Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Me? Plain?

You Are a Plain Ole Cup of Joe

But don't think plain - instead think, uncomplicated
You're a low maintenance kind of girl... who can hang with the guys
Down to earth, easy going, and fun! Yup, that's you: the friend everyone invites.
And your dependable too. Both for a laugh and a sympathetic ear.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Life is Precious

You don't realize how precious it is until you almost lose it.

Friday, September 7th, I almost lost my son.

We had gone to my nephew's birthday party. He turned 10. We are so very blessed to be invited; for many, many years we were not a part of his, or his brother's, lives. There are three of them, ages 10, 8, and 6. Oops! Make that four! My brother and his wife had their fourth boy (just like us!) back in June.

So, we are at the party, enjoying the company. It was a swim party, and there were about 12 or 13 kids in the pool. My youngest son, Tiny (age 3-1/2) was in the pool, but got out to eat. Somewhere between eating and getting back to the pool, he decided to take off his floaties. My husband (Bugman), my brother, and his friend were all out there too. At some point, Tiny got back in the pool, unobserved by the adults. Bugman said he happened to look out in the pool, and saw a face below the surface, around the area where the shallow area is going down to the deep end. He could see the child struggling to reach his lips to the surface, to no avail. He jumped up, and dove into the pool. As he was going in, he realized it was OUR son. He dove under, grabbed Tiny and pushed him to the surface, while he (Bugman) stayed underwater. He carried him to the steps, where Tiny began to scream and cry. He was as blue as you can get. My nephew came to get me, and I ran out and lifted him from my husband's arms. Bugman was in shock.

Tiny was purple/blue and very unresponsive. He could whisper his name but that was about all. He threw up tons of pool water on me. We called our wonderful doctor (yes, I have her cell phone number for emergency use only) and she discussed things with Bugman, and then decided yes, we should go to the ER. Bugman drove me and Tiny to St. John's ER. We cut through parking lots, around traffic, and broke every traffic law possible. Even Tiny commented on how fast Daddy was driving!

I ran into the ER and put him on the counter, saying "this is my son; he almost drowned twenty minutes ago!" and they immediately took us back.

By then, he was talking some, but could not walk. His skin was still purplish, and mottled in color. His legs especially were bloated, like a pregnant woman's legs with edema. He was pretty lethargic.

They took his vitals, then put him in a room. The doctor, Dr. Locke, came in, listened to his chest and said he wanted a chest x-ray to see if there was swelling or water in the lungs.

Meanwhile, we had called our pastor, some friends, and a whole bunch of prayer warriors! And somewhere between when the doctor came in, and when they came to take him for the x-ray, be got better. Tiny pinked up, the swelling went away, and he talked clearly! He even said he wanted to go back to the party to swim and eat his chicken he left there!

Another blessing was the doctor... who happened to be a client of ours!! Bugman laughed, because he usually sees him when he's sleeping (he has night shift at the hospital, and Bugman sprays the house during the day). We all chuckled about that. He declared that Tiny was going to be fine and sent us home.

We have been through so much with Tiny. So many doctors visits, therapy sessions, blood tests... and now this. Praise God he brought Tiny to my husband's attention.... and I am so glad that Tiny made it through one more challenge. I know that God has a plan for this child!

When you have a lot of kids, I know that parents sometimes get less attentive as each child goes by... you know what I mean... with the first, if he drops the pacifier, you grab it and boil it to sterilize it. With the second, you rinse it under hot water. The third, you might run it under a water fountain. The fourth, you pick it up, look at it (and seeing no hair clinging to it) declare it fit for sucking! With my first, I would have had five different flotation devices on him or nearby for swimming. By Tiny, I guess we got lazy. He had on floaties, but he wanted to by like the other big boys and so he took them off. We didn't even pay attention. We will now.

Hug your children, and praise God they are safe. Love them today like you might not be able to tomorrow.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Back to school, back to blog

Yes, so scold me. I don't have much time these days. Homeschooling four boys is amazingly busy.

We are back to the grindstone full time. This year, I am determined to teach Seth to read. I found this great book "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading" that is pretty cut and dry. No fancy flashcards, no complicated instructions. Just teaching the vowels and letters and blends. I also found my copy of "I Can Read It!" which is from Sonlight, but they no longer pubish. I got it years ago (when I taught Legoboy to read) and then stashed it away. I was cleaning off the bookshelves and came upon it. So we are using it along with the Ordinary Parent's book to learn to read.

I print LittleJ a schedule on Edu-track just like my older boys. He loves it, and is very much the stickler about following it. It makes him feel so grown up. He also started piano with Hannah Jackson. She's very sweet and gentle with him. Only two lessons, but so far, so good!

Nathan got that Black Belt! Whoohooo! We are so happy. Now, Tom is working on credits for his 2nd degree black belt, which he will test for next summer. Good news is, there is a high probability of him having his driver's license, which means WE WON'T HAVE TO DRIVE HIM AT 5:45 AM!! Okay, I'm done shouting.

Our co-op starts tomorrow and I will be teaching a class (last year I didn't teach). Art History, and I am kind of stoked about it. (Do kids still say "stoked" or am I still living in the 80's?) More later!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

LittleJ's BooBoo

Friday was an exciting afternoon. After an entire day of being inside because of rain (again) my boys were rather rambunctious. While playing around in the living room with Bubba, LittleJ slipped and fell, whacking the back of his head into the endtable, which is made of metal and tile. The result? A call to 9-11, ambulance coming, and the declaration of the need of staples or stitches. They said it wasn't necessary for THEM to transport (thank goodness, as it cost about $500 dollars), but that he did need to go and get the stitches within 6 hours. So Bugman ran him over to the emergency clinic over by our house. A few hours later, here's the result!Can you see the staples? right in the center? He had me take a picture so he could see them himself. My camera is wacking out, so I don't know why it looks so yellow.

I told him I was going to put an armor plate in his head.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

4th of July

The rain here in Texas that everyone has seen in the news attempted to cancel all the Independence Day plans, but not for us! Tuesday night, my nephew spent the night, and helped us begin our holiday by getting "sick" and his dad (my brother) having to come get him at 12:30 in the morning. Aren't kids so fun?? And my brother is so cute showing up in his boxers and t-shirt.

We continued our 4th holiday by going to Main Event to celebrate my friend MEM's son's birthday. He turned nine. They had a special of unlimited video games (ARGH!) and Glo-golf (glow-in-the-dark putt putt golf) for $10. A decent deal. My older two sons latched right onto that! We stayed from open (10a.m.) until about 2pm (and my older two until 5). Last night, MEM and her crew, along with my friend KB and her family, came over to enjoy Bugman's legendary brisket (yes, it should be!!). Can you believe we devoured a 15 lb. brisket? I hardly have enough left for a sandwich! Whoo hooo! Means there were fat and happy people here!

Poor KB... went on vacation for two weeks and returned to find her A/C had gone out in her house. Now for some of you up in parts of the country, that's no big deal; you might not even HAVE A/C. But for us down here in balmy, HUMID Texas, it's a crisis. So she was so happy to spend the day at Main Event, then come here.

It's 8:15 and the kids are still sleeping... Tiny was up twice during the night, so while this would normally be unusual for him, I guess not after getting up twice. It's nice and quiet except for kitty cats playing in the clothes basket. Bugman's off killing bugs in Seabrook. He fired Bubba last week from helping him on Thursdays (and doing termite jobs) so today will be the first day he's worked at the apartment complex without assistance in several months. He may hire Legoboy to help him.

What did Bubba do to get fired? Yelled at his boss (Bugman, who also happens to be his Dad) in front of a customer. Besides being embarrassing, it's also wrong. You don't yell at your Dad, and you DON'T yell at your boss. Anyone have a strong, teenage boy wanting occasional dirty work? Pay is decent, and the employer is nice!!

Monday, July 02, 2007

I love Coffee!

I love the smell of it, the taste of it. It gives me comfort. Now, my FIL would say that I don't REALLY like it, because I drink it with sugar and cream. I disagree. Too many Charbucks people would agree, because I think the majority of them drink it with some sort of additive (sugar, sugar substitute, cream, skim milk, hazelnut flavoring... you get the idea). It's real coffee.

What are your favorite kinds? Personally, I have found that a lot of the flavored coffee's give me a headache. So I stick with the plain "non-flavored" kinds. Bugman prefers to drink decaf, as the caffeine makes him jittery (although drinking a cola doesn't). I don't care, although the variety of coffees are greater amongst the caffeinated kinds.

My fave decaf is... Newman's Own Special Blend Decaf. Yes, I know... don't lecture me. I can't help it... it's so smooth and tasty, never bitter. Yummmm! I have never had a bad cup of it!

And since I am trying to stay away from using so much plastic, my new favorite mugs are these:
You can get them from here, but I got mine from a local coffee/tea shop (Nana's Attic) owned by my friends Katie and Marie. Their mom Ginny works there too. They also sell all kinds of lovely coffee and tea and the related accessories.
I have three of these mugs right now ("Coffee Not My Cup of Tea", "If it weren't for Caffeine, I'd have No Personality Whatsoever" and "I'll Rise but I refuse to Shine"). I had one more, but my kitty cats knocked it down and broke it. These mugs are ceramic and microwavable. No I don't profit from selling them, just like 'em a lot!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Out on a Limb

Did I mention I submitted some of my artwork to a LSS (local stamp store) as part of a call to find new member for their design team? Yup. I did. It's a big thing for me. Really stepping out of my safety zone. I have never submitted anything to anyone (for approval) before. Other than a college professor. It was a big step for me.

Well, the results are in and.... I wasn't picked. It's hard, because my first reaction is "what's wrong with my work? Why not me?" Maybe because I don't scrapbook. Who knows? I submitted a journal I had decorated, several cards using different techniques, and a domino necklace. I admit, I am really bummed about this.

Ah, well. God has a better plan, right? Uh huh.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Things I have Accomplished this week:

  • Did all the little ones laundry
  • Cooked dinner every night so far! (no eating out)
  • Had friends over for lunch (instead of eating lunch out)!
  • Went to sleep BEFORE 11pm each night (a BIG deal for a nightowl like me)
  • Did not kill the cats when they knocked over, and broke, my storage drawers full of paper punches and stamps
  • Spent less than $150 at the grocery store (with five kids in tow).

How 'bout them apples?

Did I mention PRAYED OFTEN? And I read my Bible on Monday... working on making it a daily, morning habit.

What's in a title?

Why do I have to put titles on these? I get tired of trying to be creative.

I have a headache. I have two extra kiddos this week. My friend is out of town and her husband is being a single father while she is gone. He passed on the kids to a different family last week, and this week it's my turn. It's funny... I have no girls, but this week I get to have a girl. She's very quiet and sweet, not loud and shrieky like so many girls I have been around.

Bugman is out with our oldest son, Bubba15 (yes, he's now age 15) looking for a car. Yes, he passed his permit test and is now anxious to drive. I won't let him drive my van (what would I do if it got wrecked??) and he can't drive Bugman's truck (it's a commercial vehicle). So, my anxiety level rises. The whole idea of my AS son driving scares me to death. But it doesn't seem to bother Bugman, so I will leave this job to him. We promised to match whatever money son saved, and so he saved about $1000, so they are looking for a used $2000 car.

Tiny (age 3) just asked if he could eat breakfast...it's 3:55pm! I reminded him he had a bagel for breakfast after our early morning appointment at the MRI place (they did an ultrasound). While Tiny doesn't have to have any more blood drawn for his BWS he does have to have ultrasounds of his liver, kidneys, etc., every three to four months. I have faith that God will protect this child and he will continue to be healthy!

LittleJ6 is learning to swim! Yeay! We are doing swim lessons through the YMCA because it's close to the house. I am determined that he will learn to swim before the summer is over. Tiny is taking lessons also, but I don't expect him to go far this year. He's having difficulty blowing bubbles because of his macroglossia. It's all a challenge.

We're going on a "date" tomorrow night! We're meeting my friend ME and her husband for dinner. What a concept... no one else wanting my food, no one trying to leave the table early, no one crying because they really didn't want the mac and cheese, they wanted the chicken fingers like their brother... or lemonade instead of sprite. Ah, I can't wait!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Summer Daze

This summer has been busy. My second son (Legoboy) is testing for his first degree blackbelt, and like last summer (when my oldest tested) he has to be at martial arts classes six days a week at 5:45 each morning. You know it's bad when you consider getting up at 7:30 on a Sunday before church "sleeping in"! We also have swim lessons for the little guys, plus tons of other things. But most consuming is martial arts.

Most depressing for me, though, is my friend Kathy moving. It seems whenever I make a friend, if we become close, they end up moving away... far away. I could list the names, but it's too sad for me. Kathy and I became friends about 2-1/2 years ago. Now, she and her dh are off in Utah. Fortunately, the Lord seems to be filling my time for now, and I am looking forward to making more friends.

I know Kathy will read this eventually, so to her I say: Girlfriend, I miss you... I love you... please stay in touch!!

Praying for NO RAIN tonight and tomorrow. Got some big jobs to do in the pest control world. Need the $$ to help my newly permitted son get in his driving practice time in a "new" car. Anyone know of a good, cheap car for a 15yo teen to practice in?

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Saga Continues....

Friday, we spent a large portion of our day with our friends Toby and Missy. We had a great time. Friday night, we went to Cici's pizza with our other friends, Guy and Susie and their boys. Their oldest also has AS like our oldest. Friday night, it rained.... and rained.... and rained.... get the idea? I thought we were going to float home! And, our camper (a hybrid... hard sides with pop-out tents on the ends) leaked. The big tent (where Bugman and I sleep) leaked. We were soaked. It was awful. We decided then to NOT sleep in the camper another night, as rain was predicted again the next night.

Saturday, we proceeded to meet our friends Guy and Susie and their boys at the oldest Dr. Pepper Bottling Plant in the world! Yes, the world! Built in 1891 (I believe... is that 116 years ago?), the Dublin Dr. Pepper plant still makes Dr. Pepper with the orginal recipe using REAL SUGAR instead of nasty high fructose corn syrup. Gag! Anyway, it was tons of fun.
Bugman and boys posing before the biggest DP can you've ever seen! LOL!

Legoboy posing with an old DP bottle, sorry it's sideways. I'll fix it later!

The clock over the door of the soda shop.

Then we toured the plant. They only make DP once a month, anywhere from 4 to 7 pallets of DP at a time. This is because the equipment is so old.

This is the bottle washer. They will take any glass DP bottle, sterilize it in the bottle washer, and reuse it (just like the olden days! Remember returnables?). They also use new bottles (which are the ones you can buy there by the case).
This is the finished product... They still also produce Nu Grape and Big Red.
Sorry the pic is blurry... this is a light box. Each and every bottle is placed on here. Can you tell which bottle is the "right" DP? The one on the far left has too little syrup. The one on the far right has too much syrup. The second from the left has too little product in the bottle. The second from the right is the right blend of syrup to soda, and has the right level in the bottle. Each one, hand inspected.
This is the guy who gave us the tour. Can't remember what this machine does... LOL.
This is where the soda and syrup come together into the bottles, and then the caps are put on.

This was a great tour. Dublin is about an hour SW of Ft. Worth if you have the gumption to go. It is definitely worth it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Camping We Will Go

We left last Thursday to go camping... we left the rain to drive to the rain. We probably would have cancelled, but we had promised our friend Kate that we would drive up for her graduation (05/28) and we were trying to make it a family vacation weekend.

We camped at Cleburne State Park, southwest of Ft. Worth. Friday, we contacted some friends who we found out had moved from Belton (Texas) to Southlake (Texas) which is near FW. We spent the day with them, with Bugman and Toby (our friend, who is the new preacher at the Southlake Blvd. Church) putting their heads together and discussing matters of theology. Toby's wife, Missy, and I went down to Imprints to look (and buy!) rubber stamps and other ephemera. That afternoon, we had dinner with some other old friends, the Steeves, and their boys.

One fun thing was Friday we stopped for fuel (diesel... we have a diesel 15-passenger van). The station we chose had one diesel pump which was OLD (i.e., you can't use a credit card... you have to go in and pay the cashier first to get them to turn on the pump). Bugman told me "go in and pay, and I'll pump" so I did. When I came out, this is what I found:

This is George. He pumps the gas at the FULL SERVICE pump at the Shell in Cleburne. Yes, I did say FULL SERVICE. Who knew they still had them? Not me. I don't think I've had full service in the nearly 21 years I have been married!
George was great! He even gave the kids bubble gum. We talked with him a long time. The diesel pump is at the full service section (which I think is just so George has a job. He is about 75 years old!), so we went ahead and took advantage of it. What a treat.
More later on this adventure!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Feeling sorry for myself...

I guess I shouldn't, huh? I have a wonderful husband, four healthy children, a nice home... God has blessed me tremendously. It's just that some days I feel overwhelmed. Homeschooling, cleaning, laundry, cooking, running our business... hardly ever any free time. Yes, I know, when my kiddos are gone I'll finally have the time for "me", and then I'll lament how I wish they were back.

My oldest son will be 15 on Friday. Yesterday was the 12th anniversary of my Mother's death. She was 51 years old. My husband is almost 45. Not so far apart. Mama was a wonderful, loving person. Everyone who met her loved her. She literally was here today, gone tomorrow. Never take those you love for granted. People will tell you that you could step off the curb and get hit by a bus tomorrow. We laugh, but it's true. My mom was fine on Friday night... my last words were "Talk to you tomorrow! Love you!". The next day, she went to the hospital for tests. No big deal, right? She coded in the elevator. They revived her. Two hours later, she coded again. That was it. Gone. I miss her dreadfully. I often think that if she was still here, not only would my boys have their "Memaw" but maybe my sister and I would still be friends. Only God knows for sure.

Good news... my brother and his boys came over again to visit. What a treat. My son commented today that he had a blast Saturday night.. it was my four boys, my brother's three boys, and our friend's two children (one boy one girl). We had a great time. I love having family over. Our friend's have been friends for over 19 years. My kids call them Aunt and Uncle. I tell everyone that since my relatives are either dead or abandoned me, I just went out and adopted new ones!!

My best friend is moving. It has become a trend. I'm not sure whether to take it personally! I make a friend, we become close, and then they move away. It can be depressing to think about. I know I'll probably never be the one to move away.

Off to do laundry. *sigh* I'll post some ATC's I am working on later.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Airing out Frustrations....

It's been a trying week. To begin with, a friend from co-op (homeschool co-op), has a little lovey who has been in the hospital for weeks. She was in need of a heart transplant. First she was on the list, then due to a heart attack, she was taken off the list, but then on Monday, because she has shown so much improvement, she was back on the list. We were all so happy...but then yesterday, about 11:45 she had another cardiac arrest....and around 1pm she died. Her name was Chameron, and she was only 4 years old.

On top of it all, my husband's grandfather died. While it isn't as tragic (he was 94), it is hard on my in-laws, and my husband will now be travelling to the funeral.

I am very stressed.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Life with an AS child...

I haven't posted much. Need to get back in the habit.

Life with an Asperger's child is challenging. Life with an Asperger's teen is insane. The emotional rollercoaster is taking it's toll on me. My oldest son can go from elation to depression in 3.2 seconds. Today, after church, he decided to become upset over the fact that his brother wants to charge him rent to use his nintendo (my oldest two boys bought a nintendo gamecube together two years ago.. in a fit of anger, my oldest sold his "half" to us, saying he would never play again. Of course, he didn't mean it. So we said, if you want to play, you'll have to pay. So he pays 1.00 an hour to play...rental of the machine. Well, my second son, co-owner of the machine, raised enough cash to buy out my half. Now, he's "full" owner, and has raised the rent... to 1.50 an hour). This did NOT go over well. I tried to point out that if we go somewhere with games, such as Double Dave's (Pizza), Mr. Gatti's (Pizza), or Cici's (Pizza... notice a trend?), he has no issue with spending $20 bucks on games there, and it only lasts a few minutes. $20 will buy him almost 14 hours of blissful, brain-numbing time on the gamecube. But he doesn't get it.

So this upset led him to desire to be alone... so off he wandered. We meet in a school, and when church is over, they lock up the school. We didn't know where he was, and we couldn't leave until he was found, because they can't lock up with a minor (or anyone) still in the building. It was very frustrating.

It ruined our lunch. Bugman (dh) was so upset over it all (and angry) he just wanted to go home and watch NASCAR. We sent oldest son off to his room. I ended up going to Taco Bell for lunch for the rest.

I am praying the rest of the week doesn't go like this.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I know, it's been too long since I posted. Just a crazy life around here.

I have a friend who has been sad lately, so I made her some ATC's (Artist Trading Cards). I hope she likes them. I sent them to her in the mail. She just learned about these, and is excited to learn about making them. They are the same size as a baseball card (approx. 2-1/2 x 3-1/2).

This first one I call "Chicken Soup will Make You Feel Better" It uses the cutest "chicken soup" stamp by Claudia Rose (the spoon is included on the side of the stamp).

This next one I call "Jesus Gets You Through Those Days".

I am trying to do my best to find time to create something each week.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

WARNING! Gross descriptions ahead....

I feel gross. Downright gross. I didn't know a human could produce so much snot. I think I could single-handedly provide enough mucus for some kind of medical study. Wanted: Forty gallons of mucus. I could answer that ad.

This does not make for a creative person. I did walk in my studio and gaze longingly at the items sitting on my table. I bought some items at the local art supply store (no, not M's or HL). We have this cool store called Texas Art Supply... I love it there. Anyway, they had all markdown/red tag items an additional 50% off. What a deal! I have a whole bag of stuff, a lot of it from Memory Makers (I think...i'm too tired to go look). I got this stamp set called Hollie's Inspiration from Prickley Pear Stamps for $3.00! I got some other doo dads. I love a bargain.

Someone told me that M's carries the Suze Weinberg Melting Pot... something I have wanted. It is regularly $35, so with a 40% off coupon, it would be $21! I will check tomorrow!

I'm off to drug myself... if you get this congested, and have to sleep at night, I cannot recommend enough Zicam Extreme Congestion Relief. It is a life saver!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Feelin' Blue

I have a cold.

I feel awful. My nose is congested, I am coughing, I'm achy... just plain yuck. and could I laze around and relax? Of course not. That doesn't happen with this Mama (unlike SOME of my friends who are given the luxury of a three hour nap in the middle of the day despite having four kids). While my loving husband Bugman was off dealing with the Houston court system for a speeding ticket, I had to lug kids around, pick meat from the meat market (we bought a 1/4 of a cow), load meat into the already overcrowded deep freeze (do you KNOW how hard it is to fit a 1/4 of a cow in there???), pick my order from the Seabrook farmer's market, and then pick up a kid, deliver another... aaaaaaahhhhhh!

And then there's the teenager thing... My oldest is dealing with the issue of being affectionate toward girls in general (just a friendly thing) and why it's off limits (why don't they understand???). He is really struggling with this. He just is a loving, affectionate boy. It's not a "s*x" thing for him... nothing overt about it. Just a loving, friendly hug or arm on the shoulder, but it's offended some teenage girls AND boys. It's hard being a boy with Asperger's. People don't understand because it's not a "visible" problem.

Off to help bugman with a brisket he's been cooking for the last 22 hours!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I Did It!!

We have been trying to potty train this little one for almost two weeks. From day one, he has been great about "peepee" in the potty, but forget trying to get him to "poopoo"!! We tried everything... special underwear ("Don't poopoo on Mater!!"), but nothing worked. So we resorted to bribery! If you will poopoo in the potty (and Mama or Daddy has to see it there! He tried to tell me he pooped the other day, but I never saw it, and his heiny sure was clean, so I'm not sure he really did), then you can have a new hotwheels car!!

Well, he pooped in his pull up (that he wears when we are out) on Sunday after church. Then he didn't go for THREE DAYS. I was beginning to panic. Yesterday, he finally went...in his underwear. **Sigh** I was about to give up. Today, he has been fine. He got up from his nap, and went potty (#1), and then suddenly said "I have to poopoo!" and RAN to the potty. YEAH!! He did it!! Tiny did a HUGE #2, and here he is with is new hotwheel. He is sooooo happy. We have five more cars to go!

Tiny with his new purple cadillac hotwheel.

Yummy Ribs!

We have a great grocery store here in Texas called HEB. Ours has a little cooking area called "Cooking Connections" where they have chefs that make at least three dishes each day. The idea is to present quick, easy and tasty dishes that you can prepare yourself. They had a wondeful dish called "Easy one hour Ribs" a couple of weeks ago, so I just had to try it.
You can see by the empty tray, they went over well! And as you can see by my lovely shirt, they went over well ON me also!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Here's Your Title!

I am a delinquent blogger. I have been negligent. I apologize. Life sometimes gets away from me.

I was reading a new blog today, of another homeschooling mom who has six kiddos... and one a teenage AS boy! (For those who read this and DON'T know, my oldest son has Asperger's Syndrome). It was refreshing to read that maybe my teenager is not so different from other AS kids. Life can be very trying with a teenager with AS.

One thing she has done in her blog is give each child a nickname, so I think I'll do the same. Here out, my wonderful dear husband will be known as Bugman, as we own a pest control biz and it is befitting him. Bubba14 is my oldest son, as that is the nickname his brothers have already given him. Legoboy11 is my second son. He's the math/science freak and of course, Lego (and Starwars) obsessed child. Third in line is my kindergartner LittleJ6. He's the one that Dobson was observing when he wrote "The Strong-Willed Child". We just started "school" with him (learning to read) and he loves it! Last, but not least of course, is my youngest, who will be 3 tomorrow! "Tiny" (as Bugman calls him) is not so tiny! He has a genetic disorder called Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome. Among other things, he was born with part of his intestines on the outside of his body. Anyway, he is quite a large boy... 3 tomorrow, and wearing a size 12 shoe, and size 5 clothes.

Bubba14 is quite the challenge these days. He is in drama, which is wonderful, except that the dramatic come home with him. Everything is a major event. Yesterday, he took a math test. He got two wrong. Even though he got a 90 on the test (he has a fit until we give him a "grade"), he began the diatribe on how horrible a student he is, and I had to suffer with the whoa-as-me attitude for hours. What is a mom to do? And then there is his play... his drama class is putting on "The Mouse Trap" in about two weeks. The drama teacher asked the kids to ask people to the play and "reserve" tickets. Well, Bubba took that seriously, and he is constantly making lists of who we should invite and we need to make sure that we reserve their tickets. Sigh. One day, I will go crazy with this!!

Time to get the show on the road here. Bugman is playing Uno with the kids before he leaves. I have a brief moment to shower now.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Just some other pics...

This is my brother... my "little" brother. He's actually about 13 inches taller than me. He took my camera and snapped this pic by holding it out at arms-length in front of him. Pretty funny.

This is my dad and my second son. My Dad lives in KC, KS.

This is Grandpa and my third son.

This is my third son, again, and my nephew, my brother's kid. They are about six months apart in age. My son is older. I love seeing the cousins together. My brother has all boys (he has three, I have four. His wife is expecting their fourth child in June. We're not sure what it is yet!).

Check out the Clean Craft Room!

I am having a Mom's Night Out for my co-op this Friday, so I wanted to get my craft area all spic-n-span. I just had to take pics to show off, cuz it doesn't look like this often!!

This is my main stamping area. The green thing is a large cutting mat.

These little drawers hold fun things like embellishments, fibers, my acrylic stamping blocks, tags, etc.

These are my ink pads (most of them). I actually have more, but they are ones I don't use very much. This is a cassette tape holder I found about ten years ago at Big Lots. It was like $5 and well worth the money!! I label each pad with a sharpie, with it's color, so that I always know what color is what without pulling it out.

This is one of the two turnstiles I have from pampered chef. This one has my tools, like my crop-a-dile, scissors, paint brushes, etc.

These are some clear drawers and boxes I got from the office supply for organizing desks. Each item is sold separately so you can customize it. I have my markers, my templates, adhesives, tapes, and paint markers in here. You can also see my heat gun in it's holder there on the right, and my Ott Light.

This is on a table to the left of my stamp area. There are some tilt bins with things like sponges, small stamp pads, stippling brushes, etc. The small drawers in the middle have some stamps, more little stamp pads, etc. The large drawers on the left have paper and stickers. You can barely see the edge of a drawer unit on the far right that have stamps in them.

These carts and drawers have stamps in them. You can see off to the left on the shelves there are all my crafting books, as well as binders with unmounted stamps, a box full of envelopes, and boxes with paints and glazes.

Another shot of the carts and shelves. You can see another two draw sets on the left, that have more stamps. All drawers are labeled, and all stamps categorized so I can find what I need. Most of the big carts are on wheels, so I can roll them around to make it easy to get stamps, as well as the fact that they are blocking a book shelf full of books used for homeschooling!!

Last picture! These are the built in shelves above my stamp area. The bottom shelf has all my cardstock in magazine holders by color, and boxes of markers. The top shelf is all my craft magazines (The Rubber Stamper, Somerset Studio, Cloth-Paper-Scissors, Belle Armoire, etc.) The cabinets on top have old issue of mags, plus boxes of stamps I don't use much (like Christmas, etc.).

Now, to make it messy again!!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Best Banana Bread EVER!!

Okay, I am a picky banana bread person. I have been searching for a great recipe, one that had whole wheat, didn't have sugar, and stayed moist. Is that too much to ask?? I assumed it was, until now!

We attended the Heritage Homestead Craft and Children's Fair in just north of Waco. I bought all three of their cookbooks they had for sale. This is the recipe they have in their desserts cookbook. All recipes are made only with items that they have on their farm. It is the most awesome recipe! You can't even tell it's "sugar free" (meaning no refined sugar).

1/3 Cup Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup Honey
3 medium bananas, mashed
2 eggs, beaten
1-3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/4 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 325. Lightly butter a 5x9 bread pan. Mix together the oil and honey. Beat the eggs, and add to the oil and honey. Stir in the mashed bananas.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking soda and pecans.

Alternately add dry mixture and hot water to the banana mixture, mixing after each addition. Pour into a buttered bread pan.

Bake 55 to 60 minutes, until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing (but we never make it that long, LOL).

It is sooo yum. My kids fight for it. I usually find those great buys on bananas at the store (they'll have a big bag of them, the really brown ones, for 50 cents), and make two or three loaves at a time. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Yummy Pancake Recipe!

Here is a yummy recipe for pancakes courtesy of Mrs. Stacy McDonald (Homeschooling Today Magazine). It looks to be very Feingold friendly, for those who need that (uh, that would be me!).

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes
(Mix with a fork by hand)

Wet Ingredients

4 C. buttermilk or homemade kefir
½ C. melted butter or extra light olive oil (butter is better!)
2 eggs (or ½ C. flax seed mixture)
2-3 T. raw honey or sugar

Dry Ingredients

2 C. fresh ground whole wheat
2 C. rolled oats
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt

Combine all wet ingredients in a bowl.
Mix wet and dry ingredients.
Pour about ¼ C. of batter per pancake onto a greased griddle. Flip over when
bubbles appear on top side of pancake. Fry until golden brown.

Optional: Add 1 C. blueberries, chopped apples, or bananas to mixed batter.

Fermenting your grains:

For a healthier (and more digestible) option, you may soak the whole wheat
and rolled oats in the buttermilk or kefir the night before (do not add eggs
at this time). In the morning, whisk eggs lightly and set aside. Mix baking
powder, baking soda, and salt together and add to the fermented mixture
along with the eggs. Carry on with step 3.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Grouchy Day

Today was hard at church. Last week was our first week to sing without Renee. But we had a special service devoted to her, and the importance of friends, and we had a lovely table with roses placed between Michael and Me, where Renee would have stood. Today, it was not there. It just felt wrong to be standing next to Michael when I sang. It's funny because even though Renee and I were not friends, I miss her.

I went to bed late, got up early, and have just been overall grouchy today. I need to work on the boys lessons for the week, and I'm hoping they can get something done tomorrow, even though Grandpa will be underfoot. He goes home tomorrow. I'll take him to the airport around 3:30pm, unless this supposed wintry mix storm comes blasting through and ice's us in. Right now, it's a lovely 73 degrees...NOT. It is 73, but it's muggy, humid and just YUCK. Not helping with my crabby mood. I like cold weather. I would love to live up near Seattle, even with the rain. It gets cold, but not much snow (I DON'T like snow).

I just realized that they WON'T turn my phone number back on tomorrow...it's a "holiday" for the federal gov't, so I suppose the phone company is off also. However, my beloved dh IS working, praise God.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Just another day

Sorry it's been awhile since I posted. It's been a busy week getting back into the swing of things. I find it very hard to get much done around here when my dh is off of work. This was his first week back to work since Christmas, and I could finally do some things!

My father came into town from Kansas Thursday night, and is here until Monday night, that is, if he doesn't get iced in!! Right now, it's a muggy 75 degrees outside. By tomorrow night, it should be a frozen 32 degrees! And where he lives, it is currently 14 degrees and snowing. There's a good chance he might not be flying out Monday afternoon.

We own our own business. And like many, it is cyclical, in that this time of year, it is not very busy due to the cold weather (well... you know, uh, well... okay so it's not usually cold here, but you know what I mean), and the holidays as well. So the fact that our business phone has not been ringing much did not really surprise me. But, after New Years, I did expect SOME increase in phone traffic. Then, yesterday, one of our customer's called on our HOME phone.... that was strange. and she told me that she tried to call the number she got out of the phone book and it said it was disconnected!! so I called it myself, and lo and behold, it was disconnected! YIKES! This is the key number we have advertised in TWO big phone books in the area. I called AT&T, and they said the bill had not been paid in six months. I had it on "auto pay" with my billpay at my bank. For some reason, my billpay quit paying the bill. I didn't know... I just had assumed (I know, bad choice) that they would keep paying. On top of that, I found out the reason I never got a "late" notice is that they had the wrong mailing address...an address we got rid of two years ago!!!

Now what doesn't make sense is the fact that we have another AT&T line, and I changed that address, and it's still paying that bill. I am sooooo frustrated. I called, paid off the bill, and now they tell me it will be Monday before the number is reconnected. ARGH!!! No wonder my phone had NOT been ringing. I am soooo frustrated over this. I keep reminding myself, God is in control. It will all work out.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Sometimes Life is Difficult

I haven't posted this week for many reasons. First of all, we had to go out of town to College Station so that my dh could take his continuing education classes needed for his license (pest control). We took the computer, but I had no internet connection while out there (as much as I TRIED to piggyback on someone else's wireless connection!). But, mainly, I didn't post because a friend of ours passed away on Tuesday.

Her name was Renee. She was only 49 years old. That's not old. She didn't have cancer, didn't have any health problems anyone knew about. On Monday, New Year's Day, she boarded a plane to go out of town for a business trip. She took her seat on the plane, and then began to feel nauseous. The plane had not even left the gate yet, so she stood up and told the attendant she had to leave the plane. As she went to disembark, she collapsed, her heart stopped. Paramedics arrived almost immediately, and were able to start her heart again, but she never regained consciousness again. She was rushed to the hospital, where she stayed over night, intubated, but she rapidly deteriorated. Tuesday morning, about 10 am, she passed away. She leaves her husband of 15 years, and two sons, ages 14 and 21. Everyone is in shock. She was fun-loving, wonderful person. She loved the Lord with all her heart. I know she is with Him now. But her family, and her friends, are hurting here on earth. Pray for her family as they continue on without her. Our church is in shock, of course, also. Renee and her family were founding members of the church, and she was a key member of our praise team. We will sing and play tomorrow morning and it will be so sombering to perform without her.

It truly makes you think about the fact that you can just die anytime, without warning, so you should always live as if before the face of God.