October 31

Last week, as I was beating the pants off the daughter in a game of Hands and Feet, I peered out the back door, and this is what I saw.

Stunning!

So I yelled politely called to the boy to bring me my camera.

He went and got it, and begged politely asked if he could take the pictures. “No, I wanna take the picture.” “You sure can take the pictures”, I told him.

So, out he went. Snapping away.

He did a wonderful job.

Then he calls out, “Mom, you just gotta see the rest of this sunset.” At this point, I am smokin’ her in this game, and I could care less about the sunset. I said, “I can see it just fine from where I am sitting.”

“No, mom, you just gotta come see this.”

So, I got up and went out.

Only to find my son right there, (right there where that arrow is). Right there! My heart stopped for a second. Could that be any more dangerous? So he is 17 ½, he could still fall, he could break his neck, he could snap his arm into 45 pieces, he could flatten his nose, and get a coconut shell in his eye, (I tossed coconut shells off the deck the other week, interestingly, they are still there) or he could just wobble a bit and give me a mini-stroke, which is exactly what he did.

When I finally turned around to make sure I didn’t see his demise if he should, in fact fall, I saw this…

and this…

He was right. It was to good to miss.

What do your kids do/have done that cause/d you to stroke out?

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October 30

In 2 more days it will be November. November?!? Good gravy! Where did the year go?

I remember when I was 10ish after Christmas there was nothing to look forward too, and let me just say that Easter seemed an eternity away, and next Christmas…well, I figured I had quite a long time to be naughty because next Christmas was just never. going. to. come.

Wasn’t Christmas just 3 weeks ago?, and it is upon me again. Again! I haven’t even begun shopping, peoples. I haven’t even thought about it. Didn’t we just celebrate Christmas 3 weeks ago? What happened to my good intentions of getting all my shopping done in January? or even February when all the sales are going on? What happened to me sneaking in a gifty here and there?

Time happened and I have to be honest here, time my friends, is no longer my friend. Time has turned against me. I don’t even remember when it turned traitor, but it did, and now I am left to pick up the sad, lonely pieces. Now I am left scrambling to make a list of what I want to give to those I love. Now I am left begging for Christmas lists and scraping the back of my brain to remember what the chips have said that they want….sigh.

Time. You have been squandered and wasted…I have not been a good steward. I am sorry.

Have you begun Christmas shopping?

October 29

In the effort to keep this blog as real as possible, I just have a few comments.

  • My laundry is breeding like rabbits
  • It is cold here in the armpit of Ohio
  • I don’t like being cold.
  • I need to bake bread
  • I just want to curl up on the couch and go back to sleep.
  • I am afraid to knit mittens.
  • I suck the icing out of my tips and couplers.

And, now, onto pictures of the creations that the boy and I made on the last day of course 2, of cake decorating class. Next course we are doing fondant and wedding cakes. Let me just say for the record that fondant looks lovely, but it also tastes like paste. I am not quite sure that I will enjoy this class as much as the others as, well, there is no icing to lick, slurp or suck out of couplers and tips…just gross fondant. Blech!

Here is the boy’s cake. He did a superb job. I am so proud of him.

Here is the other side.

Front of my cake.

And the back. I thought that I wasn’t going to have enough flowers, but I ended up having almost to many. That is a good thing, because some of the little ones ended up in…..uh…..my mouth.

Would you take a cake decorating class if you could?

October 28

Yesterday was a full day for me.

I got up early as the boy took his ACT yesterday. I wanted to make sure that he started the day off with a hearty breakfast. I even made the supreme sacrifice, like mothers are wont to do, and gave him my very last Dove Dark for break time for brain food, because we all know that chocolate is brain food!!! I love my boy!

After the boy left, the girl and I went for our weekly Saturday hang out type thingie. We went into this gift shop that had all sorts of knick-knacks, and crystal goblets, and Oneida silver, and China place settings. It was great girly fun, and we picked out which crystal champaign goblet we would choose, and for some reason, the girl is extremely attracted to martini glasses.

After the boy finished his testing, he really wanted to go up to Amish to Walnut Creek Cheese. We love going there. The store is just wonderful. I purchase as much as I can in bulk ~~’cause I’m FRUGAL~~ and then we sample all the wonderful samples that they have, oogle all the kitchen ware items, and the girl and I oooh and aaaah over the tea pots, tea cups, tea spoons, and everything else that comes with tea.

They have added on, expanded, and re-arranged the store, and the boy wanted to see the changes. It would have been all well and good, but there were 653 people in that building, and to maneuver around was a horror to behold. We are not crowd people. The hustle and the bustle don’t do one blessed thing for us, but give us a headache, a stomach ache, and a wish to run outside in the calm serene air. To make matters worse, all 676 people had gobbled up all the samples, and we didn’t get a one. It was a tragic, tragic, tragic. We just didn’t even enjoy the experience. I did snap this photo when we went out.

So calm, so serene is this single maple tree. It was a welcome sight after having to deal with 774 people eating all the samples.

Leaving there, the boy wanted to take us out for supper, so we went on in to Sugarcreek to eat at Dutch Valley and for once, just this once, I was ever so glad that we didn’t have samples at Walnut Creek Cheese. It was delicious.

Since my parents are only 15 minutes from where we were, we popped in to see them. Hi mom! Hi dad!

We got home a bit later than what I had hoped. See, we still needed to make our icing flowers for our cake decorating class today. The boy and I are totally into a 100% edible cake, and not only 100% edible, but the icing MUST taste good. We were supposed to do our pre-made flowers with Royal Icing. This stuff drys rock hard, looks gorgeous, and tastes like paste. We don’t want people to eat paste, so we, the rebels that we are, made our icing out of regular old butter cream, but we made it extra stiff. We didn’t get started till 8:30, then we figured out that ….OH NO! we didn’t have any yellow food coloring, so Superman ( as the husband will henceforth be known on this blog) flew to Stuffmart to get us some. We didn’t get to bed till 11, which totally goes against my ‘early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’ mantra.

I woke up early because I was worried concerned that our rebellion would not have turned out, and that the icing would have stuck to the papers that we dried them on. I came downstairs to see that indeed, we were right. We can have our cake and eat it too.

So! Which picture do you think are my flowers and which one is the boy’s? I will let you know later on.

October 27

Ree gave a Photoshop tutorial the other day, and I was absolutely ecstatic that it was one that I could do on my Photoshop Editor 5.0, which is just a wanna be of the real Photoshop ~~that I would really like to have, but don’t because, as my father says, I’m cheap.

Anyway, I wanted to show off what I did.

Here is my SOOC (straight out of camera) shot. Not bad for my el cheapo camera. I took this picture just so I could practice.

Isn’t she cute? You wouldn’t know from that smile that she had just eaten her fourtyeleventh can of tuna since August.

Then I cropped, and lopped and lightened and brightened and unsharped and enhanced and resized, and I made her eyes sparkle. Thanks Ree!!!

Voila. Much more better!

Now if I can just get rid of that nasty wall paper.

Do you have Photoshop or Editor or another photo editing program? Do you like it?

October 26

It is getting cooler here in Chicville, and with that, for us, comes a change in what we eat. More soups, stews, more comfort food, and plenty of hot chocolate!!!

We also like to grill our year long, but with the menu change, it is difficult to decide what to have with said grilled items.

So, today’s burning question(s). Do you grill our year long? If so, how does your menu change in the cooler months? Do you still serve picnic type sides, or do you change that too? Do you make sweet potato fries?  Do you serve noodles?  How about brussel sprouts and spinach?   Green beans?  Corn?  What is it that you serve?

October 25

Mothering, of late, has been about as fun as toenail fungus. I hate to screw up, I hate to do wrong, I hate to disappoint, and I have been hitting all 3 out of the ballpark, daily it seems.

I read this over the past week. I adapted it for me and thought I’d share.

What remains???

If I spend my days teaching my children and creating relationships with other mom’s online, but have not love, I am only a buzzing in the ears.

If I have the gift of knowing which child plugged up the bath tub and which one didn’t scoop the litter box, and if I have faith that somehow we’ll survive life’s emergences but have not love, I am nothing.

If I sell popcorn for Boy Scouts and give to the local food bank, and if I surrender my body to stretch marks, dark circles and chin whiskers, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient when someone is struggling with a math concept. It is kind when my husband has a hard day. It doesn’t envy my neighbor’s new room addition I can’t afford.

It is not rude, snapping at my husband or kiddos when things don’t go my way. It isn’t easily angered at perceived or real injustices.

It always protects the smallest, sweetest family confidences; always trusts God to provide for our needs; always hopes in the newness of tomorrow and the future of our family; always perseveres in the middle of doubt.

Where there are sleepless nights, they will l end. (Amen) Where there are ballet, Boy Scouts, and science experiments, they will cease. Where there is knowledge of baby-care trends, discipline strategies and teen problems, it will pass away.

Now these three remain: faith, lived out in my daily circumstances and instilled in my children; hope, of one day rejoicing with my family in heaven; and love, which covers over a multitude of less-than-perfect moments (of which I have many).

But the greatest of these is love. It is what remains…..long after I am gone.

May it be so. Amen and Amen!