So yesterday, this sunshine went to Target with me, when her classes were over for the day...
Friday, April 30, 2021
Thursday, April 29, 2021
My computer is acting up, and it's not fun. I've installed the latest updates, but it's still jumping from pages I open...closing them at random. It started this morning, as I installed an update last night...dang. Maybe Paul will look at it later and see something simple and obvious, and shake his head at me, ever so slightly.
Yesterday was nice and relaxing...I went to Kohl's, they get you with that Kohl's cash...I had $10, then found out at the register that I had an extra $5, then 20% off...I of course shopped the clearance racks, far be it from me to buy a winter sweater for a spring birthday gift...
(the chicken was really good and tender....)
And, here's the new comforter...it's really nice! I couldn't wait to put on, I put it in the dryer first with a clean wet cloth, and a dryer sheet...
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Is there anything more exciting than expecting a package? Okay, there probably is, but for those of us with rip-tearing exciting lives, that UPS truck stopping at the house, oh yeah! The hard part is when your dear husband works from home, and wanders into the kitchen while you're hauling in the package, and says, "oh, what's that?" um, well, something we REALLY needed.
So today, my new comforter is out for delivery. Kohl's notoriously delivers things in huge-0 boxes, so I thought I'd warn Paul, thought it'd be better than the arrival of one or two giant boxes...because shh, Margaret is also getting a comforter...we were looking at them together, and she likes the same one, and who's going to visit both her house and my house, and say, well, that's odd, you guys have the same comforter!? No one, that's who.
So I told Paul this morning, "Just so you know, I did buy a comforter, it was really cheap, and it's coming today, but don't freak, there's one for Margaret coming too..." Okay. That's all he said. phew.
I do try to be careful with money, and weigh and question whether we really need things or not, and this time the answer was clear: we did NOT need this.
And yay, it'll be here today!
Life isn't always skipity hoppity happy though, there are definitely trials. Teenagers, for example. For some strange reason, I thought this final crop of teenagers was going to be easy. No challenges. Piece of cake. Reasonable, peaceful, smooth. The youngest four are one fourth of the kids, a mere 25%. I am not juggling babies, toddlers, and small children while raising them, so I was mistaken in thinking that this stage would be so simple, as the two "little" girls went from playing with dolls and doing gymnastics to watching Korean dramas and skateboarding, and Jon just plain grew up and got his own opinions, and Sonja turned into a college student who knows quite a bit....
I'm not complaining, I am wringing every bit of enjoyment I can out of these last years of having our kids under our roof, but it's not always all sunshine and roses. In fact, sometimes I get my feelings hurt. Last evening, they were discussing important matters, and one of them said, "I don't want to end up not being able to do anything....like Mom." excuse ME?
They think I am so old, and one of them seems to be stuck in Automatic Arguing, even if I'm agreeing with her.
Teenagers like to stay up late and sleep in and eat all the snacks, I already know this. So why am I still surprised by it?
The challenge lies in learning when to put the foot down, because my JOB is to parent, not to be their friend...but to do it in wisdom, so as not to cause damage, not to just be the bull in the china shop, enforcing, crushing their spirits. But I also can't parent with the mindset that I want them to like me, yet if I walk in God's grace, with a fear to sin, with a fear to react in anger, with a desire to be patient and gentle and kind and not demanding, things go well. But that doesn't just come about naturally, I have to be awake and in NEED, praying for help and wisdom. It's a fight of faith, we don't get days off!
..."and let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart...therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are in the household of faith." (Gal 6:9-10)
We do grow weary of doing good, at least I do, but God renews my strength, renews my longing to remain in goodness.
Tulips from the yard, because they're so lovely.
Today, I am going out and about all by my lonesome, again. I have a mission: to find birthday presents for Jonathan and Sonja, and perhaps Miss Charlotte Claire. Their birthdays are all within 12 days, then Joseph's is five days later. I love/hate wandering around trying to find something, but at least when I'm by myself, I don't have to explain why I'm getting so off track, looking at the clearance section in the baby department, or trying on sneakers.
When you have so many kids, you want each one to feel especially special, especially on their birthday. You want them to know that you truly love them, and haven't forgotten their birthday until the last minute, getting them a crappy gift, yet reminding them that you DID just buy them jeans recently...not that that has ever happened, ha.
Far be if from me to procrastinate!
Yesterday, I went out by myself to get groceries for the week, but since I was not with any sigh-ers or eye-rollers, I went to the thrift store, because you KNOW now I am eligible for the senior discount there on Tuesdays, 25% off. I was slightly disappointed that the cashier believed me so readily, didn't ask me for proof because no way do I look 55, but she just glanced at me and gave me the discount. Anyway, I meandered up and down the aisles, but only spent $12, on a little train set new in the box for some rainy day with the grandkids, a little jacket for Tennyson, a shirt for me which I think is accidentally a little girls XL, oops.
Then, the dollar store...I bought three plants (one is basil, smells so good!), and some granola bars.
Then a grocery store, Tops, for a few things, then to Aldi for the rest.
Last night's dinner: scrambled eggs and ham for me, the girls had sandwiches, I don't know what Paul had, aren't I a good wife? Sometimes dinner is forage style. I had to leave for junior activity club, so...that's my excuse. There WAS a whole huge baggy of leftover ham though, we had ham the night before...it was 99 cents a pound after Easter, at Target, a nice spiral sliced ham (not expired, good until the end of May). I roasted sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts, and chopped apple, plus served unsweetened applesauce, to which I like to add a dash of nutmeg, but the kids use the cinnamon sugar shaker on theirs.
Tonight for dinner: who knows? Certainly not me, yet. I might grill some burgers if it's not raining....but taco salad is always good, too. I do have a general meal plan, we get stuck in ruts here, same food over and over again.
Anyway....off I go, all by my lonesome, poor me, ha!
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
I overfilled the mug, and made a nice big morning mess.
Yesterday, I got out the sewing machine and made new pillow covers for the throw pillows on our bed. I also washed and put away my big winter-ish comforter, and put on the new dune/duvet, with the new white cover...what am I thinking? White is the dogs' favorite color to stain!
Orange guy likes it...it looks like someone is sleeping in that bed, but it's just the big body pillow that one of us likes to sleep with...
Monday, April 26, 2021
Lesson for the day: do NOT procrastinate buying airline tickets. They just get more expensive. Jonathan and I are going to Oregon in June, and we may not be there for the birth, but we'll at least be there to spend some time with new baby...it's not easy to figure out exactly what dates to go, but when you put off buying the tickets until you iron out details, whoa, there are more factors than ideal dates, because those prices fluctuate so much. We are going from a Tuesday to a Tuesday, getting there 3 days after her official due date, staying one week. ? We'll see, I guess!
I am super excited to go though. It's a total rip-off to raise children, then they turn into grown ups and move across the country. It just isn't fair. I am thankful for FaceTime, and family chat, and instagram, but it's not the same. If I were rich, I'd spend most of my money on plane tickets. Or maybe I could be a climate activist and get my own jet!
Kids grow up, turn into teenagers, teenagers who know more than you ever did, act all moody and sensitive, then if you react in any way, they say to each other, "Wow, what's wrong with MOM today?"...
It's freezing here this morning, well 33. That's chilly. The sun is out though, it's going to be a nice day. I'm thinking to drive Miss Sonja K. to college today, and spend the afternoon in the small city again. It's nice to be out and about, and we are running out of milk and bread, bananas, snacks for lunches. The two youngest are going five days a week now, and doing fine, but every single day, they need to pack a lunch. And every single night, there's dinner to make. I am running out of ideas, aren't we a spoiled society? I tell the kids how lucky we are that we have options, and we need to be so thankful for that.
There is so much to be thankful for. Yesterday in our church meeting, we heard about having a true Godly fear, as opposed to caring what people think. Every thought we think, every thing we do, should be done to please God. If you're caught up in the snare of doing things to please people, you won't have peace. It's really something to think about, and it's liberating. It's easy to say, "I don't care what anyone thinks." But if you're honest, after making that statement, you'll find that all day long, you do care.
Our thoughts are the rudder that steer our body through life, and we have full freedom to think whatever we like. But if we let bitter, judgmental thoughts have a home in our hearts, we will reap from that.
I have so many things I could be doing, but oh my, this is a comfy chair this fine morning!
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Shh, I ordered a new comforter for my room. It was a long, difficult decision, even though it was only $41, on sale. I don't like to buy stuff that isn't necessary, and it certainly isn't. We have plenty of blankets and comforters, but my "new" room is so nice, and I had a certain look in mind, so when I saw this...I mulled and thought, then decided to just buy it.
Isn't it pretty? It's just what I wanted, I hope it's as nice in person. This obviously isn't my bed, it's the stock photo from Kohl's. I don't have a ladder with one blanket next to my bed, that's like a recipe for disaster, I'd have all my things hanging on that ladder. It's been challenging, but I have managed to keep my room clean for months now, nary a stack of clothing on that dresser top! Nothing but what's supposed to be there, a plant, a few pictures, you know, like a normal person's dresser. I have never ever lasted this long before starting the stack...innocently, just one item, draped ever so neatly, one item which becomes the pile...
Yesterday, I did some vacuuming, cleaned the foyer, the front door, scrubbed the front porch and hosed it off, washed the deck steps, planted grass seed, washed some windows from the outside (not on a ladder, just reachable ones), then had some grandkids over...six of them! They played in the sand box on the deck, and in the water table, and of course put water IN the sand box, and got quite messy...they had to be showered off, then we cleaned up that sand and got out doll house stuff...
Today, church, then Emily and I grilled sausages and hot dogs, for the families to have when the kids were having soccer practice. We stayed around talking for several hours, then home...ah, home. Miss Char and Miss Cam have been asking to see a movie, a Korean movie, with subtitles, which is in theaters right now...well, okay, fine, you have to reserve and pay online, reserve seats because there is limited seating right now. Then Paul, bless his heart, volunteered to take them instead of me. I was so glad, I don't love those movies/shows they watch...ugh.
So home, so quiet right now...Sonja K. is doing homework, Jonathan is working on the lawn mower, and here I am, with the snoring dogs.
I made bacon and eggs, and French toast for dinner, so easy.
Jonathan and I are buying our plane tickets tonight to go to Oregon to see Kathryn, Darius, baby Achilles, and the newborn who is due in June. We are thinking to go a maybe 6 days after her due date, because last time we went out there, we had to leave when the baby was 6 hours old....I would love to be with her for the birth, but I also don't want to MISS the whole thing!
Anyway. Lots of fun stuff going on, all the time, here, yet nothing big. It's gorgeous outside, so many things blossoming and blooming, how can anyone not believe in God?
Friday, April 23, 2021
Well, I have a story, and do I tell it? It's not an exciting story, but here goes...
Last night, I stayed up and read an entire library book, The Pull of The Stars, by Emma Donaghue. The house got quiet, and because I never learn, I stayed in my comfy chair turning pages. Then I thought about some chocolate I have, some sugar free Russell Stover chocolate with almonds. Sugar free! A bar is three servings, and you know how it goes, you're turning the pages, letting that chocolate melt in your mouth, then you crunch up the almonds, then it's gone, so you reach for another, then dang it, before you know it, that bar is gone. Oh well, it's sugar free, and I rarely do such things, it won't kill me.
ha. Ha ha ha. I no sooner took my shower, got in bed, around midnight, when the rumbling in the tummy started. Oh dear. By two a.m., I was in the bathroom, and because I am partly a 12 year old boy at heart, I sat there laughing my head off, despite the pain in my poor intestines...it was like one of those cringey comedies from the eighties, the loud obnoxious potty humor. It was very loud, and very obnoxious. I could not believe that my system could hold that much air! Holy Toledo. It was painful, too, I felt like I was going to start throwing up right on the floor in front of me, but thankfully that passed, with everything else that was passing.
sorry...if that was too much. But the dang thing of it was, it was ALL MY FAULT. I googled "too much sugar free candy", and who knew? It's a thing! People purposefully over-eat the gummy bears, for the cleansing effect. Um, no thank you!
Anyway, this whole ordeal lasted and lasted, until around five o'clock, I settled into my warm comfy bed, half afraid I was so tired I would sleep through the next bout of rumbling and...never mind. It didn't happen. But when 7 o'clock rolled around, my eyes hurt when I opened them. I fell back to sleep a few times, but couldn't settle in, I knew it was morning, and had to get up with the girls before they got on the bus.
So here I am, feeling wrung out and blah, but still, it was a teeny bit funny.
I'm picking the girls up from school early today, and we're going out and about. I have to go to the department of motor vehicles to drop off a check, poor Jonathan is trying to get his "new" car on the road, and the DMV is closed, except for appointments, but they are booking at least a month away...so he had to drop everything off, all the paperwork...then he got notice that there was "suspicious" activity on his debit card, so...off we go to drop off a check. Jonathan is a bit frustrated about all of this, you should be able to just go into the DMV, wait in line, and register your car. It shouldn't be such a process, but it is. He's so anxious to just drive.his.car. He said to me this morning, "It's good we were talking about Romans 8:28 yesterday...(All things work together for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose..."). Now I just have to believe it, and work with it."
Summer is approaching, we have a few vacations booked...one camping weekend, one Airbnb long weekend in the Adirondacks, and one weekend I'm invited to go with Emily and the older girls on a long weekend. Also, I'm going to Oregon to be with Kathryn when she has baby girl, in June, and maybe to visit again in August. I also hope to get to California to visit Aaron and Riley, and am heading to Connecticut for a weekend in a few weeks. We also want to plan a visit to Virginia to see Sam and Grace...
Today, it's beautiful out. It's hard to believe that yesterday morning, we had several inches of snow.
It is indeed lovely today. Look at that sky!
Thursday, April 22, 2021
The finished pot pies...they aren't much to look at, I can't make a pie look beautiful to save my life, but oh my goodness, trust me: they were delicious!
I think tonight I'll skip making dinner, there's almost a whole pot pie left, and lots of meatballs from the night before...then tomorrow, how about pulled pork nachos?
So it's snowy, and the wind is cold, but it's still supposed to be warm and sunny on Saturday, so I think we'll survive.
Let's see, I ordered a sleeveless summer dress, with pockets, from Amazon last night...um, I swept floors, washed counters, did the last of the dishes, and put in a load of laundry this morning. I woke up at 7, and decided to go back to sleep, and lo and behold, I actually did! I usually get 6 or 7 hours of sleep and am good, but sometimes, I have horrific nights, tossing and turning, then once in a while, voila! I catch up, and wow, it's nice. I slept until eight, I'm Elsie Marley. (She's grown so fine, she lies in bed 'til eight or nine, won't get up to feed the swine...)(old nursery rhyme)
So basically, not much is going on. I am not thrilled by the news lately: the government spending money like we actually have it to spend, and NY state secretly passing ridiculous laws for businesses and employees, pushing the Excelsior Pass...mob mentality influencing decisions, the sadness and denial going on with the border crisis, the entire WOKENESS movement.
Law enforcement here in the U.S., oh dear. There are admittedly some bad apples, men and power don't mix well, historically. There needs to be better training, but no matter how well you are trained, when something awful happens, there is fear, there is adrenaline, uncertainty, and how you react will be sifted through and judged, perhaps without taking into account the self-preservation instincts that kick in when one is in a life threatening scenario.
One of my boys wanted to be a police officer. I'm glad now that he isn't one, and I pray for the officers who are upright and kind, and go above and beyond, and are held in distain by those who prefer lawlessness. Rioters seem to get away with the trashing and bashing and destruction...and it's sickening. I mean, shooting at the National Guard? That hit close to home for me, those guys are weekend warriors, regular guys who are probably still in the Guard for the health insurance.
Anyway. There is a lot going on out there, I'd rather stick my head in the sand, but somehow that doesn't feel right for me.
I am thankful though, for so many things, and I realize that the way the world is going is according to script, in the end times, these things will happen. And we know what we need to do, and that is to look up, and lift our heads...
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Jonny is the one with the "new" car. He got an excellent deal on it, it has way too many miles on it, and it needs work, but he is still as excited as can be. Today, we put insurance on it, and dropped the paperwork off at the department of motor vehicles, so it can be registered. A hundred thirty bucks to be registered, gotta love NY state.
And, pot pie...here's how I make it:
I tripled the butter crust recipe to make two double crusted pot pies, so into the food processor went 3 and 3/4 cups of flour with 3/4 teaspoon of salt, whir it a bit, then add 3 sticks of butter, sliced up a bit. Whir this until the butter is pea sized, on low, for not too long. Dump into a big mixing bowl, and add iced water, a little at a time, about 3/4 cup, but more if you need, tossing it with a fork as you go. Form 4 balls of dough, flatten, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
A 5 pound package of chicken breast, trimmed and cut into cubes, browned in a little flour and olive oil. I mixed chicken broth and a can of cream of celery soup, dumped it in with the chicken, and simmered it a while.
One bag of frozen mixed veggies, then four large potatoes, peeled and cubed, into the pot.
I should have cooled the mixture first...but I didn't.
And into the 350 oven for a while...they aren't done yet, but the house smells absolutely heavenly.
It's chilly here, remember, like a winter's day, but with spring stuff everywhere...