Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dreaming of Idaho

Things we need:

toilet (inside the house)

lights by which one can read without going blind

propane oven

sink with running water

washing machine (even MY make-do spirit has limitations!)

bathtub

I have been pining for a tub all winter, and Idaho is where it really counts. My husband graciously took up the task of solving the problem of NO INDOOR PLUMBING.

Possible solution?

http://www.off-grid.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/bathfire.jpg

You may not believe this, but if you get covered in enough layers of dirt and sweat and the hair on your legs is an inch long... this is looking pretty darn GOOD!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Perspective

I am stewing over a toddler carelessly missing the toilet by two inches.
I have company coming tonight, it was not my idea to scrub the carpet, bathe the girl, wash down the toilet... (though the company should appreciate that. I think it's common for people to clean their bathroom in preparation for entertaining)

In a moment I realize I am singing along with Fernando Ortega to the hymn "Jesus Paid it All."
After a time, the words leaving my mouth reach my ear, and then make it to my heart.


"Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe;
sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow."



Wow. I have nothing but everything to be grateful for, and all to Him I owe - even scrubbing, bathing, and cleaning. AND with a right heart attitude!

I have a new perspective for the rest of my evening...

Jesus paid it all.

Start Your Engines!



Another Fried Egg Friday commences!

Mom showered... CHECK!

Fried eggs eaten (and worn!)... CHECK!

Kitchen destroyed... CHECK!

Faces washed (and hands, and clothes, and noses)... CHECK!

Library books collected... CHECK!

Grocery list made... CHECK!

Shoes and jackets on... CHECK!

Diapers, wipes, and blankie... CHECK!

Cup tote... CHECK!

Keys...

Cell phone...

Sanity...

CHECK, CHECK, and Hmm.... not so sure on that last one:-)

Off we go!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Hid... I Really Did.

I was downstairs in my bedroom, getting dressed for an evening out with the gals, when I heard a thud, a scream, and after some commotion. Zack was hollering for mom, and searching the house over for me, the proverbial mediator.

That's when the idea hit - " jump into the closet! maybe he won't find me, and I would really prefer not to be found at the moment. I just escaped the mayhem and I want my peace!"
(you know, that piece of peace I am always saying we are not entitled to? - I thought I'd try to get it anyway.)

Did it work?

For a few short-lived moments, I thought so.
But then, just when he had looked in the last obvious place, he walked all the way into the bedroom and took a confused pause. That soon turned to disbelief when he turned around, faced the closet and spied his mother standing in there holding her pants over her arm.







That's when I busted out laughing!
"I do NOT want to hear any tattling right now son!" I twinkled mischievously "I would rather not be found for that sort of thing."
We both had a good laugh, and I commenced dressing. I did feel a little silly, and I wasn't successful in staying hidden, in fact I definitely could have done a better job with that.

However, it was worth the laugh we shared; I didn't have to hear the sad sad tale of life's wrongs; and I was reminded how good it is for mom to spring the unexpected once in a while!

I'll be sure to try that one again:-)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Favorite Baby Item

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Every Mom has her "can't-leave-the-house-without-it" baby item.Some cherish their their carriers, nursing cover-ups, diaper bags, some their baby's pacifier.

Personally I try not to leave the house without any of the children themselves, and since they have all been finger-suckers it's hard to leave without an item like that (a finger that is, and again... that's assuming you remember the child that the finger is attached to).

My all-time favorite baby item is a flannel receiving blanket.


Several babies ago, my mother-in-love offered to make me some new ones, and I requested she make them bigger than the usual size.
What resulted have been my most treasured "can't-leave-the-house-without-them" baby items!
She cut flannel fabric (preferably shirting flannel - it's stretchier) one yard square, and finished the edges by crocheting with colored thread around the outside.

(Carolina demonstrating the virtues of said blanket)


















My favorite uses for this 3 x 3 foot square piece of fabric are as follows:

* Swaddling blanket. This thing is the perfect size for getting a good swaddle with no feet sticking out:-)

* Nursing cover. I've got it with me anyways, and the flannel sticks to your clothing. I believe my sister-in-law is now a fan of these blankets too!

* Infant car seat cover. For when your baby falls asleep and you want something light weight over them to keep off bugs etc.

* High chair and shopping cart seat-buckle. This thing works great to tie your baby into a restaurant high chair. I use mine all the time for shopping carts as well.

* Changing "pad". While not padded, you have something clean to lay the baby on for changing a diaper.

When leaving the house I always check for diapers, wipes, and receiving blanket - in about that order. As you can see, ours is familiar enough that Carolina decided to adopt it for personal use:-) We have two made out of the shirting flannel, and though different colors, she isn't picky! Either one will do - just don't try to substitute one of the other flannels -I guess there really IS a difference!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Looks Like These Go a Loooong Way!

It's true that this one is cute - just look at that squinty smile.

















However she is also the sneaky one (translate: least trained) and one of my retainers has been missing for several weeks. Not such a big deal until you realize that I've had that thing (and have been faithfully been wearing it at night to keep my teeth straight) for nigh on eight years, never ONCE having lost or replaced it!
...Until now. It was going to happen sooner or later, I just didn't anticipate this scenario;-}

Anyway, what she doesn't have in wisdom, she makes up for in winsomeness!
Just tonight as she was gurgling some nasty tasting stuff she says to me:

"That mouth squash doesn't taste too good!"

No indeed Olivia... no indeed!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Plumping-Up Carolina










An egg a day, usually for breakfast. Scrambled with butter and a spoonful of Brewers yeast mixed in. Some days she says "enough!" eggs can get a little gaggy eating them so often.

I often bribe her with some applesauce (which hides her morning supplement - capsule opened and powdered contents mixed in).

Another good way to sneak in the egg protein is to hard boil eggs and remove just the yolk to mix in. Yogurt works well for this I find. I buy organic plain yogurt and also mix in a little pure maple syrup. I usually take the opportunity to mix the evening supplement into her yogurt.

Good protein foods are Cottage cheese, and also Peanut Butter.
It seems that a favorite of Carolina's is peanut butter with honey, brewers yeast, and a large dollop of coconut oil mixed in.
Sometimes I put this on bread , especially if we are going to be out at a meal time, I am assured she will get something to eat that is "on my list".
At home however, I frequently feed her this mixture right off the spoon and she loves it!

Another good food to fatten baby up is Avocado. Carolina seems to hold the view that this is another gaggy option, but I like to mash it, add coconut oil, and a shake or two of garlic salt into it - she will eat it this way on a cracker.

















We also bought Carolina walker with the idea that getting her upright where her feet are touching the floor, might tempt her to put some weight on her little legs.
She seems to think she is getting royal treatment to be put in this contraption!

The doctor seems to think that her muscles will strengthen in time due to some of the supplements she is getting. The zinc, for instance, builds muscle tissue.
Keep praying!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some Things You Just Can't Measure... And Some Things You Can

I can't fully explain my joy without filling you in on the finer details of the last three weeks, and I probably won't do that since it's a long story fraught with emotion and some humility (mine).

More importantly, I haven't wanted to cause undue concern for Gramas and Aunties, so I will only fill in enough gaps for you to join me in my rejoicing!

After a helpful doctors appointment with a chiropractor/friend of ours, I have spent the last two and a half weeks working very hard to get some weight on Carolina.

The doctor suspected that she was zinc deficient amongst other things, told me to get protein into her at every meal, and made a few other dietary suggestions to help fatten her up, as well as giving her a spinal adjustment.

With her new food and supplement regimen her appetite immediately improved, her demeanor lightened up, she started trying to say more words, I began getting more liquids into her and of course, that resulted in fuller diapers (which in context, can be very gratifying!).
















Folks who know me know I am not an alarmist, but I really have been concerned.
Carolina is now fifteen months and not even getting herself to a sitting position, let alone crawling or walking.
I have been taking meal times very seriously and have felt pleased with what I've witnessed in her food consumption. In the future I hope you'll allow me to share some of the crazy things I've been creatively mixing into her food - I'm pretty proud of my ingenuity!
Yet... she is so tiny I can't tell in two weeks if she's gained any weight.
















Alas, today we had another appointment with the Doctor, and this time Daddy was present.

Drum roll please...... Carolina has gained two pounds in two and a half weeks!




























I am so thankful to the Lord for answering my prayers favorably. The Doctor said half a pound a week would be good, so please pray for my girl to keep puttin' it on! The work is by no means done, but what a wonderful start. It shows that nutrition and some supplementation will probably do the trick for her combined with a little time, and it doesn't appear to be a more serious problem.
Thank you LORD!

















Thank you gals too, for rejoicing with me. I knew I could count on you:-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bead and Pipe Cleaner Snowflakes

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We like to make bead and pipe cleaner snowflakes to decorate our tree and house at Christmas time.
We were on the road this year and didn't get to do our usual Christmas crafts, so it was just a couple weeks ago while Daddy Bug was out of town that we pulled out the beads and pipcleaners!

First buy some pipe cleaners and cut them in half.
We like the glittery ones which can be found at any craft store.


















Buy a package of faceted plastic beads - the large size, and preferably a package of mixed colors.

Take three pieces of pipe cleaner and twist together in the middle to make a six pointed star shape.














Thread beads onto pipe cleaners.
You may choose to set beads close together, or leave room in between for the pipe cleaners to sparkle through.




































Leave a little room at the end to twist over last bead, so your beads won't come unstrung.

Viola!











I guess I didn't take a picture of the ones I thought "perfect", and as you can see...
the snowflakes take on the personalities of their creators! ;-)
have fun!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

We Are Loved!!

Christmas arrived at our house the other day...














we could hardly believe our eyes!














A new hat for Olie


















Some darling girlie duds for Lina

















A PINK sweater for Susie:-)

















Candy for boys...
Coffee for momma and daddy... (you're the BEST Auntie Kim!)
Wonderful personalized drawing pads for my artists...
and lots and LOTS of love!

Thank you dear sister, your package was the first gifts we received in celebration of Christmas.
It's arrival was a great and jubilant affair - heard throughout the household (and possibly beyond!).
We took great delight in opening each special package, oohed and awed appropriately over each persons gifts, and then had to try everything out.
Or ON, as might have been more accurate for some:-) Everyone was properly thrilled, and this mommas heart extremely blessed! I can't wait to try my photo cup :-)
THANK YOU dear Auntie Kim, Uncle Ben-the-policeman, and sweet cousins McKenna and Hailey!!! We love you too:-)

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

YAY!!!

My beloved is back home from slaying dragons in the far off land of Kentucky.
He cleaned up my hard drive a bit so I can once again download pictures, and then upload them for more delectable-looking blog posts!

To start things off, I can hardly stand it - you must witness the dancing talents of my Olivia Honor!
She doesn't have any black baby blood in her (honest, I would know), but she does have a certain sense of rhythm the rest of us Bugs, er... lack.
video

"Shuckin' an' Jivin"

video

(She and Floey would make a good pair Kell!) ;-)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Son is a Folk Artist!

Wouldn't you know? We like pens, pencils, crayons, paints, in this family, and any other drawing implement we can get our hands on.
It runs in the blood.
THICK.

But this guy is a riot! I've never seen anything quite like it, and I think that this new white background will show off some of his pictures nicely.
As well as the artwork of other budding artists in our family!

Introducing the Folk-artistry of Clayton Praise:








I would have to buy it if it were for sale, but I can't beat the rate I'm already paying! ;-)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fried Egg Friday!!!



It's been just too long since we've had a real honest-to-goodness Fried Egg Friday, but today...
we made up for the ones we missed! :-)
Daddy Bug is coming home tomorrow, and it felt like a day to celebrate.

First we had our fried egg breakfast (Friday = Fried Egg... get it?) original Clayton idea.

Then we loaded into the van and went to the Library. This was my first time in more than ten years, and the first time ever for my Bugletts (don't keel over Mommy Reg!).
I have heard that the Library in our town is exceptional, and I would have to say I wasn't disappointed.
They have a soundproof room for the children with all the children's books and activities. My children were mesmerized by the whole experience and especially the short door just for little people - problem was, who opens the tall door for momma and stroller?

After we left the Library we went to Starbucks and ordered a Venti Strawberries and Cream Frappuccino divided three ways, and a Java Chip for me and Clay to share. Turned out that Carolina has a sweet tooth too!










Next we walked across the parking lot to the... Dun, duh-dun dun... DOLLAR STORE! (Where every dream is within reach for the little person's income)
Yesterday Clay actually said to me "Mom, I wish I lived back when there was a Nickle Store!" I guess the Dollar Tree is a close as we get to that today:-)
Zack bought a piece of poster board, Clay bought a rubber ball and paddle, Olivia bought a fuzzy purple snake, and Susanna had already set her heart and sights on buying a stapler (?) and that's just what she did!

We then stopped into Office Max and bought file folders to make lap-books (haven't done this ourselves yet, but the children are very excited!) - did I redeem myself Mommy Reg?

We then loaded into the van and headed for home where commenced lunch and some resting, and tonight... perhaps a little party with a movie from the Library? I think maybe... :-)



A very successful Fired Egg Friday, and one I'd certainly repeat in the future!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Youth Isn't External Anyways

I don't think I'm vain. I have always looked younger than my years - not beautiful - maybe girlish?
I do not suffer over getting older, and I don't believe thirty is old.
I don't think forty is old.
I don't think fifty is old, and I have girl-friends in all these age ranges, so I know it can't be old!


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However, I am becoming increasingly appalled by how FAST the time goes! It has sped up a few light years since Zachary was born ( it was an unusually slow nine months before that event!), but if it weren't for my children I would wonder if I have been doing anything productive with the last ten years. (Besides accumulating wrinkles and gray hair)

As I was saying: I bathe, brush my hair and get it trimmed once a year... or so. I love my jeans and t shirts but attempt to make sure they are feminine to please my husband. I wear rouge on my cheeks when I wake up a little pale-looking, and even tried on some lipstick the other day.
THAT scared me though when I looked in the mirror, so I wiped it off and applied a little gloss - really livin' it up!
Sometimes I wear shoes that match my sweater and really look like an adult!

Lately though, as I have peered a little closer at my reflection, I think it is finally time to accept the truth:

I am starting to get old.
(I'll add "..er for those of you laughing your head off at me. Old-er.)



I find gray hairs often enough for them not to be a fluke any more.
My skin is getting thin, and kindly accommodating more wrinkles...

According to Martha Stewart, I don't have the right regimen. Did you realize that you can have optimum health and astounding beauty simply by...

1) Simply by having one of your many outbuildings transformed into a home gym complete with aerobics machines, weights, and Cybex machines (whatever those are), a treadmill, T.V., massage chair, and personal trainer.

2) Simply by using the right skin care products. Don't worry, I did the research for you and found that Martha's recommended night creams run about 20 dollars for 1 ounce. moisturizers are only 20 dollars for 2 ounces, and serums are 20 to 45$ for one itty bitty little ounce. No worries though, it will be worth it when with the help of this miraculous product you will supernaturally defy age!!

3) Simply by juicing fresh, organic, vegetables from your garden every morning. If it's winter and your garden is sparse, just send your personal chef to the local organic green grocer, or have your produce overnighted in from some tropical region. Just make sure it's organic, don't fail to juice a variety of exotic things, and don't forget to offer some to your trainer, housekeeper, and pets.

4 and then some) Simply a little mineral water infused with cucumber and mint to keep you sufficiently hydrated; apparently an electric toothbrush is essential for gum care and shiny white teeth (what did people do before batteries, not to mention I am dubious that an electric tooth brush is all it takes to get teeth as white as Martha's); to pamper your body use Susan Ciminelli Marine Lotion - only 94$ a bottle (there can't possibly be enough ounces in there to make it worth 94 bucks!); and two yoga teachers plus all the gear at the ready for those times on the go. Just remember to turn off your cell phone when you don't want anyone to bother YOU, and turn it back on to call the housekeeper when you want her to have a homemade cappuccino (one shot of espresso only) ready when you get home.
Above all else TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF - YOU DESERVE IT!

(Please, oh please read tongue in cheek!!!)

Thank you Martha, for showing us all how easy and achievable it is to be happy, healthy, rich, famous, and gorgeous. Who would have known?


And all this time I was thinking:

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"Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long..."
Exodus 20: 12
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and

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"Proverbs 16:31
"The graying head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness."
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Proverbs 31:31
"Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain:
but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised."
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and not to be taken lightly...

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1 Samuel 16:7 b
"...For the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance,
but the LORD looketh on the heart."
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Sooo.... All this to say, the World is clinging to, worshiping even, something they can not keep:

youth.


Life experience says I can't stop time from ticking on, so I'm trusting the Lord when He says my outward person is not going to last.
My spirit however, is.
I want my physical person to reflect what's inside, but not at the cost of pulling out each gray hair as it comes along, or mourning over stretch marks that are the reminders of each precious child I have carried. I will rejoice in my crown if it be found in the way of righteousness!

You'll have to find another disciple Martha, I'm following JESUS!

How 'bout you?

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