Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Swimsuits, take II

On a recent post, there were a few comments regarding the swim suit I sewed for Miriam, so I wanted to elaborate a bit more on it.

White trash Muay Thai training

Just kidding on the title, of course. :) My husband made this funny video with the kids.

If you enjoyed this, you may also like (in chronological order) "Lego Firefighters", "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and "The Life of Moses."

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I love Sunday afternoons

All week long I look forward to Sunday afternoons. The way it works out with the morning service and lunch, all three girls nap at the same time right after we are done eating. My husband is almost always out for church between the morning and evening services, and the boys are already used to having their "silent times" every day so it's no different for them on Sundays. We try to get the chores caught up on Saturday, and being gone for church on Sunday morning helps with the house staying reasonably clean. 


Did you know that I am a procrastinator? I am. The bigger the task, the less I even want to think about it.

Put it off for a day and ten will go by. - Chinese Proverb

Two projects I have been dreading were organizing our bedroom, and the school room. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Recipe for granola bars

Our family likes granola bars, particularly Chococonut and Peanut Choco. Since we go through one box just for everyone to get one bar, but most of us usually want a second one, I have been looking for a good recipe to make my own.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I homeschool 'cuz I'm lazy

Back in 3rd and 4th grade, I had a teacher that I remember distinctly. He taught our class for all grades except arts/crafts - even P.E. This was at a little country school in Germany. 

My teacher was rather strict. If students acted up, or talked out of turn, he would pull their ears. Like, waaaaay up. Almost-lifting-you-off-your-feet/bottom-up. Not that I ever got my ears pulled for popping off or anything...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Christmas in August

For your viewing pleasure and a little (okay, a lot) of comic relief, please enjoy this absolutely hilarious, albeit entirely extrabiblical, banter by none other than Dr. Jack Schaap.

Oh, I love this clip! It makes me laugh tears every time I watch it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

And the winner is...

For lack of time, I used random.org to determine the winner of the board game giveaway. In case the number fell on a commenter who was not interested in the prize (as expressed in the comment), or not eligible because they lived outside the US, the next commenter below was going to win.

Which means the winner is....  

Read at your own risk

Caution, reading this blog may be injurious to your health. The author assumes no liability.

I realized I didn't make it clear what I meant by "canning cantaloupe" - unlike most fruit, cantaloupe cannot simply be canned in syrup and then processed in a hot water bath. I won't go into the specifics, but basically it is not acidic enough and would need to be processed in a pressure canner. Since cantaloupe is so soft, that would turn it into mush, so there is no effective way to can cantaloupes.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Kitchen day

Today, I have a bunch of stuff that needs to be done in the kitchen. Mostly, because there is so much produce available this time of year - more than we can eat fresh.

At 6:45 this morning, me and five kids left to go pick up our produce share basket with Bountiful Baskets. My husband and Solomon were gone on a business trip. From Bountiful Baskets, we went straight to the Phoenix Downtown Farmer's Market, because I needed some more pickling cucumbers. The stand where we bought them also had organic watermelons and cantaloupes for cheap, so I bought 2 of the first and 9 of the latter, plus some apples because the kids eat those like crazy.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Martha vs. Mary

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
(Luke 10:38-42)

This is the famous story of Martha and Mary. Martha is worried about getting the chores, housework, and cooking done, while Mary is more concerned about the spiritual matters.

To be quite honest, I do not like reading this story. It seems like some sort of cruel joke, even though of course I know it isn't. I think about it often. Especially at 5 am when I'm getting up to tend to a needy child, after what seems like 5 minutes of sleep that night. What do you chose when you stayed up until midnight the night before pairing socks so everyone would be able to find a pair the next day? The extra hour of sleep you know you need to make it through the day without losing your sanity before breakfast, or a quiet half hour to read your Bible? 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Amber Grail of teething relief

As I have mentioned before, Anna has been having the worst time teething. It's been hard on all of us. Our usually happy, smiling, content baby that had fallen into a wonderful sleep pattern has been cranky, irritable, fussy, restless, and generally MAD. She has not gone to sleep before about 11 PM but twice this whole month, and on those two nights she woke up again and kept us up until well past midnight. Both her and I are a bleary-eyed mess.

A nectarine popsickle - yummy, but didn't help.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Crazy busy

Life is never dull around here. Last week, I canned 32 lbs of peaches and processed 24 lbs of nectarines (used fresh in smoothies and froze for "winter"). I used honey for canning instead of sugar as explained in this book. Sadly, it is no longer in print, but the information contained in it is entirely up to date and in line with today's canning standards. Truly a wonderful book!

 Just before being processed. We got a total of 15 quarts.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

From bored to board (game), and a giveaway

Have you ever wondered what people who do not have a television do for entertainment?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Get ready to melt

You know the Chinese proverb that says:
There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.

Look at the fruit, not the tree

My husband and I have been so blessed to have our wonderful children, and the Bible to guide us in raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.


Last week, I was having a particularly rough day where everything seemed to be going wrong. Plus, I was tired from battling allergies. While the boys were playing in the pool in the afternoon, I noticed them whispering with each other. Suddenly, they all got out and announced they were tired of swimming, something they NEVER say so I knew they must be up to something. They urged me to take the girls swimming and relax in the water with them for a while, "at least an hour", while they would just entertain themselves in the house.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Recipe for Partybrot

These traditional German rolls are quick and easy to make, inexpensive, perfect for entertaining, and absolutely delicious!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The letdown post, plus a kitchen tip

For those of you who were excited about a special giveaway to celebrate this here 700th blog post of mine, I am sorry. My 1-year menu plan is not quite finished, and short of not blogging again until it is done, I decided to do the giveaway next month for my 4-year blogging anniversary, which should give me enough time to finish up.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Random blurbs

  • My husband found a scorpion in the middle of a room last week when we got home at night. He said it was HUGE, and he is not one to exaggerate. I find myself afraid to walk barefoot in the house any more. I mean, I know that technically there are scorpions, snakes, and other mean critters in Arizona, but we have never before seen one on our property.

It definitely beats writing on the walls

John, who is 6, is our little artist. If he is off somewhere quietly, I know he is drawing pictures. His hands are permanently stained from markers. There are pictures he drew in every room of the house, taking over all horizontal surfaces, as well as my fridge doors.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Nectarine Smoothie

This recipe was born out of a need to quickly use up a 15-lb case of organic nectarines before they would spoil. It has become an absolute favorite in our house! Nectarines, like peaches, are on the "dirty dozen" of conventionally grown produce, so look for organic ones. In the summer, our local Sam's Club carries 4 lb boxes of organic nectarines for about $6.50 - maybe yours does, too. Peaches make a great substitute for some or all of the nectarines.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Unnatural parenting

There is a somewhat modern movement out there called "Natural Parenting", or "Attachment Parenting". Really, all that is modern about it is the name, as the concept of being a failure of a parent and not raising decent kids is as old as humankind itself. Anyway, I am here to pick apart "Natural Parenting". Buckle your seat belts.

Microwave no more

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, my health goals for July were to never use the microwave, or any processed sugar.