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Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Secret Lives of Worms

Jackson's been on a drawing kick again (a fresh pack of markers will do that for him). The theme?? Worms.
Worms in baseball caps that sit at tables in their underground tunnels eating pineapple.
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Worms in numbered jerseys playing basketball.  And having target practice.
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Worms playing baseball.  More partaking of fruit at the table.
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An army of happy worms clearly outnumbering the mean ones.
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I LOVE that boy. ;o)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Seeing Spots

While Josh and I have not officially begun the search for a new living arrangement, I have enjoyed perusing some Holdrege realty online.  I do have a few favorites and we'll see in the end what God will work out for us.  I discovered a new possibility posted last night.  As with all old houses there are things you love (like beautiful wood floors, awesome woodwork/built-ins)--you know *character*.  And there are things you don't (like hmmm, no showers just bathtubs).  And then there are things that give you pause . . .
Like polka-dot wallpaper in the kitchen.
Now I love polka-dots as much--if not more--than the next person.  But a polka-dotted kitchen . . . definitely different.  I'm not ruling this one out yet, but I'm thinking the wallpaper would have to go. ;o)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Snaps from the Weekend

The is the best pic I have of all 8 cousins (soon-to-be 9--note Drew's shirt! Lynsi announced she's due in October!)
We celebrated Easter on Saturday at my parents' home.  Tasty food, doggies to chase, lots of eggs with candy . . . what's not to love?  Favorite candy find of the year--Hershey's Coconut Kisses--I'm sneaking them out of all the eggs. ;o)
A sweet picture of my girlies in their Easter dresses (that I DID NOT make). ;o)
Attempting pictures of the kiddos . . .
It went as well as you can imagine . . .
Owen was clearly not interested. :oP

Josh's mom managed to get a picture of all of us, kind of looking at the camera with mostly amiable expressions on our faces.  We'll go with that. ;o)
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend celebrating!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dying for ME

My favorite song we'll be doing tonight at the Good Friday service--wonderful words to have stuck in my head on this day . . .

~Blessed Redeemer~
Up Calvary's mountain one dreadful morn
Walked Christ my Savior, weary and worn
Facing for sinners, death on the cross
That He might save them from endless loss

Blessed Redeemer, precious Redeemer
Seems now I see Him on Calvary's tree
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading
Blind and unheeding, dying for me

"Father, forgive them," my Savior prayed
Even while His lifeblood flowed fast away
Praying for sinners while in such woe
No one but Jesus ever loved so

Blessed Redeemer, precious Redeemer
Seems now I see Him on Calvary's tree
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading
Blind and unheeding, dying for me
Dying for me

Blessed Redeemer, precious Redeemer
Seems now I see Him on Calvary's tree
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading
Blind and unheeding, dying for me

Oh, how I love Him, Savior and Friend
How can my praises ever find end?
Through years unnumbered on Heaven's shore
My songs shall praise Him forevermore

Blessed Redeemer, precious Redeemer
Seems now I see Him on Calvary's tree
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading
Blind and unheeding, dying for me

Blessed Redeemer, precious Redeemer
Seems now I see Him on Calvary's tree
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading
Blind and unheeding, dying for me

Blessed Redeemer, precious Redeemer
Seems now I see Him

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Reflective Ideas for Celebrating Easter

(Subtitled--Things I wish I would have done this year had I gotten myself organized in time, but I'm posting them here now in hopes I'll remember for next year)

So, there's Christmas.  And I always make a concentrated effort to do stuff with the kids . . . advent devotions, etc. to make sure we know what we're celebrating.  And then there's Easter.  Which really should be done up more than Christmas, I mean, THIS is why He came.  But somehow I always have good intentions to do something meaningful and somehow it never happens.

A few things I wish we had done . . .
"Hill of Calvary" 
A Resurrection Garden (I'm hoping to get one made by tomorrow, but I need to get the supplies still . . .)
Resurrection Rolls
Resurrection Eggs
A Spring Party (Marissa just asked me today what was with all the eggs and bunnies at Easter time, what did they have to do with Jesus and didn't the Anglo-Saxons come up with that?  Yep, she actually said "Anglo-Saxons."  I'll have to get back to her on that . . . thank goodness for Google) ;o)
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Similar to our devotions/Jesse Tree that we do at Christmas, a devotional with cut-outs to do in leading up to Jesus' death and resurrection--I had meant to do this one, and sadly time got away from me again. :o(

There you have it, my list of regrets.  I'm thinking I need to put together storage containers for each special occasion we celebrate, and then add to them through the year, that way I'm not always caught with nothing ready.  It DOES take extra effort to do all those things, but it is amazing how much better a lesson that is prepared with lots of visuals seeps into little hearts and minds than when we just throw a few facts their way. 
What about your homes--any ideas you have that have proven to be especially meaningful (and I can organize before the weekend)?? ;o)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Very Awesome Dessert

Seeing as Easter is just around the corner and perhaps you need a new dessert to bring to the gathering, may I present to you--

Now originally the recipe appeared in Taste of Home as a cake.  The very first time I went to make it my dear hubby was bouncing a bouncy ball in my kitchen.  Would you believe that dumb ball bounced its way right into the center of my cooling sponge cake?  It's true.
So, enter the trifle bowl.
Not only does it look spectacular, but it covers a myriad of cooking fiascoes. ;o)  And honestly, the trifle version has been such a hit, I've never bothered to make it as a cake. 
A few changes to the recipe . . . I don't use 4 cups of fresh berries but two frozen bags of "mixed berries" (from Wal-mart).  I do this mainly for cost purposes, by the time you've bought a container of blackberries, a container of blueberries, a container of strawberries, and a container of raspberries you've got a small fortune invested in a dessert. ;o)  The frozen way is much more budget friendly.  I use the actual sponge cake recipe provided in the link.  I know my mother-in-law has made it with a favorite pound cake recipe with equally tasty results.  Do whichever you prefer.  If you needed to cut down on time you could probably buy an already-made pound cake.  This dessert IS a bit more labor intensive than others. 
But, it's worth it. Trust me. ;o)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

~Right Now~

Loving . . .

"Mama!" from the littlest one and happy pats on my back
Crazy little boy curls
Piggy back rides to naptime
Freckles sprinkled across the bridge of a nose
Gap-toothed smiles
Thunder and lightening and a real spring storm
Doctoring scraped shins
All sitting on the couch in a line, biggest to smallest
The tender-loving-care a dandelion plant receives
My eldest still likes to hold my hand
Brushing long girl hair
Girls *needing* to check out the storm when they should have been in bed

All in a day's work--what a perfect job!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday Randomness

Yesterday, Josh informed me of his sadness at me not having a new blog post yesterday.  So, I thought I better come up with one today--I don't want to make him sad again.  The thing is, I'm kind of boring lately. There's just not a whole lot of interesting stuff to report.  This is about all I've got:

--I'm nearly half-way through April and have yet to to do my major grocery shopping.  Being sick last week screwed everything up.  So, I grab a few items here and there . . . I just might try to make it through the whole month and clean out the freezer and pantry.  I foresee a whole lot of tomato soup in our future. ;o)

--I'm wondering if Owen's nose will EVER stop running.  I'm also wondering when I'll stop looking like a human handkerchief . . .

--Jackson was thrilled to discover dandelions blooming yesterday.  We had to go on a walk to pick them today.  Owen picked his very first dandelion. 

--I've been messing around over at fabric(dot)com with this collection of fabrics, using the "design wall" to plot out some virtual quilts for the girls.  I was thinking that when we move it's about time for them to get a room "freshening" up, but the cute bedding is soooo pricey.  Perhaps I'll attempt some simple quilts?  (Yours were so inspiring Anna!!)

--I keep attempting to declutter and throw away.  I can't count how many times I have thrown certain items away only to have them reappear again. (*ahem* Bella!!)  It's not ended up as productive as I hoped.

--School. is. almost. out.  Unfortunately, I think the remaining week and three days will be like pulling teeth for all involved.

--And speaking of pulling teeth, Isabella is now missing her two front ones. (Insert really cute gap-toothed picture I have yet to take)  Or just close your eyes and picture a smiling Bella with no front teeth. ;o)

That should bring you all up to speed . . . I warned you though, pretty boring.  ;o)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Recovering

It's been a quiet and unproductive week here--unless you count all the coughing (which has proved to be anything but quiet . . .).  I'm on the mend.  I got rid of a few pounds of "winter insulation" and with my stomach muscles so sore from coughing I'm quite certain a "six-pack" will be emerging any day now.  A lovely way to get ready for swimsuit season indeed. ;o)  Josh took care of things Tuesday and Wednesday, remaining home from school so I could quarantine myself in my room.  He stayed up until 2 a.m. early Wednesday morning doing every last bit of laundry and washing every single dish . . .  even when it put him behind in all the schoolwork he had to get done.  But I'm so thankful for his help--there's nothing worse than having to put a home back together when you still aren't feeling the best.  I've been able to ease back into things yesterday and today, mainly focusing on getting schoolwork done for the week.

Today is Josh's very last day of student teaching.  However, Monday will find him right back at East beginning a long-term subbing position for a science teacher who found out he was in need of some open-heart surgery.  At this point he has four weeks, which depending on everything the surgery entails could stretch into more.  Truthfully it's been one of those things that puts me in awe of God and how He orchestrates everything.  I had, in the beginning, been concerned about Josh's idea to take off work while he student taught, but he had crunched the numbers and said it would work as long as he ended up with 10 days of subbing during this semester.  And now he'll end up with at least double, giving us extra cash flow, which is perfect now that we'll be moving . . . God continues to provide, and watching how He does it thrills my heart over and over again.

I'm hoping the weekend will find me out and about.  I kind of forgot it's April, but looking out the windows I see the grass is greening, the leaves opening . . . So perhaps spring has finally decided to set up house? I've got lots to do along the lines of wardrobes and shoes and all that jazz.  And then there's Easter!  So *hopefully* our house has seen the end of any lingering winter illness.  We are definitely ready for some sunshine and good health! ;o)

Monday, April 4, 2011

What's New?

Friday and Saturday I spent at the annual homeschool convention.  It was a great two days of book browsing, motivating speakers, and conversations with friends.  I've decided (with a bit of trepidation) to venture from a pre-determined curriculum and "wing it."  So, we'll see how next year goes . . . I've got a pile of new books . . . but I'll also *gulp* have three official students and have life-as-I-know-it totally turned upside-down.  There is a slight possibility I have bitten off more than I can chew.  But you know, when you are staring at shelves and shelves of shiny-brand-new books, euphoria descends, and you feel capable of taking on the world!  I may have made some decisions "under-the-influence." ;o)

Saturday evening some chest congestion totally took me by surprise.  I had (thankfully) felt fine during the conference--but maybe it was the "euphoria" getting me by. ;o)

Sunday I took advantage of Owen's running nose and stayed home from church.  At times I felt "okay" and other times "awful." 

This morning Owen successfully had his ears "tubed."  We were at the surgery center at 6:30 am, procedure scheduled for 7:30 am.  During the night I dreamed I showed up an hour late after lingering for too long at Target.  I woke up relieved to know I had a 2nd chance to get him there on time. ;o)  My mom left the comforts of her home bright and early too, so she could get here in time for Josh to head to school.  After keeping the kids all day Friday and then doing early morning duty this morning she is definitely deserving an extended nap. Thanks Mom! ;o)  I continue to feel pretty awful . . . I'm getting through today drinking copious amounts of hot tea and swallowing large spoonfuls of honey.  This cough kind of feels like razor blades in my chest. :oP  And I'm also feeling a bit grumbly with the thought "I don't have time to feel this way!"  Which of course, is not really helping my overall disposition.

Josh is on his final week of student teaching and his last Saturday class. Yippee!! However, he just started an online anatomy class and has a decent amount of subbing jobs lined up.  Plus we need to get started on this "find a place to live" gig.  I have a feeling life will remain busy.  Actually, I've come to the conclusion life just might ALWAYS be busy. ;o)

THREE weeks left of school.  Another "Yippee!!" ;o)

And the pretty much sums up life around these parts.  Now, to convince everyone to get along for an hour or five so I can get in a nap . . .  Totally doable, right?