Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy Birthday Dad!

My dad turns ... today! I guess I won't say how old he is! I love my dad and there isn't much I wouldn't do for him, and I know he feels the same way about me and my family. He's a great Papa and the kids love him to death, they always have a great time with him! :) Without him we wouldn't be able to homeschool our kids because he pays for our curriculum. I know that's really important to him. He really supports our decision to keep the kids at home and for me to stay home with them and for that we are very grateful.

We love you dad! Thanks for everything!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Wh*tie Tigh*ies!

This is how most of Luke's pants fit him. I had to post this picture because it makes me laugh every time I see the poor kid without his belt!

Christmas Highlights

We had a rather uneventful and relaxing day. We called all of our out of town relatives and chatted with them, wishing Christmas cheer. Bob had to work from 7:00am to 5:00pm so the kids not so patiently waited for Daddy to get home to open their gifts. In the mean time we also watched the Christmas Parade and some movies - I spent half the day on the couch in my pajamas! It was actually quiet nice, I don't get to do that often enough! :) The kids had fun with their stocking stuffers and ate their candy while we watched tv. At least most of it is gone now and I don't have to be constantly badgered with "can we have our candy, mom?" questions!

We didn't fuss with a big dinner, just some hot turkey sandwiches and veggies and dip. It was nice to not have to have a big mess to clean up! :)

The kids highlight gifts were their Doodle bear and Doodle Monster ($10 at WalMart day after thanksgiving sale!) and Jozie loves her Cabbage Patch doll and Luke wants to take his new Globe with him everywhere! Don't ask me where he gets his likes and dislikes from. I just knew he liked this little globe I got from the Target Dollar Spot so I found him a big one at a garage sale and got it for him for Christmas. I know, garage sale items are strange for Christmas but the kid loves globes and I didn't want to get him a new big one just to play with and eventually either break or end up collecting dust on a shelf. I decided that I might as well get one that had someone elses dust already accumulated on it! He pointed to Porto Rico and said he wanted to live there someday! What a kid!

My Grandma made them homemade gifts for Christmas. Jozie got a blanket for her babies and Luke got a sack for his matchbox cars. Last year they used the pillow cases that she made them for those purposes and she laughed and said she would make them those things this year. Luke said, "She is one cool grandma!"

Monday, December 25, 2006


Jesus is the reason for the Season!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Finished Baking....Well Almost...:-)

Today I spent the day in the kitchen! I made Fudge, Luke's Brownies (dairy free brownies!), Peppermint Bark, and did I say Fudge? - Yes, I made 2 batches of it because my husband loves it and so does John. I also have to send some to my dad so I think I will have to package that up tomorrow before it's all gone! I have never made it before so I used the recipe on the back of the Marshmallow Cream jar. I don't think it was exactly what they were looking for, I didn't even get a comment on it so I think that was just a polite way of saying that it wasn't that great...though it must have been edible because they ate quite a bit! It wasn't quite as dense as regular fudge, almost airy, probably because of the Marshmallow.

So now all I have to bake is my traditional Spice cookies, my grandmas recipe with a Risa twist, of course! :) I just don't squash the balls with a fork like she does, I leave them to spared on their own and they come out pretty much perfectly round and uniform size if the balls are all the same. Jamie will know the cookies that I am talking about! :) Grandma makes them every year too! Since I have been gone - and a couple of years before I moved - I have been making them on my own because my kids and my husband can't seem to get enough.

Oh, and I am going to make dipped pretzels and dipped Ritz crackers with peanut butter between them. Well, that's the plan anyway... :)

I am also almost done with my shopping. I am going to make a trip to the Family Christian Store - the only Christian books store around here, it's very disappointing! - to get the kids the Bibles they have been asking for. I am just going to get them cheap ones for now until they are reading better on their own and really wanting to get into the Word. Right now they really want them just to take to church because they get points for Sunday School and Children's Church when they bring them.

I don't see a white Christmas for us this year either. Very disappointing, it is hard to see Christmas without snow. We thought it was going to be green last year though and it snowed Christmas Day. It was very pretty - hopefully that will happen again this year but so far we've only gotten rain :P

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

First Baking!

Well, among all the cleaning and plumber repairs today, the kids did get a batch of cookies baked with my mom. Here is their result...

The frosting was made with Soy Milk so Luke can eat them. He's pretty excited and can't wait to eat them all!

Merry Christmas?

Why do major home emergency repairs ALWAYS have to happen around the time of a major holiday? Well, thanks Jodie, for your little story about your first toilet mishap with the kids...Now that I can speak from experience...DON"T LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN! :)

We had a problem with the pump on the toilet in the basement last night. We don't know what exactly caused it but it kept tripping the circuit breaker so this morning, after Jozie had her morning bowel movement, she found that the toilet wouldn't flush. I plunged and plunged and flushed and plunged...nothing worked. It did eventually get pushed through by my plunging but it ended up backing up into the shower! It was SICK! We called the plumber and he came and confirmed that the pump was overrun with TP that never broke up in the toilet. We have been told we should only use Scotts, "Macho Wipe" as Bob calls it, and no more flushable wipes. There was also a pen floating in the hole. He said he didn't know how it could have gotten through the pipe in the toilet and figured that it must have been dropped in there the last time someone worked in there. There is a cover on the hole so my kids couldn't have thrown it in there. It cost $400 + to get it fixed.

I guess that's what I get for saying that we haven't had any toilet problems yet!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hair and Hot Air

Some of you have probably been wondering what is going through my head letting my kid grow his hair so long...well, he has a friend at church that is in the youth group who has long hair. Not really long, just longish, and Luke has been wanting his hair to be like Richie's so we have been letting him try it out. I haven't really liked the look too much but we decided to let him try it, it is, after all, just hair and can be easily cut at any time. It never really looked like Richie's. Luke's hair is just too fine and he has two swirls right on the top of his head - both going in opposite directions right next to each other. It's cute, but his hair never really layed right. So we decided this week that something had to be done...we made him cut his hair. To be honest with you, I think he was some what relieved after it was all over. He was tired of it being long and I don't think he will ever want to try it again. He likes it short so he can spike it and give himself a "mohog" as he calls it. :) What a kid!

I decided to post a before and after shot so you all can see that I haven't neglected my son's hair and it is indeed short! :)

Shaggy Do...

New Do!
There's my Boy!
(He had to demonstrate his quarter balancing abilities on the tip of his finger too!)

Oh, yeah, we had our annual Christmas Cantata last Sunday at church and it seems that I told Bob that there wasn't going to be enough light to get any good pictures but he had to try anyway. Here we are. You sorta get the effect with the lighting and all. It was very pretty and I thought we did a pretty good job for being such a small group this year. I guess most people just didn't have time for it this year. We did "Sing Joy". It was more of a Black Gospel program - and we only had 4 black people in it! :) But we pulled it off and it was a lot of fun. I'm just glad it's over! I only joined because I wanted Kristin to get more involved and I figured I would be happily moved into my own house - or AT LEST an apartment - by now and I wouldn't be there to sing. Well, I was wrong. I had to sing. It wasn't bad except we had to stand the whole time - it was almost 2 hours! And I had on shoes that were a size too small! (I gave them to Kristin after it was over because she has smaller feet than me. I loved them, they were cute and made my feet looks small but I guess we just weren't meant to be together!)

I told him "too dark for good pictures" but do you think he would listen to me? I am on the right hand side 4th from the end - actually I think that's Kimmy, I believe I am behind her and you can't even SEE me! :)

Here I am! I am half covered by Kimmy here and next to the guy in the tux. The men all wore tux's or black suits with a faux tux shirt under it and the ladies all wore black long skirts and red tops.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Parades and Festivals

Here are some pictures from the Winter Wonder Fest and from the Christmas Parade. The kids had a great time ice skating, this was their first time. Luke was going pretty good by the end of the hour and a half but Jozie held fast to the side of the rink with her friend Hannah! We left early because most of the "rides" were for littler kids and they got tired of waiting in line just to go down a big slide filled with air. So we didn't end up going to the Children's Museum after all but I figured they didn't miss out on much because it isn't half as good as the Indy Children's Museum and they were there twice this fall.

I - unlike some of you! - haven't gotten any of my Christmas baking done! I made Bob the cherry mash bars that he likes but I really don't count that as baking because it doesn't have to go in the oven. As soon as I am done here I am going to go up and see if the kitchen is free to make some fudge - another that's not exactly baking but Bob requested it and who can resist satisfying their husband? :)

I have no idea why my whole thing here is underlined but I guess that's the way it is going to be today because I'm not bothering to figure out why. Who knows! Who has time to care at a time like this with presents to wrap, shopping to finish, and baking to do?!!!? :)

Luke passing Hannah as she holds the wall! :)
(They were at an indoor rink, isn't is strange to see them skating in t-shirts?!)

Jozie, just the way she was the whole hour and a half! :)

Bein' goofy!

The Little Drummer Boy

Ready for the Christmas Parade!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Christmas Letter to Homeschooling Moms

I found this letter last year and I found it encouraging so I decided to post it this year.

From Julee Huy

A Christmas Letter to Homeschooling Moms

Do you know how you plan to perform this amazing feat that you are going to attempt this month? In this month, you are planning on performing your regular duties of keeping the home, teaching your children, ministering to your family and all of your other regular responsibilities you always do. But that’s not all, oh no, not even close. This month you also plan to add some, if not all of the following: shopping, (meaning toy stores, clothes stores, electronic stores, malls and any other place that is generally filled with frantic people) baking, visiting, decorating, hosting and/or attending large family gatherings, church activities and potlucks and so much more. Do you know, dear mother, how you plan to not only survive, but also make it a joy filled time for you and your family?

As we begin this busy holiday season I thought it would be nice to send out a hello, some resources and an encouraging word to you.

We are in the beginning days of this month, and already I have begun to feel like it is going to be over before I blink. My biggest fear is that I’ll get to December 26th and have nothing but torn up wrapping paper to show for it. The question is how do we do it? How can we, as mothers, ensure that we will experience all that we can this season?

Make A Plan

If you’re going to get something done correctly, you need a plan. Now, before you rush to get your pens and papers, index cards, calendars and other such planning paraphernalia, STOP! Yes, I said stop even though you have a lot to do. Stop and breathe. Take some time for yourself (even just 15 minutes) and relax. What is it that you desire for yourself and your family this month? Think about the things that are most important to you. Sit for a moment and consider the days ahead. When you’re finished, do it again tomorrow and the next day and the next day until you find yourself resting in your plans and goals for each day.


I love the Christmas season, with the lights, parties, cold nights and even the shopping. There is just something fun about going shopping in stores decorated sometimes to the max with Christmas decorations. What I love the most though, is the special memories I have of time spent with family during this season. So, before you rush off to attend every social gathering you feel obligated to go to, stop (yes, I did say stop again) and think. Think about your kids and your family, what is going to be the most meaningful to them, what will your kids remember when they have their own families? Am I suggesting that we live up to our cliché reputation of being anti-social and socially unfit homeschoolers? No, but for the sake of your families, please do take the time to prioritize your holidays.


Make this an extra special month. Incorporate “Christmas” into your everyday activities. Sing Christmas carols in the car, then turn down the music and discuss the meanings and stories behind the songs. Surprise the kids with a small candy or ornament or Christmas worksheet during school. At our house, we are having what we call “Christmas Class” everyday at 2:30. The kids and I sing songs, do crafts, have hot chocolate, read books and for about 30 minutes a day generally have a small Christmas party together. It’s my hope that as I do these small things for my kids, they will have special memories of Christmas time. Time spent together as a family and time spent with the Lord.

Now I know that you are all special gifted women and nothing I’ve said here is new to you. I only hope that if you needed a special smile or even just an excuse to slow things down that you found it here. I will be praying for us all as we endeavor to serve our families this Christmas season. May you and your family receive an extra blessing this month as you celebrate together.

Merry Christmas,
Julee Huy

Monday, December 11, 2006


  • One night of silence while the kids were at a sleep over at church - their first with friends without mom!
  • One gift left to get for each person left on my Christmas list.
  • One Aikido lesson left for the year 2007 that we won't be at because we are going to WinterWonderFest at Navy Pier and the Chicago Children's Museum that day
  • One practice left for the Christmas Concert at church that I won't be at because I will be at the above named event! :)
  • One Christmas parade that we were in this year - probably the only one ever! Jozie was an angel with another little boy and held a banner and Luke was the Little Drummer Boy...I think he tried to catch more candy than any of the kids that were watching the parade and not in the parade!
  • One week and a half left until we take Christmas break!
  • One more Christmas Card to do to finish them off and send them!
  • One more day of work until Bob's "weekend" which he has to go to training on one day and then we are going to Chicago the next day!
  • One Christmas Party this week that I don't think I am going to be able to attend because my mom now says she has something else to do AFTER she said she would watch my kids that night...arg...
  • One minute...about the average time that most people spend on my blog.
  • One set of "school pictures" of the kids that I will have left after finishing my Christmas cards.
  • One day until my 17 or so books from the library are overdue! (guess I better get them back or that fine will pile up fast!)
  • One more night at least for the kids to recover from their one night at the sleep over - Luke said he "stayed up all night with his boys" and Jozie said she slept but for how long nobody really knows - except she slept for about 3 hours on the couch the next day!
  • One half more hour before I wake them from the naps that they didn't need because they were fighting and whining ALL DAY!
  • One more straw could break this camels back! :)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Just a fun quiz...

I always thought I had a bit of an accent but apparently I don't have one at all! So much for my Northern MN or Yooper heritage! :)

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
The South
The Inland North
North Central
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz


I have been blogging for almost 2 years now and I still have very few people who read my blog. With a pitiful lot of friends - not that YOU are pitiful, my short list is! And my few comments are even more pitiful...just a few from my 3 faithful readers and an occasional jerk that only wants to advertise on my blog.

So my question is, how do I get more people to read my blog?

I have it in my signature, big and bold and bright so anyone I email can check it out...sometimes I wonder if my efforts are even worth it, except to keep my three friends up to date without having to send them individual emails on a regular basis! I guess you guys should feel special - I keep my blog running just for you! And I spend a lot of time on it! :)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Something Fun to See

Check out this video that the Church of God International did with some of the kids from the youth group at our church. It will be shown Internationally (duh) and the kids are pretty excited about it. Kristin is in it too, can you spot her? There is also a fellow homeschooled child, could you pick her out?

To see it you have to click on the link above then scroll down to YWEA DVD RESOURCES and then click on the Youth link. It says (WMV) next to it and also Direct Download.

Where did the tooth fairy go?

Yesterday morning Luke lost another tooth. He was pretty excited and of course had to tell everyone in the house several times each. He now has a pretty big hole right in the middle on the bottom of his mouth and keeps singing "All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth".

This morning when we got up he went straight for his tooth money and it was empty. He cried and was pretty upset because the tooth fairy forgot him. I had to pull a quick switch-a-roo and the tooth fairy ended up giving him over $5 out of guilt, and a big marble just because I felt so bad! Everything turned out ok. He checked it again later and found it and was that, Jodie, is why the price of a tooth is so high in my house!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I Never Imagined

I always thought that Dr. Phil would be a homeschool supporter. I believe from what I have been reading in some of my email groups that I was sorely mistaken. According to this most recent Dr. Phil show homeschool is not only a poor choice for your children, it can "ruin" them. It seems like he took a small sample of the homeschool community and highlighted the overprotective, bad, and the ugly and didn't even bother finding out why homeschooling has worked and will continue to work for some many other families.

Anyway, THERE IS A POLL! They want to know what people thought was the best type of schooling for kids. The last time I checked, it was a landslide for homeschool by 80% and unschooling with 11%. Public school and private school made up the other only 9%! So, if you are in support of homeschooling please take the time to go to the website and vote. Lets show them that we are not some quite group of people afraid to stand up for that we believe in but we are serous parents concerned about the futures and well being of our children.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Winter Has Arrived!

Today was a good start for the month of December. We had our first snow fall! Of course there wasn't much and it was pretty much gone by noon but none the less, it was there. It doesn't feel much like the UP but at least we are finally getting a little of the white stuff!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

How do you like it?

I made some changes today. Not on purpose, I was adding something and had to finish updating to the Bata version and couldn't do it without updating the template so I had to redo everything and it took me quite a while so I decided to just go ahead and change some other things while I was at it. least now I can see how many people actually visit my blog! Thanks Jodie :)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Sunny With a High of 59!

That's what the weatherman said anyway!

We had a great day yesterday at home with our "family". Everyone ended up staying home so we had a great big meal - I think there are more leftovers than what ate, and trust me, we ATE! - lots of games and fun and a night of movies to top it all off. We even got to spend some time outside playing croquet! Some of you might not be so amazed but if you are from the UP, and we are, it isn't uncommon to have quite a few inches of snow by Thanksgiving, which leaves playing croquet out of the question, unless you like playing it in the snow!

Jozie, Kristin, Sami, and Luke playing Swap!
(It is a pretty cool and fun game, even the kids could understand and play it pretty well.)

We played teams because there were only 6 mallets and 8 of us, here is Luke missing the ball and almost hitting John! Pretty funny stuff!

"Fore!" Oh wait, wrong game! You are supposed to keep the ball on the ground, Risa!

Did you see there is no snow?! Amazing!

Belle's turn!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Psalm that I memorized when I was younger says it all. Hope you and your families have a great Thanksgiving. :)

Psalm 136

1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
His love endures forever.

2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.

3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

4 to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.

5 who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.

6 who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.

7 who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.

8 the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.

9 the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.

11 and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.

12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.

13 to him who divided the Red Sea asunder
His love endures forever.

14 and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.

15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.

16 to him who led his people through the desert,
His love endures forever.

17 who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.

18 and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever.

19 Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.

20 and Og king of Bashan—
His love endures forever.

21 and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.

22 an inheritance to his servant Israel;
His love endures forever.

23 to the One who remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.

24 and freed us from our enemies,
His love endures forever.

25 and who gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

Monday, November 13, 2006

New Version of Blogger

Has anyone tried this yet? I did read that if you switch you can't switch back. It sounds neat but I am afraid that they are going to start making people pay for it or something and then I would be screwed, I am not paying to blog! Although if they do make people pay I suppose it shouldn't matter which version that you use, either way, Risa will be done blogging!

Revenge of the Golden Corral... And Missing Teeth

Sounds like a cool title to a fun western movie, doesn't it? Well, in reality it's not. It's what everyone in the house had yesterday afternoon and this morning after eating at the Golden Corral - except for Jozie! We will never be eating there again. Luke woke up this morning to a sick stomach and ended up getting sick - twice. Then he was fine by about 10:30 and wanted breakfast. What a wonderful way to start out our week! :) He is now drawing me "posters" and Christmas cards on some finger painting paper he found and he showed me one that was a car drawn with a yellow highlighter, "Pretty impressive", he says! What a boy! When he thought he was going to throw up again he asked me to pray for him so I did and it went away. I suppose that's why it's called "Faith like a Child"! Prayer does change things, just ask Luke!

On a more fun note...

Jozie has been asking for a Nintendo DS for Christmas because one of her friends from church has one. Last night she was talking to Uncle Levi on the phone and he asked what she wanted for Christmas so of course, she told him a Nintendo DS. He just laughed and said, "Well, that's pretty expensive!" And of course she giggled too and said, "Tell me about it!" apparently I have told her the same thing a few times!

On Saturday Kristin, Sami, and I were invited to a Mary Kay party so we took Jozie with us and left Luke at home with Daddy. He must have had a good time because when I got home he was on the couch watching TV and he said, "Mom, I have to watch this truck racing now!" I guess I must have been in his way!

Later that afternoon we decided to go to Applebee's for supper because I had coupons for 2 free kids meals. Luke was pretty excited and asked (while we were in the car on the way there), "Mom, do they have that pasta and sauce? Because if they do than order me that, I've been waiting for a decent meal all day! Daddy didn't feed me anything!" I don't know how much he knows about "a decent meal" but he ate every bit of his pasta and french fries!

Luke lost his first tooth last week and I almost cried! My baby is getting too big and isn't my baby anymore! :( He was pretty excited about and put his $4.19 from the tooth fairy in an old sock in his drawer. He doesn't have a piggy bank so at least we have convinced him to save it somewhere! He does like to take it out and play with it though. As I a writing this he takes his sock out of his drawer and says, "I just want to see how much it is building to..."! Sounds like he has been talking to his Amma, the MetLife Investment Representative!

Jozie lost her 4th tooth today. She has been nursing it along here for about a month and a half and finally today she convinced Amma to tie a string around it and slam the door to get it out. The first attempt was unsuccessful, the string was too long, so the wrapped it around a few more times and tried again and out it popped. They had to search for it on the floor but a few minutes later Jozie came down and showed me that it is gone. None too soon either, you can already see her new tooth coming in! She says she keeps forgetting that it's gone and tries to wiggle it every so often!

Aikido Lessons

Some of these are a little blurry because of the low lighting and we didn't want to use the flash during their class.

Here are my Aikido kids! :)

A rare moment for Jozie, I think she is actually paying attention!

Jozie and Sam (the oldest boy in their class) about to practice their newest "moves".

Luke taking some instruction from Sam. When it's time to get partners, Luke is always the first one at Sam's side! They are quite cute when they practice together.

Warm-up exercises with Sensei.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Crazy Hair Day

The pictures say it all...

Potawomi & Fur Traders Field Trip at Baily Homestead and Chalburg Farm

Luke in the woods, I love this picture, I wish it wouldn't have turned out blurry!

Jozie and her friend, Gabby, they were holding hands almost all day on this field trip!

Some of our homeschool group that came to the Bailey Homestead field trip with Ranger JP.

My terrified children trying to pet the sheep that they just fed. They thought the sheep would bite them!

Belle with one of the horses on the farm. He came over for a scratch when we came to the fence.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy...

I am going to attempt to catch up on what has been going on here without going onto too much boring detail...and spending too much of my limited time on a long update! :)

  • My job at the greenhouse has ended for the season. I'm not so thrilled because I really enjoy working there but I'm glad to have more time at home with the kids. Jozie never really got used to me being gone so much and she is sleeping better now.
  • I got a new job (sorry Joz!) at the local school. I am a substitute bus matron. It sounds cheezy but it's really fun. I ride the bus with special needs students (no, it's not a "short bus"!) and keep them quite, interact with them and make sure the little ones are in their car seats or safety vests (a seat restraint that is for bigger kids that don't stay in their seats to prevent them from roaming around the bus and hurting themselves). I also strap in wheelchair for a few children. They are so much fun and I have fallen in love with one in particular. He has the bluest eyes that I have ever seen (except for maybe Bobs) and he is always smiling. His name is Chester and he is 4 - or so he says. :)
  • The kids and I took a trip to Indy to meet Amie and her family at the Children's Museum. The kids had fun and it was nice to see Amie and Miah. Jozie kept asking me, "Why won't those boys talk to me, Mom?" :) She loved Jonah, I must admit he was pretty cute, and had to take a few pictures of him. Luke had fun running around with Elijah through the "underground" tunnels and slides.
  • My "man hands" are gone! But I now have about 12 2 gallon mums to plant so I'm sure they will be back by the end of the week!
  • I just got some free pictures from Shutterfly. They turned out really nice and you get 15 free when you join (shipping is free on these too!). It's free to join. They have borders that you can add to your pictures at no extra cost which come out pretty cute. Jozie chose one of her pictures of Jonah for her scrapbook and we put a border around it. I am tempted to just send it to Amie...we will see what Jozie says though! :)
  • I also got some free Christmas cards from them. I did have to pay shipping on them but it was worth it. I haven't gotten them yet but I'm sure some of you will get to see what they look like when they come in the mail to you! :)
  • I got 30 free pictures from PhotoWorks. I just ordered 15 prints of one picture of each of the kids. I figure they will do for "school pictures" this year since we haven't had any professionally done for who knows how long - probably about 2 years! I suppose I should get on that but when you have a digital camera and can do so much with them who really needs more pictures of the kids? I will probably be sorry when I'm old though!
  • I got 10 free pictures from with some batteries that I bought, I will probably wait for a rainy day to do those ones. I'm all pictured out for today!
  • We went on a field trip to the Garwood Apple Farm a few weeks ago. It was lots of fun and the kids got to bring home apples and pumpkins. We got to see a Hail Cannon, it's a very interesting machine that changes the weather for about a mile around it when there is hail in the forecast.
  • Kristin and I decided to do something fun and color our hair. We used those non-permanent kits from WalMart and it turned out to be a waste of $5 for me. I chose "Electric Black" thinking that my hair is such a dark brown that there wouldn't be much of a change. I was right. There was really no change, I don't know what happened. I followed the directions and the only thing that happened was that it turned my shirt purple after I had rinsed it all out. I'm going to complain and see if I can't get my money back or something free out of the deal at least!
  • I went shopping with Kristin at the outlet mall in Michigan City a couple of days ago. I found some good deals - mostly Christmas and Birthday gifts. The only thing I got for myself was 3 fun!
  • I have started teaching children's church during our Sunday morning service for the 2 and 3-year-olds. Sami and Kristin are going to be helping me. I wasn't really sure I wanted to do it but I know that they needed help and since I have done this kind of thing before I decided to go for it. It's now almost 8:30 on Sat. night and I haven't really looked over the lesson for tomorrow yet. Better wined this thing down so I can go do that!
  • The kids started Aikido a couple of weeks ago. Jozie was the social butterfly of the class, talking to her little girlfriends while the class was going on and Luke was shy and didn't do much but watch for the first half of the class the first couple of weeks but after being talked to about that they have buckled down and are really starting to learn some stuff. They got their gie's (the outfit) last week and were really excited about them. I will have to post pictures of them from their first class with them on next week. Luke has a partner in his class who is a Senior at the local High School named Sam. Every time they have to pair off and help eachother I sorta feel bad for Sam because Luke picks him. But I guess he was in Karate before and knows a little about what he is doing so it's really good with Luke. I'm glad, Luke really tries hard with the older boys and responds well to their instruction and Sam seems to be a good teacher. Jozie still talks a lot but she's learning some. I think if I had to pay for this (it's a free class for the kids) I probably wouldn't put her in it, only Luke, just because she would do better in something like Girl Scouts where she is allowed to be social most of the time! :)
  • It was Crazy Head day at AWANA last week - I think they do it in place of a Halloween party because most people there don't celebrate it, including us - so the kids wanted their hair done crazy. Luke chose to have his standing straight out, though it is getting a little long to do it, we accomplished it, but he REALLY needs a haircut! Jozie's was another story though. I separated it and braided it into 4 braids with pipe cleaners then bound them together and made it stand straight up with more pipe cleaners (I think we used about 20 or so!) so she looked like Cindy LooHoo from the Grinch that Stole Christmas! She was so cute! I told her she was JozieBella BooHoo :) She didn't like that much but she did win for the craziest head! She was pretty excited!
  • I will post pics later...Hopefully sooner than a couple of weeks from now though!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Man Hands!

Ugh:P Today was a "working in the garden and moving 17 cubic feet of dirt" day! As Jozie would say, "I feel like a wet rag, Mom!" (she says that when she is "tired" but really doesn't want to do her school work!) John ordered dirt for the garden earlier this week but unfortunately the rain got to it before we did. I got to use the rented tiller (note: the guy in the picture has at least a hundred pounds on me! That picture doesn't do it justice! It was a "killer" - Luke asked Papa John where he got the huge "killer"), which was a GREAT stress reliever. Actually the whole day I worked like a horse because I was just really tired of hearing everyone else complain about how much work there was to do...I just wanted to get it done and I was having a hard time enjoying it with all of the whining!

So, now I have "Man Hands"! Remember that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry's date could rip lobster claws like it was nothing? She was a really good looking woman but she had these huge, calloused, dry and cracked, with nasty nails "man hands". Well, I wore gloves to avoid such a travisty but to no avail. They are swollen beyond recognition - blistered palms, broken nails - and quite dry from the dirt. I love working in the garden, normally this would have been a happy post, but I am not that right now because of the state of my hands. Worst of all, I haven't got a manicure in the budget this week! Can things get any worse? (Now that I've said that I will probably regret it about midnight when my body feels every shovel full of dirt I moved and every row I tilled!) Ahh! The wonderful feeling of a job well done! :)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Indianapolis Children's Museum Pics

Jozie in the Dinosphere...The look of awe. There were actually fossils there, not just casts.

Checkin' out things underground to see what the dino's feet look like and the other little things on the ground.

(This one is actually at Conner Prairie) Luke showing is true colors!

Bob wanted me to blog this...he needed a bit of help to get out of there. :)

This was on the underside of the Fireworks of Glass. Very cool and just beautiful. The colors were amazing!

Conner Prairie Pics

Luke grinding corn.

Jozie and Red the cow.

Jozie's horse ride.

Luke the "Sheep Whisperer"!

I think this one speaks for itself...

Blog Contest!

Here is a contest you can enter to win something! Check it out quick because it ends at mid-night tonight!

Have fun and good luck!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Water Clocks and Tractor Parades

We ended up spending our Anniversary weekend (6 years) with our kids and Kristin in Indianapolis. We had a great time and went to the countries largest Children's Museum and Conner Prairie - a living history museum.

It was the Country Fair at Conner Prairie so we got to see all kids of cool things. There was a bearded lady, the Tattooed lady, the worlds old Lady, a mermaid - all of those different sorts of things that would be seen in the "Tent of Wonders". We visited the Temperance Tent and took an oath to never let alcohol pass our lips and got to wear ribbons to show our support of the Temperance Movement. There is a town that is set in 1836, and there is a sign that says, "You are now entering the year 1836".

Luke's favorite part was the tractors and the hay ride. We got in line for the hay ride, which took you around the tractor demonstration area and took what seemed to be about 15 minutes - but when it got to be our turn we ended up in the tractor parade! We would have liked to SEE the tractor parade but not be IN the tractor parade! It took almost an hour - or so it seemed - to go the route that they were taking before. We were going so slow that the tractor in front of us was doing donuts!

Jozie got to ride on a great big black horse named Gypsy - that was by far her favorite part! We thought for sure she was going to fall off though! She had on a scort that had little shorts under it - I guess they call them a scooter - but she was bigger than some of the other kids and the guy had a harder time getting her up there so she kind of got up there funny - half on - and the horse started moving! I almost freaked out because I thought for sure she was going to fall off but she grabbed hold of the handles and pulled herself up on it like she was belly surfing on the thing and grinned all the way around! :) She had a great time but I almost fainted!

The Children's Museum was HUGE! There was a ton to see and do. It had this cool clock in the lobby that was all glass tubes and beakers filled with blue liquid. It kept time by pumping the liquid through the tubes into chambers for the hour and minutes. It was pretty interesting.

I think Luke had a hard time deciding which part was his favorite - the Dinosphere or the Science and Technology area where there were 2 huge water areas. He threw a fit right there in front of everyone when we said it was time to leave...leave it to Luke!

Jozie liked the Fireworks of Glass and the water areas too. She also liked the " Mysteries in History" area where you got to explore early pioneers cabins, kitchens, and an Indian tepee. We got to see a play in the Cabin about the Underground Railroad and Levi Coffin. She liked that too. We decided we are going to try and make a trip to Levi Coffin's House here in Indiana sometime soon before we move.

I would have to say that I liked Conner Prairie better than the Children's Museum. I love seeing those historical places - it makes me long for a simpler life. I know I could have easily lived in that time period and enjoyed life so much more. I love hard work and making things on my own and doing all those things that a woman did for her family back in those days. I wouldn't even miss my computer or TV! Sometimes I think I was born during the wrong decade! :) Someone blessed us 2 free tickets while we were standing in line so we only had to pay for the kids to get in. It was only $14 but if we would have had to pay for Bob and I it would have been close to $40! I was trying to figure out how I was going to ask Bob if we could become members because for only $60 we could have gotten in free for a year and it would have made us have to come again to make it pay for itself. It would have been worth it to me but I couldn't argue that $14 was a lot cheaper than $60. I'm sure we will go back again, it's just a matter of when and with whom.

PS I tried to upload some pictures but it was taking way too long. We got a new pic. card for a camera this week - a 1G one - and we can take over 500 pictures on the highest setting. So these new pictures are pretty big. Anyway, I don't have the patience for it tonight and will try again tomorrow so the pictures are still to come...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Back to the Mums :(

Well, I started my new job yesterday and quit today. It wasn't a bad place to work but there were a few things that they should have made me aware of BEFORE I stared working. I went for orientation yesterday and found out that I have to pay for my own TB Test, a drug test, a physical from a dr, and my own CPR training and any continuing education classes I take - we are required 12 hours a year. They will pay for half of the drug test but if you quit within 6 months than anything that they pay for comes out of your final check. And that is only the beginning of it. The lady told me during my interview that she could get me $7 an hour - which isn't much but it's more than I make watering the mums - and when she called to offer me the job she said that she could only get me $6.75. I didn't say anything at the time but didn't think much of it either. When they hired me they said I would be working m-f 1:45 to 6:00 but when I went in there to work yesterday they said that they wouldn't be needing me until 3. So I also had my hours cut within my first few minutes of working. I wasn't happy. I decided to stay since I was already there but quickly found myself ALONE in a classroom full of 4 and 5 years olds, none of which I knew their names, and just having woke up from their naps, were having "free time". The girl that I was supposed to be working with kept leaving the room to check on her daughter who had just started there that morning and wasn't doing so well with the transition. I understand, I would have had just as hard a time had it been my child, but the least the could have done was send me someone to show me what I was supposed to be doing. It was all I could do to keep the peace! They also told me that they pretty much didn't want me to bring my kids with me. One of the big reasons that I took the job was because they seemed excited for me to be bringing them when I interviewed but then told me yesterday that they didn't really have a place to "put" them. Well, Bob will be gone by 3:00 EVERY day, if not early most days so I planned on bringing them with me most days. So, I just called and told them that I didn't think it was going to work out. They didn't seem to care why, didn't give me a chance for an explanation, just said, "thanks for calling, good buy" and hung up the phone. I guess if that's the way they are going to be than I really don't want to work for a company like that.

So, I'm back to watering the least Larry seemed happy to keep me, if I can just get him to give me another raise...Ha! That'll be the day!!!

Popcorn Pandemonium!!!

On Saturday we did end up at the Popcorn Festival. It was pretty interesting - about as many outdoor vendors as you could find in one place outside of a flea market - but there wasn't much there that was about popcorn. I thought it would have a bit of history, something about how it was grown and made, etc. but it was only a theme for the parade and a couple of the booths. We did successfully spend a lot of money on food and we got to spend the day shoulder to shoulder with thousands of strangers with not much breathing room. The parade was ok, it was just a small town parade and they didn't even throw candy, they handed it to the kids, those who even had candy. I got a cute anclet, some nice smelling oil, and some Watkins cough syrup like I used to take when I was a kid. Jozie ACTUALLY LIKES IT! And it really works. It just so happens that she has had a little cough for the last week or so and it's helped a lot. So I guess there was a point to going and she is feeling better.

Oh, and there was 2 very tasteless groups in the parade that I wasn't thrilled with. One was just plain weird that I didn't understand at all, they said something like "Even the Aliens live in Valpo" or something like that with these star trek type of characters dancing around. Strange. The other one I "Booed". I was disgusted they were even there and almost covered my kids eyes. They carried signs that said "Out of Iraq" and sported rainbows and peace symbols while waving the peace sign at the crowd. I couldn't believe - and on the verge of 9/11 - these people would even show up. To show their unappereciation for the people and families that have given so much for us to still be free. I was utterly disgusted. Bob and I weren't the only ones, there were plenty of other boos in the crowd. I understand there is "freedom of speech" but if it wasn't for those people that they were disrespecting, they probably wouldn't have that freedom.

Luke @ the NIPSCO booth, our local gas/electrical company booth.

Jozie and Me at the Popcorn Festival! Jozie didn't want her picture taken...

A popcorn float at the popcorn parade.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Dairy Free is the Way to Be!

I got Luke some Dairy Free ice cream today that is actually very yummy! It has a very smooth texture, almost like custard. He loved it and was SO excited to have ice cream - it's been a couple of years! He had Tofutie ice cream bars this summer at Uncle Levis and ate almost the whole box in 2 days but this stuff is WAY better! Its called So Delicious Soy Ice Cream. I got him the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor. It's kind of a tree hugger company, which makes me sorta not want to support them but when you have to be Dairy Free for allergy reasons, sometimes you have to make exceptions.

Now, if we could only figure out how to make good creamy mashed potatoes dairy free...

Changing Gears

Welp, I had a job interview on Tues. at a daycare and I got the job. I am pretty excited about starting something new but I can say that I will miss working for Larry - a little. Especially come this spring when it's time to plant and see all of the new little flowers grow. I did, and still do, feel a little guilty about leaving him. I really do enjoy working at the greenhouse but the season has almost completely ended and after I am done watering the mums there isn't going to be much for me to do. At my new job I will be working in the afternoons so that will leave my mornings free for school, something that we had a hard time with last spring when I was working so many hours. And I will be working Monday through Friday and no weekends. Which is nice too. I will just have to see about getting off a little earlier on Wednesday so we can get to AWANA on time.

Which brings me to my next point...AWANA started again this week. The kids were so excited to see their friends again and Luke has been reading the verses in his AWANA book from last year the last couple of days. He is so excited to get his new one he keeps wanting to work in his old one - and he did the review in it so he's already gone through it twice! What a boy. Jozie is still kinda stuck on the 23rd Psalm. I think that's kinda my fault because I always forget to study for it until the day before. I think we are going to use AWANA for our Bible class this year and work a little on memorizing and reading in it everyday. That way we will accomplish 2 things at once.

We HAVEN'T started school's really rather frustrating. I have all of Lukes Paces but still need Jozie. My dad has been paying for the kids books but he has been laid off since July and just got his first job in months this week so he hasn't had the money to get Jozies for us. At least Luke didn't quite finish first grade last year so we still have a little to work with for him but I really don't want to start with him and not her. So we are still waiting. Hopefully in the next week or so we can get them ordered. If not I'm not sure what I am going to do!

Tomorrow we are going to go to the Popcorn Festival. Did you know that Orville Redenbacher was from Valparaso, Indiana? So every year they have a festival to celebrate popcorn. They say it's the nations only parade for popcorn...the kids are excited and looking forward to a good time so naturally we are too. Unfortunately Bob has to work (what's new?) so I will be taking the kids with Kristin and John and Sami. Hopefully we can get along for the afternoon! That might take some doing though...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Here's my seal! I put our school name on it but I didn't want to publish that on my blog because it has our last name on it. That was fun! Thanks Amie! Oh, here's the site... :)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Marshmallows for Ammo!

This morning we went to the European Market in Chesterton where the kids discovered marshmallow shooters...They were an immediate hit with them. They had a ball shooting eachother there until they ran out of marshmallows! So on our way home, Mom made a stop at the grocery store and got a big bag of them - you know, the cheap store brand ones that don't taste very good but they worked really good as Ammo! We went to the park and used almost the whole bag there, the raccoons will have a feast there tonight! I should have gotten like 3 bags. I would highly recommend them to anybody with kids, they are easy to use and don't hurt - unless they are used for hitting, of course! And they are fun for adults too!

I also got some huge green - 3 of them, red, yellow, and orange peppers and a gigantic sweet onion - all for $3.75 Cheap! - so we will add chicken and have some really yummy fajitas tomorrow for dinner. It's been awhile since we had those. There was all kinds of fruit and veggies for great prices, I wish I would have brought more money! I would have stocked up! :)

At the European Market

Jozie with her Marshmallow shooter - scratching her leg...

Flowers at the European Market

Luke in action with his Marshmallow Shooter