April 29, 2011

First homeschool field trip

I chose to go to the homeschooling event at the Botanical Gardens. It was really nice. There was 2 planting stations, one was germinating a bean seed, and the other one was planting sunflower seeds. There was also two crafting stations, one was making a paper flower, and the other was making a wooden necklace. There was also story telling the whole time, with a lady who read different books to the children the whole time. My dad took us and the kids had a great time. And then of course all the beautiful flowers, and exhibits. It was really nice. I really liked the home school co-op that sponsored it too. It will only cost 20 dollars to join and they give you discounts on all the events like this. Sounds like it will be well worth it as this was really fun and I want to do more stuff with them. We for sure got our moneys worth cause at the end the kids even got free ice cream cones.

Which between all the craft and planting stations, and the ice cream cones, and the group discount of the garden, I wouldn't of been able to do all that for the price I paid with out the membership discount. I know that would of all added up to more then 8 dollars in supplies. And where that would come in even more valuable is they charge per a family for these events rather then per a child. I seen many parents with a lot of children there, they probably really saved in crafting/planting supplies, they got their money back in the free ice cream alone. haha

Afterwards dad took us to a new Indian buffet called Kabobs. It was delicious! It had chicken tandori, seekh beef, curry chicken, curry vegetables, rice, and a bunch of other things I can't remember the names of nor have I ever had before. I really liked the ginger mint sauce I chose to go on the seehk beef, it was kind of like gyro lamb/beef with a bit more mint. Dessert was this sweet milk like stuff (very similar to Mexican dulce leche with out the cinnamon) that had vermicelli, candied ginger and candied citrus peel in it. Delicious. Even though it was dessert I think the seekh beef would of been really yummy in it! They also had fresh naan bread which Belle and dad loved. Lela liked the curried potatoes and onions best. We will for sure go back.

Then we went to a gardening shop. Dad wanted to buy some of the plants we had observed at the botanical gardens. While he shopped for plants, I shopped for garden decor cause I have been wanting to beautify the garden. Ever since I lost the boys I have had a vision in my mind of a meditation garden dedicated to my boys. I have wanted something (besides plants) to represent my boys in the garden though as well. There is a cemetery here in Wichita that has a head stone that is a three d carving of two little girls hugging each other in a big sea shell. It's very sweet and beautiful. I will have to go take a picture of it some day. It was for twin girls who died during the flu epidemic a little over 100 years ago here in Wichita, or the Kansas area. A few years ago they searched for the girls relatives and could find none, the head stone was in need of some repair. When they couldn't find the family some local people put up a donation fund to repair it, cause it's such a monument in the cemetery. (it also says under it who the twins were and what they died of and their ages, I believe they were 2 years old). Any way, I didn't care if what I bought for my garden had the shell or not, but the image of the girls for that headstone hugging is what I kind of had in mind for my boys garden as well. Well, the garden shop had exactly what I have been picturing in my mind of wanting! EXACTLY! And it's boys! One is hugging the other and they are babies. It's huge (about 2 1/2 feet tall, and about the same width since it's two boys). Any way, I had been looking at the other garden decor, and even small cats/squirrels were priced around 80 dollars. Ones the size of the baby boys were around 300 dollars, so I was afraid to look at the price at first, then I did and they were only 140.00! That is pretty close to doable for me. Much closer then 300! So I went to the front and asked if they had any percentage off coupons for their garden decorations. And they said not now but they will soon. And then I asked specifically about the baby boys and took them to it, and they told me they will go on sale in July. When Vince got home I told him about it, and he agreed we can get them. I am so happy. I was thinking I was going to wait till we got a home of our own to buy something for the boys garden, and was really only looking for just regular garden decoration, something in the 20 dollar or less range. But, I am so happy when I seen the baby boys. I knew that's what I had to get right away. I have done a lot of searching in the past for just the right decorative piece I wanted to represent the boys in the garden, and had really came up with nothing I wanted. I just kept having that picture of the girls in the seashell that I had always liked so much, and nothing was even comparing to them. I had looked and looked. It was really neat when I came upon them, and like they should be mine at such a reasonable price when every thing else was so much more expensive! I think they will be perfect for their garden.

Tonight was also La Leche League. They really liked my swap meet idea and are going to do that in June. We also came up with some ideas for July and again they liked my ideas for that too. I also suggested we get our own group a face book group page, and they are going to work on that as well. I think that will help raise  money and membership a lot. I asked about other homeschooling co-ops and they said they really liked the one that I went to today, and there was more in the area. One of the leaders is going to email me with some of the others in the area. But, they all said that the one I went to today was a really good resource. So it turned out to be a really good meeting. We got free hot donuts from Krispy Kreme on the way home. And every one had a fun day. So off to bed now!

April 28, 2011

Clean House!

The house is FINALLY clean, which means I get to go out in the garden tomorrow and play. However, the botanical gardens is having a program for homeschoolers tomorrow.......I am torn over which to do. Go to the Botanical garden, or play in my own garden! Goodness knows my own needs some TLC right now. Which to do, which to do?

I am exhausted right now from marathon cleaning the house (every thing against fly lady, but it HAD to be done!). But, wow it feels good to finally see a halfway decent looking home for once.

Tomorrow is also my La Leche League group where we will discuss fund raisers I'm hoping my idea is doable-getting Target, babies r us, or motherhood to donate nursing mothers things for a auction, and/or gift certificates donated for a auction on them. Seems would be the easiest way to get money.

Then this weekend is our circuit assembly. I know it's going to be exhausting with the kids, and I'm already exhausted. Hopefully I will of recovered by then and be ok. I plan on taking blankets and setting outside on the grass by the river to eat. I hate trying to feed kids with out a table trying to sit with food in their laps in nice clothing. So hoping I enjoy the picnic, I have planned much better.

Come Monday I'm going to start recruiting some kids help around here! lol I want to get some broken washers and a broken dryer out of my laundry room, put up some shelves I have stored in the barn from my pod. Bring in my china cabinet, love seat, and my other dresser. Maybe I can get to painting more on Lela and Belle's furniture that I started too. I also really want to move the book case to a different wall, which will be a HUGE job! Well not that huge, just not fun really. haha

Next week I think I will go to Leeland and ask him about putting cubbie holes on the bottom of my dining table for "morning worship" to hold our daily text and Bibles. So it's easier to do morning worship. In fact, I think I will even order extra Bibles just for the cubbie holes. The brothers and sisters in Bethel keep a Bible and daily text in theirB assigned table cubby holes there. And I think it's a wonderful idea. Makes having morning worship a lot easier and no excuses not to do it. I also need to price a book case from him, I need a MUCH larger book case then what I have now. So maybe I can work something out with him.

Then, finally since the house is decent, I can plan to have company over! YEAH! I think I will start on a guest list (small), and menu next week too. Maybe I can have a few sisters over next Saturday. I am soooooo looking forward to having some one, any one over. Now who to invite, there's so many nice sisters in my congregation, will be mighty hard to narrow that list down.

Oh and one of my books from Amazon finally came but only in a paper envelope and not in a box, and it was rainy today, so my paper back really nice book was pretty wonky when I got it. grr, water damage....... None the less it's a good book it was a design book for embroidery by Aimee Ray.

About the time that Vince was to get off work a ad on Freecycle came through for something I knew my little sister Amber would love. She is graduating, prelaw this year. And we are low on funds and I had been wondering what I would get her for a graduation gift! And ended up being able to get her a gift for free, it's super cute and she's going to love it. It was right near his job too.

When Vince got home, my little brother Ben was having his Mennonite Youth group over for a gathering, so we went to Lowes and I was able to get leeks for the garden. I wanted garlic chives too but they only had onion chives. Then I headed to Walmart, and bought some canning supplies before they run out at canning season. And bought all the non perishables we will need for convention lunches. Still need to buy a thermos for Belle's extra milk though. But, other then that just need to buy some roast beef and lettuce, maybe some avocados if ours are not good by then, and we'll be sit for lunches for the assembly. I'm making big salads, with some new peach dressing from Paula dean, and cornbread to take for lunch. Hopefully we can find our fit and active salad containers before Friday cause they are awesome! They even have a little container for the dressing.

April 27, 2011

April 26, 2011

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...baby plants, soaking in some sun.

I am thinking...getting this apartment clean!

I am thankful for...friends and family.

I am remembering...how much fun raising chickens were.

I am hoping...that I really like the new MVPS program that is coming to Kansas this year.

I am creating...hopefully two wonderful young ladies.

On my mind...the circuit assembly this weekend.

Noticing that...there's a lot to clean up around here!

From the kitchen...baked chicken.

One of my favorite things...roasted spaghetti squash.

What I am reading...Writings to Young Women From Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Picture for thought I am sharing...

April 23, 2011

For breakfast this morning I made scrambled eggs, and pancakes made from Pioneer brand pancake mix. That is the BEST pancakes I have ever made! I have tried a lot of mixes and never cared for them, too heavy, and well just the wrong texture and flavor. These had no aftertaste. Perfect texture. They were nice and toasty on the outside, being soft and fluffy on the inside. PERFECT! The texture also was a little grainy, as in a very very fine cornmeal, which I LOVE. I am so buying this mix again. I really want to try Mary Jane's pancake mix some day too. But, for now I am loving the pioneer ones. They didn't give me a headache either. I haven't been able to eat pancakes out to eat for a while now. I think they have added a preservative I am allergic to. First of all I noticed a small change in the flavor of pancakes out to eat, they have a odd aftertaste now. My taste buds are very sensitive to chemical flavorings and additives. I was letting the small aftertaste go, even though it was a little annoying and tiring to my taste buds. But, then I started getting dull headaches after eating them and feeling a general body ache. Still it wasn't that bad, I just limited the times I would eat pancakes out to eat. But, then this last time, was last summer, I went to IHOP and my body completely rebelled, I had a headache that didn't go away for two days and was literally blinding, my whole body was in pain, and nausea, also I was so dizzy I couldn't even walk to my own bathroom! That was it, no more pancakes out to eat for me. At the same time, I am not a fan of bisquick, aunt jemima and some of the other box pancake mixes out there. They are just to heavy, and again with the weird aftertaste. I have tried to make them from scratch and while there was really not a aftertaste the texture was wrong. So I am very very pleased to find a box mix I like, my body didn't rebel against, and all I have to do is add water!

It was pretty chilly today. But, I still went out and about looking for more garden stuff.

My mom said she would buy me a hoe and a little garden three prong rake. So I went to ACE and bought a telescoptic rake that I am LOVING, and a hoe. Plant Kingdom (a local nursery) had set up in the parking lot and I in my weakness bought two more strawberry plants. I just couldn't help it! They were so yummy! They already had ripe strawberries on them that were so small and sweet and plain good! They invited me to come back tomorrow, they said they will have kids planting flowers they can take home while their parents shop. So I'm sure Lela would love that, and I will probably come home with more strawberries knowing me! Then I went to the Feed & Seed shop to buy straw. It was only 5 dollars a bale, and one bale went pretty far in my strawberry patch. I'm hoping it will help protect the little darlings. I went to Lowe's as some people have been going on and on about how cheap they are but I didn't see anything cheap at all. They are the most expensive as far as I have found around here. But, they did have leeks, I went back and forth and then ended up not getting them in hopes I would find them some where else cheaper. But, alas no one else has leeks. So I guess I will go back tomorrow on the way home from the meeting and buy them, if they are open. I still want to buy more onions, but Lowe's was the only place that had any today so far, and they were two times what I paid at the feed and seed store when they had them, and 3 times the price of what I paid at Walmart. I must say my onions I already planted are doing AWESOME! So I want more.

When I got home, first thing I did was cover my strawberry patch in the straw. Poor babies have been getting too cold I think, and the wind has been brutal on them.

To my surprise when I got home my order from Book closeouts had finally arrived. Lela was really excited. I showed her briefly the picture book of Laura Ingalls Wilder I bought and she was interested in it. But, a little upset that Laura had gotten old and is no longer alive. But, she is more excited then ever to get through the whole Little house series now. I am excited to start reading my three book series of Laura Ingalls Wilder-Writings to Young Women From Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have volume one sitting by my chair ready to dig into! Laura Ingalls Wilder On Wisdom & Virtues. A book of compiled writings she did from 1916-1924 of her reflections on honor, friendship and kindness. Along with honest and humorous advice and opinions. I think the series will be interesting. It also had the Apronism's book in it, the Kitchen Linens book, I've wanted for years now, and the Prairie Girls Guide to Life. Now just waiting for the rest of my Amazon order to arrive. Hopefully this next week! I'm hoping Lela's Calvert Little House enrichment course (a extra circular class Kathy bought for Lela) comes next week too.

As I was unpacking boxes this morning I found my fireside coffee and pumpkin butter. I am so ready to have some fireside coconut coffee and strawberry shortcake right now! Some luscious sweet strawberries, and some nice hot coffee to take the chill off would be heavenly right about now. So I'm going to close for now and go indulge in my craving. Sorry I can't share with you, I know it's going to be tasty. hehe

April 22, 2011

Glenda Mae & Kirby

Last night I went to my uncle's father's viewing. I was able to see many family members I haven't seen in years, and some I have never seen. Lela got to meet her cousin Lela. Too bad we didn't think of getting their pictures together! MAN! UHG! *sigh* I got to talk to Cherie for about a hour. She is about 12 years older then me but we were raised almost like sisters. She baby sat me a lot when I was little and I used to spend the night and sleep in her bed. When she went off the college she used to take me with her to all the little sister events too. Her grandpa Kirby who died, used to drive me up to see her in college too, and drive me to Alabama to see them as well.

Then this morning I went to my double cousin Glenda Mae's funeral. I can't believe I'm almost the oldest generation left. Betty Jo (Glenda's sister) was there of course, but so was two other cousins who lost their dad's and one lost her mother and father both in the plane crash with my grandpa and Glenda's father as well. The male cousin that was there who lost his dad I never met before. The other one was Helen Faye. Her son was there too, and looked just like Helen Fayes brother, Tensly Johnny. When I told him wow you look just like your uncle Tensly he stopped a minute in silence and looked almost frightened. I wandered what I said wrong, and then Helen said that he had died a few years ago! Oh my, he was soooooo young, I couldn't believe it! Just like my uncle Tim. I also seen Barbara Cole, she was aunt Edith's daughter, and I look just like Aunt Edith. I forgot to get her phone number though! I so want a picture of her mother, so hopefully Helen Faye or Betty Jo will have her number. Betty Jo's hair looked great, I told my mom she needed Betty Jo's hair cut as they have the same hair, and Debbie's hair was wonderful too, I need her cut! haha

When I went in, I seen Tonya (my uncle Tim's widow) and her daughter, my cousin Raeannda. So I sat by them, and rode to the graveside with Tonya. After the graveside ceremony was over, Tonya, the girls and I went and looked at Tim's grave site and then on down to Grandpa Ralph and Grandma Lela's site. I showed Lela, Grandma Lela's marker. And she said, so when is she coming out? I said, when Jehovah says it's time. She said, I guess we'll have to dig her up then. I said, no we'll leave that to Jehovah. haha We got in the car, and talked a bit about Tim's death, and how unexpected it was and how young he was. And then Tonya pulled over and had to hug me and was crying. Then we were both crying. It seems there is hardly any one left any more.  Then we went to Taco Shop for lunch and my dad came and picked me and the girls up.

Sad times, but life is going on, and thankfully we have the resurrection hope. It doesn't take all the pain of losing a loved one away, but certainly helps to know that death will not be forever, and will be reunited at some point. I sure can't wait to see my baby boy again. That is a certain!

I'll be spending the rest of the evening in the garden meditating on Jehovah's love, and resurrection hope, along with Jesus's life giving sacrifice, enduring a brutal murder on behalf of his friends.

April 21, 2011

One of the books I ordered from Amazon arrived yesterday, Coats & Clark's Book No. 150-B One Hundred Embroidery Stitches I have been wanting it since I discovered Big B's blog. She really inspired me. I can't say I would of found the book that interesting if it wasn't for finding her blog. I just can't wait to try the "fly stitch". A funny thing about it though, I bought a vintage version from Amazon, and it has a price tag on it marked Woolworth's 75 cents, I paid 6 dollars. Forget about stocks and bonds people! Invest in stitching books! That's almost 7 times the price of what who ever it was bought it at. haha However, J&P Coats has released newer versions, I wanted to see the vintage one. I will probably be keeping my eyes open for the newer one. Joann's supposedly has the new one on sale from time to time for 1.99, but it's never in stock at my local Joann's.

I went to Jaqueline's home and went through a ton of seeds. She really reminded me a lot of my pioneer partner Charlene Sponamore in her personality, and when I told Vince that he said, yeah me too, she even looked like Charlene, he said. haha Ironically my step brother Mark had just been telling me about a new heirloom seed company up in Eldorado where he lives, and that is just where these seeds were from. Funny enough though the lady didn't know that when it said Eldorado Heirloom seed company it was actually a local seed company, OUR Eldorado. She was surprised to find that out. Any way she had won a huge box of them on Craig's list. They are just starting and were trying to get their seeds out there. I got all kinds of stuff, from beans, to pumpkins, beets, cabbage, lettuce, lemon mint, carrots, parsnips, watermelon, you name it I got it. Then she added some of her own seeds to the mix, morning glories, and marigold's and cat grasses and what have you. Was a lot of fun. She was super nice, and showing me all the free stuff she had gotten from Freecycle and Craig's list, she has sure made out like a bandit. She even got really beautiful patio furniture for free! I seem to totally miss out on this stuff. lol Oh well, I got seeds!

I got to the library but they didn't have the books I wanted. I had hoped to get Sublime Stitches, or Farmer's Wife cookbooks. I was able to order Sublime Stitches from another library though so that's good. Couldn't seem to find any of the Farmer's Wife cookbooks to order from a different library. Oh well.

Went to Walmart and bought some gas medication for Belle, but I really used to like Hyland's colic tablets, wish they would come back on the shelves! I gave Belle the gas medication before bed. She was a little whiny before bedtime with some minor gas. Thankfully though I think the medication worked! She did not wake up during the night at all let alone with her blood curdling scream that had started to become habit. Whew peace at last.

We were able to get diesel for the tractor on the way home, so Vince will be able to finish making the bed for my second garden tomorrow. Whoo hoo! I have a ton of stuff ready for planting. Need to talk to my dad again about some of the perennials I bought and see if he has any place he would rather them go. I read a blog yesterday of a African American woman who lives a very 1860's life style and she had just picked the yummiest looking collard greens......mmm can't wait till I can have some of my own home grown ones. And best of all they are perennials. I also really can't wait till we get our own home and I can raise my own pigs, mmm home grown ham hock!

Ok why do people keep doing this to me.....posting about recipes that I want to make, and therefore have to buy more seeds or plants to plant, so that I can make said recipe. The latest sounds soooooo divine, violet jelly. People next year I am making violet jelly! I have to go find seeds to plant now. haha Look at this recipe you'll be compelled to grow violets too, just to make this jelly. Even though I must say I have always loved violets thanks to Alice and Wonderland, (yes I know those are pansies, but violets to me just look like mini pansies, I can always see the little faces in them.) And then there's the part that they also sometimes look like popcorn. yum! My pioneer partner Charlene used to raise them and sell them for extra money to donate to the world wide fund. Too bad she no longer does that cause I would so be in business then. Oh well, next year. This year, I will use Megan's recipe and make dandelion jelly. I think I'm on a dandelion roll. Seems I best get to planting them too. Who knew I may need more then nature already brings us. haha

I received a email from MVPS, they will be having open houses this summer. Hard this is they are all during the week in the morning, no evening ones and no weekend ones. That's going to be hard since I don't have a drivers licence and we are a one car family! UHG. Out of sooooo many open houses you would think just one could be in the evening or on a weekend. I would like to however try to go to the ice cream social at Orange Leaf (a froo froo ice cream/frozen yogurt shop), and to the open house movie showing of Kung Fu Panda. Thankfully they are in the summer time though, so maybe one of my siblings can take me. We will have to see though I am sure. I am so very curious though with questions about how the schedule works with the MVPS program, that will really be the deal breaker, otherwise the cost is awesome!

Tonight is my uncle's father's viewing. He outlived two wives, and lived to be 95 years old. His funeral is tomorrow, but so is my double cousin Glenda Mae, so I will be trying to get to her funeral. Both their funerals are at the same time. Glenda Mae was only 69 years old. Her mother died only 12 years ago, she was the last of my grandmothers sisters to die. They still have one living brother though. She was my double cousin because her mother was my grandmother's sister, and her father my grandfather's brother. Both her father and my grandfather died together in a airplane crash years and years ago back in the 1960's. She sure did begin to look a lot like my grandmother and her own mother the last few years. She had one daughter Debbie. And one sister Betty Jo. Hopefully they will feel the love from the rest of the family during this time. They are very loved. The photo of Glenda was the one they chose to put in the newspaper.

April 20, 2011

I added a new feature to my blog, a poll, please participate and let me know your favorite name of the ones given.

A few days ago when I was cleaning off my sewing counter I found a metal enamel country looking indoor mail box. I cleaned it out, and am now
using it for my extra packs of vegetable seeds. Keeping it on my sewing counter. It looks extra cute. And was always too small to hold much mail. So this is the perfect use for it. A sweet woman from Mary Jane's Farm message board is sending me turnip, and patty pan squash seeds. It is so nice of her. I wish I had more time, I would like to whip her up a towel to show my appreciation to her, but I don't even know where any of my blank flour sack towels are right now.

I finished The Prairie Girls Guide to life book and loved it. I went ahead and bought it, cause I can see I can use a lot of it's ideas in home schooling Lela and Belle. Each year I can pick a few of the projects that are age appropriate at the time, as not all of them can they do yet. And I want to do a lot of them too! We may have to find a farm that would let us milk one of their cows! haha I think we will have a lot of fun over the years going through some of her prairie girl life lessons. Especially since we now live on the prairie. Especially whenever we go through Calvert's Little House enrichment course. I really really can't wait for all my books I ordered to get here. I keep checking the mail box every day! I ordered my budgets limit for year and yet, there is still many more books that I want.

I so want to try this soup- Cream of Wild Rice Soup. It looks delicious!

We were able to get the pod completely cleared out, but now I'm missing things. Hangers, brand new clothing I bought at motherhood last year, a brand new car seat for boo boo number 3. All kinds of things, we really really need! I don't know what to do. But, something went wrong cause we have some other peoples things in there as well, a box of glasses I never owned-even though I do like them, who ever they belong to had taste that I like, and a box of Christmas lights which I've never bought Christmas lights to have them either! So I just don't know.

Finally Freecycle is coming through for me. About two or three weeks ago I joined and asked for plants or seeds, and just today got my first offer. So I am going over there tonight to go through them. She says she has a lot of
them. She says she has some small plastic envelopes we can separate them into. There's supposed to be sunflower seeds, which Lela has really been wanting, and a lot of vegetables, especially beans. I love beans and wanted to plant beans this year just didn't have the money for every thing. So that should be really nice, I'm looking forward to it. I hope I'm feeling better by then though. As I have started getting sick again too.

If we have enough time after sifting through seeds, I would like to make it over to the library, to drop off my Prairie Girl Guide book since I am finished with it, and pick up a one of the Sublime Stitching books. Thankfully Amazon is shipping a few more of my books today according to the email they sent me. Early this morning during one of Belle's screaming fits, where I have to be up and holding her to help her, I was able to make some new stuff for my Book Fancys blog, and add them to it. So it's looking good. I just need to make a new linkie. I really need to make a lot of new linkies, I am just not so in love with some of the fonts I have now. I wish I could find a font I used to make my original linkie for Heather's Patter cause I really like it, too bad I don't know the name of it! I have bought several font cds and just get a bunch of junk, nothing I really like. Oh well....

On a bad note, Belle has been really sick for about 3 weeks now. First it was a croopy cough and just sick, sick, sick. Then it was a fever. Now for the past three nights she wakes up with a blood curdling scream, and it takes a long time to calm her down, she seems to be gassy during this screaming, hitting, kicking fit she is having. I must get something for colic or gas I think. But, I just don't know. She's never done any of this before. So I just don't know. Poor baby, I wish she could just get to feeling better.

And now the cat is sick too! She was vomiting some nasty greenish sludge. And with her fur it was every where. So the poor dear is now banished to the bathroom! Till she gets better. Thankfully we have kitty insurance so she will go to the vet soon. UHG. I hope she's ok. Thankfully Lela came and told me about it, so I could clean it up before any one stepped in it, or Belle got into it! I did put her soft warm kitty bed in the bathroom for her, so she has it to snuggle in while she is sick. Thankfully it's the kind that is easy to put in the washer when she has vomiting and poo accidents and what not.