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

Sunday, January 31, 2021

more controversy? no, thank you.

 Yesterday was a frozen Saturday.  It was too cold to go ice fishing.  It was a day of teenagers sleeping in, and me cleaning the house.  Sweeping and mopping and vacuuming and wait, good morning, Miss Cam, here's the Windex!  The girls decided to invite their friend Amanda to come spend the night, so they tidied up their room.  Sonja has been super busy being back in college, and was restless to get out of the house, so off we went, just her and I.  

First stop, Kohl's.  Sonja's coat that I got her for Christmas has a few tears in the pockets, but there were no more in stock, and if we got our money back, we couldn't replace the coat with another brand for any where near what I paid for it.  Also, she really likes the coat.  So, we're sewing the pockets.

Next, Hobby Lobby, just because...well I love that place.  Sonja, not so much, but she was a good sport.  We wandered and meandered, and I decided that if I ever won a thousand dollar shopping spree there, I'd be quite happy.  We bought some beads for the girls, they have been keeping busy making bracelets and rings, and spent a grand total of seven dollars.

We splurged on Starbucks on the way home, while talking to Samuel on speakerphone.  He started a new job, and has had all sorts of adventures down in Virginia.

Home, Margaret and Adrian came over with Wulf and Tennyson, and Evelyn also came over.  Dinner...homemade pizzas, and wings in the air fryer.  

Wulf is hilarious.  He likes to "fix" things.  There's a Fisher Price trike here that he likes to ride on, fills the seat with all sorts of trinkets.  Sonja got out a screwdriver, a lint roller, some pliers, and pretended to be the mechanic.  The other day when he was here, he spilled some water, and Margaret said to him, "We have to be clean it up, otherwise people will fall."  He said, "I want wise people to fall."

This fine morning, I was the only one up for a bit, which means feeding the pets, letting them in and out, washing up the few dishes from last evening's decaf coffee.  I like having some quiet in the morning, which is quite possible these days.  The teenagers who sleep and sleep are the very ones who roused me out of bed at all hours, not too long ago.  

Miss Lydia is coming over today, and going to church with us...

See?  I can write an entire post with NO CONTROVERSY.  I've been thinking about why my feelings have gotten so hurt, and well, it's the age old thing:  I want everyone to like me, boo hoo.  Sonja and I talked a bit when we were out and about, she absolutely detests controversy, avoids politics like the plague.  I said I don't like dissent either, so she wonders why on earth I write what I do.  Well, I don't know.  I guess there are some that hope that censorship and shaming will silence the more conservative Americans.  I'd also guess that most Americans are NOT crazy radicals, just freedom loving people who want to live in peace.  

Saturday, January 30, 2021

warm, comforting things...


Warm from the oven, homemade cinnamon buns.  They're not picture perfect, but the kids said they were really good.  The icing is just a thick vanilla glaze.  

I didn't set out to make cinnamon rolls yesterday.  I made a batch of oatmeal cookies, the first pan with no choc chips, Princess Camille doesn't like them, then added mini chocolate chips.  It warmed up the house, they smelled amazing, but I didn't have any.  I cannot, because I am not a one cookie person, and I am my own worst enemy.  (just for the record, I've been paying more attention to what I eat, cut the cream in my coffee to a minimum, and the scale is inching downward again...).

Anyway, dinner time was looming, butter chicken.  I cut up about five pounds of chicken breast, sautĂ©ed in olive oil with lots of cumin, and a sprinkle of pepper.  I added two jars of butter chicken sauce from Aldi, yes, I'm a cheater.  It simmered all afternoon, making the house smell yummy.   

Homemade naan bread goes well with this, so I started the dough for it, and wondered if my yeast was still good, it didn't foam up like I thought it should.  So I opened a new package, and this foamed better.  I made the dough, put it in a warm oven to rise (with a glass pan of water on the bottom).  When I checked the original cup of water and yeast, it had indeed foamed up, quite nicely, and I didn't want to waste it.  So I found a recipe for cinnamon bread that used roughly the same amount of water per yeast, then turned it into cinnamon rolls. 

The butter chicken was amazing, with fresh cilantro on top.  The kids eat theirs with Basmati rice, I had some spaghetti squash with mine.  For the naan bread, I squish the dough down after the first rising, and make like twenty little balls, cover and rise again.  Then I flatten each one, and put them a few at a time in the panini maker, brushed with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  They get crispy on the outside, and stay fluffy in the middle.  I tasted a few, and mmm.

Life is interesting.   We don't always get along magically, amazingly, wonderfully.  Sometimes we say things too harshly, or hurt someone's feelings.  Yesterday, I felt kind of lonely.  One of the kids told me she was sick of hearing about politics, okay, fair enough.   ouch.  you don't have to say it so sharply, but okay. Then another comment from someone, and one little thing from Paul, and wait a minute, every one hates me.  THEN, I check comments on the blog, and a lady derides me for joking about coronavirus.  She said she will have to read elsewhere, because basically, I am an awful person.  

Oh wah, stop feeling sorry for yourself, right?  If I were reading about myself in a book, that's what I would say to me.  I was conscious that I was heading in that direction, so I decided to be thankful for things instead, you know how you sometimes have to tell yourself that you're being ridiculous.  Objectively, who cares what people think of me, anyway!?  But the reality is sometimes it hurts, and I just had one of those afternoons where I wanted to go cry.  

Side note:  I do not think the corona virus is funny.  I am also not a politically correct comedian.  Laughing and joking about the discrepancies in policies and mandates doesn't mean I think it's hilarious that your grandma died.  I think I've mentioned it time and time again here, how heartbreaking it is.  Nursing homes riddled with it, understaffed, no visitors, it's like a nightmare.  My own older kids have firsthand been a part of the tragedy, Emily working in one of the Covid overrun hospitals in the beginning of the surge here, Molly working on a Covid floor for months, Aaron at Stanford, witnessing firsthand the sadness and the suffering, Mariel working with chemo patients who get their treatments alone, afraid.  I know it's real, and I know it's not a joke, in and of itself.  

When you lose someone you love, you are raw and sensitive, and I recognize this in what A. said to me, but when I sit here and write, I can't weigh and measure everything I say, and wonder if I'm going to offend someone.  I never intend to.  In fact, you wouldn't believe how much I do not say!

For instance, I had a few comments from someone who actually stated a falsehood...she mentioned that a certain house speaker was threatened by a congresswoman, and that was not true.  Not true at all.  I wrote a response, but deleted it, because I don't like arguing, strife.  I like to make my way through life seeking what's actually true.  

I found an article from Oklahoma State Health Department about masking.  This is NOT political, just common sense.  The virus numbers from where there was masking mandated and not, are interesting. Would you believe they were lower without masks?   

Anyway.  I like to write, I like to make observations in life, and of course I see everything from my point of view.  You all are entitled to your own viewpoints of course, and I welcome peaceful opposition, if that makes sense.  We are all different, and that's a beautiful thing.  Even in a family, we are different, and we need to learn to give each other space, forgive and forget, and get over ourselves.  Love covers a multitude of sin...

Friday, January 29, 2021

all about everything!...and Florida again!!?

 Florida?  Why yes, please.  I'll save the details for a later date, but I've been invited for March, and I said YES, of course!  When Grandma lives so far away, she needs her visitors!

Yesterday, Margaret came over with baby Tennyson and little Wulf.  She works full time, from home, and it's challenging!  So she worked from here yesterday and we helped out with the kids.  Jon took Wulf out to play in the snow, but only for a short time, as it was all of 15F here.  I got some good baby snuggling time in!

Tennyson was almost sleeping in this pic...

And here's one of Wulf that Margaret took last week:

(In other words, Grammy didn't take any of him yesterday:))

Miss Suzanne is engaged, I think I already told you guys about that, but they had some pics taken:

He (Zech) is a very nice young man, and they're lovely together.

The deck yesterday morning.  Some people hate winter, but not me!    Although it's both cold AND snowy today, and Sonja had to get up and drive to the city to the college to work, slippery roads.  Thankfully Paul works from home now, and we have his truck that she can drive.  

Evelyn and I, on a spontaneous, Let's-Go-To-The-New-Brewery jaunt last week.  On a cold blustery night, it was warm and welcoming.  (We had to mask until seated, I broke the rule by standing next to Ev for this pic.  Covid-19 is very smart, it'll get you if you're not seated when you take that mask off.  Also, NY state mandates that one purchases food when guzzling beer, so we HAD to order a little cheese basil thin crust pizza, poor us.   Sonja was a good sport and drove for us, because by the time we finished sampling those little beers, whoa.  But they were so good!  There was a candy cane, a peanut butter habanero, an oatmeal stout...I can't tolerate so much alcohol though, next time I'll drive.  It WAS fun though.

Margaret Cheryl, Kathryn Grace, Evelyn Joy, Suzanne Eleanor, Sonja Kathleen.  My five-girls-in-a-row in -five-years.  Margaret was five when Sonja was born, with the other three in between.  (then baby Robert was "born" when Margaret was 6, on the day she graduated kindergarten)(In NY, you have to be 5 on or before Dec 1 to go to kindergarten, so when Sonja was born, Margaret wasn't even in kindergarten yet.). These girls have been more of a blessing than a trial, but there were some interesting times!  Sonja is the only one of them still at home.  Marg is married, Kathryn is married, Evelyn lives in her apartment upstairs from Marg and Adrian, Suze is engaged and living in an apartment...time just FLIES.

I've said this a million times before, but when I was knee-deep in small children, people would tell me how time flies, and one day they would be growing up and moving out, but ho ho, time was moving slow as molasses back then.  The days were packed full and I had to be sneaky and crafty just to go to the bathroom all by my lonesome.  Bottles, diapers, wipes, pacifiers, strollers and car seats, sippy cups, baggies of cheerios and sleeves of crackers, filling the diaper bags with clean outfits, for YEARS and YEARS.  I'd no sooner get one to sleep through the night, and the next one would be born!  Sometimes there would be a stubborn one who didn't sleep through until the baby was born, and a few still woke up after, which was not fair.   Throw up bugs, ear infections, colds, coughs, teething...I never got any sleep.  Nap time was sacred, it was the hoped for, shining, looked forward time, the time that mostly disappointed, because seriously?  The stars had to be aligned just so, in order for mama to actually get a nap.  Baby:  had to sleep.  Toddler:  had to sleep.  Older Toddler:  had to sleep.  Older kids:  had to NOT slam doors, get in arguments, bring me the phone because someone important was calling, or ask me if they were allowed to open the Oreos.  So a nap was rare and much sought after, but even if I didn't actually get to sleep, a quiet time in the afternoon was mostly respected by everyone, and even the older kids really appreciated the down time.  They could watch a movie, in the summer time, or read, play games without the littles interrupting.  (just an FIY, those days when I was SO tired and didn't get a nap, those are when I gained most of my weight, because duh, cookies!  No nap?  Well, cookies.)

Anyway.  We're having quite the cold snap this weekend, a Polar Vortex dipping down into NY state.  It's snowing out again, and can you blame me for being excited for another trip to Florida?!  An Airbnb on the gulf coast...ahh.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

la la la library, and other news...

 Last night, we had a very cozy dinner.  It had snowed all day, and the house was...well, cozy.  Spaghetti (and spaghetti squash for me!), meatballs, and some hot Italian sausage.

Today has been beautiful.  The snow is sticking on the tree branches, the yard looks like Narnia.  
Sweet Suri, she's like a bear cub.  As Mariel says, she has "the cutest face on the planet."
Just a bit of parking lot snow!

We went to the library today, then to Walmart so Jon could get oil for his four wheeler.  The girls also had plans, to make Japanese dumpling things with noodles in them.

They pronounced them DELICIOUS!

We also went into Price Chopper while we were out, just to get some beef, London Broil for $1.99 a pound.  It's a tough meat, but oh so cheap!  I decided to get out the food sealer and the sous vide.  It took a while to get it all figured out, but there are four chunks of meat, all sealed, in the big pot with the sous vide hooked to the side.  It's set for 132F, for 24 hours.  It keeps it at temp for the whole time, and oh my goodness it tenderizes!  Tomorrow for dinner, I'll sear it in the frying pan, and yum.  

Tonight we're having leftovers, I made lots of meatballs on purpose.  Back in the day, they would've been all gone after one meal.  The girls aren't going to be very hungry after their yummy afternoon snack.

My coffee is yummy, Jon is driving his four wheeler around the yard, Sonja is at college, and the little girls are watching an anime and talking and laughing.  Life is good.

I work very hard on not letting all the politics and news get to me.  I admit, the way Pres. B. ended the pipeline project RRRR, but what can I do?  Whenever I post anything, even something little, on Facebook, I have an aunt who hates Trump with such a vicious hatred, it's upsetting.  She calls him names, and says awful things.  I haven't blocked her, because sometimes bad behavior is just as telling as good behavior, but it's kind of hurtful.  I don't love Trump either, but he did a lot of good things.  I notice that when people have such hatred in their hearts, they resort to name calling and swearing.  I don't live like that, so it's disturbing.

It's like this:  I believe what I believe, but you don't want me to, so you call me names.  You want everyone in the world to believe exactly as you do.  Yet, I support your right to believe what you want to believe.  You can believe for example that if a person decides that he is a she, that's okay.  I'm fine if you believe that.  But you cannot bear it in the least if I think it's weird.  It's like The Emperor's New Clothes, everyone is too afraid to say that the guy is actually naked.  Boys turning into girls and playing girls' sports is not fair.    wow, that's enough to get me totally cancelled!  

Disclaimer:  If a person decides they want to be a different gender, they have freedom to do that.  If I knew them personally, I'd still love them.  They deserve to be respected and treated the same as anyone else.   If I don't jump up and down about it all, I still deserve to be treated with respect, right?

Anyway.  Touchy subjects.  In one of the online groups I'm in, if a lady is pregnant, and struggling to come to terms with it because she doesn't want the baby for some reason, you are NOT allowed to offer to take the baby, or suggest anyone else looking to adopt.  But you CAN suggest and encourage an abortion.  It's like the world is upside down and I'm an old old lady, old fashioned and out of date.  

Enough controversy for today.  It's a beautiful day, which the Lord has made, and we will rejoice and be glad in it.   Thankfulness is such a powerful force, it's hard to be miserable when you start being thankful.

Monday, January 25, 2021

omg what a day!

A little bit of excitement to interrupt the sameness of January, but oh dear, I could do without it...

Jonathan, poor Jon, he did not pass his road test.  The instructor informed me that he drives quite well, but unfortunately he got a "failed to yield" because he drove across the intersection when there was another car coming, closer than four car lengths away.  Jon said he had plenty of time, but he does acknowledge it wasn't a good move on his road test.  poor kid.  

This afternoon, it was time for Camille to visit the orthopedic dr., and I asked Jon if he wanted to accompany.  He likes driving, figured he could use more practice.  After the appointment, a quick trip to Aldi for ground beef, bananas, avocados, onion rings (for the new air fryer!), butter, tortilla chips, lime juice...we headed home.  There we were, three o'clock on a sunny afternoon, which is btw statistically when most motor vehicle accidents occur...and bam.  We were driving straight through an intersection, green light, Jon driving, when another car made a left turn RIGHT IN FRONT OF US.  I screamed, Jon braked, and we connected with his rear quarter panel.  I was whatever the polar opposite of calm, cool, collected.  Yeah, I freaked.  My NEW CAR!  

Now, of course, I'm thankful, super thankful, that we are all okay, no one got hurt.  Jonathan wasn't at fault, but the poor kid driving the other car.  I'm going to cry myself to sleep tonight.  He's only four months older than Jon, and he was so nice.  We pulled into the gas station, he came back around and parked behind us.  He offered to pay for the damage, but I called the police, filed an accident report, new car!  He got a ticket, I do feel bad about that, but he told the officer, "We had a green light, and we just didn't see other, I guess..."  Well, he should NOT have been turning left on green with someone coming, but he didn't seem to realize it.  It was his dad's car, and he was upset, and I felt like throwing up.  It was not a bad accident, just a fender bender, but oh dear.  Jonathan is learning lessons today, isn't he?  This accident wasn't his fault, but still.  Anticipate what other drivers MIGHT do, pay attention...if I hadn't screamed STOP, STOP, WATCH IT!, who knows?

Anyway, what a day.  

But, do you want to hear a story?  Once, a long time ago, when I had nine  kids, and my sister had seven, we went camping.  Paul ended up having to work, so he helped me get the camper set up, then went back home.   Same with my sister, Cheryl, her husband set her up in her camp site, just around the corner from me, up on Lake Ontario, and we were on our own.

We brought our niece Laura, who was all of maybe 12 years old, to "help".  Hey, one more set of hands, right?  So we camped with 17 kids.  My site was right on the beach.  I remember making lunch, dinner, for all those kids, it was crazy, but SO MUCH FUN!  One night, we sat there around the fire, Cheryl and I and 17 kids, singing, "George, George, George of the jungle...", over and over again, because Sam was two, and he wanted us to.  Two park officers showed up, (Right after Cheryl said jokingly, "We're running out of firewood, someone will need to go purloin some more...").  We're pretty sure they heard that.  Since she had just said that, she was kind of stutter -y when the officers asked what on earth was going on.  (What?  Are we the only ones in the world who have a camp fire with 17 kids?). What she answered was, "Well, we're here without our husbands, my sister and I..."  It was so funny, because it sounded like...well, like she was coming on to him, and she realized it, and we were laughing our heads off.  The officers had gotten reports of a large party going on, and were satisfied that it was just a bunch of kids, and they left.  Cheryl and I still laugh our heads off when we think of her saying that...oh dear.  

There was a storm one night during that week, a terrible storm.  We didn't all fit in our camper, so two of the kids were in a tent.  I went and got them and told them to come in and squish into the camper, and as soon as they left the tent, it blew away, with poor Abigail's glasses in it.  She was hysterical, couldn't see, and I was NOT going to leave all the kids and go out in the storm and find the tent.  (We found it the next morning, near the woods, and her glasses were fine.)

Oh the fun we had.  Now, it's time to get some dinner, but I'll leave you with a pic...

(the oldest, my sister's Katie, was no more than 15...)

Saturday, January 23, 2021

stuck in January....

 January in the north, if you love darkness and cold and snow, you'd be quite happy here in NY.   I sort of like it when it gets dark at five o'clock, it's snuggly.  When the days get longer, it's hopeful and amazing, but also like that I'm-not-ready-to-get-out-of-bed-yet feeling.  

The kids were supposed to go play volleyball last evening, but the snow kept them home.  The girls got out some beads and wire and string and made bracelets and rings.  I had some hot decaf, and avoided the cookies and milk they were chomping on.

The ones with sprinkles are for Princess Camille, she doesn't like chocolate chips.

It was snowing out last evening!  They weren't even out there for very long!

That little car!

After 11 last night, I snapped this pic of the weather radar.  We live right in the path of the yellow, the heavy snow.  Lake Effect snow just comes down in bands from Ontario (top left of the pic).  

I'm going to get my boots on and go out and shovel the deck...

Well, that was fun, I'm back in now!

Have a warm cozy day!

Friday, January 22, 2021


 It's not actually too cold out, but it sure is pretty!  The snow isn't cracking underfoot like it does when it's really freezing.   Days like today, when the snow is floating down like a snow globe, coating the branches and brightening up the living room, I love winter.  

There is fajita soup on the hob for dinner.  I browned up five pounds of chicken breast sprinkled with lime juice, with chopped onion, added taco seasoning and chili powder, and two boxes of chicken broth.  It's simmering, then later we'll add black beans and corn, some tomatoes.  We unfortunately don't have any peppers.  It'll be served with Basmati rice, sour cream, and fresh cilantro, and probably tortilla chips.

I'll be wandering into the kitchen to bake some cookies in a bit, cookies that I won't eat.  It's not fair, I tell you.  I just have to think about cookies to gain weight.  I don't even want to talk about my weight loss plan, because it's not working!  One meal a day, usually, sometimes two, if the first one is eggs.  Mostly just meat and veggies, sometimes tortilla chips, and I did eat that turkey pot pie, crust and all.  Most people who fast, and eat only one meal a day, can take a bit of liberty with what they eat, but not me!   No bread, no cookies, but sometimes chocolate after dinner, chocolate covered almonds.  It should be enough to at least maintain the weight I lost, but no, the scale is creeeeeeeping back up.  I think it's the cream in the coffee, so I've backed way off on that, and we'll see what happens.  I might have to do alternate day fasting, but oh dear.  I'll admit:  these days of being home in the winter, with not much going on, not eating all day, dinner is sort of a beacon, something to look forward to.  

Between the weight, and my hair being thin and not growing, Suri getting old (she's been so limp-y, she was hit by a car when she was a puppy, and has an innovative hip socket, fashioned out of muscle...) and things being closed and not being able to travel,  I'll admit to having to work at being happy sometimes.  It's shown me how much stock I put in earthly things though.  This is still the day that the Lord has made, whether my arse needs it's own zip code, or new wrinkles decorate my face.  I don't want to just fake it til I make it, although sometimes that's necessary.  (No used getting all bummed out and dragging the kids down too.)  I'm working on seriously and genuinely being thankful for all things that God sees fit to send my way.  

Also, not making excuses, nor giving up, because what the heck, I may as well just EAT COOKIES.  You know when you're reading a book, and the character makes a stupid decision, and you're like, NO, don't do it!  I know that if I were reading my book, I wouldn't want me to eat the cookies.

Anyway, life isn't a bed of roses, but if it were, we would stop to smell them, wouldn't we?  There are thorns, and there are things I can't always write here that I go through, but life itself is a gift, and we do have today.  

Thursday, January 21, 2021

excuse me, it seems I have lost a day...!

 "Well Jonny, " I said today.  "I think we should have taco soup tomorrow night, and pulled pork on Friday."  Jon replied, "you do know that today IS Thursday, right?"  oops, no, I thought it was Wednesday. I somehow lost a day.  

Tonight was supposed to be soup night, it's actually tortilla soup, not taco soup.  Sonja is making it, we have all the ingredients, but with the busy schedule she had with online classes today, she forgot to get it started.  So, we had taco salad.  I do love fresh cilantro and lime tortilla chips, mmm.

The days are busy for the kids, I'm just here throwing in a load of laundry, sweeping and mopping the floors, and keeping spirits bright.  Sometimes I go outside and shovel the deck, or play with the dogs, or read a few chapters of a book.  

Today, Suzanne and her fiancĂ© came over for a visit.  They have moved back from California, and it is SO nice to spend time with them.  

This afternoon, Jon and I headed to the auto repair shop in town to drop off one of the van tires for a repair.  We waited there in the little waiting room, watching, "Let's Make A Deal" on the little television.  Oh.My.Goodness.  I feel for all the patients in nursing homes and hospitals and for lonely people across the planet who have NOTHING BETTER TO DO.  It was the peak of stupidity, such nonsense.  

We aren't Leave-The-T.V.-On type people.  We turn it on when we want to watch something, sports usually have volume down, but always when commercials come on.   We just don't like the stupid thing blaring into our home!  So right now, it's off.  The kids are all at a church youth meeting, Paul is reading his bible and scrolling on his computer, and I'm in my chair with my own laptop.  We're talking a bit, the dogs are snoring, life is good.  But the television, with the news (so dreary!), and prescription drug ads (the side-effects!), no thank you!

I'd rather hear the clock tick.

But shh, true confession here:   I got rid of the ticking clock, our actual kitchen clock that...ticked.  When it's too quiet in here, the last thing I want to hear is an actual clock...ticking.  So I bought a new one, a nicer one, and the old one is sitting in the laundry room.   

You've probably realized by now that I don't have too much to say.  Jonathan is taking his driving test on Monday, so we'll probably go out again tomorrow and practice.  We drove around today after getting the tire fixed, and went into Aldi for a few things, like coffee (their whole bean Organic medium roast, mmm), tortilla chips, fresh salsa, chocolate covered almonds, little mini clementine oranges, apples, heavy cream, brown sugar, and a chocolate bar.  You get so much for your money from Aldi, and no, I'm not getting paid to say so.

Anyway, Jon learned to parallel park, and do a three point turn, just like that.  He still needs a little polishing up, but shh, the last five kids I taught to drive were girls, and shh, they don't catch on to things like that so fast.  They would be more likely to sit there next to the car near the curb, asking me, "Now WHAT way do I turn the wheel?", and I'd be like, "I can't explain it!  Just park behind this car!"   But with Jon, well, he just does it.  

So tomorrow, Sonja goes into work at the college, the little girls go to in-person school, and Jon and I will go driving after he does his school work...

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

did you SEE what's going on out there??!!!!

 Jonathan was out working on his four-wheeler yesterday, when he came in and asked me that.  My heart lurched, and I thought immediately he was talking about in D.C....that something bad was going on.  Well, he was talking about snow.  It was a white-out, very cozy, it got dark in the house, it was snowing so badly.  

Yesterday, breaks of beautiful brightness...

This morning...more snow.  I love living here, can I say that?  I love my yard.  The windows in our house are better than framed pictures.

The Little Tikes car just adds a pop of color, ha.

I did make  turkey pot pie yesterday, two of them.  I forgot to take a pic until I was going back for seconds!

The broth from the turkey, thickened up a bit with flour, some rosemary and sage, a bag and a half of frozen veggies, and lots of turkey.  I use an all-butter crust recipe, then add some more to the top, with a hefty sprinkling of salt and pepper.  The top is so tasty.

Rice Krispie treats with sprinkles!

I made these for our junior activity club.  Emily and I work with the youngest group at church, every other Tuesday.  Last evening, I brought our Calico Critters/Lil Woodeez stuff.  Emily always brings a sheet and a blanket and makes them a cozy tent, so they played with the little stuff there.  We then had coloring time, with a snack and a drink pouch.  They range from two and a half years up to four years old, and when all are there, it's six of them.  Wulf is getting ready to join soon!  (yes, they wear masks, which is SAD, but unless they are having a snack, they do wear them, and we wear them too.)

Jonathan is all signed up to take his road test next week.  I'm not sure how to feel about this.  He was just born, for crying out loud!  He is a decent driver, not as careful as I would like, but then I drive like a grandma, my kids say.  Jon is always doing things like checking to see how icy the roads are, swerving just to see how it handles.  I tell him he needs to give me a heads up, there I am stomping the invisible brake and grabbing the dashboard for nothing.  He pushes buttons and tries things out, and uses cruise control.  The beauty of being young is that lack of fear...we get older and know all the things that can happen, but that unfettered freedom of being young, I do envy it.  

These two:

Yes, I do want to go out!

When they come in from outside, they have to sit on the towel and have their paws wiped off, then they get a treat.  A treat?!  Yes, a treat!  It's they're favorite word.  If you ask, "Did anyone feed the dogs?", they will wag, they're ears will come forward, and their begging faces will be in full cuteness mode, even if they have already eaten, for they are big fat piggy liars, when it concerns eating.  Their faces say, "What?  food?  No one fed us yet!"

Today, Jon wants to go driving after he finishes school.  Sonja K. has done an online class, and is heading to the college for work.  She screens and takes temps as people enter the building.  The sun is out once again, hope the drive is easy for her today.  Lake effect snow comes in bands.  You can be driving down the road, and find yourself in a white-out, then drive out of it back into pure sunshine.  When you can't even see the road, ugh.

All this squawking and blabbing, trying to distract myself from what is going on in the big W today.  I'm thankful that Samuel isn't part of this inauguration.  Four years ago, he was, right there at the White House.  Back then, there was a bit more respect.  I won't be saying, "Not my president!", out of respect, but I'm not exactly elated.  Mr. Trump mentioned a bright future, as he exited, but the new guy has already said how we have dark months ahead of us.  

What I'd really like:  lower taxes...much, much lower, fewer programs, no new ones, fewer  laws, no new ones.   With this new administration, this ain't gonna happen.  It's like they're already rubbing their hands together, plotting more restrictions.  Okay, you may not all agree, and I hope you're right.

In any case, this IS the day that the Lord has we will rejoice, and be glad in it. 

Monday, January 18, 2021



Sonja, me, Evelyn Joy, Camille...walking in the cold. (Char went downhill skiing!)


Jonathan with Suri...


4.  These guys again, they are such blessings.


Ben and Ashley's new puppy, Kobe Jack.


Achilles is going to have a baby sister!  Kathryn and Darius are having a girl!


Rocking baby Tennyson...


Coziness with the grand babies.


Cold, snowy Sunday turkey dinner...


Uncle Jonny with baby cousins Tennyson and Ophelia.


My new bathroom floor...look how awful the old one was!


My new bathroom, love it!

Yes, there are good things in life.  Today, for example, is my oldest daughter's birthday.   

We aren't celebrating in person, yet, but we will, one of these days.  I did drop off flowers, chocolate, and kettle popcorn.

This afternoon we went to the library.  A stack of books, that's happy!

The numbers here are going down.  Less positives, less deaths, light at the end of the tunnel.  Tomorrow, school begins again, in person school!

It's winter, it's been dark and dreary, but this week:  snow!  Snow brightens things up!

Our turkey dinner was fantastic!  Tomorrow we are having turkey pot pie, how's that for positivity?