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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

video

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
Garlic
Salt
Pepper
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.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

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

This was an actual ad on Craigslist today:

HALF DUCK HALF GOOSE BABIES - $10
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.

(kidding)

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

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Free Coffee??!!

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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"

:-D

My Son

I really need to start blogging this stuff, because I know I'll forget it as the years go by. This is just copied and pasted from an email I sent to my mom . . . . . .

Isaac has a birthday list. He is very excited for his birthday to come on the 28th. He wants:

--Balloons (red)
--Cake
--Ice Cream and stuff
--chess
--bingo
--a blue bag with a Little Einstein shirt in it (he means a blue gift bag)
--a drumpet (A trumpet, it's on order. When he opens it, he will gasp. He's demonstrated.)
--a Spongebob video game
--silly string
-- a musical hat of many colors. A purple one. (?????)

He cracks me up. He wanted me to tell him a story tonight about his birthday (he just wanted to keep talking about his birthday). So I got out the video the hospital made when he was born. He absolutely loved it. He says that's when we "built" him. He also named all the parts of his body that have grown since then. Then he said "But you don't have any kids in your belly". I told him not anymore, they already took them out.

I was narrating the video and told him he was saying "Where's my mommy!?" and his daddy handed him to me and said "Look, Mommy! Here's your Isaac!" And I said "Oh, I love my Isaac!"

Isaac narrated himself: "And I said 'Where's my sister!?' "

He chattered all the way home from church, mostly about his birthday, but he got sidetracked when he saw the big, orange moon. He asked me if he could ride an airplane. He really wants to ride an airplane so he can see the moon. He wants to sit by his dad and HE wants to push all the buttons. (You know, to fly the airplane!)

:-D

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes

If only I could remember to write down everything they say . . . . .

Isaac yelled at his sister in aggravation this morning. Mike reprimanded him. Isaac said "But Dad, I'm not yelling. I'm just asking her louder".

On the way to church, Isaac and Isabel were commenting on all the tree devastation. Isabel asks every day, for every tree "Ohh NO!! What happened that tee, Mama?" And I tell her "It fell down, Baby." Isaac commented this morning, "Oh, no, we need some sticky tape for those trees!"

A little while ago, I hear mischief going on in the kids' room, where they are supposed to be sleeping. Isaac yells to me "Mo-om! Izzy has a toy in her bed! Mo-om! Can you come in here and spank my sister!!??"

The fun never ends.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Randomly Rambling and Bargainy Bloginess!

I'm soooo behind. I never even blogged about the holidays, ha! Well, all in all we had a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas, spent with family. We enjoyed Christmas at home this year (we alternate between Christmas here in OK with my family and Christmas in MO with Mike's family). This year my parents came to our house and spent the day, we had a lovely Christmas dinner, relaxed, played games (on the new Wii, ha!) and Mom and I went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on Christmas night. She and I used to go to the movies on Christmas or New Years night when I was a teenager and we hadn't gone in years. I really enjoyed it.

News Years Eve weekend was a ton of fun, my mom and brothers secretly plotted crashing the big party at Stan and Nan's (my in-laws) and invited the kids and I along. So we showed up and surprised everyone. It was a blast!

Isaac, Nan and Mom. We were playing "Imaginiff". It was fun!



Oh, here's our new calf. She's demented, but cute. Here she is actually at the front of the pasture instead of running up and down the fenceline at the creek from sunup 'til sundown.



Isaac cooking dinner last week. Southwest Chicken Soup. Mmm! He's been helping me cook ever since. He even mixed up my birthday cake this year!


We've even had a ton of cousin fun since my Sis-in-law and nephew have been in town. Here are all the monkey babies.




Yesterday was such a nice day and Mike was off work, so we decided to get out and about. We drove over to Talequah and stopped at Lake Tenkiller and let the kids play. The lake was beautiful, even in the dead of January.




He was a little nervous on the bridge to the dock



Such a sweet pic




Isabel and her daddy




Mommy and Izzy



Our sweet, precious little mack truck :-D



After the lake, we decided to drive 20 miles more over to Muskogee and hit the mall and go out to eat. Isaac spotted the indoor blacklight mini-golf course. We took the kids in to play and the older lady running the desk insisted on letting the kids play for free. Mike and I offered to pay to play along with them, but she would have none of it. It was so sweet and generous of her. Isaac and Izzy had a blast. Isaac looks like a ghost in this pic! He loved counting the holes, from one all the way to 18. For anyone who doesn't know Isaac, he's obsessed with letters and numbers.




Cool aquarium at the mall! Awesome!



Oh, and I am obsessed with the Twilight series. Only one more to go. Just thought you'd like to know while I was thinking of it.



I found some awesome bargains this week! I.am.a.die.hard.bargain.hunter. I refuse to pay full price for anything. If there is a bargain to be found, I will find it. I had some birthday money (I love that my birthday falls with the BEST clearance sales of the year, HA!) so I was so happy to find my little items at the mall. Everything in the pic was $3-$4 each, with the exception of the cute pants. They were $6.25 ;-D Is it tacky for me to tell how much I pay for my clothes? Probably. Do I care? No. I love finding a good bargain. It gives me the warm fuzzies (as my mom says)



More bargainy fun! I L.O.V.E. surplus stores. One of my fav places to go is OOPS in Tontitown. I love all the home decor stuff and the food section. They actually have a great health food/organic selection, dirt cheap. So I got quite a stash last Saturday!! Then, as we were running errands today we decided to stop at the little surplus place that opened up here in town. I was so excited! Here in our dinky little podunk town, I found all this stuff!!! Organic stuff, people. Whole grain stuff. Yummy stuff.



Today is inaguration day and I've been mindful and prayerful of our nation. It doesn't matter which way we voted, we have a responsibility as believers to pray for our nation and our leaders. Romans 13:1 reminds us:

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.

I'm so thankful that we have a God who is in control.

I'll admit that I didn't spend anywhere near enough time praying for President Bush over the past eight years. I'm determined to set aside some time each week to pray specifically for our government.

Hmm . . . . I guess that's all I'm thinking of today. Could I be more random?