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!!

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!!)



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


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??"


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.
(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.
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!