Friday, June 29, 2007

NOT Scratch and Sniff

Itch and scratch... that's the game plan around here...

NO WAIT!! Do NOT scratch. **sigh** I'll get it someday.

I've got poison ivy. That stuff is nasty. Leaves of three, turn and flee? I don't think I got that word for word, but that's my plan from now on.

I'm taking prednisone for 14 days. It causes irritability...

:/ Scratch, rub, scratch. ughhh...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Today I Timed my Mile

It was mildly amusing.

When I got to the track -- there was a walking stick running already. She had a KNOXVILLE TRACK sticker on her car -- I'm assuming she was a high school track runner. I wanted to remind her that track season is over -- but she probably knows that. She's the walking stick -- not me.

So I started out speed walking -- I thought I'd walk 1/2 lap, then jog 1/2 lap, walk, jog... until I did my mile. Sort of like the Couch to 5k training.

Well -- the first lap I did o.k. Whew.. how fun to start running and turn that corner... lean into it... kick, kick, kick... felt like I was in high school again. YEAH!!

Ooowww... 3 minute lap... not too bad for an old geezer.

So I started walking the 2nd lap... breathing HEAVY. Hope I recover this 1/2 lap so I can run again. After a bit -- the walking stick starts running... I notice she has been running one lap then timing herself and checking her pulse. She's very professional looking -- running in her underwear and all.

When I start running again I can feel my thighs twinge. I wonder if I started out too fast. But then there is the corner... my favorite part. Then I hear her foot steps... so I scoot over so she doesn't have to yell at me LAP! I know she is going to lap me. LOL. But WOW -- look it there... all of a sudden I'm not kick, kick, kicking around the corner.... I'm slosh, slosh, sloshing. How did she do that? Apparently I'm running in slow motion. Amazing... She glides by like a gazelle... and my arms are wigging around, and my head is bobbing, my breathing WAY overpowers her breathing... is she breathing? I can't tell.

OK -- 2 laps. I start walking. THAT FELT SOOO SLOW... but no... it was still 3 minutes. How did that happen? She she went whizzing by -- time slowed down or something.

Next lap -- more like the first one... she was still checking her pulse or something. I was once again reminiscing about those high school days.

Lap 4 -- it happened again!! I thought that was so funny how I could trick my mind into thinking my wobbly jog was so fast then she would SHOOT on past me -- faster than a speeding bullet apparently -- and my reality got SHOOK! Ü I thought for a moment... I wonder if I run in my underwear -- would my time be any better?

Oh... to be young again.

I wanted to holler at her -- "HEY!! I've given birth 5 times ya know!"

But she could tell that probably -- as my 3 littles were running all over the place. "Marks, get set, go!" they were shouting -- over and over again.

I don't regret it!!! Who cares if I slow...

...I'm blessed!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007




These three all came close together. They are now 5, 3, and 2. Close, very close. °Ü° BUT -- they are the best of buddies. Built in "play date" buddies. Even though there is an odd number... they can usually be found together.

How nice. I love that.

Thank you Lord for my 3 amigos!
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Friday, June 22, 2007

Shhh.... be vewy vewy qwiet...

Dan is hunting wabbits!!

Now see my garden grow! °Ü°

Rachel's Challenge

I've got an on-line friend, Rachel, who recently issued a challenge. It reads:

(1) Have one of your kids or someone else take a picture of you and your husband
(2) Have someone take a picture of you with each of your kids individually
(3) Have somone take a picture of you with all of your kids
(4) Have someone take a picture of your whole family--Sunday is the perfect day for this--take your camera to church. Someone would be thrilled to do this for you!!!

Your kids will be thrilled to have a picture taken with you and it is an expression of love to them to have a picture taken with them.

So -- I accept. Only I've done them out of order... but it's a start.

Here we go...

Tori and I. Age 11 - almost 12, and 37. ;) I used to think she looked a lot like me -- but I noticed today her nose is different than mine.

Mansel and I. Age 7 - almost 8, and 37. Ü Boy -- we had to work hard at this photo -- for some reason -- someone has told him he must show his teeth when he smiles. I'd almost rather he didn't. Why are there so many rules? Just be full of joy!!

Milo and Mom. Age 5.5 and 37.

Dani and I. Age 3 - ever so close to 14 LOL and 37. Oh what a princess.

Last but not least. Wayne and I. Age 2 and 37.

I'd love to see if you took the challenge... share your photos. As Rachel said, "Your kids will be thrilled!"

Now -- to round up the dear husband... that will have to be part II.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I hope you were studying. This is from my very best e-mail friend... she send me all the GOOD forwards. Todays was another goodie.

The QUIZ isjust one question, so take your time and think about it.


Pre-school children were asked the following question:

"In which direction is the bus pictured below traveling?"

Look carefully at the picture.

Do you know the answer?

(The only possible answers are "left" or "right.")

Think about it

Still don't know?

Okay, I'll tell you.

The pre-schoolers all answered "left." When asked, "Why do you think the bus is traveling in the left direction?"

They answered:

"Because you can't see the door."

How do you feel now ???

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Do Those Forwarded E-mails annoy you? I have one friend who never writes -- she only forwards junk e-mail to me. BUT I have another friend who forwards me the neatest ones. Hers are almost always unique and hardly ever have I seen them before. This is one of them. It has some great tips... things I have never thought of before -- but I'm betting some of them will work.

Have you ever tried...

Bed Sheets:

After drying my sheets, put both sheets and one pillowcase in the other pillow case. Fold neatly in a square Next time you change sheets, you just take the one pillow case and all the sheets and pillow case are inside. No need to look for matches.

Reheat Pizza:

Heat up leftover pizza in a non-stick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs:

Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Expanding Frosting:

When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar/calories per serving.

Reheating refrigerated bread:

To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper Weeds-Away:

Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go, cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic, they will not get through wet

Broken Glass:

Use a dry cotton ball to pick up little broken pieces of glass the fibers catch ones you can't see!

No More Mosquitoes:

Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Squirrel Away :

To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

Easier thank you's:

When you throw a bridal/baby shower, buy a pack of thank you cards for the guest of honor. During the party, pass out the envelopes and have everyone put their address on one. When the bride/new mother sends the thank you's, they're all addressed!

Purchase new bike:

If you purchase a new bike for your child, place their picture inside the handle bar before placing the grips on. If the bike is stolen and later recovered, remove the grip and there is your proof who owns the bike.

Flexible vacuum:

To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings. I bet this would work for your dyer vent too.

Reducing Static Cling:

Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have A clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place a pin in seam of the slacks and -- voila -- static is gone.

Measuring cups:

Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill it with Hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry the cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield:

Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope:

If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Voila! It unseals easily.


Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's a lot cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair...

Good-bye Fruit Flies:

To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass fill it 1/2" with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid, mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants:

Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it home, and can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially. if it rains, but it works & you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

Take baby powder to the beach:

Keep a small bottle of baby powder in your beach bag. When you're ready to leave the beach sprinkle yourself and kids with the powder and the sand will slide right off your skin.

So -- which ones are you going to try? Go forth and TRY -- then come back and leave a comment so we know if it really works or not.

I think I'll try to fruit fly tip, because I happen to have some of them pesky things in my house right now!! NOT for LONG!!! ha ha haaa...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Drip, Drip, Drip...

Our washing machine is a front loader. Sometimes (2 times in 2.5 years) the pump gets clogged with a baby sock or something. First time we called a repair man. 2nd time my dh fixed it. All with out me watching of course... they could handle it.

So -- today it's starts beeping and giving me a code. Ugg... clogged, I think.

I don't want to wait for dh to get home from work -- I've got HUGE amounts of laundry to do. I was gone from home almost every day this week. So I think -- I could probably do this.

I unscrew 3 screws. Don't laugh -- that took me 30 minutes to figure out. Tried the screw driver, then tried the power screw driver, then went to the garage and got a wrench thingy. I felt so accomplished -- I got the front of the machine off!! I see a round thing with a handle of sorts -- a turning handle. I try to turn it -- STUCK!

So I pray... then I think... loosen that thing with a hammer. So I try a hammer -- just tap, tap, tap a tad. I tried it with my hand again... it came off... out came a ton of water. Oops... grabbed a bunch of dirty towels -- well hey -- now I've got a clean laundry room floor.

Out came a bunch of gunk too. Oh.. maybe that's the problem. So I put the lid thing back on what I think is the pump and plug the machine in again and push start. HEY -- that sounds better!!!

It's working. I spin the clothes -- get them dry enough to dry and here we go. I put the front cover back on -- which as I remember -- I HELPED Dan do last time. It's really hard to get on. But I do it by myself. :D

I start another load. And walk away. Ahhh... a job well done. I put the tools away - come back into the house... HEY??!!??

What's that I hear??? Beeping??? Aaaaakkkk!

I open the door of the washing machine... there is water in there. It's not emptying out properly, I think -- well -- maybe what I did was loosen the sock or something and now it's down by the pump... I'll just look really quick.

I take off the front cover - loosen the pump cover -- much easier this time -- no hammer needed. HOLY COW!!! That's a lot of water.... MORE THAN THE PREVIOUS TON!!!

Whoa -- grab a towel... KIDS -- get me some towels.

Here comes Milo with a hand towel.

Get me a bucket!!!


I'm mopping, mopping, mopping... it's running every where. Oh my word...

I have to move clean clothes out of the laundry room -- they are in baskets praise the Lord, but the water is running under the baskets.

Oh good grief. Every clean or dirty towel is now laying on the laundry room floor. SOAKING WET!

So -- Tori finds me a 5 gallon bucket. We transport the soaking wet towels outside...

Forget this... I'll let Dan fix it!

I guess I'll clean my house instead of doing laundry today. Who needs clean clothes?

And... it's dripping through the light fixtures unto my stove. Who needs a stove? Not me... I put a bucket there to catch the drip. Drip, drip, drip...

Oh honey!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

As Promised

Just 1 short month ago, we gained a few family members. Here are some updated photos. If you want to view them larger -- click on the photo itself.

Momma and her babies -- all resting on a tipped over stroller. Must feel like a hammock or something. A change of scenery from the stuffy old cat carrier full of hay. Baby (the mother) with her babies; Tiger - M, Susan - F, Only - M, and Pretty Lady - F. Like those names? Only got his name, because he was the only boy... until someone investigated further... but it's too late -- he's named. LOL


They are CUTE aren't they. Tiger practicing his crouching before pouncing skills.

Really, really cute! Pretty Lady -- just being pretty -- that's all.

Here's a prayer request... Tori hasn't seen the mother in 2 days. Eekk... that's not a good sigh. She said the kitties are eating the cat food -- whew... but I think they are too young to be with out a mother. She's not being very responsible... leaving with no notice and no kitty care.
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6 Month Review

Posting about my stringy hair that needs a hair cut reminded me of my goal of 2007 to not cut my hair for a year. Ahh... this is June... 6th month of the year... 2007 is 1/2 over...

Good time to Review my 2007 GOALS.

Hmmm let's see -- I'll list them here for convenience.

1. Get my weight down to 140, and maintain that until 2008.
2. Have an extended fast every 3 months.
3. Find good for us snacks for kids.
4. Look into diet change for MILO.
5. Have my devotions regularly - after exercise - before computer. Finish Thomas E. Kempis, find more A.W. Tozer.
6. Work on my meek and quiet spirit, pray before responding, each time.
7. Go 365 days with out cutting my hair.
8. Never watch TV unless my dh is watching TV.
9. Read 12 books. (Keep track on my blog.) Some of which should be the Charlotte Mason series.
10. Have an "real life" friend over for tea 6 times. (6 different friends... if I can find them... one at a time)

Eeewww... look it there. I'm failing in a few. YUCK -- who thought of this? Review??? I'd better get started on a few.

OK -- I'm working on my weight still. I've recently stumbled across a way of eating that most of you have heard of. But see -- I just blew it off because I thought it was the same as another famous diet -- that I couldn't stick to. So why try this one, if I failed at the other one? South Beach. Ever hear of it? Well -- here is a great place to go if you want to learn about the nuts and bolts of South Beach. South Beach is not low carb - like I mistakenly believed. It is good fat, good carb. Oh -- there is a difference. Get the book and read it... it's a short read... and do what I did... get the book on tape -- it's an even faster read that way. AND -- your spouse might over hear it and become convinced that it's the way to go and he/she might just jump on board too. It's always easier to cook 1 way for the whole family then it is to cook for them, then for you. So -- we are South Beaching it -- so far my dh has lost more than I have. But you know... that's o.k. As long as I'm losing!

Oh -- that brings up #2. Extended fasts. I'm not doing them for weight loss any longer. :/ So -- that shoots down #2. Hmmm... I didn't like the effect it had on my body. I DID lose weight -- but I also lost hair too. That can't be good. Plus all the weight I lost, I'd put back on in between fasts. I could keep it off. It's nice to lost 15 pounds in a month... but who cares if you can 15 in the next 3 months and have to lose it all over again. So -- I dropped that one. 1 out of 2 so far.

OK -- so #3 is wrapped up with #1 as well. I am finding good snacks for the kids. I've purchased some oatmeal and have learned how to make granola bars. YUM!! Not instant oatmeal... but the good for you old fashioned oatmeal. Takes a LONG time to digest that stuff. ;)

Hmmm... a diet change for MILO. We are reducing the amount of sugar that everyone around here is eating. That is helping. AND the fact that Milo can go play outside all day long is helping too. We aren't doing much more that that. No eliminating large amounts of weird things. I don't normally buy Kool-Aid... but when I do, I try to buy the invisible kind (it's clear -- no food dye). I sweeten a lot of stuff with honey - as opposed to sugar. So Milo doesn't seem as hyper or out of control as he was this winter. Remind me of that in December. LOL

Devotions. I'm not as on fire as I was in January. I am still reading my Bible. For my morning devotions, I started using my BIBLE in a YEAR bible. They divided the readings up so there is OLD TESTAMENT, NEW TESTAMENT, PSALM, and PROVERBS every day. I like that. I should pick up the Kempis again.

Woah -- pray before responding each time. NOPE -- forgot about that one. Let's see... whew... what to do about that? Hmmm... I'll get back to you on that one.

Well -- I still haven't cut my hair yet. That's good.

Oh bummer... another failure -- don't watch TV unless my DH is watching TV. That's hard to do. He never watches TV. I like to preview the NetFlix movies before the kiddos watch them. So -- I do watch TV. Rather a lot actually. We have suspended the satellite service for the summer... coming back on in September... but I'm watching movies with the kiddos a lot.

Read 12 books. That's done! I'll still keep track. I'd like to use that number to set next years goal. Keep pushing my self!

OK -- 6 IRL friends. Susan, Lisa, Kara and Dan... hey -- I'm 1/2 way there. What fun... can I count the Birthday Bash friends? I should really... I'll need to have 3 more. YEAH!! I love friends. Ü

There ya go -- an update. I see I have some work to do.

Well -- dh is asking for the hose to be put away... I guess that's me. I'd better scoot.

~~ Beautiful Before and After ~~


Here is my 11 year old dear daughter. Pigtails... that's the normal hair-do. Easy -- predictable -- frizzy more often than not. She yearned for straight hair -- poor girl -- she just wasn't born with it.


So we took her to a salon. Woo Hoo! I asked the stylist to explain to her what she was doing -- so Tori could duplicate the process at home. She came home with 2 bottles of product. They cost more than the hair cut did. YIKES! PLUS we had to go out and buy a new FLAT iron. No curls... just flatness. Now she is set. Loverly long silky straight hair. Not natural by any means... but lovely!


And of course her brother... he just wanted his snoze in front of the camera... so I made him pose too. He's got no shame... just as long as he is in the photo -- that's what counts.

I tried straightening my hair with the product and the flat iron... for some reason -- it's not so lovely. Probably that thinning, and my hair badly needs a trimming going on, but not until January 2008 -- doesn't make a great straight hair cut do. I'll stick with curly -- at least until January!
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Well we did it.
We pulled it off. After viewing the TLC special on large families, and seeing the JEUB's celebrate all of their children's birthdays on ONE DAY of the year, we got inspired.

I think the kiddos loved it most of all. Really really enjoyed themselves with all of their friends.

We had it outside -- because if we had it inside -- I would have had to clean my house. Having it outside in the garage -- meant that my dear husband had to clean. Ü I'm always thinking on my feet. LOL

We got some balloons. Dressed up the place a smidgen. Why do kiddos like balloons so much? Mine love them and I think they are a worth while investment. Even if you have to stand in line at Wal-Mart on a busy Saturday. It was totally worth it.


Wayne's cake had balloons on it. He actually turned 2 June 1st. Our birthday bash was June 2nd. The kids wanted to know if we were going to celebrate 2 days in a row. So -- actually NO... we didn't. But we will celebrate as a family for the other kiddos' birthdays. Just privately and less lavishly. Just nobody tell Wayne we skipped his -- and he'll be none the wiser. Ü

Danielle turns 4 in September. I think her favorite part was having a friend at her party. She was so happy that Laura got to come.

Oh -- did I mention that we were in competition with a wedding at our church. That cut our guest list in 1/2. That turned out o.k. because then I got to practice with a small crowd. Next year -- we can really let out all the stops. Or maybe just a few more anyway.

Milo turns 6 in October. So essentially this was his 1/2 birthday celebration. He didn't mind celebrating early.
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Mansel turns 8 in August. I can't believe it. I was looking at him the other day -- at this age I think is when I start to feel like they are growing up. He's becoming less and less of a boy. Why do we have birthdays anyway -- who wants to celebrate children growing up and leaving. Wahhh.. OK -- pity party over.

And last but not least - Tori. I almost typed Victoria. That's her given name - none the less...she prefers Tori. Another growing up thing -- a pulling away thing. HEY -- snap out of it!! She LOOOVED the party. We'll get to that in a minute. She'll be 12 in August. Her last year before the TEENS... oh my... I better cut it out before I get weepy here.

Well -- here they are all lined up. Wayne sure had fun with the cakes -- he only stuck his finger in one -- well he stuck 2 fingers in one. Great frosting. We had a lady from Dan's work make the cakes. They were all delicious. Danielle asked for a Strawberry cake. Having never had one before -- she didn't realize she didn't like strawberry cake. I don't mind it -- so I ate some... it was good. Next year we'll know better.

The party started out with the horse rides. My kind neighbor and her husband brought down 2 horses. Oh my horse lover was in HEAVEN. She finally got to do the leading. She said the leading was more fun than the riding. I think she felt more in charge.

Mansel was in heaven because he's the most social of the bunch -- and he had 2 friends very close to his age there -- and he laughed and jumped and rode and ate and laughed and had a smile on his face the whole time. GREAT FUN!!

Milo was on the mend that day. He'd just had a fever that week -- then it caused him to have a stiff neck. We finally ended up taking him to the chiropractor on Monday. Poor kid. But his fever had left by Saturday and he had fun.

So -- my princess is shown here opening a gift. Any suggestions on how to orderly open 5 people's gifts with out boredom setting in. Wayne wandered off , I don't know how many times. He is just not into presents. Maybe next year he will be. Did I mention Dani liked opening the presents? LOVED it in fact.

One of Wayne's friends came in a helmet. He let Wayne borrow it. Oh it was a hoot. He got up there on a horse -- brave soul. Even Danielle wouldn't ride the horse. He was so scared he would squeak every once in a while -- but he never got off. He must be addicted to adrenaline. He wanted down -- but when I'd offer to get him off he'd say, "No!". So Tori took him on a short ride. Helmet and all. YES -- the helmet is on backward. He could see better that way, I think.

I forgot to photograph the pinata. We had an indestructable pinata this year -- that we could have saved and used it again next year. All of the children got a change to really WHACK it and some of them really whacked it over and over again. The candy started coming out of the mouth of the fish -- but the fish wouldn't break. Too funny...

Then we ended up having a scavenger hunt for the remainder of the 5# bag of candy. I KNEW that if I kept that in the house -- I'd be 5#'s bigger by the time it was all gone. So -- we gave it away!

I think MY favorite part was learning how to make mints -- and learning along with my dd Tori. WHAT FUN!! I can do that again definately. But I'll need to give them away sooner. Woo... they were delicious.

Well -- all in all -- we had fun.

Next year -- will I do it again? SURE!! What a blast.

Nice to have it all over and done with. Maybe next year I'll consult the church calendar a little earlier. But I'd already sent out my invites, and ordered the cake, and bought the decorations, and and and ... I'm stubborn. I didn't want to change it. Ü

It was Nice! The people who came were very loving and generous.

Now -- I've got to get the Thank Yous out! Let's see... when do I have time to do that? I don't know -- but it'd better be soon... I really want everyone to know how much we appreciated all they did.

2007 BIRTHDAY BASH -- Session is now over!

I'm pretty sure if you will click on the actual photo -- it will enlarge. So grandpa and grandma -- if you want to really see it -- CLICK ON IT!

THEN -- click on comment below to leave a comment. I'd love to know what you think about our Birthday Bash.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tree Hugger?


I've got a tree climber. We have the best climbing tree out in our front yard.

Look at the joy on his face. Ü I've learned to relax a little and not stress when he gets higher, and higher.

He won't be 7 for ever and in 10 years -- he won't even fit in this tree anymore. On to bigger and better things.

Thank you Lord for my 7yo tree hugger!
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Our Pump


I'm hoping to beautify this old pump this summer.

See the dirt? I planted 3 things around it.

Gladiolas around the back 1/2. 2 Echinacea plants, and a row of Sweet William on the front 1/2 of the circle. We've gotten lots of rain -- and today -- the sun is shining... with a bit of prayer -- I'm hoping these will really take off!!

In the pot I planted a yellow Gerbera. CUTE! I love those flowers. Srong and bold!

I'll keep you posted. Today -- I'm just priming the pump.
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