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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sweet Papa

When Corynn was born, we were given a handpainted stool with her name and birthweight on it. I am telling you, that stool is worth it's weight in gold around here, and has been used by EVERYONE in the house in every ROOM of the house at some time or another. But, it did serve as a problem since poor Andrew doesn't have one-and he needs a boost up more than anyone else these days.

Matt decided to make him one last weekend. He actually had a weekend off (gasp!) and we weren't travelling (double gasp!) so he had a few spare moments. But mainly, because he is a good, sweet, loving Papa.

Here is Andrew, receiving his surprise gift, right after naptime. Papa was pretty excited about it too! Isn't that the case though, don't we all share in the excitement when we work hard to make something for someone??? It really is more fun to give than to receive.

Corynn's stool had a heart cutout that served as a nice handle. Matt made a truck for Andrew.

I have two sweet boys, that's for sure.

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Making Good Use of it

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What's new Pussycat?

Along with our other schoolwork, I have been trying to focus some time on Nature studies.

It has been very easy to do so, what with our Nature tree on the other side of the window! Much of our time has been spent on birds, so imagine my delight when The Heart of the Matter had a whole Birding Nature Study write-up with links! Lots of great stuff there, my favorite was the downloadable coloring book.

I love Cornell. Perhaps it is because Matt went to school there. Perhaps because he worked there for a time. Perhaps because it is well known. Or maybe because it has a GREAT ornithology department. The guy who made the drawings for the coloring book was a native of Ithaca, and a Cornell alum. Anyway...that was a bunny trail!

I printed out the pages (many) and then let Corynn sift through them all to find the birds that frequent our feeders and tree. There are many! We are working on those first-coloring the pages with the details we see on them as they flit around our window.

When we finish the 'common' birds, we will use our much-loved bird book to help us give the unfamiliar birds their colors.

It was hard to stop Corynn off at two-she had so much fun! She kept begging to do more. (May I just say how fabulous it is to hear your child begging for more learning?!?) As you can see, she also drew a picture of a cardinal...with a surprisingly good likeness.

Perhaps it is because she has been inspired lately? ;-)

Finally, a while ago I mentioned I had another Valentine's project up my sleeve but couldn't talk about it until is was received? Well, it was received!

I made a heating bag for my sister, who is getting migraines with pregnancy. Inside is scented rice using lavendar, vanilla, sage, and mint (some herbies I had dried) and some essential oils. It is an odd combination but smells pretty good, I think. I made a flannel cover, removable (and washable) with straps and I made it twice as long as normal, hoping that it might help with delivery pains later on.

Corynn chose the fabrics and suggested the heart. ;-)

In other news:

It's official. Six little ears have infections. A man once said to me (no joke) "you have such cute little mouse ears!" I have always had ear problems, and they always have to use the pediatric ear-things for my ears. So yes, mine are the ones included in that number.

And we still have the noses, coughs and droopy eyes...

But nothing that we can't handle.

And that is the latest and greatest.


Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Last week, a few days before the 'bug' came to visit, Corynn was especially whiney, and seemed to just be unhappy with herself and everything around her and frustrated with any inabilities she had. It was SO tiresome and I was at my wits end, when it occurred to me that I ought to teach her what the bible says about a discontent spirit.

So, I made her memorize this scripture verse. "A Merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones." Proverbs 17:22

Every time she began to mumble, I would say "What does a Merry heart do?" or "What drieth the bones?" and she would start giggling and recite it. What a way to change the dynamics!

I often find myself repeating it as well...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Intimate Details

I am in the secret-revealing mood today, so be prepared. My life is an open book. My secrets (and moreso, Matt's) are secrets no longer. I am all about keeping it real.

First, mine. Drumroll, please...

I hate talking on the phone.

I think I might have been born with less estrogen than most women, because I just don't get a thrill out of it, nor do I find pleasure in it. Actually, I dislike it immensely. It is a waste of time and a dangerous distraction. (Disclaimer: This is my soapbox, I am not saying talking on the phone is wrong-only that I don't like it. The end.)

I talk to two people on the phone regularly. My mom and my sister. All other phonecalls are answered only in case someone is in trouble, has died, or is about to die.

The moment Matt gets home from work, it has become an established, unspoken rule that HE is in charge of the telephone. If I am in the kitchen, an arms reach away from the phone and he is downstairs-he sprints to the phone on its ring. Of course, we have three phones strategically located throughout the house so it isn't THAT horrible a jog. Nevertheless, I realize what a gem of a man I have.

Another secret (that really isn't all the much of a secret) is that I enjoy taking zillions of photos at a time, regardless of the subject matter. Especially when I am bored. Most especially when the subject matter is the love of my life. Most decided especially when he can do nothing to stop me.
Like for example: when HE answers the phone I will not answer. Wha ha ha ha haaaaaaa

(The innocent, unsuspecting victim.)

I am a terrible nuisance, but my nuisance-ness is for the greater good. It would be tragic indeed, if I ever forgot these little details. A life lived without mention of these things would be a life wasted. So if my life is to stand for something, and if I am to contentedly smile on my deathbed, I must-SIMPLY MUST- share with the world these little things that not many people know about my Mattie.

If I hadn't have cornered him with my camera, if I HADN'T snapped a gazillion photos of the same man, the same day, the same time doing the same activity, you wouldn't ever have known what slippers he owns. Birthday present- two years ago.

Nor would you know his obsession with having clean, clipped nails. Oh my. That says an awful lot about a man who sticks his arm up a cow's, um...gulp... you know.

Oh darling. You say you love me now. Just wait until you see this post. Muah Muah

It would be tragic indeed, if the world did not know that Matt's wedding ring is made of Titanium and not gold. Wedding present- five years ago.

Or what the bottom of our phone looks like...

*Hey! Wait a minute. He's got that sexy "My eyes are more brown than dark chocolate and couldn't NOT twinkle if I wanted to, but especially not now because I love you so" twinkle in his eyes. I wonder who he is talking to...That RAT! That SCOUNDRAL! THAT adulteratin', womanizin', perverted....

Oh. Never mind. It's his mom.

Okay then. Where was I?!?

Ah yes. My revealing of some of Matt's deepest secrets, on the internet for the entire world to see... Let's continue.

You wouldn't know that he has these three freakishly long eyebrow hairs that he absolutely refuses to cut because he thinks they are cool. To me, they just make him look like Andy Rooney.

Nor could you fathom his browbone, which I affectionately refer to as his Umbrella Brow. Because, obviously, it keeps his eyeballs nice and dry in monsoon season.

To show a bit better what I mean, I increased the shadow on the photo below to accentuate the Umbrella Brow effects.

Nope. No raindrops splashing THOSE eyeballs. Not to mention all the money we save not having to buy sunglasses.

My point exactly.


For the record, I love every little thing about you. Mattieboo.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A bug's life

I'll give you one guess on the latest and greatest in the Newman household...

Just look at that face. :-( Poor guy.

At the beginning of the week, Corynn got a pet bug. In exchange for devotion and a pillow to sleep upon, the bug has given her sniffles, hacks, and droopy eyes.

Now she is in good company. The bug was thoughtful enough to 'share' with the Panda who has been hit pretty hard.

Even I, in caring for them, have lost all my energy and have lazed about over the weekend.

The solo's that were once from Corynn have turned into a chorus of coughing, all harmonizing together in one terrible symphony of illness.

We have a good case of the blah's (or should I say, Waaaa's) and now, Corynn just woke up with tears saying her ears hurt. Perhaps a visit to the doctor might be in order. How terribly I hate doctor visits, as can be seen by how rarely we go to them.

Andrew and I stayed home from church yesterday. I have been able to force only a few bites of food a day into the Panda, which says a terribly lot considering this was the boy eating bits of steak and whole sandwhiches when he was nine months old.

I have gathered enough used tissues to nicely stuff a featherbed. We each carry hankie's around with us, everywhere, and we all have chapped areas under our noses and above our lips. Lovely. Thanks to CVS and several coupons, I was able to stock up on the wonderful VICKS scented Puffs, which are a royal treat for our sniffers.

Matt seems to be the only one who hasn't been hit in some form. Lucky man. Rather, time will tell.

After an entire week of sickness, I am hoping that we will all be on the mend soon. It can't last forever, can it? ;-)

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Doodle DO!

Lots of movies, cuddles and reading to fill the hours. The original Peter Pan is the chapter book in progress. We have been reading a chapter or two a night (and any other time Corynn succeeds in convincing me to open its pages throughout the day...), we have the story on audiobook that we occasionally listen to in the car (when I don't want to think up a story from my head) and we watched the movie Peter Pan (not the cartoon). My throat is raspy from being the villanous pirate Hook and I have heard about enough Doodle Do's to last a lifetime!

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Friday, January 25, 2008

In the Valentine Spirit...

A L*O*N*G time ago, I spoke about wanting to make myself an apron that didn't have a neckband because those behind-the-neck bands actually give me migraines! It took quite a while for everything to come into place. My machine broke and I was gifted another, I sought out a *pretty* pattern and eventually found one that was BEAUTIFUL and was SOO me, searched high and low for fabric that I would feel PRETTY in while wearing my apron and eventually found these most beautiful three. Everything was working out splendidly-I made it with relative ease and with my new machine, I was even able to add decorative heart stitching. When it was finally finished, I showed Matt and he said "Wow. You MADE that? That is BEAUTIFUL." Him calling one of my sewing projects 'beautiful' just catapolted my excitement through the roof. But then...I tried it on.

And it didn't fit me right. The most cursed area on my body is my chest. It is larger than life and no, I ain't foolin'. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. My stupid chest has caused me more problems...let me tell you. OR rather, don't. :-)

Anyway, I didn't account for my 'excess upstairs' and so, it didn't quite look on me the way I wanted it to look and didn't quite cover what I wanted covered. I cried. I wailed. I sniffled. I stomped.

The only other thing to do was to sell it, in Ye Olde Etsy Shoppe.

But I just couldn't! The fabric combinations are just divine! The style is flirty and feminine, dainty but with a tinge of retro. And Matt called it BEAUTIFUL.

Well, it has taken me about 2 months to finally force myself to do it. To sell my prized, long awaited, most perfect apron for me. It is now in Ye Olde Etsy.

I hope that whoever does end up with it, will be as happy with it as I would have been...

On a brighter note: check out this bib I custom designed. Isn't it cool? Just in time for Valentine's Day! It too, is at the store.

Psst. I have one more Valentine thing I worked on this week, but it is a secret surprise thing that is in the mail as we speak, and the receiver reads my blog so I don't want to spoil the secret. But I will share with you about THAT project, once I am able.

For more Sew Crafty busy-ness head on over to Shereen's blog.

Now tell me, is anyone else around here in the Valentine's Day spirit? What are you up to?
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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The audacity of grocery clerks today...

Extravagent photos are at a nil right now, so I post only a few of the most recent life-consuming game.

It's funny how things go in spurts, and how when the spurt is 'on' the child thinks of nothing else. So it goes with 'store'.

They have an amazing wooden little cupboard I got at a yardsale for $3.00 and fixed it up a bit, stocked full of empty spice containers and taped-back-together boxes of jello and pudding. They have a chinzy, flimsy kitchen that houses a mix-match of plastic and metal pans. They have two small metal 'shopping baskets' I found at a bargain outlet. Three years ago, Corynn got a mini shopping cart.

But at Christmastime, Corynn and Andrew were gifted a CASH REGISTER (with a beeping scanner, no less) and piles upon piles of food. It tastes plastic-y and is so BRIGHT it is scary-but it makes for a GREAT grocery store!

That's all the seem to want to play these days, and they get VERY into it...

Even the Panda does a fantastic job scanning every last thing you hand him. The moment he beeps it, he hands it to you and says BYE. Wouldn't it be great if that happened in real life? No money exchange, no problem!

Thanks for the free donut, pal.

Corynn takes her job a bit more seriously. She demands money and her prices are steep, let me tell you. "You owe me Forty-twenty." or "Seventy-five-ten". For a box of COCOA?!? Yikes. Remind me to stop going THERE.

Although-when shopping, I do look for stores with friendly service-and hers beats all...by a LONG shot. You hand her an item and she goes into some long saga about it. "Oh-I see you have seeds here, Ma'am. They sure make pretty flowers. I grew some at home with my twenty-three children. They liked to pick them for me and bring me little bouquets of them. Soon, I had the flowers all over the house!"

Hm. Sounds sorta like MY family.

On second thought:

I gave her a gallon of milk and she refused to sell it to me. She said it was only to be GIVEN away-to the poor. And since I had money, I wasn't poor. We had just finished reading THIS book.

Oh...and then there was the time she refused to let me buy my pineapple because she said they were peas. I told her that it was pineapple, and that I wanted it. She wouldn't give it to me until I admitted they were peas. Such a stubborn girl. Of course, I refused to give in and walked out of the store with my nose held high and my pineapple integrity intact.

But there is one good thing about Corynn's supermarket. The busboy who helped me carry my groceries out to the car SURE was a cutie!

Monday, January 21, 2008


The number of degrees it is outside at this very moment.

Bitter, frigid, ridiculously cold.


The windows have a layer of frost on them, on the inside of the house, that the children have enjoyed drawing pictures on.

The bitter wind shimmies its way into the house, squeezing under the doorways and sliding through the window cracks determined to nip our fingers and toes with its frozen breath. It plays about our head, mocking us and our measley sweaters, knowing that it can even blow through the holes of knit.

The bird tree has been plucked bare of its nourishment and needs to be restocked-but I can't bear the thought of opening the door and stepping outside!

The laundry needs to be done-but I can't fathom heading to the cold garage to put some clothing in a wash cycle.

I cranked the heat up in the basement to 80 degrees...but it still hasn't turned on, an hour later.

Hope. Trust. Perseverence. Patience.

Spring will come, and with it the sun. With it, warmth. Only a little while longer....I keep trying to convince myself. To no avail.

A wonderful diversion keeps my mind from glazing over. Three Narcissus bulbs stretching heavenward, a lovely shade of green-reminscent of days long ago.

Yes-while the snow falls outside, and the bitterwinds howl us to sleep at night and hole us within our wallpapered cells during light-I will think about the green that promises to come with spring.

I will think about the magnificently colored coats these lovely, dignified green ladies will don in a day soon to come. I wonder if they should be sunny yellow or a pure, clean, fresh white?? Time will tell...
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