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Friday, June 28, 2013

Titus 2 Tea - outside projects

Today, I have to go to work, so I won't be getting a whole lot done outside.  But tomorrow, I should be able to do a lot. 

Mowing, putting down hay, weeding, splitting firewood, there is plenty for the kids and I to do, even though we'll be having someone with us.  We're excited that she gets to come for another weekend, and she won't mind sitting outside and doing stuff with us. 

The house is staying clean, though I expect it won't be super duper clean when I get home tonight. 

Hope you all have a great weekend.
Steph

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday's Thoughts - lies that I believe

Yesterday, I was so discouraged.  My plan that I had laid out was not working.  I thought there is no way I can keep up with everything.  Carpenter wanted the house clean first.  Which is a great idea.  Really.  But it's not my favorite thing.

So yesterday we sorted and cleaned off bookshelves.  We cleaned rooms and vacuumed and we made it down to the main level.  To my eyes it looks much cleaner, much better. 

Today, as Carpenter suggested, we/I touched every room.  Sometimes I felt that all a room needed was a broom and dustpan.  Yes, farmhouses get dirty quickly.

By 7:30, I had cleaned and straightened each room that was clean yesterday.  Today's schedule from the old plan, says that we need to do major cleaning in the kitchen and dining room.  We need to do the fridge, the cobwebs, the dusting, and the walls, but with 7 kids that divides to two people per chore.  Nice.

Also I got out and mowed (push-mowed) till the mower quit.  We have machines that glitch up a lot, so it provides good times of rest, but we always have to mow because we can't get it all done in one shot.  Plus, I'm not doing the whole garden this year, so I'm mowing that too.

The boys are hoeing and caring for the corn, and picking peas and radishes and strawberries. Bugaboo is caring for the littler ones and helping them stay out of trouble.  And it's going to rain, so we won't be outside all day, and it helps with the heat.

The lie I believed - that if I do work on the house, I'll always be caring for the house and never doing anything else.  LIES - Big time.  I just need to discipline my body and bring it into subjection. 

I don't need to be controlled by it, but rather control it.  I need to be it's master and not it's slave.  I want to be the woman who does good and not evil all her days so that her husband has no lack of gain. 

These are my desires, but when it come to today - today, I just want to relax, to sit back and do nothing or read a book.   As I read in an article last night, a bunch of todays spent relaxing will end up with years worth of nothing.

"Therefore I run thus, not with uncertainty; thus I fight, not as one who beats the air, but I discipline my body and bring it into subjection."  I Corinthians 9:26

Keep pressing on,
Steph

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday's Househols - Epic Fail

Have you ever had a day where you realized that your house was an epic fail?  If you come into my house after I've just cleaned you might not say that, but even when I'm keeping up faithfully, you probably would think that it wasn't very clean.

But yesterday, even though I did my regular cleaning.  When Carpenter came home, the house was a wreck.  The hallway had been clean at some point during the day, but now it was littered with paper and hangars and toys and stuff, and there really wasn't room to walk. 

I had spent a lot of time on the computer, but I had done the stuff on my list.  I knew things were going downhill, but was interested in my own projects.  We hadn't had time to get out in the garden because it had been raining in the morning, and I was waiting for it to dry out a bit.  Then when it was drier, the little children I care for were needing attention and I had to go shopping.  It seems endless.

It discourages Carpenter, more than me, when things are a mess.  It grates on his nerves.  He does a great job keeping it under control, and basically ignoring it.  But last night it was too much for him.  He spoke to me about it, and I felt it - epic fail.  He was not rude or unkind, just firmly explaining to me how he felt that with all the kids and him being gone for 12 hours, surely there was time to clean the house.

He told me that in his mind the house was first priority, then the yard, then the garden.  Other projects would take place after all the other stuff was done.  While it's super good to have some accountability, someone to rein me in, it wasn't easy stuff to hear.

I wanted to tell him all my excuses, but I knew that I hadn't been doing my best to keep the house clean.  I had kept up on my blog, been working on Scripture memory, but in 1 Corinthians 9 it says, "everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things."  I wasn't being temperate (or self-disciplined).

My dear man reminded me that I have children who should be a great help to me.  They should be able to help with the work.  And it's true.  I've been telling myself they're on summer vacation.  That they shouldn't have to work all day.  But the truth is they've been doing a bit of chores in the morning and then reading or t.v. or video games all day.  It's not a good plan for anyone.

He thought that while the little ones shouldn't have to work all the time that maybe they should be told where they can and can't be, so that they aren't running around making messes where we've already cleaned up.

Ugh, the thought of managing so much made me wilt.  But what I realized is that I have been trying to manage their work while doing what I want to do.  They may not be bad things, but you can't oversee something that you aren't involved in yourself.

I realized something else as well.  Something I didn't want to realize.

Daily, or maybe hourly or minute-by-minute, I need to offer up on the altar the sacrifice of my will.

I am a mother and a wife first and foremost and that means that I probably won't get to do all the things I want to do, unless I love housework and cooking, which I do not. 

So here's a solution that I had already been planning on discussing yesterday. 

Spend time with your kids doing what needs to be done.  It may feel harder, but they don't want you to pass a chore off to them, unless they've already been trained in it fully.  And they don't need to be off running and playing while you do the chores.
 You can't see what we're doing in the picture but Jules wanted to shell the peas.  I was going to ask her to do it alone, but she said she'd rather do it with me.  On another blog, I had just read about going on dates with your children, and I figured that this may be a way of having a date with her.  While everyone else was busy all around, she and I spent time together, shelling peas - something she loves to do.
Another thing is to have your older ones, help the children in their play.  It's good for them to learn how to play games and how to lose or win graciously. 

Right now, I don't have any more ideas, and I have to get back to my housecleaning.

Keep pressing on,
Steph

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cooking Tuesday - Fruit Cookie Pizza

 The recipe called for these ingredients
  • 1 pkg of chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 1 pkg of cream cheese
  • 1 cup of whipped topping
  • 2 oz of white chocolate and 2 T milk
  • 1/4 c of powdered sugar
  • 3 kiwi
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Choclate syrup


I rolled the dough out on the cookie sheet and thought there wasn't enough.  So I made more cookie dough, but it was a lot stickier than the refrigerated dough.  I spread it out almost to the edge of the stone.

Here is my little chef.  See the tongue.  Licking the spoon is his favorite thing to do.


I checked the cookie pizza after a bit and noticed that it was falling off the edge.  So I started scraping it a bit with a spatula.  Maybe the 16 oz of refrigerated dough was enough.


Melt the white chocolate with the 2 T of milk
Mix in the powdered sugar and cream cheese
Spread over the cookie pizza
Add strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi.
Drizzle with chocolate syrup or choclate chips melted with 1 T oil.
 

Project Monday - more on that Father's Day project


 After last week, I decided that I wanted to paint this area.  It needs to be done, except I usually paint all the walls at once.  That's not a possibility anymore - too many tools and business stuff have taken over the garage.  So I thought I would paint it in segments.


I removed everything and placed it on the boxes of siding on a different wall.  Then I painted the walls and shelves a color called Faraway Blue.    It is slightly but very slightly blue. 


And yes I painted over the edges of the electric box, but I wasn't too worried about that.  This way I got a good coat and I had no tape, so I wasn't going to wait for a trip too the store.


I also did underneath.  It was amazing to me how much paint it soaked in, until I talked with Carpenter's aunt, who mentioned that the longer drywall sits unpainted the more porous it gets and therefore it takes more paint to paint it.


On Friday, I came out to this mess.  All my neatly sorted jars and bins crashed to the ground because the siding gave way.  I'm not sure if the kids did it or if it just fell on it's own.  But needless to say, I had to redo a lot of my original work of organizing.

 
 
There was glass underneath the tire, so before we went anywhere it all had to be cleaned up.
 


I didn't like just the light blue, so talked with Carpenter's aunt about what color I should put with it, and we chose Peacock Blue.  I thought of accenting it with Sunflower, but don't know where to put it.  Any ideas?
 
Here it is with the second coat of paint.  I was nervous that maybe Carpenter would think it was too girlie.  But he shrugged and said, "It doesn't really matter to me."  I know that he's happy to have it look neat and painted, so it's a relief that he doesn't hate the color.   The white blurb on the shelf is a hook that I decided to leave the light blue.  Not sure if I should paint it or not. 

Keep pressing on
Steph

Friday, June 21, 2013

Titus 2 Tea - Outdoor projects

 
 
 


 The outdoor projects are coming along.  We are now gathering peas and strawberries daily.  We've had some radishes and lettuce and even a bit of broccoli from our garden.  Right now, the main work of the garden is weeding.  And taking care of the produce that comes in for the day.



The big bale of hay is for keeping the weeds down.  It will really help when our corn comes up and in among the strawberries.  It also helps with keeping the water from evaporating right away.  Jeff's uncle dropped it off today for us to use.  It's a blessing to have such wonderful neighbors.

 We (the boys) finally finished splitting the wood that was near our firepit.  Now we are just in the final stages of cleaning up the wood chips in that area.

And the flower beds constantly need weeding.  Keeping up means that lately I spend 1/2 hour out of most every hour outside.  Because of the heat, I work inside the other half hour.

Keep pressing on
Steph

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday's Thoughts - where my strength is found

On so many days, I feel weary and worn.  I want to shout at my children, "Stop yelling at each other and get along already!!!!  I don't know how I'm going to make it another minute, let alone finish the day.

There is so much to remember to accomplish and so many things to do in the day.  I usually don't finish the day remembering everything that I thought I should do or that Carpenter asked me to do.  Which is why I use my notebook to plan my day - somewhat. 

But there is no strength in that.  That's just a discipline that I have found works for me.  When I use it, I generally remember the things I need to remember.

The one place that I do find strength is in the Word.  When I fill my mind with God's Word, His Words consume me through the day.  I still don't always respond appropriately - like when I don't get my way.  Sounds kind of childish, doesn't it?  But I respond better, and as I've said before here, it doesn't take me pulling on any bootstraps - it doesn't take much work on my part. 

The biggest step is to be in the Word.  When I am obedient in that regard, I have found that it takes effort but not an enormous amount to be kind and gentle.  And also when I am really engaged in the Word, I find so much joy.  And we talked about that last week. 

But it's so fun to be in the Word and finding new things all the time.  Which is why the Scripture Typer program works well for me.  I find myself distracted when I just read the Word, so actively typing it into the computer on a daily basis has been a help for me.

Get your strength.  Get into the Word.  And then share it with someone, it will double or triple the effect, and as my I John teacher used to say, "When you share it two or three times, you won't forget it."

Keep pressing on, (but not in your strength but in the strength of the Lord),
Steph

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday's Household - planning


when I took this picture my list wasn't filled out yet

After several days of flops, I now have a plan to help the kids (older ones) know what to do during the day and give them some responsibility with it.

We sat down this morning and mapped out our day.  With lots of free time, and with chores.  Hopefully, this will help them accomplish the one thing I need them to do today.

I usually do this.  Leaving myself plenty of time to complete the job that I put in my half-hour slot.  That way, if I get busy with changing diapers or dealing with issues, I can still get the important things done. 

Sometimes I'll  be way ahead and other times I will find that the time is quickly passing and I won't finish.  But usually, if it's weeding the garden, I can end at any time.  Also I get to sit down at the computer and browse Facebook or study my scripture verses for a bit till the next time starts.

How do you keep up with all the things on your plate?  Some do a chart on the fridge.  I'm not good at sticking with any ONE thing, so I have tried them all.  But I keep coming back to this notebook idea.

Keep pressing on
Steph

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cooking Tuesday - a little prep the night before

I'm always tired at night when we're doing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen.  The last thing I want to do is think about breakfast.  But since we get up at the crack of dawn (or most of the year while it's still dark, so that my littlest daughter wants to ask "Why do we get up at night and go to bed in the morning?") and my eyes are so full of sleep that everything seems huge. 

I'm not perfect.  In fact I'm super far from being a perfectionist.  Have you ever read the blog "A Slob Comes Clean"?  I can pretty much relate.  Have you heard me say before, I love to organize, but hate to keep it up? 

So I will tell you what my goals are, and let me tell you with two teen-agers and one half-a-year away from being a teenager, my goals are totally attainable.  I just need to put them to work.

Come dishes time two of my older three will always show up (they're all supposed to, but most of them hope they can get away with skipping out) and a couple of the younger ones show up.  But basically all my children are old enough to dry, and clear the table and wipe it off.  Not all of them can handle the sweeping or the cooking. 

So what I need to do is, while I am washing the dishes.  Give those two who are so faithful a better job.   They've been faithful with the little, yucky jobs, now they can have something better.  Not saying that making coffee or getting breakfast prep is their favorite thing in all the world, but I am saying, they like it better than drying.

When I wake up in the morning and I have to measure ingredients for pancakes or cook a batch of rice (for our cereal: rice, sugar and milk), it seems to take forever.  But when I wake up in the morning and the coffee is hot and already brewing, and all I have to do is pour the dry ingredients in with the wet ones.  Voila' - pancakes in a few minutes, folks.

We don't put out our tableware that early because you never know what the cat will do.  He's good about not eating stuff off the counter, but the table is a great look-out for all those birds flying around during the day.   I have stacked the plates on the kitchen counter with a towel over them. 

It takes two seconds the night before when I'm wide awake and things are going well.  It only takes two seconds in the morning as well, but I'm bleary-eyed and sleepy and feel like everything is a huge chore.  I bounce a little more in the morning when I can wake up and all those "chores" to do.

Keep pressing on.
Steph

Monday, June 17, 2013

Project Monday - A Father's Day Gift



 
 
 
 
A friend had a great Father's Day gift for her hubby.  He's going to be doing some studying on-line.  So she created a quiet place for him to do his studying.  I had been pondering a good gift for Carpenter.  What would be something he would actually appreciate?  I'm not brave enough to buy him another tool for his workshop/our garage.
 
When she told me about her idea, I knew what I needed to do for Carpenter.  Organize his area.  I wouldn't really like having someone else organize my area without my help.  But Carpenter does not feel the same way.  He's told me time and again that he would love to have his garage organized with or without his help.
 
The painting shelves

 Me with my new labeler
 

I ordered the plastic shoe boxes and the labeler and also some bins for screws.   Then I had fun with my labeler.  Obviously we were on a protection theme. :)

 The end result is I got most things into a container that is labeled and now we know where to put stuff when we want to put it away.  Hopefully our kids will get into the habit too.

I didn't get his whole garage finished, but I did get a second area done. This is where he keeps screws and nails and jars of miscellaneous things.  I'm telling you this is a difficult area to organize, when I'm not sure if the item is a thing-a-majig or a dealie-bob.  But I organized to the best of my ability.


I love the little bins for the screws and they are labeled with size.  But as Carpenter said, you can't haul it to a job that way or they'll spill everywhere.  So I have some of those applesauce containers in a box for such a time.
 First I set it up like this.  But as I was taking a picture, I noticed something that shouldn't be.  I took away the access to the electric box.  Not a good idea.  So....

I like this better.  Everything is still here, except for the stuff that doesn't belong.  I would like the garage to be a series of stations, so we know where to look for things.  Also I want to paint it, maybe today.

I'm going to get back into organizing this summer.  So probably our projects will mostly deal with that for awhile.

Keep pressing on,
Steph

Friday, June 14, 2013

Titus 2 Tea - Outdoor work projects

 
 This week, I got this flower bed planted.  The dogs love to lay in it, much to my dismay.

Here's the before pic:

Below is a before pic of in front of our woodshed:


I got the wood shed all cleaned out and all these things that go in the other two sheds or in the trash put away.  I also made a trip to the dump today, even though I didn't have a lot of things to throw away.

 The boys made a lot of progress on the wood that needed to be split.  It's not finished but we'll try to get it done this weekend.

 I also was able to plant flowers out here.  See our cat, Goliath, stalking something over by the duck pen?



The pool was set up but had a gash so today we are trying to see if our patch will work.


Haven't done a lot in this area except mow really well.


Another view of the flowers the dogs love to lay in.  Problem is, I love these flowers.   So not happy about the dogs issue with laying on them.

And today, I received the Father's Day stuff I ordered.  I ordered a labeler, plastic shoe boxes and some containers for screws and stuff.  So I will be working on organizing the garage/shop for Carpenter.  It's something he really needs.

Keep pressing on.

Steph

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursdays Thoughts - an engaged mind

Have you ever heard the sound of discontent?  The "I don't get anything out of the sermon." line.  I have, and I have been there.  When you're bopping heads (not really) to help 7 sit still and you're trying to keep the activity in your row to a minimum, sometimes there's not a word that a can remember after I leave the place.  It's discouraging.  Makes me want to forget the battle of even going.

But one thing I have found. 

For years I struggled to read my Bible.  Some people found it funny that a missionary would forget or struggle with the reading of God's Word.  Sometimes, like I said, I forgot, but other times it was just plain wearying.  I couldn't get engaged in what was being read. 

Maybe I'm ADD or ADHD, don't know, but I tend to think better when I'm actively involved in what I'm doing.  I don't do well at sticking to a task, and tend to flit from one to another.

One day I found a program called Scripture Typer at www.scripturetyper.com .  As you type in scripture, it keeps track of your speed and then keeps you typing at that speed.  If you get faster, it will challenge you. 

You can choose between typing the first letter of each word or typing everything out.  I choose to type everything out because it gives me more time to think about what I'm typing.

It will let you know when you need to review a verse.  After you master a verse, you will review it the next day.  Then for each successful attempt, you review it that many days later.  For example: if I've typed Romans 8 twelve times successfully, then I won't need to review it for twelve days.

You only work on what you've done.  So the more verses you have in your review list, the more you'll be working on.  I like that you work at your own pace.

I've talked about Scripture Typer before, but not about the blessings.  You see, I've always struggled during my quiet time to stay focused and engaged in what I'm reading.  Maybe it's the little ones running under my feet.  Now that they're older I can train my mind to focus again.

But I've found that as I'm typing whole chapters in a day and sometimes two or three, I am more engaged in what I'm reading.  I think "What does that mean?  I've memorized this before but now I'm not sure what that means exactly."  And so I have questions for Pastor. 

Or better yet, when he discusses a passage that I've been working on I get ecstatic.  It thrills me to go over these sections of the Word that have become so dear to me.  They're like good friends and sitting down to discuss them is so refreshing.  It's like balm to my soul.

And I think that since Pastor is studying through I Corinthians with us.  That should be my next plan to memorize it.  Because that is how I get stuff out of the sermon.  By being actively engaged in the Word during the week.  It's not his job to entertain me.  It's my job to be ready to hear what the Lord has to say to me from His Word.  I'm not ready if I'm not doing my own study.

I'm pretty sure that this won't be the most effective method for everyone, but for me it is.  I love getting into the Word and studying it.  I actually don't even spend a lot of time in commentaries.  Just keep typing His Word and it becomes so alive.

Keep pressing on.
Steph

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday's Household - A beautiful day!

Yesterday, I woke up to a beautiful sky.  It had been storming through the night, but here was the promise of a gorgeous day.

Last night, as my man and I were falling asleep, we were talking.  It was past our bedtime, but we weren't super tired.  I was sharing with him about how I was excited to get up the next day and do more to get our yard cleaned up and neat. 

I almost was thinking, "Hurry up and go to sleep, so we can wake up and start the day." 

And that thought comes from a good and profitable day.  A day where I was able to get quite a lot done.  This hasn't happened for awhile because of the babies in the house during the day.  But now that they are older and my children are older, I can run outside for a half hour to an hour and get a few things done, especially during naptime.

Yesterday, I mowed the lawn, cleaned one stall of the garage, and planted some flowers.  Now today, I'm ready to head out there to work in the garden quite a bit. 

It's an exciting thing to walk in obedience, to serve the Lord with my whole heart.  It's exhilarating.  I've been telling myself I'll be too tired and won't be able to last, if I do the work.  But really it's been a lie of the devil and I need to stop listening.

Keep pressing on,
Steph

"Whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not to men."

Cooking Tuesday - (a little late) Baked Potatoes in the crockpot

Have you ever tried making baked potatoes in the crock pot?  I haven't.  But yesterday, I put potatoes in my roaster.  My house didn't heat up, like it does when the oven is on.  That was a plus since yesterday it was very warm outside.



You can wrap them in foil.  Didn't have any and I hate trying to unwrap them when they're hot.  So we washed and stabbed 15 huge potatoes.  I put them in the roaster at 350 degrees.  But not for long enough.  These were Monster Potatoes.  For a crock pot (we had too many potatoes for ours), I think it was on low and they're ready by noon.

I fried some onions, and we had grated cheese, ham, onion, sour cream and butter on our potatoes.  Yum!!!!

Keep pressing on.
Steph

Monday, June 10, 2013

Project Monday - Crafts, crafts and more crafts!

Today, I'm mostly going to be cleaning up after a weekend full of concessions.  Thankfully, we came through it with  a lot of victories.  The lawn is looking good, even though there is still more mowing to be done.  The garden is not over grown with weeds.  And my laundry was only four loads, which is about normal for a Monday.  Yay!!!

Despite the fact that I am exhausted, I cannot nap because I have babies coming for the day.  I may catch a couple of winks during the after lunch movie, but can never count on that.  Soooooo, to keep myself from wishing the day away and sitting here and moaning over the fact that I'm tired and can't take a rest, I will fill my day with things that need to be done - and go to bed early.

Today, Bugaboo and I will plan the crafts (for Friday through the summer), and figure out what supplies we need. 

We have seven or eight Fridays of babysitting before school starts.  There are actually 9 Fridays before school starts.

Our first project is going to be painting rocks for our garden which I did for the big garden already.  Rocks for the garden

After that I've searched Pinterest for some cute ideas and we'll pick about 10 of them.   Then we'll make a shopping list.   I'm going to try to have some pics up from time to time about the fun stuff we get to do. :)

Keep pressing on,
Steph

Friday, June 7, 2013

Titus 2 Tea - Outside projects

It's June!  And rather cool still compared with last year.  The ponds are full.  We've had much rain.  Which is quite the opposite of last year's drought.

So we have been working outside lately and not just in the garden.  Splitting wood, moving bricks and cleaning up the back patio.  We have lots more wood to move and I would love a fence around the front yard, but all in due time.

Maybe at the end of this month, I will show you the difference from the pictures I showed you a week or two ago of the New Need.

Right now, we are using the bricks that were torn up.  We're putting them around the trees out front and hoping to make them prettier.

Keeping the lawn mowed and the sticks picked up are regular activities around here.  Also a summer fun thing is the pool.  We haven't decided where we want it this year because we want to leave it in the same place from now on.

Since it's still nice outside, it's nice to be out and working.  It's when it gets hot that we don't want to do it.

Keep pressing on.
Steph

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thursday's Thoughts - the Tongue

"The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity." - James 3:6a
 
 
 
James talks a lot about the tongue in chapter 3, and since I've been memorizing James, I've been thinking a lot about the tongue - specifically mine.
 
 
Do my words build up or tear down?  Are they edifying?  Are they truth?  When I'm hurt and feel offended, do I lash out and say things I shouldn't? 
 
 
As I watch my family grow, I've noticed that some of my children don't say enough.  When an adult, or anyone really (not strangers),  talks to you, you need to answer with more than a mumble and/or a nod.  But you probably don't tend to blab the family secrets or say things you shouldn't say - unless the person is a sibling, then all bets are off.
 
 
I've also noticed that some of my children tend to say more than necessary.  Oh, please, don't share all that information with your neighbor or your best friend.  It ends up becoming like the game Telephone, and they will have some majorly wrong ideas about what our family thinks or says.  But when an adult, or anyone really, talks with you, you will generally smile and be cheerful and answer well.
 
Sometimes words are necessary, even though they are painful to hear.  Like when Carpenter spoke to me about the condition of the house.  At first it was hard to hear, but after I thought on his words I realized that he was speaking to me for my benefit and not for my hurt.  That he was telling me that I should delegate more not necessarily that I should do more. 
 
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer. "  Psalm 19 verse 14 I believe.
 
Keep pressing on,
Steph
 


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday's Household - Keeping up

This post was written last weekend.

This week is starting VBS and as soon as VBS is out on Friday, we'll be loading vans to head to the rodeo.  The teens are doing concessions for a rodeo in Kansas.  It's Friday night and Saturday night and we (or rather I ) have to make sure we have everything.

So Carpenter has been busy this weekend, making sure that the laundry kept going and helping me put it away and then he came out to the garden with me and helped me do some hoeing and weeding. 

Then we saw the grass, growing tall, around the garden and he went and grabbed the weed whacker and started whacking.  Since we couldn't talk, I started up the lawn mower and mowed the lawn.  Something that was on my list for during the week, but I knew I probably wouldn't have time for it.

I normally rest up the weekend before this week every summer.  Relax and make sure I'll be mentally ready to handle whatever comes.  But I'm thankful for Carpenter's encouragement to keep moving and get things done, so maybe we'll end the week victoriously.

I need to keep working on things, so that I'm not super behind come Sunday.  

Keep pressing on
Steph

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cooking Tuesday - Goulash? Of a sort.

Yesterday, I wanted to make something with the macaroni that we have in the cupboard, while I was doing that I decided that tonight we would have scalloped potatoes and ham.  The night before we'd had rice, so it seemed like macaroni was a good thing.

The only thing I could think of was goulash.  No, I haven't made it in years.  Yes, we have hamburger.  No, we do not have anything tomato-ey to use for the base.  Ketchup!  That's what I'll use.

A huge hit, especially with parmesan cheese on top.  And for tonight, the crock for the crockpot sits in the fridge waiting to be started right after we get home from VBS!!!  It's super easy, but I may have already shared that recipe.

I never used to be able to get the potatoes cooked.  Now they're done through-and-through every time.

Keep pressing on,
Steph

Monday, June 3, 2013

Project Monday - chain link for summer days

This summer I've been looking forward to day after day of 10 children in the house.  I've honestly been dreading it.  How are things going to go?  What will we do?  How will I keep them from getting on each other's nerves?

So one day, for my own sake, and because we needed a craft, I made a chain.  A rainbow link with each date of summer written on a link.  I was hoping no one would ask questions and just enjoy the craft.  I was making this chain to count down the days till life gets a bit easier.  Last week was full of rain and storms and even severe weather, I was weary of trying to keep them occupied.


But the question did come.  "Why are we making a chain link for summer when we don't want it to end?  Whenever we make these kinds of chains it's always counting down to something.  We don't want to count down to the end of summer."  

"Just think of it this way," I said.  "You can see how long the chain is and how many days you have to explore and do all kinds of fun things."

And now I see the beautiful chain and I think that I should write on the backs of the links something to special to do on those days.  Now, I'm not in a rush to hurry the days by, but rather I'm looking at how long the chain is and thankful that it is that long.

This week is VBS and I'm so thankful for all my help.  So many people pitched in to make it wonderful.  And we are busy, busy, busy this week.  But it's good.

Keep pressing on.
Steph