Friday, December 3, 2010

The Christmas Season

We're back from spending Thanksgiving at the in-laws house.  That can only mean one thing.  Christmas is right around the corner.  Sharing Christmas with my husband and children is always a joy, but it also means that I have a lot to do.  I'm not one to put the tree up too early, so maybe next weekend we'll get to it.  Aside from decorating, we also have to clean the house and prepare for company.  Our in-laws will be joining us for the holidays this year.  We are looking forward to this.  Cleaning alone could take me weeks, but I'll cut a few corners and try to make time for shopping and baking too.  The kids are great baker-helpers and I'm sure we'll have a blast.  My husband needs to get his big buck this weekend so I can take some time to do a little kid free shopping next weekend.  (Hint, hint, hint).  I almost forgot, Christmas photos need to be taken and cards sent out too.

It sounds like a lot, but I think getting busy and keeping busy will help get me in the spirit of the season.  I'm going to try not to stress over finding the perfect gift and concentrate on enjoying my close-enough-to-perfect family.

Here's hoping that you get to enjoy the season with those you love too!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Heart

Here's a conversation that took place a little bit ago while I was making my four year old daughter a sandwich.

Her:  I love you the more than you love me.
Me:  No, I love you more.
Her:  Well I love you to infinity.
Me:  Well I love you to infinity and beyond.
Her:  Well I love you to infinity and beyond and all of outer space.
Me:  Here's your sandwich, oh girl that I love so much.

She shot me a huge smile, took the sandwich and skipped away.

It's conversations like these that make my heart smile!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Born to Cheat

As anyone who reads this post probably knows, my husband and I homeschool our children.  Although most of their schooling is done at home, we do look for places to supplement their education.  One of the places that we have sent the kids for several years is to a science class at a local nature museum.  All three boys are currently enrolled and all seem to enjoy their time there. 

I was somewhat surprised when the kids got home yesterday and I started asking them about class that day.  My oldest son chuckled a little bit and shook his head.  He said that their teacher split them into small groups and gave them an assignment to do.  They were supposed to check their answers when they were done to see how they did.  Two of the kids in the group started looking at the answers right away.  When my son pointed out that they were cheating and asked them to stop, one boy said, 'Well, if I can't look at the answers first, I just won't do it', and just sat there unwilling to participate.  The other boy, undeterred, said 'We're boys, we were born to cheat', and proceeded with what he was doing.  My son thought he was nuts and just did  the work on his own.  Where in the world would someone even get an idea like that?!

For some reason, this just floored me.  I'm not going to pretend that I can shield my kids from all of life's little quandaries by homeschooling them.  That's not even a goal of mine.  I am very proud of my son though for recognizing what he thought was wrong and refusing to participate.  Cheating on some science homework isn't that big of a deal, but I am glad to know that my kids are learning values at home and are willing to stand up for what they think is right.  It makes me think that maybe we're doing at least a few things right with them. 

Now if I could just get son number two to do his long division...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Is fall around the corner?

After a month of really hot weather, I think we're about to have our second day in a row of temps under 100°.   I must admit that I love the summer, but I'm not complaining about this little break in the heat.  We even had rain!  It made me want to dance.  As a matter of fact, I think I did do a little jig out on the porch.

Fall means a fall garden this year.  The dear, hardworking hubby tilled up the section of the garden that was home to the corn this summer and it's ready to plant.  I just have to get my slightly less hardworking self to get up and plant it.  This will be our first fall garden.  We're going to try cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and corn.  We might also plant some lettuce and spinach next month when it cools off a little more.

Our 'regular' school friends head back on Monday.  We've been getting in a little bit of last minute play with them and also trying to continue to hang out with out homeschool friends.  We're keeping busy and loving every moment of it.   We've been doing a little bit of school work over the summer, but have pretty lazy about it.  Now I have the job of easing the kids back into a fuller set of course work.  They're not going to like it!

And next up ---  I'm still looking at the Droid stuff.  I became a bit discouraged when I couldn't come up with a solid app idea, but think I'm back on track.  I have an idea and am continuing to go through the book and learn the tricks of the trade, to be applied to my app as I go along.

Enough for now.  I need to get busy on this messy house.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A good blog about going off grid

Here is a good blog about a couple living off grid. The idea fascinates me, but I'm either too chicken to try, or too used to my comfy lifestyle. I'm reading up on the idea and trying to learn more about it - maybe some day I'll change my mind!

Wretha and her husband have lived off grid full time since December 2007, there have been ups and downs, but all in all it's been a great adventure. Now Wretha and her husband have been immortalized in an off grid book, click here to learn more about it.

Happy Reading!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Well my feet are tired but the night is still young, so too bad for me! My husband showed up last night with almost fifteen gallons of wild plums. He drove out to west Texas over the weekend to the family farm and got busy. So... what do I do with all of these?! Make jelly is what I'm told. Mind you, the plum trees at home produced this year and I made a dozen quarts of jelly. Then we picked blueberries and I made a dozen pints of jelly. Now I'm working on wild plum jelly. By my calculations, I have enough plums here to make almost a hundred more pints of the sweet stuff. Forget it! I've been working all day and there is another batch on the stove now, but there is no way I'm canning that much jelly! I'm going to share. My friends will all be hiding from me by this time next week, but too bad - this week they're going to get a batch of plums.

I also canned pickles over the weekend. This was another first for me. We have quite a crop of Armenian cucumbers this year and I hated to see them go to waste. I tried giving them away, but my friends all seem to be cucumbered out and have been conveniently forgetting to take my offerings home with them. I must say that I did a good job and these pickles are pretty tasty! I picked enough from the garden today to make another half dozen quarts or so, and am going to get busy. (If this jelly ever gets done).

Last but not least, we once again have a lot of okra. My husband loves it fried, but I think I have enough to freeze and pickle. My dear hubby won't eat pickles, but the kids and I do. I bet we'd like nice, crunchy pickled okra. I'm going to give it a try. I found some recipes online for sweet okra and some for hot okra. We'll try them both. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Now it's time for my tired feet and I to get busy - the plums are boiling away.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Progress and Pumpkins

First off, a report on my new endeavor. After much ado and a slow internet connection, I think I finally have the software downloaded and installed to start my app creating process. I know I said that a couple of days ago, but found myself downloading and installing more platform stuff last night. But... I finally created the infamous 'hello world' (or in this case 'hello android' app, and ran it successfully. Boy, my Droid simulator pulled up and posted the text and everything. I know, big deal, but that just means I'm ready to go! Now it's off to reading all this grand text about how to get a little more creative than 'Hello'. Laugh all you want, but it's a start and I'm on my way!

Now for the pumpkins... my little daughter and I picked a pumpkin out of our squash patch today. Just a little fellow, only slightly bigger than a softball, but bright orange and handsome. Now how a pumpkin got there is bit of a mystery. We're talking about a raised bed that was the home to watermelons last year. We started the seeds indoors early this spring and planted the plants a couple of months ago. I don't know if the place we ordered the seeds from got a seed into the wrong package or if my daughter (my seed-starter helper) grabbed a seed out of the wrong package. Either way, it was a pleasant surprise. I'm kind of amazed that it grew so quickly. The actual pumpkin plants we started at the same time (the ones we put in the pumpkin patch) are growing right along, but don't even have baby pumpkins yet. Who knows, but she was excited today and so was I!

Happy day to all.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I have been noticing for a while now that every picture hanging up in this house is crooked. How can that be? Don't you think that at least one of them would be straight? They all started out ok. My husband says 'at least they all slant to the right'. What a comedian. I'll add fixing them to the list of things I have to do.

So, the big question is .... how did I do getting my act together last week? So, so. I did work on my web site a bit. I was very enthused for a short time, had several pages going (yes, at the same time), and would just get going when one of the kids would walk up wanting something and then another would snag the computer as soon as I got up to go take care of the first. Now I do realize that I could do this after the kids went to bed - but are you ready for it - I've been busy trying to download all the software necessary to get going designing apps for smart phones. I'm thinking the Droid. After three nights of downloading over a slow internet connection (and falling to sleep at the computer waiting for them to complete at least one night) I think I'm ready to see what I can do. I'm going to start with some small sample apps just to make sure I can compile and take it from there. Hope it all works out!

Father's day was nice, even though my husband spend most of his day working outside at the family farm out in West Texas. We got to play with grandma in the nice air conditioned house. He did get back early enough to enjoy dinner with us and play a game or two outside with the kids and I before heading back in for the evening. Just for the record, the kids beat us at Bocce (he got it new for Father's day and the kids were itching to try it out). We didn't even let them win, they just outplayed us. The little stinks!

Here's to another great week!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Getting my act together

I've been very slack at blogging lately, but not to worry, I've been very slack at everything lately. I seem to have gotten myself into a rut of nothingness. This has been going on for some time, and it needs to stop. NOW! I have recently been trying to pull myself out of this pit and get myself back in gear. Now mind you, I have kept the kids clean and fed and still do a bit of housework (when absolutely necessary), but my creativity has been on hold.

So here's the plan: I'm going to treat my evenings like I did when I was still working. I have a web site to get up and running, a business to start, a book or two to finish writing and many crafts projects to start and/or finish. It seems that when I keep my mind busy, my body follows suit. Who knows, maybe I'll start keeping the house a little better too!

So, by this time next week, I plan to be able to report progress. Maybe I'll even have my website up. You know, they're not even hard to do if one sits down and actually works on them. Sigh.

Now I'm off to fix lunch - my munchkins are hungry!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Survivalist blog

Ok, so my husband saw a blog the other day that was giving away some things. Looks good to me.

M.D. Creekmore over at the The Survivalist Blog – a survival blog dedicated to helping others prepare for and survive disaster – is giving away a Go Berkey Water Filter System (a $139.00 value)! To enter, you just have to post about it on your blog. This is my entry. Visit The Survivalist Blog for the details.

The blog looks pretty interesting. I haven't visited it much yet, but I plan on correcting that situation. It's always good to be prepared and it looks like this blog might help in my endeavors to become so.

Friday, April 2, 2010

My house is turning into a zoo

When my youngest turned four in January, she announced that she wanted a snake for her birthday. Well, being the open-minded mom that I am, I said ok. We took her to the pet store and she picked out her snake. A lovely red and white corn snake. She was happy. Her brothers, not to be outdone, cleaned out their piggy banks. We came home with a red-eared slider and an anole. Then the daughter decided she wanted a bird. She still had the money her grandmothers gave her for her birthday, so back to the pet store we went. She now has a zebra finch in her room. And a small catfish. Let's see, that means that in the house we have a fire-belly toad, a leopard gecko, a corn snake, a finch, a fish, a red-eared slider and an anole. That's enough for me. Add that to the two dogs, five rabbits and thirty or so chickens outside, and I'm beginning to think I live at the zoo. The good news is that the kids are out of money now, so the zoo isn't going to be expanding any time soon.

I'm sure that when the kids are in college, I'll look back on this time and chuckle, but for now, I'm tired of running to the pet store and feed store every week!

Ahhh, isn't life an adventure!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A good day for the boys

Along with all the other things the kids do around here, the oldest three take piano lessons. Their teach offered to prepare them for a competition this year. You're essentially competing against yourself. The child must preform an age appropriate piece in front of the judges. Any child who plays their song correctly (or at least close enough) wins a medal. Well, today all three of our boys went to the competition and came home with gold medals. Good going boys!

We rushed right from there over to their soccer game and let them go to it. The older two play and are on the same team. They usually play defense, but the coach saw the opportunity to let some of the kids play offense that usually don't get the chance. Son #2 got his chance and scored his first goal! As this is his fourth season to play on the same team, this was quite an accomplishment.

We got home very content with the way the turned out and also very tired. I guess that's a fair enough end to a great day!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I'm out of shape!

Can I blame it on the cold weather that I am so out of shape? I don't think so, as this is Texas and the weather really doesn't get all that cold here. I might try it anyway.

My husband and I went traipsing around the back acres yesterday in search of firewood. Mind you, the whole property is only 18 acres, so we didn't have miles to hike. We found several fallen logs, one standing dead tree, and one great big tree that the power company cut down a couple of years ago when they were clearing the lines. A few minutes with the chainsaw and we had a nice pile of wood to drag back up to the house. That's where the trouble began. A garden wagon load of wood is heavy, and the trail was muddy. I would say steep too, but that would be a bit of an exaggeration. It was uphill though and we had to make several trips (read that with a bit of a whine). Talk about getting tired! I had to rest time and time again pushing that stinkin' wagon back up to the house. My husband was pulling, and had the harder job. My eight year old son proved to be more help than I was! The good news is that we did get the job done, and now have a nice stack of wood on the back porch, as well as a dandy fire. The bad news is that I'm obviously somewhat of a wimp.

I've got to start getting more exercise.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Winter time fun

Four kids and lousy weather. What to do, what to do. Why, how about letting them play with their food! We sliced and diced a slew of fruits and vegtables the other day and got busy with the toothpicks. They had a fine time, and ate their creations when they were done. It was a healthy, happy winter afternoon...