Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Packing and Postponing

I thought I'd stop and give you a little packing update. It has nothing to do with taking a break. No, nothing at all! :-)

Actually, the break is a rather forced one. Our move is being postponed for a week. There were some issues with getting work done at the new house, and it won't be ready for a full move-in on Saturday - although we might be able to take a few boxes to get them out of here. It should be ready by Monday, but Doug and I will be out of town Monday through Wednesday. So, late next week it must be.

Fortunately, we found out before we got too far in packing - I'll probably have to unpack some of the school stuff I packed today so that we don't go too insane or get too far behind with the delay. But, that shouldn't be too hard. I think everything we need is in one of two boxes. YAY!

This move has been a bit different - it's the first time in a long time we've not had a baby during a move. That's been so nice! Yesterday the kids were all three quite helpful. Take a look...
Steven helped with the kitchen packing.
The girls packed all of my fabric - and it was a big job!
The kids also made sure they were packed and ready to go!
Today has been a little tougher. Steven still doesn't handle chaos too well, and he was ready to be done with the move today. A little bit of Toy Story while curled up on the couch did help some, though. Please pray with us for him through this delay. Fortunately, he'll be at Grandma and PopPop's Monday through Wednesday, so that will help a bit!
And, that's the update! After the move is finally done, I'll share the beautiful fall pictures from our trip to northwest AR last weekend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Much to Come!

Just in case you didn't notice in the daybook post this week, we are definitely moving across town.

But first, God has blessed us with the ability to take a mini-vacation! We leave tomorrow to go to Fayetteville for a few days. And while we're there we get to spend some time with my baby sister. YAY for Aunt Alli! On the way home we'll get to stop by for a visit with my grandparents and one brother and sister-in-law. Then we'll come home to packing insanity to be prepared for moving day next Saturday. Oh, and Fall Festival Saturday night. The following Monday, the kids will be headed to Monroe for three days with Doug's parents while Doug and I head to Benton for the AR Baptist State Convention Annual Meeting. Yep, busy couple of weeks coming up!

I'm sure I'll have many pictures and much adventure to share, but this blog just might be silent for a couple of weeks while the adventures are taking place. So, if you're not subscribed via email, Google Reader, or some other update notification mechanism, don't give up on checking back in with us. We'll be back around the second week of November with many pictures and tales!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkin Harvesting

Remember our trip to the pumpkin patch? Well, this past weekend we finally had the opportunity to dig into those pumpkins and harvest their flesh and seeds.

I must confess, this is something we have never done before. So, we honestly had no idea what to expect. But, thanks to the plethora of information available on the world wide web, we had great guidance through the whole process.

After I cut the pumpkins in half, the girls helped me dig in to the ooey gooey centers to pull out the seeds and strings.


We separated the seeds from the stringy center and put them aside for roasting.
The smallest pumpkin really did not have decent fruit. So, we just harvested the seeds from it. The middle sized pumpkin had the nicest looking flesh. It was also a good size for baking. So, once the seeds and stringy gooeyness was cleaned out from the inside, we put the halves face down on a baking sheet, covered them tightly with foil, and put them in the oven. We were supposed to back them for an hour to an hour and a half at 375 until tender, but after a little over an hour they were nowhere near done and we really had to head out to run some errands. So, we gave it about five more minutes at full heat and then turned the oven off, leaving it all sealed up and baking in the residual heat until we got home about four hours later. The pumpkin was perfect!! It was wonderfully tender and could be scooped out of the peel with a spoon!! We scooped it into a blender and ended up with a nice bowlful of beautiful orange pumpkin puree.

The larger pumpkin was too big for the oven, so we cut the flesh into chunks and steamed it for about 35 to 40 minutes. I must say that the baking was much easier, although once this was steamed it pureed nicely as well.
After draining the excess liquid out over night, we had a nice harvest of pumpkin for pumpkin bread, pumpkin roll, pumpkin cheesecake...mmmmmm. But, for now, the pumpkin will rest in the freezer until we can actually find a free day to do all of that baking!!

Oh, and that basket of seeds? Spread out on in a single layer on a couple of lightly sprayed pans, sprayed again on top, lightly salted, and roasted at 375-400 for about half an hour. YUM, YUM, YUM!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

(Don't forget to click on the picture above and visit Peggy's site!)

For today, October 19, 2009
Outside my window...Sunshine! Wonderful, bright sunshine! And crisp, cool fall air! Definitely my favorite time of year.


I am thinking about how much energy it takes to keep my focus on today rather than being overwhelmed by the coming weeks.


I am thankful for the helpfulness of my girls this morning – they folded the laundry while I caught up on the kitchen.


From the learning rooms...Squanto & more Spanish exploration of the New World; radishes and frogs; Olivia – graphs, equations, and multiplying two-digit numbers; Angela – two-digit addtion, fractions, time


From the kitchen...harvested pumpkin waiting to be divided up and frozen, Homemade Gourmet chicken biscuit casserole – one for today, one for the freezer for moving week.


I am wearing a favorite soft, warm Pooh bear button-down top, old faded jeans, tennis shoes, and hair twisted up into a clippy.


I am creating...well, creating might be on a temporary hiatus for the next couple of weeks, although Christmas ideas are still rolling around in my mind.


I am going...to move very, very soon! We did find out last week that the move is on, and we found out that we can move sooner than expected. Although we have until the end of November to be fully out of this house, we will be officially living in the new house by October 31 – yes, next weekend. Wow! Lots to do!


I am reading... Kiss Me Again by Barbara Wilson for this week's book review.Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims with the kids for school


I am hoping...that the sunshine will hold out and dry out the ground a bit so the kids can spend some time outside this week.


I am hearing...Steven Curtis Chapman on iTunes. Happy kids playing before school.


Around the house...quite a bit of chaos while we prepare for the move.


One of my favorite things...the nippy feeling in the house that comes after fall weather has arrived but before the heater has been turned on for the first time.


A few plans for the rest of the week: Packing. Preparing some frozen meals for moving week. Mini-vacation to Fayetteville (we get to see my li'l sis!) this weekend.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pics from OBU Homecoming

Last Saturday we made the trek to Arkadelphia to enjoy some of the Homecoming celebrations. Although we didn't see as many friends as we expected, we had a great trip!

Excited to be on the road!

There was a real tiger there!! This is India...she really played to the crowd.

Notice the sweatshirts. Doug had picked them up on the sales rack a couple of weeks before Homecoming when he was there for Pastor's Conference (we knew we couldn't afford what they'd be selling Homecoming day!) We expected them to be too warm pretty quickly, so all three kids had their old OBU t-shirts underneath. We were very surprised to find that the sweatshirts almost weren't warm enough!! It was quite a wonderful fall day! (And yes, Doug and I were a bit chilly in our short sleeves and windbreakers!)

The family at the tiger!


Steven wasn't at all sure he wanted to get way up high, but he did it and was proud! Big boy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

(Don't forget to click on the picture above and visit Peggy's site!)

For Today December 7, 2009

Outside my window...another gray Monday. Seems the norm for Mondays these days. But, it's broken up by sunshine throughout the week, so it's just fine with me!

I am thinking...about what needs to be done in the next hour or so.

I am thankful for...a fully functional stove and my wonderful hubby and a sweet man named James Edrington who fought with it for two hours this morning to get it fully functional!

I am wearing...jeans, ¾ sleeve green sweater, Christmas socks and brown clogs.

I am remembering...a memory my mom brought up earlier – playing Nertz and badminton with her. Ah, fun times!

I am going...to pick up my hubby from work, then to Wal-Mart and the post office, then back to the church to meet my friend Paula who is coming to visit for a few days.

I am reading...Treasure of Stonewickby Michael Phillips and Judith Pella. Finally finishing a six book series started nearly two years ago!

I am hoping...the ickiness in my throat is not indicative of impending sickness.

On my mind...some friends in need of prayer.

From the learning rooms...sea creatures, Pilgrims and Puritans, poetry lessons from a couple of weeks, and a generally relaxed schedule that will probably last until after Christmas.

Noticing that...Steven is quiet for the moment, which is not a common occurrence for my active little three-year-old. (It is a good type of quiet – he's right here in the living room with me.)

Pondering these words...To be the joy-bearer and a joy-giver says everything, for in our life, if one is joyful, it means that one is faithfully living for God, and that nothing else counts; and if one gives joy to others one is doing God's work; with joy without and joy within, all is well...I can conceive no higher way.” Janet Erskine Stuart

From the kitchen...bread rising; hopefully peanut brittle and other holiday treats later in the week.


Around the house...floors that hide dirt very, very well.

One of my favorite things~ God showing Himself in precious and unexpected ways.

From my picture journal...

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/__xIV1jAUCDY/Sx156WFOwWI/AAAAAAAACV8/rJLcOhMi2tQ/s1600-h/Cars+lined+up.jpg


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

First Fall Pictures

Here are a few more pictures from our Saturday trip to the pumpkin patch.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Pumpkin Patch

Saturday we loaded up for a visit to Monroe. It was Pop Pop's birthday, so we had the chance to celebrate with him. And, in the midst of some of our other errands, we stopped off a a pumpkin patch!

There were rows and rows of pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, little areas for picture stops (some of those will come tomorrow) and a pumpkin maze to walk through!
Then, it was pumpkin picking time.

Grandma had one rule - the kids could pick any pumpkin they wanted as long as they could carry it themselves! The thought was that we would have three sweet little pumpkins. I think maybe we underestimated our big, strong girls.

Olivia thought these were cute, but way too small! :-) So, she kept looking...
Steven, meanwhile, was the man of the hour, pulling around the wagon to be ready to collect everyone's pumpkins when they were selected.
One by one, they began to find their pumpkins.
And each successive pumpkin seemed to grow in size!

But, my sweet big boy was still able to handle even such a load as this!
It wasn't until the last pumpkin was added that he needed a little extra help.
Despite some hungry, whiney moments, the kids left very excited about their pumpkin treasures. All the way to lunch they talked about all the things they could do with their pumpkins! Sometime in the next few days, we'll be carving into them, harvesting the fruit for pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin cheesecake....I think you get the picture. YUM!

More pictures tomorrow!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

Today I am starting what will hopefully be a Monday tradition - taking part in The Simple Woman's Daybook. Visit Peggy to learn more! (Hopefully by next week I'll have had a chance to add the icon!)

For today, October 5, 2009...

Outside my window...very cool fall air with cloudy skies. Oh, how I love this season!

I am thinking...of how much I am looking forward to the kids getting to play outside again as it stays cool and the mosquitoes disappear.

I am thankful for...my husband - oh, how I love just to be near him!

From the learning rooms...Incans and Pocahontas in history. Birds in science, as well as our four-week experiment with growing radishes. Olivia is learning to write short biographical sketches, and Angela is learning to tell time on the half hour. Steven is working on letters A-D, counting and recognizing numbers 1-10 and matching skills.

From the kitchen...nothing much today, although I am thinking about fall foods like soups and warm beverages!

I am wearing...jeans and a dark olive green long-sleeve knit shirt, hair pulled back in a ponytail.

I am creating...Christmas presents of all kinds!

I am going...to join my hubby for walking as soon as school is done.

I am reading...Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall and Beyond Me by Kathi Macias

I am hoping...the girls finish their room before breaktime is over!

I am hearing...girlie whispers and a sweet boy calling my name.

Around the house...three pumpkins from the pumpkin patch needing some attention, a school room needing to be cleaned, and many projects to work on. But, much of the housework is actually caught up, which is a huge blessing!

One of my favorite things...the arrival of fall weather, which we are greatly celebrating this week!
A few plans for the rest of the week: Diligence in school and home life. Progress on Christmas crafts. Pulling summer clothes out of the closets and drawers to make room for the fall stuff. A trip to our alma mater Ouachita Baptist University on Saturday for homecoming!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
Mommy and Steven in school - the expression on his face just cracked me up!

Sprouting!

We are so incredibly excited!! We opened our little seed box Thursday morning to find this!
Just in case you can't see it, four seeds had begun to sprout (the girls were drawing numbers 15 and 19 when I took this picture)!! YAY!! Although we have had to delay a few of our activities by a couple of days because of the slow sprouting, we have been able to move right along with our experimentation. We were so thrilled!

Here are the girls started on the second experiment - seeds sprouting in light versus dark conditions. Since then we have also added seeds in four environments - under water, dry, wet but covered, and wet and exposed. As soon as we get enough activity from our first seeds, we will be analyzing how sprouts grow in crowded versus roomy environments. I haven't previewed more of next week's activities yet, but we are praying we will be able to move through each activity easily now that we have seen some viability in the seeds.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Snapshots

Can you tell it's football season?! Okay, so it doesn't take football season to get these kids in Razorback mood, but it does accentuate it just a little bit around here!
One morning one child woke up ready to wear Hog attire, and the other two just had to join in! They are all excited about the cooler weather because the girls can't wait to start wearing their long-sleeved Razorback shirts, and Steven has been asking to wear his woo pig souiee jacket! :-) It's fun to be raising fans! And, Doug and I came to a conclusion - it's actually easier on parents when the team their kids are fans of does poorly. The fan paraphernalia is cheaper! Hee hee! So, even as we realize we just might be cheering on a losing team yet again, we can still say Woo Pig Souiee with glee! Yep, that's my silver lining!

And, here are just a few more shots I thought worth sharing - my kids in every-day life.
Steven and Harvey Puppy
Olivia was supposed to be putting away the books.
Just like her mommy, though, she sometimes gets lost in
the very thing she should be cleaning up!
Angie didn't feel 100% this particular morning.
A nice cozy comforter and a good book (a Little House book
in this case) helped a whole lot!