Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Potty Training...or a Necklace??

What have you got there Yahoo?

Is it a necklace? A shirt?

Hmmm...does this mean you are ready to use the potty and get rid of all those diapers?

Or does this mean you want me to take you shopping for some new accessories??

Mall...Here we come!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Marker Monday - School Clothes Organizers

Since the boys have been in school I have found that I have to find ways to keep Yahoo entertained. She's 18 months old and never been more than a couple hours away from her brothers. Oh, she doesn't necessarily miss them while they are at school but we've learned Yahoo doesn't have anything to do when she's by herself! Her form of playing is following Yip and Yap around or wrestling with them or letting them chase her around the house. (Yep, she enjoys being chased by boys....should I start worrying about that??)

Like I said....we need to find things to do. I came across the idea of a week's worth of school clothes organizing here and thought I could kill two birds with one stone. I'd get the boys organized for school in the mornings and give Yahoo a craft project to do one day. DR thinks I'm OCD for making these but he doesn't realize we NEED something to do. Hey, we can eat only so many bon-bons honey!

I started by cutting a piece of felt into two tags like this. The hole should be big enough for your clothes hanger's hook to fit through.

Then with a bottle of glue and a pile of felt scraps Yahoo went to town. I spread on the glue and she smeared glue everywhere placed the felt pieces neatly on the tags. We had to reglue quite a bit but Yahoo had fun and that's what counts.

Now Yip and Yap can pick out their clothes for the whole week, begin a good habit that will carry over into college and positively influence thier entire fraternity and be neatly organized for the rest of their lives!!

Okay, get up off the floor....it's not that funny. Hey, if they use these tags for a couple weeks I'll be happy.
At least I've tried!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Devotions - The Sheperd Shines

(From Really Wooly Bedtime Prayers by Bonnie Rickner Jensen)

The Sheperd Shines

God's goodness will shine down from heaven.
Psalm 85:11

The sun is for daytime,
So yellow and bright.
The moon is for nighttime,
So silvery white.

The stars with their twinkles
Add sparkle and glow.
The sun uses raindrops
To make a rainbow.

But how does the Shepherd
Shine down from above?
His light shines through you...
When you share His great love!

Dear God, thank You for shining the light of Your love through me. Amen.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pastel Drawing, Sand Dunes

Pastel I did this week, obviously inspired by the Great Sand Dunes.

Honestly, not sure what I think of this one. There is parts of it I'm happy with but I'm not satisfied with the entire outcome. For some reason, the whole thing doesn't seem to work together....or maybe it just doesn't feel finished to me, as though its missing something.

What do you think? Any suggestions?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Foody Friday - Jumbles

A Prairie Kitchen: Recipes, Poems and Colorful Stories from the Prairie Farmer Magazine, 1841-1900Have you ever heard of a Jumble? Me neither...but it's those things right up there. I would describe them as a cross between a donut, a cake and a cookie without the grease. They are light and easy to make with kids. Yip kept bugging me this week to make donuts. I hate the deep frying part of donut making. Not because of the unhealthiness, just because it's too much mess to clean up and I always get burnt by hot oil. I found this recipe in my cookbook, A Prairie Kitchen.
This is also where I found the recipe for Graham Bread.

Jumbles, July 19, 1886 (modified by me just a bit)

3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter
3 eggs
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon (I added this)
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 c. applesauce (I added this)
3 or 4 (or more) cups of flour
Preheat oven to 350. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and beat well. Stir in the baking soda, spices and flour. You want dough that is not sticky, but that can still be molded. Knead dough briefly and then form the cookies into the traditional doughnut shape. Take a small ball of dough and make it into a long pencil-like length. Bring the two ends together and seal them. Dip the top of the cookie into some sugar and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake until the cookies are just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.

(We rolled the dough into a ball, slightly larger than a golf ball, flattened it between our hands, then poked a hole with our finger to shape the doughnuts. I also baked them for 12 minutes or more.)

Good luck and enjoy!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Photo Thursday - Milo

These shots are of a milo field at the edge of town I took a couple weeks ago. Milo leaves look a lot like corn but the plants are only about half as high. In Kansas there are three crops; wheat, corn and milo. No soybeans....which I am kind of missing being I'm from Indiana where soybeans are everywhere.

Another name for milo is grain sorghum. Milo is really the better crop for Kansas because it does well in hot, dry climates and doesn't need irrigated unlike Kansas corn. Milo grown here will go toward feeding livestock, mostly cattle in the area.

I don't pretend to know lots about milo; just what I've read and learned from DR. Since he's the manager of a Kansas grain elevator he's gotten to know this stuff first hand. I like driving by fields of milo because this plant is so hardy and well suited to its environment and it just 'looks' like it belongs here much more than corn. As an artist I have to say I'm kind of attracted to the 'flower' part of the plant. I like the texture.

...and it makes for a neat picture.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy 6th Birthday!!

Yap, my oldest! August 25, 2004, 6lbs. 4oz., 4:59 pm

Yip, my middle child! August 25, 2004, 6lbs. 7oz., 5:43 pm

Happy 6th Birthday!!!

The Good, The Bad, The Trash Boy

Growing up I had six younger brothers and sisters. Of course there were times I was jealous of my sisters who got to do things I didn't, like eat lunch with Grandpa at Penguin Point because I was in school and they weren't. Or I was upset because I had to help Dad with some sort of job just because I was the oldest while my brothers and sisters were doing something else. Ah, sibling rivalry...what wonderful memories!!

Sibling rivalry sure doesn't end with twins. You'd think everything would be fine since they do everything at the same time and share practically everything. After all they start school at the same time, get the same gifts at Christmas and birthdays and share clothes.

But no, with twins it seems I have to go out of my way to make sure the balance of fairness never gets tipped in either direction. Yip and Yap are always ready to alert me to any injustice they have suffered.

"He got to sit by the baby last time." (I'm still not sure why this one is such a privelege!)

"He picked out the movie yesterday!"

"Why do I have to help do that again?!"

It's enough to make my nose hairs stand on end! (Wouldn't that be a funny sight!)

To battle against the offenses and inequity of being a twin we have come up with a system in our house. Trash Boy and Dog Boy.

Every morning the boys do chores after breakfast. One dumps all the trash in the house and the other feeds and waters the dog. These two chores set the tone for the whole day and the boys alternate these jobs everyday. We even have to write on a calendar which day is who's to be Trash Boy. Since the trash tends to be the most undesirable job, it's smelly and messy, Trash Boy gets the glory of the day. He chooses what we watch on tv. He gets to sit where he wants at mealtime. We read on Trash Boy's bed at bedtime.  

But with the Good also comes the Bad. Trash Boy also has to help set the table or any other little chore that pops up during the day. He's the first to take a bath and brush his teeth; all those things a six year old boy would rather put off during the day.

I never set out to create Trash Boy; it evolved on its own with help from Yip and Yap. Yet, I'm pleasantly surprised how efficient the system has become.

So, your turn. How do you keep sibling fights and arguments to a minimum? Do you have a system to share?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kissing Daddy

Momma, Ssshhhh...Daddy's sleepin'

Daddy needs a kiss!

Oh look! Daddy's toy! My turn to play with it.

Another kiss Daddy, roll over here!

Mommy look how well my finger fits in this big hole!

Yep, that finger fits in there too. Whoops! I think we woke up Daddy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Marker Monday - Hogwarts Robes

This week are Yip's and Yap's 6th birthdays! Woo Hoo! They both requested Harry Potter robes this year. Now let me explain something real quick. I have unintentionally created a couple of little Potterheads.

I started reading Harry Potter to them about a year ago. I just wanted something longer and different to read at bedtime that we could all enjoy. I never expected to get all the way through the first one with Yip and Yap. We are now almost finished with #4! They love Harry Potter. They dress up like him, draw scars on their heads and swipe my hair picks to use as wands. We've learned to make Butterbeer and Pumpkin Pasties. Potterheads...well, I guess it's better than Dungeon and Dragons.

So for their birthdays they requested robes. A little searching and I found this tutorial;  How to make a Hogwarts Robe.  The pattern called to line the robe but I didn't and it worked fine. I also used bias tape on the front opening. I used a red tablecloth from a Christmas clearance sale. Red instead of black worked for the boys because Harry's Quidditch uniform was red in the first movie. I think it looks pretty good don't you?

The boys each chose their own buttons for the neck closure. I used a ponytail holder to loop around each button, one side of which is tacked down under one of the buttons.
To make the Hogwarts house badges I bought some Iron On Printer Paper from WalMart and printed off an image of the house crests online. I love this stuff, not only can you use it with your printer but you can draw on it with crayons and markers too and iron original artwork onto shirts, bags, etc.
Yes, Potterheads out there, I realize that Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff colors are not red but after I had the robes finished these were the badges the boys chose. Hey, it makes em' happy.

Even though the boys have seen me working on the robes they haven't seen them finished yet. Their birthday is Wednesday so hopefully I'll have the little wizards posing with their new uniforms later.

I'm almost afraid of what they'll ask me to make them next!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Devotions - I finished it!

Recently I had a goal of reading the entire Bible front to back in a year. Three years later, I have finally finished! Who knew all the little things in life would deter me from my daily devotions with God? Vacations, illness, having a baby, etc. All these took me away from my goal. Even though it took longer than I anticipated I'm so happy I'm done. Not because it was a difficult task that I am happy to have completed, rather I am happy I finished it because I know have a complete picture of what God has done for his people and what he has in store for us in the future.

I grew up in the church and of course I grew up learning the treasured Bible stories of both the Old and New Testaments and memorizing Bible verses. Occasionally in my teens and twenties I would flip through and read passages, mostly from Psalms and Proverbs. The books of Judges, Deuteronomy, and Revelations  however, I tended to avoid like the plague. The Old Testament is full of laws and rules and geneology that, honestly, is pretty dry reading. And Revelations? Well, I just could never bring myself to read about Christ's return. I always became anxious thinking about what the end of the world will be like. I must say though, after reading the entire Bible I found Revelations one of the most fascinating books in the Bible.

One of my favorite passages from Revelations comes from ch. 21 vs. 3-4;

Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. they will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. there will be no moe death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

How comforting are these words. No more pain, the old ways are gone and God is with us! What wonderful promises Revelations holds!

As I worked through the Bible I used Halley's Bible Handbook: An Abbreviated Bible Commentary (Bible Handbook Series) to help me understand passages and the historical context of the Bible. Maybe that's why it took me so long, I was reading two books and I'm still not finished with Halley's!! I enjoyed his commentary even if it is fifty years old. I felt he had a lot to say that pertains to Christians today.

About the book of Revelations he writes;

There are many interpretations of the book of Revelation. And every one has its difficulties. Whatever interpretation is accepted, some detials require straining to fit.

To us, it seems, taking the language in its most apparent meaning, that the simplest, most obvious, most natural, most evident, and most reasonable interpretation is a sort of combination of the Historical and Futurist interpretations.

Some writers, and preachers, and others, greatly overdo Revelation, or rather their pet ideas of it. And, on that account, in part, at least, others stay away from it altogether. Both attitudes are wrong. the book should neither be neglected, nor over exalted above other Bible books. But surely it is entitled to, and will greatly reward, a reasonable share of a Christian's study and devotion.

I know today's post isn't exactly a devotion but I found it exciting to have finished the Bible and wanted to share a bit of my experiences.

Do you use a handbook or guide when studying the Bible? Please share!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Grain Elevator at night

Here's a pic I took about 9:30 at night of the elevator at the west edge of town.

Friday, August 20, 2010

First Day of School!

Yesterday was the first day of school. Yip and Yap are so tall aren't they? New clothes, size 7 slim jeans! Wow, when did they grow?!

"What are you posing for brothers? Oh, yeah...Mommy has her camera out...AGAIN! CHEEEEESSSSE!!"

And off they went.
"Mom, go home. We are big boys and can walk by ourself!"
They are already acting like a couple of teenagers who are embarrassed by their mother. Just wait till they are teens, I'll give them something to be embarrassed about!

And Yahoo dutifully trailing behind her big brothers, doing whatever they do.

They never even looked back! Going to school was an unknown adventure they couldn't start on soon enough.

The only rough spot of the morning was when Yahoo turned around half way home and tried to follow the boys into school.

Yesterday was quiet. I wasn't constantly yelling at boys to stop fighting. I wasn't tripping over messes left and right. I wasn't searching the neighborhood to make sure Yip and Yap were staying out of trouble. Yahoo and I had plenty of one on one time together. We colored and played with baby dolls. I made 3 batches of pita bread and 6 pie crusts and I took a nap!
Yep, it's official. Yahoo and I are going to have to find something to do with our time because without the boys life could get very boring!

Foody Friday - Fried Pickle Chips

I found this recipe for Fried Pickle Chips a couple months ago before we moved and have been looking forward to trying it out. They sounded a bit quirky and fun.

Start off with small dishes of milk, flour, beaten egg and cornmeal.

Heat oil in skillet until drops of water sizzle. Dip your pickle slices into milk, then flour, followed by egg and cornmeal. Drop into hot oil, carefully, and cook on each side for a minute or two until golden brown.

Doesn't that look tasty? The sour pickle inside the breading is a nice surprise once you bite into it. Mustard is a great dipper to go with it. What sounds good to you?

This would be a great snack along with a cold beer for weekend football games this fall. Yum! I'll definitely be making these again.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Colorado - Part 3, Great Sand Dunes National Park

After a full day of driving and sight seeing, we crashed Saturday night in a hotel. We watched Scooby Doo and Transformers and ate raisins and goldfish crackers. (What? No beer?) Such is the life with little kids!

Sunday we drove an hour and half to the Great Sand Dunes National Park.  Imagine the mountains in the background in the shape of a large C with the open part of the C facing the southwest. Water, snow and wind bring sand and pebbles down the west slope of the mountain and the southwest wind blows it back again toward the mountain trapping the sand in the C to create the tallest dunes in North America, up to 750 ft. tall.

It is truly an awe inspiring sight which makes the Indiana Dunes seem rather worthless.
Yahoo would have been content sitting in one spot and playing in the sand all day long!
We arrived fairly early while it was still cool so the sand wasn't hot yet. In the summer, sand temperatures can reach 140 degrees!

Doesn't DR have sexy legs?

The boys wanted to climb to the very top but we only managed about 1/3 of the way. They contented themselves with climbing up and sliding back down over and over again. If only we had brought our snowsleds!!
Yap, DR and Yip decided to climb a particularly high dune.

Hello to you too!
Even though I didn't get a pic of it, Yap's favorite thing to do was slide on his back, head first down the dunes. I don't know about you but I'm not too sure about DR's fashion choices; shorts and a cowboy hat?
There was sand everywhere! There were even outdoor shower facilities to wash off all the sand. But we were still finding sand hours later!
Wow, where do they get the energy to do this all day?? And this is what they did for hours!

As we were leaving the park Sunday afternoon Yip was already asking when we could come back. I'd like to return and camp for a few days. It's not too far either, about a 6 hour drive. Very neat vacation spot and very out of the way!

Thanks Colorado for introducing me to the wonders of the Rockies!

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