Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Site I ran across today

Well, when I should've been resting today and trying to recover a bit from whatever this is that I have that is making me feel run down and feverish, I ran across a site that looks promising and the blog that goes along with it.

The site is: home

I haven't looked it over very much yet, so I hope all is well on it.

What caught my attention just now was the link to the "blog" and a post the lady put on there which was actually a letter she received from her mother regarding the upcoming holidays. What a gooooood reminder for those of us who always want to "make things perfect" - (clearing my throat). I am one of those who wants to try to clean the house up just right, etc. etc. etc. and with 4 cyclones, I mean, children here all day every day it just never happens like I want it to, so this was a good reminder for me :) Enjoy!

I received the following email from my mother:

Dear Duncan and Malia,

I know that having us there on holidays takes some planning and I thank you for all you do. Hopefully, the time spent with Grandma and Granddad will become part of the "good old days" for the kids. And for us (Grandma and Granddad) they are truly the golden days right now. You make that possible. What a blessing it is for both generations. As a Son or Daughter who is also a Mom or Dad you are a link between those two generations - the bond of love that connects sthe history of your parent's life with the incredible potential of your children. These gifts shared during the holidays and any day we come to visit will be enjoyed by us and hopefully treasured by your children for many years to come.

So looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas with you and the wonderful grandchildren.

With love,

Grandma and Granddad

Now isn't that sweet? Let this be a reminder that it is not about your house, your homemaking skills, your cooking, your linens, or whether you have that perfect guest bedroom (we don't). Holidays are about nurturing relationships.

Malia Russell, director

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Testing 1...2...3

Ok, so this blogarithm thing (which was SUPPOSED to make things simpler) is instead taking up a lot of my time as I try to figure out why it's not doing what it's supposed to do.

Excuse me whilst I scream.

Ok, I'm back. So, this is a test. This is only a test. Designed to see if I get a notice that I've updated the blog. La la la. Only a test.

...we'll be back.


I think I'm getting old. Are you? Do you look over and see KIDS driving cars and think they look WAY too young to be driving? Do you go to a fast food place at 1:15 and see the carhops working there and wonder why they aren't in school in the middle of the day?

Anyway, I guess I'm getting old.

Apparently memory loss is part of it too. Last night I sat down on the couch and noticed the sound of the dishwasher and couldnt' for the life of me remember putting soap in the dishwasher nor could I remember actually turning it on after I loaded it.

If I am truly losing my mind, y'all pray for me. I hope it's just due to tiredness and a touch of a cold I seem to have. Maybe if I just would get to bed earlier....

Monday, October 29, 2007

Follow-up to Communion article

I don't normally do this sort of thing, but I felt impressed to write to the columnist and thank him for his respectful article. He replied w/in the hour:

Thanks for reading my column. It was a privilege to write because of the experience of sitting in on the service and then talking with some of the good people who are a part of the church. I've receive(d) much response from people of all faiths. Jim Jones

Makes me wonder what other articles he's written :)


This past weekend, we attended the annual communion meeting at Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church in Madisonville, TX (where we are members, well, all but Mr. Baby, that is :) ) and had a wonderful blessed meeting. Services began Saturday morning - preaching by Van Quick and eld. Pat Young. Saturday afternoon - preaching by eld. Chris Blevins and eld. Tommy Hart. Sunday morning - preaching by eld. Chris Blevins and eld. Lindsey Blevins. After services and lunch, we entered into communion. Our pastor, Lindsey Blevins asked eld. AnthonyBlevins to take the footwashing part of the service, eld. Chris Blevins to speak on the bread and eld. Lindsey Blevins spoke on the wine. It was a beautiful communion service. This was our eldest 3 children's first communion service to participate in since joining the church this past summer. They have witnessed many in their young lives - always sitting on the front row to observe. It was a wonderful blessing to wash my little girls' feet and to have Miss E wash mine, Miss A wash her Granny's and Mr. E to wash his Daddy's and his Granddaddy's, as well as his uncle's. Such a blessing to see the little ones in the church. If you're ever down Madisonville way, I know the saints there would love to have you visit.

Here is a picture of some of the ministers who attended the meeting:

Back row: (eld. Stumball, eld. Lindsey Blevins, eld. Chris Blevins)
Front row: (eld. Jeff Moseley, Van Quick, eld. Tommy Hart, eld. Pat Young, eld. Ron Smith)
not pictured: eld. Anthony Blevins

Also, when we arrived home last night, there was an email in my inbox sharing an article from the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. The topic? Footwashing! Please take a moment to read it if you can:

I've copied it in below in case that's easier for some:

In His Footsteps

Jesus once told his followers to wash one another's feet, and modern adherents say it is a humbling experience

By Jim Jones / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Foot-washing is a symbolic act of love and humility that many believe was ordained by Jesus on the night before he was crucified.

He took off his robe, girt himself with a towel and washed his disciples' feet, according to John 13. He told the disciples to follow his example and wash others' feet.

I first heard of foot-washing years ago when I lived down the street from a Primitive Baptist church in my hometown of Bowie. My dad told me these were "foot-washing" Baptists. I was intrigued by the idea of grown-ups going into their church, taking off their shoes and socks, and washing one another's feet.

I later came to learn that this humbling act of servanthood reaches deep into the heart of the Christian faith. A growing number of Christians in other denominations are starting to embrace it.

On a recent Sunday I had the privilege of witnessing a foot-washing service for the first time. It was held at the Indian Oaks Primitive Baptist Church in Lake Worth.

Males were on one side; females on the other. About 60 men, women and children seated in a circle took turns kneeling before small basins of water and washing one another's feet.

It was a moving experience just to observe the event, which was a part of the church's twice-a-year celebration of Communion.. Coincidentally, one of the men leading prayers during the service, Elder Frank Baker, 84, once was pastor of the Primitive Baptist in Bowie that I remember so well.

Love in action

Elder Larry Webb, pastor of the church, told the congregation that the service was about love.

"This is a time when we can show our love, not only for the Lord, but for one another," he said. "But if it stops here, it's all for naught," emphasizing that Jesus urged followers to go out and serve fellow human beings.

In an interview, Webb said that washing someone's feet is a sacred act that can change a person's life.

"My heart hurts for those who don't get to experience this," he said.

Webb's father and grandfather were Primitive Baptist preachers. His grandfather, the late Elder James Albert Webb, celebrated his 100th birthday by preaching a sermon at the Fireside Primitive Baptist Church in Dallas.

Broader popularity

Today a few denominations besides Primitive Baptists -- the Church of God, Cleveland, Tenn.; , Seventh-Day Adventists and some other conservative groups -- include foot washing as a regular church practice.

It also is practiced on Maundy Thursday, an Easter week event commemorating the Last Supper, in many Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches and in a number of United Methodist, Episcopalian and Lutheran churches. Some pastors and bishops use the foot-washing rite when they ordain ministers to emphasize the servant leadership role.

The growing popularity of foot washing goes along with a search for more tangible and meaningful spiritual practice, John Thomas Christopher told the Washington Post. "You can sanitize baptism and the Eucharist, but it's pretty hard to sanitize feet," said Christopher, author and professor at the Church of God Theological Seminary in Cleveland, Tenn.

United Methodists at their 1992 general convention sanctioned foot-washing, and that led to several congregations initiating the practice, including Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas, which has a foot-washing service on Maundy Thursday.

"It certainly is a humbling experience," said the Rev. Stephen Swisher, chief operating officer and executive pastor of Lovers Lane.

Primitive Baptists

Origin: Primitive Baptists, meaning "original" Baptists, trace their beginnings to Jesus' time and birth of the Christian church. In 1832, many Baptists who believed in missionary projects split with "Old School" Baptists, later called Primitive Baptists.

Membership: Estimated 126,000 members in 3,000 churches -- including about 20 in North Central Texas -- although there is no accurate count.

Beliefs and practices

Seek to neither add nor detract from New Testament church practices.

Most don't use musical instruments in worship.

Most don't have Sunday schools.

Most ministers are self-taught and don't rely on seminaries.

Feet washing is taught as a command of Jesus in most congregations.

Most use real wine, not grape juice, during Communion.

Believe that God, before the foundation of the world, chose a definite number who would be saved and that salvation is eternal.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Easier way to know when the blog is updated!

Ok, so it's kind of a pain to just keep checking people's blogs every day/week/whatever to see if maybe they've updated thing, right? No? Well, you must have a ton of time on your hands! But, for the rest of us busy folks, it just might be! So, now, you can just sign up over there on the right, at the top....yes, there! Enter your email address and you SHOULD get an email telling you I've updated the blog when I actually do update the blog! Fun, huh? Everyone should have this on their blog, don'tcha think? (thanks Angela, I saw it on yours and remembered how wonderful it is to have this! I just haven't had a lot of time for blog design/formatting yet!)

Where does the time go? Yes, yes, I know, if I'd just quit eating bon bons and lounging on the couch all day, I might have some time, right? Ha ha ha!!!

So, go, NOW, sign up! Make things easier! And, if you don't feel like it's working, let me know and I'll get my computer guru husband to help me figure it out!


Oh yes! And the new blog design...while I like it colorwise, etc., I don't like how it's making the text hard to read, so I will be changing it at some point...when the bon bons run out perhaps...until then, bear with me :)

The Grocery Game

Well, I bought the biggie paper (2 bundled together) for the past 2 Sundays in anticipation of actually giving this "grocery game" a try. Today, I signed up for the trial. They have my $1 and Wal-mart has my $4 for the 2 sets of papers. Now, it's time to save big, right?

So far, I'm $5 in the hole. We'll see how it goes. I have to admit I'm a SuperWalmart/SuperTarget sort of gal. If the store doesn't have the monster carts that fit 10 children, then I don't enter the doors, so that limits my options. I'm wary of this grocery game, I'm afraid it's going to be the stressful timesucking game, but we'll see.

I'll keep you updated!

If you want to try it out, let me know and I'd love to send you a referral ;) so, in case this actually works for us, I might get a free week or two!


Highchair Hostage and other H's

Yesterday, I needed to get some cooking/baking done for the meeting at Fellowship PBC (Madisonville, TX) this weekend and as you may know, we have a 1.5 year old. Well, he cannot be trusted on his own pretty much anywhere in the house, except maybe in his crib...even there I'm starting to wonder if he'll be the one that tries to climb out - sigh - anyway, so I set said baby in his highchair to witness my culinary technique. He was not impressed. Every little thing I gave him to entertain him was tossed to the floor w/glee in a matter of moments. I found a short respite by giving him some plastic animal toys I found at the $1 section at Target recently and managed to finish up a few things. guessed by one they met their doom, tossed to the floor by the Highchair Hostage! Much more squawking ensued afterward which was answered by a trip to his bedroom for a much needed nap!

Do you have a highchair hostage? Baby jail? A tot you can't trust alone for more than a nanosecond w/o worrying what on earth he/she is getting into in the ill-fated silence you hear (or don't hear...)? These times will pass, to be sure, but for now, my highchair hostage will have to understand that on occasion mama actually has to get a few things done and not worry what disaster he might be creating in the next room :)

Ah yes, and the other H's....yesterday on the way home we spotted Halloween lights - ha ha - and Halloween trees. Some people decorate for everything! We later talked about maybe actually putting Christmas lights up this year to which I replied that I'd rather put them up inside the house so we could enjoy them ;) We'll see....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Snow day!

Monday was a snow day....well, not really, but it sure LOOKED like it would snow any minute! I got up and peered out the window on my way to get Mr. Baby from his crib and it was gray, misty and COOOOOOL out! Yay! FALL IS HERE! FALL IS HERE! (imagine the groundhog from Bambi!)

Anyway, everyone else was up pretty soon thereafter and having breakfast whereupon the head of the household proclaimed we take the day off and get out of the house - we're weird that way - gloomy/rainy weather and we like to get out sometimes :) Other times we do like to stay in by a nice fire, but we'll get to that later!

So, we finished breakfast and headed the car whereupon we had to decide where to go...I suggested Turner Falls since I had been hoping to get up there and see some fall color on the trees around the Falls, CKB agreed and off we went. The drive up was nice and peaceful - the children happily engaged in a movie in the back of the van, CKB and I talking some, listening to the movie some and just enjoying all being together and the cool weather which for a change did not require blasting the a/c so high we couldn't hear the movie :)

We arrived at the Turner Falls area and there is a spot to pull off and see the Falls from a nice high vantage point - I had prepared myself that there might not be much color, if any, and it was a good thing because there wasn't you can see. Oh well. We decided we wouldn't pay admission to enter the park since it was rather windy and downright
chilly and silly me didn't wear any sort of jacket. So, we decided to go and see what the town of Davis, OK was like since we hadn't ever done that. We headed off and ended up turning down a road that touted the Arbuckle Wilderness in its direction...we found it and I think we were the only people around that day - we opted to continue on the same road and went for miles and miles and miles without a single sign to indicate what road we actually were on....we laughed and said we were having an adventure to be sure! FINALLY, we
reached civilization again and found we
had been on highway 110 all that time
heading south and ended up at Davis
after all, who knew! We headed east to
Sulphur after seeing signs for the Chickasaw National Recreation Area (I've mentioned it before and said we had hoped to go there again some day....well, this turned out to be the day!).

Upon entering the town of Sulphur, we saw a sign welcoming us from the Sulphur Primitive Baptist Church and proclaiming it to be just a bit farther on, so we detoured to see where it was and then headed on toward Chickasaw again.

We made it there after a short stop at the information area for a map. I had hesitated in the decision to go because I was thinking we ought to get home, but I'm SO glad we went on instead because it was so beautiful - trees everywhere, a lovely creek and have I mentioned the crisp, cool weather?

We drove through w/the windows down and enjoyed the beauty of God's creation. (and yes, we turned off the movie while we were driving through ;) ) Toward the end of the perimeter drive, we stopped to get out and find "Little Niagara" - we all enjoyed that - I took a few pics and then the battery on my camera died! Ack!!! Oh well, good reason to go back again as soon as we can!

We had a nice drive home coming through Gene Autry, OK, stopping by the museum (which was closed) and then back over to the main highway to pick up dinner to eat on the drive home.

Back at the homefront, CKB built a fire in the fireplace and we relaxed a little while longer before the children's bedtime (and ours!).

If you have an opportunity to take the day off sometime, DO IT! The next day we doubled up on some schoolwork and had a quiet day at home! Hope you enjoy the pics! I would've taken more, but there was the whole battery thing - ugh (and yes, I had a backup battery, but helps to make sure to CHARGE the backup too - ugh)


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Homeschool Humor

I ran across this today whilst the rest of the household had an afternoon nap :) There is alot of humor and some truth in this! (no, we don't do school in our pjs....but we could if we REALLY wanted to, I suppose ;) )

(click on the image/cartoon to see a larger view that you can actually read!)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Late nights...

Do you have these too? When you needed to run a few errands and as a result the children get to bed later, so you stay up later in order to have a little time to do some things you want/need/etc. to do? This makes night #2 of staying up 'til midnight - eek - after a trip to the pumpkin patch today and dinner at El Chico, it was a great afternoon/evening. Hopefully I can post some pics soon....well, as soon as I actually transfer them to the computer and look at them, that is!

Stay tuned.....I'm still trying to play catch-up! This weekend, Lord willing, we'll attend part of the meeting at Dixie PBC up in Whitesboro. We're looking forward to it - please pray for the meeting!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another little blog tidbit

Any time you want to see a picture from the blog in a larger size, just click on it! It SHOULD open up in a much larger format so you can see our little sweeties' faces more clearly...or find Wickham! Ha ha ha :) Then, when you're done admiring their adorableness, just back up using your browser and you'll be back at the blog page!


Preparing for Winter!

Something we didn't have to really do for the past 7 years is to prepare for wintry weather and we're loving it! We have already had quite a few fires in the fireplace thus far and plan to have many more!

Now, on to preparations - coats! Last year was the FIRST year we really needed true winter coats for the children so we bought all 4 a nice coat and I'm thankful to say that all but one of the children will be able to wear that same coat again this year. Mr. Baby needed a new one, but then, those babies have to grow, don't they!

In addition to coats (which, in reality, they probably only wore a total of about 8-10 times, if that, last winter) a lightweight jacket sure comes in handy on a blustery day and thanks to sister Lynette, we have some cute ones that she gave the children and this will be the 3rd year (and probably the last, sadly) that they'll be wearing them! Here they are trying them on a few weeks ago (Yes, I'm playing catch-up on the blog, bear w/me!) Mr. Baby wasn't around yet when these were given to the older 3 :) so he's not pictured here.

To comment or not...well, now you can!

Thanks to my wonderful friend and Mary Kay consultant, Leah's advice, you now can leave a comment here on the blog (if you want, that is ;) ) I had a setting incorrect and it's been fixed - so please, if you feel like it, comment away! I'd love to hear what you're thinking!


Friday, October 12, 2007

Turner Falls

First of all, a big thanks to my brother-in-law for telling us about Turner Falls. While we haven't been able to visit there with them yet, we have been able to take a few trips up there on our own and really have enjoyed it. There is an old "castle" that was built many years ago, that, per the Irishman we met there, the only thing that resembles a real castle is the very top edge and that's coming from someone who "lives where there actually are castles" says he. You never know who you'll meet and where!

Anyway, it's a nice little place - I think that much MUCH could be done at the park to improve it, but the falls themselves are just lovely to go and listen to and look at; not to mention wondering through the woods looking for the caves that are also part of the park. This is not a state park, but is operated by the city of Davis, OK.

I'll share some pictures and let them do most of the talking here....

First, when walking toward the falls, you pass by an old "castle" - here 'tis the sign:

Here's a lovely shot of me and 3 of the children (probably the only pic I'm in from the day - not a great hair day!)

Waiting on the other side of the walkway for CKB and Mr. E to come back down from the castle:

The girls lounging by the gate - any Jane Austen fans....can you discern the name to the left? I'll tell you later on what it said - I found it a nice "find" :)

CKB and Mr. E descending the stairs...

Miss E and Miss A waiting for their turn to go up to the castle...

Ah, the castle....

Next, we proceed on toward the falls....but first we have to peer into a hole in the rock and you'll just love what CKB found there....and yes, I went up to have a look and take these pics! Eeek! It was a Daddy Longleg Convention!

The interesting looking hole...

Ah, and what lies in wait?

What's that? You can't really see them? Well, well, we can't have that! Look here:


Ok, on to the falls.....again....

and a view from the side near the "long leg hole"

Beyond the falls, there was a path leading to "Crystal Cave" - while we never found the cave (probably was up high and we didn't dare climb w/the children), we enjoyed the walk in the woods.

Well, that's about it! This day was the end of our study of creation and now we move on through Genesis!

If you're ever up near Davis, OK, stop and take a walk to see the falls - we think you'd enjoy it!

Ok, Jane Austen fans, did you click on the picture to enlarge it and see what all the fuss was about? It says Wickham! Ha ha :) Bye for now!

Breaking news from the blog break

Ha ha. :)

It's been a WHILE since I posted last - yikes - over a month! I knew we'd been busy, but how does a month fly're having fun!

I'll start off by saying we REALLLLLLY have been enjoying the ice cream maker we got this past summer. It's a cheapie, but it works just fine - we got it at Wal-mart and it's a lovely shade of orange (yes, Miss E is thrilled with it!). So far we have made the following flavors:

blueberry (with the blueberries we picked before July 4th just north of here in Sadler, TX) at the blueberry patch
dark chocolate
peanut butter

I think that's far :)

In order of yumminess:

peanut butter

Miss E says peanut butter was best....thankfully we all get to have our own opinions and the rating above comes from me, chief ice cream maker! :)

So....I must share the fabulous recipes so you too can enjoy these yummy treats!

Last night we had peanut butter ice cream - inspired after catching the "info" for what the Take Home Chef was going to be preparing (I was later saddened to see on the TLC website that he didn't actually MAKE the ice cream, but simply bought vanilla and some peanut butter and mashed them together and refroze it - shocking!)

Peanut Butteryist Ice Cream Around

1 cup milk (we used 1%)
1 3/4 cup sugar (we've tried using Splenda before and it seemed to take FOREVER for the ice cream to thicken up....but if you have oodles of time, go for it and see how it works for you!)
1/2 tsp. salt (that's a tisp, you Sleeping Beauty fans know!)
1 cup half and half
1 Tbls. vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup peanut butter

(by the by, half and half and whipping cream have a pretty long shelf (fridge) life so don't be afraid to get these and keep on hand, I was pleasantly surprised to learn this!)

This recipe provided us with 6 nice ice cream scoops (1 for each of us :) ) and probably enough for about 2 more scoops left in the canister. Now, you ask, just one scoop!?! Are you mad??? NO! This stuff is RICH - I am not kidding :) Especially when you add to it some fantastic chocolate sauce on top! Yes, you know, you have to have chocolate with peanut butter! And, I've been watching too much Food Network at night after the children go to bed and the other night on Good Eats, Alton Brown did a whole show on chocolate! Yum! I modified the ganache recipe and ended up with a nice chocolate sauce that worked great over the PB ice cream.

If you're interested:

Chocolate Sauce

1 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I just used 1 cup bittersweet choc. chips, no chopping)
1 cup half and half (now, look here for the chocolate ganache, REAL recipe if you're interested)

Anyway, microwave the half and half for 3-4 mn. Pour over the chocolate chips and let sit for about 2-3 mn. Stir, whisk a bit and voila!

Now, on to the coffee ice cream which would put anything you can get at Starbucks to shame! That's saying a lot because I reallllly like their Mocha Frappucinos!

Coffee Ice Cream

2 cups milk (again, used 1%)
2 cups half and half
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbls. vanilla
2 Tbls. coffee (NOT not NOT instant!!!! We used Folgers, tried it w/decaf and the result is the same taste-wise if you're worried about the kiddos having caffeine!)

Pour milk and coffee into a saucepan. Scald milk/coffee until it bubbles from around the edge of the pan. Remove from heat. Strain once into a mixing bowl. (Yes, there will be a little bit of grounds left in the milk after straining, but think vanilla bean ice cream - the specks are a GOOD thing!) Add sugar and salt. Stir until dissolved. Stir in half and half, vanilla and whipping cream. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Pour into ice cream maker and begin (they're all different, for ours we put in 8 parts ice to 2 parts rock salt; usually end up adding a bit more ice/salt about halfway through and it takes nigh on an hour - just depends - keep an eye on it :) )

Ok, well, that's that! If you try either, I'd love to hear how it turned out!

Here's one pic of a satisfied customer from coffee ice cream night a few weeks ago:

Actually, this was chocolate ice cream - it's all good, as they say. Until next time.....