summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Friday, February 28, 2020

...I smeaked away....

Anne likes to smeak things. She isn't very smeaky though, because she TELLS you what she smeaked.

anyway, this afternoon, I took off all by the dollar store, which elicits too many eye rolls and sighs from my kids these days, for me to enjoy myself in there these days. So I went all by my lonesome. Way too many good things in there today!!! I then went to Walmart, to stock up on peanut butter and crackers, deodorant, ibuprofen, dishwash, bleach, ect. I bought some bags of Easter candy. I wandered, dawdled, and meandered, sometimes turning to total strangers and almost saying, "Sorry! I'll hurry up! Almost done in here!".

Then, I actually went to the thrift store. I looked at the books, and the electronics, and the clothes, and the dishes. I wandered up and down the aisles. I found myself a floppy sun hat (crew!), and a cute little pair of OshKosh overalls. I found a lovely platter, very vintage:

I also found this cute little cup and saucer:

(Royal Stuart, England).

And here's a pic of some pretty flowers, just because I like them (they're from the craft store last week)

Home, ah home. Everything's put away, we had some dinner. I had leftover roast beef and gravy, and a small spoon of potatoes, as did Sonja K. Camille had a pepperoni sandwich, and Ms Char some leftover taco salad, along with Paul. We are leaving in a few minutes to do some work at church, I am serving snacks, decaf coffee and hot cocoa.

It's very cold and windy out, but we didn't get much snow today, here. Up on the shore of the lake, and to the east of the lake, they got TONS. East of Ontario, they got several feet of snow.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

just a quick one...

My granddaughter Lydia:

She came to visit with her mama (Molly), and baby sister Ophelia.

We went to the pool last night! I helped out with Activity Club, lots of little girls swimming around, all smiles and splashes. I was supposed to go tonight, but did not want to go to the pool three nights in a row.

Anne came over today. We went to the library, just her and I.

I asked her to smile, and she replied, "When I finish this puzzle."

We had a quiet evening at home. Dinner: leftover beef and gravy for me, I skipped the mashies. The girls had fresh Italian bread sandwiches...pepperoni, turkey, salami, tomatoes. Paul had...leftover hamburgers. I sliced the bread, they made their own sandwiches, it was an easy dinner night.

13 days until I head out west, to California, then to Hawaii! I am getting excited! Not excited to leave the family here though. It's hard for me, I know I'll be homesick.

Ah well, not much to say. I had a huge-0 spoonful of crunchy peanut butter after dinner tonight, and a square of dark chocolate. I don't eat much anymore, it's still hard to lose weight, but sometimes I just WANT something. Cravings go away mostly, low carb/keto, but not totally. I had two eggs for lunch today, when I made some for Anne. I skipped the toast, of course, and had only one yummy strawberry.

No earth shattering news, which is a good thing, I guess. Oh, Charlotte Claire took a unit test in Social Studies and got the only 100% in the whole eighth grade! Not bad for a girl who hadn't been in "real" school since second grade, right?

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

here comes #8!

Margaret and Adrian are having another baby, little Wulf is going to be a big brother!

Eight grandchildren! See how that worked? For a few years, I had to just stay out of the baby clothes department, because my littlest girls were growing and growing...then, Anya was born! Then Lydia, Elise, Grant, Wulf, Achilles, and Ophelia! :)

Tonight, I am going to the rec center pool to help with Activity Club, the little girls group is going swimming!

I also went to the pool last night, met my friend Angela there. We swam for well over an hour.

After school yesterday, Sonja and Charlotte Claire, Camille and I went to Target. The bathing suits are buy one, get one 50% off. That's not a terrific discount, but if you wait until they're clearance, you don't get matching ones in the right size. So I let them take a bunch and try them on, and find something they feel comfortable in. Teenage girls have a hard enough time feeling good about themselves, so if you can help them by letting them pick out suits they actually like...

Not that they're going anywhere warm soon, they're going to Norway for Easter, brr, but what fun they'll have!!!

Two weeks from today, I'm headed to California, then to Hawaii. I bought a pair of shorts for $1.44, nice baggy Hawaiian shorts, from Kohl's.

The shirt was $4.32.

My legs, oh how lovely. It looks like one of them is on backwards. Oh well, they've carried me through all those pregnancies, and they still work, so I'll never mind how they look.

Molly is here!

Monday, February 24, 2020

well now THAT was a weekend!!!

First of all, I need to wish some happy birthdays to Miss Suzanne Eleanor, who is in California, she turned 19 yesterday. We sang to her, and we miss her.

(that's Wulf in my arms)

So here are a few pics of Miss Suze:

Did you know that once upon a time I had four boys and four girls? (Emily, Abigail, Mirielle, Mali and Benjamin, Joseph, Aaron, and Sam). That tie breaker was Margaret, the girls were winning! But winning was not enough for the girls, no, Margaret was the first of five girls in a row in five years. She was five years old when Sonja was born, and Kathryn, Evelyn, and Suzanne were between them. (then baby Robert was "born", then Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille)
Here's Margaret Cheryl, Kathryn Grace, Evelyn Joy, Suzanne Eleanor, and Sonja Kathleen:

...with my eleven daughters. I know, I know, you've seen it before, but I like it, ha.

Saturday was Mirielle's birthday.

Here are a few cute pics I stole from the girls...they had a get together Friday night with a few of their friends...

Third from the top is Cam, then Char, then the two next to each other Margaret and Evelyn (in green), then Sonja in peach...looks like so much fun.

Margaret on the bottom, friend Anna, Evelyn, Cam and Sonja on top, then Miss Char on the very top.

So the weekend: at our church, we have a conference center nearby. We are rather centrally located, so we have weekends where gatherings happen, our friends come from Canada and Ohio and and and, therefore we have accommodations, such as cabins, dorms, and campers, at our conference center. So there is a new project going on in which two of the dormitory buildings are being renovated into more family friendly units, with kitchenettes, ect. Construction crews came to start the demolition of the old rooms this past weekend, and guess who was in charge of the meals? Yeah, me. Friday night was shopping for four meals for 35+ people. Saturday, 12 hours of cooking and serving, with help from Char and Cam and a few other friends here and there.

We had: scrambled eggs with cheese for brekky, Jon made them. Sausages, cantaloupe, blueberries, English muffins, little cinnamon bagels, donuts, ect.

Lunch: fajita chicken (boneless breast in crockpots, with taco seasoning and salsa), rice, red, green, and yellow peppers, Mexican shredded cheese, sour cream, ect.

Dinner: Pork loin roast, which had marinated in lemon juice. I rubbed it with brown sugar, salt and pepper, some steak went in the oven with a foil tent, which was removed for the last bit of roasting, fat side up, sizzled it up nicely. Sliced it up, then doused the slices with melted butter with garlic and parmesan cheese. We also served roasted potatoes and carrots, green beans, Vienna bread with butter, and apple sauce (jars of unsweetened applesauce, with about 15 apples, peeled and sliced into, with cinnamon and a little sugar sprinkled on top, baked in the oven.

Dessert: brownies we baked in the afternoon, some M&Ms, boxed chocolate chip cookies.

Sunday morning brekky similar but with pancakes, thanks to my brother Bob, who came out to help.

The food came out really good, and believe me, this is not a pat-myself-on-the-back post. It's more like phew. I did it. By the grace of God, things came out well. There is always the doubt and second guessing, timing the food, quantities, and did I forget something MAJOR? So when the day is done, and your feet hurt like the dickens, and all you want is your comfy chair and a hot cup of decaf, and the day was a all served hot and done and there was plenty, but not tons of waste, wow. It's a good feeling, to know you blessed your friends by doing your best.

These weekends will be going on for the next few months, but it won't be falling all on me in the future, as more are stepping up, and Emily is back from her weekend in Florida. I do have more meal ideas though...I think it's nice to serve hot, hearty, food, when they've been working so hard in the cold.

Anyway, it was a busy weekend. Margaret and Adrian came over for dinner last night, with Wulf. We had steak, a huge nice salad with bacon, blueberries, and strawberries in it, really good. We had green beans too.

Somehow, Suri didn't go in anyone's room last night, and somehow, the garbage can didn't get locked in the laundry room, and somehow, Ms Suri-pants smelled those steak bones, and yeah, what a mess. She looked so guilty. But she couldn't help herself, I suppose, it smelled so good, she had to tip the entire can over, and rummage. The parchment paper from the oven...yum! (I browned them in olive oil in frying pans, then baked them for a bit in the oven). She is a very very bad doggie, but it's not her fault. Who of us, when tempted by the thing that is yummiest to us, can resist? We need to improve our communication around here and make sure she is in someone's room at night. Because apparently, she gets a little hungry at night, a little peckish. She's like a big fat bear, snoring on the couch. I saw the mess that greeted me this morning, the Monday morning surprise, and thought that well, the floor needs a good mopping anyway.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

living it up!

The school vacation kids and I went to Chili's yesterday. The chips and salsa appetizer is too good, I ate too many warm salty chips. I gave my fries away and had roasted asparagus, for all the good that did after all those chips. The honey chipotle chicken crispers, yum. I made the mistake of looking up the calorie count last night, wowza. I only ate three of them though, good thing. And, it was my only meal of the day, except for a handful of macadamia nuts in the evening.

We also went to the craft store, Jonathan wanted some yarn. Yes, Mr. Jonny has taught himself how to crochet. He made a scarf, is in the middle of a blanket, and is making another scarf. He learned a new stitch last night, thank you, you-tube.

Sunny is much better, but not 100% yet. We feed her smaller amounts, more frequently.
Isn't she cute?

I don't know why it tickles me half to death, the way the cats and dogs get along with each other.

The girls are having a friend over, you know, vacation. So off I go...

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

having a break...

Winter break, and it's snowing out like crazy. I thought to take a pic of the huge-0 flakes floating down, Life In A Snowglobe, but I don't feel like getting up. You see, my chair is comfy, and I have one of my favorite blankets, the black and white Buffalo plaid with the white fleecy/furry first coffee of the morning is already gone, so I do have to get up soon anyway ha. But every window here is like a framed nature print, except that the snow is moving.

This is the first year in a while that we haven't gone to Florida for winter break. So we have to have fun and keep busy here in the snowglobe. The kids played some Settlers of Catan yesterday with Davian. (he's Anne's big brother, and he likes coming over to visit)

(Camille sat this one out, it's a four player game)

Jonathan made omelets for brunch, and bacon. I added some chaffles. Here's how I make them:
2 eggs, whisked, add:
a splash of vanilla
one cup shredded mozzarella cheese
a few tablespoons of almond flour, optional, or you can add coconut flour
2 packets of stevia
some pumpkin pie spice.

Spray hot waffle iron, and go to it! This makes four small-fish chaffles. I eat them nice and hot with a splash of heavy cream on top. They aren't as good as REAL waffles, but they aren't bad, I enjoy them.

Dinner was chicken...I cut it into small strips, marinated it, early in the day, in lemon juice, salt and pepper, some chicken seasoning...then cooked up in a little bit of olive oil...then added almost a whole stick of butter, browned it up, added garlic and parmesan, and yummers. We had salad with it, spring mix and an iceberg mix, some red peppers and tomatoes.

Molly visited with me last evening with sweet little Ophelia Rose...

There's nothing like rocking a newborn.

We don't have plans for today yet. The kids were starting a movie as I headed to bed last night, so they'll be sleeping for a while. I don't mind the quiet. Paul is working from home today, and the dogs are snoring. They were very naughty, barking at the propane guy this morning.

Anyone else worried about the corona virus? It sounds dreadful. I know the very hairs of our heads are numbered, and I trust that God knows and plans all things. But I admit to being tempted to some anxiety. Anxiety is something I hate, and I fight against it. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.."(Phil 4:6), and in 8: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things."

Monday, February 17, 2020

Monday funday....

I dragged these good-natured daughters of mine out of bed at the un-Goshly time of 7:40, this first morning of winter vacation. They accompanied me to my appointment to get TSA Pre-check. Yay for me, I don't have to take my liquids out, take off my shoes, take my sweater off, or remove my electronics from their cases. Why does paying $85 make this possible, I do not know, go ask your dad. I just hope it decreases my chances of getting the old pat-down. Once in JFK, I was absolutely SCREAMED at, because I forgot to take my scarf off, going through security. oops. In the lady's defense, she deals with people forgetting these things, day-in, day-out, and it prob gets old.

It's only good for in-the-US travel, we New Yorkers are no longer welcome in the Global Entry programs, because our genius governor has messed things up, but that's a whole 'nother story.

So after I got my fingerprints done, and my questions answered, and the money paid, it was off to the mall with the girls, but oops, it was so early in the morning, the mall wasn't open yet! I had made the appointment early, thinking I would have Anne over, and had to get home, neglecting to remember it was vacation, and Anne's mama is a teacher!

So, we headed to the most amazing bakery, but alas, it was closed for some reason. Dunkin Donuts, for a coffee for me, some brekky sandwiches for Camille and Sonja K., a jelly donut for Miss Char...we sat in the van and solved the world's problems.

Miss Sonja K. drove, she did so well! We drove around the neighborhood I grew up in, I showed them the house I lived in from the time I was a toddler to when I got married, saw the corner where I waited for the bus, playing on the fire hydrant. We saw the hill I sledded down in the neighbor's back yard, and the swamp we used to skate on. The hills seem smaller, the houses have had facelifts, and the trees are different.

Anyway, Sonja drove to the mall in the city, and we mall-ed. I do not like the mall, for the record. It's huge-0. It's hot. It's pricey. I do, however, like the Finger Lakes Coffee shop, we bought a pound of beans ($$$), and a hot coffee for me. The girls got bubble tea, also $$$, but they love it. We went to Old Navy, I actually got two dresses. I tried on jeans, and fit into a size 14! They fit, but not terribly comfortably, I didn't get them. But I did take a pic!

I still have a good sized tummy, but whatever.

We went in a few stores, bought a few things, then stopped for dog chow on the way home. Oh, it's always nice to get home. Margaret worked from here today, so Wulf was here too. He is so adorable.

Anne, the sweetie pie I watch, and little Grant, in Walmart. (this is from Friday)

I miss Mr. Grant.

(and Anya and Elise)

Mali is coming over tomorrow afternoon with Lydia and Ophelia, and Davian is coming over to play for a bit. My girls are going to play volleyball then to Emily's house for a while, lots going on.

Anyway. Tonight we had pork chops, which I had marinated in lemon juice, salt and pepper, they were so good. 5 pounds of potatoes, peeled, boiled, and mashed, (I only had two small spoons, not good for me), and asparagus roasted in olive oil.

I am having some hot decaf right now. I did not make it to the pool tonight. My son Joseph and his wife Bethany came for a visit...

Anyway...the kids are playing The Settlers of Catan again...

Friday, February 14, 2020

happy heart day...

Anne and I made Valentine's cards yesterday. She LOVES glitter, and she has a very long attention span for being only three years old.

Paul brought home flowers, isn't he nice?

Samuel is here with little Grant. They arrived during the night. I told him that I'd take care of Grant when he wakes up so Sam can get some sleep after that long drive, but I am guessing Sam will be so excited and happy to be home that he'll just have some coffee instead.

I'm kind of excited too. It's a little chaotic when all the grandkids come over, but it's filled with adorableness and hugs, and I love it.

Sunny is doing a little better, she gradually improved as the day went on yesterday. She didn't throw up, was drinking water at regular intervals, and would take small dog treats, but turned her head away from the canned food from the vet. It seemed like she would only eat the treats reluctantly, and only when I called Suri over and acted like I was giving it to Suri, so she would take it and chew it so slowly. She slept most of the day, then when Paul got home, she ate a little of the food for him, then a little more later. She's still not back to her normal self, but much better. Thank you, seriously thank you, for all of your prayers and good thoughts. God made dogs, whether you love them or not, some of us really do. It can border on insanity, the love people have for their pets, but love is love, and it saves so many from loneliness. I happen to believe, with all of my heart, that having a nice sturdy dog who loves being hugged and pet, is therapeutic, for teenagers, kids, old people, but especially teenaged boys, who still need affection but are awkward. Our dogs are a huge pain in the hind quarters sometimes, but they make up for it with the tail wagging and happy faces. Their ears move forward if you ask if anyone fed them, and they tilt their heads. We got the leash out to bring Sunny to the vet the other night, and Suri came running, so happy, she thought she was going bye-bye too. And don't even think about getting the peanut butter jar down with them coming running. They are always glad to see you, even if you just re enter the room, unless they are snoring, of course.

Anyway. I am thankful for them, muddy paws, shedding, barking and all.

The sun is shining, but it's only like 9F (-12.7c) here this fine morning. It's beautiful, as we got more snow last night, and the trees branches are sparkling in the partial sunshine.

I should be sweeping the floor and washing up the few dishes in the sink, or putting in a load of towels, shouldn't I?

Oh, in other news, I did lose a tiny bit more weight. It's sloooooow going, but, it is GOING!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

sad sick puppy...

Suri and Sunny...Sunny is sick. She probably ate something she shouldn't have, and she was sick to her stomach several times yesterday. She started shaking, so I called the vet, and they so nicely added us on at the end of their late shift, so up there we drove at 8:30. Her temperature was a little low, her heart rate a little fast, she was dehydrated. She was infused with fluids and electrolytes, and given some anti-nausea meds. We have some special low-fat, mild dog food, and are giving her water frequently in small amounts. She still isn't herself, but hasn't thrown up since last night. If she starts to again, we'll have to bring her in for bloodwork and scans. So if you're a praying person, please pray for Little Miss Sunshine. She's so down, it's sad. She was such a sweetheart at the vet, too. She's a scaredy cat of strangers, but she was just so trusting and docile. We love her so much, and seeing her suffer is painful.

It is another beautiful day in the neighborhood...

Sometimes Paul and I wake up at the same time, and since he wasn't working from home today, he went into the bathroom first. I just put my robe on and came out to be with the little girls while they packed up their lunches and got some brekky, and got on the bus. (This morning, Cam made a travel mug of hot tea to bring with her, so cute!)(she said it was really cold in school yesterday, and she longed for hot tea.). So anyway, I put my coat and boots on, grabbed one glove from the mitten drawer, and went out to shovel a path for them. As soon as I got back into the house, the snow plow went by and made a new mound of snow for them to walk in, oh well.

Anne is coming over today, we plan to stay home. She loves to cuddle and read books. We read either ten or eleven books yesterday. Tomorrow, however, there will be chaos! Samuel is coming for the weekend with little Grant, from Virginia! Grace cannot accompany because she works on weekends:(. Sam likes to drive at night, less traffic, and Grant just sleeps. So he is leaving tonight, and will arrive in the wee hours of the morning.

So lots of family will be coming over to see Sam and Grant. We are having a gathering here tomorrow night, too, for the youth girls. So it will be busy busy busy. Then Saturday and Sunday, Sam will be going to a church conference, and I will be watching Grant! Paul is going ice fishing...and the school kids will be officially on winter break!

We are trying to decide if we can possibly afford to go to Norway again this summer. Plane tickets for Paul and I, Sonja, Jonathan, Char, Emily, Abigail, Ben and Ashley and kids, Mirielle...are all going. So I REALLY want to go. We have to figure it out soon and buy tickets before the price goes up.

Ah well. Anne will be here soon...

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

five little friends...visiting their grandma...

Lydia, Anya, Elise, and Wulf...and:

Uncle Jonny holding baby Ophelia.

I agreed to babysit for little Wulf while his mama worked at the basketball game last night. I invited Mali over with Lydia and baby Ophelia, then Ashley with Anya and Elise.

Look at Mr. Wulf and Miss Elise, scheming together.

I made them spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, and bought cute little mini ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

Admittedly, it was mild monumental mayhem here for a bit, but mild. Wulf is a busy guy. Before Margaret even left (she was holding Ophelia), I was prepping dinner, and all of the sudden he appeared with a purple nail polish brush, and one purple thumb. Oh dear. oops. The gate to the hallway was open, and Sonja's room is right there, full of fun things to get into. I went in there, and oh NO, a bottle of melatonin was scattered all over. I put the nail polish cap back on, and called Jonathan in to count those pills. Thankfully it was a newer bottle and most of them were there, and I knew Sonja had taken some. There were no traces of any on his little teeth, so I don't think he ate any, if he did, it was only one or two. dang.

So we made sure someone knew where he was at all times after that. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and more alert too, ha.

Paul works from home, and today has been a doozy. There's a lot going on in his organization today, and right when he got an important call, Sunny barfed all over the living room floor, and I exclaimed none too quietly as I shooed her in the direction of the door, and out the door, and across the deck, yuck. Poor pup, but poor Paul too, as he couldn't hear what his boss was saying to him, and it was quite important. I suggested he maybe set up an office in one of the empty bedrooms, because I can't always just be quiet. He does not expect us here to always be quiet, but sometimes...anyway.

Hopefully the pup is okay. And hopefully Paul's job is okay.

There are not too many dull moments in life, around here.