Thursday, November 12, 2009

Things You Don't Want to Forget . . . .

Once again, months upon months have lapsed since I've put my mind to blogging anything. I'm such a lazy blogger. I think about it now and again, but Facebook updating is much easier, isn't it?

This time of year makes me so nostalgic. I love Fall. Lately I've been watching my kids and trying to savor every sweet little moment with them while I can still call them "my babies." While looking back at old photos I'm amazed at how quickly they change and how much we forget about the little things they did and said. Like when Isaac was a baby and explored and inspected every new thing put in front of him by balancing and twisting his tiny thumbs all over it. I have no idea what that meant to him, but I was sure it meant he was going to be a genius.

Isaac started Kindergarten in August. Yes, he's only four, but he's reading and writing already and is such a smart cookie. He's so observant and absorbs everything like a sponge. I debated on officially starting school so early, but we agreed that holding him back wouldn't be good for him or us. He inherited my love for learning and he craves to be taught. I love homeschooling him because we are free to learn about whatever peaks his interest at the time. So far in addition to reading, writing and arithmetic we've cooked and baked, gardened, gone on nature field trips, learned about Bats and Owls (his favorite animals, since all things nocturnal are the coolest nowadays), the moon and space, and pumpkins, Pilgrims and Indians. We've had art days and computer days. Sometimes in our PJs. There are no rules against that in our house. ;-) He loves to speak Spanish and make it known to everyone wherever we are. No matter where we are, he is always an owl. A real owl. He flaps his wings when I lift him up and down out of the car or grocery cart and greets people with "hoo-hoos." Just don't make the owl angry.

Isabel is so verbal and imaginative. She was such a sweet, happy, tiny baby and she grew so suddenly into a tall, sturdy, mischevious little person. :-) She loves to nurture and help. She doesn't always care about her ABCs and 123s but she is super sharp when it comes to reasoning the world around her. She loves caterpillars and bugs, dirt, coloring and creating, and pretending she is in her own little royal world. She dwells in castles and wears fancy gowns. She refuses to wear pants or shoes, and only wears dresses and "slippers." Her current favorite dress is a faded, knit, long-sleeved navy blue dress with red flowers all over it, buttons and a collar. She looks like a little ragamuffin from Little House on the Prairie but I admire that she imagines herself past her tattered little playdresses into a Cinderella gown.

She carries around tiny notebooks and crayons or a pen. She fills page after page with tiny circles and scribbles. We keep a constant supply of tiny notebooks. They never get old to her.

Since her infancy, she continues to be obsessed with socks. When she was a baby, we called her "sock monster" because she was constantly snatching socks - dirty or clean - and making off with them as fast as she could. She ate them. She flung them. She pulled them on her arms. Thankfully she no longer eats them but she does steep them in her princess teapot. I'm obligated to partake in her stinky-tea parties several times a week. This morning she asked to play with her little bag of seashells. She filled her Cinderella socks full and fat with seashells and pretended they were pumpkins. Then she cuddled them and pretended they were babies. All the while chattering like a grown-up telling me how they looked and how they felt.

Her affection is so sweet. When she was cuddled in my lap with a fever last week, she touched my face and said "I lub you, Mom. You byoo-ful, mom. You go-geous." She does my mommy heart good. :-) Last night she woke crying in the middle of the night. I brought her to my bed and we whispered together for a little while. Then she cuddled to me and stroked my arm and face with her little hand. I don't want to forget things like that.

I'm thankful to have had such easygoing kidlets, they've never had problems with changing routines or encountering new people or places. However, Isaac has kept a little bit of concern since we were away from both of them for seven days during our anniversary vacation. They did wonderfully with their grandparents, but ever since, Isaac always needs reassurance when we go somewhere that I am going with him and that I am going to stay with him and that I won't be gone overnight. When we returned home from that vacation, Isaac told me "Mom, I like to see you and look at you. I like to smell you." Since then he tells me that often. I melt every time. I tell him I like to see him, too. We snuggle and I ask him "What do you think I smell like?" He usually says "coffee", which is so funny to me. He loves coffee and he usually sits with me on the couch when we're just getting up on the mornings, while I'm drinking my coffee. I guess that's what he thinks of. The other night at church he climbed in my lap and hugged me and told me he likes to smell me. I asked him what I smelled like and he said "Coffee. With chocolate and milk and sugar." These tiny things make my mommy heart so happy! Last week Isaac was teling me these things and Mike asked him "Isaac, what do I smell like?" He hugged his daddy and then decided "Hot Chocolate." We asked him "What does your sister smell like?" He thought for a minute and then said "Mud." Typical brother.

I also don't want to forget that at this stage in their little lives, my children know no strangers. Every person we pass in the aisle or in the park, every cashier who scans our groceries. They are subjected to a formal introduction and some chatty conversation. Appearance and age do not matter. And most people are amused by it. The more I think about it, the more I hope they never grow out of it. And in my quest to become more Christlike, I believe I could observe this particular lesson from my children.

Isn't it amazing how much we learn about God from our children?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Springtime on the Farm

Getting the mowers ready for the season

Mom and Baby

Bucklings playing the challenge game. They love jumping on and off this sewer manhole.

My other kidlets playing the challenge game :-)

Moms and Babies relaxing

Isabel loving Chloe. Poor Chloe, she's hooked to her chain to keep her from chasing the guineas

Hmmm . . . . wonder what lives in here?

Isaac insisted I take a picture of the creek. We're so blessed to have this on our land so that our animals have fresh water all the time.

Isaac and Isabel think Chloe's new house is the greatest.

Boris looking casual and distinguished, as usual. He loves the camera.

Chloe the coonhound

Betsy recuperating. Hopefully she learned her lesson about chasing cars when she clipped the tire of a truck while going to the mailbox with me this morning. The super-nice guy felt terrible and backed up his truck to make sure she was OK. She was just a little stunned, LOL.

Speckled Hen lays her nest here every year. She has 4 little hatchlings this time around. They were out foraging, so hopefully I'll get some pics of her with her brood soon. It's precious!

This is Isaac's favorite spot, on top of the hay.

Way up there! He loves that spot!

Boris, cool as cucumber, as always.

First mowing of the spring. This was so cute. The grass is a lot greener in the front of the house.

Brenda and her baby

The challenge game. Aren't they cute? Isabel is crying in the background because Chloe ran by and her chain whipped underneath Isabel's feet and knocked her flat. Poor baby! She was OK, just mad. She climbed in Chloe's doghouse with her after that. :-D


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

I've wanted to try something like this for a while, so found a basic recipe, and of course tweaked it to my likin' :-) Mike likes to have breakfast he can take out the door with him in the morning and these are great and healthy!

Baked Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
3 c. quick oats
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. flax seed (I ground it in my coffee grinder first)
1/2 c. raw honey
2 tsp. blackstrap molasses
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 c. milk
*any sort of fruit or nuts you prefer*
I made this batch with raisins and blueberries, but one could also use diced apples, peaches, strawberries, bananas, almonds, pecans, etc. etc. Many yummy possibilities here! (Ooh, maybe even chocolate!) :-)

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add fruit to dry mixture and stir. In a separate bowl mix honey, molasses, butter and eggs. Add to dry mixture. Add milk and stir until blended. Spread into a greased 9x13 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for approx. 25 minutes. Let cool, cut into bars. Store in airtight container.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Beef Lentil Stew and Parmesan Herb Bread

A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed the best Beef Lentil Stew at a quaint little coffee shop in Arkansas. It was thick and hearty and had a nice chili kick. I have been thinking about it ever since so I decided to try and make my own version. I'm very pleased with the results! Of course we can't have stew without some sort of homemade bread . . . . . so I paired it with one of Mike's favorite bread recipes I came up with a while back.

Here it is!

Crock Pot Beef Lentil Stew:
Beef soupbones (or 2-3 cans organic beef stock, or a small bone-in roast)
A big handful of thinly sliced organic carrots
A handful of diced onion
One can of diced tomatoes
1 lb. lentils
2 tsp. Cumin
1 Tbsp. chili Powder

Place soup bones, carrots, onion, salt, pepper and garlic in crock pot with 4 cups of water. Turn on low for about 4 hours until you have a rich stock. Add lentils, tomatoes, cumin and chili powder. Stock should cover lentils and vegetables. If not, add a little more water until they are completely immersed. Cover and set on high for approx. 1.5 hours, until lentils are cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed. Serve!

Parmesan Herb Loaf (protein packed!)
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. garbanzo bean flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. herb seasoning (salt-free)
a generous shaking of parmesan cheese (shredded works fine as well)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. butter or oil
1 c. milk

Mix dry ingredients. Mix the egg and butter/oil, add to dry ingredients. Stir in milk gradually. Batter will be thick and almost pourable, like a quick bread. Spread into greased 5x8 1/2 loaf pan and sprinkle the top lightly with more herb seasoning, and another generous shaking of parmesan cheese (this makes for a yummy crumbly crust on top!). Place in 350 degree oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until top is browned and begins to crack. Let cool, remove from pan, slice.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ummmmmmm . . . . . . . Deuses????

This was an actual ad on Craigslist today:

Date: 2009-03-24, 3:00PM CDT
I will have baby dueses born soon. We thought that the goose and the duck were both boys, WELL....... WE HAVE EGGS! There are eight of them. They are half duck and half goose. They will be for sale about two weeks after they are born. I will be selling them for $10 each. I am sure I will have more to come after that. I am not sure what they will look like but I am sure they will be cute! If you are interested in one of my dueses please call me at ***-***-****I will take your name and number and call you when they are ready. Thanks.

Bless her heart. I'm sure she's gotten a bazillion emails already. I hope that, by now, someone has tactfully informed her of the facts.

Ducks/geese/chickens just lay eggs. No fertilization necessary.
Ducks/geese do not cross. If so, we'd have them at every duck pond in the universe.

I wonder if she's keeping them for two weeks so they can nurse.


This ad did make my day, though. :-D

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Free Coffee??!!

Dunkin Donuts will send you a free sample of their coffee! Click here!

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Can't beat that.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Isaac-ism #3

Isaac burned his tongue on his dinner.

"Isaac, be careful, I told you it's a little hot"

"No, Mom, it's a BIG hot"