Friday, November 13, 2009

7 Quick Takes


If you'd like to see more quick takes, visit Jen.



I never cease to be amazed by AnnVoskamp. I made her my first stop each morning while I drink my coffee and gather my mind. Her words are such an encouragement and help me to remember what is important. This week included: kids' poetry suggestions, Scripture memory in practice, and beauty in plain life.



I finished two books this week and added them to this year's list: One Second After by William Forstchen and Kushiel's Justice by Jacqueline Carey, the 5th in in her Kushiel series. Forstchen's book was about the possibility of the United States being hit by several EMPs, essentially wiping out the infrastructure of the entire country. The basic problems of food, shelter and medical supplies for communities who were unprepared was only the beginning. I couldn't stop reading this book and stayed up WAY too late unable to find a good place to break for the night.



Another book I've been reading this week is Mary Ostyn's Family Feasts for $75 a Week. If you're already a frugal grocery shopper there aren't a lot of new shopping tricks to learn- plan your menu ahead of time, shop according to sales and stock up on great sale items as much as possible. I was surprised that she specifically wrote that she doesn't use coupons and used the old arguments that often off brands are just as cheap if not cheaper, and also that coupons are mostly for foods they don't use. While both arguments can be true, combining coupons with sales almost always knocks the name brand price below the off brand price (and if it doesn't I won't buy it). I agree that coupons ARE for a lot of pre-prepared foods and foods that we don't buy, but there are coupons for other things too- milk, eggs, spices, baking goods, cereals we often buy, etc. I don't clip coupons for foods we won't use, but there are still plenty of coupons out there that fit our eating style.



I was most impressed with the recipe's in Mary Ostyn's book. For once a family cookbook that is actually comprised of family friendly recipes without 1 random exotic ingredient in most recipes! I loved that there were ways to help me extend recipes (making double with the intent to freeze one, meals that use the same basic ingredient so that the leftovers from one meal don't go to waste) and there were seriously dozens of recipes I can try that will meet approval, even by my self-described super-picky husband!



I've been hanging around craftster like CRAZY this week on the nights I can't sew. Looking at all the amazing finished projects keeps the creative juices flowing. :)



We're taking the boys to their first bonfire tonight. We're so excited to make s'mores and roast hot dogs- like ridiculously excited. Ender is asking me every 5 minutes if it's time to go yet.



I have lots of sewing to share with you from the last week or so. I just can't seem to find the time to photograph. I sew at night lately and the light stinks of course, so I keep planning to take pics in the morning, but mornings are the busy time of day . . . anyway! I'm planning a big picture taking session for Saturday in the good light and I'll share next week. It's mostly Christmas related sewing, but not necessarily Christmas-y.

Thursday, November 12, 2009



That's what Ezra calls something when he doesn't know what the right word is: Booga.


And ever since he first used it and we all laughed about it he has used it again and again with glee. It's part of the family vocabulary now- we all use it. Now if we want to say that someone is being silly we say they're being a Booga.



When my youngest brother was 3 years old he announced to everyone he was changing his name to Coo-ee. And he wasn't three, he was seven-and-a-half. (A very important half). He stuck to it for an entire year and absolutely refused to respond to his given name. So we all called him Coo-ee for a year and now make sure to bring it up in front of his girlfriend every once in a while just to see him turn shades of red.


It's the inside things that bond a family and knit you together so that when you live far apart 25 years later you all come together with the commonality of the shared home life, the jokes, the re-telling of stories.


I have a large family; I am the oldest of nine. Only four of us live within an hour of home, and everyone else has gone away to follow work, a spouse, or a calling- a missionary brother in Utah, a brother in Nebraska, one in Kansas, another away at college, and my baby sister working with children across the ocean in the Philippines. It is only 5 weeks til we get to see each other again, but now it's so much more- wives, husbands, a fiance, a new baby- all coming together for Christmas.


We try to explain to the "extras" what it was like to grow up together, how the family dynamic worked, but there just aren't words. It's in the way that one brother calls another "Albert" (even though that's not even remotely close to his real name), the way the brothers argue over the Risk board even as grown men, the sisters knitting together and eating pie while the boys aren't watching, everyone coming together to sing, to be still for Christmas and know the moment for what it is.


Remembering Faith.


Family together.


Prayers for babies, the ones already with us and the ones to come.




Only five short weeks.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Heard Around the House

Ezra thinks that all flying insects are bees and is very afraid of them. Over the weekend we were going out to the car to run some errands and a fly went by right in front of Ezra. He started to cry and ran back to me. I hugged him and told him it was just a fly and flies are nice to little boys, but he kept crying. Ender came over to us, patted his brother's back and said, "hold my hand, Ezra, and I'll take you to the car. I'll keep you safe from the bees."


Ezra grabbed his brother's hand and held tightly all the way to the car, saying "Ender- safe. Ender- safe."


*insert happy tears here*

Monday, November 9, 2009

Buttoning Turkeys


I linked these turkeys from Montessori Journey last week, and I made ours over the weekend.



I doubled up the felt for a little extra durability, and my favorite part is the wood buttons. I have a brand new little obsession with buttons, which is soooooo not good! Do I really need another thing to collect?



Ezra snatched the turkey away from me the second it was finished and spent a good twenty minutes buttoning and unbuttoning. It took him a very long time to button them the first time (this is his first work with buttons) and just as I was about to show him how to work with the buttons Ender stepped in to tell him how to do it and he did a great job!
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