Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Neck-Deep in Piles

Well... there are still piles.
Big surprise I know.
I DID make progress today, but it is a little hard to tell since my children had their own piles going (theirs weren't nearly as helpful as I would have liked, but they did look fun!).

Anyway, we are (in effect) moving our things out of here (Colorado, where AJ's job is located) to
their permanent home at Marvel Hill.
We are still Gypsies as far as I can tell, but we are attempting to set up camp in Idaho where we might one day in the future reside.
As I type, I hear talk of mud, texture, paint, and carpet in the two upstairs rooms, and a bookcase in the living room! I'm pretty excited about that:-) That means we can set up beds when we get there - REAL beds. The kind that are mattresses on a frame! (remember we are gypsies. How did you think Gypsies slept?)

Tomorrow is the big day of finishing off the piles and packing them into the van (and I do mean pack!). Gathering the last minute grocery items to make traveling that much more pleasant; and leaving as little mess for Uncle Wyatt as we possibly can. Add to that a fair bit of hair-pulling (me pulling my own hair) because there is just too much to do, followed finally by a few hours of sleep and managing to leave anyway.

It really IS amazing how everything comes together somehow (probably miraculously) and you get out the door. With all the children, and just enough good will to last for the next twenty-one hours of driving!

Pray for me if you think of it:-)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Knowing When To Stop

Piles everywhere.
So much so, that when cleaning the kitchen before dinner tonight, I actually got to the part where you wipe down the counters.

We are packing up our belongings for the haul to Marvel Hill and a visit home to California. There is far too much to accomplish before leaving (whenever that may be), especially if we think we might want to mop the kitchen before we leave... That is at the bottom of my list, but on the list all the same.

So for the last few days, the only way to get anything done between meals, naps, school,errands, and more meals, is to make piles.

There's a pile for sewing stuff, a pile for snow gear, a pile for books and school supplies, a pile at the bottom of the stairs, a pile a the top of the stairs, a pile under the kitchen counter, a pile covering my desk, a pile to trip over wherever in the house you may choose to tread.
There are a LOT of piles, and piles in this application wear me out! Just when I get to the part of my day when the children are tucked into bed and being still, the house is quiet, and the most demanding chores done, THAT is when there is time to work on refining those piles.

Alas... who has the energy for that at nine O' clock pm!! Not me. Not now anyway. I am wiped out. As I told my gracious brother-in-law (whose house we share)
" Sometimes I have to let the chores go, so I can get to the other important things (or people - such as my children). Things like the dishes and dirty counter tops are always there. They always will be."
(And that's at least until my helpers are taking more of the responsibility than they are at present)

Do you know what I did this evening? I sat down with my littlest bug and played at the doll house with her! That's one of those things you have to stop for once in a while. Just STOP. So that's what I did. I stopped. I ignored the piles, making big plans for all that I will surely accomplish tomorrow... But even tomorrow, if it is necessary I will let go of the chores, let go of the perceived obligations for "school" time, let go of my uptight-ness, and stop.
Take a deep breath, and with the Lord's wisdom, change gears.

For now, I must stop this staying up late in front of the computer and go to bed. Being ever so careful not to trip over any of my piles on the way:-)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What Have We Here?

PINK Snowshoes?

Now WHO could those be for?

Even better... guess who spotted them in Sportsman's Warehouse?

"Ooooh DAD! Look at THOSE! PINK Snowshoes!!!"
(I probably could have done to add a few more exclamation points)

So WHAT did Dad do? He went right over and looked at the price tag, discovered that these sweet little things were marked down to half the original price, and were the last pair...

Then he promptly displayed his weakness for pink by putting them into the cart!

No kidding, that's just how it happened, only... the pink he has a weakness for, isn't the color of the straps on the snowshoes! edited on 3/16/09 to clarify: (... but the pleading eyes of a pink-clad, dimple faced little girl, who could resist?)

Note: For those of you visiting from DL, there is no innuendo intended here. I apologize for naively using the word pink to describe my daughter who loves that color. Any perverted impressions you gathered are purely your own invention.
On a side, I see that some of you think I am a walking contradiction. I hope not. The Jesus I know has seen past my sin to love me in spite of my issues, and loved me enough to pull me out of that mire.

Religion? No.
Jesus? Yes!
And He loves you too... pink or no pink. That's the truth!

Friday, February 20, 2009


It was apples tonight. We dipped them in a combination of pineapple and lemon juice first. I'll let you know if they turned out!
We also made ready some more jerky meat - it's marinating tonight, and I actually made the marinade from scratch: Soy sauce, lots of fresh garlic, maple syrup, and apricot jam. I'll let you know how that one comes out too:-)

AJ and the kiddos played with the new vacuum packer and much fun was had by all! Boy! I will say again, how LITTLE the food looks once dried! Especially vacuum sealed!
I guess I didn't take pictures, but maybe in the next day or two.

Oh! I almost forgot... I got some gifts from my honey tonight. The children helped him wrap them, and at dinner they sang "Happy Birthday" to me (even though it is NOT my birthday) - quite fun!
When on his travels last week he went to Barnes and Noble. This is what he bought me:-)

And... Viola!

Some really great resources, and that top one has some beautiful hand-drawn artwork of various fruits and vegetables in it. It's worth opening just for the eye pleasure!

Thanks my Darlin'!! Thanks for thinking of me:-)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Happy Me!

OH! I am SO THANKFUL! I am feeling a little bit like my normal self today! (Tired but not ill)
AJ arrived home last night, and it must have been a tonic. He worked from home today and it is just too wonderful for words to have him within close proximity:-)

Now, to blow all your socks off, I managed to putter away on a couple projects while I was sick. I can't tell you how... I just did. Some combination of whisking into the kitchen in a moment of feeling tolerable, and whisking back out at the first sign of feeling faint. I'm sure the projects would have been completed faster in non-sick time, but I really wanted to accomplish something (ANYTHING) while AJ was out of town.

So... we dehydrated some carrots. Zachary scrubbed down about ten pounds of carrots, and I sliced them, following up with a five minute blanch (this is all new to me). Supposedly blanching some vegetables (the ones with a longer cooking time) stops the enzyme action that causes loss of flavor, and preserves color amongst other things.
We dried ours overnight at 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

There is quite a lot of scrubbing, slicing, blanching, and placing on trays for ten pounds of carrots.
Do you know what ten pounds dehydrated to?


And this is a gallon Zip Lock bag. I am sure there can't be one pound in here!

The first lesson I learned:

Dehydrating is one of the most
UN-rewarding looking accomplishments I have tried yet!

Lesson 2:

Those little guys will expand,
so don't go putting a cup of dried carrots in your vegetable soup
- it might equal five or seven pounds of carrots in the end!

Lesson 3:

Buying a pound of dried vegetables doesn't look so expensive anymore.
Seven dollars for 1 lb. of dried carrot
seems pretty darn reasonable to me! (Azure Standard)

After the carrots, it was time to try something else. Jerky.
Pick a lean piece of meat, freeze partially making it easier to slice in uniform size, and marinate in some concoction overnight.
Blot each piece so it is not dripping, place on trays and dry for roughly eight hours at 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

I absolutely can't believe it, but it actually turned out! I cheated on the marinade and bought something non toxic off the store shelf, but next time I'll make my own.
The meat didn't shrink up as much as the vegetables, and AJ says it's the best jerky he's tasted!
So good. Now I need to vacuum pack it before it all disappears!

So those were the triumphs of Momma bug this weekend even amidst feeling awful.
It is true that we are also sprouting alfalfa seeds which are slowly making their debut.
And it is also true that I tried making bread, and it was a failure. It didn't' rise, that's how I know it was a failure. Some people call their bread similar in weight to a brick, but a brick would have been light compared to the loaf this would have made if I had tried to bake it. Thankfully I was smart enough to dump it before wasting time trying to fix what was irreparable.
I will try again. Really I will! ;-)

For now I am pretty satisfied with my dehydrating education. FYI, I used a book called
"Preserve It Naturally" which was very helpful and informative.
And my Honey is home. So all in all, I couldn't possibly be happier!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Feel Like A Foreigner...

This is not the hard life. I don't know why it feels so hard tonight.
Emotional, yes. Still sick, yes. But tonight I miss something.
I miss my husband.
I also really miss my mom.
But what I think I am missing the most, is the home I was created for.
The one where Jesus lives.
That's what I'm missing.

Tonight I feel it in my heart, in my stomach, in my aches, in my emotions...
I don't belong here. I mean, this earth has it's real nice moments, but it's not the same.
You know? I've never been to that home I miss, yet I feel like I know it! How else could I be missing it? Don't you have to know something to miss it? At least have it planted in the deepest longings of your heart?

I'm glad for the missing. As painful as it is, it reminds me that this place is not my permanent home, and I'm bound for someplace worth living forever!

Please pray for the Adamis family and baby Mia Amore. All my heart goes out to them in these difficult days, and possibly the days to come.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ugh... And UGH again!


Sick this weekend, but thankfully, the children aren't overlapping with me.
Worse than being sick is being sick and cleaning up someone else's vomit.

I don't know what I would have done without Zachary yesterday since I could barely make it out of bed to get to the bathroom.
He took care of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Kept an eye on Lina, and ran errands for me all day.

Better today, but still pretty punk. Thank you LORD for ever little "better" though! It is only five thirty, but I am counting the minutes until an early bed time.
AND... I am very thankful for a toilet and sink close to the bed (as opposed to an outhouse).
There is reason to give thanks in EVERY circumstance!!!

Amongst them:

The children who weren't sick and are getting quite capable.
The children who weren't sick (I will gladly list that again to reiterate my relief!)
Uncle Wyatt being home yesterday, which gave me peace of mind if anyone really needed help.
Plenty of food in the house.
That is AJ wasn't here to assist, at lest he wasn't here to share the bug!
For a good nights sleep.
For Ginger ale and Saltine crackers :-}
For a body that will fight a mean ol' germ!
For vegetable soup.
For a laptop:-)
And again... for my children, who are NOT sick, and are a great source of help and entertainment, and company!
I am thankful:-)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

For Dad , From Two Boys

This is the Lego creation recently built by Zack.

Personally I don't think Lego can compete with Zack's original designs. They're pretty impressive!

Notice the tail and red missiles?

The detachable back end?

Well done buddy!

Here's the signature of my other son Clay: he climbs.

Apparently his climbing is not limited to fences and trees, and especially if it's a cold Saturday afternoon and one is still wearing pajamas;-)

Yeah buddy!

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Momma Have I Told You My Dream?"

"Well... There were some mean lions.
I fed them cake.

Do you know what the spiders did?"

me: "I can not imagine"

"They ate oatmeal!"

me: "Oh. Of course."

"And the elephants..."

And so on it went.
Any dream-reading person would probably deduce that:
Olivia lives in a zoo, and was ready to eat breakfast!

(They'd probably be right!)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Big Shoes To Fill...

Tonight when I was a floor level playing with Carolina, I found myself gazing wistfully at this empty pair of boots.

My beloved is working out of town again, and any little distance seems too far when he's away.
You see, that fellow is my best friend!

The evenings drag out to amazing lengths when he's away. When he's here, there's never enough time.

The bed is a lot roomier, but my feet get cold at night.

It's a lot quieter when he's not here. A din of hoots and hollers usually herald his arrival home from work.

My protector,

my provider,

my companion,

my comrade.

My cheerleader,

my fearless leader,

my inspiration,

my friend.

"Most will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?"
Proverbs 20:6

When he is gone, it gives me pause to consider just how hard it would be to fill those boots.
I know I couldn't do it! It is a welcome opportunity to tally up all the wonderful things about my husband, and to thank the Lord for HIS love reflected so brilliantly through the love and care of my husband. I am lonely when that fellow is away, but aren't reunions wonderful?!
- Especially when you realize the greatness and blessing that fills those big shoes by the door:-)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Doesn't THIS Look Fun?!

Yipee!! An awfully fun game for a #5 when no one is paying attention:-)

What are you doing NOW Number 5?

Awwwe... she's using the wipe to clean her book!

It's a good thing that this fast-acting, super in-tune Momma
grabbed a camera before "fixing" the mess:-)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Catching Up

We had some very special company last weekend!

And because of them, the two of US had a date:-)

We went to Papadeaux's and had some kind of shrimp and crayfish fondue. It was very good, and the company even better! I felt old though, because we weren't a very lively pair. I didn't have any drama to relate about the children, or serious problems to solve. To top it off we were tired. Who ever heard of such a thing?! You can't be tired on your once-in-a-blue-moon date night!!
But so it was:-) We spent some time enjoying pictures of cabins and fancy shacks at the book store after dinner. (as a side, how come the books titled "Houses on a Budget" never even come close to the kind of budget WE are familiar with?!)
Such is life. It was a nice date - we had a good time!

Today was a full "in-town" day with a doctors appointment, and some errands. We all feel bushwhacked, but some good news is that Carolina gained another pound!

Dinner tonight for Little Buglettes was a plate of oranges, snap peas, cheese, and Graham crackers. Doesn't that sound like dinner? Bedtime was even better...


I could get used to that:-)

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Jewels

My jewels, my precious jewels

Sparkling colors

Unique hues

Shapes and sizes that tickle my fancy.

Catching my eye

In the light of the Son

Reflected from a million facets.


To polish

It's a mother's job to see the imperfections

Remove the dirt

And shine some more

Then lovingly cherish their beauty



Admiring the depth of color and brilliance.

Sparkling colors

Unique hues

Of my precious, precious jewels

(This poem by me. The inspiration: my little Ones)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Little Bugs

Sweet little Bugs!

Goofy little Bugs:-)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fish Oil - BLECTH!

And that pretty much says it all, I think.

While I get to swallow mine in a capsule, Carolina gets half as much, so...
I squirt hers out of the capsule.
I learned the hard way. Fish Oil tastes exactly as its name implies: fishy. And it makes everything it comes in contact with taste that way too, which isn't so palatable as say: maple syrup and fish flavored yogurt. Thankfully for her I tasted it first, and decided that fish oil is better taken in one fell swoop. One bite and it's all over with. Then you can commence with the sweet tasting yogurt or applesauce sans the fish.
I have even spilled the rank tasting/smelling stuff on my hand, and let me tell you, it doesn't wash off easily! It also adds to the aroma of an already nasty diaper change.

Anyway... in one bite. That's my advice!