonderful husband.  Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You!

Good Morning...

I haven't uploaded any pictures of the last few days, so today you just get... me.

We had a very relaxed day yesterday...

...due to me getting sick after church and Chey's car having some trouble that daddy needed to take care of.

So...  We got to hang out here and veg with books and kids playing and... trying to keep the headache and tummy sickness at bay.

Today, we are going to see a movie.  Yes, we are taking the crew to see a movie.  They don't get to do this stuff very often since... I find most movies to be a really bad  example of behavior for my children... but when we do get a chance, they love it.

We are gearing up for Thanksgiving.  I really do love this holiday.  I love telling people why I am thankful for them... how they have touched my life.  You never know when you won't get that chance again.  We do a really low key day.  We just hang out here... playing games, watching movies, cooking, eating and enjoying each others company.  This year we will be blessed by Grandma Carol and Bampa... and a friend of Cadi's...Rachel, who will all be joining us.  Yeah! for more people!  More to love, right?!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's School Time...


We're Making Cookies!!!!

One of our favorite cookies is chocolate chip bars.  Something amazing happens when you make it in a bar instead of the typical cookie shape.

This week the pre-schoolers are learning all about cookies.  So, they got to help make some yummy treats!

They had a blast and couldn't wait for a little taste of their hard work.

School can be yummy too!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Walk In The Afternoon...

The sky was blue.

The temps weren't too cold.

It was the perfect day for a walk.

Brysen found the dirt... always...and climbed down in the ditch.

He found a stick and tried to hit his sister with it.

He slid down the hill on his butt.

You know...

He was a boy!

Cadi came along for the walk.

That was nice...

Lily decided that dirt and hills and the ditch couldn't possibly just be for boys.


She gave it a try.

We ran into the medium girls who had decided to enjoy the day with a bike ride.

When we got home, they ran for the house.

The perfect way to end the perfect walk.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"I do not appreciate that..."

My daughters saw the post about their father below... and made sure I knew they think we are gross.


Too bad for them!!

My Mother-in-Law Is NOT Allowed to Read This...

Have I ever mentioned how much I love this guy?


Have I mentioned that I REALLY love him?

...Like REALLY?!

... just thought you'd want to know.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

An Important Letter...

First there were no leaves...

then there were some leaves...

...and then

there were tons of leaves.

Believe it or not...

they are forecasting snow for the next couple of days.


Mr. Weatherman,

Please stop trying to kill me with this cold weather.

Things would go much better for both of us if you would do things...

my way.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

His Old Lady...

My husband has always called me "kid".

But, yesterday...

His "old lady" turned 40!

Holy Cow!!

I never thought it was possible...

especially since I think I turned 20 about 6 months ago.

I had the BEST birthday, though.

I like laid back, relaxing days.

So, we had a normal day and didn't think about the birthday too much until dinner time...

When they fed me good food and then...

just what I asked for...

Apple Crisp and Vanilla Icecream!

I was in heaven!

This is me crying over the fact that I am 40!!!

...and such a drama queen...

Italian Crockpot chicken... Yummy!

My crazy family...

The most sane person in the house...

excuse me...

I was choking on that laugh!

I didn't... but I could have eaten this whole apple crisp by myself!

Really... but then I would have had to throw up and that would have ruined everything.

I have NO clue what this was about...


I'm 40 now and so I don't care what anyone thinks!

I almost stuck my head in the bowl... but decided it would have probably gotten stuck and the fire department would have laughed at the  40 year old lady who had her head stuck in the bowl of apple crisp.

Talking to my boy...

He was trying to steal my presents...

This is me... acting a little more normal...

We decided to take a picture since it doesn't happen very often.

Yes, it is sideways, but I was too lazy to turn it...

Yes, I have the ribbon on my head that came on the present from my mother-in-law...

it is a tradition.

...and then I had to go and read her card and get teary... because I miss my Mom...

and because it is really something amazing and special and touches me to the core to know that I have a Mom who loves me, still... even though I wasn't born to her.

She may not know how much it means to me... but when she reads this, she will...

And then...

to break the teary tension...

The real me came back...

Crazy and 40!

It was the PERFECT birthday...

even if that number is 40!
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Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you,"
declares the Lord,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future..."