Saturday, December 13, 2014

No No! I Don't Want To!

Because of our Mennonite -ness I've always been a bit of a home maker/sewer/cooker but there are LIMITS!
Or so I thought...

When I was a teen I baked bread and fell in love with anything made with yeast and flour, BUT

you can buy good bread at the store.

Or so I thought, until I spoiled my children and my husband with home made bread.

Then it was

"Mom isn't there any bread around here? Good bread I mean."

And their thankfulness after a week or two of store-bought bread was enough to spur me on...
that and I happen to like good home made bread too!

Then it was cereal, my hubby likes to keep his sugar intake down and a large selection of low sugar boxed breakfast cereal is not readily available. He gets tired of shredded wheat and the "Mom's Best" brand of Oat Clusters is no where to be found.  

So then there is granola or baked oatmeal.

THEN people started talking about their wonderful home made yogurt.

NO!  NO!  I told one person that I refuse to make it because I'm sure my children will like it then...

"mom where's the yogurt?"

That was until we went to NY and my sister-in-law had her yogurt set on the table for breakfast.

"Here Chris, taste this."

NOW I'm making yogurt....about a gallon a week.

Made out of whole milk fresh from the's quite good and economical at $3 a gallon plus the price of the "starter" yogurt

               Last night we had the Christmas program  and they all got dressed in fancy duds.

This morning my hubby asked me to stop by the store and pick up some good quality hand lotion.
"Can't have glycerine in it because of the wood."
They banned some hand lotion at his job because the wooden doors absorb it and then when the stain dept tries to stain the doors there are funny marks where the glycerine soaked into the wood first.

so off I went...Burt's Bees has a lotion without glycerine for the tune of $8.99 for 2 oz  and Watkins has a similar lotion for $7.99.

Now I'm researching lotion recipes.  I think this one looks simple and I think I can make a bunch of lotion for $9.00

Oh and I bought fabric today  at $5  a bolt you can't go far wrong.

         this one has fine little holes like a screen....not sure but maybe a pocket on a tote....landscape

Monday, December 8, 2014


Tis the month of December and wild ideas abound
Burlap flowers one Saturday morning with a friend

An outgrown t-shirt made into a 12" pillow for a friend's daughter
Dresses for the Christmas program are still in progress, wool sweaters lie in wait,
books on fleece creations on loan from the library
minutes fly while answering time wasting questions--

"Mom, how do I keep walking when I sneeze?"
"Because you heart stops beating when you sneeze."

PLEASE! when you tell my children"facts" please check  them out first!

 This bit of a science experiment made an impression...
a ping pong ball will float but a heavier one.....?
Well what do you think Shekinah?

 Get togethers with friends
good food and fellowship
and "my how you have grown!"

Shekinah will keep us young from laughing for a very long time. She will also be the fault of near-irreverence in church on too many occasions...we had the smuggled harmonica, smart remarks and a little stubborn girl who crawled under the  bench when we were sitting in the back row. We pretended we didn't know who was dancing in the aisle behind us.

Yesterday she was at it again. She was sitting beside me on the appropriate part of her anatomy for once. I glanced at her and smiled, she looked up at me adoringly and reached for my face..."here mom let me get that, you have a booger in there."
I quickly got a tissue and dabbed at my nose.
" no mom, it's still there!"

These occasions make it easy to forgive her stormy "I don't love anyone in THIS house."
and it seems she forgives me she needs to interrupt serious adult conversations with "mommy, I love you!"

oh and 2 of the kittens are back

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Twas the Day before Thanksgiving

  This quilt was delivered on Monday. Before you get any ideas, these are orders and I don't think up the color or the design. I just follow orders. Sometimes I am thankful that I can give that disclaimer, but other times I wish I had all those great ideas. The color does not show right on this picture. The sash between the "flying geese" should be a brownish gray...very old looking. The purple and "rust" are true to the real color.
   Fitting gloves on our little girl's hands poses some challenges so this year I drew around her hand and made gloves out of a felted wool sweater that I had picked up at Goodwill. She was delighted to get to use them in the snow today. I was pleased with how well the fabric kept her hands dry considering she was carrying a "pet" snowball around for about 40 minutes.
Yes for the record we had about 3" of wet snow/slush today...too wet for the snow blower to toss off the drive.

Now early to rise and to put the turkey in the oven.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thankful Post--Comedy at 11:20 PM

Last night Zeke went to a local church with the youth group and then was going on to one of the youth leader's homes for snack afterward. He was traveling on all familiar territory, so I wasn't too worried.   Ben was off in the opposite direction for a meeting.

Around 10:00 I heard someone come home, I had fallen asleep on the girls' floor so I got myself into bed. It crossed my mind that someone came home a little early (In our area 11 PM is curfew for the under 18's)  I usually can tell who came home when they crawl into bed, one of the bed creaks more than the other....hmm I believe it was Ben. Meeting must have been over a bit early.

I dozed off, at 11:20 PM Ben came into our room, "mom where is Zeke?  His car isn't here and his phone is on the desk."
Groan--he must have forgotten his phone...did he get lost?  Did he get confused on those crazy back roads? Did he even have the GPS with him?

Ben:  "I'll text the youth leader's son and ask if Zeke forgot the time."

Dad came up,  " Andrew says Zeke's brakes gave out on his car, Tim took him home a while ago."

A few moments later   "umm Zeke is sleeping in his bed."

In the morning...."yeah I sent you a text, wasn't sure if I should call at that time of the night, nothing you could do anyway."   Dad had heard the text notification, but "couldn't figure out your phone."(it is a strange phone)

Thankfully the brakes gave out just as he parked at the church and the afterward was close by so he decided to take it easy and go there. After church today dad and Zeke went to check it out...looks like the squirrels struck again, the brake line had a hole in it.

Squirrels= fuel pump twice and brake line once

We relocated about five of them, but there must have been one still waiting out there.

I also wanted to post something Zeke read at our  Thanksgiving themed mid-week church:   

Today in America we have so many things to be thankful for, but because we have so much, we take a lot of those things for granted.
 We just start thinking of them as things that we deserve, and lose the thankfulness that we should have for them. 
We are extremely blessed to live in a country that allows Christians to worship freely, but we get used to it and take it for granted. We forget that this freedom of religion is not allowed in many other countries, and Christians in other countries are risking their lives to serve God. 
We must not forget what a blessing that this is.
 We have no fear of being sent to jail for what we believe. But instead of being thankful for the persecution that we have been spared, we end up complaining about how bad the government is. The government is changing and becoming more secular, but we still have much more freedom than many other countries around us.
 Another thing that I am thankful for is the Christian heritage we have. Our traditions and our Mennonite culture are not things to forget about and I am thankful for them because many other people just don't have that type of positive culture around them. I am thankful for my parents who brought me up to love and serve God and taught me to know what I believe. 

I'm thankful for my siblings who make life interesting. I don't know if I would be able to concentrate on anything without noise in the background.

 God has also blessed us all with so many possessions. None of us are at risk of going hungry or without a house to live in. In America, we have some of the best living conditions in the world and other resources that many other people just don't have.
 I am thankful for the time that we live in where we can travel almost anywhere in the world within 24 hours, and we can communicate with other people who are thousands of miles away.

 God has blessed us so much with our possessions and our resources but we forget about them and start complaining that we don't have a new phone or a nicer car or a bigger house or whatever. Lets remember what we have and stop worrying about we don't have. 
We have a day for thanksgiving, and then the day after, we have black Friday, a day not of being content with what we have but a day to go out and buy things that we do not need.
 Thanksgiving is a good time for us to remember all of the things we have, but we should not limit it to one day; we need to remember to be thankful during the whole year.


She was one of the e-mail commenters.
I always have trouble figuring out how to leave comments on your blog, so I’m choosing to enter your book giveaway this way. I had a nice juicy and interesting note all written up and then it disappeared in my publishing efforts, so I’ll try to recreate it here! I thought it would be easier to come clean your bathroom (if I didn’t live in Massachusetts) but since that’s not an option, let me try to think of two things you don’t know about me. One, I’m a homeschooling mom of two. So my family is about as different from yours as can be, but I so much enjoy reading about you all. And two, I love to read! What a surprise, right? But you didn’t say it had to be anything earth-shaking – so that’s my two bits. Have fun with the giveaway!

It was a lot of fun hearing from the 31 people. Some live in far away places, found a snake in her bed, have lots of snow already,eves-dropped on the Amish ministers. Some were adoptive mamas, some just found my blog through Dorcas' blog.

 For the rest of you that didn't win, you can enter in one of the other drawings, look at the schedule here  OR

Footprints on the Ceiling is available for $15 per book, postage included.  You can mail a check to Dorcas Smucker, 31148 Substation Drive, Harrisburg, OR 97446.  US addresses only.  To send a copy to Canada or overseas, email Dorcas at  

 at Amazon  here

You can also keep up with Dorcas' writings

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book Giveaway!

The time has come!  I'm a little slow today. I had a load of wet bedding and a late night last night to blame for that!  But I'm now fueled by coffee, steel cut oats and peaches and should be able to write a book report in short order.

Two years ago, I had the privilege to review Tea and Trouble Brewing.  When I saw that Dorcas Smucker had published another book and was asking for bloggers to review, promote, and give away a copy of her newest book I made sure I volunteered for the job.
Starting November 10 and continuing through the 29th there will be a blog post somewhere in blogger-land promoting this book and offering a  free copy to one lucky reader. If you want the complete list go here and you can follow along.

I confess that I have not read the entire book yet, but am over half way through and can tell you that you will enjoy these short stories.  Read why the book is titled Footprints on the Ceiling (not The Foot Book as Shekinah insists on calling it) in the introduction. Read her grandmother's pronouncement of unfaschtandich  on "those Japanese beetles" in "Grandma and the Media"  Read their adventures in Thailand in the section on Steps on Faraway Soil, the fun of in-laws in  "The Right Way to Tell a Story", and the sorrow of sorting through your elderly parents belongings and making hard decisions.

Yes, she sprinkles Dutch words throughout the book bringing nostalgia. If you didn't grow up hearing Dutch, she inserts the English translation in a way that does not seem clumsy.

 I can't resist the Mennonite joke -- "How many Mennonites does it take to change a light bulb?"

There are two answers to this one, I'll only give you my favorite, you have to find the other answer in the book.

Answer:  Eight. One to change the light bulb and seven to bring the food.

I guess I like her stories so much because I can identify with her in so many ways, she is about my age, she loves the Frances books, quotes Dr. Suess and couldn't part with her shelves full of books.  (Dorcas, don't get rid of those kids books, grandchildren will eventually bless your life too and they will need to hear those classics). She has adopted (only once, but...), she has a son Ben that likes to sing, and she lives close to Harrisburg.  Only her Harrisburg is in Oregon and mine is in Pennsylvania.

So gather your tissues and a cup (or a pot) of tea and settle in to read the new book.

Oh! I need to tell you how to enter the drawing.....

I think I will need to make you work for it a little....

Come and clean a bathroom.....

No, I'm pretty sure there is a rule against that....


You will need to comment with:

 two things that I don't know about you

and some way to contact you if you win the drawing.

You can comment on my blog,  on  Facebook, or at

I will do the drawing Sunday evening and post the winner then, that should give the busy mommy's time to read blogs and catch up on Facebook while the littles have their afternoon naps.

You can order a book if you don't win this drawing, details for that after Sunday night.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Stay Tuned....Book Giveaway! Details tomorrow.

No it isn't about the "Foot Book" as Shekinah calls this book. 
It's the new Dorcas Smucker book.
Tomorrow I'll post the details on how to win a free copy.
Love these things! Brings all the "lurkers" out of the woodwork.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Musings # 25 ( I have no idea)

       So can you get PTSD from you daughter's science project? I thought I might flip this weekend,but I told myself to be a big girl.
 Thursday evening a certain someone told me "Mom, we need to get the bird project done!" So sorry kiddo, but I had no memory of signing up for a bird project . I saw the paper with the instructions then and supposedly I had 2 weeks to do it! But, it was due Monday. 
 I had a project that I needed to finish namely, a quilt to get assembled so that a certain bill could be paid.  I told her that she needed to pick the kind of backyard bird that she wanted to study and then she could look in her science book and draw it. 
PANIC! the child really could not produce anything that resembled a bird. I figured she wasn't trying, but printing a picture from the internet was not an option....the instructions said so!  She tried again...and again. I finally went online for step by step instructions. DELIGHT! yes she did it!  Then we needed habitat, food, nest size and type, egg size and color and description of the song.
Found out I never taught her to draw a pine tree!  Finally the holes were punched on the papers...never mind the holes went right through some of the words.  
      Pre-planning isn't a strong point.  
The yarn was knotted on the hanger.
The hanger looked pretty hanging at the window, but daddy noted that the moisture from the window might not be good for the he nicely moved it to a different spot and twisted the hook a little so it would stay hanging......

and broke the hanger!

Thankfully it happened to my easy-going child, she said it is OK if we just tape another hanger over the first one so she doesn't have to re-tie the yarn knots. Miss Martin....that is why she has two hangers.

I did get the quilt done
 Today Miss Shekinah had a friend over. I almost thought we were gonna give the poor child trauma.
Something set Shekinah off and she screamed for an hour (yes I timed it) as soon as we got home.
I'm pretty sure there was some jealousy involved because every time I talked to her little friend she screamed louder...cleaned off hooks...flung toys across the room and kicked everything in her way.

Suddenly something flipped a switch and she settled and ate her peanut butter cracker and drank her milk.

Her little friend looked at her side wise and said, "you happy now?"
As you can see they played nicely
Bedtime was a bit of a challenge,but by 7:40 the three youngest were sleeping.
Shekinah told me she NEVER wants someone else to sleep in her bed again and she DOES NOT want to sleep on the floor. She kicked the wall a few times for emphasis. I finally leaned in close to her and hissed nicely suggested"Be quiet! you are keeping her awake and I'm getting angry! GO to sleep!"  Then I lay down on my pillow at her side and read the rest of my book.  And she went to sleep ...the end

Saturday, October 25, 2014

And the Very Next Week

            Some of the cats came back.  Needless to say there was a very happy girl. She was waiting for her special "Fur-Ball" to show up but she is still not here. In the meantime she will play with the cats that are here. We had located the owner. This mother cat had brought her babies across a creek, a meadow, and a wooded area to our wood pile. The owner came and took them home. How many times are we going to do this?

The bad thing about the cats being back....her mysterious foot ache is back too.
Think it has anything to do with crouching for hours on the porch playing with kittens?
A little over 2 weeks ago she started complaining about her feet/foot hurting. After the first night we examined her foot and found a splinter that we had thought was just a cut. She allowed us to take it out. We thought maybe she had been walking on the side of her foot thus causing the pain. But the next night we started alll over again. It only hurt at nap time or at bedtime. The pain ONLY started when the story book was half finished OR as I was about to leave her room in the evening. One night she screamed for about an hour.Other nights we allowed her to fall asleep on the sofa and she was fine. One afternoon she screamed the whole way to school and half the way back home. The others quickly jumped in the van and asked me if I can't do anything about her. I told them to grab tissues to stick in their ears---that's what I did. Another afternoon was spent listening to screaming, instead of napping.  I was about to make an appointment with her doctor until one afternoon when she wanted to go out to the cats I asked if her feet hurt "here", "here" and "here" and all the spots her "yes" (with a small grin)  I went up her leg to her knees and hips and "yes" everything hurt.  I got a real concerned look on my face and told her that if she is that sick she needs to be laying on the sofa and I will need to talk to the doctor to see if there is a shot for that.  "My feet don't hurt mama."

My husband had noted after the first night spent with us praying over her "this is her anniversary you know." So I held out, trying to be the adult and not get too pulled into the "trauma-versary".  We are now at about 5 days with no screaming, she even had a few naps. I am still laying on the floor beside her at bedtime (we had just graduated away from that), but she isn't contributing to my hearing loss on a daily basis.  I did talk to her about her anniversary and told her that maybe it is her heart hurting and maybe when she is outside with the cats she is actually missing me. ( I really don't know). Now, every so often during the day she will say "mama I'm missing you, my feet are hurting".  I will hold her for awhile and she soon is off and playing again.
SO?? are we done with screaming for another year? I HOPE SO!
What were we doing last year? I seem to remember that we were having screaming fits on a fairly regular schedule throughout the week, so I probably didn't even think about it if there were some extra traumatic nights.

Adoption is wonderful, but it is born of loss and weeks like this make me remember that.

Time for our yearly funky whole family picture, the one where we have to show a certain country that we are all still alive and can be in the same room together. 
This is for our 2 year post placement report.
We had to catch Ben when he was home AND arrange the social worker visit for a time that he 
actually was home. He is a busy man these days.

Shekinah and Parker understand the wonders of an I-phone.
Parker's mama allowed them to use it for a little bit---brave lady.

                     Tried out the cinnamon play dough. Shekinah made piles of cookies and bars.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

We Are Blessed

                                   and tired...some days you really should take a nap when mom tells you.
      A mama cat decided to give birth on the top of our wood pile, we were surprised this week when we heard kittens and found out that there are six of them plus a mama, plus a "teenage" cat.
needless to say Shekinah is very busy keeping track of everything.
We CAN'T keep this many cats!

                But a few pictures from earlier in the week. The weather is great for matching hats!

                                       and someone must have grown an inch or two, he can reach!