Friday, June 26, 2009

Going South

No, we're not going on vacation, but south is certainly where I'm headed. Or at least certain parts of my body in this heat.

In fact, as I sit here and melt, I'm pretty sure my nose has taken up residence by my belly button. And between aging and nursing three children, it's a place already at capacity, if you know what I mean. There's no more room at the inn.

We've been trying not to install the air conditioners in our bedrooms until July 1st to save a little money. But you know what, it's hot in my house. Cook an egg on the sidewalk hot. Bake some cookies on your dashboard hot. And my babies are cranky. Shoot, I'm cranky.

There's a place for idealistic notions and I'm thinking it is far, far away from sweaty, miserable little ones. Their bedrooms are the hottest places in the house, outside of the kitchen. I didn't even cook in the kitchen today and it felt like a suana. I'm thinking this does not bode well for my canning days ahead.

We live in an old house (circa 1834) and I'm trying to figure out how in the world they survived. Agood majority of the time it is cooler outside than inside. From what I understand our second floor is part of the original house, but they had to have done something to keep cool in the summer to sleep. It's a mystery to me. Much like why I ever thought it would be a good idea to eat cheese from a can, but that's another story.

But maybe I shouldn't be surprised at the stifling heat since I can see my breath in the winter in certain rooms. There is something to be said for temperature control. Trust me. I have a few words for all the people out there who talk about acclimating ourselves to the weather and how we'll adjust to're on crack. And your mama wears combat boots. So there.

Do you see what's happening to me here? Someone better start praying.


Anyway, time will tell if we can make it to our self-induced misery of a goal. And by make it I mean without having to be sucked up off the floor with a wet vac. Cause after leaving Abigail's room and being able to wring my shirt out from the sweat, I'm ready to fold like a deck of cards.

So if you'll excuse me, I need to scoop up that nose of mine. The lint is not happy about being displaced at all...


P.S. Thanks for listening...okay, if you have to be technical, thanks for reading. *smile*

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Easy Eclair Dessert

Richie had one request for Father's Day - Easy Eclair Dessert. So what's a girl to do but honor the father of her children and satisfy his tummy and tastebuds.

I got this recipe from a friend several years ago and it is a big favorite in our house. It's very simple and oh-so-yummy! It makes a good sized batch, so it's great for potlucks. It also needs to set, so plan ahead. It won't win any awards for healthiest treat, but it will garner many smiles from your family.

Easy Eclair Dessert


  • 2 small boxes Instant Vanilla Pudding (French Vanilla also works)
  • 1 large tub Cool Whip
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1 box of graham crackers
  • 1 can chocolate frosting

  1. Mix the instant pudding and milk together in a large mixing bowl.

  2. Fold in the Cool Whip with the pudding mixture.

  3. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with whole graham crackers.

  4. Alternate layers of graham crackers and the pudding mixture until you have two of each.

  5. Ice a final layer of graham crackers with the chocolate frosting for the top. (Icing the graham crackers individually before laying them on the pudding mixture works well for me. Then I just fill in any spaces with icing.)

  6. Let set overnight.

I have put it in the freezer to help it set more quickly, but it really tastes best if it has been allowed to set for awhile in the fridge.

So go ahead, give it a try. You'll be glad you did!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rated What?

Our family really enjoys having movie nights together. Unfortunately, I am constantly being surprised by the content in many movies targeting children. And truthfully, I'm shocked at what's considered acceptable in movies targeted at adults as well.

A few years ago, I got fed up with being unpleasantly surprised and started searching for a way to eliminate these moments in our family. So...I thought I'd share a few online movie review sites that work for me.

My favorite online movie review site is
Kids In Mind. While not a Christian website, they have the most detailed reviews that I have found. I love this site and feel like I can make informed decisions about what our eyes and ears are consuming. Here's what they have to say about their site:

We enable adults to determine whether a movie is appropriate for them or their children, according to their own criteria. Unlike the MPAA we do not assign an inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE & PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10. We also explain in detail why a film rates high or low in a specific category, and we include instances of SUBSTANCE USE, a list of DISCUSSION TOPICS that may elicit questions from kids and MESSAGES the film conveys.

I also use it to make decisions regarding movies for myself. They have recently had some cyber problems (hackers, etc.), so they have a couple messages on their site - including one about membership, but I have been able to continue to access their reviews for free.

Another site I frequent is
Plugged In Online, a website of Focus on the Family. While I don't find it as detailed as Kids-in-Mind, it occasionally has additional information that helps me make a decision about movie selections. One neat thing is that they don't just stop at movie reviews, they also cover music, video games, television, etc.

I recently discovered that the
Dove Foundation does online movie reviews. While I haven't used their site very much, I checked out a few of their reviews and I really like the way that they have done them. Probably more so than Plugged In Online from what I can tell. I will definitely be using them in the future.

Making wise decisions about the movies we watch definitely works for me! You can check out more Works for me Wednesdays here. Happy viewing!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Blast From The Past - Part I

I've recently had the experience of being reaquainted with a few bits of my past. The most enjoyable of which was dressing Abigail in an outfit from my girlhood.

Girlhood? That word makes me feel old.

Anyway, as a surprise for my mom who was visiting for Abigail's birthday, I dressed her in the outfit.

It was so much fun and I am so thankful that my mom saved some of my dresses so that I can have fun like this!


Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Baby Girl Is One

Can you believe it? This precious baby girl turned one a little over a week ago! Time is most certainly not on my side.

She started walking about a month ago and is also quite the climber. As she has become more mobile, it has been a lot of fun to watch her interaction develop more with the boys. I'm not sure there's anything better as a parent than watching your children build friendships and develop loving relationships with one another. Makes this mama's heart melt.

This is one of her favorite faces to make while breathing in and out quickly through her nose. She mainly makes it just to get a reaction. I have made trips to the grocery store where the majority of the time this is what she's doing...and her audience is more than willing to respond.

She continues to be such a delight to us all! Playing peek-a-boo is one of her favorite games. She likes to look at books, watch out the windows, play with her brothers, and snuggle with mommy and daddy. She has also started offering kisses on her own!

Abigail Ruth, you are a treasure from God. Your happiness and sweet nature are contagious. I am so thankful that God placed you in our family. I pray that you always know the love we have for you and the overwhelming love that your Heavenly Father has for you. You will always be my special girl. I love you, sweetheart!


Thursday, June 4, 2009

We're Expecting

We are eagerly anticipating the arrival of...

not one...

not two...

but a multitude of these little beasties.

Some friends blessed us with a praying mantis ootheca to hatch and release into our garden. An ootheca is the protective coating in which a female praying mantis covers her egg mass.

So I don't leave you thinking I am a certified brainiac, I confess up until this point I had been calling it a chrysallis.

So we're excitedly checking the egg case at least twice a day to see if the little predators have hatched so we can quickly release them. Cause if we don't, they will start eating each other.

The violence. The horror. And here I thought we were running a G rated house.

I've already admitted that I've turned into a bit of a weenie, so you might be able to imagine that I'm kind of not looking forward to having a 100+ pairs of beady, little eyes watching me in the backyard.

Of course, weenie might not be the word I would use to describe myself if I think about the fact that I'm releasing these ambush predators into my garden to be used as pest control. Jo Ann, paradox be thy name.

Beady eyes or not, somehow this homeschooling mama will persevere and probably hold one or two to boot. All in the name of education. And my garden.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sweet Smell of Summer

I picked up milk from the farm today and enjoyed the pleasant surprise of running into an old friend. Summer.

She isn't supposed to have officially arrived yet, but I've been enjoying glimpses of her around the last couple of weeks.

As I stepped out of my car to collect my goods this afternoon, her presence was undeniable. Clothed in the fragrance of honeysuckle. The smell invaded all else.
It demanded complete attention. Would not share the moment with anything else.

And that's when summer kissed me on my cheek, delivering another sweet message from my Father above.

O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens! Psalm 8:1


Monday, June 1, 2009

How Do You Store Your Digital Pictures?

I need help. Okay, okay, we established that a while ago...that's a different story.

I'm trying to decide what to do with all my digital pictures and videos now that I've got my camera and computer talking and I'm having a hard time choosing what to do with them. Flickr? PhotoBucket? Snapfish? Good, old fashioned cd's?

Help! I'm overwhelmed, frustrated, and am the proud owner of a computer ready to go on strike at any inconvenient moment.

Would you help a girl out and share what you use? Would you mind sharing the pros and cons you've found if you have a minute?

I'll be forever grateful.

In fact, I pledge to never take a picture of the gifts of affection my cat keeps leaving for me to find (preferably not under my foot or in a child's hand). Nope, no dead animal halves. Or entrails. I promise.