Thursday, April 30, 2009


It is a dreary rainy morning here, but we decided to make it a "fun day". We are taking the day off from EVERYTHING! No school, no work (Kyle is home, though he does not know it yet cause he is still sleeping), no chores (except the basics). On the agenda....movies, games, hand quilting (me), crocheting (Charlotte), computer games (the boys) and just whatever else we may want to do! The morning started with pancakes.
The kid's favorite breakfast!Last night we all attended the Awana Awards Night at church. My entire family was there. You gotta remember that it is rare that my whole family is in church at once. Sweetheart, Kyle, Charlotte, Zach, Bud, Rachel, TJ, and Emerson....ALL there! It was heaven for me! Even though it was just an awards ceremony, it still glorified God as the kids had learned so much over the past year.
TJ got his Cubbies Awards. He was very excited!! Here he is waiting patiently to have his name called.He stood nicely during the pledges to the American and Christian flags.
Charlotte and Zach received high honors as they both finished their entire books for the year and even went well into their second books. Zach will no longer be a "Spark" as next year he will graduate to the "Truth and Training" group, better known as TNT's. Pastor Paul and his wife Aleena passed out the Sparks awards.Do I ever need a better camera! Please squint to focus! Here is Zach with Aleena, who, along with Pastor Paul, was Zach's Sparks leader for the year.
Charlotte was given her awards for the night by her leader Miss Mechelle (pronounced me-shell). Miss Mechelle had a VERY similar background to Charlotte and has become her mentor. Mechelle's mom has helped me tremendously! What a beautiful woman Mechelle has become. A loving wife of 15 years and a great mom to a young teen son. Best yet, her and her mother (who adopted her at 2) are BEST friends! Gives me GREAT hope.
Here is Charlotte with her own best friend (or as she says BFF) Gracie. Gracie was adopted at birth by Pastor Paul and Aleena. They also adopted 3 year old Taya at birth. Here is Taya during Cubbies. I had this group of kids and she (the only girl in the class) sure could hold her own with all those boys!! God really met my daughter's need in this church. It is FULL of adopted kids!
Next year I will be the Awana's Secretary for our church. It is a big job, but I think I will enjoy it. For now, Awana's is over until September. I am looking forward to the break!!!
I can not end this post with out an Emerson pic. She spent most of Monday with me. What a joy she is. Very placid and full of smiles!! Again, my camera (not me) is terrible!
Now I am off to enjoy my day off.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Crush and Slurp

TJ went to the grocery store with me the other day. While there, he asked if we could get some yogurt. Of course we can! We walk over to the yogurt display, which is right at his level, and he begins to shriek in this excited voice,
"LOOK GRANDMA!! It's crush cups! You don't need a spoon. You just CRUSH AND SLURP!"
Well, that can not be passed up so we grab a 4 pack with the promise he would share them with Zach and Charlotte. When we got home, the excitement had not ebbed even a little bit. He begins to do as he said and "crush and slurp". He was not disappointed! He went right to Paw Paw and said,
"Look Paw Paw, it's a BURST of fruity flavor!"
I think the kid will go into advertising someday!!!! In case you can not imagine the idea of a "Crush Cup" click may not be as thrilled as TJ but you will understand how a 4 year old could be that excited!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Emerson Avery's Day

Little Emerson was dedicated yesterday. This is her dress she wore. She was just beautiful.
Pastor Paul did a lovely dedication. My pictures did not turn out well at all. Hopefully I will get some from Bud and Rachel's camera. Rachel's family filled 2 entire rows and Bud's family another 2 rows. Emerson is certainly loved!We had a banquet here afterwards and 55 people came through. There was so much food...chicken, meatballs, pasta salads, potato salad, rolls, deviled eggs, veggies, breads (have you ever had rhubarb bread?? awesome!), grape salad, and so much more! Family helped out by bringing food. It was all so good. It was a rainy day but everyone found places to sit and it was an enjoyable day.
The bulletin at church was so cool I thought I would share it with you. This picture was on the cover.
Underneath it said,
"Warning: Side effects include freedom from guilt, reduced tension, increased joy, spontaneous laughter, love for fellow man, eternal life, and urge to tell others the wonderful news."
"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
Col. 3:13
Pretty powerful, eh? Pastor Paul is doing a series on what you would do if you only had 30 days to live. Over that 30 days he is speaking/teaching on different things....yesterday was forgiveness. He asked "Do you need to forgive anyone?" That is a question we all need to ask ourselves.
TJ helped me on Saturday with some window washing. He was such a BIG boy helper. I snapped a few pics of him.Shiny clean windows!! What a guy!!
Have a blessed Monday!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Life Of A Homemaker

What is the life of a homemaker suppose to look like? Does she look like June Cleaver? Harriet Nelson? Lucy Ricardo?
No. She does not look like any of those ladies. She looks like you! Homemaking is not easy. I will not sit here and type out this post with all kinds of sappy sentiment telling you how your days should flow with ease and grace. My own days are never the same, one from another, however homemaking should not look like the above picture.
I received and e-mail the other day from a sweet woman who had no idea she just gave me a gem in her words. She said,
"My relationship with God these days has brought so much peace to my life and energy too."
Energy?? YES!!! God gives us all we need to complete the tasks before us. We do not have to be worn out, nor burned out!! He is our source and will supply all our needs (not just material needs) according to His riches in Glory! (Philippians 4:19) Yes, we must rest. If we do not we are not making a home, but a prison.
So what should the day of a homemaker look like?? Take a look at Proverbs 31. Here I will share what my life looks like. Typically a woman gets up before the rest of her household, or at least at the same time as her husband (Proverbs 31:15). I do this and you can do it too!! He (God) will give you the energy. If your husband gets up really early, you can always go back to bed when he leaves for work and catch a half hour or so. If not, then you will not faint...I promise. Try to get some time to yourself before the rest of the house gets out of bed. Take time to shower, get dressed and do your hair and make up if possible. It will give you a jump start!
Donetta mentioned in my comments that my home seems very structured...she was concerned. No need. My home is extremely structured at the beginning of the day. My children thrive on this and so do I. I am not naturally organized, nor tidy, so a tight schedule is great for us. Still, I hold my plans loosely, and am willing to reschedule if necessary. My mornings are all about homeschool and housework. If I slack in the morning the entire day is gone. I use my Home Management Binder/Box to keep on track. The kids have their schedules too and we work together. Some things can be done independently and during those times, I jump into my cleaning routines.
The children are at the table and I work at my daily cleaning chores in between helping them with their morning school work. We work on Math, English, Spelling, Copy Work and any other worksheet, workbook type learning in the morning. Around 11:30am we are ready for a break from school. During this time Charlotte and Zach spend some down time, or they may have some chores to do.
My deep cleaning is done late morning after my routine cleaning is finished, or sometimes mixed in with my routine housework depending on the chore. Deep cleaning is not everyday, though this week has been Spring Cleaning so that is a whole different story. Still, we are finished with ALL housework by early afternoon. Women who work outside the home work longer hours than that! Homemaking is my occupation, I take it seriously, and like I said, it is not a talent I was born with, so I had to train myself. I am still training after 30 years. It is one of those occupations that need a refresher course every once in a while. I read books and research homemaking regularly.
So now that my household chores are done, what do I do?? Well I grab the bon bons and lay on the couch watching soap operas, of course! NOT!!!! Though I will admit to watching soap operas in the past....I no longer do that as I quit that habit. After lunch, we read together or work on any left over school work. We read Living Books for history, geography, etc, so this is the time we spend doing that.
If I did not get a chance to read my Bible before the day started (I also get Kyle off to work everyday), then I try to grab a quiet time for that in the early afternoon. It works better for me then, as my mornings are full. I do not believe I have given God a backseat here. I feel I am giving Him the best part of my time when I can focus on Him and not the tasks waiting for me.I also try to get a work out in several days a week. Sweetheart has been doing the same so it is nice to spend that time together.
I love to read and will grab one of my books and read a couple of chapters a day. I have several books going at once, so what ever strikes my fancy is what I pick up.
Quilting is a big part of my life. I get such pleasure from a needle and thread and spend much of my evening with my family and a quilt in my lap. I try to get to my machine at least once a week. This usually happens on Saturday. I am not only relaxing and enjoying this process, but I am creating beautiful things for my home and gifts for friends and family. A couple afternoons a week I am blessed to spend time with my grandchildren. Yesterday afternoon, I played with Emerson and TJ for a few hours. TJ and my kids played kickball with the neighborhood kids and it was so much fun to watch them. Grandma time is a highlight of my week!I blog in my free time too, and you all know how much I blog!! Early morning while Kyle is getting ready for work and the rest of the house is sleeping, or late afternoon while everyone is doing their own thing, I jump on the computer. Blogging is not just entertainment for me. It is family history for my kids and grandkids. Plus, there are a lot of wonderful women out there!!!I also have several times a week for fellowship. I go to a weekly Women's Bible Study, a once a month sewing group, a once a month women's night out at the church, and twice a week I attend church. I spend at least one afternoon twice a month out with a friend, my mom, or my daughter in law. We go to lunch and shopping.Late afternoon it is back to work. Dinner time is a big part of homemaking. Dinner prep usually takes place in the morning routine, but the late afternoon calls for action.
Dinner time is not always at the same time of day here. It really depends on what is happening. We usually eat between 6 and 6:30. After dinner the kids get showers and the kitchen is cleaned up by me or, occasionally, Charlotte. My children are now old enough to take care of all their bedtime routine themselves, which is a great help. We will watch a family movie a couple of times a week or play a board or card game. Our children go to bed rather early. 8:30 on school nights and sometimes 8:00 and they read til 8:30 then lights out. We recently started a program where if you are on time in the morning (9 am ready for school) you may read until 9pm. This has worked well.
Once the kids are in bed, Sweetheart and I spend some time together watching the Cubs game or one of our favorite shows we taped earlier (House, ER, Lie To Me are a few). I try to take an interest in what he likes to watch. He always watches Biggest Loser with me on Tuesday nights, even though I know it would not be his choice. I quilt or cuddle with Sweetheart and we visit also.As a keeper of the home (Titus 2:5) we should get up every morning and offer our handsand our feet
in service to God and our family. We are not to be idle (Proverbs 31:27) nor are we to be busybodies (I Thessalonians 4:11). We are to work with our hands (I Thessalonians 4:11) and keep our minds on good things (Philippians 4:8). We are to bless our families and do those things as unto God (Matthew 25:40). Am I the perfect homemaker? Heavens no! Am I striving to be what God wants me to be? By all means necessary.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Green Enchiladas

This is one of Sweetheart's favorite dinners! He works with a sweet lady named Rosie, who, at one time, owned and operated an authentic Mexican restaurant and can cook the best Mexican food EVER! She use to bring him and the other staff all kinds of wonderful lunches, but since the lay off he has not had a Rosie lunch. He requested Green Enchilada's, and though I am no Rosie, I have to admit they are pretty darn good!
Start with:
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 pound Velveeta cheese (I use a tad more)
5 oz can evaporated milk
8 oz can chopped green chilis
1/2 cup diced tomato
1 bunch chopped green onion
Melt these all together in a sauce pan, saving 1/2 the green onion to the side.While this is melting on a low heat (stir it often), brown 2 pounds of lean ground beef (or turkey) with the remaining chopped green onion.
Once the beef is browned, add in 1 packet of taco seasoning and 2/3 c water (or what ever the packet directions say). Add 1/2 pound shredded colby jack cheese and stir.
In a 9x13 baking dish, roll meat mixture into 8 large tortillas and place in dish seam down.
I only had room for 7 because I fill them pretty full.
Pour your melted cheese mixture over the tortillas.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes on 350. I served ours with a side of Mexican Rice.
We also top ours with sour cream. There are a bazillion calories and about 10 tons of fat, so what the hay! As a side note, it is not at all spicy hot. If you prefer hot, you can add a hot sauce on the top.
Dinner here is over, kitchen cleaned up, kids bathed and playing, and now I am going to pick up my hand quilting for a while.