Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Old Pen...

Our family LOVES to go on field trips...
though we don't hit as many as I would like...
we make it to our fair share.
One that always leaves a lasting impression on kids is the Old State Penitentary.

It had been a few years since taking our family on this outing and our younger kids really didn't recall it in the least...so time to make it happen again.  Lucky for us, one of our friends planned this field trip ~ we were so happy to join in!

Quick Thought:  I'm thinking that if more "troubled kiddos" were taken to these sorts of places and were to REALLY listen to the stories, they might change their tune just a bit...just my thoughts ~ but I bet it might make a difference. 

Anyway...I feel that these experiences are so valuable. 
I love for our kids to SEE History and for them to FEEL it and BE WHERE IT REALLY HAPPENED.  So much better than only reading about it in a book...
why wouldn't you want to be there and get it all in person???

Side note:  Have you ever really thought about the word "Penitent"...
did you ever put two and two together that the word "Penitentary" comes from "penitent"...
on this field trip, I had that ah ha moment
I wonder how many of the prisoners ever feel completely penitent...
is there success in this? 
Or do they choose the adverse and remain arrogant, defensive and stubborn?
Penitent: 
Definition: (adj.) feeling or showing remorse for something; (n.) a regretful or remorseful person
Synonyms: (adj.) shamed, apologetic, regretful, remorseful, sorry, sorrowful, amending, atoning, contrite
Antonyms: (adj.) arrogant, defensive, stubborn

Following is a bit of the History of the Old Pen:  Then I'll add in my two cents and show you some fabulous photos!!!

The Old Idaho Penitentiary, also known as the Idaho Territorial Prison, was constructed in the Territory of Idaho in 1870 and lasted until 1973. The territory was less than ten years old when the prison was built east of Boise, Idaho. From its beginnings as a single cell house, the penitentiary grew to a complex of several distinctive buildings surrounded by a high sandstone wall. The stone was quarried from the nearby ridges by the resident convicts, who also completed all the later construction.
The Old Pen is operated by the Idaho State Historical Society.



The Old Idaho Penitentiary was a functioning prison for 101 years. It was built in 1870, and the first prisoners arrived in 1872. The four and a half-acre site was selected because of its proximity to the growing agricultural center in Boise and to sandstone, the material used in the construction of the penitentiary’s walls, Administration Building, and cell houses. The buildings on the site were built by inmate laborers.


In 1872, the Idaho Territorial Penitentiary officially opened. The Old Idaho Penitentiary grew from a single cell house into a complex of several buildings holding Idaho's most notorious criminals. The "Old Pen" received over 13,000 inmates with a maximum population of over 600 inmates. There were 222 women inmates, including repeat offenders.  Two famous inmates were Harry Orchard and Lyda Southard. Harry Orchard assassinated Governor Frank Steunenberg at the turn of the 19th to 20th century and Lyda Southard was known as Idaho's Lady Bluebeard for killing several of her husbands to collect upon their life insurance.
Two serious riots occurred in 1971 and 1973 over living conditions in the prison.

The federal government operated the site until statehood in 1890.
The “Old Pen”officially closed in December 1973.

There's your History Lesson for the day!  ;)

 

OUR EXPERIENCE and some of MY THOUGHTS ~

We started our morning out with a short video (very well done!)
then moved on to our guided tour of the facility.
Our Tour Guide shared many stories of the people who had been imprisoned.
She spoke of their crimes, their attempts at escape, their poor choices and the punishments that happened because of their choices.
I can't help but think that they knew exactly what would happen to them...yet chose to do awful things anyway resulting in awful consequences. 
The stories were heartbreaking to say the least, but quite eye-opening.

I have to wonder -- Is there a line where people can't see that there are consequences for their actions???
Or do they just come to a point that they do not care?
Did they ever care? 
I have to say yes, I believe we all have that in us.
So...that leads me to the sadness that I feel...
SOMETHING in their lives turned their hearts cold,
something or someone was the cause of a heart that no longer feels or cares.

I believe whole-heartedly that THEY HAVE A CHOICE to turn off the goodness within themselves. 
But that also means
they have A CHOICE to TURN ON THE GOOD
and squelch the bad! 
Just stomp it out of existence!!!
Why is it so hard to make the good, righteous choices in life? 
What makes a person choose such a bad road to walk down? 
What could turn them around? 
It is just so sad to know
how Bad and
how Mean and
how truly Awful
some people can be to others.

It was refreshing to walk outside of the cell blocks to see a little piece of beauty poking up out of the earth...needed that!



I was intrigued by the sandstone walls and the towers.
If I closed my eyes, I could so clearly imagine a guard pacing back and forth keeping watch over the inmates below...my thoughts turn to the loneliness of both the guard and the inmate.

Where is that flower picture???  I need to focus on something happy!!!

Another section of the prison that was not on our tour, but that we could not pass up seeing was the Women's Prison...


I think this sign says it all ~ girls need their Mommas to teach them to act like ladies.
Maybe, just maybe, that would have made the difference for some of these women???


We talked with our younger kids who were able to go on this tour ~ our older ones were all busy with other classes at the time, so just the three little ones were with us for this field trip.
We had a moment to "dress up"...
I asked them "make a face" at the thought of having to live in this god-forsaken place...here's what they came up with!



Yep, that pretty much sums up the way life would feel for ya if you had to spend your days in this place...Gives a new meaning to Home Sweet Home!  I think maybe they each appreciated how good life is for them after checking out the bedrooms here.


Love my pillow
Love my blankets
Love my windows (without bars!)
Love to eat yummy food
Love to be warm and comfy
Love to have those I love around me!

So glad I learned early in life that YOU should always obey the rules
Treat others well
Tell the truth
and do unto others as they would do unto you.

Hoping I've done my job and that my kids "get it" ...

Happy Field Tripping to you!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Part Tres...Yep, more yummy recipes!

I have to say that I absolutely LOVED these recipes!!!

These were in my stash of "Try Me" recipes...and they finally made it to the top when retreat time came around.

I figured what better place to give it a shot???
I was very pleased with the results of both recipes!

Lunch our first day of the Retreat consisted of a
Chicken & Pear Salad
along with a tasty side dish of
Fresh Fruit Brushetta with Orange Honey Cream Sauce.

Chicken & Pear Salad
Grill 4 - 6 chicken breasts to perfection
then slice into bite size pieces.
Toast 3 Tbsp sesame seeds over medium heat...I like to add just a couple tsp butter and toast until browned and crunchy.
Slice and chunk 4 - 6 pears to nice size pieces.
Shred 4 - 6 cups cabbage

Toss all of this in to a nice bowl and mix together...

I have a couple of dressings that could be used, but found that using a generous amount of a vinaigrette was so perfect and tasty.  (My all time favorite ~ Olive Garden's dressing...makes my mouth water just thinking about it!)

Scoop evenly onto plates.

Serve with this delicious side:
Fresh Fruit Brushetta with Orange Honey Cream Sauce

1 baguette or similar sized french bread loaf
4 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 C diced strawberries (about 10 medium strawberries)
1 C finely diced mango (about 1 medium mango)
1 C finely diced kiwi (about 3 kiwi)
1/2 C Sour Cream
3 Tbsp honey
1 tsp orange zest
1/4 C Orange Juice (if desired...
this will thin the sauce making it easier to drizzle and it adds a little extra flavor...
so if you are asking, I say YES, use it!)

(do you all know what orange zest is and how you get it???)
I remember the first time a recipe called for it and I hadn't the foggiest idea what they heck they were talking about...don't want that happening to anyone here...it is so simple, I had to actually laugh at myself.  AND there is the funnest little kitchen tool to obtain the zest and YOU WILL WANT ONE...I LOVE MINE!)  Just grab your orange (my picture is of a lemon cause I am forever using lemons, but you get the idea) and rub the orange/lemon over the zester...the underside will hold all the delicious zest...it is amazing just how much flavor you will gain from the zest. 
Zesting Lesson now complete...
Preheat oven to 400 and slice bread into 1/2" slices.  Place in a single layer on baking sheet and brush melted butter with a pastry brush.  Combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle evenly over bread slices.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are toasted nicely.
Set aside to cool.
Combine sour cream, honey and orange zest...stir and refrigerate.
Combine fruit and stir gently.
When bread is cooled, place a generous spoon full of fruit mixture on top of each slice.
Pull out the orange honey cream sauce and add the 1/4 C Orange Juice and drizzle away over each slice of deliciousness.
Garnish with mint leaves if desired and serve immediately.

Such a delicious lunch!!!  And quite filling, as well.  :0)
I hope you love it as much I do...
Happy Lunching to you!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Parties...

My little ones are having so much fun...
last night they had a party at Grandma's with all the cousins ~
Halloween Paradise!!!





Then today, our neighborhood Halloween Party ~
I guess there are some great perks to living in a subdivision.  ;)



It is a little on the chilly side today, but it is not stopping the fun from happening.
Fill up on a bowl of warm chili and then come in for a few minutes to down some tasty hot cocoa and they are back at it!!!

Right out my front door all the fun is happening!

Just love this tree!!!  :0)

Jump houses

Face Painting Stations














Chili and more chili and more chili
Cookie Decorating
Pumpkin Decorating
Popcorn Hands (darling!)
A few games for them to try...
And for those BRAVE enough...a spook alley to walk down!

So much fun!!!

I love this time of year with the colors of the leaves changing...
The leaves on my lawn make me smile...
and the need to warm up by the fire and enjoy a little cocoa is charming.

Happy Fall to y'all!  ;)

Halloween Cupcake Fun!

While I was in McCall, I learned a couple new tricks for cupcake decorating...

I just HAD to share the fun with my kiddos!
Check out our fun creations!!!

This morning, right after breakfast, we started in on baking the cupcakes, then making a super delicious salted carmel filling, followed up by scrumptious carmel butter cream frosting.  All of this required some serious patience...this does not flow freely through my home, but we survived!

We baked...
then cooled...
then poked holes in the center of the cupcakes...
We stirred the carmel mixture...
and we stirred...
and we stirred....
and we waited until it finally reached 360 degrees...
and then we stirred a little more...
We added caramel sauce into the cupcakes...
then added a little more...
We sampled ~ just to make sure it was all yummy enough...
it was, so we sampled again....
Then we made the frosting...
and we laughed...
the powdered sugar went flying...
so we added more...
and a little more....
and finally a smidge more...
It was finally ready...
spooned it into our trusty little bags...
but forgot to put the little tip in...
so we emptied that little bag out...
and gave it another shot...
Remember, the patience part...
Deep breaths...  :0)

Now back to business...
tip in....
frosting in....
bag end twisted up...
ready, set, frost!

Oh, no...you can't lick the end of the frosting...
or your fingers...
nope not even your thumb that you promise won't touch anything...
go wash up again. 
Love you, sweet little children...

Oh, the frosting was a hit...
I'm fairly certain there was more frosting than cupcake...

Then came the fun...
Well, more fun...we've already been deep in the fun world!
But this was a new kind of fun they've never experienced...
Spider Webs made from melty chocolate....

We made so many...
again, we had to do a little sampling
just to make sure they were tasty enough.

What a fun morning!!!
And so tasty...everything was even gluten free,
so delish you would never believe it!
I'd have to say we have mastered this whole gluten free baking world ~ Yippee!!!!

The kids loved it and so did I!
At this rate, my scale and I may never be the best of friends!
But my kids and I will be and that's so much more fun!!!









Friday, October 26, 2012

Recipes...Part Dos

Alrighty...
ready for some more delish recipes???

This is another super, duper easy one, but it tastes so fantastic!
This one is high on my list for perfecting in a gluten free sort of way...I'll keep you posted and let you know when I've mastered it!

Raspberry Souffle'
(or Triple Berry Souffle' if you prefer)


This recipe will make one large baking dish worth.

6 butter croissants -- tear into bite size pieces  (the ones from Costco work perfectly!)
2 - 8 oz cream cheese blocks, softened
Frozen or fresh raspberries or triple berries (I usually go with a bag of frozen because of the cost difference)

Layer the croissants on the bottom, dollop cream cheese on top of croissants, then add berries over top.
Set aside.

Mix together:
10 eggs
2 C Milk or Half/Half 
(I love to use coconut milk with a vanilla base...so yummy!)
1/3 C Maple Syrup

Mix well and pour over top of croissants and berries.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes covered,
then uncover and cook an additional 30 minutes.

While baking ~ prepare sauce.

1 C Sugar
1 C Water
Bring to boil
add 1 Tbsp Corn Starch
Stir constantly until it thickens
add 1 C berries and 1 Tbsp butter
Berries can be mashed a little with your spoon or left whole ~ I prefer to mash just a bit as I continue stirring.

Easy Schmeezy!!!
Pull the souffle' out of the oven,
slice and plate
drizzle a little sauce over top ~
smile and enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I love to serve the souffle' with quiche...
Just gotta have some fabulous protein in the morning!

A couple of my favorite recipes for quiche are below.

Veggie Quiche
Just thinking about this one makes my mouth water!!!

I have chosen to do quiche without a crust...if you prefer crust, simply layer a crust on the bottom before proceeding (no need to cook first)

I finely chop all the veggies I have in my fridge for this...
I love to add in red peppers, onion, broccoli, green chilies, tomatoes...you name it, if you love the veggie add it in...
after chopping, I throw it all in a pan and saute away in just a smidge of butter.

While the veggies are busy cooking away,
grab out your eggs, shredded cheese (any flavor you enjoy will do), milk or cream or half and half.
Crack 8-10 eggs, add in 2 C milk and 1 C cheese...mix well.  Add in a pinch or two of salt and pepper to your liking.  I also like to add just a shake or three of dried onion flakes ~ these give a really nice flavor while cooking.

In a large baking dish, spoon the sauteed veggies into the bottom of the pan and cover with egg mixture.
Add a nice layer of cheese to the top, cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour...test with a toothpick.  Feel free to bake uncovered for a few minutes to brown the cheese, if desired.


Ham and Cheese
or Turkey and Cheese Quiche

My kids eat this one up!!!

I like to saute my ham just as I do my veggies...
chop into small pieces and cook up.

Add the same ingredients as above.

Cook just the same way for just the same amount of time.

So, so yummy!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Debunking homeschooling myths, and overcoming the defeatist things we tell ourselves


Ooohhh…that’s a biggie!!!

There are so many things to choose from, but I will focus on the one that stands out most in my mind: I can honestly say that the very biggest, most terrifying myth that I’ve told myself as a homeschooling mom--the one that would keep me awake at night--was the defeatist thought of ruining my kids for life!!!
“What IF they don’t get all that they need?
What IF I hold them back in some way?
What IF I ruin them?
What IF they can’t handle socializing outside of the walls of my home?
What IF I totally screw them up???”
I don’t really care all that much about what anyone else thinks of our decision to home school . . .
they have the right to their opinion,
but it doesn’t have to ruin my day.
However, the thought of ruining my kids . . . now that would be a very bad day!

I am here to tell you that I have not done it all right; we have had some pretty lousy years.
On the other hand, we have also had some mighty outstanding years (hooray!).
We did not begin each and every day with the most fabulous of devotionals--
I just did my best.
We did not always get to “My Plan” for the day . . . truth be told, most often we did not.
BUT I am going to say I’d like to pat myself on the back, because I didn’t let “My Plan” come before watching and paying attention to what my kids most needed. I would observe them in an effort to really see with my eyes and my heart where they were, how they were feeling, if they were “getting it” or if we were just going through the motions in an effort to simply earn another check mark on the list.

It really isn’t about how great we are as educators or how many lessons we can say we’ve accomplished on any given day . . .

It is so much more about how well we see our kids’ needs, their strengths, their weaknesses, their gifts and their talents.
It is also about knockin’ out the myths they tell themselves.
It is about being a cheerleader for your kiddos and letting them know YOU BELIEVE IN THEM . . . it is about picking them back up when they feel defeated and starting over again --together.

Now that I have two daughters that have graduated and moved past their days at home under my “instruction,” I can see that I didn’t screw them up at all.
They are far from ruined . . .
they are beautiful inside and out.
The characters they possess and the countenance they carry with them and share with others shines and brings a smile to my face. They have confidence in who they are and in just how fabulous they are. They know that nothing in this world is too big for them to tackle if they have the desire!

On days that I look at all the kiddos still in my home and go back to the “What ifs” that leave me feeling defeated and weary, I try to remind myself of just how much I love the people our girls have turned out to be . . . that gives me all the strength I need.
I didn’t do anything that YOU and every other parent in this world can’t also do . . .
I just loved them with all of my heart and gave them ALL that I could possibly give.
I believed in them
and I enjoyed my time with them.
I laughed with them
and learned with them
and cried with them
and shared my thoughts when I was afraid I was not doing all they needed.
Together,
we always worked through knocking down those nasty myths and defeatist thoughts.
I am so grateful to say I would be thrilled to shout from the rooftops
(if only I could climb on top of one)
that I know there is
no kid-ruining going on here . . .
there is only magnificent refining happening day in and day out.

I would add that one day these kids of mine will do amazing things . . . they will become amazing mothers and fathers, they will become the mentors and leaders that will change this world, they will become all that they dream of because they know that the only thing holding them back could be fear, and they are bigger than fear any day of the week!

How’s that for knocking down some silly ol’ myth???
We’ve got this if we only believe in ourselves and Look Up for help when we need it most.

Wishing you a BOOtiful October!!
(DHSA President's Message for October)

Recipes...Part Uno

It took me a few days to think about food...
or anything that might have the slightest connection to food...
dishes
dishwashers
ovens
knives
wooden spoons
mixers
measuring cups/spoons
even my newest addition to my kitchen, my handy-dandy lemon zester, was banned from my thoughts!

BUT TODAY
I AM A
NEW 
WOMAN!!!
Refreshed and ready to go...bring on the lemon zester.  ;)

I was pampered
and cooked for
and cleaned up after
by my truly amazing and patient husband and kiddos.

Doesn't seem quite fair to this wonderful family of mine,
but I am so grateful they gave me my own little RE-TREAT time
after coming home from retreating and cooking in McCall.

I felt a tad bit of guilt,
okay a whole lot of guilt...

While I prepared yummy food for 18 special ladies for several days,
my hubby and kiddos dined on McDonald's, quesadillas, sandwiches and cold cereal.
I've taught them to cook, BUT???
I don't know, maybe they were too busy missing me to cook for themselves?

I am pleased to report that they are mighty happy I am back to me
and ready to tackle the kitchen and all that comes with it!
I'm even ready to start some new recipes...
can't wait to give them a shot!!!

BUT FOR NOW...
I promised to share the recipes that I prepared while at the retreat ~

I'll start with the Tortilla Soup ~ since I've received several requests for it since I've been home.

This is one of my favorite quick things to make,
I love that I can throw it all in the crock pot and walk away...
it can cook all day long or for just long enough to heat it through. 
(Note:  I do think it is much tastier the longer it cooks, the hominy softens and all the flavors blend so perfectly together)
So super easy and perfect for a cool day...
and the best part of all is that EVERY ONE of my kids LOVE IT!!! 
Hooray for me,
that is a rare occurrence with a bunch of finicky eaters!

I love to saute a small onion and a couple of garlic cloves and throw it in my crock pot...
if I am choosing to make it a Chicken Tortilla soup,
I saute the chicken with the onion and garlic to add some extra yummy flavor
(a couple chicken breasts chopped will do nicely)
Throw in a couple cans of Green (Verde) Enchilada Sauce
2 -3 cans black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 can corn (drained)
1 can hominy (drained)
2 cans MILD green chilies (chopped)
Add Cumin to taste...I would suggest at least 1 Tbsp, 2 would be better.  :0)
Finely chop a bundle of cilantro and toss it in.
(Optional:  Toss in a can of diced tomatoes...I wish I could, but those finicky eaters of mine would turn up their noses, so I go without!...Darn kids, anyway!)

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream
along with a side of tortilla chips.
OR
if you are feeling extra fancy,
whip up some delicious cornbread with a little honey butter as a side!

I have a couple of super yummy cornbread recipes...if you'd like to give one a try, give me a hollar and I'll share with you.  :0)

Stay tuned for the next recipes ~ must run now...my kitchen and hungry children are calling!



A little reTREATing...

I had the pleasure of cooking for a crafting retreat this past week...

Most people would not look at this as a pleasure
or even as an opportunity, some might even go as far as referring to such a thing as no less than a nightmare...

Not me...I saw it as an absolute privilege
and I can't help but smile each time I think about the wonderful ladies I was able to share my kind of love with...
Cooking is LOVE made visible!



And although it completely kicked my buns
(thanks to this darn vertigo that is still hangin' around trying to be my best friend)
I wouldn't trade it for anything...the blessings are so many!
I now have this very special group of ladies that I can call "my friends"...
It was so nice to connect with each of these women, they were each so beautiful in their own special way! 
I absolutely LOVED watching the amazing gifts they have each been blessed with...such talent!

I loved the conversations I had with so many...
I loved the campfire moments...
I'll never look at a root beer again without having the need to break out in song!
Wait, give me just a moment...
...sing along with me ~ you can do it, just sing it to the tune of "Do-re-me"...

Do (Dough) – The stuff that buys me root beer, Re (Ray) – The guy who pours my root beer,
Mi (Me) – The gal who drinks my root beer,Fa – A long way to the johnnnnnnn, So – Let’s have another root beer, La – Let’s have another root beer, Ti (Tea) – No thanks, I’m having root beer,
That’s why I have no dough, dough, dough, dough.
One of the many songs we sang around this campfire, which brings me to another thing I loved...


I loved that I was able to start the campfire ALL BY MYSELF!!!  WOO HOO...
No hubby or boys around to make it happen for me...
I was determined I would not go without a fire and my determination won!
(Side note:  My sweet man did chop all the wood and kindling for me, but I was the one with the stacking ability!)
Check it out!!!  Ragin', huh???  Such a proud moment!

I loved the smiles and the laughter...
I loved the singing and the craziness...

I loved playing Bingo and attempting to watch a movie ~
(Unfortunately, I was also the "Audio/Visual Person"...I failed miserably in this position!)  SO needless to say, the movie did not happen, but some great visiting and creative time took its place.

I loved our photo moments outside in the rain...
I loved the smoke billowing out of the fireplace INSIDE...

(that was ALMOST a Fail on my part,
 but it all turned out okay and brought a yummy outdoor sort of smell right inside with us!) ;)

I loved the treasures that I found laying outside...
(came home with an entire bag full, yippee for me!!!)
I loved the creativity of all the ladies...
one of the fun ones that I plan to do with my kiddos was made by Brenda...she was adorable...and most of all I loved her use of the treasures outside to create her little goodies...take a look!

How perfect are those for this time of year???
Adding those to my list to do for Thanksgiving, so adorable!

I loved the cute little name tag I wore...

Nice job, Corrie...these were adorable!

I loved the stars and the moon and the beautiful deer...
I loved showing how to do a little project...soldering ~ I warned everyone to begin with that I was not a "pro" at this ~ but if I say so myself, the little trinkets they went home with turned out quite adorable!!!  Happy Moment!  :0)


I loved the smell of the campfire...
I loved the crisp morning air...
I loved cooking on the grill and having it turn out so delish!!!
Usually grills and I are not best friends...but this grill was oh-so-nice!
 

And I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the kitchen I called my own for the week...check it out!
Yeah, it was pretty dreamy!!!


And I also loved the sweet new apron that Corrie made me for the week.
It doesn't take too much to convince me to help out...make me something cute and I'm there!  :0)

When I was preparing to head to McCall for this little adventure, I did not believe I would find a single moment to do anything "creative"...

I am pleased to say that I was creative almost every moment I was there!!!
I just didn't create the amazing quilts that all the other ladies were so lovingly making with their hands...
maybe...
someday...
 (daydreaming moment...okay, I'm done!)

My creations were a bit different ~
I was able to CREATE beautiful, tasty meals...
my goal was to pamper these special women,
to help them to enjoy their time away,
to give them a break from the world they live in day in and day out...
I wanted their taste buds to be havin' a party each and every time they put a morsel in their mouths....

I fretted just a smidge that I might not be able to pull it all off...
I slept very little before the big event and even less while we were there.
I had nightmares that I would oversleep and everyone would starve to death before I could have breakfast prepared. 
I worried that all the dishes I was preparing would not be done at the same time and that by the time I was able to "plate" it all...half of it would be cold or worse yet, something would be raw and yucky.

I must admit there were a few "oopsies",
but I have to say I walked away from this weekend feeling a little happier with me...
I pulled it off.
I was able to handle what my dear friend, Corrie, had asked of me...
I wanted to make her shine
I didn't want her to have to worry about the food, I so desperately wanted it to turn out yummy and beautiful and satisfying...
I wanted everything to go off without a single problem...
I wanted to share what I could with a group of women that I had never met and have them leave knowing that I loved and adored the moments I had with them.
What I left with was a love for each of them,
and memories that will last a lifetime.
They shared themselves with me and I feel so grateful for the time I had in that amazing lodge in McCall...
Life is funny...
Life is beautiful...
and life is full of moments to be creative in our very own special ways!







Friday, October 12, 2012

Shall I...

Trying to decide what to do...

Shall I hang some festive decor with my kiddos?
Shall I do a little reading?
Shall I clean up the kitchen and prepare some MORE food?
I'm thinking this family needs to eat wayyyy too often...

Shall I hang up some vinyl lettering on my walls?
Shall I hang up clothes...
that's what I should do,
but hanging vinyl sounds like so much more fun!
That's another thing I think this family does too much of...
wearing clothes and then getting them dirty!
But I guess I'd prefer they didn't walk about in a naked sort of way, so I probably better sneak in a little laundry.

Back to my "Shall I's"...
Shall I go outside and enjoy the sunshiny weather?
Shall I watch a talk from General Conference?
Shall I work on the super fun project I am showing next week at a retreat?
Shall I finish preparing the menu of yummy food for the retreat next week?

or shall I just sit on my big ol' hiney and hang out doing nothin' at all???

It has been a busy week and I think I'm a bit tuckered...
The good news is that I am doing a little more and a little more each day
and I seem to be able to stay up a little longer and a little longer day after day.

The silly dizziness continues ~ but it could be worse!
I choose to look at it as
my very own FREE amusement park...
filled with all the crazy rides
my heart could ever desire
AND MORE!
Who else can go on a roller coaster ride several times a day?
Who else has butterflies just like the ones you experience on the huge Ferris wheel while simply riding in the passenger seat of the car?
Who else feels like they are hangin' out on the tilt-a-whirl when it's at it's twirly best?

Yep...that's my life! 

A little earlier today, I brought the ladder out of the garage because I wanted to hang a few Halloween decorations up on the front of the house...my little girls promptly came to my rescue,
"NO MOM,
DADDY  WOULD  BE  REALLY MAD
IF YOU CLIMB UP THERE...
YOU MIGHT GET VERTIGO UP THERE,
LET US DO IT!" 

Pfftt...NO WAY!!!
Two little girls on a BIG ladder = one major disaster!
I think I am the better of the two choices, but with my luck the tornado (in my head) would come on with a vengeance and I would likely have a great fall just as our little friend, Humpty Dumpty did.  And I'm quite certain all the kings horses and all the kings men would not be a bit happy with me as they tried to put me back together...


So the ladder sits
until someone BIG and CAPABLE comes along.  :0)

Speaking of BIG and CAPABLE...
the reason this crazy time is do-able, or at least kind of okay in my book...
is because of my hubby and big kids who just keep giving and giving,
I should also say my little ones, cause they are mighty outstanding, too!

And I have THE VERY BEST FRIENDS in the world!!!

If I have a need, there is ALWAYS someone right there willing to help out or to give me a wonderful phone call just when I need it most...I am one lucky girl!
Thank YOU...YOU each mean the world to me!!!

Well, I'm thinking it's time to get off my duff and do something...
Still not sure What I Shall Do...
but I am certain it Shall be Great,
cause I've got some great kiddos waiting for me to come play!!!
So I guess I've answered my own question ~
I shall go play!  :0)
Sounds like the perfect thing to do on this sunny Friday afternoon!