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We are glad you stopped by, we hope you are blessed, and enjoy your stay. We discuss a little bit of everthing here, from homeschool, parenting, adoption, farming, our faith, and our plain lifestyle. May God Bless Your Day!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thankful for a SNAKE???

There always seems to be an abundance of difficulties in our life lately.
I suspect God may be trying to teach us many different things, and I confess, I have not been a completely willing pupil in His school of tough times lately. There has been much murmuring and complaining coming out of my mouth, swirling around in my thoughts, and showing in my actions.
While it seems easier to respond with negativity, anger and despair, oh, the havoc we wreak on our own lives when we do not receive the bad and ugly along with the good with a sweet spirit. My children have been witness to my ornery side, my contentious side, my despairing and having no hope side.
Yet, it is so untrue. I have a hope, and I have to rest in that hope.
Therefore, when things like plugged up dishwashers mean we wash dishes as a family every night for the last 2 months, we should rejoice.
Yet, when that plug makes its way into the line of my KITCHEN sink, then life takes on a whole new level of difficulty. Yes, I have another sink, in the basement, and we used it 3 times a day for the last several weeks.
But, finally, I said, "Enough" and we decided it was time to do something about this-probably the thought of having 19 people in the house for a meal, with ALL those dishes to wash, was the real incentive!
We bought several drain cleansers, used our own puny sewer snake, and did not get very far.
Finally, after my 3rd trip to the hardware store, we broke down and rented one of their sewer snakes-a long, 50 ft monster with a hand crank, and guess what??
I have flowing water again-Halleluia!!
It is really the little things in life that can throw our days off when they don't click-but it is truly the little things in life that can lift our eyes to Jesus, and push us closer to Him, if we let them.
Continuing my gratitude list
11. rented sewer snake
12. husband and son cleaning my drain for me
13. daughter that willingly washes dishes for me
14. dishwasher that now runs again
15. a faithful heavenly Father that loves me through all my despair and doubt
16. spring is just around the corner
17. 33 degrees today at 5am-it can only get better from here
18. thoughts of gardening-delighting in making those plans for filling our pantry
19. grocery money that filled up an empty refrigerator and cupboard
20. a wonderful time of fellowship with 3 other families on Sunday afternoon

Nick really gets into his work

watching the water drain out-photo by Kendell


figuring out how it all works

the beast that has eased my household duties!! AMEN
I really need to spend more time being grateful-it is such an antidote to a negative world-I have been the queen of negativity lately-here is hoping this post will bring a renewed effort towards gratefulness and thanking God for ALL OF IT!!-Even the stuff I don't like.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday

I am trying a new weekly blog this week-thanks to Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer who hosts the weekly blog carnival. It has a huge following of great tips and helps for all us moms who are in desperate need of any kind of help we can get-organization, time, homeschool, housekeeping, health, etc, etc!!!
I have discovered a new tool in my kitchen that has, in a short time, become absolutely essential in my hectic, days -filled -to -overflowing life. I have tried unsuccessfully for several years to have a menu set up that allows my days and nights to be easier. But, the huge stumbling block for me appeared to be the TIME to actually sit down each week and do it. Life on this busy farm has continued at a break-neck pace for the entire 3 years we have lived here, and the addition of a 3 1/2 yr old last spring only made it more interesting, and meant much less time to actually sit down and "THINK" about anything.
Early in the year, I discoverd a chart for a Five Week Menu-over at Betsy's Notebooking Nook that really intrigued me-but still, did not know if it would work for me. After looking at her sample menu, which really gave me the nudge to try it, I created my own Five-Week Menu, and boy, has it made a remarkable difference in my stressful, busy life.
After pondering her nightly categories, I came up with categories for our own week's menus, based on a list of our family favorites that I took the time to compile before trying the menu. After asking each of my family what favorites they wanted to see on a regular basis (once every 5 weeks) we had a huge list of foods that we could incorporate into the new menu.

Sundays are my super easy nights-usually frozen pizza.

Mondays are Italian night

Tuesdays are meat and potatoes night

Wednesdays are leftovers

Thursdays are casseroles

Fridays are leftovers

Saturdays are family favorites

Now, another problem for me was the fact that we are a farm family, and we homeschool, and that means that I am in the kitchen THREE times a day, and 3 meals a day was very difficult to come up with on a moment's notice.

Therefore, Breakfasts became a huge burden for me, even though it is my favorite meal of the day. But with the new menu, I have something different on the menu each day, and IF I have time, that is what we can have, but if life gets in the way of creativity, we have the old stand-by of cereal and toast.

Mondays are muffins

Tuesdays are eggs and toast

Wednesdays are pancakes/waffles or french toast

Thursdays are oatmeal and toast

Fridays are cereal and toast

Saturdays are egg casserole or coffeecake

Sundays are cereal and toast

That leaves us with the most stressful meal of the day, lunches. Because our farm is a 3x a day milking operation, and we are small enough that a lot of the labor is family, that means one or all of us is back outside at 1 pm to do the second set of chores for the day-and with homeschooling, that means I have to be in the kitchen by 12:00 sharp to begin lunch, or we are running late. So, lunches are now super-simple, but we do not have to rely on the old standby of COLD SANDWICHES for every lunch any more.

Mondays are Ramen noodles and sandwiches

Tuesdays are Tuna melts

Wednesdays are soup and crackers

Thursdays are grilled cheese

Fridays are BBQ's

Saturdays are bologna or hotdogs

Sundays are leftovers or cold sandwiches

I now have a schedule that WORKS FOR ME!! and life is mucy easier and the kids really enjoy looking to see what is supposed to be coming each week-remember, it is only a suggestion, not a slave-master-if something does not fit for the week, it can be replaced with something that does work, but, overall, it is a huge success, and we are all thrilled with our stream-lined meal times.

Why not hop on over to Shannon's place, and see what else works for other busy moms???



Friday, February 6, 2009


We have been having a very different winter this year-cold, little snow, then warm, then VERY cold, then warm, and not a lot of snow-I don't think we got much measurable snow in January at all. But, we have a very nice small sliding hill right behind the house, and the 3 children have had a wonderful time with it. The 2 older ones like to try their hand at hotdogging it and acting up, but Tyler is quite content to slide, slide, slide all afternoon long. Here are a few photos of an afternoon of fun together.

Gotta love that SMILE!!

The older they get, the more adventurous they become, and the more fearless, and I have decided it is best to not supervise every move they make outside-they need to experiment and have fun, without fearful mom watching over all their antics!!
Be Blessed!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

2 birthdays already

fun with cousins at birthday time
Daddy's birthday

Nick's presents

Nick's cake

I now have a 10 year old!!

2009 is here

Since I am not sure where the time has already gone this year-I will post a few pictures and then try to do a bit more updating over the next few days!!
WHEW, digital cameras are soooo much fun, but now I have to figure out what to do with all these pictures!

Christmas Morning-minus one sick Daddy
Frosting the cookies for the neighborhood delivery

cutting out cut-out cookies-and loving every minute of it!!

Playing with Tyler's new farm set-WOW!!

Christmas morning at the Waughtal home!
Kendell and baby Donovan-a new cousin

Tyler and baby Donovan

all the cousins on the Waughtal side

the cousins on the Nikolai side

enjoying Christmas at Grandma's house