Monday, January 31, 2011

Marker Monday - Homemade Valentines

I admit, I'm a bit of a Valentine snob. I really hate the idea of buying a box of paper, having my kids sign them, pass them out to their classmates, only to be thrown away. If I'm going to spend money on something I'd rather it not be pitched in the garbage. Or, even better, I'd rather not spend any money at all on Valentines. So this year we made homemade Valentines from our craft box stash...and our Christmas tree. I've see both of these ideas somewhere on the Internet but I forget where; probably off Family Fun and Crafty Crow.

For Yap's Valentines we made felt pencil toppers that I embroidered around the edges. Okay, I did buy pencils but hey, I know they won't get thrown away. Then we printed off labels that say "Be Mine, From Yap" (not his real name obviously)

Yip's Valentines we actually made over Christmas vacation. When we took down our Christmas tree we stripped the trunk and then sliced it into circles. Thank goodness for power tools! Then I put them in the oven for a day at 200 degrees to get them nice and dry. We drilled holes, painted, added ribbons and a tag that says "WOOD you be my Valentine?" Cute! Okay, this Valentine might get thrown in the trash but at least I didn't spend any money on it!

Do you and your kids make homemade Valentines? What kind?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Devotions - Stewardship of Health

*borrowed from the devotional book One Minute a Day

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I love this sign I saw hanging in an auto repair shop. It said, "If you're smoking in here, you better be on fire!" That sign is typical of the current emphasis in America on helping people to stop smoking. But shouldn 't we be just as careful about our health in other areas as well?

Just as our cars were made to run on clean fuel, so were our bodies. they need pure food, clean air, good water, lots of exercise, and peaceful hearts. Our health is a gift from God that we ought to take seriously. It's part of being a good steward of God's grace.

God has given each of us only one body. We need to treat these gifts of God with respect and appreciation.

I came across this devotion this week DR's book, One Minute a Day. I exercise a lot and I try to eat lots of vegetables and sometimes I catch a lot of flack from people for my lifestyle. I hear, "Why run? That's why we have cars!" or people think my kids are weird when they say their favorite foods are apples.

I wasn't always into healthy living. There was a time I smoked and ate all kinds of terrible things and watched too much tv but all that changed when I had kids. Suddenly it became very clear that I was in charge of someone else's health, someone who couldn't choose what kind of lifestyle to lead. Because I wanted my children to be healthy my lifestyle habits changed as I made good choices for them.

And you know what? I might be a "health nut" but I have more energy now than I did ten years ago. This body is not mine I am told in Corinthians. It is a gift and with any gift I receive, I'm trying to take care of and protect it.

Dear God, Thank You for my health! Thank You for the ability to make healthy lifestyle choice for myself so that I may honor the gift of this body You blessed me with. Amen.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Skipping School and heading to New Mexico

Next month my sister, Officer, and brother in law, Marvel Man, are coming to Kansas! Yay!! We are counting down the days. February may seem like a weird time to take a vacation but since they are both cops and don't have kids they are much more flexible in taking time off than DR and I.

When they get here we're all going to drive to Taos, New Mexico about 6 hours away for a long weekend. We aren't much for skiing although there are tons of ski resorts in the Taos area. My sister and I have been cruising the Internet planning other spots to hit while we are there. These are a few of the places we are planning on visiting.

The Harwood Museum of Art This museum offers activities for kids to participate in on the weekends.

Since Taos is such a long drive away and the fact an aunt and uncle visiting is a special treat, we are letting Yip and Yap skip two days of school.

I was a teacher and I have no problem with kids skipping school IF it is for an educational purpose and educational experiences can be found in many realms of life. My mom let my brothers skip school to go to farm shows. But, I do know plenty of teachers and administrators that do not support the idea of skipping school for a trip like this. In their thinking that is what spring break, Christmas break and summer are for. But life doesn't always revolve in sync with the school calendar.

I'm planning on this trip to be fun and educational! There are so many opportunities in Taos to learn about the history of the SouthWest that I've only been able to read about! My kids will be able to see people and places first hand. How could skipping school to experience history and culture be bad?

So, I ask do you feel about pulling your kids out of school for vacations? or road trips? or whatever? Have you ever pulled your kids out of school for an educational experience? If so, what was it? I'd love to hear.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Foody Friday - Creamy Potato and Celery Soup

I love this soup; it's like a bowl full of creamy mashed potatoes. Plus you can sneak in some vegetables to your kids with this soup without them being any the wiser.

Creamy Potato and Celery Soup

1/2 stick butter

1/2 onion diced

1 t. minced garlic

1 bunch of celery, diced

5 potatoes, peeled and diced

broth (chicken or beef or vegetable)




Melt the butter in the bottom of a soup pot. Add garlic, onion and celery until translucent, about 5 minutes or so. Add potatoes and cover with broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about an hour until vegetables are tender. Using a food processer or blender puree all of the soup. Return to pot over low heat and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Serve with a sprinkle of nutmeg on top.

My kids love this soup. My neighbor kids love this soup. None of them yet realize they are eating celery or onions! (Pssstt...Mom, feed this to my onion hating brother and he'll never know!)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Photo Thursday - This week in pictures

 Lots of Pooh Bear on those sick days.

Art projects when were back on our feet.

Lots of ice last week; it's all gone now!

DR brought me flowers.

Life of a caterpillar, perpetual happiness.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cinderella Ate My Daughter

I came across an excerpt from the soon released book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture.The author, Peggy Orenstein, discusses how she vowed not gender roles on her young toddler daughter, Daisy. Daisy played with trains in preschool but then as she got older and more socialized with other children princess and pink abounded.  Below are some paragraphs I found rather interesting .

But honestly: since when did every little girl become a princess? It wasn’t like this when I was a kid, and I was born back when feminism was still a mere twinkle in our mothers’ eyes. We did not dress head to toe in pink. We did not have our own miniature high heels. What’s more, I live in Berkeley, California: if princesses had infiltrated our little retro-hippie hamlet, imagine what was going on in places where women actually shaved their legs? As my little girl made her daily beeline for the dress-up corner of her preschool classroom, I fretted over what playing Little Mermaid, a character who actually gives up her voice to get a man, was teaching her. 

 On the other hand, I thought, maybe I should see princess mania as a sign of progress, an indication that girls could celebrate their predilection for pink without compromising strength or ambition; that at long last they could “have it all”: be feminist and feminine, pretty and powerful; earn independence and male approval. Then again, maybe I should just lighten up and not read so much into it — to mangle Freud, maybe sometimes a princess is just a princess.

It was confusing: images of girls’ successes abounded — they were flooding the playing field, excelling in school, outnumbering boys in college. At the same time, the push to make their appearance the epicenter of their identities did not seem to have abated one whit. If anything, it had intensified, extending younger (and, as the unnaturally smooth brows of midlife women attest, stretching far later). I had read stacks of books devoted to girls’ adolescence, but where was I to turn to understand the new culture of little girls, from toddler to “tween,” to help decipher the potential impact — if any — of the images and ideas they were absorbing about who they should be, what they should buy, what made them girls? Did playing Cinderella shield them from early sexualization or prime them for it? Was walking around town dressed as Jasmine harmless fun, or did it instill an unhealthy fixation on appearance? Was there a direct line from Prince Charming to “Twilight” ’s Edward Cullen to distorted expectations of intimate relationships?

It is tempting, as a parent, to give the new pink-and-pretty a pass. There is already so much to be vigilant about, and the limits of our tolerance, along with our energy, slip a little with each child we have. So if a spa birthday party would make your six-year-old happy (and get her to leave you alone), really, what is the big deal? After all, girls will be girls, right? I agree, they will — and that is exactly why we need to pay more, rather than less, attention to what is happening in their world.
I found this excerpt rather fascinating for many reasons.

First of all I was a tomboy growing up, still am. I played sports and baled hay with the guys when I was a teenager but I wore makeup and did my hair. I never have liked the color pink and don't remember ever playing princesses but now I do like to wear dresses when the wind isn't blowing! I had a Barbie doll growing up but was jealous of my sister's Barbie because her doll took rides in the back of her toy semi. As for my appearance, I sometimes go out in public without makeup but I make sure I've changed out of my pajamas and look presentable. Even though I don't consider myself a 'girlie girl', not really in the 'feminist' movement, but I do think of myself as fairly feminine .

Now I have a daughter....who has two older brothers. Our house is full of tractors, trains, toy swords, cowboys and super heroes. Yahoo loves to pretend to put on make up with me and change her shoes a hundred times a day. She instigates sword fights with her brothers and pushes toy tractors and trucks down the slide. I'm not one to tell her what she should and shouldn't play with. There isn't much pink in our house but the pile of baby dolls is starting to grow.

Considering the role models Yahoo has, her tomboy mommy and three boys in the house, I never gave much thought to the princess thing. I always imagined she would grown up fairly feminine but hold her own with the boys and hopefully she'd avoid pink. That color makes me nauseous.

Before reading this excerpt I never realized there was any sort "princess culture" out there. I live in a small town remember? We don't get out much.

The way Orenstein presents it, feminism brought about a choice for girls. They could be tomboys or beauty queens, stay at home or working mommies, or not mommies at all. But the 'girls will be girls' philosophy has pushed the idea that every girl has to be a princess into all realms of a young girl's life and they are growing up losing a choice the feminist movement provided.
 Tell me parents. Is there a princess culture aimed at young girls? Those of you with daughters, do you see it as detrimental or a harmless phase they go through? Do you feel your daughters are bombarded with pink and left without a choice whether they should embody that role of princess? I have a almost 2 year old...what do I need to know?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kansas Rain

Annual Rainfall

Back home in Indiana; 40 inches per year
Here in Kansas; 20 inches per year.

In Indiana farmers measure rain in tenths of an inch.
In Kansas farmers measure rain in hundredths of an inch.

I grew up in northern Indiana in an area with dozens of lakes.
I remember falls, winters and springs in Indiana where it seemed there were months and months of mud.

We complained about the rain, hoping it would finally come to an end. Rain caused mud, mud created ruts and ruts were hard to walk and drive over.

 Oh Indiana rain, rain, rain.

Kansas is different. In this part of Kansas there are no lakes. We are classified as a desert grassland.

In Kansas I've never heard anyone complain about the rain. Everyone is completely thankful for the rain. "We need the moisture." everyone comments. I've come to yearn for rain, watching the skies for any sign of a coming storm.

In Kansas water is precious. The aquifers that run below this part of the country are disappearing. Farmers who irrigate crops (corn) and use too much water are fined. Some farmers are moving towards drought resistant crops like sesame seeds. But there are just as many who refuse to change their customs and attitudes toward water usage.

After only six months living out here I've found myself being much more conservative in my water use; laundry, dishes, showers, gardens. I never knew how spoiled I was growing up surrounded by water. I find myself guilty of all the water I've wasted over the years. Water is on my mind much more than ever before.

I took these photos a couple weeks ago and I remember at the time how happy I was to see rain.

What is the rainfall like in your neck of the woods?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Marker Monday - Scraps to Treasures

I recently joined a home-ec club in my county. I never thought I'd join a home-ec club and although most of the women in my club could be my mother or gr. mother, this group of women is a riot!

So last week our lesson was on using scrap fabric and turning it into something new rather than tossing it into the landfill. I sew but I don't quilt so my scraps usually get tossed. The lesson leader had tons of ideas but I'll just share two of my versions with her today.

Denim Pot Holders.
I was so happy she showed us these because my kitchen's potholders were in a sad state. Two layers of denim with three layers of flannel, or one of fleece, in the middle and you have a very insulating pot holder. Our lesson leader had nice edges turned under and topstitched. Not me, I'm in a hurry so I just zigzagged around the for me. But the HEART is what I was excited about. My former potholders were too small and I was always getting burned, but the heart shaped works great. It's just the right shape and size to keep my little fingers safe.

Our lesson leader also shared a website with us, Little Dresses for Africa, where you'll find a free pattern download to make some very simple sundresses; sizes 3-12. This is a non-profit group that provides dresses for girls in Africa. Dresses can be made quickly with very little fabric.

I downloaded the pattern and had two dresses (5/8 yd. each for size 3) whipped out in an hour, with Yahoo's help. Bias tape is used at the armholes (hard to see in the pics) and as a drawstring at the top which ties at the shoulders.

This one was actually made from a pillowcase (instructions for this on Little Dresses website also). Please don't pay any attention to those letters at the bottom. My iron on transfers and I had quite the go around for 20 minutes or so....the iron on transfers won. Good thing they were given to me; I'm not out any money!

Our home ec club is planning a sewing day where we'll be making up as many of these little dresses as we can. I'm really excited! What do you do with scraps?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Devotions - How do I listen to God?

The Lord called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening." 1 Samuel 3:8-10

Every night at bedtime the boys and I read the Bible. We were on the story of the great prophet Elijah and talking about God spoke to Elijah and gave him messages to pass on to the people. (Elijah's one of my favorite Bible characters; full of fire he is!) The idea of a God talking to a prophet prompted a lot of questions from Yip and Yap.

How did God talk to the prophets? Was it a normal person's voice, like you talking to me? Or did it come from the sky?
Why doesn't God talk to anyone now and send messages?
Why doesn't God talk to us? Will he if we ask him to?

Wow guys, lots of heavy stuff for Mom at bedtime. But I tackled these questions as best as I could. As we talked I was reminded of Samuel. Samuel and Eli lived and worked in the temple, in a holy place. If anyone would have recognized the voice of God talking to them they would have, right? But no, it took God calling three times before old Eli realized who was calling the boy Samuel.

Maybe God still is talking to us but we don't recognize his voice. Maybe we are too distracted by our daily lives, tasks and technology and God's voice is drowned out by our 'priorities'. Or maybe what we need to hear God is a guide or mentor, like Eli was to Samuel. Sometimes I think God is talking to me.

As the boys and I talked I sure didn't feel like I had the best answers for them. But my advice for them was; if they wanted to hear God speak then they should lay quietly and listen. And don't expect to have to listen with their ears but perhaps they need to listen with their hearts. I think I need to take my own advice to heart.

Dear God, Thank You for Your prophets and they messages they had for Your people. Their messages still ring true for us today. Help me be silen today God so I can hear You speak the message You have for me. Amen.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Kansas Ice

We had freezing rain all morning Wednesday of this week. The boys came home early from school because the ice had been building up all morning. When they got home this is what we found on the trees. Ice, ice, ice.

What else to do but go out and play...and try not to fall down. It was slick! Poor Yahoo fell down on the ice as soon as she stepped off the porch. Ah! But, it was a chance for me to get out and practice with my camera. It's been a while since the kids and I had a good photo session.


Yip! Hold still!

Man, I can NEVER get a good picture of that boy.
Maybe it's because he never. stops. moving!

Yap and Yahoo, why are you eating ice off pine needles? Maybe the pine needles add a nice flavor.

I was so glad to get this photo of Yahoo because recently whenever she sees me with the camera she either hits me or runs away!

Ice sure helps create some beautiful photos and it's good because ice adds moisture in our very dry farming area out here but Spring?.....seriously....I'm ready anytime you are.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Foody Friday - Drip Beef

I'm not very confident when it comes to fixing any sort of meat dish. I've learned the simpler, the better and if I can fix meat in a crockpot that's one more advantage I have for a successful dinner. But because I have a brother that thinks I eat too many vegetables and has begged me to feed his nephews and neices more meat...this recipe is for him. (Okay, okay brother, you don't have to add the onions if you don't want to!)

I've modified this recipe from Pioneer Woman's Drip Beef Recipe and seriously I always eat way too much of it. It's just that good.

Prairie Mother's Drip Beef

1 roast (any will work)
salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme
1 onion, diced
mushrooms, sliced and/or diced
soy sauce

Trim the fat off the roast. Sprinkle salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme over the surface of the meat and rub in well. Set aside.

Melt a couple tablespoons of butter in a skillet on high heat. Add the mushrooms. The mushrooms will absorb the butter fairly quickly so stir constantly for a couple minutes until beginning to brown. Remove from skillet and place in crockpot. Melt more butter and add onions, cook until translucent. Remove onions from skillet and add the the crockpot. Add more butter (or olive oil if you feel the need to be healthy) to melt in the skillet on high heat. Sear the outside of the roast on both sides until golden brown. Place roast on top of vegetables in the crockpot. Now, everything that's left in your skillet pour onto the roast. Yummy! Pour soy sauce into crockpot until it's about halfway up the roast. Don't cover with soy sauce! I usually only use about 5 oz. (1/2 bottle). Cook on high setting for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. With two forks shred meat and then stir up to combine the onions and mushrooms. Serve over bread, as a sandwich, on mashed potatoes or eat it with your fingers out of the crockpot. Not that I would ever eat it that way!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Photo Thursday - 365 Self Portraits

I've said before that I don't make New Year's resolutions....well at the last minute, I did this year. I've decided to take a self portrait every day for a year. We'll see if I can do it for a whopping 365 days!

If you are a mom, you have probably seen yourself disappear out of photos only to be substituted by your kids. I was flipping through photo albums recently only to find very few shots of me. Not that I'm vain or anything but I kind of want my grandkids and great-grandkids to know what I looked like before they were born. Therefore my resolution of 365 self portraits. I even joined a group on Flickr, 365 Days. Hopefully being part of a group will keep me at it.

January 1st.
Here's the first, nothing fancy, just something to get started. I've found I'm pretty self consious about getting my picture taken and it's no different when I'm doing it myself. This one was like ripping a band-aid off a wound....just do it already!

January 12th
I've learned to take photos at the spur of the moment. I was walking through the kitchen thinking..."ggrr, I have to take my picture today!", when I saw the light coming through the blinds...perfect.
January 5th.

Taking pictures of only myself can get really old so sometimes Yahoo jumps in with me. I've also learned when taking pictures of myself it can be difficult to control the camera when I'm not looking through the lens. This one was edited a lot to fix things but it turned out well.

January 13th
It took a couple weeks but, finally, I succumbed to some silliness. A lot of my photos were of me with a serious face. This one was right after I got home from the dentist with a numb and drooling mouth. Cute isn't it?

January 15
I take shots of myself even when I'm not in the mood! Self portraits have been hard! It's hard to control when I'm not behind the camera, my self timer is only 2 sec. which doesn't give me much time to get in front of the lens and it's a hard mental thing to get over taking pictures of yourself.

But it's getting easier. And finally it's getting more fun! Hopefully I'll get better at it too.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Taxes and Colored Pencils

DR has started working on taxes. Now, I know there are plenty of supportive wives out there who help do taxes too, or do it all on their own. Way to go!! Not me. I'm lousy at this kind of stuff.

Record keeping, accounts, files, paperwork....this is what DR does everyday at work. And he's good at it. He got the taxes practically done in 2 would have taken me 2 weeks....if I was lucky.

But I was supportive!! I brought him a beer and sat and drew a picture of him working on taxes.

Okay, it's not exactly of DR but there is his beer bottle and ledger on the table and blue shirt in the background. Do you think the IRS would appreciate my efforts? Nah, probably not....not unless it came with a big fat check!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's 6 a.m.!! Rise and Shine!

I have a secret. Very few people know my secret. I'm not ashamed of this hidden information. It's just easier not to have to explain it to everyone. But today I'm revealing it.


Ok... goes.....

Everyone in my house (me, DR, all three of our kids) we all wake up at 6 am every morning. Okay, sometimes it's 6:15 but most mornings by 6:30 everyone is in the kitchen eating breakfast.

Why don't I let it be known to the entire world (until today that is) what our household schedule is? Well...when I do, people are shocked. They can't believe that everyone gets up so early! They can't believe I make my kids get up so early! What a cruel mother I must be!

Now for the second part of my kids' bedtimes.

Ready? Okay....

Yip and Yap (they are 6 years old) go to bed at 7:30 and Yahoo (almost 2) is tucked in by 6:30 - 6:45 at the latest. She also takes a 2 hour nap during the day. It's not like I put my kids to bed and they're awake playing for an hour. After they are in bed they fall asleep pretty quickly. Phew! I feel better! Up until the boys started school, and I started talking to other moms, I didn't even think this was an odd schedule.

In my defense my kids have always been early risers. Their bodies' schedules just worked out that way. But I do have a reason for encouraging the "early to bed, early to rise" attitude in our house. See, DR's job is agriculturally related; he manages a grain elevator and helps to oversee 4 others. Therefore, as with any ag job, work hours can flucuate wildly. Most days DR works an 11 hr. day. He leaves at 6:45 and gets home around 6:30...on a good day. Other days he doesn't get home until 7:30 or 8. Then there has been the occasional trip out of town; he'll be gone for a couple days at the end of this month. But then there is always harvest. When farmers are in the fields and bringing grain to the elevator, it isn't uncommon for DR to leave at 6 am and get home at 9 or 10 at night.

I remember when I was in elementary school my dad worked as an ag mechanic and a part time farmer. I remember weeks at a time where I barely saw him. When I was a kid, I hardly ever saw him in the mornings. Dad left for work before I woke up. And there were times he came home from work and went straight into the field and worked until after I was in bed. I remember times when I didn't see my dad until the weekends. (Dad, I'm not putting you on a guilt trip here, my childhood was awesome. I love you bunches!) But Dad always told me not to marry anyone in the ag industry. I was never very good at listening to him!

Because this is the way I grew up with my wonderful dad, I try to make sure that my kids see DR at least a few minutes every day. That's why everyone in my house gets up at the same time.....6 am. It doesn't always work out, and there are some days when the kids don't see their dad at all. But most mornings DR kisses everyone before heading out the door.

Now tell me, is this crazy? Why is everyone so shocked when I tell them our sleep schedule? Why does everyone thinks this is so odd? Am I the "weird mom"? (Well, yeah I probably am a weird mom but for a lot of other reasons besides this one!) Not that I'm going to change my kids' sleep schedules but I'd like to hear other mom's opinions on this.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Marker Monday - Borax Crystals

The kids and I made Borax crystals a while ago. I'd actually wanted to do this for a long time but didn't find the time (or energy) to set it up until after Christmas. There are places all over the Internet to tell you How to make Borax Crystals but not many places that tell you why they work. I'm all for making pretty things but sometimes I like to teach my kids the science behind it too.

First, shape pipe cleaners into any old shape and tie them to a pencil. Mix a ratio of 1 cup of boiling water : 3 T of Borax and pour them into canning jars and suspend the pipe cleaners in the Borax/water mix overnight.

Why does this work? Because hot water molecules move farther apart from one another than cold ones. When the water is hot, the dissolved Borax has places to go between the water molecules. But as the water molecules cool down and move closer together the Borax gets pushed out of the way.

All Borax crystals, no matter what size, have the same shape. Long rectangular shapes with flat sides. As the Borax gets crowded out by the water, they begin stacking up on one another (like Legos) onto the pipe cleaners. If the water is super saturated with Borax the pipe cleaners will only be able to hold so much and some Borax will crystalize at the bottom of your jar.
There you go. Now you can make fancy shmancy Borax crystals but more importantly now you know why they work! Happy Science to you!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Devotions - Material Possessions

It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot's wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. Luke 17: 30-33

I sometimes wonder, if I were forced from my home in a moments notice, be it a natural or manmade threat which drives me, which of my possessions would I grab before fleeing? In those few moments after seeing to the safety of my family I think my Bible and photo albums would be the first things I would grab. My Bible is full of notes and highlights that have become part of my daily Bible study. And of course, my photo albums are full of memories that I cherish.

If I had more time to grab stuff I'd probably grab some of my artwork, my camera, the kids favorite toys, family heirlooms. The more I think about it, the more things I would think of to grab if I had to flee my home....if I had just a few more minutes.

How have I become so attached to material possessions? They have no merit with God do they? Of course not. As the old saying goes, "you can't take it with you." Our faith and soul are the only things God is concerned about. But what are we most concerned with?

Someday Jesus will come again to take us home. Are we ready? Are we ready to go with him at a second's notice? Are we ready to turn away from everything and everyone we hold dear on Earth to go home to what is most dear in Heaven?

Dear God, Thank You for Your love. Thank You for our blessings on Earth. Thank You for reminding us however that material possessions are worth nothing compared to what awaits us with You in Heaven. Help us prepare to leave at a second's notice. Amen.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Colored Pencil Yucca

For Christmas I gave away a couple of my pastel drawings as gifts. Of course, I matted and framed them first. I bought the matte board myself so had some black pieces left laying around. I haven't drawn anything on black for a long time.

I used colored pencils to draw these abstract yucca plant landscapes. These were so much fun. They were small so I could finish them fairly quickly and colored pencil is much cleaner to work in than pastel.

This one is my favorite because of the brighter colors and sense of depth my second doesn't have.

Align Left This tall skinny one was fun too but I wish I'd done something different with the background. I do like the moon though.

I have a few more pieces of this black and I think I'll be drawing on these for a while.

So, what do you think?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Foody Friday - Mini Pies

There isn't anything fancy about today's food post other than offering up an alternative for pies. The boys asked for pumpkin pies the other day and since they tend to eat anything better when they don't have to use a fork I made mini pumpkin pies using muffin tins. They are also easier to pack in their lunch boxes this way.

I just cut the pie crust into large circles using a large plastic cup and tucked them in and added the filling. I did bake them about 15 minutes less for than what the recipe called for if I had been making a full size pie.

Here's the recipe I used;

Pumpkin Pie Filling

4 eggs
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
3 T flour
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. cloves
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. allspice
1/2 t. salt
2-15 oz. canned pumpkin
1 c milk

Beat eggs, sugars, flour spices and salt. Add pumpkin and milk. Pour into 2 pie shells and bake at 350 for about an hour until pie puffs up in center. For mini pies in muffin tins bake for 45 minutes.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Photo Thursday- Boots

Why does anyone need this many boots?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Marvel Who?

I have some awesome in-laws but one brother in law of mine in particular is a super uncle in the eyes of my boys. Why? Because their uncle is a Marvel comic junkie. Not so much a junkie though that he couldn't separate himself from all these Marvel superhero toys he sent to us last week.

I'm pretty sure all these toys were my BIL's when he was a kid. Wow, pretty cool he's sharing his old toys with my kids isn't it? I bet his report card read "plays well with others" when he was younger.

Yip and Yap love these toys, so do I. The only problem is we don't know who they all are. Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? I didn't grow up watching or reading Marvel comics and since my boys don't watch tv (gasp!) we are a bit befuddled over some of the alliances of our Marvel pile.

Of course I know Hulk. I thought he was green? I do remember that show from my childhood.
And thanks to Yip's obsession with this one (and one hunkie Mr. Hugh Jackman) I know Wolverine too.

But who's this one? I'm tempted to say he must be a good guy. I think it's the bright colors of his underwear, I mean, supersuit that sways me towards his valor.

Wow, this guy has to be a good guy. Only a good guy would be brave enough to head out to a fight in purple and pink. Or maybe he's just a really badass bad dude and doesn't care what anyone thinks.

Then there are the few women action heroes. Are they virtuous or vile? I'm betting the chick in the red number isn't to be trusted. Would you trust any woman in a tight red hoochie outfit like that? And the one in the green shirt and shoes.....does she really have super powers or is the bad 80's fashion statement enough to drive away evil doers....or good doers?

Okay, I know Storm. (Thanks Halle Berry.) See she's one of those good guys but dressed in black like a bad guy. She's kind of like Johnny Cash that way.

Red, white and blue jammies. See, this guy has to be a good Uncle Sam. Of course, Storm up there had that dark outfit...but....she's a good this guy has the whole patriotic outfit ...but...maybe he's really a bad guy!
See, this is just too confusing to figure out on my own!!

Now this guy, I'm pretty sure he's a bad guy...maybe it's the hair. He has hair like James Dean. It just screams "REBEL" doesn't it? But I like him anyway. Any dude who can keep his threads that nice, straight and clean while kicking that high has to be admired.
Thanks my BIL Marvel Comics Fan.
Good or Bad, we are sure enjoying our new toys.

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