Friday, January 29, 2010

Sweet Nothings

Well.

It seems I am good for reading blogs at night, but not writing them - not in this season anyway.

With a cup of Mocha in the morning hours I think of all manner of witty, wonderful, inspiring things to say, but I am (being a wise and) dedicating that coffee jolt to listening to the Bible and painting.

I also have lots to say when the house is coming down around my ears at the lunch hour.
THAT, however, is not a wise time to sit down either.

Oh WAIT! I have it.
The Worlds Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookie recipe! I actually made these tonight (instead of blogging intelligent things) and this recipe has been turning out a prettier shape than any of my usual chocolate chip recipes.
It is now a favorite stand-by, and in Idaho, in my Wolf oven/range I can fit over 2 d.o.z.e.n cookies on one sheet. Wheeeew-ee! The size of that oven almost makes up for the lack in living square-footage:-)

Okie-dokie, want the recipe?
Here it is:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 and 1/3 cup flour (and here I add a little more. Enough to shape dough into balls)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
chocolate chips (the more the merrier!) I use about a cup and a half, and add another half cup mini chocolate chips just for fun:-)

Combine butter and peanut butter.
Add sugars,
then eggs and vanilla.
Stir in flour, salt, baking soda, and chocolate chips.
Add more flour as needed.

Bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes.

And that's it! In Idaho I actually experimented with dehydrated egg and no one was the wiser.
Boy it was a relief to know I could make these cookies from nothing but pantry items. I may have used dehydrated butter too... can't remember.

And so. You get nothing witty tonight, but perhaps "tasty" will suffice!

I do what I can:-)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

They Say That True Life is Stranger Than Fiction... It Is.

If you make a sandwich without a "lid"
it's an "OPEN FACE" sandwich.

So it follows that if you are 5 years old,
and you DON'T want an open face sandwich,
the thing to ask for is a...

"SHUT FACE?"

Kinda gives the impression that the
peanut butter was talking back
or something.

.........................................................



In a home where small children reside
you can expect to find strange things in strange places,

SUCH AS: a harmonica in the dishwasher.


But honestly, I can't blame any of the children for that.



How else was I supposed to remove all that
peanut butter
and jelly?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Clayton Praise















Zack and I were playing around this evening:-)
Kinda fun!

Monday, January 25, 2010

From The Bowels Of My... Purse?

O.K. I did not blog today. I should have perhaps, but then there's real life.
I haven't yet convinced myself that blogging is a real life activity:-)

But...

I was thinking about something that happened the other day.

Upon rifling through the contents of my purse (which I was doing to cull all the old receipts that like to congregate there), I happened upon half a package of gum there and proceeded to unwrap and casually toss into the mouth.
My mouth, that is.
Funny...
(?)
It tasted exactly like the old gum that I used to dig out of my moms purse!
It had that "old gum from musty purse" flavor.
I was instantly transported to the passenger seat of a pea green car, where my nose was buried in a leather purse, oh, say 23 years ago?

I can't be old enough to have a musty purse with old gum in it. I CAN'T!

I guess I am though.
I must not be much of a gum chewer if there was still a half package in there, but...
It's unlikely that event promoted further interest in future chewing.

Musty gum isn't that good.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Too Good To Be True

I was so fortunate to be up this morning for this:






























It was breath-taking!
I'm sure there are many lovely sunrises to be had for the viewing, but I'm more likely to be awake for an evening show of color.

Recently I have stumbled upon something too good to be true.
I haven't blogged about it because I'm afraid it might "*poof*" disappear into thin air.
It hasn't yet, and I have a few minutes this afternoon so I'll tell you.

I found that if I could actually rouse myself out of bed an hour and a half before everyone else, a cup of mocha could wake me enough to sit by the fire and paint while listening to the Bible on audio.

The Bible in 90 Days website has a button on the left labeled "listen while you read" and this little feature is what's been keeping me in the running with that 90 day program (although for me it will probably be a "Read The Bible in Well Over 100 Days" program.
I'm O.K. with that as long as I keep after it and get through eventually:-)

I AM LOVING this!!

My brain can't digest written material first thing in the morn, but I can digest it coming in through the ear just dandy.
Add to that a prime opportunity for uninterrupted art, and you have something that really gets me jazzed!
(The mocha seems to be a key ingredient to the success of this venture - sipped from a red mug, of course)

Can this be?
A bona fide quiet time?
AND a creative outlet?!!!

Here is a piece of the evidence:

















There's more, but I can't blog it all at once - ya know?
I've got to spread it out a little.
I'm still in shock!

Actually, I have not deemed it wise to rise that early every day if I haven't been getting a nap, or if I went to bed at 2am, waking once or twice after that to nurse.

On a couple days I've tried to corral the hooligans in their room and attempt to recreate a serene atmosphere in the hopes of getting this same time to myself during naps.
It sorta works, just not as good as the morning ritual.

Wouldn't it be something if I got to bed earlier; slept more hours; got up before the sun; had coveted time in God's Word, AND got to paint?!!!
I'm not so foolish as to depend on getting this time on a regular schedule at this season, but if even every few days...

Like I said, too good to be true.

I kind of feel like the parched traveler in the desert who just limped to an honest-to-goodness well of thirst-quenching water.
Water he could get a big draught of, no less!

Simply reviving!


It's so crazy it might just stick:-)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Patiently Flexible, Content to Sip My Freshly-Made Lemonade

Ahhh... what a NICE nap!

I THINK the girls slept, but who cares?

I slept, and HOW.

Fire crackling on the hearth.

A cooing baby.

Applying nail polish to three little girls in the living room.

Watching through the window as the snow comes down in a flurry.

Making another round of tea.

Listening to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers on the radio.

Painting faces - just for fun!

















So being "flexible" isn't so bad.
You know, I sometimes wonder what the Lord knows that He doesn't clue us in on.
Were we protected from road hazard or worse?

Some people might say that we turned lemons into lemonade, but I call it learning to be content.
Content to let the Lord direct our path after we have made our plans - even if He sends us in another direction than we had planned.

What comes out when pressure is bearing down on our so-called lemons?

Am I content to let Him teach me patience? Flexibility? Thankfulness?

Will I choose to recover when dealt the blow of foiled plans?

Will I choose to praise the Lord?



Will you?



I hope so!

Foiled plans sometimes make the sweetest lemonade:-)

Flexible

Got a crash course in charging the van battery myself.

Unloaded six children (made them keep on their shoes and jackets).

Sat by the living room fire and read while we waited the prescribed amount of time for the battery to charge.

Waited an extra ten minutes - just to be sure.

Loaded those same six children BACK into the van.

Foolishly I didn't try to start it again until AFTER they were reloaded and re buckled.

One click, a dashboard fully lighted, then...

Nothing.

Fifteen minutes of waiting to try again.

A bit more "oomph" this time.

We read another story - while sitting in the van...

In the garage...

In suspense.

Another try.

No Banana.

Unload six children more resilient than me.

Remember: "Flexible... flexible... flexible..."

Cups of tea for everyone.

Change gears.

New plan:

Lunch and a Nap.

I think I can live with that.



"...Flexible... flexible....... flexible........ . . . . . . . ."

Going Out... Or not.

Going out today.

Canceled plans, staying home.

Library instead maybe?

Better idea - trip to distant friends. Going out!

Children fed.

Dressed.

Clad in shoes and jackets.

Baby nursed.

Diaperbag replenished.

Water bottles filled.

Maps printed.

Children filed out the door.

Loaded and buckled into seats.

Plans made; all ready to set in motion.


Wait...


What's this?

Van door ajar?

Turn key.

Nothing.

Dead battery.

No motion after all.

What now?

Don't know yet.

My word for today:

Flexible.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Reading Plug

I am not a program person really.
I taught both boys to read using nothing but the good ol' alphabet (gasp!).
It takes a certain amount of time and practice, and we're finally adding up enough hours to be fluid and stumble less.

I have heard great things from several people about the book "Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons", so broke down and bought it last Spring.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
This is what I've been using for Susanna over the last few months, going along at our own pace.
First of all, Sue (age 5) already knew her alphabet and sounds, so that was a start I would recommend before beginning this book.

Secondly, each lesson includes a sound writing lesson (writing out the new letter), which Susanna absolutely refused to do when we started.
Because of that I halted the program until deciding to omit that piece. Why make reading a battle? She really wanted to read, she just wasn't ready to write.

Susie's been through about 40 lessons so far and she is READING short stories!!!

Last of all, we sometimes do several chapters a day (each takes about 15-20 minutes of time working together); and sometimes we don't do a chapter for several weeks.
I like that the lessons/chapters are numbered and I always know right where to pick up!
We've created our own pace this way.

Olivia is just getting familiar with the Alphabet and though not yet 4 years old, if she wants to start reading along with her siblings, I think she could start this book too.

I have been very pleased this far, and would highly recommend giving it a try. I won't be surprised to find that it's not the silver bullet for every one of my children, but if it works for any of them I say "HOORAY!!"

Here's a little demonstration:-)

video

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Do you like it too?

A little piece of bliss...


I am (recently) the delighted owner of this
perfectly green polka-dotted teapot.

I first laid eyes on it last Spring.

I did not covet it, but I loved it none-the less.

It's like my red mug in that it just makes me smile:-)

It's the kind of thing that has a personality of its own, you know?

I might even name it.

Hmmm...

Dotty?


Thank you Mom and Dad!

Friday, January 15, 2010