Friday, October 29, 2010

Looking for a Good Politician?

I suppose I may not be the typical voter, living in the country with chickens in the yard and a pot of beans cooking on the woodstove.  Then again, maybe I am the typical voter.  I am a somewhat educated, pretty independent, van driving momma of the sweetest kids on the planet.  I’m a wife and a daughter.  I’m a friend and a blogger.  I’m a PBS watching, book reading, dork.  I love my country and I want to leave it the very best place possible for generations to come. 

Maybe this coupon clipping, bread making, frugal mom isn’t alone in feeling disgust over the slick, glossy 8X11 political ads found in mailboxes every night.  It burns me up, especially when that same expensive mail promises me that they will cut spending by government.  Uh, huh.  I’m sure they will be very thrifty people as evidenced by their political spending.  They are nice folks, too, slamming their opponents every chance they get.  What makes them think I want their representation.  How can they represent me?  I’d like to think that we are nothing alike.


I’m tired of these climbers looking to “win” an office.  Being in office should be a sacrifice you make for the good of your country, not a prize to be won.  I want to elect someone who humbly serves my community.  Someone who truly represents my family, my friends, and my community.  I want to elect someone who doesn’t want the office but will take the time out of his or her life to do the job. 

I’ll go vote, make no mistake.  It’s my job and a responsibility that comes with living in this country.  I’m afraid that I’ll be voting for “Slim Pickins” and not someone who truly deserves my vote.  I sure do wish one of these folks who are running for office would send me an honest letter, sharing a bit of who they are and what they hope to accomplish if I vote for them.  The letter can be on plain copy paper, handwritten, and copied at the local post office for all I care.  I’d even forgive a few spelling errors in favor of a bit of thrift and honesty.    I’ve given up all hope on this election, but I’ll be praying that some good folks with a bit of sense will run in the next one.  I bet I’m not alone.


**  I must add this little note to my rant…  Imagine my shock this evening, when I found a handwritten and copied letter from the wife of one of the folks running for office.  She must read my blog (doubtful).  ;)  It was two pages long, explaining the reasons why I should vote for her husband.  I read every single word.  I threw the rest of the glossy ads in the trash without a second glance. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today, I’m having a hard time getting past my emotions to find the thankful.  Some days are just that way.  Oh well, here goes!


I’m thankful for

My Mary’s determination to learn to crochet.  She just finished a scarf for her doll, Liz.

My Mom inviting Mary to go shopping with her today.  May they have a safe and fun trip together.

Sarah’s emotions while watching Bambi this morning.  Pure innocence…

Little Sam, still small enough to fall asleep in momma’s arms.

Danny taking initiative to help out with the dishes this morning, even if he is motivated by trying to convince me he needs an allowance. ;)


Hope you’ll let go of whatever may be weighing on you today and find the thankful in your life.  Count your many blessings even when they may be a bit harder to find through the fog of life.

As always, I simply adore reading your thankful lists.  I really do!  Hope you’ll leave me a comment. 


Friday, October 22, 2010

The Barn, Day 3


The roof was nearly done this morning before the sun climbed over the trees. 


Then, the trim and the sliding doors were going up.


And by early this afternoon, we had a barn.  It has two big sliding doors on the front, one on the back, a covered porch type area facing my garden, and two windows facing south.  We’re waiting for the supplies to get here for a clear ridge, which will also let in light.  Tomorrow, we’ll do some clean-up and begin moving some of our gardening tools and the tractor out of the garage!  I’ve never been so excited to clean the garage!

Re-purposed Toddler Bed


Bet I’m not the only one with one of these things laying around…


Note the missing rail on one side…  Ripped clean off by my lovely children, making the bed un-yard sale worthy.




Glad I kept this handy little “tool” for tightening the screws…  This time I used it to take off the other guardrail.







Have you guessed my purpose yet?


Add a mattress and a few pillows…


Have you guessed yet?


Cover the mattress and pillows with a sheet and a throw blanket.  Add a pillow or two…


Instant kid couch for the play room!  I’ll grant you, it’s not going in my living room, but I think the kids will enjoy having a couch that’s their size to stretch out on when they are playing or watching TV in the basement.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Barn, Day 2

B-2 1

We were cheering when the truck arrived at sunrise to deliver the trusses.


Danny and Sam could hardly be contained while they watched the trusses being set using the Bobcat and a boom.


Dan said it was the “bestest day ever” when yet another big truck came to deliver the metal siding.


Hard to believe this is only day 2.  I failed to snap a final picture before dark, but all the siding is on.  Tomorrow, they will do the roof and hang the doors and we will have a very nice little barn!

Thankful Thursday

Today, I’m thankful for…

Yummy barley soup and biscuits with apple butter.

My MIL spending the morning teaching my kiddos about the planets.

Seeing our new barn going up and the joy it brings to my boys watching at the window. 

Locally owned and operated businesses (like the ones doing our barn).

My new phone (I finally chose one!) is going to be delivered today!


Wanna share some of your blessings?  Feel free to leave your own list in the comments…  It’s amazing how listing the positive things makes the negative things seem smaller!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Barn, Day 1


They showed up bright and early this morning…


And got right to work…


Danny “worked” right by the window while he watched the progress.


It’s beginning to look a lot like a barn!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Painting with Littles

Thanks to the teaching of the most wonderful high school art teacher in the world (Thank you, Mrs. Rightley!), I finally found the courage to do something I have seldom done since I got so out numbered.  I let the kids paint.

Now, I wish I had some really cool photos of the experience to insert here.  The thing is, four kids who are armed with paint and brushes do not mix well with cameras.  In fact, in the midst of the paint and the little fingers and the brushes and the excitement, the thought of getting out my camera never even entered my mind.  You’ll just have to believe me when I say it was fun chaos. 

Our adventure started with a trip to the craft store.  We bought the primary colors and black and white.  I splurged on four small framed canvases and a grab-bag of decent brushes.  When we got home, we added some paint shirts and a few old ice cream bucket lids (to hold our paint). 


I took the crew outside and covered a card table with lots of newspaper.  Since we planned to give the pictures to their daddy, I encouraged them to pick a subject they love and that their daddy loves, too.  I gave them pencils and let them outline their pictures on the canvas.  I helped Sarah a bit with hers, leaving her with a very rough coloring book type picture to paint. 

The kids painted the backgrounds first, and then added the other details.  I was there to help, but they did the work.  I helped them mix colors.  I showed them the different brushes and helped them practice using them.  We brought out a few cinnamon sticks for Sarah to use as stamps.  The kids worked hard and we didn’t rush things.  We let the layers dry and took lots of breaks.  We worked on the projects a little bit at a time for a couple of days.



Mary chose to paint the moon and the constellation, Cassiopeia.  She loves to look at the night sky with her daddy. 






Dan drew and painted this IH tractor from memory.  He loves farm equipment and enjoys riding on our tractor with his dad.






Sarah loves butterflies and flowers.  How can you go wrong with a picture of those things?






I used some blue painter’s tape to tape off part of Sam’s canvas and let him finger paint with fall colors.  He wasn’t crazy about the paint on his hands at first, but he stuck with it and swooshed the colors together quite nicely.  We peeled off the tape for a really neat picture.





Together, the paintings look amazing.  We had so much fun making this gift for Eric.  I think the kids will remember this experience for a long time.





Check out more great ways to play at


or great crafty ideas at…


Saturday, October 16, 2010



white door



green door

**Ignore that horrible shadow in the photo… I’ve been meaning to snap a better picture and finally gave up and posted anyway.

With many thanks to my honey for letting me spend an entire Saturday doing one of my favorite things, painting.  I’m really enjoying the fresh clean look of my front door. 

picnic table 

It would seem that green paint is just too much fun.  Even the picnic table ended up with a few coats.

I love that before/after feeling that comes from completing a project like this.  Hooray for home improvement!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dear Readers,

I just can’t decide.  Much to Eric’s distress, I just can’t decide.  My antique cell-phone (it’s over 2 years old!) is giving out on me after an unfortunate accident at the beach this summer.  It has kinda worked since then and I’ve just been living with the persnickety buttons rather than visit the dreaded cell-phone store.  Since we are land-line free and having a working phone is terribly nice, I gave in last night, packed up the kids and a stroller or two and then headed to town get me a new phone.  After much time, many reminders to the kids to be quiet and not to touch everything, and tons of patience from a very nice saleslady, we came home without a new phone. 

It seems that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with technology.  I love my computer and it’s wonderful world wide web that allows me to read some really fun blogs and check Facebook too often.  I don’t know how we’d survive without a refrigerator or washing machine.  On the other hand, we heat our home with wood, do without air-conditioning (quite nicely I must add), and love hanging out the clothes to dry.  It would be so much easier if I could choose one path or the other, pioneer/homesteader or techno-geek. 

So, here’s the deal with the cell-phone.  I want my phone to be a great tool.  I love having a camera on my phone so I can catch those crazy moments that happen without warning and always when my regular camera is at home.  I love having a calendar on my phone and it’s lovely reminder that I need to be somewhere in fifteen minutes.  It would be great if my phone could be a mini, power packed tool and I know that this greatness exists.

So we looked at phones.  We looked at the plain Jane phones (there isn’t much to choose from in this category), we explored the “feature” phones and we glanced at the smart phones.  I’m just overwhelmed. 

All I really NEED is a phone.  I don’t do anything with my phone that truly justifies the cost and awesomeness of the fancier models.  But, they are so cool and nifty.  Why can’t they make a spiffy little cell-phone that has a few bells and whistles and a pretty look in the form of the base model?  Why can’t I be satisfied with the ugly, black, bulky looking flip-phone?  I think they do this on purpose so that I’ll buy that awesome palm or that purple blackberry and need to up my plan to include some time on the internet.  Next thing you know, I’ll be texting or *gasp* tweeting. 

So, what’s a girl to do?  Caught between my love of old-fashioned stuff and my enjoyment of the greatness of technology…  I’m holding out, nursing my old phone along and generally being stubborn.  Any advice?  Help a girl out!  Help my poor husband out, as I’m sure he just wishes I’d choose a stinking phone and be done with it at any cost.  What kind of phone do you love?  Is it worth the extra $$ to have the bells and whistles?  Perhaps I should just make the jump into the twentieth century.  Oops.. the twenty-first… right!? 

Yours Truly,

Indecisive Momma

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today, I’m thankful for…

Blue skies, sunshine and fall leaves.

Last night’s rain, our first in such a long time.

Playing at the park and the kids saying it was the best day ever just because I let them bring along their bicycles.

The green of my gardenia plant, sitting on my hearth (note, this probably won’t last as I kill every gardenia I touch).

That my “backyard chickens” have been a little less enamored with my front yard this week. 


Hope that you are finding many blessings to brighten your day.

Mary's Big Jump Danny's Big Jump Sarah's Big Jump Sam's Big Jump

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today, I’m thankful for…

Brotherly love that means sharing a treasured stick-horse, riding double while wearing cowboy boots and hats.

Sisterly love that ends the day sleeping in the same bed, giggling and whispering.

A friend who doesn’t mind when I act silly.

A handsome husband who bought me cotton candy at Harvest Homecoming and patiently walked through all the booths, pushing a stroller.

That the day is done and the things that are un-done can be done tomorrow…. Maybe. 


Count your blessings.  Feel free to leave a comment sharing your blessings if you like.  I enjoy reading about your blessings and I know that counting them makes you appreciate them so much more.  Give it a try… 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


To celebrate a blogging milestone…

Have you ever given yourself a birthday present?  I had wanted to start a blog for a long time, but kept putting it off because I thought it would be hard to get started (it wasn’t).  For some reason, my last birthday hit me kind of hard.  Thirty-three just wasn’t an easy number for me.  I think it was a mix of the knowledge that my baby-making days had come to an end (for medical reasons), the fact that the big 3-0 hadn’t hit me hard because it came one week before I delivered Sarah, and the fact that Jesus was 33 when he died.  It just seemed a good birthday number to make me stop and take stock of my life.  I decided that if I was ever going to begin a blog there was no time like the present.  So I jumped right in.

Tomorrow will make 6 months of blogging for me.  Saying that makes me feel like a silly school-girl with her first crush counting the days since a first kiss.  By the way, today makes fourteen years exactly since my handsome husband kissed me for the first time…  Ah, love.  :)  And I’m still feeling giddy every time he’s in the room. 


So, this post is my little thank you to all those folks who stop by the blog and see what craziness we’ve been up to.  I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you take the time to share in my family’s life.  I love sharing the good stuff of my life.  I love going back and looking at how the kids have grown (already) and seeing the neat stuff we have done.  I love having a place to share my silly thoughts about anything and everything.  And I love, love, love that you all take the time to visit and sometimes leave me a comment.

Thank you.  It means so much to me.

So here’s your chance to get a word in…  I’d just love it if you’d leave a comment today to introduce yourself.  If you are someone I know well, leave me a comment anyway and share whatever you would like.  I wish I had some kind of give-away to share, but I’m just not that organized yet.  Maybe for the one year blog-iversary…

Thanks again, everyone, for making this such a fun experience.  I should give myself birthday presents more often… ;)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Apple Butter

I love apple butter.  In fact, the apple butter is the number one reason why Cracker Barrel is among my favorite restaurants.  Apple butter is great on biscuits and even better on a spoon. 


Apple butter is a great use for cull apples.  These apples my wonderful MIL brought back from the orchard are really too pretty for such a fate, but then again…


They sliced up beautifully in my handy-dandy apple peeler, slicer, coring super-duper machine.  I used the coring and slicing part of the machine, opting to leave the skins.


And into the crock pot they go, all 18 of them. 


Add about 1 cup of apple cider, 3 cups of sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of cloves and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg.  It looks good already.


It cooked on high all day long.  The smell was unbelievable.  Rich.  Intoxicating.  Delicate.  It made me want to dig into the pan with a spoon.  So, I did.  I was even nice and shared a bowl with the kids.


This is the beauty that greeted me after we put the kids into bed, about 10 hours after I cut up the apples and turned on the crock pot.  Almost perfect.


Using a food mill gives the apple butter that perfect texture.  My food mill came from an country estate auction.  I love auctions and using this food mill brings back good memories.  I kind of think using this old food mill honors the memory of the country lady who used it before me, too.  Anyway…


And, into pretty little jars it goes.


Then, into the hot tub (boiling water bath) for 10 minutes.


Yummy apple butter and the perfect, easy recipe for a busy momma of four. 

~Preserving your own food is not rocket science.  If you are interested in storing away some of the season’s best, be sure to get a good book about canning.  The Ball Blue Book is the standard, go-to book.  I also love a book called Putting Food By.  I adore this book because it has a ton of information about preserving foods and a tremendous number of recipes. 


There are so many resources to learn food preservation.  As always, I encourage you to try canning.  Just be sure to read the directions carefully and follow them meticulously (especially until you get the hang of it) so that you’ll be sure to end up with a safe and delicious product. 

Have fun in the kitchen and try something new!


This post is linked up at…

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Spring Cleaning?!?!

I may be a bit late, but at least I’m motivated

This morning, I attacked the kitchen like I haven’t done in a very long time.  I washed the walls and even got out the Murphy’s soap to scrub down the cabinets.  Several years of dropped sippy cups have done evil things to my house!  There were little milk splashes everywhere!

I’m on a mission.  I’d like to say that I’m just so motivated to have a clean house, but that just isn’t true.  Honestly, I want to get the house in order so I can feel better about spending a lot of time doing home improvement stuff.  It’s a sickness.  I love going to the hardware store.  Sometimes, Eric and I go there on our date nights.  Really.

I loaded up the kids yesterday to go buy paint for my front door and the picnic table.  The nice folks at Lowes stared a bit, but were very helpful.  Am I the only mom of 4 littles who drags the kids along to help pick out weather-stripping and paint? 

Anyway, the paint I picked is a very luscious green.  When Eric asked what color I picked, he looked awfully skeptical.  Green?!  Trust me, it’ll look great.  If it doesn’t, I’ll just paint it again.  I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m crazy but just lets me do these things to make me happy.  Some girls like jewelry, I like home improvement.  My honey is very wonderful and patient.  I can’t wait to start painting…

So, watch out house.  I’m spring cleaning like a crazy woman so that I can paint to my heart’s content.  I’ll be sure to take before and after pictures to share. 

Anybody like cleaning but hate painting?  I think we’d get along great since I hate cleaning but love painting.  We could trade. ;)  Have a very wonderful weekend, everybody!

Friday, October 1, 2010


I threw out my to-do list a few days ago.  It’s been great.  I’ve played outside with my kids, took nice warm baths before bed, read several magazines and talked on the phone with good friends.  There is still much work that must be done, even when I’m on “vacation.”  Letting go of the extra stuff has been such a relief, though.  I was beginning to feel so overwhelmed and depressed by my shortcomings.  Now, I feel refreshed and motivated to jump back in. 

I’m looking forward to my projects after this short break.  Somehow, cleaning up and sorting through the kids’ rooms doesn’t seem so intimidating today.  Washing windows seems almost achievable.  Painting the picnic table looks like a treat.  Cleaning out the van… Well, not so much.  Anyone know someone who enjoys detailing disgusting vehicles?  Maybe we could just trade it for a new one?  I think cleaning the van needs to be a family project.

Anyway, the vacation is over.  The littles are napping and I’m ready to jump back in and start marking a few things off the to-do list.  Now, where should I begin?