Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Student of the Month

FirstBorn received the honor of Student of the Month for September. He was chosen for demonstrating a caring attitude to those around him. This meant he got to have a donut breakfast with the principal. The note home said the principal was excusing the students to be late for class for this special occasion. Mr. Steady said he was late to class a lot because he was with the principal but doesn't remember having the donuts...hmmm, wonder why? Congratulations FirstBorn ~ we are proud of you!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Under Strict Orders

After being witness to an overwhelming flood of emotion, I've been instructed by my clergy to "find an island and wait". I was even equipped with a parting gift.
I have been trying to teach my children to obey "all the way, right away, the first time,". So I think this is a perfect opportunity to practice what I preach, eh?

Country Fair

We are so blessed to have a living history farm circa 1830 very near to us. This weekend they hosted a Country Fair complete with a box lunch auction, pie contest, and lots of other fun things.

Trying out the stilts

Learning how to make rope

What little boy doesn't love jumping in a pile of hay?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Holiday Grand Plan Progress

The front porch is done, the door decoration, door mat and number project are done. The wicker furniture is in the storage shed, I'll wait until closer to winter to raise the porch swing. We have never raised our porch swing before and it's starting to show. Next spring (are seasons capitalized?) I plan on sanding and painting the porch swing.

I have never stressed out thought so much over a floral arrangement. The Nester recently had a P.O.O.P.I.E. party so I can never look at faux flowers the same way. I was nearly paralyzed at Hobby Lobby trying to find pretty fall flowers for my door pocket. I finally invested $1.99 in the pods and feathers you see above. Then I remembered the wheat my mom had the foresight of saving out of the field and went around my parent's yard picking up hackberry limbs that fell during Ike. I plucked the dried leaves off the hackberry limbs, trying to keep the berries intact. Then I spent an hour putting threw this together. I am (obviously) no floral designer and I know I need some shorter filler things in there but hey, it's done and I'm happy with it. I kept repeating "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful" to myself. If this were going on my wall for any length of time I might obsess a little more over it, but soon I'll be changing it out for the winter and it's done. I have a tendency to be so overwhelmed by making something perfect that I just don't do it at all. Which is why the interior of my house perpetually undone. I've posted my shiny, fake geraniums that were taking up residency in my door pocket just to see what my summer decoration looked like. I know, I know, the geraniums looks fake so I'll have to come up with something new for next summer.

I have always wanted a nice, beautiful wreath hanging on my door, a la Nester. But alas, my thoughts of going with "naked" on a screen door got shot down. So I have about a 5" clearance between my front door and the storm door. I gleaned an idea from Mrs. Wilt but I can no longer find it on her website since she has moved. I dug out this wall pocket from storage and added some strong magnets to the back of it. Next I bought some wooden drawer knobs and painted them. I added a strong magnet to the back of them and hung one on the door. Then I added some ribbon to the wall pocket and gave it the appearance as though it's hanging from the knob. I think I'd like to add a picture frame to the vignette but I can't decide. When I stand back and look at the finished product it seems too small....thoughts on that? (Yes I know my curtains are hung too low, that's another post for another day, now quit peeking inside my house, focus on the door.)

I was thrilled to find a fall rug at Meijer that had my "Delft Tile" blue in it. This is the color I was painting everything this summer. I like the way it looks with our khaki trim and it was $10.00. Which is more than I wanted to pay but I was having one of those retail therapy days (you know the "I-deserve-something-new-even-if-it-costs-ten-dollars-more-than-I-have" days).

I also finished my house number project. I feel really bad but I cannot remember where I saw this idea so I cannot give proper credit. It was something I had sketched in my design notebook which means I could have seen it anywhere, a magazine, book, website, some one's house. I need to start copying down where I see it so I can give credit where it is due. I bought a simple wooden picture frame and numbers, painted them and glued them together. Then I slipped a piece of scrapbook paper into the picture frame. I bought these numbers at JoAnn Fabrics this summer. I thought they were a little funkier than the ones I found at Michael's or Hobby Lobby. And you know me, I'm all about funky. Gotta have the funk. Sorry, I digress.

We have a covered porch so I am not too concerned about the elements (I bought the cheapest frame I could find and it didn't have glass). I can change out the scrapbook paper with the seasons or my mood (or when it gets rained on, whichever comes first). It is not permanently hung yet but you get the idea. I realized when I looked at it this morning that the numbers are crooked...did I mention it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful? The numbers are painted Valspar's "Delft Tile" from the Martha Stewart collection at Lowe's.

More Holiday Plan Progress is on it's way - check back the beginning of next week!

An Old Friend Grows Up

I have an old childhood friend, her name is Hot Chocolate. Well, that's what we used to call her when we were little. As we grew up, she matured and preferred to be called Hot Cocoa. Then she got her big break with Starbucks and now she goes by Drinking Chocolate. I remember her with mini marshmallows and chunks of powdery bits at the bottom of the mug. My dad remembers her as being made of Hershey's syrup and warm milk, I think he must be thinking of a different friend called Chocolate Milk Gone Wrong. These days The Artist Formerly Known As Hot Chocolate is rich, smooth, and darker than ever.

And when Drinking Chocolate goes out, she accessorizes like it's nobody's business. Just like it's nobody's business how many cups of her I've had in the past two weeks.

Thanks KennyD for reintroducing me to an old friend who is all grown up. As a side note, when hot cocoa directions end with something to the effect of "Equally luxurious by the handful" you know you're in for a real treat.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Singing the No-Internet-I'm-So-Dependent Blues

So I'm sitting here at the library because our modem is being stinky and throwing a fit right now. As I'm sure all three of you many of you can attest, we realized how reliant we are on electricity last week. This week my lesson is determining my level of addiction reliance on the Internet (capitalized, I might add). I use the Internet for everything from reading blogs, knowing when my library books are due, reading blogs, knowing what is going on in my classes, reading blogs, looking up recipes, reading blogs, looking up phone numbers (I don't even own a phone book, I have the Internet, who needs a phone book? Um, me when the modem is acting snarky), reading blogs, looking up words on Merriam Webster, reading blogs, looking up anything I don't know like when my kids ask me crazy questions that no seven year old should be concerning themselves with, and when I am bored I sometimes even read a blog or two.

Since I have no place to plug my memory card in and show you my pretty pictures you'll just have to go visit Angela until I get back. But don't visit her at the library because if you think they frown on you for talking in the library, just imagine how much they frown on you for laughing out loud at the library. Twice. Ask me how I know.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our Visit to China

Last Friday I took a cue from Monica and hosted Family Fun Night with a China theme. The boys are in the Top Secret Adventure club from Highlights magazine where they solve a mystery with each shipment. This was our first shipment and while we had to have a little talk about condoning stealing, we had a lot of fun and are looking forward to next month's shipment.

We started the night off with Chinese food. I was a little disappointed that our new Chinese restaurant doesn't use traditional Chinese take-out boxes but the boys remained unfazed.

They enjoying learning how to "use" chopsticks.

After we put BabyBoy to bed, we opened our package and solved the first mystery with a puzzle.

Unfortunately or maybe not so unfortunately, Mommy got so involved in the fun herself that I forgot to take any more pictures. We shared a plate of brownies, so not Chinese but tasty and gooey nevertheless. The clues and mysteries (who stole what and where did they put it?) led us all over China and yes, even Mom and Dad learned a lot. Maybe next time I will incorporate some language into the fun. I feel so sinister making Family Fun night into a learning opportunity.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Student of the Month

The Thinker was chosen as Student of the Month!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook for September 8, 2008

Outside my window a soft breeze is blowing and the sun is shining.
I am thinking that the bus will be dropping off The Thinker in about 10 minutes.
I am thankful for God's healing hand on friends who were recently injured in an explosion.
In the kitchen The Reader is making "soup" .
I am wearing a blue striped shirt (aren't you shocked it's not black?) and a denim skirt.
I am creating Advent calendar pockets.
I am going to bed early tonight.
I am reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boon.
I am hoping the first freeze comes early this year.
I am hearing the dryer running.Around the house there is always something to do.One of my favorite things I am really enjoying my Starbucks Drinking Chocolate that KennyD bought me and I am also enjoying my secret recipe Chai my barista gave me.A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Classes start for me tomorrow, The Reader has a soccer game tomorrow, The Entertainer's open house is Wednesday, two more soccer games Thursday.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What's on your feed?

I am loving the RSS feed available on most of my favorite blogs and websites. My ISP lets me set up my homepage with all of my favorites right there with any updates. Lately it's been having some issues with the updating part but I can still just glance and click to visit my "friends" (even the ones that don't know I exsist). Dawn has a clever little site she uses to update her readers of what she is reading. I never have quite got the hang of that (or maybe I got so caught up in visiting her friends that I forgot why I went there in the first place?)

Currently on my feeder, I'm featuring:
Monica from Homespun Heart - I love Monica's crafts and Clean Heart series. I enjoy her Friday Family Fun Nights too.

Angie from Bring the Rain - Angie and her husband Todd, from Selah, faced tragedy square in the face, not once but twice this year. Angie's faith through her trials has been such an inspiration and strength to me. The way she has clung to God's promises is beyond words. I know she is human but God has truly given her a supernatural strength and peace and a ministry that so many need.

Crystal from Money Saving Mom (and also Biblical Womanhood) - My go-to site for deals, bargains, free stuff and just general financial blessings. She subscribes to the Dave Ramsey school of thought and that scores big points in my book.

The Nester from The Nesting Place - Oh ye of little faith, The Nester will prove that all you need to make your home a haven is a glue gun, fabric, fringe and a few dozen tassels. She knows what it's like to want a pretty home and knows how to execute it on a tight budget.

Emily from Chatting at the Sky - I won't lie to you, I originally subscribed to her feed because I was so jealous of her. She is The Nester's sister and who wouldn't want a budget friendly designer for a sister? But I stayed because she is transparent, honest, funny and names her houses. Seriously.

Ken Ham from Around the World with Ken Ham (and the Creation Museum) - I so wish I had met this guy twenty years ago. A creationist with a vision and a heart for education. I mostly keep his blog feed up to remind me to visit Answers in Genesis and keep up with their site.

So there you have it. I won't tell you that I have another 19 bloggers in my bookmarks that I visit on a weekly basis. You really have to be careful, it can be such a time hog to visit blogs. And you know what the worst thing for me is? Browsing the author's favorite blogs - you just get sucked in and pretty soon two weeks hours have gone by. So whose blogs and sites do you visit upon jumping on the World Wide Web?