Tuesday, January 24

This is Tina, or if you're Sis and can't remember the name of your new kitten, you just call her "new kitten." Time will tell as to what the newest member of our family will be dubbed.

Sunday, January 22

Oh My.......

Tomorrow Sis turns 5!! I just can't believe it.

So today after church, we hosted a party in the church gym for 12 kids. There were scooters... there were bikes... there was much commotion! Boy did they have fun!

There was a pinata, pin the tail on the donkey, cake, ice cream.

Now they're all safely home, and...

I. am. exhausted.

I hope to post pictures tomorrow of today's festivities, but right now I'm going to go lay down in a quiet, dark room and leave Steve to helping Sis with her presents.


Thursday, January 19

Christmas Bonus

For Christmas, my generous employer hosted a catered lunch for us at their beautiful new home. Then it was off to their lower level to view a movie in their home theater, complete with popcorn! It was such a treat. The kids were with a sitter, and to have a fun-filled afternoon like that is very rare. As we were leaving the party we were handed gift bags with assorted goodies, one of which was a gift card to Borders. I've been pondering... books, movies, games. What shall I get? Well, I finally made a choice and I just CANNOT wait 'til it gets here.

click here if your curious : )

I mean, we're talking 12 dvd's here! Can you sense I'm excited? I would have never thought to purchase this on my own!

Sunday, January 15

Beep. Beep. Giggle.

From the other room I hear: Beep. Beep. Peels of laughter. Repeat. I had to investigate. I found our two mischievous girls thoroughly enjoying the air purifier. Hey, it makes a neat beeping noise and then blows air up your nose. What more could you ask for? BTW, this is our second purifier. Sis ruined the first one at Mudge's age, enjoying this exact pasttime. Sigh. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 14

Mid Year Funk

Mid year funk? Yes, mid year. I'm not referring to a calendar year, obviously. I'm talking school, homeschool to be exact. To all you homeschool moms out there, I'm soliciting your advice.

Our Bud is currently in 3rd grade. We're using Calvert, which has proven to be just okay. I have to say... it is definitely not a match to his learning style. I feel like we're just going through the motions. Nothing exciting here. A few lessons stretch him, but they're few and far between. I pulled a spelling lesson for the end of the year out and he aced it. No surprise there. So is it any wonder he's preoccupied and not able to focus?

Supplement you say? Well, have you seen the pile of laundry I can't seem to conquer and the endless project list that is forever being shelved due to only getting through each week by the skin of our teeth. I don't know when I'd have the time to even plan supplements. Not to mention that he already does a good chunk of time in "school" each day. When I think of our school time I think of one word. Yawn.

So, here's what I'm looking for. What are you using? What mix are you excited about, and why. I could look at resource catalogs all day and then they all kind of meld together. Too many choices, not enough choices. Arghhhhh!

Simplicity for Mom, challenges for Bud. Is it possible?

Thursday, January 5

The Answer

Don't you just love this?!

"I know now, Lord, why You utter no answer. You are Yourself the answer. Before Your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice? Only words, words..."

Sunday, January 1

This for all Anderson family relatives. This is the newest addition to the family. Not ours, but Eric's. Isn't she just the cutest thing? Her name is Rooney. Posted by Picasa

For Uncle Jon. I thought you would appreciate this photo. Ronnie's nose is forever stuck in a book (just like Daddy's was at that age). Well, this last fall I couldn't take it anymore! I told him "get outside, get some fresh air, and enjoy the outdoors, you'll be stuck inside enough this winter!" Well he did go out, but he only made it as far as the machine shed. Of course, with book in hand : ) Posted by Picasa

(This post is for Mom & Dad) When I was a kid, for many years, we made the trip to the craft strore and loaded up on ceramic ornaments. We'd sit and paint at the kitchen table, all four of us, for hours. Then we'd admire each other's handiwork. It was lots of fun and it's neat to look at them now just remember that time, which seems so long ago now. If I didn't have the ornaments as proof, I'd wonder if it really happened because it's seems so long ago. So anyway, here are pictures of a couple of the most memorable painted treasures, as well as a pic of a mouse that my Gram made. This first one is dated 1984, and I think I painted it. I kind of remember doing the detail on the wheels. You'd think I'd remember making these poor baby mice look so evil!

This will forever be remembered as Sticky Kitty. I don't know if the gold paint or the clearcoat spray is what left her sticky, but to this day, she is sticky enough to attract all kinds of fuzz, and she's dated 1979.

This is one of a gazillion of these mice that Gram made. She was very crafty! This mouse is very detailed for only being 2 inches tall. Also dated 1979.

Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane Mom, Dad, and Mike!

January Recipe(s)

Per my SIL Kathy's request, I'll be posting recipes for a few of the meals we shared over our Christmas visit.
I love recipes that are simple (who doesn't?), and you can't get any simpler than these. Enjoy!

Italian Beef Sandwiches
1 beef roast (4 1/2 lbs), cut in half
2 cans beef broth (14 1/2 oz ea.)
1 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
10 French bread hard rolls, split

Place roast in slow cooker. Combine the broth, water, vinegar, soup mix, salad dressing mix, garlic, oregano and basil; pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until meat is tender.
Remove roast. When cool enough to handle, shred meat, using two forks. Return to slow cooker and heat through. Using a slotted spoon, spoon shredded meat onto each roll. Serve juices as a dipping sauce.

Baked Potato Soup
(from the kitchen of MD of Doodles from the Dahls)
2/3 C. butter
2/3 C. flour
7 C. milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 large baking potatoes (baked, cooled, peeled, & cubed), enough to make 4 C.
4 green onions, sliced
12 bacon strips, cooked & crumbled
1-1/4 C. Shredded cheddar cheese
1 C. (8 oz.) sour cream

In a large kettle, melt butter. Stir in flour, heat and stir until smooth. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add potatoes & onions. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat & simmer 10 min. Add remaining ingredients, stir until cheese is melted. serve immediately.

Mom's Lazy Lasagna
1/2 lb. Italian sausage
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 can of diced tomatoes, undrained
2 jars of favorite spaghetti sauce
1 C. Ricotta or cottage cheese
1 egg
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
8 oz. pkg. regular lasagna noodles (I had a bad experience with ready-to-bake noodles), uncooked
6 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown meat in large saucepan; drain. Add diced tomatoes & both jars of spaghetti sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, mix ricotta or cottage cheese, egg and Parmesan cheese. Put a little of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 13"x9" baking dish and alternate layers as follows: noodles, 1/3 of meat sauce, half of cheese mixture. Repeat and then finally top with remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and cover with foil that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until noodles are tender. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Serves 8 - 10.