Friday, May 30, 2008

Day 10, and Day 11

They come!

My beloved that is, and my sister Emma! Uncle Wyatt too...
It's been a strange 11 days without the men. I sure do appreciate them!
What hard workers, and what a comfort to have a male presence in the house at night!

Yesterday we did school work and counted the hours until today:-)
Today has been a whirlwind of house-cleaning! I probably overdid, but I need an excuse to get to pillows and bathroom rugs. Opened all the windows too.
It's such a beautiful day, and we need to get the stale air out. It does smell a bit more clean and fresh in here:-)

So in conclusion, while I will have lots to blog about, I'm not going to spend my time that way while AJ is here. He's taking off on Sunday for another week, so I'll be back in force on Monday!
Hope your weekend is as nice as mine will be:-)

-Momma Bug

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day 9

Costco run today!

First I returned some items at REI, and then I went to Costco and spent all the money I got back from that return!
AJ said he was worried about that!
Me too, what if I hadn't been able to find a use for that money? (I am being just a bit facetious here!)

Mrs Smith and Crew did Costco with us to see if they might want to get a membership.
She gets great deals at the commissary, but you can't beat the produce at Costco.
They sell a lot of organic produce in large quantities for reasonable, and if you don't have a garden... it is a nice luxury.

This evening I sent the boys out to the patio to eat their spaghetti.
It just seemed smart!
They managed to find some beautiful flowers for me - Indian Paint Brush, I think.
The first real bouquet of flowers I've had in a long time! It's wonderful to see some color along with the green that's finally creeping over the landscape.

We all mis the "lush and green" as Zachary calls it!
Can't wait to drink it all in again when we get home this Summer!

Here's my sweet flower boy!

























Some silly fellows:-)
























Some of the crew watching a cartoon at the end of the day.

























Me and mine...
Cant get everyone to smile at the same time, but it's accurate!
















Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Day 8

Ahhh.... That's better!

This morning Clayton asked for "iron cut" cut oats for breakfast:-) That would mean "steel cut" for those of you who don't know your oats. To Clay though, it was oats cut by some kind of metal - who really cares about details?!

Susanna informed me that she likes "rumples" on her pant legs - not to be misunderstood for "wrinkles", she actually meant "ruffles".
Who can blame her? She's all girl that one; I'm only surprised that she didn't specify "pink rumples"!
I pinched my finger in a drawer today, and had to hop around the kitchen for a few seconds.
The boys asked what I was doing, and I told them quite frankly "I pinched my finger, and sometimes it helps to do this."
Later in the evening, Zachary came to me: "Mom, I stubbed my toe, and remembered what you said about hopping around. I think it helped!"

Olivia and Carolina were both charming me in their respective different ways today too. I love the ages and stages of both!

Our day included school, shopping, lunch and play at the park, naps, and making cornbread for dinner (Zachary did that one).

The house is quiet, and my husband sorely missed, but
I have a sense that God is so very faithful to keep and protect us each while we are apart. I never take it for granted that my husband comes home safe - even when he works close to home, but there's nothing like distance make me REALLY appreciate the gracious hand of God! Thank you dear Lord!

O
ne more thing to add... If you are interested in another good blog to read, please take a peek at Grace's Blog.
Grace is sister to my life-long friend Sarah Jane.

She doesn't post as often as some, but really digs deep when she does! I love her style of writing, and the way she provokes thought. I hope you enjoy her too! Make sure you leave a comment for her if you stop by.

All in a day's work,

Momma Bug

Monday, May 26, 2008

Day 6, and Day 7

Yesterday we spent all day at church.
Amazingly the children made it through the service, pot luck, and then wanted to stay for a concert after that!
Even better, Carolina napped through church and then took another nap through the concert!
It was a long day, made wonderful by visit with new friends and even a visit with Gramsie and Pops late in the day!
The children managed to get in a little outside play too, before bed.I would have posted yesterday, but instead I brought home a movie and curled up on the couch with some ice cream.
It seems there's not enough time in the evening for everything I want to do, but that was a nice way to end the day!
(I really enjoyed the movie I rented too)

Today is not worth journaling.
I don't really want to talk about it other than to say there were times it felt pretty long, and I am sorry not to have my husband to look forward to at least!

So... right now I am working on making some cloth napkins.
I miss the ones I left at home, and so I ridiculously added one more thing to my list!
I've got eight so far, and four left to go in that fabric. Then I can start the other set (of which there will be more than twelve).
When they are finished I will post pictures - trust me, it will be an accomplishment worth celebrating!
All in all, this is a nice way to end the day, and tomorrow is new "with no mistakes in it" (Anne Shirley, I think?)
I'm looking forward to that:-)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Week #8


A couple weeks ago I let the boys try making a cracker out of our sprouted wheat.

Because we don't currently have access to a blender of food processor, we had to get creative!

First I put roughly a quarter cup sprouted wheat berries in each of tow zip lock bags.
Then I sent the fellow's outside with hammers to crush the wheat inside the bags.




















After the wheat was crushed (it was not at all fine since they were more eager to get to the baking and eating part!) they oiled a cookie sheet and spread the sticky mess, pressing it flat with their hands.















Finally they sprinkled salt on top, and placed it in the oven at 200 degree's, and baked for about an hour and a half.
(please not that this was an experiment, not a recipe to be followed proportionately.)
I was genuinely surprised at how edible the end result!
It was a tasty, whole sprouted wheat cracker! We probably could have baked it a little longer, but it held together without crumbling into a mess.















The boys said they'd be willing to "live off" it - especially with peanut butter:-)
I'm looking forward to trying this in larger quantity, and also baking it in the Dutch Oven.


video

Day 5

Journaling the days while my husband is away, hoping to see that we filled them well, and in greater hopes of having them pass quickly!


It was a lovely slow day today, at home with my Little Bugs. Clay made breakfast, Zack made Banana bread, we played with our new balls, and Lego's - it was a real weekend day!
(not only that, but my children went to bet tonight without ONE SINGLE PEEP! I can't believe it! Praise the Lord!)

Our Shenanigan's...

Don't you love it when your two year old figures out that great power is wielded in words?

Olivia is fine-tuning the art of being a little sister. Yes she is! Let me tell you from experience that she can compete with the best of them!

She has taken note of exactly what words (spoken in the correct tone) really get her sister's goat!
"Bo-bo!" she says with her chin stuck way out as if firing off the word.
Don't ask me what "Bo-bo" means, because I have no idea, but that isn't really what matters is it?
The point is to antagonize big sister as much as possible. And it works. Reeeally well."Mo-om! Olivia called me Bo-bo!!" She says in tearful distress.
"Yes." I tell her, "and that is because she loves how it bugs you. Do you think you could ignore her? She would soon get tired of her game if she found you weren't bugged." (again, this is coming from the mouth of experience)
Her pouty little face nods in compliance -not the same as understanding, because two minutes later...
"MO-OM! Olivia called me a `Stinky Baw-ma'" (translation: stinky bomber).

Sigh...
Apparently big sister is going to take a while to learn this lesson.

Not so with big brother.
He knows how to win this fight;
He chuckles and without batting an eye he says "Olivia, YOU are the Stinky Baw-ma!!"

Ouch! Truth hurts!

What's next?!

Am I Free?

Am I FREE to be a bond-servant of Jesus Christ?

Am I free of my fears?
Am I free of complacency?
Am I free of the traditions of men?

What keeps YOU in bondage?

If you have an hour or so, take time to listen to this sermon by one of our pastor/elders. He is a man that my husband I have an increasing appreciation for as a servant of Christ, and free thinker.

Where the Spirit Is There is Freedom

This is the sermon he taught last Sunday when the boys were out of town and I braved church with my little girls.
Boy was I glad I went! It was a timely message for me.

Personally, I was convicted that I am bound by the traditions of men.
I have been really struggling day to day with meeting all the schooling criteria set by our state.

I can, but often lose my ability to relax and have fun at the same time.

It is my hearts desire to impart a true love for the Lord to my children, but I think it's hard to achieve that merely by "Bible time".
In other words, a heart condition cannot be attained by checking off one of the boxes on my list of things to do.

I may in time learn to balance the "must do's" with the "should do's", but if I can't balance the two, I believe it is of paramount importance -critical even- that I err on the side of what matter's eternally:

Teaching my children to know and love God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength.

What good is it if I keep the State happy and lose the hearts of my children?

The problem is WHO keeps me accountable to focus on winning the hearts of my children for now and eternity?
There is the government to keep me accountable to checking off boxes!

Exit.jpg

On Sunday I realized how important it is to me to live where I feel I am free to teach my children what I believe is important. Even if it means being far from beloved family and friends.
I don't know if that is necessary, but if it is, I am willing.

For Jesus, I am willing.

I want to be free to serve Him.

Friday, May 23, 2008

King of the Roost


Good Ol' Fancy Pants!
"Faithful are the wounds of a friend..."
I know I may be taking that Proverb out of context, but it kinda fits!


Here he is in molt last winter - not looking his absolute best,but still a dapper fellow:-)














Fancy Pants was a fancy breed of chicke
n that came into our lives as a chick, parcel post.
His first home was a brooder on our front porch.

After he lost all his room mates to a terrible disaster, and it became clear that he was a "he", we hoped that he would be a nice friendly "he" since there were no "she's" around to defend.

Over time we had to admit that "he was not a tame rooster" (to borrow some of C.S Lewis's colorful description).

No indeed!


In the time Fancy was part of our family he was our only "pet", completely self-maintaining, a thoroughly self-sufficient fellow.

We generally referred to Fancy Pants as "cocky", and now we understand fully where that term originated!


Over the course of his life he drew blood from each of my children, and numerous other hapless folks.
He didn't discriminate between friend or foe!

Fancy is a legend in our home.
It was he who afforded my boys an opportunity to become men, practiced in the art of chivalry.


They got to be wonderful defender's of their sisters, rushing to the aid of such screaming damsels in distress!

Just writing this post makes me think of many, many stories of great feats, and daring acts.

Daddy Bug always said he didn't want to stew that cocky fellow, because he was the best practice for a bully that our boys could have on our own terms!


He was right of course.

After a good hour-long chase around the yard being pelted with rocks and beaten with sticks, Fancy's ego would be substantially subdued - perhaps for only a few days, but the boys seemed to be able to put him back in his place when he'd assert his pride.

Amazingly Fancy managed to rule the roost (even more beautiful and cocky than ever) while we have been gone these six months.
Alas when my fellows went home to pack up our house last week, he was nowhere to be seen.

We suspect he came to the end that was inevitable
Strangers, neighbors, even friends (to say nothing of prospective buyers of the farm!) aren't as tolerant as we -his generous and beloved family.

I was glad we didn't have to figure out what to do with him. It is sad to consider him as a remedy for a cold!

Daddy Bug, however was disheartened not have seen him one last time... such dear memories he gave us!

So....
When I was out shopping the other day and I found this:














I impulsively splurged without turning back.
I knew I'd regret it if I didn't buy this amazing life size look-a-like!
It SO looks like Fancy! Daddy Bug doesn't know about him yet, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't read my blog, so he'll get a chuckle when he gets home next week!
I'm tickled!

We will always remember Fancy Pants with smiles and great fondness :-)

Day 4


Journaling the days while my husband is away, hoping to see that we filled them well, and in greater hopes of having them pass quickly!


Fried egg Friday started out with oatmeal this morning.

I was afraid there wouldn't be enough eggs, or that it would take me too long to fix fried eggs for nine or more!















The Love Bug/Smith sleep-over was lots of fun (without much actual sleep)!
Mrs. Smith graciously brought pizza for dinner, and we girls worked on scrap books .
To be fair, Mrs. Smith worked on HER scrap book while I yammered away about this and that, taking the occasional break to deal with my (getting to be) nightly tuck-in routine.

This morning while Mr's Smith stayed in the house with two sleeping babies, I took the other seven to the park next to our house.
We brought our new rubber balls and kicked them around, and practiced dribbling. Come to think of it, we probably spent more time chasing the balls, but we had a good time I think!

You should have seen the children on the slide! they looked just like
penguins sliding off the ice into the ocean! They were going down full speed ahead face first, on their knees, and every other way imaginable flying off the end! :-)

The rest of our day wasn't as exciting, but it was restful. There was naps, a visit with another dear friend, and legos.

Did I mention a rainbow? (I thought of YOU Jeana:-))















































God's promises are good, and He is ever faithful!

Lately I have been thanking Him for the grace He extends to me in small ways.
You know, the ones where you smile and think "Wow! That was just for me! It had to be. No one else saw it!"
That's been happening a lot for me in the last few days... or at least my heart has been tender enough to
notice.

Thanks Lord.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 3

Journaling the days while my husband is away, hoping to see that we filled them well, and in greater hopes of having them pass quickly!
Flower Clipart - Image 4
An early evening (or late afternoon) post because I plan to be too busy this evening! ;-P

I was all rip-roarin' to get lots done this morning in preparation for the Smith/LoveBug sleep-over tonight.

Not to be.

To make a long story short, I had to deviate from the original plan in order to instruct hearts.
That took all morning (and we're not through yet), but I decided early today that I would be glad for the opportunity to do what is most important to the Lord.
Hopefully whatever it cost today in the chores and hair-fixing department (two of the things that didn't happen today), was more than made up for in eternal reward!

I'm counting on it:-)

Mrs. Smith and I have big plans to scrapbook or sew this evening after we get all nine little ones tucked in, but I have a feeling (this comes of living with a "realistic" husband) we might be ready for ice cream and a movie by that point!

What do YOU think?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 2

Journaling the days while my husband is away, hoping to see that we filled them well, and in greater hopes of having them pass quickly!

This morning ALL my children slept in! I think they a
ren't off California time yet (does that tell ya where their hearts are?)
My boys normally match time changes like clockwork (tee-hee!)!

(And here's a picture of my Carolina sucking on her knuckles! Have you ever heard of that? It's a new method for one in my crew!)














After breakfast we caravaned to Wal Mart with the Smith clan.
Wal Mart might not sound that exciting of an outing t
o YOU, and it's not my favorite store either, but it was a nice outing! We shopped in our separate family groups and interwove here and there throughout the store.
I bought rubber balls for each of my children (the foursquare kind), thinking I might be able to teach them to kick a ball down a field, and maybe dribble too.
No.

I am absolutely NOT athletic in any way shape or form! -At least not in the ball sports department.
However... I do want my children to be comfortable enough with a ball that they are willing to try new things, and not be totally inept when "the guys" are tossing a ball back and forth.

Anyway, it was a big hit to carry a bouncy ball through the s
tore!
I was so impressed at how little contact the balls made with the floor while we were shopping, that I turned my head the other way w
hen out of the corner of my eye I saw a contest for who could hold it highest over their head!!

I was delighted today to have many "Do all five children belong to you... you look too young" comments!
Maybe it had to do with the fact that I was smiling... that always throws those people who think it's unlikely for a mother of five to be smiling!

After we grabbed a feast-worth of food at W.M. we went to the park and had a pick-nick.
Here's that favorite dinosaur loaded to capacity!







































Mrs. Bryant met us there with her crew later on, and instead of playing on all the magnificent play equipment, they found more pleasure and fascination in digging up one of the parks tree's.
Yikes, home-schooler alert!!!













Imaginations run-amok:-)














Arriving home at 2:30pm, I decided it was too late for naps if I didn't want the same tucking-in scenario I had last night. Everyone rested... and then proceeded to struggle through the rest of the afternoon.
We made Sloppy Joe's for dinner (another new one) and everyone was very gracious.
It appears that we are raising a "meat and potato" family though!

The children went to bed great tonight. I only had to go in there a couple times within fifteen minutes or so.
Going without naps to achieve that result is totally unacceptable! NO WAY!

So... I have showered, am baking cookies, and am chatting with my beloved in KY (his phone is still broke, but this is rather a fun way to communicate for a change of pace!).
Am I on vacation? I t kinda feels like it!

Love,
me

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 1

Journaling the days while my husband is away, hoping to see that we filled them well, and in greater hopes of having them pass quickly!

AJ and the boys arrived home safe and sound last night at 11:30pm.
It is wonderful to have my boys back (although I must have a short memory, because I'd forgotten the amount of noise they add to the household!), but my time with my dear friend and husband was too short before he had to leave for Kentucky this morning.

We were all a little off-kilter as we unpacked clothes (CLEAN ones, thanks to Gramsie!), and figured out what the days ahead are going to hold.
I didn't try to make it a school day, though we need a couple more weeks worth before we're officially done for the Summer.

Zack discovered some "new" books I picked up at the thrift store, and poured over them much of the day. We napped early, and finished putting away the travel mess.
Later in the afternoon I had the children run off steam outside, and they played for a while with chalk.
They were barefoot, and Susanna found the remnants of a cactus off the edge of the patio - not happy!
I think I managed to get all the fine spines out - thanks to some tweezers I could actually FIND when I needed them!

For dinner we used left-over salmon, and made a spread which we thinly applied to tortillas, adding diced bell pepper, fresh spinach leaves, and sliced cucumber. We rolled up this concoction and cut into manageable-to-hold pieces.
Surprisingly, everyone ate it even though it was a bit off from the norm.
I was pleased.
I wasn't crazy about it myself. It was okay, but I wouldn't go out of my way to make it again!


The boys each showered (I can't believe they are big enough to do that themselves these days!), and I spent a little extra time tucking in tonight.

The "tucking in" routine is a hard one for me. No one wants to go to bed, and I'm pretty tired myself, so I haven't much patience for every last request - of which there are many, because if you multiply a last request times four, then again times say... three (what? You thought "last request" meant that it was the last?!)
Anyway, that makes for a lot of "last" requests (in case you hadn't deduced this yourself!).

I'd like to try a new tactic, but I'm not making any long-term promises. We'll take it one day at a time.
I'd like to have Bible time again in the evening (we have it in the morning usually) - probably focusing on the Old Testament.The Flood
I think that the novelty of having me read to them once they are in bed will improve their interest in Bible Reading.
My hope is to try acting out the chapter after I read it, so putting it into a bite they can really chew on and think about as they fall asleep.
I want to make the Bible something that comes alive for them, and I think this will help make it exciting!
Believe it or not, the Lord blessed my effort tonight - despite the obvious spiritual warfare going on with wiggles and distractions, but no need to drag it out.
Brief and to the point worked just fine, and we were able to pray together too - something we need to do more often.


Anyway, I got everyone tucked in and had the usual getting -up-fifty-times saga, but it was okay. I had done what was most important already!
I think it would be good if I could get on top of some of that rig-a-ma-role while AJ is away. It would be nice to know they will all stay in bed once tucked in. (YEAH RIGHT!)

AJ's cell phone decided not to work last weekend, and I'm pretty sure it is a priority to get it fixed.
However I had the pleasure of a nice long (and fun-filled) "chat" with him on the computer while I was ruling tyrant with the Little Bugs.

It actually made the evening load a little lighter:-)
After that, I completed my evening with an episode of All Creatures Great and Small which we've been enjoying through Netflix (Sorry AJ, you missed this DVD, but that's a price you pay leaving town for two weeks!).

Now a little blogging and off to bed.
Hopefully tomorrow will be great! I'm planning for it to be;-)
All your prayers are greatly coveted. I'll keep you up to date!

Love,
Me

Monday, May 19, 2008

Book for my Boys

Yo ho ho! Look Ye Here:

Since we read Swiss Family Robinson we've been pining for another good "boy" read.
I've been wanting to read Ballantyne's books since I saw them in Vision Forum, and now's my chance if I could win this one!
One of Mother Hen's pirates is giving this book away and I WANT IT!!

(Don't YOU?)

Go take a look at the contest and see if you want to enter too!
If I don't win this fine book, any of you Aunts or Grama's are welcome to buy any of the Ballantyne books for us as birthday or Christmas gifts. (Look at G.A. Henty too)
You can find them here.
You'll also be able to read a little about the Author and his works if you click on the above "here".
:-)

Beautiful Daughters








Green Bean

This... is "Green Bean".














He has been keeping me company by sitting on my desk while my boys have been away.


Green Bean is the beloved sand-filled amphibian belonging to Clayton Praise,
however...
Sir Green Bean was one of the treasures I found in my Mother's Day gift from that son O' mine!

How cherished I feel to have the honor of caring for little Green Bean - what a thoughtful gift!
Every time I see this little fellow I think of Clay and how much I love him.

What are your plans for that child of mine, O' Lord and King?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

What A Week!




















It has been an interesting week for me.
I know some of you are probably pining for some pictures of the children, so I will get my act together for you after I fill in the gaping holes of what's going on in our lives.

Daddy Bug packed up my two sons and departed for California on Tuesday. News to you, will be that we sold our house.
This doesn't have anything to do with our Colorado expedition.
Rather the right thing fell into our laps at the right time, and it was time to let go of that very special place.

The biggest "thank you Lord" is that we were able to sell it with a short escrow, and with the stipulation that we weren't going to FIX ONE THING - take it AS IS!
That was/is a huge load off for AJ!

We discovered that we aren't "house project" people at this stage in our lives; when Daddy Bug gets done with work, we like to REST, and maybe even go play, but NOT deal with an over-grown yard, unsided house, fences, driveway scraping, pool cleaning, to say nothing of numerous other projects!

I have no idea what's next, but for now I'm acquainting myself with the word "Gypsy"!!

Anyway the boys went out West because some things needed to be moved out of the house and container, even though we have a few months before the barn needs to be emptied.

ACTUALLY... those fella's deserted us for a more FUN event in the annual Father/Son camp-out at the coast!
I am really proud of Daddy Bug for buying tickets and taking them, because it wasn't a good or easy time to "do" it.
Zack got ear infections after they got there, and by the grace of God, improved enough to still go camping!

"Quiet" might be the word you'd expect to describe a girls-only household, but not so.
Sue got the ear infection thing, and let me tell you, she is not quiet when she's sick!
In between down days, we went thrift store shopping with the Smith's, and last night joined them for dinner and a visit.
Today we even made it to church, and attempted the park afterward.
Unfortunately it was a short-lived event for my girls - we rely on our afternoon nap too much!

All in all, if I have to be a single mother, this is the best-case scenario.
Apart from that positive out-look, I can find very little good in being without half of my family whom I adore!
I can't wait for them to get home tomorrow night!

Susanna was heart-broken when she found out Daddy Bug wasn't taking her on the "Father Daughter" trip too. She was all packed!
(a hug and some Skittles helped ease the pain!)



















Waving good-bye at the airport.



















I didn't cry...
...much.

Sue wasn't up for the park today. (maybe you can even see the skinned knee?)



















Olie was my girl for play!

























































Isn't Carolina sweet?



























This is her new outfit from our thrift store excursion!