What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Monday, May 29, 2006

Happy Memorial Day!

We finally returned home late last night from our weekend excursion, only the four of us, not five. Time pressures forced us to skip picking up our precious pooch. I still haven't seen the little gal, but I sure do hope we get her soon! How can you miss something you have never had? I am not sure but it IS possible.

We had a great time seeing everyone and doing fun things. We went to a grand opening to a carousel, saw fireworks, ate barbeque food, played croquet,and all sorts of other funnish things. Lots of visiting and lots of people that we missed dearly. It was so much fun. But the weekend couldn't be more jam-packed and it showed on the way home. Poor Corynn complained of her tummy hurting and just cried and cried. I knew that her tummy PROBABLY DID hurt but that MOST of her tears were tears of extreme tiredness. I had to have my hand on her head for her to be comfortable. Do you know how UNCOMFORTABLE reaching into the backseat is and stroking a child's hair in an already small, high-backed seat? If you never have-don't. My arms were tingling and going numb within a minute-but her grasp was so tight I didn't dare move. So there I was stroking her head with MY head smushed against the headrest, squeezing my eyes shut to drown out the tingling sensation cascading up and down my arms into the rest of my body when little Mr. let out a screech. The other hand, which had until this point, been let off the hook, then had to be put to work holding a 'sucker' (pacifier) in a peanuts mouth. Eventually, I just gave up. It just wasn't humanly possible! Eventually the tears subsided and snores ensued-and the rest of the trip was peaceful.

Ruth just called and invited us to a Memorial Day picnic and soccer game. I decided to make patriotic popcorn balls. But as the corn syrup and sugar were boiling I realized we only had ONE package of popcorn-and lo and behold, it was CHEESE flavored! So, I used corn flakes and special K to make the balls instead. Not as pretty, but a good way to use up cereal that Corynn doesn't like. Add enough sugar, chocolate, and peanut butter and ANYTHING tastes good! :-)

In other breaking news:

I broke out my camera the other day after a thunderstorm and went for a drive. Alone. How sweet it was. As much as you love your children and would do anything for them, sometimes it is NECESSARY to be alone and away. Those 15 minutes I was gone, walking through dense fog, my eyes behind the camera's lens were pure bliss. As I reached my destination, a beautiful farm with friendly cows wading the babbling stream running through the pasture, I stepped out of the car and startled a hiding crane. I stumbled to turn on my camera but by the time I took the picture, the last of it's tail feathers had disappeared in the mist. Lesson learned. ALWAYS be ready to take a shot.

I still don't have my dirt and if I don't get it by this week, I am going to PERSONALLY pick it up in our cobalt. I am sick of waiting. I am so charged, I think I will go and buy my tomato plants today ANYWAY. Maybe THAT will get a fire going.
While visiting Gary and Linda's, I was reminded how GORGEOUS and comforting plants can be. Just LOOKING at flowers can brighten your day. In every nook and cranny there was beautiful perennials, gorgeous hanging baskets, lovely plants. I hope to soon see such beauty here as well. Everyone is probably SICK AND TIRED of hearing me moan about my lack of dirt. Me too. So I will stop.

Here are some pictures from our weekend. I downloaded 54 but thankfully, restrained myself from posting EACH and EVERY one.

Wispy girl-she was hopping in and out of the camera's view and having great fun doing it. But-I caught her, just as I told her I would! Posted by Picasa

When Peanut was wearing a hat, she ran inside to get one too so they matched. She picked one that matched her dress out of sheer intelligence and fashion sense. Posted by Picasa

he's a bit shady, I know Posted by Picasa

The other night we had a pair of nighttime visitors. Two racoons found our recycling irresistable. They didn't care about me either. They were inches away from me, with only glass seperating us, and they completely ignored my pounding on the door. Stinkin' coons. Matt is thinking about setting a trap and making a coonskin hat. I will leave THAT up to him. As long as I don't SEE it in it's transitional state. Posted by Picasa

ghastly creatures Posted by Picasa

When I took this picture, I didn't even notice that wee Samuel is riding on daddy's shoulders in the lower corner. There were SO many people everywhere. I HAD to take a less choatic shot-and the only available place to do that was the sky. Posted by Picasa

Samantha is having GREAT fun here...or at least pretending to. Posted by Picasa

The opening of the carousel. The outside horses were going at a top speed of 18 miles per hour. Corynn liked it most when it was nearly stopped-I think it may have been a bit TOO fast for her. And my hands were so full-I didn't even notice!!! Posted by Picasa

night lights Posted by Picasa

Good old fashioned fun-even watching from the sidelines. Posted by Picasa

While grown-ups played croquet, Corynn gardened. Posted by Picasa

Sprinkling 'dirt' seeds Posted by Picasa

strawberry searching with Aunt Julie Anne Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 25, 2006

YAY! I was able to finally scan the veg. plans (still don't know what I did to make it work!) I am hoping to get about 20 tomato plants. 5 or 6 cherry tomatos, 7/8 Roma's, and 6/7 slicing. I will also be purchasing a flat of green pepper plants and a flat of HOT pepper plants. I am growing some pepper plants with seed also but sinceI have never grown pepper plants from seed before, I want to ensure that I will definately be harvesting SOME. The rest of the garden will be put in as seed. Last year I was able to start quite a few of my plants from seed indoors-but with moving and Peanut, that didn't happen. I am trying to brace myself NOW for the cost of the tomato plants... Posted by Picasa

Back to Where we Started

This weekend we are travelling back in time, to the land of our former home. It will be a short and sweet visit, as all others (until Matt actually gets vacation time next year) from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. Saturday we are heading to Elmira and to a park festival (with fireworks! One of my FAVORITE things). Sunday is church in the morning then heading to Little Meadows. Gotta split up grandparent time equally, after all! Corynn is anxiously awaiting the visit because she tells me often how she thinks she should see everyone much more. I only hope this weekend doesn't result in an "I'm staying HERE" breakdown. That would be BAD.

I spent yesterday afternoon thinking of my endless possibilites for the house. I drew up some plans for our vegetable garden and my herb and flower garden, something I have been meaning to do for quite some time. I spent so much time on my patio set, in fact, engulfed in my own planning, that I got sunburned! I am envisioning sheep and goats in the next year or two. We will be cutting down all those chokeberry bushes and replacing them with BLUEBERRY bushes, and planting apple trees (hopefully toward the end of summer?). I would also like to plant some lilac bushes near the entrance of our driveway. Several years ago, Matt built a pergola over the garage for a family from our church and did such a nice job, I think I might get him to make me one too. I took a picture of it after he did it, I will try and scrounge it up. I think that might be JUST the thing to dress up the garage side of the house. I will probably plant clematis to climb on it. These plans are all just that-PLANS. They won't actually take place for a while and I need to remind myself of that. Sometimes I get so GUNG-HO and impatient!

For now I need to focus on creating supports for the gardens. I will be getting some rain barrels to help with the watering of my gardens and I am going to be working on making a large composting bin. With the soil so terrible that we need to bring in our own dirt, we will be needing some SERIOUS help if I want my gardens to thrive. That is where little bunny FooFoo comes in, the composter, and eventually our sheep. Lots of fun stuff to think about...now if only the bossman would haul in the dirt!

On a different subject, I am almost embarrassed at the great spoilage Matt showed me for my birthday. The start was rocky but the finish was a grand finale. I think that Renaissance readers will benefit also from one of the gifts, the results of which are posted below. Drawn out garden plans and of course, pictures from the drawing machine at Chuckie Cheese. While silly machines and video games were greedily eating away at other peoples' tokens, I was tossing my precious treasures into this drawing machine. All tokens were .25 and I used nearly a handful. HOW, may I ask, could I pass that UP?!?! Seriously though, when we installed our computer, our old scanner did not work and so I had no way to scan the pictures I take with my Canon. That made me more than a bit sad. I can see how a scanner/copier would be an asset for homeschoolers too. But, while a simple scanner would have worked, NO-mi esposo went above and beyond the call of duty and got me a whole PHOTO CENTER. I am like my own Eckerds!

So that's the scoop. (BTW~I started having operator trouble with the vegetable garden plans so you will only be able to see the herb and flower garden. If I can figure it out, I will post the veggie's too!)

Here are the plans for my jarden del herbs. :-) As you can see, at the corner of the house I am going to be putting a rain barrel to collect (you guessed it) RAIN! I tried to spread the flowering herbs throughout to add color and interest. The back of the house (by the wildflowers and lavendar, Corynn and I are going to plant sunflowers. I ran out of room on the page! BTW~I used my new birthday Pastel SHARPIES to draw this! hehehe Posted by Picasa

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Just a few 'no point' shots

Days of complete and total compliance are soon over-she might as well enjoy them while they last... Posted by Picasa

batman to the resue... Posted by Picasa

Started cloth diapers on Andrew. I waited until Corynn was abit older to start her. With Andrew I am trying it out early. I am not such a devoted cloth diaperer, nor do I do it just to say I do it-so I will continue to use disposables when we are gone on trips and at night. It's just easier traveling with disposables. My children don't like being wet-and with Andrew sleeping through the night for about 2 1/2 weeks now, I am not going to do ANYTHING to screw THAT up! Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 22, 2006

What a fun weekend I had!

John and Holly came to visit and we had such a great time visiting-and actually got things accomplished! While the men worked on installing electricity into Matt's workshop, Holly and I worked on reupolstering one of my chairs. I only need to get some trim for it, and I will post some pictures! It looks SO nice! And it was nice having someone who has done it BEFORE to walk me through it. We got the materials to do another chair I wanted to refinish but I may wait for her to come visit again before I attempt that one-as it is a much more difficult chair. It all depends on how brave I am! :-)

The best part of the weekend was DEFINATELY thanks to Holly's ambition. She suggested we go pick up our patio set. They had brought their car (a pretty small little thing too!) but that did not deter her. I KNOW that if it had not been for her insistency, Matt wouldn't have been up for it. We drove seperately and we were able to fold the seats down in their car to fit it. The guys went to Lowes for electrical supplies and we headed to JoAnns. When we got home, the 'girls' set up the patio set while the guys did some 'construction'. We had dinner, which consisted of london broil and spiedies on the GRILL!!!! Potato skins, fruit salsa and cinnamon sugared tortillas, and pasta salad. For dessert: the best ice cream cake ever! I made it using a recipe out of cookbook my mom got me for my birthday-I will post the recipe some time this week. It was DELICIOUS if I do say so myself! You HAVE to try it-it is VERY easy to make.

After dinner, we moved on to our respective projects. And then a movie- Just Friends. It is hilarious. REALLY funny stuff. The whole visit was great-they left around 3:30 Sunday afternoon.

I am SO excited about my patio set. It is SO pretty and so COMFY and just so relaxing! We 'upgraded' with a different umbrella that I liked more. It was just $20.00 more but SO much nicer-and it really matches well the rest of the set. It has very pretty scallopped edges and uses more pinks than browns. Our patio set breaks up the brick corner perfectly and maybe if I can butter him up, Matt will let me get this beautiful blooming habiscus plant from walmart. It matches PERFECTLY and would create a real 'living space' on the patio. It was the best going away present the church could have EVER given us. TRULY. More than we could have ever wished for. You will see me out there sipping my homemade peppermint iced tea on a daily basis, for sure!

Before I end this post to get my day going, I wanted to tell you about my grocery endeavors. Ruth taught me how to use coupons to get things for FREE. No strings attached. Below is a picture of my first SUCCESSES! Giant has triple coupons every now and again. You can TRIPLE coupons up to $1.00 value (only seven times though). That means, that it will increase in value to $3.00. So anything UNDER three dollars-you get FREE. After the first seven, all other coupons will DOUBLE. Below is a picture of all the 'freebies' from last week's shopping trip. I also got really GREAT deals on other things. When I went, I had my seven coupons to be tripled plus two more of things I needed. I have never DONE the coupon thing before so I was so proud of myself for being so efficient and organized. Then I took a look around. Women were EVERYWHERE with huge coupon filers and other coupon holders. I even saw one woman with a binder open on the seat part of the cart-in the binder were clear page protectors on which she had made pockets to hold all the different kinds of coupons. These women are professionals! I never knew couponing could be such an 'extreme sport'. I doubt I will ever get to THAT point, but I will definately have a handful when it is triple coupon time. I can't resist freebies!

Now-for that iced tea...

The happiest day! I FINALLY got my patio set, thanks to John and Holly. We almost blew away during dinner, and the guys practically froze, but I HAD to use it once we got it set up! I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!! I will be sitting on it EVERY DAY...and more likely, EVERY MEAL! Now I REALLY want the rain to stop! Posted by Picasa

Lurking lions...she was one of three. Posted by Picasa