Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Have Broom, Will Travel

Is the slogan of my newest Tee-shirt. And my kids wholeheartedly agree that it suits me to a Capital T.   I only wear it on house cleaning days.

Today was one of those days.  The weatherman said that Fall was finally going to arrive this week in the form of cold weather, abundant rain, and frisky wind - so that meant one last sweep of the garden of weeds to see what I could harvest.  It was a little scary.

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Yet, with Hope’s eagle eye (I guess it helps to be closer to the ground), we were able to pull in a nice last haul.

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Yikes, now I’ve got to plan a couple of days just to process all of this food for storage.

Will someone tell me why I planted beets?  I don’t even know how to cook them.  I guess it will just have to be another Fawn first moment in the making.

Now for the update on my Holiday List.  See I remember that I was supposed to make a list and read it.  And I deserve a gold star for actually completing most of that list.  I’m still digging up a couple of addresses on my Christmas mailing list and there are still some Halloween decorations I need to finish making.

The kids and I had a hoot making several super-fun crafts:  Including  some Potions Labels for an odd collection of different shaped bottles.  You can check out my Mommy Blessings Blog to see how we made them.

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I’ve also been working on repurposing some vintage looking books into something enchanted.  

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Shhhh, don’t tell hard core book lover’s that I’m cutting up books, or they might not let me in the second hand bookstore any more.

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From the ’Joy of Words’ to ‘The Joy of Wands’.  And I’m turning the old fall-aparts into Magical Books that hold secret compartments, fairy quotes, and magical goodies.

Can’t wait to show you how I made them.  Of course I’ll post the instructions on Mommy Blessings when I finish.

So, as you can see, I haven’t finished decorating for Halloween so that’s back on my list for week 2 as well.

What’s up with my Holiday Countdown.  Well here’s Week 2:

1.  Um – Complete Halloween Decorating – Still.

2.  Sew at least 1 Halloween Costume.

3.  Cut out patterns for some Christmas Presents

4.  Design a Christmas Card.

and that’s in addition to preserving all those goodies from the garden,  and keeping my sanity in check.

On a side note:  The blessing keep coming.  My good friend Ethel stopped by and helped me clean up my sticky floor today - Just because she had nothing better to do than earn saint points from on high.  Maybe she was just disgusted that you couldn’t walk through the house without something gummy glued to your shoes or socks – or maybe, just maybe, she might be an angel in disguise.  I’m leaning towards the notion that she’s an angel.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bon Voyage – Sniff.

Glad I’m not the one calling the shots.  So grateful the Big Guy Upstairs is.

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And this is why…

My husband loved this boat, babied it, took better care of it than any other vehicle he owned.  If it didn’t get washed down every time he pulled it out of the water he would go nuts.  The thing sparkled it was so clean.

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I on the other hand was the boat Grinch and sometimes despised the cost of the big hunk of  …,   BUT I Loved the memories he was able to make with our children and family on it.  Financially, it was a strain.  But we were always careful.   It was a Joy!

On board we visited different countries, (Hello Beautiful Victoria,Canada, and the country of imagination – Yo Pirates), scenic and quaint picturesque islands of the San Juan’s.

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Nearly every trip to the San Juan’s we were able to see the breathtaking Orca’s in their natural habitat.  And their beauty in nature is so awe-inspiring that the Orca shows’ at Marine Parks pale in sad comparison.  I’ve never seen anything so beautiful as free Orcas, dolphins, sea lions and soaring bald eagles.  All of which are plentiful in the islands.

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Having a boat gave us the freedom to explore scenic State parks that could only be reached by personal craft. 

Plus, we always got the best seat in the house every time the Blue Angels came to town.

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Prince Erik loved tossing the kiddo’s overboard.  They loved it too.

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And we could drag them around by a rope when they gave us any lip.

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‘Faster, Daddy, Faster.’

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We put our boat on the market 1 1/2 years ago when our families finances started to show some strain.  But nearly everyone else in the country was undergoing similar money woes.  So the people who viewed my husbands pride and joy were few and far between. 

Last spring was the best time to sell.  Before boating season began.  But days turned into weeks and we couldn’t understand why it was taking so long to sell.  It was meticulously maintained, had less than 275 engine hours, and was priced competively. 

Then around 10 weeks ago when the biggest trial our family has ever gone through hit – the boat was a blessing from heaven.  We knew that Heavenly Father knew we would need it.  That’s probably why it hadn’t sold.  For three weeks it sheltered and buoyed us up.  Somehow, it also got more wear and tear on it than it had the previous 8 years we’ve owned it.

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Then things calmed a bit and we cleaned it up.  We were so grateful that it hadn’t sold because the sweet boat saved our bacon during those three weeks at the end of summer.

But finances were still tight and we had to list the boat again without much hope of actually selling it because – Who buys a boat after boating season is actually over?  However once it was listed we had people calling round the clock to look at it.  More than in the previous year combined.

Once again we realized that we are not in charge.  God is.  He knows what we stand in need of and has taken care of us yet again.

The boat was sold.  And Friday it left our family with it’s new owners.  And at Sunset – how appropriate is that?

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Some say that the happiest days of a boaters life is the day he buys the boat and the day he sells it.

Not true!  It was a sad day Friday – we will miss the big hunk of gas-guzzling family fun.  It was a huge sacrifice on my husbands end in order to keep me a stay at home mom for a while longer, and pay for new unexpected expenses.

It was also a reminder of the fact that when we rely on the Lord his time-table will always be the right one.  We can’t see the end like he can and we sometimes get impatient.  But he knows our true needs and has taken us under his wing yet again.

Someday, I’d love to buy my Prince another boat.  To see him standing behind the ships wheel with the wind blowing through his hair, with a big old school boy grin on his face  - That would melt my heart with joy.  It might not be for a long while yet.  But maybe just maybe one day we’ll hear the sweet little voices calling to him,  ‘Captain,  permission to come on deck?’


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Brain… What, Where?

I’ve discovered over the past nine plus weeks that stress can do really funny things to your brain.  Mine has gone missing. I am searching for it as we speak.  My short term memory is shot to bits. 

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I constantly find myself driving to somewhere totally unrelated to where I need to be or asking my  husband the same question I asked him not 5 minutes before, because I forgot his answer.  It’s a little scary.  But I think I’ve got a solution to my problem.  It’s called Sleep, Exercise, and eating something other than Chocolate and Sugar.  DUH!!! & UGH!!!

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And while I’m working on those three things I’m relying heavily on Lists to help me stay on track.   Lists are great except I have to remember where I put the lists and then I have to remember to actually look at the lists.  Wow, that’s a lot for a fried brain to remember.  But it’s working.  Thankfully I haven’t misplaced any kids yet,  they wear clean clothes, eat healthy foods, and we still visit the land of imagination occasionally.  Yes, my house is very messy and still cluttered but no matter how hard things are I’ve got to remember to Smile and keep going. 

Seeing how I’ve already lost one week off the 100 days till Christmas – I’ve got to get BUSY!!! Without losing what’s left of my brain as well.

I found my Holiday planner and I’ve thrown out the pages I no longer need, and have fresh pages in to start to work on. 

So over the next week this is my Holiday Checklist.  I’ve decided to show you the ideas on what I’ll be making my kids because they never read my blog, I’m not interesting enough and they know that I’ll tell them if I blog about them.  However my siblings who probably check daily to see if I’ve been committed to the funny farm yet, are not going to get any hints on their gifts.  Neener, neener, NEENER!  But remember my WISH budget of $200 which means simple, but hopefully meaningful.

So this weeks HOLIDAY countdown includes…

1.  Update Holiday Mailing List.

2.  Decorate for Halloween. (with the exception of carved pumpkins. For that would make a moldy gooey mess if done now)

3.  Finalize costume plans.

4.  Start planning Christmas Gift Lists

So that’s what’s happening on the holiday front.  On the Home front.  I’ve got to process all the goodies my garden is throwing at me.

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Thankfully the girls are excited to enjoy these last few days of our Indian Summer.  Lea picked and cleaned some carrots for me.CUsersMomDesktopCurrent Pictures2009Fall 004

While Princess and Hope decided to tackle a weed patch without me even asking them.

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I think they were motivated to uncover this hidden treasure.

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Silly weeds had no chance against those two.  They uncovered the bike in no time.

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Now I’ve just got to clear out the garage so we can hide the bikes from future weed infestations.

Well I’m off – lots of work to wrap my mind around.  Now where did I put that list?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Quick, Hide the Scissors

Nope, it’s not what you think.  Princess did not take the scissors to her hair again.  Dad did.

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So Valiant Prince Erik has been taking over the girls hair Sunday morning.  He has mastered pony tails, and even taken a stab at braids.  The girls looked Fabulous.  However, when it comes to trimming bangs…


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pirate Party!

Ahoy There Me Hearties!   Well we survived our International Talk Like A Pirate Day.


Even our teenage boys got in the spirit of the day and texted their friends in pirate lingo.  Twas fun hearing an occasional Arrggh, and Shiver me Timbers, as they would be conversing with acquaintances on the phone.

And although I would have loved to use this fun idea, I just didn’t have the time.  Maybe next year.  For the Family Fun’s Treasure Chest Cake see directions here. 

Treasure Cake

I especially found the comment about baking it in large loaf pans helpful, as it’s much easier to frost baked sides instead of cut sides.

If your a wee bit more adventurous you could try this one.  Instructions here.

Pirate ship cake

For our little shindig, I plundered some pirate plates, black cups and loot at the local $1 store.   Arggghh,  Then I loaded them up with Buccaneer Grub that included. Pirate Cookies made from Fudge covered Graham Crackers with White Icing Gel.

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And any Pirate Party on board our ship wouldn’t be worth it’s salt without a little Root Beer and Pirate Booty.

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And if you can eat fish and not feel like your stomach is rolling on the high seas then for your main course have some Clam Chowder, Hard Tack Biscuits, and Salted Meat Ocean Adventure Chicken Nuggets.

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I know, I know, this isn’t the most nutritious grub to grace your Pirate Plate.  So work it off by playing a rousing game of…

Pirate Charades.  Act out words like treasure, parrot, eye-patch, Hook, Jolly Roger, Skull and Crossbones, Walk the Plank, spyglass, cannon, peg leg, Black Beard, Shiver me Timbers, Cabin Boy, etc.

And what’s a Pirate Party without a Treasure Hunt.


Make your map from a brown paper grocery bag.  Crumple it up and soak it wrinkled paper in a blended mixture of 1/2 cup water and 1/8 cup cocoa powder. The plus side is that the map smells great and looks ancient.  Wring the liquid out and dry flat.  When it’s dry just decorate it with colored pencils and you have a nifty Pirate Map.  Hide your loot then let your little buccaneers search for their buried treasure.  It’s a bonus if you have a nearby beach or sandbox at your disposal.

We couldn’t make it to the beach today on account of the abundant liquid sunshine.  But between the cloudbursts the girls and I enjoyed an nice jaunt through the neighborhood looking for that Treasure.

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And what’s a Treasure Hunt without the Pirate Eye Patches?

We looked high and low for that accursed gold but all we found was some frightfully delicious wild blackberries.

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And some precious trinkets dropped by a very generous tree.

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And all the gold we found just happened to be in a beautiful last display of summer.

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The girls we a wee bit disappointed in the natural treasure hunt wild goose chase I led them on. 

Not me.  I loved every moment with them.  Especially loved to see them helping each other out.

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The surprise came at the end of the hunt when we arrived back home and Prince Erik Captain Erik presented his little crew with a bag of loot.  

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We let them know that you can search for treasure the whole world over and no matter what you find, it will never be as sweet or rewarding as the treasure of family and home.

Might I say I have the best Captain and Crew ever! 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Not Again…

No way is this happening again.

100 Days Until Christmas!!!

Does this fact stress you out like it does me?

Ahhhhhh!   Can I just skip it this year?  I mean who really needs this pressure anyway.

If I didn’t have little ones who believe in magic I might be tempted.  But I do have kids and I so want them to hold onto that magic.  I find the harder life gets the more I need it too.

No I haven’t forgotten Halloween and Thanksgiving.  You’ll see me go overboard with those holidays as well

Once again I’ll be doing my holiday countdown.  Setting superhuman moderate holiday goals for the week and trying to pull them off without going Looney, and driving my family insane. 

I’m also going to match last years goal of Halloween (custom costumes for all eight of us & calorie-free goodies) for less than $100. 

Plus – Do you want to hear my goal for Christmas.  Six kids, 1 Hubby, 14 siblings, Parents, Neighbors and Friends, 1 dog, and a gazillion other things that have flown from my mind for the present...  all for the measly amount of $200.00 or less.  That’s it.  Not a penny more (I can dream, Can’t I?).  I guess that means I’ll finally be using all the sewing and crafting stuff I’ve been collecting over the past couple of decades.

Shah!  Don’t tell Prince Erik, he’ll have me committed for sure.  I know it might not be a realistic goal but it is practical for the situation we are going through.  Plus there’s nothing like a little challenge to light a little fire under my backside to get me creatively motivated into action.

I might not meet the goal, but I’ll give it a good old-fashioned try.  And let you know my triumphs and failures along the way.

First thing on my list.  Pull out the Holiday Planner and give it a go-over.  Click on the picture to see how I made it

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Every Tuesday I’ll list my new weeks goals.  You can join in (PLEASE) and give me suggestions as well. 

More than anything I want this Holiday Season to be about Love and Family.   Because if I met all my other goals, but I didn’t have my Family or the Love there everything else would be meaningless. 

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Talk Like A Pirate Day countdown banner
Many thanks to Beth of Road to Joy for giving me an early heads-up on fun.
It's the perfect excuse I've been looking for to turn the mundane into swashbuckling fun. Life is still as though our family was on a voyage through rough seas but the ship is sound and we are plowing through these murky, turbulant waters with stout hearts. Might I say we have the best Captian at our Helm as well. I'm constantly reminded of the quote. 'When Life Sends Storms, Learn to Dance in the Rain.' So that's just it... we are going to have a Jig inspired Pirate Party Day at my house on the 19th.

Humm, I wonder what the young-un's will think of us doing some pillage and plundering of the garden, or looting the Library? Maybe there might even be time for a little viewing of my favorite pirates. Handsome Jack....

Or the Pirate from my youth - Long John Silver from Disney's Treasure Island.

Or my newest villan infatuation. Jason Isaac's Hook from the Live Action Peter Pan.

Be still my black heart. I can't wait.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Forget Smores – Try Smeeps instead!

Nothing can take me back to childhood quicker than a good old Smore.  Of course I choose the less messy way to make them.

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Under a broiler in the over for a few seconds and you get a plate load of yummy goodness.  Yeah, the marshmallow on a stick is good sticky fun.  But when you just can’t wait, or the liquid sunshine douses your outdoor fire, this way works just fine.

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In a farewell to summer, this last weekend I was introduced to what I’d like to refer to as Smeeps.


Instead of roasted marshmallows try Peeps.  My friends call them the Crème de a crème of toasted sugar.  Don’t burn them and they have a nice caramelized shell.

I think I might buy some next time they go on holiday clearance and instead of skewering the little darlings I might go all witchy and broil them.  Hummm, I wonder if Smwinkies would taste good.  Couldn’t hurt to try!  Might be fun experiment to see what a broiled Twinkie turns out looking like.

Maybe I’ve had too much sugar lately.  Okay, I admit it,  I’ve had way too much sugar lately. 

I’m still living one day at a time.  This last week was exceptionally hard because I had to send my offspring back to school.

And since you haven’t seen enough back to school pictures on everyone else’s blog I thought I’d throw in mine so I could irritate you with pictures you really don’t want to see but Granny would. 

T-rev doesn’t like blending in.  This shirt just about nails his personality on the dinger.  My, but he is awesome.


Lea and Princess couldn’t wait to get back to school to see their old friends and possible make some new ones.


And Hope’s nigh bursting out of her shoes as she wishes she were big enough for school.  I haven’t the heart to tell her they won’t have her for yet another two years.  Maybe it’s time to bring back my Princess Academy Pre-School level.


If school weren’t enough to handle we are also getting ready for Mom-ah to come visit.  I was blessed when a friend was giving away a free full size mattress and box spring because it meant that we could pull out an old antique bed from storage and set it up.  Thus not making my mom  me sleep on the couch.

Evo-man and I also got to take care of some farm animals for a friend this weekend.  And to be honest I loved it.  Really took me back to my days as a farm girl.  Had they had a cow to milk it might have all but transported me back in time. 


And I’ve fallen in love with their kittens.  Their short hair reminds me so much of our Nala.  Little bundles of peachy joy is what they are.


Don’t they look cute enough to cuddle? 

So I’m off to do what Labor day should be all about – WORK!        I might actually work up a sweat shopping the 1/2 off sale at the local Thrift store.