Saturday, November 30, 2013

Old Toys and Little Boys

This morning we had a couple of small visitors. They came to play with Grammy while little sister went to see the doctor. (She has croup...) I decided to get out the blocks and wooden train set. "I didn't know you had trains," one of them said. I probably have other things they don't know or have forgotten about, but today we stuck to the train set and a big box of building blocks.







Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Making Pie... Kind of

Today I frosted my "pie" cookies and I have to admit, I am pleased. Hannah helped me get the pumpkin color just right and tomorrow we will have pumpkin pie and pumpkin pie cookies. Hopefully this guarantees leftovers because we all know how yummy pumpkin pie is for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving.

These little "pies" turned out so nice that I am actually looking forward to using this method of frosting Christmas cookies. Maybe I have found an outlet for my "inner artist" after all. Now if only I can keep from feeding the monster (the cookie monster) that is also within. "Down, Monster! Down!"




Tuesday, November 26, 2013

T is for Trucks

T is for trucks.

Around about this time of year one of Santa's elves sets up shop in our barn. He's a maker of wooden trucks Last year he put these beauties together; two fork lifts, two tractor trailer trucks, and two flatbed trucks.


We packed the back of each truck with a load of logs tied up in red ribbons.  What lucky little boys to have such a talented grandpa!  


 For more ABC Wednesday fun, click here.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Crafts and Cookies

Somewhere deep inside of me is someone with creative talent. Every year when Thanksgiving comes around, I start to think of Christmas treats and presents and long to create something wonderful. This is why I have a closet full of fabric and felt, pompoms and pipe cleaners, wooden shapes and pieces, and silly things like googly eyeballs. Once in a while I pull off something fun, but mostly I am so distracted and in such a hurry that I don't live up to my own expectations. ( I rather like these snowmen. I wonder if mine will turn out even remotely similar...)


I've been liking the looks of fancy decorated cookies too. I baked a batch of bears and "gingerbread" men last week. I even mixed up a giant bowl of frosting, but somewhere along the line I got overwhelmed and, well... we started eating unfrosted cookies. Maybe somewhere between here and Christmas, I will find a bit of calm (it's happened other years) and whip up something that makes me smile. I'm not sure it will be Fisher Price Little People, though I do love these. Maybe something a little simpler, like some candy canes or Christmas trees.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Kindness

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control

There it is right in the middle. Kindness. It should also be in me, along with love and patience, but I am afraid that all too often I am not feeling it. It's especially hard at certain times, times when hormones rage and I feel out of control. I try to be nice, I really do, but it's so hard those days. I'm not sure what to do about it and my mother won't be giving me any advice on this stage of life. She always claimed that hormones didn't bother her, though her children all knew different. We knew when to clear out and leave Mom to herself and clear out we did. Sadly, I can't get away from me at my times and the closer I get to that magic birthday that I am in complete denial of (it won't arrive until March) the worse my mood swings become. If I am to be honest, I haven't liked me much this past week, and I wouldn't blame anyone else if they didn't like me much either. Isn't there some special tea or potion I could drink to calm me down and sooth the savage beast within? Something non-alcoholic? Does Saint John's Wort really help? Or should I just find a strong sedative and sleep through that particular week each month? (insert winky face here)

PS. Just in case you think I'm not being nice, I'm trying. Really I am.

Weekend Wrap

One day this week I actually cleaned under- neath my couches. That sounds wrong... I often vacuum under them, but this week I physically moved the furniture in order to clean. I found lots of treasures in the process; chewy sticks for Sofie, Duplos, play food, a sticker, an old cellphone... All this stuff and I'm still missing my marbles. Go figure.

Today is Saturday, the day I am typically out running errands, but not this week. I am home instead. I've been playing with my scroll saw and imagining I am an elf at the North Pole, which isn't so difficult at the moment. It's snowing! I'm rather thankful to be home instead of out lugging groceries through a cold, windy parking lot.

 Rocky had some fun painting yesterday. I bought a cheap set of watercolors and a pad of kid's watercolor paper. I drew a few trees with permanent marker and she did the rest. If you think of it, please pray for my Friday patience level. Although I start out the week kind and loving, by the time Friday afternoon arrives (and sometimes by Thursday afternoon), I find I am completely lacking. *sigh*

And now I am back to my scroll sawing...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Husbandman

I'm tired this afternoon. It's one of those times when a good hot cup of coffee would probably help. It's one of those times where I am emotionally tired,  yet know that God is working something bigger in me and in those I love than I could ever imagine.

“Let us never forget that the Husband- man is never so near the land as when he is plowing it, the very time when we are tempted to think He hath forsaken us. His plowing is a proof that He thinks you of value, and worth chastening: for He does not waste His plowing on the barren sand. He will not plow continually, but only for a time, and for a definite purpose. Soon, aye soon, we shall, through these painful processes and by His gentle showers of grace, become His fruitful land.” -Lettie B. Cowman

This was posted by a friend the other day and it spoke to my heart. God doesn't let His children run wild and undisciplined, and just like any good parent, He knows that disappointment and adversity strengthen character and resolve. Though we are often tempted to soften the blows life doles out to our children, it is these very disappointments that grow compassion and understanding in their hearts.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

S is for Switch

S is for switch.

Normally I do my banking and go shopping on Saturdays, but this holiday season I am planning on pulling a little switcharoo and changing my errand day to Monday or Tuesday. I don't mind going out on Saturday during Christmas, but I think it would be a wiser use of time to do most of the running around on a calmer day of the week. Besides, Saturdays during the month of December are really meant for parties and playing.

For more ABC Wednesday fun, click here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Take Care of Yourself"

"Take care of yourself," that's what they always say, but what I'd like to know, is what exactly does that mean? Where does the "take care of yourself" business start, and where does it cross over into self-centeredness? I've had plenty of people tell me, "You're doing a great job," but whether they are referring to my care of my mother or the children who frequent my home, I still have to check my own attitude multiple times a day and smack my selfish ambitions back. It usually works, at least until the next time something selfish pops into my head.

I'm guessing God gave me a pack of children (I'm referring to my own flesh and blood here...) in order to keep me from getting totally out of control with "taking care of myself" because that is just what I'd really like to do. I'd like to put every ounce of energy and resources into being me and fulfilling my every want and whim, including those "sacrificial moments" of serving and giving that would make me glow in the eyes and opinions of others. The real problem is that I want to set the parameters, and real life seldom works around what I want. Instead real life doles out massive opportunities to set my own desires aside in order to meet the needs of others.

(Are you confused yet? Blame it on those hormones that are gaining momentum and turning my brain to mush.)

Remember the "Golden Rule"? It's Biblical, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12 (And here I sit listening to the "Emperor's New Groove", the epitome of selfishness wrapped up in a llama...)

So, yeah. I'd like to be doing something other than babysitting and taking care of my mother. I'd like to be doing something other than dishes, laundry, and house cleaning. I'd like to do "something" else, but you know, I don't even have too much of a clue what that "something" is, and I'm guessing it probably wouldn't make me any happier or more fulfilled. Unless maybe it's a nap.


I think I'll go mix up a batch of cookies.



Monday, November 18, 2013

Today

For another few minutes it will be quiet. I probably should have taken a nap myself, but sometimes it is better to go without one rather than be awakened in the middle. One small child has gone home, two are sleeping, and one is tossing and turning on the couch. The phone has rung, the dog has barked, and Grandma has gone out to visit Uncle Tim with Aunt Rachel. Quiet is really mostly elusive, even on gray days when curling up under a blanket sounds like the very best thing to do.

Dinner is made and waiting for dinner time. We're having Curly Lasagna made with rotini which isn't really "lasagna" at all. It still contains pasta and all the other lasagna ingredients, but there is not much layering required. I put it all into my stoneware bowl and sprinkle the top with Parmesan and mozzarella. It's kid friendly and the grands are staying for supper.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The day is done. The house is quiet. Supper has been served and the dishes are washed. The children, obviously, have gone home, and Grandma has returned from her outing to visit Tim. It's time to curl up on the couch and watch a movie. Tonight it's "David Copperfield". Think I'll go watch too.

PS. The photos are not from today. I caught them two weeks ago as a child and I waited for the school bus.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ready or Not

I'm not ready.

:0)

The weekend is about to ... end. I am not quite ready to get up early and start all over again, but that is exactly what I will do tomorrow morning, because that is what needs to be done. Most Mondays are quiet and relaxed. Most Mondays are "catch-up" days. Tomorrow is not one of those Mondays because there will be small children here and they are certain to make the day anything but quiet and relaxed. That is a child's job, to cause noise and chaos, and most of them do it well.

Hannah and I are waiting to hear from the farm where M. is staying. We are hoping that one day soon we will be permitted to make a visit. This weekend the owner was away at a HS so we couldn't, but there is hope and we are hoping for sometime this week. We are counting the positives, one of them being he is no longer an hour away, but just fifteen or twenty minutes instead. Another that we know he is being well taken care of. Hannah misses him.

I am finished giving my mom weekly B12 injections. We both survived! Now there will be just one shot per week for 4 weeks and then once a month for the remained of the injections. Maybe I really should have taken up a career as a nurse... Nah, maybe not.

I played the Facebook game where a friend gives a number and the receiver has to write so many "unknown" facts about him/herself. I said I wanted to be an eccentric when I grow up and I'm still thinking about it. I asked James if it would be alright if I let my eccentric out and he said "as long as it doesn't tear up the back yard." I'm still thinking about that too.

It's Sunday night and my tummy is getting hungry. There's some leftover ham steak in the fridge and it's calling me. I think perhaps I will answer.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Clean Up Day

Been doing some cleaning up lately. Since the weather was warm it was a good day for outdoor cleaning. We burned up a big pile of brush and sticks, along with a few corn stalks and an old bale of hay. Kind of hoping it's nice out again tomorrow.

Wonder what we could do with this spot on the farm? Maybe I'll get some alpacas. That would be cool, wouldn't it?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Looking Forward

Guess who's coming to visit after Christmas? My darling, faraway grandbaby, and he's bringing his mommy and daddy along!

This week has brought us a few new photos and a couple of sweet videos. Austin is sporting a new hairdo. By the time he gets here I'm afraid there won't be much of that soft baby hair left. Looks like it's leaving in a hurry. No matter what he's adorable! I can't wait until they get here and I already don't want them to leave.

My busy week is over. ha! Tomorrow will bring new activities and excitement, but we'll leave that for another post. One never really knows what tomorrow will bring, do they?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Staying Awake

If today was a quiet kind of day, I would be curled up on the couch sleeping off this silly headache, but it is a day of noise and small children instead. The cup of coffee I consumed earlier has not provided the wide awake alert feeling I had hoped for. Maybe the stress and activity of the week has finally caught up with me.

I have been instructed this week in the "art" of giving vitamin B12 injections. The last three days were learning, today I am on my own. Thankfully my mom is cooperative, or at least has been. I've been told this will not help with her memory issues, but should help with her energy levels. Do you think it would be okay for me to get the injections instead? (I kid... kind of...) It's really mostly today that I feel drained and lethargic and there is no chance for a nap... unless maybe a movie calms things down.

It's Thursday again, and I am off to Kristina's to play 3X Thursday. See you there!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Snowball Fight

This cute little guy showed up on Facebook yesterday. I thought I'd use him to toss a snowball at my favorite niece in Texas, but when I looked for her she wasn't there. (Probably hiding behind a tree or something...)

Look out ya'll! I'm not set on just hurling these at Texans.

R is for Resist, Refuse, Refrain

R is for resist, refuse, and refrain.

I had a summons for duty as a possible juror, so I got up early and reported to the court- house to learn a thing or two about the judicial system. I learned that a juror must not mention or talk about the trial (refuse), research anything having to do with it (resist), or even think about it at all outside of the courtroom (refrain). (Yes, I do exaggerate... ) However, I was not chosen as a juror... Funny thing is, even though I could look up the case, I can't even recall the defendant's name. Ha! So much for retaining information.

Ah, well, now I can resume my "normal duties" like chasing children and hauling my mom off to doctor appointments. It was nice, however, to sit quietly  for several hours yesterday morning with nothing to do but listen to courtroom proceedings. Part of me was just a little disappointed to be sent home, and another part was a little bit relieved.

For more ABC Wednesday fun, click here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Little Bit Nutty

(Yes, that green thing is a black walnut...)

It's been a wild week already and it's only Tuesday.
We celebrated Ben's birthday Sunday afternoon with pizza that he couldn't eat, pie, and ice cream. He didn't eat much of anything actually. His mouth is full of sores brought on by a work related injury. A bit of wire wheel acid in the mouth is not good...
Yesterday I stayed home and attempted to get my house in order, at least the kitchen and living room. I did okay, but nothing stays put for long. I'm sure you know how that is. I had a lesson in giving injections (oh, fun! read sarcasm) and will soon be adding that to my list of Mom chores. I did it myself today, with supervision, and we both survived.
This morning I did my civic duty and went to the county courthouse with my jury summons. I was not selected and my name was never called which means I am free to take Mom to the eye doctor tomorrow because both he and she are still "this side of the grass". (His words not mine.)
And now I am off to my monthly caregivers support group.
Never a dull moment, or at least rarely.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blah

Nothing sounds right tonight. I keep erasing and starting over,
so how about I just post a photograph and call it a night?


Stay tuned for more pictures of this adoring couple
as they "grow old" together.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Saturday

It was a cold morning. I zipped my winter coat against the stinging rain and pulled my hands up inside my sleeves. Saturday is my day to run errands and I set out early this morning; library, bank, drug store, K Mart, Kohls, Old Navy, Target, Hobby Lobby, Wegmans. No craft sale for me today (although I did think about it, because it's on my Fallish List. Maybe next week...) and no antique shop browsing.

I arrived home a little after 2pm to find My Darling raking leaves. No more pretty bronze carpet... *sigh* I helped him load piles of leaves onto tarps and drag them to the garden. After loading one particularly big pile onto the sheet of plastic, I turned around and dropped backward into it's fluffiness and breathed the aroma of autumn. I'll probably pay for it with a headache, but it was nice just the same. Nothing beats the smell of fall.

I am presently in the midst of cooking pizza dough and making pies for tomorrow. A family gathering is planned in honor of our youngest son who is turning 20 on Veteran's Day. Please pray for Ben as he got some kind of acid on/in his mouth at work yesterday. It is causing him considerable pain and he has gone off to the ER/Urgent Care with his dad to have it checked out. Somehow I think he might not be eating pizza tomorrow...

They have returned. :0)

Friday, November 08, 2013

A Snuggly Afternoon

It was another sleepy day, but not quite as sleepy as yesterday. We had three grand-punkins and a "regular" one today. It was loud and boisterous. After lunch we put in a movie, "Astro Boy". It came with the grandpunks and needs to be returned to the library. We all snuggled up on the couches and got cozy. My little granddaughter climbed up next to me for a short snuggle and then was off and doing her own thing again. Not long after, Simon crawled up next to me. I thought how rare an occurrence this was and wrapped my arm gently around him, not too tight, lest he decide to escape. After missing almost a year of time with these little ones, I am savoring every moment, thankful for their presence in our lives.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Very Sleepy Caterpillar

It has been an entirely too sleepy day. I did not take Benadryl before going to bed last night. I did not take Melatonin. I very simply woke up sleepy and remained in a fog throughout the morning. Coffee didn't help, even though James made it, and the couch was like a magnet. I fought the urge to surrender by doing laundry and washing dishes, but there came a time mid-morning when I couldn't fight it any longer and collapsed in a heap.

The day is still dark and I have several baskets of laundry to fold. My mom has sneezed about a dozen times in the last ten minutes, and Rocky will soon be waking up from her nap. Girls will come home from school in about an hour, and I think my husband is totally unaware that today is National Men Make Dinner Day.

I think perhaps it is time to make that afternoon pot of coffee and stop over to Kristina's for a game of 3X Thursday. You coming?

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Q is for ...

... Quit (depart, relinquish, surrender, give up). But I'm not really. I don't like quitting. If I quit, then I would miss out on the fun so I think I'll stick around a while longer.

I have always been somewhat reluctant to begin that which I am not certain can be completed and thus I am plugging onward.

This photograph has absolutely nothing to do with quitting unless you are speaking of sweeping away cobwebs. ;)

PS. If you enlarge the photo, you can see the cute little spider who used to live here. Don't worry, it's dead now.

For more ABC Wednesday fun, click here.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Leaves!

My grandbabies came to play again today. Since we spent the morning at Ladies' Prayer, I thought it a good idea to take them outside to play after lunch. Rocky, who was also here, headed straight to raking leaves and I began to wonder if this child would ever discover the wonder of simply playing in a pile of crisp, crunchy autumn leaves.

 It wasn't until I suggested jumping off the picnic table into the pile that she decided to give it a go. There is nothing quite like a giant pile of dry leaves.They jumped individually first, and then found a fun new game, jumping together. And of course, I had to freshen up the pile after almost every leap because, you know, it's more fun that way.

Aubrey left the leaf pile and thought I should give her a ride on the swing, but every time I got her on, she hopped right off. I decided not to play the swing game, and she decided to cry. Poor child! She really needed a nap and it wasn't long before Aunt Hannah scooped her up and took her inside for a rest while Aubs said, "I'll be nice."

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Work Day

As a show of support for our friend L. a bunch of people showed up for a work day at the farm. We tossed rakes and shovels into the back of the van and made the trek out to help.
Not knowing quite what to do, I decided to grab a grass rake and do some yard clean up. A few kids showed up with wheelbarrows and hauled the piles off to the garden where they were eventually tilled under. I must have raked for four hours, long enough to make my thumbs hurt and my arms feel like they might fall off. Too bad I'm not a bit more efficient or I might have finished the job. (Although I did go on a dog poop hunt as well. It broke up the monotony of raking and besides, it was on the list of things to do.)

 It rained on and off throughout the afternoon, but thankfully the colder temperatures didn't arrive until the sun started to go down. We were able to do quite a bit of cleaning up even though the weather wasn't ideal, and so I spent the day outside on a day when I'd otherwise have been running about getting my shopping done and then spending the remainder of the day inside. I think I'll sleep good tonight.


I didn't take any pictures today, but my camera was in the van just in case I saw anything spectacular on the way to or from the farm. (These pictures are from a few weeks back.)

Friday, November 01, 2013

Happy Winds Day

It's windy. My birdhouse was having a wonderful time swinging in the wind this morning. Had there been birdseed in it, the birds may have been swinging too.

The Punkin Patch was full again today. My grandchild collection was here. Well, part of it anyway... With Rocky in the mix we had a total of five "little punkins". Things were getting a little wild inside (the boys were wrestling) and the sun was shining, so in spite of the wild wind, I took them all outside. I must have looked foolish raking leaves in 40 mile an hour winds, but the object wasn't getting the yard clean. That would have been akin to cleaning the house while it was full of children.

The wild wind blew in some warmer temp- eratures and the ladybugs came out to play. Aubrey was the first to discover a new friend on a Little Tikes cozy coupe car, but everyone found it fun to let a ladybug crawl on their hands. When our little friend hopped into the air and flew away, we thought it was gone forever, but then it circled around and landed on Lukie's jacket.

The boys soon lost interest in ladybugs and went inside Hannah's Place to wrestle. While thumps, thunks, laughter, and an occasional yelp emanated from the little house, the girls took an interest in the little red and black beetles congregating on the east wall of said building. Protected from the wind and warmed by the sun, several ladybugs at a time were crawling up the wall before taking flight. Rocky plucked a few to keep as pets.

Playing the Game

Playing the game at Kristina's.