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!

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!

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!

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!)



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!

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!