Monday, June 30, 2008

The simple woman's daybook- June 30, 2008

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FOR TODAY (June 30th, 2008)...

Outside My Window... It is cloudy and windy. Quite a change from the heat of last week, but a welcome change!

I am thinking... about how quiet the house is with Lauren and Delanie gone back home, and how much I miss them already!

I am thankful for... my family. Every time we meet I'm aware of more personality traits that I have somehow missed along the way.

From the kitchen... Simple sandwiches for dinner. And watermelon!

I am wearing... My "work" clothes. A t-shirt and shorts, plus my Skechers!

I am creating... A fun weekend for our friends. We always have company for the Fourth of July!

I am going... nowhere, today at least. I'm going to stay home and begin catching up on housework.

I am reading... In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner. One of my favorite authors.

I am hoping... that I can find some books I've been wanting to read at the new library we've been going to.

I am hearing... Lily singing to herself while playing Chuzzle downstairs.

Around the house... It's mostly quiet. I think everyone is ready for some rest.

One of my favorite things... knowing that my children are really getting to know their cousins. Watching them play together for the last week has absolutely been a joy! (Ha, I accidentally typed job. That too.)

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Going by the library tomorrow to take back some movies, and pick out some more things to bring home. The parade on Friday with our friends, and then a potluck that afternoon.

Here is picture thought I am sharing... I thought this was the funniest thing! I had no idea that potatoes could be Christian! Do you see the ichthus?

Delanie saw it and said, "Oh, you have just got to put that on your blog." I think I'm sending that girl home with a blog addiction...

Friday, June 27, 2008

This is my day today...

(From left to right, Delanie (10), Gabby (11), Lauren (12), Nicole (8), Lily (7), Ben (9), Kate (3), and Danny (6)

In the event that this blog should become unmanned, I would appreciate your prayers for my sanity.

Lessons learned on vacation

Some practical, some not so much...

~ Pack each child their own "snack kit" in a lunchbox or a bag. It's a great way to make them feel special and to keep the snacks at their fingertips. It's also a great way to keep your 3 year old from opening every granola bar in the box and eating precisely half of each one.

~ Flat tires can happen to anybody. Always carry a few quarters with you in case you need to pay for air after the gas station is closed. They also make very handy tire gauges with magnets on the back of them so that they will stay where you put them. (Just make sure that where you put them isn't too close to your ear while you're wearing earrings. The whole silver hoop, red tire gauge look hasn't quite come in vogue yet.)

~ When taking pictures at family gatherings, check your background! Nothing is as disappointing as hearing, "Wow! That's a great picture of front of that bright yellow port-a-potty."

~ If your car doesn't have air conditioning, bring along a spray bottle full of ice. As it melts, you can take turns squirting the kids (and yourself) for a little relief.

~ And last, but not least, if you do any shopping on vacation, remember that shirts with smocking tend to run a size smaller. If you don't believe me, that's fine, but make sure you take someone along with you to help you pull the shirt off your head when you get it irreversibly stuck around your elbows. (And again, thank you Mamaw. I doubt you thought you'd have to undress me at this age.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008


This evening I took the kids across the road to see the frog pond and walk the trail for a few minutes. Lily, as usual, was being dramatic about every leaf, for fear that it was poison ivy. Delanie remarked to me that she was pretty care-free about such things, just "happy-go-lucky."

Kate replied back, "Yeah, well I'm happy-go-crazy!"

I couldn't agree more.

Some pictures from our trip!

Most of these are from Father's Day, which my grandparents always spend at New Prospect. It's the old church in the community where my grandmother grew up. The church isn't used most of the year now, but every Father's Day they have a service and a meal afterward, and decorate the cemetery.

I didn't get many pictures of the rest of the week at my grandparents' house, as I was playing taxi driver!

Be sure to stay tuned for the last picture of Kate and her Papaw, it will just melt your heart!

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Just so you can laugh at me too

A pastor friend of my husband's called a minute ago. It should have been a simple phone call...he was just checking to make sure an email he sent had been received.


As I picked up the phone, I realized that the pen I had been making a list with had leaked black ink all over my hand. Which I had scratched my eye with. And wiped my nose. And evidently touched my ear at some point.

Yes, so get the whole mental picture in your mind. I'm somehow trying to check my husband's email, typing with one hand. Trying to clean off my face with a wet washcloth in the other, so as not to get ink on the phone. Wondering why Jonathan's password doesn't work. Having a telemarketer call in on the other line. Wondering for the thirty-eleventh time why our phone has this weird series of obnoxious sounds to let you know there's a call on the other line, instead of a nice short beep like our old one had. Realizing that Jonathan's password wasn't working because I had jabbed the caps lock key while trying to juggle all this. Verifying that the email was received. Trying to make small talk while looking in the mirror to see exactly how much ink was in my ear. Just knowing that this man thought I must be the flakiest woman on earth.

It did cross my mind to explain to him the situation, but I didn't think it would help my case any.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Recipe for (near) disaster

Begin with: one mommy, already exhausted from a week of shuttling kids back and forth to VBS 45 minutes each way, and with a sick tummy to boot.

Into a minivan with no air conditioning, add 5 kids and all their luggage (and two tomato plants, some marigolds, and possibly a partridge in a pear tree.)

Stir in two hours sitting at nearly a dead stop in traffic, officially making it an 8 1/2 hour road trip.

A wonderful added ingredient here is the sunburned farmers tan that the mommy will get on her left arm from hanging it out the window, desperately trying to catch a breeze.

Yield: one even more exhausted mommy, who is grateful beyond words for...
~ two wonderful, precious, beautiful young ladies (my cousins) that helped me entertain Ben, Lily, and Kate all the way home, and will be staying with us for a few days at least
~ Prince Caspian on CD, and Lynne Redgrave's lovely, calming voice
~ the coincidence (and you know I don't believe in those) of stopping for a bathroom break a mere couple of miles before we hit traffic, and buying the Gatorade that was on sale
~ need I mention ibuprofen and aloe?
~ a wonderful friend who picked up pizza, so that I didn't have to cook
~ and last, but certainly not least, a wonderful husband who brought me an extra strong cup of coffee in bed this morning...yep, he's a keeper!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Vacation, all I ever wanted...

The kids and I are leaving (early) in the morning to spend a week with family! We'll be back next weekend, with lots of pictures, I'm sure.

See you soon!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The bestest creamed corn

I found this recipe from Down Home with the Neelys on Food Network. I think they are just too cute, and I love to watch them cook. I made this recipe a little while back, and it was so delicious I had to share it with you. It's definitely not the most healthy, but it's a great standby for all those summer barbecues! I added just a touch of hot sauce because I felt it was missing a little kick. Here's a link to the original recipe.

Southern Creamed Corn

  • 8 ears corn, husked

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • (Kosher) salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup cold water

  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease or butter

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • hot sauce (such as Tabasco) to taste

  1. In a large bowl, cut the tip off cobs. Cut the kernels from cob with a small paring knife. Using the back of the blade, scrape against the cob to press out the milky liquid.
  2. Whisk together sugar, flour, and salt and pepper, to taste. Combine with corn.
  3. Add the heavy cream and water. Mix.
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat bacon grease (or 2 Tbsp. butter). Add corn mixture and turn heat down to medium-low, stirring until it becomes creamy, about 30 minutes. (NOTE: I used a saucepan for this recipe, and it increased my cooking time to about 35-40 min.)
  5. Right before serving, add (1 Tbsp.) butter and hot sauce to taste.


Monday, June 9, 2008

The simple woman's daybook

For today- Monday, June 9th, 2008

Outside My Window...
it's dark now, but it is finally raining. It caught us by surprise earlier, and Ben and I ran for the laundry on the line. We hurried and scrambled at first, but then gave in and just had fun with it. There's nothing better than a clothes-pin duel in the rain.

I am thinking... about how funny it is that Ben gets "cannibalism" confused with "capitalism"

I am thankful for... the rain! And the trip we are taking to my grandparents' house next week. How blessed my children are that they get to know their great-grandparents.

From the kitchen...
tonight we had "big bird burgers" leftover from the weekend. They're a new recipe for me, and they're a hit!

I am wearing... a green top and black shorts, barefoot.

I am creating... I'm ashamed to admit I'm still working on Kate's dress! The bodice is mostly done, but I'm having to redo my gathering stitches because I made them too short. I'm still on a search for my seam ripper...

I am going... downstairs, to read and wait on Jonathan to get home from work.

I am reading...
all of the same things as last week, except I finished Crane's Maggie.... I'm still trying to recover.

I am hoping...
to get the car packed and ready for our trip before hand so that we don't have to rush.

I am hearing...
Ben still awake in his room, making little boy noises that come few and far between these days.

Around the house...
it's very, very quiet.

One of my favorite things...
watching Ben take the lead in "manly" things, like helping Lily fix her bike today.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
getting all the laundry caught up, picking up a few groceries and snacks for our trip, having company on Wednesday.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

The first purple shamrock this year, just coming up this morning!


As in, six is the number of shirts that Kate had on when she came downstairs this morning. Six. At one time. And only four of them were hers.

I suppose she's just a fan of the layering look...

Saturday, June 7, 2008


I ran across this song this week and I knew instantly that I had to share it with you.

Storm - Lifehouse

Storm by Lifehouse

how long have I
been in this storm
so overwhelmed by the ocean's shapeless form
water's getting harder to tread
with these waves crashing over my head

if I could just see you
everything will be alright
if I'd see you
the storminess will turn to light

and I will walk on water
and you will catch me if I fall
and I will get lost into your eyes
and everything will be alright
and everything will be alright

I know you didn't
bring me out here to drown
so why am I 10 feet under and upside down
barely surviving has become my purpose
cause I'm so used to living underneath the surface

if I could just see you
everything will be alright
if I see you
the storminess will turn to light

and I will walk on water
and you will catch me if I fall
and I will get lost into your eyes
and everything will be alright

and I will walk on water
you will catch me if I fall
and I will get lost into your eyes
and everything will be alright
I know everything is alright
everything's alright

The line that hit me hardest in this song was, "I know you didn't
bring me out here to drown."

When I'm in the middle of a crisis or just a down period, it's so easy for me to forget that God has the perfect plan for each of us. This song reminds me of the comfort that I take from the Psalms. God can handle our anger. He can handle our frustration. We just have to keep giving it to him and meditating on the truth that He will catch us when we fall.

Some "thingish things" for the weekend

Last night our good friends Ryan and Starr came over for dinner, along with newborn baby Ary:

Starr and Ary with our girls. Jonathan and I were able to see Ary in the hospital, but this was the first time for the kids to see her up close. I have to chuckle every time at Kate's face in this picture.

We all love when Ryan and Starr come to visit, because they truly are like family to us. We had a wonderful dinner of burgers and corn on the cob, and then we let Ben stay up with us "grown-ups" to watch National Treasure 2!

Today was so hot that we stayed inside most of the day, but after dinner we took an impromptu nature walk.

Our landlord planted this lily for us while we were on vacation last year, and it just started blooming today! Every time they bloom I am reminded again of what a thoughtful gift they were.

We also found some beautiful sights just across the road. I am badly in need of a good field guide to help identify these, but even though I didn't know what they were, I wanted to share them with you.

Kate was fascinated by the remains of the tree in this next shot. We were all watching a tiny frog hop through the moss when she stepped back, looked up and started laughing. I'm not sure what it was she found so funny, but I did think it made a beautiful picture.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The simple woman's daybook

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Outside My Window... the "bridge" that Kate drew across the sidewalk in yellow chalk, using the chalk holders that were a present from Daddy

I am thinking... how quiet it is in the house with "the boys" gone to church together

I am thankful for... the pond across the road, night noises that always calm me

From the kitchen... sadly, no more frozen lemonade met its tasty end today

I am wearing... my jammies!

I am creating... a dress for Kate, still

I am going... to brew a cup of chamomile and enjoy the silence

I am reading... three different non-fiction books. Emma by Jane Austen. Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. A novel by Jimmy Buffett, surprisingly good so far. Stephen Crane's Maggie: A Girl of the Streets. That should last me through the week...

I am hoping... to spend time with friends this week

I am hearing... the girls talking quietly in bed, making up songs for our friends Tim & Lisa

Around the house... things still out of place after a hectic weekend

One of my favorite things... beautiful bookmarks

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... an end of the year party for our Wednesday night Bible study, visiting a new library

Here is picture thought I am sharing... memories of last summer

Just when you thought there was a website for everything

This afternoon I was tidying up the kitchen when Kate came in. We have a computer in there, and our screen saver is set to rotate pictures that we have saved on it.

Kate watched for a minute, but then accidentally hit the mouse and the screen saver went away. She walked over to me, looking all disappointed, and said, "Mommy, I need you to make the pictures come back."

I told her that I couldn't make them come back, that we would have to wait until they started running again.

She shook her head and told me, "We don't have to wait, just type in pictures dot com!"

At least she's got an idea of how the whole system works, huh?