About Me

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Indiana, United States
I'm a mother of five of my own children, very blessed adoptive mommy to one, step mother to three! Married to a wonderful man who forgives ALOT! Grammy to 6!I also have the best "kids in law" that I could have! I am blessed to be able to baby sit for our grandchildren a few days a week. I am blessed to be able to NOW stay home full time to take care of our home, children, and grandchildren!!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Candlelight and Potato Soup!

We had a very simple "Poor Man's" meal yesterday of potato soup with cheese and crackers so I decided to spruce our meal up a bit and had us eat by candlelight using our pretty glasses! I don't often do that but the kids thought it was fun and my husband just chuckled at me. (After I gently reprimanded him for turning on the lights in the dining room! He turned them back off!)
Harmony the cat and I spent much of yesterday going over our homeschool plans for the next semester. Becca also took her semester test in History and got a 97% on it! Harmony was just exhausted after all that work......
These are SOME of the Christmas ornaments that I had mentioned a few days ago. There are 12 of them and are called Adornaments. I think Focus on the Family or possibly Family Life sold them several years ago. Each of the ornaments have a Scripture on them and a short lesson to go along with each ornament. They are about the names of Jesus. (Lamb, King, Door, etc.)
I thought it was a good way to keep Christ the focus of Christmas.

I also was able to buy some Nativity scenes at the after Christmas sales! I will try to take some pictures and post them later on...before they are put away until next year. I think I will keep one of them out in my curio cabinet all year, though. It is just too pretty to get stuck in a box all year! I also bought some Nativity scenes for our grown up kids for next year and I got a start on our Christmas shopping for next year, Lord willing!

Usually we have friends over for a non drinking New Year's Eve but since I have to work early on Friday morning, (New Year's Day) we are just staying home with the kids. Not such a bad thing to do, is it? We are planning to play games and watch a movie. We are having Chinese food as well as some snacks from Aldi! I'm heading to the grocery store now!
Have a Blessed New Year!
Love,
Beth

Friday, December 25, 2009

Celebrating Jesus' Birth and Christmas at Our House

Merry CHRISTmas everyone! We went to church last night and then came home to celebrate the birth of our Savior. We read scripture and hung "Jesus" ornaments on our tree. I plan to take pictures of these ornaments for another blog and explain what we did. We really tried to focus on our Lord.
I had a good day on Christmas. We woke everyone up at about 5 a.m. to open a few presents. First, Marci made me French Toast...soooo early for her to be working in the kitchen for me, but she was a real blessing to me!
I had to leave for work at 6:15 a.m. and got off at 3 p.m. so it was an easier day than usual. It was fun watching the special needs adults enjoying their Christmas day!
Last year I was able to get Roger's picture of his Grandparents for him for Christmas. THIS year, I had his old cuckoo clock reconditioned and the wood stripped and refinished. The clock was originally his grandparents' but sometime after he received it, the clock almost didn't survive a fire in his house. He has had it in a box for years and years and I dug it out and snuck it to a clocksmith to have it worked on. Roger loved it and has been trying to adjust it to make it "cuckoo" for us! We have the instructions, it is just going to take....time. Hehehe...get it?? It's a clock, gonna take time??
Never mind...

Can you believe that there are this many gifts under our tree? They're not really "under the tree", they're all over the floor! This was the result of everyone (18 people) coming in and adding to the gifts that were already there! Good Grief! And I thought we cut back! (Next year we are REALLY going to cut back. My kids say that I say that every year! ) They got things they really needed, though, for the most part. They got clothes since all of them needed them. Oh, and a "Wii". That was NOT my idea. I would have rather bought lots of BOOKS! But Roger wanted to do that this year. He has NEVER bought a game system before so this time he did it really big!

Our dining room table. The big vase in the middle is full of cuttings from our Christmas tree. All of these things were just gathered from around the house or bought at 1/2 price sales from previous years. Notice the sewing desk, sewing machine and unmade projects at the left of the picture? I now have a whole year, Lord willing, to get them done for NEXT year! Whew! No more pressure to get them done for THIS year!


Another picture of our family room! Ok, so the "Tiffany" style lamp on the table was "harvested" from a nearby house's Monday morning trash. It is solid glass and appears to be pretty old. The sofa table was a 1/2 price Goodwill find we bought about 3 years ago. We had been going from store to store to get things for our upcoming wedding celebration and found the table! The "goose" with the Christmas ribbon on her neck is one of my Christmas presents from my Dear Hubby this year! I have wanted one for years and he found it on Ebay! I think it is my favorite present because it was given out of love to me. We are trying to reduce the clutter in our home and my husband HATES to bring "nick nacks" into our home. However, he knew how long I've wanted this pretty goose so he bought it anyway! I also got an antique creamer and sugar bowl to match our old dishes, a necklace, and a back massager. He thought that my favorite gift would be the new FOOD PROCESSOR! I do love it...and will love it even more this next canning and freezing season. (But my favorite present from him is STILL my goose!)
Just in case it sounds like we spent a FORTUNE this year, we did spend some money. However, we really buy when we can find deep discounts...(I think that my husband went out VERY early on Black Friday to get my massager and food processor.) I bought many many things at the Goodwill stores this year, especially when I can find new things with tags still on them! I bought Becca almost new books from Half Price books and items from garage sales! I got her a photo cropper from Creative Memories from a garage sale and it was still in the box.
I write these things because I feel guilty having "plenty" when so many people are in need. I feel very selfish and have to explain how we were blessed to be able to get these gifts. I feel like God puts me at the right place at the right time to find these bargains. I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT GOD CARES EVEN ABOUT THESE LITTLE THINGS IN THE LIVES OF HIS CHILDREN!




And here is a close up of my Christmas Goose! I plan to change her ribbon with the season. Yeah, that's us in the picture. I didn't mean for it to be there. Roger put the ribbon on her to surprise me and placed her there for me to see when I arrived home from work!
Tomorrow is another long work day and we are having out of town company here when I get out of work. I have to work 11a.m. to 11 p.m. tomorrow, much different than my usual schedule. But I might get to sleep in a little and "snuggle" a little!
Merry CHRISTmas to you all!
Love,
Beth




Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sledding Days and Snow Daze!

It has been snowing off and on for a few days...just enough to take the kids sledding! When I got up early this morning with Roger, I thought that it would be fun to go but by the time we actually went, the snow had melted a bit and there were lots of kids on the local sledding hill wearing off the snow! This is a barn/working farm at our local park. Across the street is this pretty Methodist church. It is so pretty at night when it is all lit up but I thought it was a neat scene as we walked to the sledding hill.
Gideon put his saucer sled on his back and started singing the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" theme song! That used to be the bigger boys' favorite show. When Danny who is now 22 was little, about 2, he would take his clothes off and run through the house. When I finally caught him and reprimanded him for being ....ummm....clothesless, he would say in his little baby voice, "But Turtles don't gots no clothes!" Wow, was I happy when "the Turtles" started wearing AT LEAST trenchcoats!

Becca was all bundled up and having a good time. We also brought the dog but she didn't make it into any pictures! She had a blast...she's a German Shepherd mix and looks FEROCIOUS. However, a tiny little Pug scared her and she cowered behind me. SISSY dog!


Back at our house...I love the snow on the hydrangeas and the old wagon wheel!



The "old homestead"...not as decked out for CHRISTmas as it usually is. We didn't do all the lights as Roger normally does. I think he didn't have the energy and he didn't want our electricity bill to go up like it did last year!
We're trying to get some housework done and some cookies made! We MIGHT deliver some cookies and fudge and gifts tonight. We usually go carolling. The kids are beginning to really NOT want to do that but I think we're going to try to persuade them to sing with us!
I've made up some little papers to go along with our cookies that have verses and the plan of salvation on them to deliver to our neighbors. This is a way that we can reach out to the people we don't know very well in love through Christ...who is, after all, the GREATEST GIFT FOR CHRISTMAS!
Love you!
Beth




Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our Indiana Christmas Decorations!!

Yes! Believe it or not...all those stockings belong to our immediate family. Eight kids, three in-law kids, two grandkids and mine and Roger's...for a total of fifteen stockings hung on our mantle. Lord willing, there will be AT LEAST two more for the little babies due to be born in 2010! We always fill stocking for the "dating" people in our grown but not gone kids' lives, too but they aren't hung on the mantle yet.
These are my "Old World" Santas. I keep them on the top of my hutch in the family room with greenery and lights and such. The bunny is just a strange little thing that I add to them. I have REALLY come under the conviction of the Lord lately that I am putting too much emphasis on the Santa aspect of Christmas so I'm going to start cutting back and adding Christ oriented things to our decorations from now on. I read a blog from the Maxwell family and they have inspired me to be more meaningful in our Christmas decor. However, my hubby and I have discussed it and he said that he thinks it's ok for us to keep some of our Santa's but just maybe cut back on the ones we don't really care that much for. These are some I will certainly be keeping. The one in the middle I just bought from Goodwill last week and the bunny was purchased at Goodwill as well. The Santa on the left has been in our decorations since before I got ROGER, so I will keep him, as well! (AND Roger....) The Santa on the right was a gift from my "not so crazy about Santa husband"...but since I really like old world Santas, Roger bought him for me anyway! We just really want our focus to be on Christ!!

This is the "real" Christmas tree we cut down as a family. Notice my doggie, Precious, in the corner? Yeah, her eyes don't really glow. She's a sweetie, part shepherd and collie, I think. She's getting old...about 11 or 12, I think and we really really love her. We got her from a neighbor who was going to take her to the Humane Society and I had already fallen in love with her so we adopted her!!!!


This is the new tree that my husband won from Circle Center Mall in downtown Indianapolis. It was the Nordstrum tree and came with gift certificates!! WOOHOO! It has all these odd looking wooden bird all over it. We like it because it is unusual. It just was delivered on Monday. (Our woodwork trim isn't done yet...hmmmm...it's been two years......oh well.....) It is in the corner of our dining room.

This is our tree in my favorite room, the living room. It's kind of hard to see but most of it is decorated in white. I received Christmas keys from my secret pal from church last week and they are hung with red ribbons...I'm planning to change them. There are three keys on the tree. The first is the Shepherd's key and is supposed to represent the lowliness of Christ's birth (you hang it low on the tree), the middle key is the Magi key and placed high on the tree because they followed the start to find Jesus. The third is the Christ key and is to be hung in the center because Christ was hung in the center...between you and me. I have some crocheted ornaments to put on this tree yet and I'm planning to spend time with the younger kids and make some more whitish ornaments for this tree.
Thanks for looking our our Christmas trees! Merry CHRISTmas!!!





Monday, December 14, 2009

A VERY rewarding day!

I had a really good day. I've been battling a nasty virus for several weeks now so it was good to wake up not feeling miserable!
I called my hubby early in the morning and asked him if he would like to have a lunch date with me. He said he would love to! I had planned to decorate a little Christmas tree for his desk and got out all my pretty buttons and tiny garland and set to work decorating it. I wish I had thought to take a picture of it! Anyway, I dressed up in a pretty outfit and drove to his office and surprised him with the little tree. I haven't been to his office for a while and when I walked in, he had little trees and Christmas decorations all over the place! (the result of being in the same office for 18 years or so and having had many "secret Santa" gift exchanges!!) Well, although he didn't need it, he appreciated it and said it was prettier than the other ones he had. He may have fibbed a little but he was very nice.
I did some Goodwill shopping and found some wonderful bargains. My best bargain is a pair of brand new blue and white striped overalls for one of our little grand kids! They still have the tags on them! I got them for $1.99!!
Then I drove out to see my parents. I haven't been there for probably two months because I've been messing around with this silly virus and one prior to this one and haven't wanted to pass it to my mother who just doesn't do well with sickness.
I spent several hours decorating with her! I decorated their two mantles and some table tops. It was such a blessing to be a blessing to her.
It occurred to me that so often I try so hard to find someone to do something for...children in Africa, people at a downtown mission, and then I have totally forgotten how important my spending time helping my mother is! (I always always ask her if there is something I can do for her and she says "No.") I looked around and have found some other things that I am planning to help them with soon. They live in a log cabin and the log walls have attracted some cobwebs and dust so I'm planning to bring out my long handled cobweb brush and "have at them!"

I was late getting home and my husband had to take the kids to their 4H meeting and he ended up attending with them. Becca was voted in as the person to give "devotions" and Gideon was voted as "recreation leader." I was very surprised and happy for them!

I have a lot of work to get done this week. We are planning to bake cookies and make fudge. Becca did make cookies for us today after she worked on her school work. We have lots of cleaning to do, grandson Dylan's Christmas program for kindergarten on Tuesday night, church on Wednesday, Trumpet lessons on Thursday night, a going away party on Friday night, and my extended family's Christmas get together on Saturday. THEN, after church on Sunday, we are planning to visit Roger's elderly aunts in Bloomington, Indiana. (Oh, and I work on Friday and Saturday!) Lord willing, things WILL get done!
I think I'm going to go to bed so that I can continue to recover. Roger talked to a doctor today and the doctor said I need to "be seen." I don't want to spend the money and I THINK I will continue to recover without going to the doctor! (hopefully...) It does seem like I feel better one day and then I am really sick the next day. Possibly....I try to do too much???? I guess I could cut out the Goodwill shopping.............?????????????????

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Goodwill Finds!



Last Saturday was half price day at our local Goodwill Stores. Unfortunately, (or fortunately for our budget and lack of space) I had to work 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. that day. I was "TORMENTED" by my missed opportunities for bargains all day long! Even my hubby, who appreciates a Goodwill bargain almost as well as I do was unable to go to any of the stores!

So, on my way home, exhausted after working 12 hours and still not feeling my best after battling this nasty bad cold/flu for well over a week, I decided to drag myself into a Goodwill store. I was confident that all the "good" bargains would be gone. Boy was I wrong!

My energy soon returned with gusto. There weren't a lot of people in the store by that time of night (8:00p.m.) but there were enough to give me some difficulty in maneuvering my cart through the aisles and over to the tables where they place the "newly put out items". So, first I wandered up and down the children's clothing area. I found some adorable little dresses and a pair of little grey sweatpants. I put them in the cart. I also found some little shoes. (Did I mention that we have some precious grandy kids and have two on the way? I also have it in my heart to adopt probably from foster care so....as the boy scouts say, "Be Prepared.")

I eventually made it over to the toy aisle and I found little Miss Boyd's Bear (her tag is missing so I don't know what her real name is) and I was able to purchase her for 49 cents!!! She is adorable and I collect Boyds Bears. I should say I used to collect Boyds Bears because for now, my buying any more is paused due to the financial inability to rationalize any more bears...unless, of course, I find them at Goodwill!!!! So now I am mostly just a "Keeper" of Boyd's Bears. That's ok, 'cause they don't eat much.

My cart was stacked pretty high when way ahead of me, I thought I spotted a Longaberger basket equipped with a pretty liner AND a Christmas arrangement in it! I got all nervous since there was this little girl with a cart in front of me who REFUSED to realize the urgency of my situation. I just knew that someone would grab it before I could get there! I couldn't get her to move and since she was of a different nationality, she didn't speak my language. I tried to figure out how to get to the object of my desire but couldn't get there with my cart. I considered the parable (REALLY, I DID!) of the shepherd leaving the ninety and nine sheep to go after the one lost one so I grabbed my purse and left my Boyds Bear and all the other treasures in the cart and did an "OJ Simpson" run through the Goodwill Store. Do you remember those old commercials with him running through the airport? Yeah, that was me. All my chubbiness leaping and jumping shopping carts with athletic ease to get to that basket. Well, ok, not really, but I did hurry and finally, my grubby chubby hands were able to grasp that lovely basket. The price on the ticket read $1.99!! I don't homeschool for nothing, you know, and I was quickly able to figure out that half of $1.99 was roughly $1.00!!!

I also found an old world Santa Claus that I really like. My hubby is NOT fond of Santa Clauses so I made light of it. Literally. He is on my hutch with Christmas lights around him. (I have begun to wonder if Santa has a place in our lives. I have mixed emotions about it. I really want to focus on Christ as it should be so maybe our Santas will need to go at some point. Maybe. If God leads.)

I got some other neat stuff such as a Geography book for Becca next year AND some boxed food mixes. Yeah, I agree, buying food from Goodwill is pretty disgusting. But in our area, the Target stores donate things to Goodwill. So I'm going to pretend that that is where they came from. They're sealed and so are the ingredients inside so......yeah.

My hubby was kind of cranky at me because I had stopped at the store on my way home and he had made supper for us...at that late hour. But he forgave me and his supper was wonderful! Little Dylan was with us for the night and I played with him for a while and read him a bedtime story. I was fully prepared to read and read and read to him but when we got done with the first storybook, I asked him if he wanted to get some more. I looked at him with his big sleepy/dazed eyes and he said, "Nah, I think I just want to go to bed." I tucked him in and prayed with him. He is so adorable! (he is five...)
I checked on him a few times during the night and I realize just how much I miss having a little person in the house full time! I really want to adopt.

In the morning, I asked Dylan if he slept well. He said, "No, not really." (Which was funny since every time I checked on the little guy, he was sound asleep!) I asked him why he didn't sleep well, and he said, "There was this BIG BLUE Christmas tree outside the window and I kept looking at it!" How cute! (Dylan, NOT the TREE! Evidently our neighbor is a big Indianapolis Colts fan so the house is all decked out in Colts' Blue. Yuck. I do love our Colts, but not for Christmas decorations!)

So, there you go. Amazing Goodwill finds. That's all. (Oh and a really wonderful Grandy Boy!)

Blessings!

Beth

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bringing Home the Christmas Tree!!

After church on Sunday, we headed up to a friend's Christmas Tree farm to get our "real" tree. Every year, we receive a gift certificate from this buddy of ours to get a tree from the family tree farm. It is an event that we long anticipate and for the last two years, we have included GRANDboy Dylan!
(Alright, so this picture is out of order but since I'm fairly new to this whole blogging thing and really pretty stupid when it comes to the computer, you have to "BEAR" with me...get it..."BEAR?"...this is my Teddy Bear Christmas tree in my entryway of my house. The walls aren't really pink...it's a pretty harvesty yellow but for some reason, the flash turned it pinkish.)

Here's some of the family out to find the "perfect" tree. Jennie on the left, Becca, Gideon and my hubby Roger. I think Dylan was off and running to find a tree!



"This one just needs some love" he said.



These are gifts that you just can't return...even on days that you want to!!!!! Hahahaha!!! Just kidding,....yeah...I'm just kidding. Really..........hehehehe! (Today's a good day so far, I guess I'll keep them!)



And I'm definitely going to keep this one!! It took me too long to find him!!
We're planning to decorate the tree tonight or possibly tomorrow. We had to get back to church for choir practice and evening service so we weren't able to do it yesterday! Today I spent decorating our house a little bit and "over seeing" some ceiling repair that needed to be done. We are very thankful for our trustworthy and wonderful friends who can do those things!
I hope to post pictures of our trees soon as well as some incredible Goodwill finds! I got a Longaberger basket and liner for $1.00 and a little Boyd's Bear for 49 cents!! I couldn't post any more pictures on this post so it will have to wait until later!
Tonight we are having home made potato soup with cheese. I also added a little bit of frozen carrots and broccoli. I might add a little bit of pumpkin, too, since I cooked the last few pumpkins today to freeze. I added some to our mashed potatoes a few weeks ago and it was really good!
(Especially since I got the pumpkins for free!!!)
Blessings to you!
Beth





Thursday, December 3, 2009

One of my favorite blogs (Coffee, Tea, Books and Me) today asks the question, "What small action can we perform today to show the enemy of our souls that he is not going to win?"
That has made an impact on me today. This has been a rough couple of weeks for us at our house. We've been battling a terrible virus. Even more then that, every time I feel like we have made some major strides in our home and in our walk with the Lord, something happens. I know that I have failed our Lord over and over again. I'm tired of it. I don't want to FAIL, I don't want the enemy to win.

I keep thinking of the story of Job in the Bible. Satan kept running back and forth to God trying to find a way to make Job fall in his walk with God. However, he was always faithful.
I wonder how many times Satan has "won" when I fall in my walk. I feel like I take one step forward and two steps back. I keep giving myself "excuses" for why I failed but really, there is no excuse to fail God. He gives us the strength, the resources and the GRACE to be able to accomplish our task EVEN when things get thrown in our way that mess us up.

Two weeks ago something happened that I was afraid of. I allowed past experiences to cloud my judgment and I DIDN'T allow the "PEACE of God to rule in my heart." I'm sure I hurt people with my fear, my words and my reactions when nothing was meant to harm my family or myself. I know it is difficult to "get over" certain experiences but God doesn't want us to live in fear, either. I know that I am talking in riddles and am not very clear about anything. Let me just say that my family has been a victim of domestic violence in the past and those memories raise their ugly heads sometimes. My dear husband ROGER is NOT the person I was afraid of. He is the most gentle, precious man in the world and I have NOTHING to fear from him. This came from somewhere else and I over reacted.

My dear dear daughter in law lost her mother, also, due to domestic violence and this adds yet another layer onto my fears.

I've faced an unreasonable fear that I have had. I failed God at first but hopefully, I "finished the race" this time ok.

So, back to my topic, what little thing can I do today to show the enemy of my soul that he is NOT going to win?
First, I'm going to brew yet ANOTHER cup of English tea, sit in my pretty living room with the white lights on our Christmas tree, and Pray. I'm going to REALLY PRAY like I haven't prayed in a few months.
Then, I'm going to read my Bible and listen to God's words.
Then, if God directs me to, I'm going to say something really nice and HEARTFELT to the person I over reacted to...by email.
Then....I'm going to make some fudge!!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving at our house!













What a week we've had...we had a smaller than usual Thanksgiving turnout but we've been battling some nasty nasty nasty virus all week! Roger is still not completely better and I'm still pretty far from recovered as well but I'm MUCH better than I have been all the rest of the week! We have also celebrated Gideon's 13th birthday with a Garfield birthday cake that his daddy "built". We had presents on Thanksgiving and he was taken out TWICE on his actual birthday. We also bought "Mr. Crabs"...the newest member of our family...a hermit crab who resides in Gideon's bedroom...IN A SMALL AQUARIUM!

The picture represents almost all of our immediate family except for Roger's son Caleb and his girlfriend who had to leave early on Thanksgiving night before we could get the picture taken! We have an addition to the picture, Roger's nephew Mark is seated on the left side of the couch. Other than that, they are all ours, married to one of ours, a grandchild of one of ours OR dating one of ours! I hate it that Caleb wasn't included in the picture but hopefully we can get him in a picture at Christmas. He has already gone back to the Air Force Base until Christmas.

Lord willing, we will have two more babies NEXT Thanksgiving since both of my daughters in law are expecting! Two years ago we bought a big table that would seat 14...looks like we needed a bigger one, huh?

Thanks for the nice comments, we are fine...there are always issues when you try to combine such a big family and some misunderstandings and over reacting take place but everything is good! Blessings to you all!!! You guys mean a lot to me!











Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas time is Coming! Christmas time is coming!

Yep, I'm definitely going to be one of those irritating people who get their Christmas tree and lights up way too early!!

I'm going to annoy my daughters, irritate my neighbors and give my other family members MORE reasons to think that I have gone completely crazy.

When I was a little girl, I always wanted lots and lots of Christmas lights on our house. We rarely had any...sometimes we had a few around some windows.

My husband Roger does it BIG! He lights everything he can light. He even has a big red cross in a tree in our front yard to remind us WHY Jesus was born. (Sometimes you have to look at it at just the right angle to realize it IS a cross....but it's the thought that counts, right?)

I already have LOTS and lots of presents wrapped and stacked in our church pew in the family room. (I used to have teddy bears on that pew but I think they drove Roger crazy so they're now in bags...but they may come out for Christmas!)



Roger, Becca, Gideon and myself went out to lunch Sunday after church. My older girls, Marci and Jennie did their own thing so it was just the four of us. As we waited for our lunch, I wrote down a list of things our family wanted to do at Christmastime. Passing out Christmas cookies and Caroling were at the top of MY list...not so much on the kids' list but since WE'RE the parents, they're gonna have to come along anyway! They also want to see the new Christmas Carol movie and see the "world's largest Christmas Tree" on the circle downtown Indianapolis. I'd LOVE to go for a carriage ride downtown sometime! (But I have a feeling that the cost is prohibitive....)

We talked about some other things that we wanted to do and one of them was to start decorating the house for Christmas early. (Since I work 12 hours on Saturdays, I'm afraid that things won't get done so I plan to start early this year!)

Gideon commented, "As long as you don't start until AFTER Thanksgiving, it's ok with me!"

UMMMMMM........NOOOOOOOO............... That's NOT early.

Hehehe....we're going to get things started pretty soon. I bought some storage boxes to put away a bunch of things so that we could be a little more festive this year. It's not so much fun when you are so crowded that you can't move! Some things just HAVE to go to storage! That's my job for tonight and tomorrow and maybe on Thursday we can start putting out our Christmas things!

The way I figure it, the Christmas season is so short that we might as well start doing it now and enjoying it as much as we can! I hope that we can get some of our baking and carolling done earlier in December. Last year it was hard to catch some of our favorite people at home as Christmas approached! Besides that, if we start early with our visits, it may spur other people into the Christmas spirit. I do think, however, we should let the Thanksgiving turkey digest a little bit......

Soooo.....if you're driving in Central Indiana, at the edge of a small town and you see this ridiculously decorated house well BEFORE Christmas, that's US! Come in and I'll treat you to some homemade pumpkin bread, Christmas cookies and some HOT CHOCOLATE!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Giving God Control

There's not much going on here today. I've been resting from a hard weekend. On my way home Saturday night, I was taking a client back to his group home when he had a seizure. He was in the front seat of my van and we were on a VERY busy and FAST interstate. It was also really dark outside but fortunately we were about a mile or so from the exit. Once we got off the interstate, I was within a few minutes from his home so the staff that was there helped me with him. It was a difficult time and it took quite a while for him to come out of the seizure. But the good thing is that I now have "on the job training" for how to deal with his particular situation. He will be moving to the home that I work in within two weeks so this may be common for me to participate in. Last weekend, one of the lady clients I work with also had a seizure. It was scary both for her and for me.

This is NOT what I had pictured for my life as far as a "career" is concerned. Actually, I have never really thought about a "career" because that's just not where my heart is. I'm a HOMEMAKER, a MOMMY, a WIFE. I've always wanted to write...for children mostly...but that is as far as a career has ever really gone. I used to teach preschool and I thought that IF I was going to have a career outside of my home, that's where it would be AND I'd write my own curriculum and stories to go along with that.

Working with special needs ADULTS is a FAR stretch for me. I don't know what God has in mind for me.

It seems that whatever I have planned out for my life NEVER works out the way I imagine it to be. Not that my life isn't GOOD, it just doesn't work out according to MY PLANS! It's kind of like when you let a little toddler or preschooler "help" you with a chore. I've often let my little ones "hold" the mixer when we were whipping up some recipe while all along, I REALLY was the one who had control of the mixer.
That's how I feel. All along, I feel like I've got control of my life and THANKFULLY, God is really the One who is in control.

Lately, He seems to be throwing all these weird things into my path...things that I would NEVER have chosen but is somehow guiding me to be a better person. He is shaping me into someone, possibly, that He can use IF ONLY I WOULD LET HIM!

Last night we were at church and the new pastor from the church where my husband served as youth pastor many years ago was a guest in our church. My husband introduced himself to the pastor and his wife and I stood by feeling awkward. My husband loved serving as youth pastor and only gave it up because of his late wife's emotional needs. But from everything I've ever heard, they made quite a couple. She was very good in sign language and gifted in playing the piano and singing. They sang specials together. I just feel awkward. And tall. And chubby.

A good friend that attends Roger's old church called me the other day and was telling me that the NEW pastor was talking about Roger and his late wife. Although they had not yet met, he was saying what a blessing they were to the original pastor. Then my friend said that we should come for a visit to the church. Immediately, I thought "Oh...how uncomfortable that would be for me!"

I immediately compared myself to THEIR ministry and I felt that I came up short.

How often do we do that? We compare ourselves to the ministry or talents that God gives to others and we feel like we can't be a real "part" of the body of Christ because we don't have the same talents! How often do we give up doing something for God because we don't feel as if we have anything to give? I wonder if we really ever know sometimes how we are impacting other people's lives just by being loving or giving and being ourselves!

I don't know WHAT God has for a ministry for us...Roger and myself...but I know that RIGHT NOW God wants me to minister to our own family. We have eight children between us and three in law children and those precious grand babies...already here and "on the way." I have been hoping and praying and praying and praying that God would allow us to adopt a toddler or preschooler soon. I even have storage boxes full of clothes JUST IN CASE He gives me my dream of adopting. But I have to realize that He is the one in control of our lives. He is the one who puts the ingredients into our lives. We are the ones who have to allow Him to make it what He wants it to be.

Ultimately, I need to give control over to Him and allow Him to work in my life making me what He wants me to be. He always knows best. (But that isn't going to stop me from praying and praying and praying that God would give us a child or a sibling group to adopt. There are so many children in need and HEY, I have an empty bedroom!!!!)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Yesterday I got a nice note via facebook from a new friend I have recently made. She is a sweet lady, bubbly and energetic.
She asked me to have coffee with her because she needed a friend to talk to. I'd love to meet with her but at this point, I feel so discouraged that I just don't know what good I can do for her.

Raising a step family as well as your own can just be so hard. HARD HARD HARD.
It is so easy to give in to doubts and thought such as, "Was this a mistake?" "Should we have tried this?"

This is NOT the Brady Bunch. I DO NOT look like Florence Henderson and I don't have a live in maid.

Sometimes I just don't feel strong enough to do this. I really need that live in maid.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap--It's REALLY Good!

I've been wanting to try to make homemade laundry soap for some time now but I wasn't able to find the correct ingredients. On our little trip together, my husband and I found the missing ingredients at an Amish grocery store! I was not quite convinced that the laundry soap would be very good but when I saw it on the Duggar's Blog, (Of the tv show Eighteen Kids and Counting...) I decided to give it a try! (I'm a big fan of the Duggars, by the way!!)

I really love my new detergent! I haven't put any scent in it because, frankly, I didn't want to spend any more money than necessary and we don't need to have our clothes smell anything but clean to please me! So, for anyone who might be interested, here's the recipe from the Duggar website!

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

4 Cups of hot tap water

1 Fels-Naptha soap bar ( I couldn't find this so I used Ivory bar soap, which is fine!)

1 Cup of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (MUST be washing soda...not baking soda. This can be purchased online at Meijer.com. Also, Arm and Hammer Detergent won't work, either. It has to be the Super Washing Soda!!!!) This is what I found at the Amish store!

1/2 Cup Borax

(You will also need MUCH more water as you prepare this recipe...)

Grate the bar of soap and add to saucepan with the 4 cups of water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. (I used the BIG container that I had left over from Tidy Cat. Ours is bright yellow...They make great buckets for FREE!!)
Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit over night to thicken. (As I said, I use the empty Tidy Cat bucket and it seems to be about 5 gallons.)
Stir and fill a used, clean laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill the rest of the way with water. Shake before each use. (It will gel. Mine is watery around the edges...)

You can add 10 - 15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled.
(Mine is plain and smells like Ivory hand soap...)

Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
Front Load Machines- 1/4 Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

I have a new high efficiency front load washer and this works great! It is NOT a very sudsy detergent. I have had a wonderful experience with this detergent and I love the idea that it is extremely inexpensive! I think that I have read somewhere that costs approx. $2.00 to make 10 gallons and that seems to be fairly accurate!!

I've used this for everything we wash and so far it is fine.
I hope this works well for everyone else who might like to try it!

On another note, our family has been reading Ephesians together after supper and I am sooo pleased that my dear husband is really taking charge of this. As you may know, this is not either of our FIRST marriages and I know from my life experiences that I have a real TREASURE in my husband. I never ever thought that I would have a Godly Husband like I have. If anyone ever reads this who is not yet married, please, please, please, wait on the LORD. I finally learned this and He has blessed me with Roger. (Just a side note from someone who KNOWS!!)

Blessings!

Beth

Friday, November 6, 2009

Serves Me Right!

This is just kind of a "funny" that I have to tell you before I fall into bed. I have to be at work in about 7 hours...all bright eyed...zzzzzzz....
Well, my dear hubby called me today and asked, "Did you want to go to that THING tonight?"
I kind of moaned because today is the first day of my 12 hour work days this weekend.
"Uhhh...what "thing" is that?" I asked.
He reminded me that each year we ALWAYS go to a "shopping night" at a local "high end" mall that benefits the non profit organization he works for. We rarely ever really BUY anything...we walk around window shopping and sampling the free restaurant items set out for this special night.
"Oh, yes, I do!" I replied...because I do enjoy our special night out together. "But if I had remembered, I would have worn something better!"
He assured me that I would be just fine in what I was wearing.

Now...I don't dress up when I go to work because MOST of the work I do is NASTY work...giving special needs adults showers, cleaning beds, doing laundry, etc... so today was no different.
I had one of my favorite loose fitting split skirts but had a pretty blue sweater with it. THEN I noticed that I had spilled my mocha hot chocolate all down the front of it.
So by the time I had put in my 12 hours, I was messy, my hair was straight...(My hubby likes it when I curl it...) I didn't have any hose on...and I had on old lady "comfy" shoes.
I pulled up to the ultra expensive mall trying my best to look somewhat better than I did when I left. I remembered that I had an extra shirt in the car that must look better than my stained sweater so I managed a covert operation in changing shirts in the car. I won't get into any details but I was able to do it modestly without exposing anything NO ONE would want to see....!!!
I was thinking as I was just about to walk into Saks Fifth Avenue..."IF I had known that I was going to go shopping HERE tonight, I would have been carrying my -----"brand name"---purse.
NOW THAT'S PRIDE!!!!!!!!!!! WRONG, SINFUL PRIDE!!! I do love my little purse but mostly because my son and daughter in law bought it for me as a birthday present AND there is no way that I could EVER afford it myself!! (They got a "deal" I was told...)
So,....anyway, ....I was trying to figure out a way I could have made myself look like I BELONGED there...walking into SAKS FIFTH AVENUE....when........

I noticed a "Goodwill" price tag sticking out of the "new" shirt I had changed into...

Hehehehe....I think sometimes my Heavenly Father has a sense of humor....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Simplifying

As I've said before...we are a blended family. When we married 2 1/2 years ago, we tried to rid ourselves of many of our unnecessary belongings so that we could live in one house. We DID get rid of a lot of things but we really need to get rid of more!

We also need to stop BRINGING in so much stuff! Yesterday I went to the Goodwill Store...my favorite place to shop! (We have three stores within a fairly short distance of us!) Terrible temptations await me there! I just love to buy people things and I think it's wonderful to be able to get things at such a bargain! However, yesterday for US I bought Pfaltzgraff cups and saucers that will coordinate with the Phaltzgraff dishes I already have. They are not the SAME pattern but they will look just beautiful with them. The dishes I bought previously...from Goodwill of course...are the Tea Rose pattern and the cups that I bought yesterday are the white/ivory "Filigree" pattern. I think I prefer them to not match exactly because they look so pretty together. They were all such incredible bargains. The cups were .49 cents each and so were the saucers. I think the plates were .99 cents each and the little bread plates were. 49 cents each! They also look LOVELY with the solid ivory/white teapot set my hubby bought me for my birthday a year and 1/2 ago. (This is the ivory teapot on my header picture...)

So...I asked my husband if he minded if I put some little cup hooks under our cabinets for the cups. Oh...and then I had to explain that I BOUGHT new cups.

FIRST I had to TEASE him and ask him "What if I bought new Christmas dishes...what would you think about that?" HEHEHEHE... I am so mean! (Realize, now, that we will soon have 17 members of JUST OUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY....so buying new Christmas dishes means....well...ALOT of new dishes!!!!)
Jennie piped in and said, "MOM! How many sets of dishes do you have to HAVE??"
He got this really "forced" smile on his face and he said, "Does that mean you bought new Christmas dishes??"
I said, "No...I was just wondering what you would think!"
So then I felt like I could tell him I bought new cups and saucers. I even agreed that we could get rid of the old ones...as long as he didn't get rid of my "Thomas Kincaid" mugs or my "Biltmore Mansion" mug from vacation....
I am perfectly ok with him getting rid of HIS mugs, though....hehehehe!!!!
THEN, he said, "I don't mind you buying something new from Goodwill as long as if you bring ONE thing IN....You have to get rid of ONE thing!!!"

I thought for a minute....and then MISCHIEVIOUSLY said..."But HONEY...where will you LIVE??"

Hehehehehehe.......

He knows I was just teasing. I love him soooo much but we really DO need to cut back on our bringing in!

I made a suggestion night before last. I suggested that he and I try to get rid of 5 things a day for a while. At first I said, "Ten items a day"...and then decided that it would be hard for him to have time to go through things each evening so we changed it to 5.)
Last night I went through our downstairs closet and I got rid of five things...of his.
hehehehehehehe......
(Really, today I plan to make up for it and get rid of alot of my things!!!) I'm really not this mean...I was teasing him MOST of the time....except when I suggested he get rid of some of his "Columbo" overcoats....YUCK. YUCK YUCK YUCK YUCK..........

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More Ponderings...and Bad Words...

My last post was about my favorite Christmas gift I gave to my husband and the picture above is probably my favorite Christmas gift I have ever received...except for the Barbie camper I got in 1972. I really DID like that camper pretty well!! It had all KINDS of neat stuff in it......oh well...anyway, so the cameo is really pretty!! The photo is so fuzzy that it is hard to really see how gorgeous and old it really is. Inside...it is a locket, too...is a picture of an old man. IT IS NOT MY OLD MAN!!! (I really don't call him that...I think it sounds disrespectful!!) We assume it is the sweetheart of the lady who originally owned it. We don't have the heart to take it out. I intend to put the picture of MY sweetheart...a.k.a. my husband...over the top of it.

I'm a bit discouraged today. To be honest, as much as we ALL believe that children are a blessing and an inheritance from the Lord, sometimes it is a difficult job. Sometimes I am just floored when I see or hear something that comes from one of them that is contrary to how I raised them.
I guess it comes back to sin...and gardens. You know, when you're growing plants there inevitably are some weeds that grow in your garden, too. You pull and pull the weeds to the very best of your ability but sometimes there are weeds that keep coming up anyway.
That's the way I feel today. WHICH weed did I not pull in time? What didn't I stop growing? What did I think was kind of "funny" or "ok" that I should have killed? (That is...the SIN, not the kid...haha...comic relief on this hard day...)
I think I was/am a parent of discipline and LOVE. I often worried about being so hard that I would drive them away from God. I have always ALWAYS hated the term "You have to pick your battles..." because I feel that there are little skirmishes that you have to win...or at least try your best to win...with your children. There are things that are ok and things that aren't ok in our homes. Certain kinds of language is one of them. We had a person tell us one time that cursing and profanity are just words and that we shouldn't make a big deal about it. I don't agree and neither does my husband. We have NEVER EVER allowed those words to be in our home.
So, WHY DID IT HAPPEN?
I suppose that when kids are no longer kids...when they're out of high school and technically adults that they make their own decisions. But I always thought that decisions were based on what you believe and were taught.
I think this world is so hard and nasty. As much as I would LOVE to just stay hidden in my home with my younger kids and keep away from it, my older kids have to go out into it every day. My "college age" kids LIVE in it every day. How do you live in that environment and not have some of it rub off onto you? I really thought that all those years of Christian Schools and Homeschooling and learning and living in my home would certainly have protected my kids from those weeds that try to grow in their lives.
I think I have been too lax in my prayers for my kids. And naive. I need to think about what I was like the year or two after I got out of high school. I was so anxious to be my own person and grow up. I know I did things that I wasn't proud of and neither were my parents.

However, when my babies were born, I would "bathe" them in prayer. Over the years, I haven't prayed as much for them.
Maybe much much prayer and supplication is a "weed" killer.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Last year I didn't buy my husband ANYTHING for Christmas!


Anyone who knows me...even for a little while...would soon realize just how deeply I love my husband. Yet, my title above is correct. Other than allowing our children to buy my husband Christmas presents, I didn't buy him a THING!


Now, before you think I'm just a miser or mean, let me explain!


For a year or so, every time we walked through an antique mall or store, Roger would comment just how much he would love to have a copy of his grandparents' wedding picture. He would then go on to explain how he would put it in an antique oval frame just like the one that it was in when he saw it. This picture had to have been approximately 90 years old and was kept by his elderly Aunt Dorothy about 2 or 3 hours from us.


He often talks about his "gramma" and even took me by the house where she lived as a neighbor to him as a tiny boy. He thought she was wonderful. His parents were in their 40's when he was born so his grandparents were elderly when he knew them.


I decided that the very best thing I could get him for Christmas would be to somehow get a copy of that picture and try to duplicate it in an antique frame. This would be difficult since I still worked full time at that time and had no idea how to get to her house so far away without him knowing it.


After trying to figure out a way to accomplish this with no real solutions, I discussed that idea with the aunts on the OTHER side of the family who are still very close to the other aunt. "Aunt Marcie" then contacted "Aunt Ruth", who contacted "Aunt Dorothy" who asked (through the aunts, again) me to call her...all in secret! She knew better than to call ME in case my husband answered the phone OR got the message off the answering machine. I called her on my cellphone and pleaded with Roger NOT to look at the list of phone calls made when he received the phone bill.


Aunt Dorothy told me that she decided that she would GIVE me the ORIGINAL as a gift for me to give to Roger! She had already made arrangements for it to be transported to Indianapolis where I would drive to pick it up from a family friend's house.


I was amazed and thrilled to be able to do this for him! I cried!!


So on my next time off of work, I went out on my secret mission. Roger was completely stumped as to what the the present could be. I had to go to a part of Indy that I had never been to before and I am NOT good with directions! But I had no problem finding the house belonging to the old lady who remembered Roger AND was happy to be a part of this big secret!


I was able to pick up the VERY LARGE parcel...Aunt Dorothy had it wrapped and wrapped and wrapped again in old tablecloths and all taped up. It was so difficult for me NOT to unwrap it right then and there. I finally pulled off the interstate and parked so that I COULD finally see it!!




I was so excited and surprised to see just what it looked like, after all this time of planning AND of hearing about this portrait! It was beautiful and elegant, just as Roger had described his Gramma!


Back at home, the big present was disguised by packing it in a large square box and wrapped and put under the tree. Everyone was warned to be very careful of the present. He was still completely unable to figure it out!


Christmas morning, we were all gathered. Everyone else knew what the present was. We were all excited to see his reaction.


He was just thrilled!! He had tears in his eyes and just couldn't imagine that I had thought of getting that gift to him for Christmas.


He kept telling people about it and couldn't have been happier. Neither could I!!!


He teases me from time to time telling me that I didn't "buy" him ANYTHING for Christmas last year! He's right, I didn't, but I think I have set a a precedence that will be IMPOSSIBLE for me to accomplish again!


MORE cookies and processing pumpkins!

I'm STILL working on cookies for my husband's job. I'm beginning to become grouchy. Actually, that's not the truth, I passed grouchy yesterday. I'm out of most of the ingredients so happily, I can't make any more until he brings more groceries home.
SOOO, instead, I am cooking pumpkins! I had planned to can pumpkins but according to what I have just read on the Internet regarding canning pumpkins, I am kind of afraid to can them! I understand that it is impossible at home to heat the pumpkin up to a temperature hot enough to kill botulism. So I guess I will just freeze them. My mother has canned pumpkins for years and years and hasn't killed anyone yet but leave it to me...I will make someone sick somehow!
I have lots and lots and lots of pumpkins. Our church was giving them away last week and I waited until everyone had what they wanted and then I got some more for us. Many of them are just the regular "jack-o-lantern" type but I am going to use them anyway. I hate to see them just go to waste. I can use them to make cookies, bread, muffins AND stir into regular mashed potatoes! The good little "pie" pumpkins I will save just for that...PIES! My daughters (16 and 12) have been pestering me to make pumpkin pies so that is on the agenda for this week!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

50 DOZEN Cookies???????


Two weeks ago, my dear husband asked me if I would be willing to help him create "Thank You" gifts for people in the company he works for. I said, "Sure! Because then I can be your "Helpmeet!" (I just love that name and the idea behind it!) He wanted me to bake cookies for him.

Oh dear, I didn't quite know what I was getting myself into! Usually at Christmas, we make gifts for 10 or so people in his office.

I didn't realize that it was for his entire company....He works for a non profit organization that offers before and after school care for children. He wants to thank the workers with a small bag of cookies each.

We're talking 50 dozen cookies!!!!

I have until Monday. I work 12 hours each on Friday and Saturday.

Oh dear.....

Monday, October 26, 2009

Harvest Week

What a busy week we had at our little country church! It was Harvest Week and we had many events to invite people to. We wanted to get the gospel message to as many people as we could. Last Sunday was the beginning of the events and yesterday was the last of the events. On Tuesday evening we had a teenage party and we had a good turnout. Becca was able to invite a young lady she knew from school when she attended the public school. They had a great time!
On Thursday we had a children's carnival in the church's gym. We had games and prizes and lots of fun. We had 300 people attend! (Our average Sunday attendance is about 200) Roger and I "manned" the "Tossing Jonah" game. The kids had beanbag Jonahs to throw through the big Fish's mouth for a prize. We had a big bonfire and a pumpkin patch for the kids along with hayrides!
Friday night (for us...unrelated to our church activities) included me working from 7am to 7pm and then attending a long awaited wedding for a couple of our friends. It was beautiful and fall themed...right up my alley!! One of the best parts was that they said that they borrowed from Roger and my wedding and had "God Bless the Broken Road" sung for theirs as well. They said that they hoped it brought back good memories for us! It DID!!
Saturday, I worked again and then went bowling with our Sunday School class. It was fun but I am an AWFUL bowler! We had those little bumper things put in our lane and I still just barely got 70! Roger, Gideon and Becca did much better. The older girls didn't go...they either worked or were sickie...again.
Sunday was a big Sunday for us. We had a special speaker in church and then an after church dinner. We brought macaroni and cheese and a "punchbowl cake." It was still the harvest theme at church and we had hamburgers and hot dogs. But the food that the ladies brought was amazing! These are country Baptist farm ladies!! OH WE WERE SO BLESSED!!!! hehehehe! Our gym was still decorated with soooo many bales of straw! We also had animals in the grassy part of the grounds...a horse, a calf, chickens and chicks, several goats, and FREE KITTENS! No, we didn't take one home...much to Becca's distress. My cat allergies just can't handle any more...two are about to do me in!!!!
Then we had our evening service in the afternoon. Becca and I worked in the nursery. We were all done and home by 2:30!
THEN WE TOOK A NAP!! WHEW!!!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Free at last...Free at last!!!




Today I made an "executive" decision!!

I decided to withdraw my girlies from the video program that they have been doing for school.

Don't get me wrong, it is an AWESOME program IF you want that kind of thing.

We didn't.

We are going to continue with the books and lesson plans but we are going to do it "on our own" for the year. I had already decided NOT to do it next year and then I thought, "Why wait?" I only have this time with my kids and I can't go back and redo this year so I just decided to discontinue it now.


We found that it took too much time for them to sit in front of their computer and listen to a teacher lecture. It was too much like "going to school."

We now have the freedom to experience school as we want to! We are so excited and it seems as though a burden has been lifted! Next week we will have the time and freedom to go to the Art Museum, Lord willing!

At supper tonight, Becca (12) expressed an interest in American Embassies. We explained it in as much detail as we could and then I suggested she research it for part of her school next week! Last year, she came across the name "War of the Roses" and researched it and wrote a paper about it JUST BECAUSE SHE WAS INTERESTED!!! Now, THAT'S learning!!

I don't intend to let them just "glide by" in doing their schoolwork but I don't want them to be tied down to the computer all the time either. I haven't been able to do any of the things we have planned to do this year in the way we were going-very little cooking, no sewing or homemaking skills were being taught.

Jennie, a sophomore, had suggested in the summertime that they take a country, research it, create a cultural meal from that country and present it to our family. That sounds wonderful and extremely educational for both girls. (I hope it will also bring them closer together...something that just being home together and being homeschooled is doing for them already! When big sister (19) has a day off from college, it is pretty silly around here!)

We took one day for a special outing this year but last year we took weekly trips somewhere, even if it was just to have school at the park and enjoy the day that God gave us. We didn't have that freedom trying to follow the video school outline.

I'm excited again to be homeschooling this way!

By the way, if any of you have any advice how to keep accurate records and transcripts for high school, I'd love to hear from you! I HAVE already talked to two local colleges (one that is connected to Indiana University) to see what they would need from us if Jennie decides to attend a secular college. I've also read information from the HSLD regarding us awarding a high school diploma. It doesn't seem too difficult in Indiana, however, I intend to attend the homeschool conference this year and see what we really need to do!

Isn't it wonderful to live in a country where we STILL have the freedom to homeschool if we desire to?
By the way, did you notice the Goodwill price stickers on some of the items on the picture of Trinket kitty and SOME of our school materials? I can't believe some of the deals I have gotten on foreign language sets! Becca figured out that I've paid approximately 5% of the original price!
Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Christmas presents, Date Night and Swine Flu!!

Today I'm planning to get a lot of things done at home. I have cookies to bake for a special youth event at church going on tonight and my hubby needs me to make....20 dozen cookies for his work!! That's a lot of cookies!! Roger's cookies don't need to be done today!

I have cleaning to do and I would LOVE to be able to sew up a new apron that I have been planning to do. However, with little grandbaby coming over today, the apron might not get done!

I actually wrapped lots of Christmas presents yesterday!! Is that crazy or what? I have been purchasing things through the year and now they're stacked all over our bedroom so I thought I might as well get them wrapped and stacked neatly. I just hope I don't forget what is in the presents! (Just in case, I'm putting a post it note on each on of them. I hope they don't fall off!) I have made use of resale stores and the Goodwill Store and Salvation Army this year. I've been able to buy new items that still have their tags on them! I feel a little guilty about doing that but this year money is pretty tight. I have gone to half price books as well and really did well there.

I have had sick kids today so we may end up going to the doctor.
Jennie and Marci are convinced they have swine flu and have photoshopped their pictures on their facebook page! They both now have snouts. It's hilarious!!! Not really a laughing matter with the flu being so bad but they look pretty funny!
I don't think they really have the swine flu...I think they have a bad cold but we might just go to see Dr. Smith just in case! Little grand daughter is sick as well so it's not like we're contaminating her!

My hubby and I had a date night last night. We went to the "Heartland Film Festival". He was given free tickets so that was nice. Heartland Film Festival is done annually and features independent film makers. We saw a movie called "Like Dandelion Dust" which was adapted from a Karen Kingsbury novel. It was really good and should come out in theatres next year. However, since Karen Kingsbury is a Christian writer, I had hoped that it would have had more emphasis on Christ and Salvation. It was a well done movie but lacked that part of it. I cried a lot in it though.
After our late night movie (we RARELY go to movies because of the lack of moral movies to go see...besides that, the cost is incredible!!!) we went to ... of all places...White Castle. Are there White Castles everywhere?? I don't know if it is just a midwest/Indiana thing or not. If you don't know what they are, they're little hamburgers also nicknamed Belly Bombs and sliders. They're unique in their taste and sometimes you just crave them. I usually only crave them when I'm expecting. I'm NOT expecting. Anyway, it was kind of fun. Roger and I have never been to a White Castle together. It was a cheap and late night place to go. I think the little hamburgers were 67cents each.
Roger was then sick most of the night. Thus the name "Belly Bombs."

Well, housework calls so I'd better get started!
Have a blessed day!
Beth

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Aunt Mic's Funeral-Some Tears and Some Laughter!

I got the sad news this past Thursday that my Aunt Mic had passed away.
She was getting old and had health problems so it was expected that she would not live much longer.
I haven't seen her as much in recent years as I used to. She moved farther from us and closer to her daughter. But she still meant a great deal to me.
She had spoken to her great nephew on HER side of the family (she was my aunt my marriage) and had asked him to speak at her funeral. She had a few requests that she wanted honored.
One was that she didn't want it to be sad, with no one crying (but we all were anyway). She wanted people who felt like it to say a few words about her. I didn't have the courage to do so...I probably would have except that I didn't want to embarrass my parents!
What I remember the most about my aunt Mic is that she always really seemed to like me. Genuinely. I don't really have an example of WHY I felt that way, but she seemed to enjoy it when I came around and I felt LOVED by her.
One time, when I was no more than 4, I was alone with her at her house...my mother must have had something to do for it was rare that I was left anywhere! But my Aunt Mic decided that we would make a chocolate cake. She stood me on a chair and started me out with the electric mixer mixing up the batter. She had to leave the kitchen for a moment but gave me a very stern warning..."DON'T LIFT THE MIXER OUT OF THE MIXING BOWL OR THE CHOCOLATE BATTER WILL SPLATTER EVERYWHERE!!"

Don't ever tell a preschooler that....

She came back a minute or so later. "You lifted the mixer, didn't you???"

I wasn't in too much trouble, but I still remember that even after all these years.

A few years or so went by and evidently she had forgiven me because Christmas presents continued to come. When I was about 12 she bought my 18 year old sister and I matching pajamas. They came with funny matching "footie" slippers.

"I told the sales clerk that there is no way those slippers would fit their feet!" I heard her tell my mom. "They're so BIG! But that's the way they're supposed to be, I was told!" she exclaimed.

Well, Aunt Mic, I never told YOU, but those slippers fit me just fine!! They probably were too big for my "big" sister, but my feet were just the right size, unfortunately!!

In accordance to her wishes, her great nephew told her that he would try to make her funeral a "happy" occasion. But he knew that there was only one way that he could do so. He told her that there was only one way that "death" could be considered something to rejoice about and that would be the death of a saint. He had to know if she had accepted Jesus as her Savior.

My aunt was not a "church going" lady. I'm sure she went sometimes but MY immediate family was ALWAYS at church...or so I'm sure it seemed to be to the rest of our family. But you know, or I hope you know, that "going to church" doesn't save you. It is what you have done with our Savior's gift of his death on the cross that matters. Tears streamed down my face as this young man explained that to the many many people gathered there. Tears of JOY were cried when he told us that she assured him that she did, indeed, know our Savior! I've wondered that since I was told of her death. It was something that I was afraid to think about. I'd talked to her before about the Lord but I didn't want to be "preachy" and to be thought of as "offensive." What a shame if she didn't know the Lord and none of us had risked telling her about Him.
My dad was sometimes like a little bulldog when it came to his faith. He seems timid at times but he did talk to his family about Salvation. I know that he spoke to his loved ones about this great Gift and that simply believing and accepting Jesus' payment for our sins was enough!

At her funeral we sang some songs and listened to some pre-recorded ones. I think one song was entitled "When I get Where I'm Going." Of course, I've heard it before but in this instance, it meant even more since I was thinking about my Aunt Mic.

Finally, after the words were all said, the prayers were prayed and the last songs were sung, she had one last request that the young man wanted to fulfil.

He said, "Now don't laugh, but this last song isn't a song that is usually played at funerals but Aunt Mic requested it!"

In just a few seconds, we heard the happy voices of children singing, "It's a Small World After All..." We couldn't help but laugh. It was just perfect, kind of "comic relief!"

I wonder if she knew that we WOULD all laugh? It was really cute and helped us how we were feeling after losing our loved one.
Thank you, Aunt Mic, for your love. Thank you for the opportunity for the rest of our family to hear about your faith and to possibly accept it as their own.

Oh...and thank you for forgiving me for the chocolate cake batter splattered all over your kitchen! You were right, it DOES make a MESS!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cold Camping, Covered Bridge Festival and MORE AMISH!!

We (dear hubby and I) had a wonderful time together camping! Every year we try to take a night to celebrate his birthday and get away. Since we just spent money buying our little family camper, we decided that we needed to use it instead of trying to stay in a hotel or bed and breakfast. It was rather cold....brrrrr......and we had a hard time keeping our gas furnace on!!! We later found out that there might have been air bubbles in the gas line since it started working very well at some time during the night! But until then, we had SIX blankets to keep us warm! I think that the temperatures were in the 40's!!!!
I just love the Amish and I had totally forgotten how close the western Indiana Amish settlement was to Turkey Run State Park and the Covered Bridge Festival! (We camped at the park and spent our time at the festival.) Anyway, we were driving through the area and came upon this little Amish schoolhouse. There were so many adorable little kids playing in the schoolyard! I didn't take pictures of the actual children because I wouldn't have wanted to have strangers take pictures of me...or my children! So I just took a picture of the school.
Across the country road there was a huge farm where they sold cheese! We bought two blocks of cheese and we are going to have it as part of supper tonight. We also went to several Amish stores...out in the middle of "no where". We bought a few items and chatted for a while. One place was a "bulk" foods store and we bought a lot of different items. I have been trying to find "washing soda" for a homemade laundry detergent recipe and I was blessed to have found it at one of the stores! I bought lots of things at the grocery there. I wish I lived closer...it was a real bargain lovers' paradise! I bought dry mixes to make "dips" for parties and get togethers. I really had wanted my husband to buy little packets to make "dips" when we went to some of the vendors at the festival but they were really expensive and only made one dish. At this place, we bought it for much less and will made probably 15 dishes! I can't wait to try it!

This is the covered bridge in "Bridgeton," Indiana. My hubby is the cute one....the guy in the white shirt in the middle! (Holding stuff I bought......!!!)


Another bridge outside of Bridgeton. We were on this tiny road and my dh took a picture as we drove. Notice the long line of traffic behind us? (In the mirror....) My husband did an AWESOME job maneuvering the big van and camper! I couldn't have done it...at least not without tears! I don't think he cried even once!! Isn't it great how God made us (men and women) different?



We had a wonderful time! I love my husband so much and I'm so happy that God gave him to me! I'm really trying to do my best to be the right kind of wife to him. (I'm not always!!!!)
He's a real gentleman...something I'm not used to! He takes my hand, makes sure I'm walking on the inside of the sidewalk, not near the road, holds my hand if we're walking down a hill...all that chivalrous kind of stuff! I used to think, "I can do it myself!!!" and then I decided to give in and let him be my protector. WOW is it wonderful to allow him to show me love in this way that he knows to!!!! I feel so special! It really makes me feel like I WANT to be the kind of wife he thinks I am! (He doesn't always know the grouchy feelings that I feel....ummmm....sometimes he does! )
Well, I have a long list of things that I need to get done today. I made the list last night so I'd better get started! Have a blessed day!




Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fall Cookout Get Together

Don't you just love the sound of "Get Togethers"? Just the very thought it invokes is lovely to me especially when it includes my dear family and precious friends.

I have mentioned many times before that I work two long days on Fridays and Saturdays, allowing me to be blessed by being able to stay home the other five days of the week. Every Saturday for the last six weeks we have had a party to go to! Not exactly my plan to have a party to go to after working 12 hours the day before and 12 hours on that day. (Not to mention the 40 minute drive to work and back...) Well, anyway, it has been really strange to have so many "get togethers" to be invited to. One of my co workers asked me last week if they were really "partying" kinds of parties...I answered a definite NO!!! No drinking, smoking, whatever else goes on at "parties"...

Tonight, my son called my hubby and asked us to go to his house for an impromptu bon fire! It was so nice to see them and visit with our family! I got to get lots of hugs and "holding on my laptime" with my five year old grandboy, Dylan. WHAT A GRAND LITTLE BOY HE IS!!! I adore that little guy!

Tomorrow (Sunday) my hubby and I are planning to go camping! It is downright cold here in Indiana now. I think it was 41 degrees when I left for work this morning....brrrr....I am so glad that we have a little heater in our camper! We are planning to go to "The Covered Bridge Festival" in Western Indiana. We are camping at Turkey Run State Park and then enjoying the festival. People drive from states away just to come to this festival. It is like a big craft fair covering several towns. It has been several years since I've been able to go. Last year we thought we were going and when we got there, we found out that we were a week early!! Haha! It was pretty funny. We wondered where all the traffic was. Sometimes the cars are backed up for MILES! Pretty strange for these little small country towns to have so much traffic and so many people for a few weeks a year!
We are also planning to go to flea markets and garage sales while we are in the area...like we need more stuff, right??????

On a different note...I think I'm trying to get up enough nerve to get my hair cut and permed. It has been years since I've done that. Right now, it is just long and straight. I think I'm ready for a change...but not a drastic one! I think maybe just below my shoulders and layered. My hair is so straight that I need a perm just to give it some body. I'm kind of nervous. I'm into having long hair. I would love to be able to put my hair up in a pretty bun...that way I could keep it long and still make it look pretty. HOWEVER, I have the world's largest ears. Do you remember that song "Do your ears hang long, do they wobble to and fro...can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow?"...yeah, that's me. So I don't do buns. But I love them. Marci, my 19 year old, has beautiful long red hair and tiny little cute ears to go with it. All my girls have long hair and cute ears. They can all wear their hair up. Not me. I look like Dumbo.

My dear daughter in law just graduated from beauty school and I think I'm going to have her do my hair for me. When I get up the nerve....

I'm so excited about Josh and Anna Duggar's new little baby girl!! If you don't know who they are, they are the son and daughter in law of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of "18 Kids and Counting." I have two shows that I watch each week. One is "Monk" and the other one is "18 Kids and Counting." I am so inspired by that family!!
I love them. I want to be them when I grow up. Except that I'm slightly older than them. I still want to be them.

It's late, I've breathed in too much bonfire smoke, I'm tired and I'm extremely goofy so I need to go to bed.
Blessings to you all! Love, Beth