Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Daybook for the week after Christmas 2008

For Today....New Year's Eve! Going thrifting with my partner in crime, Neana this morning. Tonight we will have a little "h'ors d'orvere dinner and then the older ones will go out to the midnight celebration downtown.

Outside my Window…dark and more snow!

I am thinking….what a wonderful world.

I am thankful for….my travelers are safely home and incorporated back into family life.

From the kitchen…tonight I think we will revisit chicken wings and bruschetta. Shrimp, taquitos and guac, raw veggies, ham dip?

tomorrow: subs, neana's chili, taco dip, more bruschetta? or artichoke dip? Happy Birthday cupcakes for Manny and perhaps some brownies.

I am creating….. sewing list. check. painted boys room. check.

I am wearing sweats and gray sweatshirt. What I will wear; khaki's with new beige hoodie. BOOTS!

I am reading.... Theodosia Burr. Aaron Burr, Esther Burr. I am on a Burr kick. obviously.

Don't know why these people endlessly fascinated me. Those times were beyond fascinating.

Such a collection of characters that founded our country. We barely have any one great leader in any sort of setting these days, yet back then, there were dozens. All working together for a common cause. Of course they weren't without their eccentricities and scruples, but you can't deny their greatness as men. I like to read about their families as well to see where it all came from.

I am hoping… stick to my New Year's resolutions. It's always nice to have a fresh new year to believe you will banish all the annoying and irritating bad habits you have. ha ha ha

I am hearing....heater running and Jed telling me he is hungry. Wow- he slept until 6 am today. A record, I think! ;)

Around the house…I need to deep clean the kitchen today. Definitely have been putting that one off, and obviously am still at it! ;)

One of my favorite things: as much as I enjoy Christmas..... Christmas being over. ;)

A few plans for the rest of the week…..besides New Year's plans....a trip to IKEA to look for a new bedframe. A family dinner at Mexican village funded by Nanny's Christmas check ( we never ALL go out together anymore, too costly) and a trip to the Historical Museum. Ephiphany dinner party with the Noodles and the Williams ( and there seems to be a long list of others the boys keep asking to come) on Sunday.

7 Quick takes

1. The girl pooped in the potty last night. Of course after being a mother for 21 years I know this means *almost* nothing. :) It could be another year ( or two?) before the job is completed.
Still, it reminds me I will soon have no one in diapers. Is that a yahoo or a sniff? Some of both, I think.

2. A new favorite delicacy tried this holiday season....haricot verts. A fancy french name for baby green beans. Oooo- are they tasty. A bit pricey, but for a holiday treat, worth it.

3. It was funny watching the Christmas frenzy from the sidelines this year. Watching and not participating as much since I was sick. Luckily I got sick *after* I had all my gifts bought, a couple cookie batches baked, the house somewhat decorated ( I didn't do as much as I usually do, but I decided on that course beforehand), so I could smugly critique all the people who were running about. Really, I found myself wondering why we DO run about so much in a panic? After reading the 100,000th blog post on how stressed out and tired my fellow blogging mothers were, I wanted to shout " what is the point?!".

I am sure the good Lord wants us to make a big deal out of the incarnation. It is, after all, a big deal. I'm also sure he doesn't mind wives and mothers and whoever else taking some extra pains to celebrate this greatest of feast days and all the others that surround it.....
yet I think there is also a simplicity we forget about. He was born in a barn or a cave or whatever you want to think about it....a very humble place. To me there is great symbolism in that that almost never seems to be thought about. There can be a point where our trying to celebrate a great reality crosses a line into another place that contradicts it.

Lest I sound too critical, I do understand, mothers especially, want to make Christmas a wonderful memory for their family. And so we have a list of *to-do's* a mile long in order to facilitate that happening. I do it too! It was just interesting *not* being able to do it, or not being able to do it as much.... and seeing that maybe, even good hearted christians with the best of intentions, get away from the true meaning of Christmas by participating in all the frenzy we *think* must accompany it. The *think-must* is where we get into trouble I believe.

4. Naomi and I found another BBC winner (thanks to Aunt Alice, I might add :)
"North and South" by Elisabeth Gaskell. The dvd is fabulous. We even watched it again the other day. Ooo, that Mr Thorton is terribly yummy. Give me a tall, lanky Englishman with a big nose and a deep voice and I will swoon any day. ;) Beats Mr D'Arcy hands down.

5. Reading more about Aaron Burr. It never ceases to amaze me that he was the grandson of Jonathan Edwards.

6. We got a new mattress last night. Tim was so excited to have one where he didn't wake up with aches and pains. I can't say I slept all that well on it, but whether it was due to the mattress or something else, I don't know. I hope when he wakes up he will be happy with his purchase. :)
It *is* nice to have a bit more space.....for the past 25 years we've been sleeping on a double mattress, and since we've both grown wider, it's been a bit tight. Now we have a queen and I could definitely notice the difference in mattress real estate. I had to give up my lovely antique bed frame, though. Boo.

7. Tim and I went out to Andiamo's last night. We had a lovely dinner THANKS to my generous parents who gave us a gift card to said restaurant for Christmas. All of what we had was off the charts ( gnocchi for me, steak for T) and I even ordered, um, er, a drink! I know the chic thing to do is to have wine with italian food, but since I just can't hang with the taste of alcohol, I couldn't go there. So I perused the martini list and thought a *peach cosmo* sounded good. Well, it was pretty good, but very strong. Tim ended up emptying it in his sprite and downing the rest. I think I took about 3 sips. We're just SO smooth. ;)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


We poked our noses outside for the first time in a week or more.
Well, we've gone out to a couple stores, but it has been too cold to play in the snow.

Today it was so warm, I was tempted to run back in the house and put my bermuda's on. ;)
A very weird day.....misting freezing rain. Still, we took a double (double meaning two hitched together so Ella and Manny could both go) sleigh ride around the neighborhood.
Lots of fun. Might be even funner to go tonight and take in the Christmas lights!

I hope the snow sticks around. The other kids will be so excited to see it when they get back. When they left there wasn't a drop of it on the ground, now there must be at least a foot!

Happy Birthday Bean!

Somehow this girl manage to turn two on Saturday. The nerve! :)

Something that happened this week reminded me that God knew what He was doing when He blessed us with her in our old age.

As we were sitting down to dinner one evening in a rush, and began to dig in, Gabriella stopped us and said " Let's pray" :) Afterward she got up, took her plate and cup to the sink and went on her way. Definitely someone who can keep the show running. Even at age 2. ;)

Happy, happy Birthday Ella, Ella-Belle, Bean, Gabriella, Gabs, Gabby!
You were named after the angel Gabriel, and your name means bearer of good news. That you are!
In word and deed. :)

Christmas Week Daybook, December 22, 2008

For Today....Christmas Eve. I think we will finish Christmas cookies. We will have our traditional CE dinner of chicken wings :) and open a few presents. The older boys will go to midnight mass, the littles and I will go tomorrow.

Outside my Window…dark. I hope our winter wonderland won't be washed away by the rain predicted today. :(

I am thinking….3. More. Days.

I am thankful for….once again, my dear sil Neana and sweet niece, Gwen, who came over and helped boost morale in SO many ways on Monday!!

From the kitchen…cornflake wreaths, thumbprints and if I am ambitious enough, dried cherry and pecan shortbread. Chicken wings, tomato bruschetta, carrot and celery sticks with blue cheese dressing and christmas cookies for dinner.

Christmas day dinner: Pork Loin, cheesy potatoes, rolls, haricot verts. Fruit pizza for dessert.

I am creating….. dishpan hands. I don't think I have washed this many dishes in years! ( although it is a chore I like to do, usually the kids who are away handle dishwashing duty for the three meals)

I am wearing ......grey sweats, white and blue gap long sleeve t, crocs and of course-- a winter headband. LOL!

I am reading.... Theodosia Burr.

I am hoping…..that the lessons I am learning this week will stay with me. I've had several insights into many situations.

I am humming.

Around the house…well, since we are off school and I attending to lots of little housekeeping details that seem to go undone ( or even unnoticed!), but there are lots more.

I'd sure like to paint the little boys room before break is over and there is a bit of sewing to do.

One of my favorite things: a well stocked pantry. I am amazed at how the food supply is holding up with only 5 less people here. Of course most of those 5 are the large food consumers in the family, so it makes sense.:)

A few plans for the rest of the week…..besides Christmas and the like, I'd really like to hit an after Christmas sale on Friday and stock up on my dwindling Christmas wrap supply, and a few sets of lights bit the dust this year. I think if I go early enough I might be able to beat the crowd? The family should arrive home late Friday night and we will have our *family* Christmas Saturday. Hmmm...what to make for dinner?

Maybe needs a "Fairy Tale" refresher course?


"Mom, you be the princess and.............. I'll be the chicken!"

Monday, December 22, 2008

Behind the curtain......

A lot of times you hear complaints about not getting the whole picture when visiting other women's blogs. IE: only the good stuff is posted.
Well, I'm not sure that is such a bad thing. Who wants to broadcast all their warts on the world wide web? ;) I do understand, however, the *issues* associated with that complaint.
I have another take on it, though.

I know when I post pictures Naomi has taken ( because I never take pictures:) what draws me to them is there is something of beauty or attraction in them. I know a lot of times mother's ( especially those with littles) don't always have things around the house the way they'd like them to be.....
tidy, clutter free, organized, in tip top shape. So when I see a picture of something from our house that actually *looks* good (or I think looks good :) it makes my heart sing. Even though that one thing may, in reality, be surrounded by dirt and disorder....there is stands. It might be an edited version of what is our reality, but also may be a testament to what I would like things to be, and hope they someday may be. :) Little pockets of beauty or order that say " I am here! You just have to look a little to find me...or see me isolated from the rest to know I am REALLY there." :)
So, it is not always hiding, I think. It just well may be....hoping....or just focusing on little reminders of what we are working toward. Or sacrificing until a new season of life comes about.

And if pondered correctly, not a great sacrifice all....

Friday, December 19, 2008

and now we are six.............

or soon shall be.

That is what I was thinking when I talked to Jed this morning.
He sounded so grown up. No tears, not a hint of sadness at being away from me.

Of course six isn't really grown up. ;) But it is not a baby anymore. I think that is the rite of passage I am seeing and.............. maybe not liking so much.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Daybook for the week of December 15th

For Today....I am finally starting to feel human again! :) cough, cough, sniff, sniff, sneeze.

Outside my Window…dark. Winter Storm Warning tonight. Will it be a foot of snow or another of the weatherman's blah blah blah that turns out to be nothing? ;)

I am thinking…..should my travelers just stay put?

I am thankful for….nyquil and sudafed.

From the kitchen

Somehow, we managed to make thumbprints and fudge this week before I couldn't get out of bed anymore :) Yes, we did get the melted plastic out of the stove!

I am creating….. Naomi and I made notecards with her pictures. I made some more hair clips.

I am wearing ......light blue sweatpants, pink, green, light blue and white striped knit top, gray hoodie and my striped scarf. Yes, I have given up. ;) ;)

I am reading.... Theodosia Burr.

I finished the Unredeemed Captive. Like so many books I find at library sales or thrift stores, while this one looked interesting at the start, it wasn't until I got into it that I realized how interesting to me it REALLY was. Almost providential. Probably providential. :)

I am hoping…..I can just get back to normal sometime REAL soon. How long have I been sick or somewhat sick? Exactly a week today, I think. I really am kind of a whiner, though. If I'm not over a cold or something like that in 3 days I get all out of sorts. I don't think that is realistic. ha ha ha.

I am hearing....some cartoon on tv. oh, too much tv watching this week! ugh!

Around the house…can't even say, and don't want to know. :)

One of my favorite things: a snow storm ( when I don't have to drive in it :)

A few plans for the rest of the week…..well, we don't even have our Christmas tree up yet. Hopefully that will happen before the week is through. ;)

A picture I am sharing with you..... Our basketball *star* Dylan. :) I think the Panther's are 6 (wins) and 1 (losses) so far. Way to go, guys!

Is there a better way to celebrate St Lucia's Day?

Not that I even remembered that it *was* St Lucia's Day.
Not that we are one to celebrate St Lucia's Day's anyway ( although since we lived in Sweden for a few months, there is *some* connection :)

Still, it was fun being in the cafeteria at Ikea while *they* were celebrating. :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Daybook for week of December 8th

For Today....I just don't know. It seems I caught a cold from my darling husband.
I went to bed at 6:30 pm last night so here I am up @ 3:30. I know Jed will be up in an hour so is it even worth trying to go back to bed? ;)

Outside my Window…dark, but a brilliant full moon. Cold, yes, definitely cold.

I am thinking…..Can Christmas REALLY be just two weeks away?

I am thankful for…..zicam and emergen-cee, which helps one to function when under the weather.

From the kitchen…just in time for Christmas baking.......Jed put a plastic cutting board in the oven that is proving to be a REAL pain to scrape off. Super, industrial strength, plastic, obviously. Maybe this is God's way of saying Christmas baking doesn't need to happen this year. :)

I did try a new ( stove top) recipe this week. Chicken and goat cheese quesidillas. Purty good.

I am creating….. I think Jed will bean me if we don't make salt dough ornaments today. I guess the toaster oven will have to do.

I am wearing ......I don't think I even want to say. I was too tired to take off my (beige) sweatshirt vest and orange undershirt last night and pulled on some black sweats I found laying around. I'm cold, so I am also wearing a brown sweater. Scary.

I am reading.... "The Unredeemed Captive".

I am hoping…..I feel better soon. This isn't the greatest time of year to be sick........but really, what time of year is?

I am hearing....just me typing.

Around the house…Well, I finally got my first floor back in order, only to bring down ALL the boxes of Christmas stuff to clutter it up again. Perhaps I just really don't like order all that much after all.

One of my favorite things: a decent family picture.

A few plans for the rest of the week…..basket ball game, payday shopping, girl's night out.....lots of Christmas prep.

A picture I am sharing with you.....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Note to self.

Never, ever pack a Christmas wreath with all sorts of wiry do-dads on it with beaded garland.
Just how did it get so tangled up when it was sitting ( supposedly) in a box up in the attic all year?

Maybe we really do have creepy g-nomes around here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sleep in heavenly peace..........

and so will we :)

Cute, but not exactly kid-friendly........

We made these today. Or maybe I should say George and I did. Not the preschoolers. :)
Problem A was that it wasn't realistic to try and glue anything on the candy-canes without the glue gun, which isn't exactly safe for little hands.
Problem B is you just don't bring candy canes out and not expect a little one not to want one. :)
Good thing they have a clumsy mom who broke one. Or two. :) That kept them busy while we finished the rest. I did get George to help for awhile. That's a good thing.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My crafty craft for the week.......

I saw these at Target the other day. They were 4 for 9.99! I knew I could make them myself for less and I was right. The metal hair clips I found at Meijer for 2.50 (10). I got some ribbon I liked at Micheal's for 2.99.....but there is no way I would use that amount for 10. So roughly half the price for double the amount :) They are really fun....there is so much CUTE, CUTE ribbon these days......and easy. Just what I like!

Monday, December 1, 2008

For Today....finish painting the kitchen. School. General "after the weekend" cleaning. :)

Outside my Window…sort of mild. We were SUPPOSED to get some snow, but it didn't happen here. :(

I am thinking…..I'm just about done with Christmas shopping. Yahoo!

I am thankful for…..I am just about done with Christmas shopping. Yahoo!

From the kitchen…not much has been coming out of the kitchen the past few days since we are trying to stay out of it, by and large. :)

Thanksgiving menu was: turkey with cornbread/sausage stuffing

mashed potatoes and gravy

cranberry and mandarin orange sauce

yeast rolls

mixed vegetables with wine/cheese sauce

layer salad

brownies and cherry cheesecake for dessert ( no pumpkin pie fans here)

brunch: egg, sausage and hashbrown casserole

homemade bread

fruit salad and orange juice

I am creating….. a jesse tree, I help celebrate advent. a new kitchen floor ( with the help of my trusty sidekicks, Tim and Noah ( LOL!--they've done most of the work!!)

I am wearing sweats and a hoodie

I am reading.... "The Unredeemed Captive".

I am hoping…..we can get the kitchen TOTALLY done by next weekend

I am hearing....Jed singing. He has so much soul. :)

Around the house…It's funny how ONE extra day can help accomplish so much around here. It was definitely a team work weekend as well. When we all work together we can get so much done in such a short amount of time. I also have to remind myself that, once again, some things just work out without a whole lot of forcing if I have the patience to wait until that happens. And they work out nicely.

We all went out and cleaned up the yard on Saturday. Raking, cleaning up cars, tidying up plants, doing a bit in the garage, picking up debris from the backyard. Noah worked hard to get the rest of the tile up and Tim has been painting away once everyone goes to sleep. One more coat of sealer and we *should* be done. I like it and it was CHEAP.

One of my favorite things: A snowstorm, but it didn't happen. Gabriella saying "Good Morning" when she wakes up!

A few plans for the rest of the week…..I mostly hope to have a quiet and uneventful week. To remind myself, G and J have a dentist appointment on Thursday.

A picture I am sharing with you....."Hello, everyone!"

Streams of consciousness from a mother of 10 who usually can't collect her thoughts and finds commas a nuisance.