Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Home after the Holidays

Yes, I used the "politically correct" word in the title. It's a song I'm now singing but ad libbing the words, "Oh, there's no place like home after the holidays. Cuz no matter how far away you roam, if you want to be happy in a million ways, after the holidays you can't be home sweet home."

We had a wonderful time at Grandma's (Phil's mom's), but stayed 2 days longer than expected. First, Phil had to work on her computer but couldn't get the part until we went into Austin on Monday (for his great aunt's funeral). That took into the night to fix. He did not want to leave on the bike when it was dark and blustery cold. Tuesday we woke up to VERY cold drizzle (for Texas, at least, in the 30's). Again, not good riding conditions. We had the car so we could have gone home IF we didn't need to carry his "gear" home (cpap machine for sleeping, etc.). I'm going to make sure he takes his saddle bags next time we do this so HE can carry things home if necessary! As it turned out, today was gorgeous with highs probably in the upper 50's and in the sun it felt even warmer.

We told the girls we'd go look at the lights on the San Antonio Riverwalk tonight. Natalie was very excited to do that. Phil wasn't looking forward to it but I told him I would take them even if he wasn't up to going because we'd promised them we'd do it several days earlier (and had he had his brain attached and not rode a motorcycle in 30 something weather with 50 mph winds we would have been home sooner!). We got in the car and Natalie said, "I'm fine with not going to see the lights." sigh. I thought about saying, "You made a big fuss over it so we ARE GOING TO DO IT WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!" I only said the first part because truthfully I was ready to be HOME! When Phil gets here he said he'd go with us to look at lights downtown from the car.

In years past going back to our home meant leaving an immaculate house (Grandma's) with lots of space to arrive at a barely bigger than a bungalow house with junk EVERYWHERE. While this house isn't neat right now, just walking in and having places to put things made us so happy. Just being at OUR HOUSE made us happy. There's a funny smell (hmmm, I must have forgotten to take out the garbage), clothes to wash, and much to put away, but it's HOME!!! As wonderful as it is to be away and be spoiled with Grandma cooking most meals (I helped some, but mostly chose clean up duty as she was so busy cooking before I knew what was going on), being home is so nice. Knowing that if I want something gluten free, I can grab it is so nice. Having our own bed is so nice. Not having to share a computer with everyone else is so nice. Though I have a certain child waiting to use mine!

So, as my title indicates, "There's no place like Home after the Holidays!"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The "True Meaning of Christmas"

How many times have you heard that phrase this year? Or maybe in years past? The funny thing is that people might give you different answers for that. Some might say, "The true meaning is to remember that Jesus was born," or "The true meaning is to remember that Jesus came to show us love, so we need to love others." I HAVE to interject here that one of my "Dork Sisters" gave us all a good laugh this week when she wrote, "I like making a birthday cake for Jesus. It helps us remember the true meaning of school." That's a typo that she will not live down for some time and has given us all time to ponder the true meaning of school.

I could get all theological here. Well, maybe I couldn't, since I'm not a theologian, just a mom who loves the Lord. There are so many songs and so many powerful words which have been spoken on the subject of the true meaning of Christmas. I really believe that Christmas is only the tip of the iceberg. If there had never been Christmas, there would never have been a little boy sitting in the temple teaching the rabbis. There would never have been a man teaching that we can reach out to others even if they are different. There would never have been 5,000 people fed with 5 loaves & 2 fish. There would never have been the healings we read about. There would never have been a persecution and death of a man claiming to be God. And there would never have been Easter. There would be no eternal hope for any of us.

But there was a first Christmas (though it was not called that, just a young couple having a baby in what must have been the worst of locations), there were all those other things, and there is eternal hope. Last week, my husband's uncle passed away. Today we learned that my mother-in-law's last living aunt passed away last night. Her son's mother-in-law also passed away yesterday. A friend learned that her unborn baby had died inside of her yesterday. We ache & we mourn for those who have suffered such losses. Yet, for those whose earthly life ended, those who knew Jesus, and a sweet baby who had never had a chance to live on this earth, are celebrating Jesus in a bigger way than we can even imagine. I think that is what Christmas is about. It's about worshiping Him here while we can because, if we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that He is Lord and Savior, then one day we will worship Him face to face.

This song by Steven Curtis Chapman has always brought tears to my eyes, but they are mixed tears of sadness for those we miss and joy for them knowing they are having the best Christmas ever. If you've not heard of Steven Curtis Chapman, he lost a 5 year old daughter last year in May, so he fully knows the pain of missing his loved ones at Christmas as well as the joy of knowing he will see them again.

Going Home for Christmas
Her house was where the family gathered every Christmas eve;
A feast was set on the table and gifts were placed beneath the tree.
Everything was picture perfect, Grandpa would laugh and say,
That woman spends the whole year getting ready for this day.

One year the leaves began to fall and her health began to fade;
We moved her to a place where they could watch her night and day.
But she kept making plans for Christmas from her little room;
She told everyone, I'll miss you but I'll be leaving soon.

I'm going home for Christmas and I'm going home to stay;
I'm going home for Christmas and nothing's gonna keep me away.
I'll be with the ones I love to celebrate the Savior's birth;
This gift will be worth more to me than anything on earth.
I'm going home, home for Christmas.

All the leaves outside have fallen to be covered by the snow;
The family comes with food and gifts and Grandpa comes alone.
There's a sadness in our silence as the Christmas story's read,
And with tears, Grandpa reminds us of the words that Grandma said.

I'm going home for Christmas and I'm going home to stay;
I'm going home for Christmas and nothing's gonna keep me away.
She'll be face to face with Jesus as we celebrate His birth,
And this gift will be worth more to her than anything on earth,
‘Cause she'll be home.

And as we sing ‘Joy to the World' I can't help thinking
Of the joy that's in her eyes right now.
And though our hearts still ache, we know that as we celebrate,
She's singing with the herald angels and heaven's glowing on her face.

And now she's home for Christmas and now she's home to stay;
She's home for Christmas, and nothin' could've kept her away.
She'll be face to face with Jesus, as we celebrate His birth,
And this gift will be worth more to her than anything on earth.
She's home, she's home for Christmas.
She is home, she's home for Christmas.

Here is a beautiful version.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas & Croup

By now most of you have your Christmas tree up and decorated, you are in the swing of baking for Christmas, and have sent all your cards, right? For several years we've put our Christmas tree up on Thanksgiving weekend or the next week, depending on when we had Natalie's birthday party. This year things haven't worked that way.

The girls have officially decorated 2 Christmas trees (with their grandmothers) and had one party. We have strung one strand of outside lights & put 1 set of net lights on our jasmine ground cover. We put up a sign that's supposed to be lit at night, but we've lost the spotlight that came with it. 2 of the posts won't stand up. Is anyone hearing Linus giving his speech about how the tree needs a little love? Our decorations need a little love!

I have been busy with craft fair things through last Saturday, then this week was:
  • Monday--Christmas party at Girl Scouts, which involved Sunday making ornaments that should have been done weeks ago, shopping for cookies to take and cookie dough to bake, and making cookies for said party.
  • Tuesday---co-op day----always busy
  • Wednesday---went to wrap gifts for Elf Louise, a local program that provides gifts for children who might otherwise have none on Christmas.
  • Thursday---actually stayed home & spent the day trying to gain some sense of beginning to organize the house. Amazing how when mom is busy things don't get done. And mom isn't organized naturally, so things just really go awry.
  • Friday----blood draw for me (routine), dr. appt. for Natalie (read below), Wal-Mart (which isn't nearly as crowded at 1 pm as it is at 4:30 or so when we typically end up going), then home to try to work on this pig sty to create space for the Christmas tree.
  • Saturday---STAYED HOME!!! My folks came by & picked up some things I'd been working on for mom and left a computer and camera for Phil to try to install a program to make the 2 work together. More cleaning and finally cutting fabric for MY family.
Natalie has croup. She's had a horrible cough this week. It started as a dry cough & progressed into the barking seal cough. I think she is coughing in her sleep now. I may have to wake her & prop her head so she can sleep better. She has no fever & feels just fine. She's out of ADHD meds & we are going round with insurance about doctor issues for that. Needless to say she's been quite animated (ahem).

I am trying to remind myself that the decorations don't matter (though I do still want them up), the Charlie Brown house surrounded by House Beautiful displays doesn't matter, even the baking for Christmas doesn't matter (granted, knowing I can't eat all the yummy cookies makes this part easier). What matters is celebrating our Lord & Savior coming to earth as a baby and growing up to die for our sins. That's something I can do even in a messy house with no decorations and no special cookies!

***This blog post was interrupted by a mom running to her child's room when the barking cough seemed out of control. She's been re-medicated & had a puff of the inhaler. Poor thing! Please pray this goes away with no infection added to it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pampered Chef Clearance BARGAINS!!!! with pictures

These are the items I still have left that I would love to sell. They make VERY nice gifts for Christmas. For someone who knows the quality of PC, the seasoned stones would be welcome. Prices do not include shipping, but if you live locally, I'll be glad to have you stop by or meet me for the larger items. Please feel free to share this sale with everyone. I'd really like to sell these items to a new home! I will be putting them on Craig's List tomorrow, so let me know ASAP if you want any of these. Thanks!
I have the following Season's Best Recipe Collections ($1 each):
Fall/Winter 2007, Fall/Winter 2004, Spring/Summer 2001, Spring/Summer 2007, Spring/summer 2006

Mini Baker with Mini-Baking Bowl, $15 . You can use these together or separate. They are microwave safe, oven-safe, refrigerator and freezer safe. Used together they make a covered baker for keeping meats extra moist & tender.
3 stones: Large Round (15"), Small Round (10") and Small Oval Baker in Vanilla Glaze. As a set: $25
Kitchen Drawer Tools (Set: $20): Brand new Small Scoop, 3-way tongs, avocado peeler, spreader with mustard color handle, large scoop, coffee clip/scoop, small scoop, large bamboo tongs, nylon (heat resistant) pasta server

Windowpane and Tiles linens ($10): 2 windowpane placemats, 2 Tiles napkins and a Tiles Table runner.

Simple Additions Collection: $40 for ALL of the following: 2 Square Mugs, Tiles small bowl, Long Rectangle Platter in Artichoke, long skinny trays (one long, 2 short---fit in long platter), 3 color bowls: Eggplant, Cranberry, Mustard. This can be broken into smaller sets if desired.
Knife/Cutting Collection: $25: V-shaped Cutter, Cheese knife, FORGED paring knife, Chef's knife with holder/sharpener (this has a piece broken off, but the sharpener still works great), Crinkle cutter

BBQ Fish Basket, $10: holds fish, veggies, or anything that could fall into the grill. This has never been used, just shown for display.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Little Miss 11

We celebrated Natalie's birthday all day Friday. Actually, it started on Thursday & we were still celebrating on Saturday, and she hasn't had a party yet! She's not having a big party this year, but will have some sleepovers with different friends.

On Thursday with the Smith/Garrison families joined together we sang to Natalie & she got gifts from Grandma & Uncle Greg & Aunt Robin. CLOTHES and a gift card! Just her style! She also got to pick a pie for her "birthday pie." She picked cherry.

On Friday we drove to New Braunfels to celebrate with Mammaw & Poppaw (my parents). We went to this fun Mexican Restaurant. Well, it's fun to us because we've had several birthday dinners there and they do the whole make you wear a sombrero (we hope they sanitize it well) and sing to you, plus free sopapillas. The girls like to get alcohol-free margaritas/pina coladas---aka slushies! They have the BEST ones ever. Puts Sonic to shame & we love Sonic! Natalie got Mango & Bethany got Pina Colada flavor. If only I could make a mango slushy that good, or at all!

We went back to Mammaw's & Poppaw's house to have cake, which Natalie decorated by herself. She reminded me she had done the one last year, but she just used a star tip & filled in the wings of a butterfly. We bought this giant cupcake pan to make this cake. I hope we use it a lot as Wilton thinks highly of their products when they price them!
Then we helped decorate Mammaw & Poppaw's tree. Here Poppaw is trying to get the star to stay on top of the tree. Natalie is directing traffic, I'm sure. We call Poppaw Boss-Boss (my nephew named him that about 25 years ago), my niece Becky is Boss Jr. & Natalie is Baby Boss. LOL!

On the way home we stopped at Wal-Mart to look at bicycles in the hopes of putting one on layway, and to look at what she might want to use her gift card to buy. We found out Wal-Mart no longer has layaway, at least not here (and hasn't for 3 years), so we bit the bullet & bought a bike! She LOVED it. From online pics it looked hot pink, but it was more of a fuschia/purple which is what she wanted. It is a good fit for her & will grow with her for many years. If she doesn't get too tall she can use this into adulthood if it stays in shape. It has 24" wheels. Most adult bikes have 26" wheels & kids' bikes stop at 20". Apparently kids are supposed to grow 6" one summer or something.

On Saturday we went to Starbucks to get her a much wanted Peppermint Mocha (thanks Poppaw!) and Bethany & I got Peppermint hot cocoa. Honestly, it was not cold enough to enjoy the hot cocoa as much as I should have, but it was quite tasty. Then to another Wal-Mart to search for something to use that gift card on. She ended up getting a Webkinz & has a bit more $$ on the card.

Our baby is officially 11. I heard a great quote last night, "Life goes by fast, but some days seem really long." It's so true. The days...or nights when she didn't want to sleep in her crib were torturously long, but these years have flown by. Today in Girl Scouts we talked about decisions they'd be making in the next 10 years, such as college. She said, "I'm going to ATM because that's where my dad & Becky want me to go." (Becky is her cousin & ATM is Texas A&M---I corrected her, but I think saying it that way proves she is Aggie material--ha, ha!) College is a scary thought when you are the teacher from now until then! I want to enjoy the days while we have them here. She is indeed growing up!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My brother's grandbaby

I just had to share this adorable picture of my brother, my sister-in-law and their sweet 4 month old grandbaby. Isn't she just a doll? I mean the baby, though my SIL is pretty, too! My dad (the great granddad) pulled out the Big Wheel that my nephew & niece, then my kids, rode as young children, and put the baby on it. That was pretty funny. Later in the day the baby sat in this cute little seat they have now for babies that supports them and is all soft foam. My niece & my SIL sat on the floor seeing whose singing the baby liked best (apparently they still have the step-daughter, step-mother competitions going on---LOL). My SIL has a beautiful trained voice she has used in Operas in Houston and multiple other musicals and choirs. My niece has a beautiful natural talent voice. However, she was singing in an opera style, which was just hilarious. The baby kept looking at them. She did smile at her Aunt Becky a few times. My 13 year old daughter suggested we sing ABC or counting songs to help her learn the letters and numbers. Being the kick-off to Christmas, we broke into the Twelve Days of Christmas, which was pretty hysterical when my brother (who also has a natural great voice, but also does impressions in speaking & singing) chimed in with this really deep sounding voice. None of us knew the order of words past 8 maids a milking, so it just got sillier as we went along. By the end the baby started fussing, so I think she'd had enough!

We had a fun day with family & then yesterday celebrated our 11 year old's birthday. I'll post more about that when we download the pictures. Where is that camera?

By the way, yes, my brother is THAT tall---he's 6'7". AND, does anyone else know the Muppet version of 12 days of Christmas where Miss Piggy sings, "FIVE GOLDEN RINGS....BUH-DUH-BUM-BUM....?" They looked at me like I had 2 heads when I sang that part. Here it is on You-Tube, but she doesn't say it til the 10th stanza & then the next 2. I think it's pretty funny!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving remembering our gracious Lord who gives us so many reasons to give thanks.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Giving Thanks

Thursday in the U.S. will be the day we celebrate Thanksgiving. For what are you especially thankful this year?

Here's a list from me.
  • First, I'm thankful for a God who loves me more than I can fathom, for His Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us.
  • I'm thankful for my family, from my immediate family of husband and two beautiful girls, to my extended family. We'll have a houseful at my mom's & dad's this week from my dad at age 74 to my great niece at age 4 months.
  • I'm thankful for my friends, those I've known for many years and those I've only known a short while. I'm thankful for those I know in real life & those I only know through this little box called a computer.
  • I'm thankful for a bigger house this year. I can breathe!
  • I'm thankful that I can find gluten free food more readily each time I go shopping.
  • I'm thankful for a relatively healthy life.
  • I'm thankful that I can homeschool my children.
  • I'm thankful that we live in a country where we can worship as we choose. I especially think of this one when I remember the first "Pilgrims," who wanted to escape the tyranny of the King of England at the time.
  • I'm thankful for the Native Americans who first lived in this land and for my European ancestors who came MUCH later to live here.
  • I'm thankful for indoor plumbing. Yes, 13 years after coming back to the US from Africa, I STILL am thankful for indoor plumbing. And THREE toilets in the same house! Woo-hoo!
My list could go on & on, but I'll stop now & wait to hear what YOU are thankful for.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Why do people like Mac computers?

My niece blogged asking opinions of Mac vs. Dell. Her post is here . I'm married to a computer tech. We have 3 desktops (technically Phil has 2 "towers" with one monitor, so that's 4 desktops), all built or re-built by my hubby. They all run Microsoft except Phil has Linux on one of his as well. He has a laptop, we have a dysfunctional laptop, other towers, and now 2 little tiny notebook computers that were given to us b/c the owner was tired of messing with them, so Phil is working on those. We have multiple pieces of computers all over our "office" which is in our bedroom in this house. The only computer we've actually bought was my husband's that he built. I guess Phil is sort of the "dumpster diver" version of a geek. If someone is tossing it, he grabs it & makes it work.

Needless to say, with all these techy pieces around, we aren't looking for another computer. However, I was intrigued by her question & the responses. Most people said go with Mac, but no one added WHY, I'm sure b/c she's already looked at them & knows what they have. Phil said the big difference is that Macs are good for "heavy graphic work." His company uses all Dell products.

So, what does a Mac do that makes it special? I'm very curious now!

Now I will date myself by saying I remember using an Apple computer in college. Back then, they were the only home computers. I didn't have one, but that's what they had somewhere on the Southwest Texas college campus. Couldn't tell you why or where, but I do remember using it!

Tomorrow I will be buying Apples, but they are the round edible type for pies on Thursday. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fruit Flies----a tool of the devil

I am convinced that fruit flies are on a mission from the devil. They serve no purpose as far as I'm concerned, other than to spread nastiness all over our house. We have had a plague of them this past week or so. I have done all the things you are supposed to do: put out apple cider vinegar/soap traps, cleaned thoroughly, put any potential breeding ground that we found in the fridge, and Phil has resorted to the vacuum---just suck 'em in! Today I found the breeding ground. In the laundry room there is a box of clothes waiting to be washed. Somehow some fruit or vegetable got left in there. I only discovered this when I found a multitude of fruit flies in there, lifted some of the clean clothes that had been put on top, and discovered a nasty nest. That's when I pulled out the big guns: RAID! I sprayed the box (the clothes will be washed anyway) and everything that had any signs of ff's on them. Now we are off to get sticky fly strips!

Remember when Eve ate from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good & evil & shared it with Adam? Remember how they got kicked out of the Garden of Eden because of that sly serpent & their following him? Remember how it was a FRUIT tree? I am SURE there were no fruit flies until after they ate that fruit & got kicked out. See? Fruit flies ARE a tool of the devil! :O

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Costumes

The only 2 parts of Halloween I like are the costumes & snitching candy when the kids aren't looking. LOL! Though, at 13 & nearly 11, they notice if I snitch, but they also are more generous & share more readily with us. They know what I can & can't have, so they are careful to offer me only gluten free candies. Not that I NEED any of it!

For the costumes, that is always fun. We steer clear of anything scary or in any form related to the death culture that is so prevalent this time of year. I only have permission to show the faces of my kids, so I've blurred out the faces of our friends in these.

We added the hat to Nat's candy corn outfit. Do you know how many times I've called it a candy cane or cotton candy outfit? Where are the brain cells when you need them? I'll take a shot of the shoes if I remember.

Bethany was a fairy. She is quite pixie like in stature, so it worked well. This dress is a "pass down" as Bethany calls them from some of our friends who were with us tonight. She started with rather simple wings & added details to them.
We added the hat to Nat's candy corn outfit. Do you know how many times I've called it a candy cane or cotton candy outfit? Where are the brain cells when you need them? I'll take a shot of the shoes if I remember.
Here is the whole gang. I lightened the background so you could see Darth Vader. My husband saw the picture & immediately started breathing like DV & asked if the child did that. In the group picture you can get an idea of the size of the ipod. That was by far the favorite among everyone! She came up with it herself & designed it! Here are pics of the front & back. Cute isn't it?

I guess I should say there are 3 things I like about Halloween. My mom's birthday is October 31st! I made a pumpkin cake (with fresh pumpkin & full of gluten, so not sure how it tasted) and a gluten free chocolate sheet cake. Yum! That's my dad on the end. He makes a good Santa! There are MIL's arms in the shot---LOL! And Natalie with very curly hair.
For those who read my craft blog, you know that we hid my mom's gift. We bought it not long after we moved in, so when she came over to help us unpack one day, I hid her gift. Do you think I could find an item in November that was hidden in July? Nope. So, she got a different gift with the hope of getting this one for Christmas. LOL!

I am so tired. Glad for that extra hour tonight!

Friday, October 30, 2009

How do you breathe?

Do you have allergies? Do you ever feel stuffy & just wish you could breathe easily? Or, maybe like me, you have asthma. WAIT! Don't leave! This isn't an ad for a product (though if I could find the perfect one I'd tell you!). It's really a funny story. I am stuffy ALL the time. I use a CPAP at night for low oxygenation (or some big fancy word like that). My husband also uses a CPAP, but his is for sleep apnea. Before he got the CPAP he snored so loudly that once when he went on an overnight trip with his parents, his dad, who was completely deaf in one ear & had to use a hearing aid to hear at all with the other, said, "Phillip snores SO loud that he woke me up." Now THAT'S loud!

The ability to breathe isn't something I take lightly. I have some friends on a stamping site, Splitcoaststampers, whom I've mentioned before. We call ourselves the Traveling Dork Sisters because we are just all a bunch of women who do dorky things. Truth be told, I think everyone does dorky things now & then, but not everyone admits it. Tee-hee! Most of these dork sisters love a line of stamps from a company called Magnolia. If you click on that link, you will see some of their images. They are absolutely darling, but there is something missing. Can you see what it is? Ha, ha! If you CAN'T then maybe you need new glasses. As you might guess, these mouthless noseless girls & boys, while quite adorable, just give me the heebie jeebies. Why? They can't BREATHE! Yes, I know they aren't real. Still, the thought of no nose or mouth just makes me feel like gasping for air. THAT is pretty dorky.

Now here comes the funny part. Last night Bethany was blowing into a balloon, then letting the air out, but breathing in some of that. Phil told her it's not good to do that or she might pass out. I joked that she might blow up or something. I'm not sure HOW we went from that to the next part, but maybe someone suggested that it was putting too much air into you and that air needed to be, um, expelled. Phil then was trying to explain that he had more of that air inside of him because of his high pressure CPAP he uses every night. However, like many of us over 40 (or 50 or 70), sometimes the words we think and the words we say aren't the same. His sentence came out, "That's what happens when you suck in a lot of air all night through a nose." I cracked up & told Bethany to NEVER suck in air through her nose. She said, "I thought he said nose." He meant to say HOSE I think, as in the hose from the CPAP machine to the mask.

So, I now think the reason the Magnolia stamps do not have noses is to prevent sucking in too much air and needing to expel it afterwards. LOL!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkins and Turkeys!

On Sunday we took a trip out to Medina, Texas. Yes, it is about as big as it sounds. To get there you drive through Pipe Creek, then Bandera Texas, plus a few other little towns. It's a very Texan drive! We saw longhorn cattle and trail riders on horses on our way. I'm sure Phil saw even more interesting sites as he went on his motorcycle and took the scenic route (aka the back winding curvy oh-so-fun for him roads that would make me throw up! LOL!).

I will save most of our trip to tell about another day, but wanted to share a few quick pics & tell a bit about the Pumpkin Patch. First, in this part of the world, a Pumpkin Patch is not where you pick a pumpkin. Well, you PICK one as in CHOOSING one, but they don't grow around here. It's more like a Pumpkin Gallery or Exhibition. This Pumpkin Patch has many varieties of pumpkins. The girls thought the Blue Pumpkins looked molded & rotten. Thanks to Natalie's keen eyes and love of bargaining and shopping, we bought 3 good size pie pumpkins for $1 each. I laughed in the car & said, "They were only $1, plus the cost to drive out there, pay admission, and buy drinks, but they were only $1!" LOL!

There are animals at this place, too. In a small gated area a lady had 2 horses and a pony. The pony had been bought from someone who did not care for the animal. They named him Bucky because he was so wild that all he did was buck in the trailer and in his new home at first. He is now 2 years old and stood still for people to pet him. Natalie was in her element. She petted all 3 several times. I fell in love with a dog named Levi. He is a Golden/Labrador mix and the sweetest dog. Natalie & I would love a dog but Daddy still says no. : (

Then there were chicks to hold. I took Natalie towards the area with the chicks, but before I knew it, she had gone ahead, was in the "circle" and holding a chick.

Bethany held one next and got the full effect of farm life. Check out the Chick's "gift" on her jeans.

Next we walked down to an area where turkeys were roaming. People had been petting them. They seemed fairly tame. Natalie & I stroked the back of one, not provoking it, but being very careful. The bird became very interested in Bethany, who was not even touching or close to it. I moved over towards her & he kept getting closer as she backed away from him. She had a drink, but no food. She was not only NOT provoking the bird, she was trying to carefully move away. She has been known to pester some animals and likes to chase birds in parking lots, but this time she was truly minding her own business. Suddenly, he bit her fingers! Not the hand with the drink, but her hand with NO food, NO drink, nothing for the bird. As she pulled her hand away, he pecked at the elbow on her other arm. She got teary eyed & I was worried that she was really hurt. Okay, I also was thinking that birds could have some weird diseases we've never heard of. We didn't have neosporin with us, of course, but they had antibacterial hand sanitizer that we put on her finger.

I told her that Thanksgiving would be her day for revenge when she ate turkey. In her little literal Asperger mind, she processed that differently than I did. She apparently didn't feel that it would be true revenge because, "The turkey would already be dead." LOL! Later I asked her if she was scared when he bit her. She said, "No, I was mad! I wanted someone to take an axe and chop off his head!" She's not really a violent child, I promise! I couldn't help but laugh. I think we'd just talked about how chickens were killed last week, so I guess it was fresh on her mind.

By the way, I let the Pumpkin Patch know about this. As I told them, I knew we were in the birds' territory. We understood that & even though the bite was unprovoked, the birds had become accustomed to being fed, so they were looking for a handout. My bigger concern was that a small child would run from his parents to the turkeys and get hurt. I received an e-mail reply this morning from them with an apology and thanks that we let them know. Bethany is fine. She hurts herself worse than that on any given day when she is doing some kind of stunt, like climbing the walls!

More another day....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Please stop howling!

"Please stop howling!" I realize that it is close to Halloween, but that has nothing to do with this post. I'm guessing that at some point someone out there has used this phrase...while talking to a dog. We don't have a dog.

What do we have and why would I say this? We have a child with Asperger Syndrome, mild autism, social delays, whatever you might want to call it today!

We told her to take a shower. About 30 minutes later I found her in her room. Granted she had her night clothes in her hands, but she was in her room at the computer. I told her again. "Mom, I'm going. I just needed to do this first." Take a shower NOW! Off she goes to the bathroom. I was next door in the craft room. I didn't hear water at first. I thought maybe she was, um, taking care of business first. After quite some time, I call out, "Are you in the shower?" I knew she wasn't running water, but I asked anyway. She then runs out of her room and tells me, "I'm going to get in now!" Sigh.

She finally gets in the shower. This child sings. She sings well. She sings a lot. It was not unusual to hear her singing in the shower. Actually, both our girls sing in the shower. I don't. I think in the shower. I am ALONE in the shower with no one asking me questions or wanting me to do something for them RIGHT THEN. Well, the singing suddenly turned into something that sounded like this, "Awooooooooooooo....oooooooooooo. awwwwwwwwwwwoooooooooooooooooooo....." and continued in different pitches. I'm sure she could reproduce the exact sound if asked. The other child was already asleep, so I didn't want this to wake her up. I was about to say something when it stopped. A few minutes passed and again I heard "Awwwwwwwwwwwooooooooooooooooooooooooo...." I finally called out, "Please stop howling!"

I then laughed to myself thinking how I never dreamed I would be telling my teenage daughter to stop howling. After she got out of the shower I heard Phil telling her, as she was going downstairs, "WALK down the stairs. Walk on both feet. Walk standing up. That isn't standing up." I can only imagine she was climbing the wall as she went down, using the bannister as a balance beam, or finding some mode of movement other than using her 2 feet the way God intended.

All I can think now is how boring life must be for parents of normal kids. I think boring must be nice! LOL!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Got Aloe?

To my faithful followers, all 2 of you (ha, ha!), you might remember when I posted about our incredibly long spell of days with 100 plus temps. Can you believe we went the whole summer with no sunburns? The girls did get sunburned in MARCH when they went to the beach with some friends, but all summer, when it was hotter than blazes, nothing, nada, nil. That is a GOOD, no, a GREAT thing! We (the girls & I) are so fair that we tend to burn quite rapidly. We kept the sunscreen on when we did go out, but we didn't go into the sun much this summer.

Well, fast forward to October and our first week with nice cool temps. I had a garage sale. The morning it started, it was overcast and cool. Perfect garage sale weather. Gradually the clouds departed and the sun shone. Gradually my driveway, which faces southwest, ran out of shade. Gradually, my face was getting pinker and pinker, but I didn't know it. Natalie's face also turned pink, but she was gone for a few hours, so she didn't get the brunt of it.

Who gets their only sunburn in years in OCTOBER? A dork named Lori, that's who! I did not leave the house today. I woke up at 6 hurting so badly, took some ibuprofen & managed to sleep some more. I even asked Phil to go to the store. He does NOT do shopping if at all possible. My sweet neighbor Janie has an aloe vera plant, so I've used that to put on my sunburn, but I asked Phil to get me some lotion with aloe in it. He came close. He got me the aloe gel. I wonder if I mix it with lotion if it won't be so sticky (I wanted lotion to avoid the stickiness & itchiness). My friend Kathy has used milk of magnesia on sunburn, but I think we are out of that, too. Can you say DORK, DORK, DORK??? Good grief Charlie Brown!

I am SO thankful for beautiful weather. I hope I don't sound ungrateful for a beautiful sunny day with mild temperatures. I'm just kicking myself for not even THINKING about sunscreen or a hat. And I am going to humiliate myself and show you pictures of me, hair unbrushed (you can see my curls when it's not brushed) and mulitple chins I seem to have. Let this be a reminder to wear sunscreen even in the fall! At least it's a reminder to me.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The "Garbage" Sale is over! LOL! I started calling it that this week. Then I decided if I wanted to be politically correct (as if I worry about that often) I'd call it "Recycle Sale." What's left of the Pampered Chef items is listed below. I found a way to put the prices. Some of the descriptions may be cut off, though. If so, you can see those at the last post. I'll put these on Craig's List probably on Wednesday or Thursday, so let me know if you are interested in any of this by then. These prices don't include any shipping costs, so that would be added on.

Your Cost

Brand New Items:
6 Oven Pad
12 Windowpane Placemats White with cranberry stripes (2)

Display only
17 BBQ Grill Basket

3 Avocado Peeler (old style handle)
3 3-Way Tongs (plastic salad tongs/fork/spoon)
4 Bamboo Spoon Set (old style)
4 Cheese Knife (old style handle)
8 Chef's Knife in Sharpening Case (old style, case is broken but will still sharpen, just will not keep knife tightly in the case)
15 Chillzanne Cooler (small "ice chest" with freezable pieces; can configure pieces to hold bottles & more)
4 Crinkle Cutter (old style)

15 Forged Paring Knife
3 Help Whip Cancer Clips (set of 2)
3 Large Bamboo Tongs (old style, not the flip over ones we have now)
5 Large Scoop
5 Microfiber towel and washcloth---Lavendar
3 Nylon Pasta Spoon
3 Nylon Spatula
15 Oil Dipping Set (Bottle with 3 dipping bowls)
5 Orange Classic Scraper
5 Pastry Blender (old style)
2 Pink Lemon Aide
6 Plastic Lid for Deep Dish Baker
6 Plastic Lid for Rectangular Baker
2 Scoop Clip
8 Simple Additions Long Rectangles (about 1.5" wide, 1 is length of tray, 2 others are half-length of tray)
15 Simple Additions Long Platter ARTICHOKE
15 Simple Additions Long Tray STRIPES
5 Simple Additions Small Bowl TILES
10 Simple Additions Square White Coffee Cups (2)
20 Simple Additons Small Bowls and Mini Squares (Cranberry, Eggplant, mustard)
4 Small Scoop
3 Spreader with Mustard Color Ceramic Handle
12 Stoneware Deep Dish Baking Bowl--a bowl shaped piece of stoneware that fits with the Deep Dish Baker (round 11" stone). You can use it as a lid if you are baking in the DD Baker, or as a bowl and use the DD Baker as the lid to create your own clay baker.
10 Stoneware Mini Baking Bowl Same as above but fits the round mini-baker
15 Stoneware Mini-Baker---Vanilla
25 Stoneware Rectangular Lid/Bowl (as above, but fits rectangular baker; this is larger than the rectangular baker and is great for doing a small turkey or a deep dish casserole)
10 Stoneware Small Oval Baker---Vanilla
6 Tiles Table Runner
8 Wine Bottle Opener (old style)
15 Woven Selections Large Round Basket with wood bottom
12 Woven Selections Long Rectangle Basket with wood bottom
5 Yellow Classic Scraper
6 Cutting Board (old style) medium size

Well used
2 Pastry Brush (old style, boar's hair bristles)
7 Small Round Stone (size of a dinner plate, well seasoned)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pampered Chef Clearance Items

I'm trying to clear out some space in my house & am selling quite a bit of my Pampered Chef items. If you are interested, let me know ASAP. I'll be putting most of it out in a garage sale this weekend, but will hold back any items you claim. Prices do NOT include shipping, so we can figure that in based on what you get. You can e-mail me or just leave a comment with your e-mail address or other form of contact. The "price if bought new" is missing on some b/c they are older items & I have no idea what the new price was, other than it was higher than this! LOL! I don't have any pictures right now, but you can see some of the general design of the items at my PC website . Thanks!

Price if bought new Your Cost
Brand New Items:

Oven Pad 10.5 6

Windowpane Placemats White with cranberry stripes (2) 19.5 12

Display only BBQ Grill Basket 26.5 17
Display only Party Sticks (one holds a bottle, 6 for drinks) 39 20

Used Avocado Peeler (old style handle) 6 3

3-Way Tongs (plastic salad tongs/fork/spoon)

Bamboo Spoon Set (new style) 9.5 4

Bamboo Spoon Set (old style) 9.5 4

Cake Stencils

Caraffe (old style off white color)

Cheese Knife (old style handle) 9.25 4

Chef's Knife in Sharpening Case (old style, case is broken but will still sharpen, just will not keep knife tightly in the case) 32 8

Chillzanne Cooler (small "ice chest" with freezable pieces; can configure pieces to hold bottles & more)

Crinkle Cutter (old style) 10.5 4

Easy Accent Decorator (old style) 19.5 8

Forged Paring Knife 29 15

Help Whip Cancer Clips (set of 2)

Julienne peeler 9.5 4

Large Bamboo Tongs (old style, not the flip over ones we have now)

Large Scoop 14.5 5

Microfiber towel and washcloth---Lavendar 8.5 5

Nylon Pasta Spoon

Nylon Spatula

Oil Dipping Set (Bottle with 3 dipping bowls)

Orange Classic Scraper 11.5 5

Pastry Blender (old style)

Pink Lemon Aide

Plastic Lid for Deep Dish Baker

Plastic Lid for Rectangular Baker

Scoop Clip 5 2

Serrated Peeler 7.5 3

Simple Additions Long Rectangles (about 1.5" wide, 1 is length of tray, 2 others are half-length of tray)

Simple Additions Long Platter ARTICHOKE 29 15

Simple Additions Long Tray STRIPES 29 15

Simple Additions Small Bowl TILES 8 5

Simple Additions Square White Coffee Cups (2)

Simple Additons Small Bowls and Mini Squares (Cranberry, Eggplant, mustard)

Slice & Serve (old style handle) 7.5 3

Small Scoop 12.5 4

Spreader with Mustard Color Ceramic Handle

Stoneware Deep Dish Baking Bowl--a bowl shaped piece of stoneware that fits with the Deep Dish Baker (round 11" stone). You can use it as a lid if you are baking in the DD Baker, or as a bowl and use the DD Baker as the lid to create your own clay baker.

Stoneware Mini Baking Bowl Same as above but fits the round mini-baker

Stoneware Mini-Baker---Vanilla 24 15

Stoneware Rectangular Lid/Bowl (as above, but fits rectangular baker; this is larger than the rectangular baker and is great for doing a small turkey or a deep dish casserole)

Stoneware Small Oval Baker---Vanilla

Tiles Table Runner

Vegetable Peeler 6.5 3

Wine Bottle Opener (old style)

Woven Selections Large Round Basket with wood bottom

Woven Selections Long Rectangle Basket with wood bottom

Yellow Classic Scraper 11.5 5

Cutting Board (old style) medium size 17 6

Ice Cream Dipper 14.75 5

Nylon Small spatula

Well used Pastry Brush (old style, boar's hair bristles)

Small Round Stone (size of a dinner plate, well seasoned)