Sunday, December 14, 2008

Next Time vs. If Only...

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
I hope the HOLY Days are finding you counting your blessings and looking to the Gift our Heavenly Father sent so many years ago!
Our Kansas City pastor blogged the following last month. It was so encouraging and convicting to me, I wanted to share it; so I asked Pastor Jeff if I could re-post it here. He graciously agreed, so....

"Pastor’s Blog – November 25, 2008

Rev. Dr. John Claypool, in a sermon entitled, “Next Time,” relays a story about a man going to an old counselor that is very insightful.

“Think about it,” said the old counselor. “If only points to that segment of human experience that cannot be altered. Whatever else you may say about the past, it is frozen. You may feel very deeply about it, but you do not have the power to go back and undo it or redo it. Therefore, energy spent lamenting the past is energy that is largely wasted. Next time, however, points to that sector of experience that is still open, still fluid. It is out there yet to be shaped. If we can apply the lessons that we have learned from the past, to the service of the future, then what is to be can become genuinely different. There is a tremendous difference between processing your memories with an if only kind of lament and handling them with a next time kind of hopefulness.”

Many of us have met bitter people. Perhaps we even struggle a bit with some on our own. All of the reasons for the anger, bitterness, hurt and wounds are most likely justified in some fashion or another. Since time travel is only for books and movies, we can not change the bad things that have happened to us. Nor can we relive the good times that have transpired. What we can do is learn from them. As the wise counselor stated, “If only” is a waste of time and energy. “Next time” certainly is wiser and more productive.

Another couple of sentences from this sermon deserve our reading – “God is more interested in your future than your past. He is more concerned for what you can yet become that what you used to be.”

God takes us as we are and changes us gradually into what He desires. The process is total and complete. This transformation takes a lifetime and will be finished when we step into eternity, but the goal is nice to know! Part of the process of changing us is to help us learn from our past failures, sins, and sufferings, so we can avoid them in the future. And, we are to help others who have suffered as we did to receive the comfort we have been given. The past has a purpose – to train us for the future. May we not be bound by what we have experienced, but may we become wiser because of it.

Pastor Jeff "

Hope this spoke to you, as it did to me.
Gotta run...another nose to wipe...
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Voter Freebie Rant

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
I'm sitting here, waiting on election results. I was reading more about how Starbucks, Ben&Jerry's, Krispy Kreme, etc. were told that giving freebies away to folks who voted was illegal. is that "vote buying?" Starbucks wasn't anywhere on my ballot. They were not saying, "If you vote for (fill in the blank), we'll give you free coffee!!"
I'm thinking all that moisture up there in Oregon has mildewed the Secretary of State's brain.

I Voted!

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Well, it's a gorgeous day here in North Alabama. The leaves are finally beginning to change, and they're beautiful. The temps at night are between 45-35 and during the day it's been between 75-82. (a little too warm for my liking, but, anyway...)
The Ram went to vote this morning on his way to work. The polls open here at 7 a.m. (I'm used to 6a-6p) He got there around 6:45 and found about 100 other people waiting for the poll to open. He got to wait for a while.
I got to the polling place about 10:30. There were maybe 50 people, total, but I was in and out in 5 minutes. That's because of the set up here. You actually *mark with a pen* on a *paper ballot.* I have voted in every election since I was 18 years old, and this is the first time I had to actually mark on a ballot with a pen. I felt pretty stupid. LOL I had to ask questions of the poll workers--I am accustomed to using a computer to vote. Also, I was a little shocked--you didn't enter a booth to vote. I stood along a counter with a couple dozen other people; all of us marking our choices out in the open. Now, I'm not ashamed of my votes, but it did feel a bit naked to be doing it out in front of everyone. I couldn't help but imagine how much courage it must have taken decades ago for the African-Americans down here to show up at the polling place.
Anyway, I voted. I feel blessed to have been here for this historic election. If you haven't voted yet, ya' better get on your horse!
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Tater put candy in Miss H's ear!!!" --Musical

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blast from the Past

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
For some reason, this time of year always makes me reminisce. There's nothing exciting going on here right now, so I thought I'd do a "best of" post for you. Some new folks have probably never heard the following story...

"Thursday, October 14, 2004

G.O.M. and The Nice Tan Van
There once was a Nice Tan Van. It belonged to a Nice Family with four Lovely Children, who would never have spilled soda or water or juice in the floor and certainly never have drawn a picture of a little girl on the back of the seat in front of them. The Lovely Children never complained about sitting in the very back and they definitely would never argue with the others while riding in the Nice Tan Van. The four children were dearly, dearly loved. One day, the Nice Tan Van caught a bug. It coughed and sputtered, but never quit running, such a loyal van it was. The Nice Family took the van to a mechanic. Several days later, the mechanic called the Daddy to pick up the van. When Daddy drove the van, it still coughed and sputtered. Mommy made a mad face. This had happened many times. Daddy tried to take the Nice Van to another mechanic, but the mechanic never showed up at his garage. What happened to that nice mechanic? Finally, Daddy asked a Friendly Man at work to recommend a mechanic. The Friendly Man told Daddy where to take the Nice Van, but he told Daddy that the mechanic didn't have a phone. He also told Daddy that the mechanic only worked Monday through Wednesday. And only between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Daddy tried and tried to take the Nice Van to the mechanic, but he kept missing him. Each time Daddy would drive to the garage, the man wasn't there. Finally, Daddy went to the garage and the mechanic was there. Daddy noticed that the garage was very, very clean--no oil stains anywhere. He also noticed that there were no other automobiles at the garage. (Mommy had noticed before then that the garage was in a rather deserted, dark, rough-looking part of town, but Mommy didn't say anything--she didn't want to be negative.) When Daddy went into the Very Tidy Garage, he found a very old mechanic. The mechanic seemed annoyed that Daddy had brought him a van to look at. Daddy noticed that the Grumpy Old Mechanic had very clean fingernails. Daddy felt a bit nervous. G.O.M. told Daddy that he went home at 3:30 each day. He told Daddy that he'd have the nice tan van ready at 3:00. When Daddy said, "Goodbye!" the G.O.M. just said, "Hmph." Daddy said the mechanic didn't seem very happy. When Daddy returned to the garage that afternoon, the G.O.M. told him that the nice tan van wasn't ready. He told Daddy to come back the next day. So, the next day, at 3:25 p.m., Daddy went back to the Very Tidy Garage. The G.O.M. was not there!! The doors were locked, and the Nice Tan Van was locked behind a chainlink, barbed wire fence. Daddy made a mad face. The next day, Daddy went back to the Very Tidy Garage. The G.O.M. was there. Daddy paid him for fixing the Nice Tan Van and told him, "Goodbye!" The Grumpy Old Mechanic just said, "Hmph." Daddy took the Nice Tan Van back to Mommy and when she drove it, she smiled. The Nice Tan Van no longer coughed or sputtered! Hurray! It was fixed. Mommy and Daddy decided that they would use the Grumpy Old Mechanic again. The Moral of the Story: In the Land of Poor Service, the Grumpy Old Mechanic is King.
Posted by Mama Lamba at 10/14/2004 04:49:00 PM"

Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Fall, Y'all!

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
I'm out of hibernation now, so I'm enjoying the outdoors again. (deep inhale)
I've seen several doctors, and no one can seem to figure out my thyroid issues that make me overheat so easily. That makes summers pretty miserable for me. But, anyway, we made it through another one. :-)
My little one just got up, so I need to go, but before I do I want to share the following (well- known) poem with you.

"When the Frost is on the Punkin"

WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here
—Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;
And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...
I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be
As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me—
I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

---James Whitcomb Riley (1853–1916)

Gotta run,
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Last Load: "Re-use"

Howdy, F.O.T.E.'s,

Aren't you shocked! I actually finished a three-part series! (I'm plumb worn out.)

Today, I'll finish up with "Re-use." (I know, I's supposed to be "reduce, re-use, recyle" but I got things out of order. You'll have to forgive me.)

So, let's get started...

Now, I *could* start out by saying something like, "a child can *reuse* his clothes for more than a day" but I know that would offend I won't say it. Another thing I won't mention is the "sniff test." Disgusting. ;-) I'll say something like...

"Re-use...Your Outfits"

Look for ways to preserve an outfit, so that it could be worn again. I think Sunday clothes are especially good to re-use. Often, we get dressed and go to church...a couple hours later, we come home and change clothes. So, what to do with what you wore to church? Well, hopefully, everyone was bathed before church (or Sat. night)--I know that's not fail-proof, but *generally*. If that's the case, I think many times Sunday's outfit can be hung back up for another Sunday.

Years ago, The Ram's grandma gave all us girls aprons. I think aprons are a great tool in "Re-using." We can get dressed, put on an apron to preserve the outfit, then go about our Sunday morning duties. If we are eating breakfast at home, I like the girls to wear aprons to keep from getting dirty. Another option is eating before you dress, of course. For Tater, we'll pop one of Daddy's t-shirts over his clothes.

In re-using outfits, don't forget to spot clean any stains/spills. Sometimes, you can get a spot off and wear the garment again. Another tip: get some over-the-door hooks to hang "used, but could be used again" clothing.

Next up:

"Re-use...Household Linens"

Ok, now that sounds *gross!* What I mean is to allow certain items to be used for more than one task. One thing I do is to use washcloths as dishcloths. I know that sounds awful, but let me explain. Around here, I use white washcloths for both dishes and faces. (We have those puff thingies to wash our bodies. ) I generally try to keep the dish cloths and face cloths separate, but if they get mixed up, I'll run all of them in the machine with hot water and bleach (and, of course, detergent) and wash a good long time...then dry on high until thoroughly dry. I don't wash washcloths with bath towels. I know the cloths could get called into service for dishes and I don't like the idea of washing my dish cloths with bath towels.

For us, that works ok. If it offends your sensibilities, by all means--skip that tip!

Another thing we do is to wipe up floor spills with used bath towels. Those seem to absorb better than my mop, and they are so easy to clean afterward. Just toss them in the wash. (I wash my towels in hot water.)

Slightly used bath towels might also get carried to the pool with us when we go swimming. I don't think we must have a never-used towel just to wipe off after a swim. After soaking up pool water, the towels must be washed to get the chlorine out. I also run the swimsuits through a short cycle to rinse them. The chlorine just wears our suits out. Oh, yeah--don't dry bathing suits in the dryer. The heat isn't good for the lycra and other things they use in bathing suits. I have a wooden rack I pull out to drip dry the suits after their rinse.

Well, I'm sure there is more I could say about "Reduce, Recycle and Re-use" as it pertains to the laundry, but I've got folks needing their Mama-Ewe. Alipurr, I'll get back to you about your questions as soon as time allows.

Y'all keep your wool dry,

The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "More clothes is the enemy of clean clothes." --The Ewe

Monday, September 22, 2008

Shhhhh....Don't Tell the Printer

Ok, F.O.T.E.'s,
I just did something that made me laugh at myself. I was gathering scrap copy paper--things that had been printed out, but not needed, printed wrong, etc--to put back into the paper hopper (or whatever it is you call the place where you put paper to be printed on) to use the "good side" for something else. What made me laugh is when I picked up a piece (mis-printed on one side) that had a weird looking smudge on the good side. I felt the smudge--it wasn't sticky. Good. So, I picked up the stack...and put the smudged paper on top. Hmmm...that won't do. So, I stuck it in the middle of the stack, hoping (I guess) that the printer would be so busy printing, it wouldn't notice that smudge--but only if I put that paper in the middle. LOL I think I need another cup of coffee.


Monday, Wash Day, Part II: Recycle

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Hope y'all had a great week last week. The temperatures seem to be cooling off a bit here, which is very welcome by The Ewe. Mostly, it's been under 90F during the day. Still too hot for me to do much outside, but very pleasant after the sun goes down.
So, is all your laundry washed up? ROTFLOL!!! (sorry) Mine is not. I believe my laundry holds the secret to perpetual energy. Even still, let's press on with today's treatise on laundry, entitled: "RECYCLE"

The first idea: "Recycle...Carefully"
Here, I am speaking in regard to hand-me-downs for the children. When Lioness was little, I saved every piece of clothing she had, in case we had more children and another girl. (Was *I* in for a surprise! lol) Well, when Lovable was born, she was born in a different season than Lioness, weighing 3 pounds more. How much of those carefully saved baby clothes do you think she was able to wear? Practically none. Still, I gathered more and more baby clothes, bought more and more Rubbermaid boxes and rented a storage unit to keep all our stuff that we couldn't cram into our home. Three years later, Musical was born--a pound heavier than Lovable and in yet a different season. So, though Musical and Lioness could have conceivably worn the same clothes (Musical was born in late Spring, Lioness in Summer) the weight difference was substantial AND...ahem...well, I couldn't even *find* the baby clothes amongst all the other umm...Swell Junk. Eventually, when I was ready to give away our baby clothes (we simply did not have room to keep everything we had) I discovered that most of them were either mildewed from storage, moth eaten or had sprung odd stains that were impossible to get out. So, all those carefully hoarded baby clothes went *in the dumpster* (some with tags attached) !!! because I had kept them so long they were ruined and unfit for any baby! ARGHHHH!!!! What a terrible waste! (Some day I'll tell you about the $500 uniform that broke me of hoarding...grrrr...)

So, what's my point? Don't save clothing too long. Here, we save what we could probably use within the year. I will buy clearance clothing at the end of a season for use the next year, but that's it. If it came from Goodwill, at the end of the season, to Goodwill it will return. As my precious friend, L.A., once told me, "If God could give it to you once, He can give it to you again," meaning that we cannot let fear turn us into misers. We trust that the Lord will provide all the things we need. He has never let us down--even when we began giving away the children's clothing (uh, after they'd outgrown it, I mean :-)

Next up: "Recycle...The Laundry!"

This is so simple, I don't know why I never thought of it. When the dryer stops running, put the clothes away. Then, put the wet clothes into the dryer and start it. LOL
Amazing how much laundry I can do in a day, when I am sure to listen for the "beep, beep" that tells me the dryer is finished. It does require self-discipline to stop what I'm doing and just go finish that load. I'll admit, I'm not real good at doing this except on the days I've committed myself to tackling as much dirty laundry as possible. Like I said last week, that's usually Monday and Thursday.
So, to summarize today's thoughts: "Recyle Carefully" and "Recycle the Laundry"!

I realized I forgot something last week. I could call this tip, "Recycle...Health Care Items," but I won't. When I'm treating blood stains, I've found that shampoo works great. Use it full strength on the stain...scrub it in and let it sit. I've let things sit for a few days before washing them, and it was fine.

Well, The Ewe must run. I need to (can you guess?) do a load of laundry. And a load of dishes. But, we won't talk about dishes for now. :-)

Hey, y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday, Wash Day

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,

(That's "Friends of The Ewe" for any newcomers ;-).

I'm elbow deep into the washing machine today--it being Monday and all. I usually do *some* kind of laundry every day, but on Monday and Thursday, I try to beat Mt. Washmore down (the lambs call it "Mt. Foldmore," since folding is the least enjoyed part).

We have tried many L.A.P.'s--Laundry Attack Plans--each with its own strengths/weaknesses. Most plus-sized families I know make laundry a topic of much study and experimentation. When you multiply the daily clothing, bedding and towels/miscellaneous times 7 every day...welcome to the power of compounding. :-)

I've decided I'd like to blog a series (stop laughing) about defeating laundry. I'm certainly no expert on efficiency or organization, but I do want to pass on any tips that have helped us. So...

I will share my thoughts on laundry in a 3-part series entitled....(drum roll)

"Reduce, Reuse and Recycle"

Today, "Reduce":

--Firstly, "Reduce... the Wardrobe"

Don't overestimate your children's clothing needs. Especially if you homeschool, little ones can get by with very few clothes. When they're little, they don't really care if they wear the same 4-5 outfits every week. Also, sometimes an outfit can last 2 days. Buy cheap over-the-door hooks for them to hang clothes that would do another day. An exception: we do try to keep each child in 6-7 pairs of undies which are in good repair and not overly stained (what if they were involved in an accident?) :-) Also, 2-3 nice Sunday outfits. When the girls were younger, I'd buy each of them 3 Land's End jersey, pullover dresses each season (actually, I bought 3 at the end of each season, in the size the girl would be in the next year). They would wear their Land's End dresses on Sundays until the dresses started to get worn/tight. This usually took 2 years. (!) Then, those dresses became weekday dresses, and the new Land's End dresses (purchased on clearance the last year) became the new Sunday dresses. Of course, as the girls got bigger, this lovely plan stopped working, as Land's End doesn't make pullover ladies' dresses like that, and I have a couple girls in ladies' sizes now. But, anyway, do try to limit the amount of clothing your children have.

One trick I'm using now, to help keep the clothes weeded down is the Broken Hanger Trick. We use those tubular, plastic clothes hangers. They are not hard to break, especially when a little person is a bit too short to easily get their clothes off the rod in the closet. ;-) So, when a hanger breaks, I choose (or if the child is old enough they do themselves) a garment to discard--either into the Goodwill box or the trash. I choose the rattiest of the ratty or the most stained or least liked or illest fitting--something that won't really be missed. I used to buy hangers at Walmart regularly, but I like this plan better. Granted, eventually I will have buy more hangers--we have to have *some* clothes!!--but I'm not buying nearly the amount I used to.

Next: "Reduce... the Paraphernalia" -- laundry gadgets, stain removers, etc...

I think I've tried nearly every laundry detergent and stain remover on the planet. I bought a bleach pen and never used it...I was afraid the residual bleach would spot the rest of the clothes...So, my laundry arsenal is down to cheap detergent (I didn't find much difference in effectiveness of the different brands), Clorox (the name brand...somehow, it seems to matter ??), cheap fabric softener sheets and dishwashing liquid. Yes, dishwashing liquid. I've stopped buying any stain remover, as I never found one that worked as well as Dawn or Palmolive dish soap. Most of our stains around here are food anyway, so it makes sense that Dawn would work. I tried the new Tide with Dawn...didn't seem to help much. Oh, btw, when you use Dawn as a stain remover, don't wet the stain, and don't dilute the Dawn. Just squirt it on full strength and scrub it in with a brush or between your hands. Let it sit at least an hour or so...up to a week. I can get most stains out this way.

And, if the stain is bad enough, and I've tried the stain treatment and washing 2-3 times...I toss the garment. Not worth more effort than that, unless it's a special piece of clothing.

Now, lest I sound heartless, I do let the lambs save back outgrown/stained clothing that has special meaning to them. Those items go into our sewing fabric chest of drawers (6 drawers--red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) to be used (only by the owner of the Special Item) in a quilt or other crafty venture. The unbending rule is that the owner is the only person who can use that special cloth for a project. We have some precious items that were made for the girls by their Grandmom--we don't toss those things!

Here's another tip: "Reduce... the Sorting" --i.e. dirty laundry

I sort into "hot," "cold," and "hot with bleach." I don't do a lot of bleach loads--primarily just dish cloths and towels, and I don't even bleach those every time. Everything else gets either hot water or cold water. I don't do "darks and lights," "jeans only" or anything like that. (I do understand the rationale behind doing jeans separately--they *do* bleed forever). This is the only sorting system in which I get to keep my sanity and have the satisfaction of knowing a Lamb could take over, if need be. I don't have time for each piece of clothing to get special treatment--outside of stain removing. For clothing, coming to our house is like joining the Marines--the Few, the Proud...the Durable. :-) I try not to buy anything that needs hand washing...and very few things that can't be tumbled dry.

Reducing the sorting also is a part of our next laundry attack tactic...

Next: "Reduce... the Confusion"

--It is my goal to work myself out of a job and to raise up children who are *not* as clueless as I was when I left home. Learning to run a household was (is?) very strenuous for me. There was just so much I didn't know how to do...or even that you were *supposed* to *do it*! ("You dust THOSE?!?" "Yes, Dear. It's called a 'baseboard.'") So, I've got to stick with simple house care attack plans. One thing I do to be sure that someone else could step in and help w/ the laundry is dotting the undies. (not related to "crossing the T's") This would work for socks and anything else as well, but for us, we just dot undies. The firstborn gets 1 dot...the second born gets 2 dots...the 3rd child gets 3 get the drift. I put a Sharpie dot on the waist elastic of each pair of child's undies, in the back, on the outside. That way, if The Ram wants to bless me, he can easily tell whose drawers are whose. Or into whose drawers to put the drawers...I'll admit, it helps me, too. Another way we reduce confusion is to stick with mainly white socks for the children. We usually buy the same style, so everyone can share (within reason). White is good, too, because I can bleach them if (when) they get really dingy.

Finally, "Reduce...the Whining"

For years, I was amazed at how much faster my wonderful mother-in-law could do my laundry than I. Eventually, I realized that I wasted a lot of time just dreading the task. I would avoid putting the clean clothes away, because I feared it would "take all day." Once I just dove in and stopped dreading/complaining, I started making laundry headway.

While doing laundry, I try to remind myself how blessed we are to have clothing for all the children, with even extra to spare. I try to often pray for the family member whose shirt I'm hanging up or whose dress I'm de-staining. This is not to say that washing clothes is never a daunting task for me or that I just can't wait each day to get into my laundry room, but it *is* becoming an easier job as I continue to "Reduce."

Must run...The Ram needs clean clothes for work. ;-)

Y'all keep your wool dry,

The Ewe

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hillbilly Hoedown a.k.a. Big Bean Binge

Howdy F.O.T.E.'s,
Well, things are just zinging along here. I'm so pleased with the diligence my Lambies are showing with their studies this year. Their co-operation helps make homeschooling a joy.
Let me tell you about our dinner last night...
We used to call it our "soul food dinner," but somehow it's evolved into a "Hillbilly Hoedown." I am very happy that my whole family loves pinto beans. We make them (uh, the beans not the family) the main dish, with sides of greens, bacon and hash browns. YUM YUM!
The night before, I sorted 8 cups of dry pinto beans, rinsed them, them let them soak all night in enough water to cover over them a couple inches. Now, 8 cups makes a *LOT* of beans! Once they had soaked all night, I put them in a large (large!) stockpot with water to cover. I added about 1/2 cup of dried onion flakes--one of my favorite pantry staples--about a tablespoon of oil and 2 teaspoons of salt. (I know adding salt at the beginning is controversial, but my mama always did it and I've done it nearly 20 years. And my beans are good. :-) I bring them to a quick boil, then lower the heat to let them simmer about 2 hours, at least. Last night, they simmered all afternoon. I stirred occasionally and added water if it got too low. Oh, yeah...and I keep the lid cocked a little to let out the steam. Not sure why. That's just how it's done.
While those beans were simmering all afternoon, I baked some thick sliced bacon in the oven. I really like doing it that way--no standing watch over a spattering pan of grease--very little clean up...flat slices and predictable performance. :-) I do this by covering rimmed cookie sheets (enough sheets to house all the bacon) with 2 sheets of foil. Preheat the oven to 400F. Bake the bacon for about 20 minutes. No turning...just let 'er rip. After the bacon gets as crispy as you like it, remove it to a plate lined w/ paper towels for draining.
The greens last night were spinach. I do those in the crockpot. I dumped a couple pounds of frozen spinach into the crockpot and added 1/2 cup of hot water and a teaspoon of chicken base (like for soup...kin to bouillon). I put a generous sprinkling of dried onion flakes and a teaspoon of minced garlic. Stirred it up well and set the crock to high for a couple hours. Once they were cooked, I drained them and kept them on "warm." Yummy.
The hash browns are the frozen patties, fried crisp in coconut oil in a large skillet. Lioness makes these--she seasons them with seasoned salt toward the end.
Finally, I made up a few gallons of tea (we had company coming) and a double batch of cornbread. Yee haw!
Too bad we didn't have any possum and hog jowl. Oh well. Maybe next time.
Gotta run...there's a bunch of Lambies who need tucking. (in)
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Just Chattin'

Hello F.O.T.E.'s,
The Ram has taken the children to try out a playground we discovered yesterday. It's quiet around here (!) so I thought I'd touch base w/ you guys.
We have not yet found a church here. This is a real discouragement. We will visit another one tomorrow. The children are anxious to meet some other children. (Can't imagine!)
There are dozens of homeschooling groups here, but I'm finding it hard to "crack the code." As in, many of the groups seem pretty exclusive. I think the AL law plays into that--as many people feel the need to prove that homeschooling really educates children. So, most of the "cover schools" here have requirements far above what the state deems mandatory. For example, several I saw require member families to meet "X" number of times each month for group activities. Many covers require more reports--attendance, progress, etc--than the state does. Thus, it was not easy to find a cover school that aligned with our educational philosophy. :-) ie, the parents are the ones responsible. In Missouri, the state assumed homeschoolers *were* educating their children, until something proved otherwise. (Kinda like, "innocent until proven guilty") Down here, I feel like they think we're guilty until we prove we're innocent. lol
Anyway, the fact is, we did find a cover school that doesn't make us feel like criminals and the children *are* learning. I'm so happy with their progress so far this year.
Hey, speaking of which, we found an interesting computer game that is helping our kids learn/polish their multiplication facts. It's called "Timez Attack" (sic). Maybe you can Google it. It does use dragons in a castle, so that might be offensive to some. (just be warned) The little fellow who is defeating the dragons doesn't kill the dragons, they just go away. I was happy about that. I'm just not keen on games where something kills something else. Guess I'm a wuss. lol
Well, must run...the Flock will be back soon and I know they'll be hungry...
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Settling In and Menus

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Well, we're settling in, little by little down here in AL. I'll admit, being the daughter of two Tennesseeans and the wife of one, I feel a small pang of disloyalty each time I look at that Alabama license plate on the van. LOL At least it doesn't say "Crimson Tide" or anything.
The Ram has taken the Lambies to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center again today. We had a short visit last Sunday, just to whet the kids' appetites. If "y'all" get the urge, come on down and let's go see the rockets!
Now that things are beginning to fall into a routine down here, I've started back up my meal planning. I'll share what we've had and what we're having:
Aug. 4 pot roast, salad
Aug. 5 chili, raw veggies
Aug. 6 Creamy Italian Chicken* (I'll include that recipe at the bottom) with CA blend veggies
Aug. 7 ?? I forget...
Aug. 8 Buck's Pizza delivered--yummy local pizza, just too expensive a meal to repeat often, crust was thin, so each of us could have eaten 1/2 a pizza--not very filling! lol
Aug. 9 Pork roast with brown rice
Aug. 10 Taco salad, raw veggies with dipping
Aug. 11 Meatloaf with mixed veggies (just like the school cafeteria!)
Aug. 12 Lemon Chicken* (recipe follows) CA blend
Aug. 13 Spaghetti, salad, garlic toast
Aug. 14. Roast turkey breast--Lovable and I did it ourselves! First time I've massaged a turkey
Aug. 15 frozen pizza

Aug. 16 Lasagna, salad, garlic bread
Aug. 17 pinto beans, hash browns, spinach
Aug. 18 Hobo Joes (think, salisbury steak with roasted potatoes and carrots)
Aug. 19 Grandmama Money's Chicken and dumplings with corn on the cob and carrots
Aug. 20 Squashetti with broccoli
Aug. 21 Vegetable beef soup
Aug. 22 homemade, whole wheat, deep dish pizza

We generally have a salad and fruit, will. The peaches and melons are still delish.

Ok, for the recipes:

Creamy Italian Chicken
6 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 envelopes Italian salad dressing mix
2/3 C water
two 8 oz blocks cream cheese
two cans cream of chicken soup (or 1 family size can)
rice or noodles

In a bowl, combine dressing mix, water and chicken soup. Put chicken in crockpot. Cover chicken with soup mix. Cook on low 4-6 hours (if frozen), until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and cut up. Add cream cheese to crock. Stir. Add chicken back in. Let heat until cheese is melted. Serve over noodles or rice.

Lemon Garlic Chicken

1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

In a bowl, mix the oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture into chicken. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in butter for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Place chicken in a slow cooker. In the same skillet, mix the water, lemon juice, garlic, and bouillon. Bring the mixture to boil. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker. Cover, and cook on High for 3 hours, or Low for 6 hours. Add the parsley to the slow cooker 15 to 30 minutes before the end of the cook time.

Let me know what you think of these, if you try them. They were both first-timers for me this week, but we liked them.
Must run...I have cleaning to do before the Flock gets back from Space, the Final Frontier.
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Friday, August 08, 2008

My Favorite Thing about AL (So Far)

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Well, it *isn't* the above-100F temperatures, that's for sure!! (Of course, KC has had high temps, too, of late.) It's also not the fire ants, which, thank goodness none of the children have stepped in yet. ICK It's not the red dirt that will not come out of clothing...No... it's the...
Yum! We stopped at one of the many roadside stands yesterday and got cheap, delicious peaches and cantaloupe. Wow. Our family ate 3 cantaloupes as dessert last night, lol. At .66 each, that was a good deal. We'll be visiting the fruit stand again. Probably today. Since we're out of fruit. :-)
I noticed, too, they had sweet potatoes and squash (as well as scores of other things, all grown locally.) I'm going to post below my favorite squash recipe. When you're wanting to feel like a gourmet chef, this is a good recipe to try.

Penne with Garlicky Butternut Squash

1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups diced (1/2-inch) butternut squash (from a 1 1/2 pound squash)
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
6 sage leaves, minced or 1/4 teaspoon powdered sage
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound uncooked penne
Grated Parmesan

Bring a large quantity of water to a boil in a stockpot. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toss in the squash and saute 5 minutes, or until it begins to get golden. Sprinkle in the garlic and saute 2 minutes. Pour in the 1/4 cup water, nutmeg, sage, parsley, salt and pepper, and cover the pan. Cook the squash until tender, about 5 minutes more. Cook the penne until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly in a colander and return to the pot. Spoon on the squash mixture and toss gently. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan and pass more at the table.

My notes: For our family, I have to at least double this. Usually, I double the squash and use just a little more than a pound of pasta. And speaking of pasta, we've found we like plain, whole wheat spaghetti noodles, rather than penne, with this dish. And really, it's the squash, not the pasta that is the star of this show. I think we could eat just a bowl of the squash and be happy. :-) Also, we use a lot more garlic than it calls for. We do like garlic.

If you try out the recipe, let me know what you think. We'll be having it sometime in the next week.
Must run. Y'all keep you wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Other people can't do my tricks. They're too big." --Tater Tot

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Bit of Refreshing

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
...and did I mention that it's HOT in AL?!? Ugh. The Ram noted that it was 103F when he got finished at work yesterday. The Ewe is in hibernation. :-)
With all the hubbub of the move during the last couple weeks, I have not had a lot of time for reading--whether online or in print. One of my folders in "Favorites" is titled "Uplifting Ladies' Reading." It's a collection of blogs that I occasionally read when I get a chance to or I need some inspiration (in addition to my daily Bible reading).
Today, I was in need of inspiration. What I *really* wanted to do was lie in bed and let the children run around like indians (no offense intended to all you Native Americans out there). I was on empty in the emotional energy/motivation department. The physical department tank was getting low, too--but I know I can overcome that physical tiredness with enough mental energy.
So, for the first time in over a month, I clicked open my "Uplifting Ladies' Reading" folder. I clicked the following one. It was the one I needed. I love the artwork on this lady's blog. I believe even if I didn't read a word she wrote, and just looked at the pictures, I would be encouraged. (Though the words are important to my "uplifting," too!)
I'll share the link with you, so you can enjoy the artwork. And, if the words encourage you...all the better. :-)

Blessings to you all. And...
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Monday, August 04, 2008

Just for the Record


Indeed, those were my old "stomping grounds," but I promise wasn't ME! :-)


The Ewe

Howdy, Y'all!

Hi there, F.O.T.E.'s
Well the RamFam is here in sunny (read, sweltering) AL. We got here last Monday, so today marks the 1 week anniversary of our move. It has not been particularly smooth, but I suppose most moves are that way.
We pick away at the boxes day by day. It seems like they will never end. We are enjoying our house, though. The neighbors are friendly. The subdivision is relatively isolated, so the kids can ride bikes safely. I appreciate that. Ram's drive into work is a *piece of cake* compared to the commute in Kansas City.
Still, we miss our friends and our church in KC. We visited a church yesterday, but it really didn't seem to "fit." We'll try somewhere else next Sunday. Y'all can pray for us about that. A great church family is a *tremendous* blessing.
Must run...the natives are getting restless...time to start unloading another box.
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Could I have some ashes?" --Tater, asking for *cashews* lol

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Head Spinning Update

Hello, Friends of The Ewe,
No, I haven't acquired a new skill (head spinning), but rather this will be a rapid fire revelation of some rather heavy happenings at The Flock. I will do this in a Star Trek/Captain Kirk style: "Captain's Log, Star Date XYZ, Somewhere in the Galaxy..."

June 1, 2008: The Ewe turned 40. I like to think of this as an Average Age--some days I feel like I'm 30 years old...some days I feel like I'm 50 years old (or older).

June 5, 2008: The Ewe was delighted to discover two pink lines on the little white stick. Yes, the Lord had blessed us again!

June 7, 2008: The Flock left Kansas City for Anapras, Mexico. We were down there helping build homes for families who lived in shacks made of carboard and pallets, built on the city dump. Check out A fantastic ministry.

June 8, 2008: The Flock arrived in Anapras. Culture shock set in. God worked.

June 9, 2008: The Ewe began cramping. Fear for Baby Hall set in. The decision was made to leave Mexico to go Home, in an attempt to save Baby Hall.

June 10, 2008: The Flock crossed the border back into the United States. The miscarriage began in earnest.

June 11, 2008: Hall Baby was gone. Grief set in.

June 12, 2008: The Flock arrived back in Kansas City. Grief continued. Hall Baby sorely missed.

June 25, 2008: The Ewe, Lovable, Musical, Tater Tot and Lil Miss H left K.C. to do a recon trip of Huntsville, AL. Trip successful. Rental home located and leased. Ram and Lioness flew to TX to attend a Rebelution conference. (I understand it was great!)

June 29, 2008: The Ewe and crew arrived back home in K.C. as did Ram and Lioness

July 1, 2008: Today. I am completely overwhelmed at the thought of leaving Kansas City. We have a Herculean task ahead of us, in getting ready for the movers to come. I feel like life is rushing by at Mach 4 and I'm just not ready for any of it. Would it be wrong of me to just hibernate for a while? :-) (just kidding)
I am actually feeling much better regarding the miscarriage. The first week was truly awful. Wow. Such a dark time. We still miss and grieve for the baby we never got to hold, but the peace has returned. I know The Father loves us. I know He's in control. I know it's all going to work out. Still hurts...
As for leaving K.C...well, I was miserable when we first came here. Since those first months, though, my heart has knitted together with the amazing people at our church, Hope Family Fellowship. I cannot think of leaving this church without tearing up. ARGH!!! Still, we feel this move is right. We will be much closer to our elderly family members. We want our children to know them before they go to be with the Lord. I know God has a plan for our Christian fellowship needs in AL. We can trust Him to put us right where He wants us. It's all going to be ok.
I would promise to blog more often. I can't do that...but I will promise to TRY! Sometimes I feel like a one-armed juggler. LOL

Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Skull Pictures

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Not a lot going on here. We were bypassed by the severe storms/tornadoes that plagued much of Kansas City a couple nights ago. We did spend the night in the basement and the tornado sirens were blaring, but we were safe. Do pray for those folks all through the midwest who lost their homes this week.
Have you noticed our society's new obsession with skulls? I'm assuming it came from that pirate movie that came out (was it?) last year. Ummm....Pirates of the Caribbean. Anyway, I've noticed that skulls are what "all the cool kids" are wearing lately. Personally, I think it's distasteful. I don't believe we are to glorify death, but to "choose life." Also, I believe we should "respect the dead." After all, that skull used to sit on someone's shoulders, covered in skin and hair. And that someone had a name. And that someone was "created in the image of God."
So, yeah, I pretty much detest the whole "skulls-as-decoration" idea. :-)
That, imagine my horror the other day when Tater came tearing into the house, "Mama, where's my skull picture?" My heart sank. "You've got to be kidding me!" I lamented. All the Happy Meal toys I've thrown away--not wanting to expose the kids to that "culture of death." All the eyes I've covered from media displays of the "culture of death." All the times I've urged the children, "Choose life!" Then, my own son drawing a "skull picture." Sigh...
"Son, what do you mean? Describe your 'skull picture...'"
He started slowly, "'s a snake and I made it with that stuff Lovable has outside..." He pointed to his sister on the back porch, who was molding figures out of clay.
Light bulb moment...extreme relief! "Do you mean *sculpture,* Tater?"
"Yeah, Mama, a *skull picture*! Out of clay!"
I corrected his pronunciation and enjoyed a laugh. I hadn't known that "sculpture" was the abbreviation for "skull picture." Guess you learn something new every day, huh? :-)
Must run. Big Green Van needs a clean-out.
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Alive and Kicking

Hello, Friends of The Ewe,
I can hardly believe how long it's been since I blogged. A lot has happened since then!
Let's see...first 2 weeks of March I suffered (and I do mean Suffered!) food poisoning. It took a long while to get over that. ick
Then, I had a case of mastitis--a nursing mama's dread. That took about a week...
We travelled Down South for my dear brother's wedding. That was not quite a week.
We travelled to the Lone Star state for Easter. That was a long weekend (and very, very fun!).
And I started a "Writing Your Life Story" class. This has been super. Check out our teacher's website:

So, though I haven't been writing on The Ewe's Gnus, I *have* been doing a lot of writing. Carol, our teacher, has developed a system that anyone could use to put to paper their "life story." This was just the direction I needed to start my big project. I'm having a blast.
So, if you don't hear from me for a while, I'm working on "My Book" (LOL--not really, just a manuscript for posterity. ;-)
Must run... the children claim to be hungry. ?? How did that happen? lol
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

P.S. I'm so excited! Our whole family is going to see Voddie Baucham speak tonight. Yay!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

So THAT'S Where the Applesauce Came From!

Hello F.O.T.E.'s,
I'm battling Mt. Washmore today, so I can't hang around to chat ;-) but I thought I'd share a funny from last night.
I was sitting here at the computer and Lil Miss H was behind me, grooming my hair. I didn't know, however, if she was using a brush or comb. So, I asked The Ram, "Is she using a brush or what?" He stated dryly, "Um. Spoon."
Explains a lot...

Y'all keep your,
The Ewe

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Three Days and $75

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Well, I thought Spring had sprung. Last weekend, the temps were between 60-70 degrees. Ahhh...lovely. This morning, the wind chill was 11 degrees. C'est la vie, no?
Years ago, my Mommy Friends introduced me to the "Three Days and $75" potty training technique. The idea was to "cold turkey" the kid (off diapers) and spend 3 days at home, mopping up wee wee. The $75 came in after s/he was trained and you had to pay to get the carpet cleaned. :-)
Well, Tater turned 4yo last Thurs. Since he turned 3yo, he's said that when he turned 4, he'd "be old enough to use the potty." lol I was dubious. But then last Thursday, his 4th birthday, he said, he was done w/ diapers. I was still dubious. But, I slipped his Spiderman underwear on him (he's never seen Spiderman--movie, comic, anything--but I guess he likes the looks of him?). I think that first day, he had 2 accidents. He was totally oblivious to any fluid leaving his body. He was standing there, and, next thing he knew, he was standing in a puddle that came out of nowhere. How'd that happen? He'd cry, and say, "I'm *trying* not to have an accident!"
I figured he'd figure it out.
Friday, he had 1 accident. Then, whoa Nellie, on Saturday, he had (count 'em) SIX accidents. I became very worried about his wiring. He ran out of undies and pants. I washed them...then Sunday, he wore diapers part of the day, until I could get his clothes washed.
Monday, I washed his clothes and bought more undies. And (and this was what gave us the breakthrough) little boy t-shirts 2 sizes too big. He wore only the t-shirts all day and had no accidents. Yay! Today, he's still in a t-shirt, but he's wearing underwear, too. So far, no accidents.
My girls did not have over 3 or 4 accidents each, total. This business of 6 accidents in a day?!? Wow--I was about to pull my hair out. I had to remind/make him go try, even when he didn't know he had to go. I never had to do that before. Once the girls were ready to use the potty, they just went to the potty on their own. T.T. needed a little coaching, I guess.
Anyway, he has gone today without being reminded. I am very hopeful.
So, ours was more of the "Five Days (and $75 in new underwear) Potty Training Technique. LOL We'll keep you updated...if you're really interested. :-)
Hey, ya'll keep your wool, uh...DRY,
The Ewe

Friday, February 29, 2008

Menus for Feb. 29- March 6 plus Roll Recipe

Hello there, F.O.T.E.'s,

We're trying to clean up from our day of revelry yesterday. T.T. got a remote control car/boat thing--a "Morphibian." It's been quite a hit. Lioness made him a Superman birthday cake and some cupcakes. T.T. and Musical decorated those. Lots of fun! Anyway, here's another installment...if you're interested...LOL Hey, L.A....I'm going to include my whole wheat roll recipe at the end.

Friday, Feb. 29 ham slices, potatoes au gratin, broccoli, iced tea (yes, this was supposed to be
last night, but T.T. had pizza in mind for his birthday :-)
Sat. March 1 salad, lasagna, garlic bread, iced tea
Sun. March 2 veggie soup, cheese toast, iced tea (the soup will slowcook while we're at church)
Mon. March 3 BBQ beef roast, green beans, corn on cob, mixed veggies, iced tea
Tues. March 4 white beans and ham, collard greens, glazed baby carrots, cornbread iced tea
Wed. March 5 pork tenderloin, baked potatoes, California blend veggies, wheat rolls, iced tea
Thurs. March 6 white chicken chili, cheese toast, salad, iced tea

The Ewe's 100% Whole Wheat Yeast Rolls

Dissolve 1T yeast into 1 C warm water. Let sit at least 5 minutes.
When yeast bubbles, add 2T honey, 3/4 t salt and 1/2 stick melted butter. Stir well.
Add to the yeast mixture 1 1/2 C whole wheat flour. Beat w/ electric mixer 2 minutes.
Add up to 1 1/2 C additional flour--you want to add as little as possible: add it 1/2 C at a time. If the dough is too sticky, yet holds together in a ball, grease your hands and the dough rather than add flour. Doing it this way will help keep your bread from being too crumbly.
Knead gently a few minutes--it doesn't take much.
Let sit an hour. Punch down. Knead a few minutes. Shape into rolls (this amount of dough will make 16 rolls for me) and place on cookie sheet. When the rolls are on the sheet, turn on oven to 400 degrees. (I find that the preheat time is just about the right rising time for the rolls.) Once oven is preheated, bake the rolls about 12 minutes. Enjoy!
These taste great w/ a slathering of honey butter or Lioness' cinnamon butter. Yum. I like this recipe because it's tasty, easy and quick--after you learn the recipe, you can have dinner rolls/wheat bread/buns in an hour and 45 minutes, start to first bite. (Fifteen minutes to mix up; an hour to rise; 15 minutes (or so) to preheat the oven; 15 minutes to bake) We eat dinner at 6:00 and I start cooking at 4:00, so the bread recipe fits right into that time frame. There is only about 20 minutes of actual "hands on" time to making this.

Gotta run...Y'all keep your wool dry...
The Ewe

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Very Neat Sight

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
I've only got a sec, as today is T.T.'s 4th birthday and we've got celebrating to do! :-) But...
I just saw one of the neatest things, right from my bed. When I woke up this morning, I was lying there, looking up through one of the skylights in my bedroom.
Coming across the sky was a V of geese, flying North (yay, Spring!). There were at least 100 birds in the V. I thought, "Wow. That's cool." Then, came another V, bigger...then another and another and least 10 V's, all with at least 100 geese. No, I didn't count all the geese, but I did count off 10, then gauged. My conservative estimate was at least 1,000 geese. The V's just kept coming.
Once they got off in the distance a bit, it looked like veins in a body, there was such an intricate pattern of lines and branches. Very neat. And, did I mention, they were going *North*? :-)
And to think that I saw it right from my bed.
Gotta run...
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Friday, February 22, 2008

Menus for Feb. 23-28, 2008

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Well, here it is...the next installment of Menus with Mom. :-)

Sat. Feb. 23 black bean soup, salad, homemade rolls, iced tea
Sun. Feb. 24 Eating out after church!!! Woo hoo!
Mon. Feb. 25 cheese enchiladas, raw veggies (carrots, broccoli, celery), iced tea
Tues. Feb. 26 broiled hamburgers, baked beans, salad, iced tea
Wed. Feb. 27 teriyaki chicken, stir fried veggies, brown rice, iced tea
Thurs. Feb. 28 Happy Birthday, Tater Tot!!! ham, au gratin potatoes, broccoli, homemade
rolls, iced tea, Superman cake and ice cream

Lioness is making T.T.'s cake...oops, I mean cupcakes...T.T. is going to decorate cupcakes himself. :-) Four years old! For T.T. IV
Gotta run...T.T. isn't wanting to settle in for the night...
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Menu Plan for Feb. 16-Feb. 20

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Here's the next installment of menus...

Saturday, 2-16-08

white beans w/ ham hock, collard greens, cornbread, iced tea

Sunday, 2-17-08

chili, Fritos, cheese, salad, iced tea

Monday, 2-18-08

chicken and rice, broccoli, salad, homemade bread, iced tea

Tuesday, 2-19-08

hamburger casserole, mixed veggies, homemade bread, iced tea

Wednesday, 2-20-08

homemade chicken and dumplings, glazed carrots, green beans, iced tea (The Cracker
Barrel Special ;-)


Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Sports Car is a Mini-Van

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
I ran across the list below awhile ago, and got quite a few chuckles out of it. In our case, number 14 doesn't apply to us--The Ram wants more children as much as I do. And number 53 just made me roll. Ain't it the truth?
One of these reminded me of something that happened to me last year. (I'll tell you about my experience, then include the list of funnies.)
I had gone to Walmart alone--a treat, right? To get to go somewhere by myself? I thought so, too...until my first shopping cart was filled up. And I hadn't even made it to the refrigerated/frozen section or produce. Hmmm....what to do? I considered getting another cart, but eek...I drive one cart badly enough. I wondered if maybe I could squeeze more onto the first cart...but things were already avalanching off the top and out the bottom rack. So, I checked out...thinking I would go back in for the cold stuff. Well, after unloading the cart into the back of the van, I was so tired I decided to go home. So, I did. When I got home, the hoardes descended on the van to unload it and I went in, fixed myself a drink and kicked back in the recliner to examine my receipt. I noticed a blurb at the top that told me if I went online and took their survey, I would be entered into a sweepstakes to win a ton of money or some other fabulous prize. I decided I'd bite. So, I went online. One of the questions was "Did you end up buying all you had intended to?" I answered, "No." It wanted to know why, and gave several options..."Didn't have the item/s in stock?" "Price was too high?" etc. I had to click "none of the above." Not one of the options was, "Shopping cart was too small." :-) LOL
Gonna run now,
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

How to Tell if You are a MoM (Mother of Many)
You know you are a MoM (Mother of Many) when:
1. You know where the bathroom is in any major store you visit.
2. Your car has more seatbelts than windows.
3. Your grocery budget is higher than your house payment.
4. You do most of your thinking and praying in the bathroom.
5. Creative decorating means lots of bookshelves and bunkbeds.
6. You no longer carry a purse, but use the diaper bag instead.
7. Your idea of good commercial building design means a comfy mother's lounge.
8. You constantly find yourself marveling how short the time is between birth and toddling, birth and schoolage, birth and graduation, etc.
9. Even your two year old knows that they must hold someone's hand in the grocery store.
10. You have a routine for stopping pacifiers, toilet training, cup training, and every childhood “phase”.
11. You have at least three witty replies to "Are they all yours?"
12. You just really wish people would not think they were clever for saying, "Don't you know what causes that?"
13. You have forgotten how many times you have been asked, "Are you Mormon or Catholic?"
14. You are still afraid to tell your husband how many more kids you want!

15. Your food storage takes up more room than your entire kitchen... And that is just for this week!
16. You have so much laundry that when you finally get to the bottom of the pile, it's actually stuck to the floor!
17. You spend a lot of time at church in the foyer or mother’s lounge, wondering why you can’t just stay home and listen to the baby fuss there!
18. You spend more money on diapers each month than you do on entertainment!
19. You instantly sympathize with any woman who is obviously pregnant in the middle of summer.
20. You are up to double digits in years that you have spent with a baby attached to you in one way or another!
21. Taking the kids grocery shopping with you makes you feel like a mother duck.
22. You hate carpools because you know who is going to get stuck doing the driving.
23. When you see photos of castles and grand mansions, all you can think is how many bedrooms it has (YES!), and how much space all those other rooms provide for the kids to mess up (NO WAY!).
24. You know that every time you move the couch or couch cushions, you will find Cheerios under them.... Even if you have not had Cheerios in the house!
25. You know the “law of crumbs”. “Any food item that will crumble will produce twice its own weight in crumbs.”
26. You know by experience that paint NEVER dries until it has been spread around in all the places you did NOT want it to be.
27. You know what to use to remove lipstick, shortening, and indelible marker from any surface.
28. You know how to get smashed raisins out of a carpet, and how to get bubblegum out of hair, and so do all your older kids.
29. You are certain one of your kids is sneaking rolls of toilet paper out of the house and selling them because you know there is no way they could be using that much of it, even if there ARE a lot of bottoms in your house.
30. When you go to order fast food, you order 6 hamburgers, one with ketchup only, one plain, one with no pickles or onions, two with no pickles, onions or mustard, and one with nothing but cheese, plus one fish sandwich, one chicken sandwich, one large hamburger, and one large hamburger with bacon. You then have to repeat yourself three times so the person at the window can get it right.
31. When your kids are learning a foreign language, you wonder how it is that they can find the words to insult each other faster than they can find the words to say “I'm sorry.”
32. If two kids bring home identical toys from their kid's meal, you know you have to put names on them first thing, or they will fight over whose is whose, even if both of them have one in their hand.
33. You spend a lot of time looking at the little kids, urging them on to the next step, while still wishing they could stay little just a bit longer.
34. You have a full baby book for your first two children, half of one for the next one, and nearly empty baby books or none at all for the later ones.
35. When the many-times-handed down clothing is finally too worn out to hand down again, you still have a hard time letting it go because it has so many good memories attached.
36. You don't have a wardrobe of “fat clothes” and “skinny clothes”. You have "regular clothes”, “pregnant clothes”, and “nursing clothes”.
37. When a child outgrows something, you put it away in a box in the closet or garage, even if you don't have a younger child of that gender, because you just know you are going to need it eventually!
38. Your idea of a great dining set is one that has lots of expansion leaves. When you see a corporate boardroom on TV, all you can think is what a great dining table the conference table would make.
39. You can list at least three different technological advances in diaper design which you, personally, have used on your kids.
40. You have at least one specialized medical skill because at least one of your kids has some kind of potentially risky condition which you deal with.
41. You sometimes wonder how it is that other moms get really nice gifts for holidays, and you end up with 6 pieces of cardboard with “I love you Mom your the best.” written on it in crooked writing. And you have a box in your closet that you put them in.
42. You cook dinner in pots large enough to bathe a baby in, and frequently lament over the insufficient size of convenience appliances like mixers, waffle irons, and crock pots – and you compromise by owning two of each.
43. Your car is large enough to hold the entire family, but if you go camping, you have to rent a trailer just to hold all the camping equipment.
44. You can't believe with the size of the larger RVs out there that they couldn't fit more beds into at least ONE of them, and you really wish they'd design one with two bathrooms!
45. If you see a home design with a Master Retreat room, you think what a great nursery it would make.
46. You can quote entire pages from Dr. Seuss without having to pause to think about it, and can sing any number of Raffi or Disney songs from memory.
47. You can think of more than three great Christmas gifts for a child of any age... Because you always have a child close to the age in question!
48. You have at least one story stored up for each of your kids which is guaranteed to embarrass them if you recount it in public.
49. You know, and are thankful, that when they get too old to send to their rooms, that possession of the car keys gives you the ultimate power!
50. When the first two kids move out, you can't believe how much smaller your family feels.
51. You think that a mini-van is just too small to be a practical family car - but you wish they'd make a shopping cart about that size!
52. Getting the whole family to fit into the Wal-Mart photo booth, and then getting a picture when nobody is crying, making bunny ears, blinking, or sticking their finger in their nose is a major triumph!
53. Your stretchmarks might better be described as "pleats".
54. Your kids don't need as many toys, because they always have someone to play with.
55. Other people dream of buying a Porche or other sports car, but all you can think is that it wouldn't be good for anything because it is not cheap enough for your husband to commute in, and it doesn't have enough seats for the family, and there's no WAY you are going to let your teenager drive that!
Written by Laura Wheeler
Co-Owner of Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc, and Firelight Web Studio – Laura writes instructional materials, produces infosites, and builds affordable websites for her business startup clients. Her varied experience allows her to give exceptional service, and to produce instructions on a surprising range of topics. Laura is a busy mom of eight, homeschooler, and home business owner.
This article may be reprinted if it is unaltered, and if the signature line is included with the article..

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

St. Valentine's Day

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Well, I'm tired of talking about vomit. Let's talk about something I *like*. Valentine's Day!
Now, why in the world would I like a holiday that has been corrupted by Hallmark and American Greetings? A holiday that leaves so many feeling left out and hurt that their "special Valentine" didn't remember them on that wonderful day? Well, outside the great emphasis on showing love (laudable, for sure!) the answer lies in one word:
I have loved St. Valentine's Day since I was a little girl. It was the one day a year that I got *my own* full box of chocolate. I had an elaborate system of attack: find out which ones were the maple and which ones were the coconut--those went first. Next, identify the truffles (chocolate on chocolate) and consume. Chocolates with nuts went next and on down the line until all that were left were the chocolate covered jelly things. Not my fave. Those usually lasted about a week. I saved them for those desperate times when no other chocolate was available.
Ok. So, the chocolate was great...but, in all honesty, what I loved more was that Daddy *always remembered* to buy me and Mama a heart shaped box of candy. (Mama's was always bigger--as well it should have been.) When February rolled around, I knew what was coming.
When The Ram and I first got married, I was sure to let him know of this expectation. The first year or so, it was a little confusing--that whole "leave and cleave" thing. The Bible never said anything about who bought the candy! It did become clear after a couple years that, indeed, the Candy Buying Responsibility now fell to The Ram. I have come to believe that, while Scripture doesn't specifically mention who buys the candy, it is right for the husband to do it. (I'm sure, however, there would be nothing wrong w/ the Daddy to give chocolate, too, for, as you know, we'll always be "Daddy's Little Girl." :-)
I have to say, though the first couple years of marriage my feelings *did* get hurt, nowadays, The Ram knocks it out of the park on Valentine's Day. (I wonder if it has something to do with being the Daddy to 4 little girls?) Last year, he regaled all his "girls" with boxes of chocolate (now, *I'm* the Mama, so *I* get the big box ;-) and brought me a comically enormous vase of roses and a heart balloon big enough to go in Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. It sang, "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch". LOL It was fun.
I realize I sound very selfish in this post--I don't mean to. I enjoy blessing my family on St. Valentine's Day. I like all the busy-ness in our home, as the children cut hearts out of construction paper and make cards. I love planning a special dinner--always something red!
what do I love the absolute most about Valentine's Day? I love that the day reminds us of our Lord Jesus:
"Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13.

Y'all keep your wool warm and fuzzy,
The Ewe

Monday, February 11, 2008

Oozing Ickies

Hello (yawn) F.O.T.E.'s,
Not a lot of time to chat today. Ol' Man Stomach Virus is picking us off, one by one. Or two...Last week Musical was tossing cookies. Yesterday, Miss H started her show at church potluck. (I bet half the ladies there were hoping she hadn't eaten *their* food, lol). Then, in the middle of the night, T.T. chucked in the bed. Today, Musical is being so sweet to her brother. I think she remembers how miserable it is to have a sick tummy.
I don't think TT remembers ever having thrown up before. He was waxing philosophical last night (in the middle of the night) about it...He said, "Sometimes, the food just jumps out of your mouth. You've got to hold your mouth together like this: [purses lips tightly]. Sometimes, the food jumps into the potty. But you can still use the potty afterward...after it's cleaned." I could tell he was working through the process. :-)
Let me share with you something that, while it began as a happy accident, has been a boon to us when battling tummy troubles...
Last summer we had a tea for Lioness' 13th birthday. We had bought an enormous (that was the only size they had) roll of lavender disposable vinyl table cloth. I wondered what in the world we were going to use it all for. Welll...
When the ickies struck last Fall, we needed something--in a hurry!--to protect the carpet. The Ram was saying, "Get me something, QUICK!!" I was standing there, looking to and fro, saying, "Uhhhh.....uhhhh....uhhhh....HERE!" I spotted the roll of lavender, propped in the corner. I grabbed it and thrust it at The Ram...he immediately began unrolling it over carpet, making a path from Sick Person to Toilet. We had a purple runway for days. Seems like I remember someone--Lioness?--saying, "Some people roll out the red carpet...we roll out the purple one." LOL
This morning, Musical got up (she had missed all the fun in the middle of the night) and came in asking, "Who's puking?" Yup. The Vomit Carpet is a dead giveaway.
Must run...just heard an unsettling noise.
Y'all keep your wool...uh...healthy,
The Ewe

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Weekly Menu and Grocery

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Hope y'all are doing well. Everyone make it through the foul weather last week okay? It hit all around our friends and family, but, to my knowledge, all our folks are fine. So sorry, though, to hear about all the destruction Down South on Super (Cell) Tuesday.
I read a few ladies' blogs regard homemaking and family growing, and I've gleaned several great ideas from them. I have noticed that many folks enjoy reading about others' menu plans and grocery lists. That topic has sparked some interesting discussions (believe it or not) that I've enjoyed.
So, in the interest of mutual improvement, as well as historical documentation, lol, I think I may start posting my menus and grocery lists here. If it bores you to tears, just skip it. :-) You won't be missing much.

So, for the week of Feb. 9, 2008-Feb. 14, 2008--

Saturday, 2-9: ham, au gratin potatoes, glazed baby carrots, steamed broccoli, iced tea
Sunday, 2-10: Church Potluck: we're taking chili and shredded cheese, homemade
whole wheat bread, chocolate cake
Monday, 2-11: slowcooked BBQ beef, homemade whole wheat bread, salad, green beans,
iced tea
Tuesday, 2-12: chicken crescents, steamed CA blend veggies, salad, iced tea
Wednesday 2-13: white beans with ham, collard greens, cornbread, iced tea
Thursday 2-14: whole wheat spaghetti and meat sauce, salad, garlic bread, iced tea,
cheesecake with chocolate sauce (Happy Valentines Day!)

Well, there she is. As for breakfast, usually the children eat a bowl of cereal or oatmeal or grits. (I don't usually eat breakfast--I feel better when I don't...don't scold me, I think it's related to my thyroid issues. :-) Lunch will generally be salad and soup or sandwiches. The Ram takes dinner leftovers. We generally drink water or milk during the day (you'll notice iced tea for supper).
As for the odd "week," I plan my menus on Thursdays, finalize my grocery list on Fridays and either I or The Ram (bless him!) do the shopping early Saturday morning. So, my planning goes from Friday dinner to Thursday dinner. We had to eat dinner on the run last night, as Lioness had Bible Quiz practice from 4-6, then we had to drive up to the airport to pick up The Ram. So, last night it was cheeseburgers. (blush)
It being Saturday morning, my grocery list is at the store with The Ram and the Three Musketeers (Lioness, Lovable and Musical). So, I can't post that right now...maybe later... I do know we'll be driving out to the dairy tonight to pick up our weekly allotment of 6 (!) gallons of milk. MOOOOO!!! LOL We feel so blessed to be able to buy it directly from the dairy for $2.50/gallon.
Well, must grocery "delivery" will be here soon. I also need to go try to figure out how to cook this here ham this afternoon. I've never done a whole ham before. We'll see what happens--at least it isn't Tuesday.
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "When I grow up, I'll need a wife to change my diapers. Lovable is nice."
--Tater Tot

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Our Enormous God

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
I just remembered something that happened last week. I think I'd blocked it subconciously, due to it's heartstopping nature.
I was reading my emails early one morning, with Lil Miss H playing near my feet. After a few minutes, she started playing w/ the computer cords and I immediately rose to get her. Suddenly, the printer started falling from the shelf in the closet, over 5 feet up. Miss H was pulling on its cord and had pulled it off! Miracle of miracles, I caught it. I don't remember catching it--and I am *awful* at catching anything but a cold--but there I found myself, both arms stuck out with the printer sitting on top, inches over Miss H's head. It all happened in the span of probably 12 seconds, start to finish. When the shock wore off, I started shaking and thanking God for sparing Miss H. I starting thinking, "What if I hadn't *immediately* gotten up?" "What if I had missed the printer?" "What if..."
All I could do was thank the Lord. I have no doubt whatsoever that *HE* saved her.
So, I gave a last shudder, hugged H, thanked God again, then went on with my day.
I didn't even think about the episode again until that night...
We were involved in a discussion in the living room, the children were playing, talking, reading--run of the mill evening fare. Next thing I knew, someone let out a shriek and The Ram was picking Miss H up from the bottom landing of the stairs--she had fallen all the way down. The Ram witnessed her descent, and he said she fell well (if there's such a thing). Our stairs are carpeted and, evidently, she stayed relaxed...She stood up at the bottom and was ready for a snuggle with Daddy and Mama. After half a minute of crying, she was fine. We watched her for any negative signs, but she never had the least bit of a problem. Again--we were praising God for protecting her.
I'm sure someone searching for fault could find it, but The Ram and I were *right there*. We responded immediately. Things just happen. We are as diligent as possible, but when you boil it down, it is still the Lord who is in control. Truly, He is the one who holds our life in His hands.
I remember hearing the story of when The Ram, as a boy, fell out of a van in motion, right onto the pavement. I've been told many times of the earthquake that hit our area when I was about 6 months old. It left a long crack on a wall of the house I grew up in. Mama said she ran to the kitchen to hold onto the counter, but forgot me, sitting in a baby seat under a swinging light fixture. She wasn't able to get to me because of the shaking, but I believe the Lord had me right in His hand. Just as He had Loveable, Lioness and me when we were involved in a car wreck nearly 10 years ago.
The Ram and I have lost a baby. It is incredibly painful. The experience caused me, for a while, to hyperfocus on safety. It was beyond being sure the children wear their helmets on bike rides or making sure the baby's car seat is installed properly. I do those things so I don't have to worry that there was more I could have done--should an accident occur. No, after Charity died, I had to fight not to be a fretting, fearful mother, who wouldn't allow her children any freedom, lest they get hurt. It was a sore temptation right after Charity's death, and I'll admit, still is at times. But, days like last week, when the Lord reminds me that I'm not in control, help me relax and enjoy this good life our Lord has granted.
Sorry this was such a heavy post. Just needed saying...
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Monday, February 04, 2008

My New Cell Phone/ Ewemanitarian Award

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Hope your Monday was great! Ours was just beautiful. The temperature was around 70! The Lambies rode their bikes in the driveway and I sat in the sun. Lil Miss H got to ride in the bike trailer. She's big enough this year. A lovely day...
Some of you have been privy to my cell phone situation. Back in 2001 The Ram and I got matching cell phones when we moved (back) to KY. Though The Ram has had a couple new phones since then (he uses his a lot w/ work) my poor old "model T" was the one I used. As long as I didn't need to dial a "3" "6" or "9", it worked ok. LOL Somehow, those keys froze up the last time Tater dunked the phone into a glass of water. And that was a couple years ago.
I was embarrassed once when my dad asked me to call my brother on the cell. I assured Daddy I was more than happy to do that...then, I realized the first digit in the number was "6". I was glad Lioness had remembered the "Kid's Phone," so I just used it. All the keys work on that one :-)
One fun thing about that old phone was sending text messages. My notes were like little puzzles written out with whatever characters were working at the time. The Ram "enjoyed" figuring those out. A word of advice: those little foreign money signs and stuff work great in a text message pinch.
But, truly, the old phone had outlived its usefulness. It was hard to admit that...I had it all nice and worn in, just like I liked it (well, except for the whole "3,6,9" business.)
We had tried a few times to get me a new phone, but for different reasons, it didn't work out. Then, a friend on a white horse rode in (with help from the US Postal Service) and delivered to me a new phone! The first thing I did was to text The Ram with a note comprised of all the characters I had been unable to send for so long...the 3,6,9 and all their corresponding letters. I had forgotten how easy texting could be--when you can actually use all the keys! Wow.
I do miss my old ring tone. I keep missing calls, because I don't know what the noise is. LOL I had had that old ring tone so long, the new one just doesn't spur me to action yet. I'll get used to it. :-)
So, SRF-- THANK YOU! Here's to text messages without Euro signs and to the ability to dial "911!" (clink) I award you The Ewemanitarian Award for your kind gesture. :-)
Well, I'm heading to bed. Got to get up early tomorrow to wait for the snow. ;-) Btw, Phil the groundhog needs to quit looking so hard for that shadow...
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe
My Beautiful Tulips
Aren't these lovely? They bloomed around New Year's. Sadly, they are all dead now.

The Ewe

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Shoulda Seen It Comin'

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,

Boy, oh, was 60 degrees here yesterday. Today, the wind chill was -8 around noon. Brr! We got a dusting of snow, but most of it just blew away. The wind has been fierce here the last couple days.

Let me share something with you...

We were *supposed* to have bean enchiladas tonight for dinner. (as per my menu plan) Well, at 4:00 p.m., when I typically go to the kitchen to begin dinner preparations, I discovered we are out of chili powder. Hmmm...that's the main ingredient in my red sauce. The heat on The Ark is out, and I *didn't* want to brave subzero temps just to get chili powder. So, I improvised. (shudder) I was desperate. I do *not* improvise well. I approach cooking very scientifically, reading reviews for a half dozen recipes for the same dish, dissecting every angle to choose The Perfect Recipe. Then, I execute. Usually, the food turns out fairly good. I don't mind eating it. ;-) Now, *why* do I go to all that trouble??? Because when I *don't* disasters happen like what did tonight.

Lioness, good sport that she is, agreed to taste the red sauce first. The first 3 seconds the look on her face was pleased. Then, suddenly, her eyes widened, she grabbed her throat and ran for the fridge. Her voice was raspy as she choked out, "Ouch!!" She repeated that a couple times. Then I made out another phrase, "Liquid fire." Her eyes were watering...

Hmmm...too much red pepper, I guess.

We deemed the sauce unuseable. Frustration. Then, Understanding!! Oh, yeah!! It's TUESDAY!!! Well, of course!

Ah. There's always cereal.

Y'all keep your wool dry,

The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Bulgarians are people who don't eat meat." --T.T.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Keeping the Plates Spinning

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Well, the snow is gone. It was actually around 60 degrees here today. ! So, the snow melted. But, no worries! It's supposed to snow tomorrow! Yay, new snow! (did you hear the sarcasm?) I was getting tired of the old snow, anyway. LOL I do love snow, but once the temp hits 60, Spring Fever sets in for me...but, it's only January...
Hey, rejoice with me! This is the (count 'em) second night I've gone to bed with all the dishes washed--even the hand wash stuff! Yay for me! I guess I should say, all the dishes *I know of*. There are always a few hiding in cracks or crevices, avoiding the rigors of the dishwasher. You know the ones, when you find them you say to yourself, "Why was *that* *here*?" Anyway, someone call the FlyLady, quick!!! (Don't tell her, though, that I've stopped wearing shoes in the house. I find that the kitchen floor is swept and mopped much, much more frequently when I go barefoot. ICK! lol)
I announced to The Flock last night (after the last dish was washed) that we were no longer going to be eating or drinking. I acquiesced today, though, and allowed them to drink by holding their hands into little cup shapes. That doesn't work well for the soup, though--too hot. Ah well, the battle against grime must go on.
Maybe tomorrow I'll let them use the dishes again. ;-)
Must run...that rooster'll crow too soon.
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

P.S. No children or husbands were harmed during the drafting of this post.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Update on Last Post

Got up this morning and the temp was -1 with a wind chill of -16. BRRRRR!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cold, Very Cold

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
You know, I use this blog not only to tell friends and family some of the goings-on at The Fold, but also to kind of journal the mundane so that our descendants can look back and know a bit of what it was like "back then." That's why I'm telling you,

"It's cold!" Tonight, the low is supposed to be 1 degree with a windchill of -12 (stop laughing, SRF!) I looked out of the window today and realized that I don't remember when the snow that is on the ground, fell. It's been there so long, I just don't remember. Freaky. Kinda like the grass down South in the summer--"When did it grow there?" "Dunno...been there a long time."
Boy...sure is a good thing I like winter. :-) LOL
Y'all keep your wool dry, er...warm,
The Ewe

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Needed Encouragement

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Well, it's ZERO degrees here...with a wind chill of between -10 and -14. WAHOOO!!! (wry laugh) I'm rethinking my attraction to Alaska. (Sorry, S.R.F.) The heat in The Ark went out last week (grrrr...uh, no..."BRRR!"). We had a frosty ride home from church last night. I'm preparing to hole up here at The Fold so The Ram can take The Ark to The Mechanic. Such irony--year before last I was yearning for air conditioning in the van...LOL
Let me tell you about a book I recently read...It's called _Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God_. It was a real encouragement to me. I've been a stay-at-home mom for 13+ years now, and after years of being told (by society) I'm throwing my life down a rat hole, wasting my intelligence and education by withering away here at home, it was so refreshing to read a book that succinctly reminds me of *why* I'm doing all this and *how* all this really matters. Ah, balm to my soul!
I'm sure some can take exception with some of the ideas in the book (isn't that always true?), but for at-home Mamas who could use a lift--it might be just what the Dr. ordered. ;-)
Well, must run...Lil Miss H just toddled in here, needing some Mama time. I'm thinking things might be a little damp "Down South." ;-)
Hey...stay warm and...
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Another "Failure to Communicate"

Hi again, F.O.T.E.'s,
I'm going to try to type fast and quietly, as I'm the only one still awake here...(shhh...)
Lioness mentioned in a comment on the last post about "open." Reminded me I need to tell you about that episode...
You see, two of the Lambs were sick last week--Lioness had been sick two weeks...Lil Miss H had a *nasty* looking eye. (poor babe) Finally, I saw that they weren't getting better on their own, so I did something drastic. I took them to the doctor. (gasp) Those who know me well know that I resist going to the dr. and resist taking the littles unless absolutely necessary. Ram and I agreed last week--those two had to go.
So, I loaded the whole Flock into the Ark and went to the physician. Lovable was left in charge of Musical and Tater Tot in the waiting room (UGH---GERMS!) while I went back with Lioness and LMH.
Did I mention we don't often go to the doctor?
Dr. G was examining Lioness. Dr. went to Lioness' good ear and looked in. Lioness informed her that *that* wasn't the sore ear. Doc stated, "Yes. I know that. But I want to look at the *good ear* to see how bad the *bad ear* is." chuckle chuckle (Dr. G is very good natured and funny.)
Doc then looked up Lioness' nose. Ick.
Doc then told Lioness, "Open."
Lioness stared at Doc.
Doc again instructed, "Open!"
Lioness stared hard at Doc and even leaned forward a bit. I was thinking it was an "Alpha Dog Showdown" with them both pushing forward toward each other. I also thought Lioness better shape up or she was going to have an "attitude adjustment" when we got home.
When Doc commanded "OPEN your MOUTH!!" we realized that Lioness had thought Doc meant "Open your eyes." Thus the eye-bulging stare.
Oh me. We all got a good laugh out of that.
After the exam, we dismissed to the waiting room to collect the others. The receptionist raved to me about what wonderful children I have (blush). It's always nice for folks to brag on your kids, no?
I praised everyone for their cooperation on the way home and hoped that that was the last doctor's visit for a while.
The next day, Lovable came up to me...
"Mom. My throat hurts."
ARGH!!! Waiting room germs!!!

Oops, there's Lil Miss H...gotta run...
The Ewe

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Failure to Communicate

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
You know, in college I majored in journalism. My studies were all about communicating clearly. I felt like I did pretty well at it. My instructors did, did my employers at various radio and television stations. I carried no noticeable accent (of course my college was in the South, so take that for what's it worth) and could generally find just the word I wanted to use.
Now, however, I sometimes struggle to get my point across. After a few years living in TN, I now have a draaawll. Oh well. Southern Drawl is a creature more pervasive than kudzu. Fight as you will, you will probably pick it up.
A few minutes ago, Tater and I had a "failure to communicate."

He walked up to me and said: "Mama, would you make me some cereal?"
I replied: "Yesterday you made your own cereal."
He answered: "Yeah, but I want more."

I got so tickled. You know, I think communicating with adults is a whole other animal than communicating with children. It really stretches the mind...

Must run. We're having "soul food" tonight--pinto beans and collard greens with cornbread and cheese. (YUM) Time to go make the "sweet tea." :-)
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My Beautiful Tulips

Aren't these lovely? They bloomed around New Year's. Sadly, they are all dead now.
The Ewe

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year from the Flock!

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
We are putting away Christmas things and trying to get back to the routine around here. I really enjoy the holidays, but I'm ready to get back to the "same ol', same ol'."
I'm initiating (another) all out war on clutter. I've discovered that the Clutter War is never over, you just fight different battles. My two main weapons are the trash can and a Goodwill bag. I like the FlyLady approach and maybe one day I will succeed at actually *doing* it. lol For now, though, I'll just draw inspiration from her and fill up those two recepticals.
We are also trying to iron out any family health issues. I'm seeing a new doctor who is actually listening to me about my thyroid problems. She thinks we may try some antithyroid medication to see if that helps. I am hoping for an end to the Endless Summer that only I experience. lol
We'll be trying out a new dentist soon, too. All the children are due for check ups and Musical has a stubborn baby tooth that is all too content to abide in front of her adult tooth. We tease her about being a shark.
I guess that's all for now. The Lambs are waking up and I imagine they will expect to be fed. (smile)
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe