Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stuff

From the title you might think that this post will be about the stuff that we have been doing. No, it is about all of the stuff that has been accumulating. I can't believe that I am showing these pictures to the world... but here you go!

The garage.

Our third bedroom, which is seems to always be the catch all room.


I could justify these pictures by saying that some of the stuff is from the kitchen and once the kitchen is complete the stuff will be gone. Or that it is all boxes of outgrown clothes. Not really true. Some of the things will be moved back to the kitchen, but not enough. Sigh.

Honestly we are just drowning in stuff. I am on a mission to finish projects, sort, purge and get rid of stuff. The plan is to have a large garage sale and what doesn't sell will go to charity.

Please tell me I am not the only one with this problem. I find that the more stuff that I have the more cluttered my mind and heart feel. It certainly doesn't make me feel like I am living the simple life that I so desire.

I will keep you posted as I take care of "stuff. "

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Whole Wheat Banana Bread


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 egg whites
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 large)
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, pecans, etc (optional)

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In large bowl mix sugar, oil, egg whites, bananas, milk and vanilla. Mix until well blended. Add dry ingredients. Bake at 350* for 55-62 minutes for 8 inch pan or 45-52 minutes for 9 inch pan.

This is a Betty Crocker recipe and it is delicious! I am not a huge fan of banana bread and I loved this recipe. It was very moist and will certainly be a keeper. I doubled the recipe to make two loaves and am glad that I did since one went home with my father-in-law. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Parade

I hope that everyone had a wonderful, long Memorial Day weekend. Mine was great! It was mix of fun and relaxation. Just the way I like it!

On Saturday we headed downtown in the big city for their annual parade. Which is something considering neither of us like to go downtown. My mother-in-law was able to get free tickets. They were fantastic seats. We were sitting in folding chairs right on the street!

We saw typical parade things. The cartoon balloons,

marching bands,

and the city motorcycle drill team.

About 50 feet away from us they had a little mishap and two of the bikes collided! Thankfully no one was hurt.

This was Megan's favorite thing.

She keeps telling everyone about the clown in the car.

She was really into the parade and loved waving at everyone.

Here comes the military! The main reason for this wonderful weekend.



It was a wonderful time and we are planning to attend again next year.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hard

Everywhere I look I see or hear about someone I know having a baby. After all this time, after all the joy I have received it is still hard. Hard to hear about others experiencing the joy of having a newborn. Hard to know that it will never be me. Hard to feel this way.

Honestly I am happy for everyone who has a baby or two or three. I would never wish for anyone to have a desire for a child and it go unfulfilled. I had always dreamed, thought, may assumed that I would have two or three children. Sometimes it just hits me that I will never have a large family.

I guess maybe what I am trying to say is that the next time you are announcing your good news or attending a baby shower and see someone who has no children, an only child or who has build their family through adoption with a far off look just remember that it might be hard for them.

I am a mom to beautiful little girl. A little girl that is the answer to my prayer. The prayer to be a mom. I know that I am blessed. I feel blessed. There are just those moments.

When I have moments that are hard I reflect on this scripture.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

If you are wondering what brought about this post. I received two invitations for baby showers this week and the kicker was packing up the last of Megan's baby items for my sister-in-law. Luckily the hard moments pass quickly.

I hope that you are enjoying some wonderful sunshine. Have a great, long weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stop To Smell The...

Peonies !




I have been busy running errands and helping my parents get their pool ready. The weather here is beyond gorgeous! Even with all the busyness of life I did remember to stop and enjoy my backyard peonies. Have you taken a moment to enjoy the beauty around you? Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Graduation

We had the pleasure of attending kindergarten graduation for my niece, Kayla.




She attended a wonderful Christian school and they always put on a delightful program. As you can see Megan couldn't get enough of the fun!





Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday


On my bedside table:
Nothing. I need to select some new books.

On my TV:
Disney

On the menu for tonight:
Not sure. We have an appointment at 4pm for an oil change.

On my To Do list:
Laundry
Clean Kitchen
Run to Kohls for a pair of sandals

New recipe I tried last week:
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

In the craft basket:
Nothing. Spending to much time outside.

Looking forward to:
Attending the 500 Festival Parade on Saturday.

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Lint rollers are great for dusting lamp shades.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
Mandy @ Mayberry State of Mind had a heartwarming post about growing up on the farm.

Favorite photo of the week:


Lesson learned the past few days:
I have to do what is best for my family regardless of what others may say or think.

On my Prayer List:
My husband & daughter
Brian, my brother-in-law
Mike, my step-father-in-law on his job hunt

Devotional, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
"Whatever God leads you , He will see you through."

Please visit Sandra @ Diary of a SAHM to read about other Happy Homemakers. Be sure stop by and wish her a great Monday!


Friday, May 15, 2009

I Spy

There have been some rainy days and I have been looking for things that are fun for Megan and friends to do. One thing we did was make binoculars out of toilet paper rolls.


To make I stapled the inside top and bottom to attach the two rolls together. I then punched holes in each roll to tie a piece of yarn to. Very fast and easy to make.

The kids decorated them with crayons and then the fun began.



These were played with for a long time. There were lots of giggles as we went around the house to spy things. They especially liked to spy each other!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies


3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 bag (12 oz) semi sweet chocolate chips


Stir butter, sugars, vanilla and egg until well blended. Stir in dry ingredients. Add Chocolate chips. Bake at 375* for 8-10 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet.

This was the first recipe that I have tried using whole wheat flour. They turned out really well. Chuck didn't even know they were different until I told him! I am trying to incorporate more whole wheat flour into my cooking. Look for me to share more recipes as I experiment. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What I've Been Doing

I've been a little hit or miss here for the past couple of weeks. All I can say is that life has been skipping right along! Can you guess what I have been doing?



Yes, I've been planting flowers!




We have also been adding some much needed mulch. This area is at the back of my house. It runs from the end of the back porch to the edge of the house. My peonies are loaded with blooms and are about to pop! My lettuce is looking good. I just hope that it hurries before it gets too hot.


This hosta is in the front landscape. This area is next to the front door as you come up the walk. I don't know why but this particular hosta is huge every year.


I have also been spending some fun time playing with my girl.

She is starting to move her legs back and forth when she swings. I am just amazed how quick she seems to be growing up!

Today there will be rain and some thunderstorms. As much as I have enjoyed my time outside I am ready for a quiet indoor day. I will do some housework, try a new cookie recipe and do something fun with the kids. Happy Wednesday!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday


On my bedside table:
Virgina by Kathy Marie Hake
A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family by Mary Ostyn

On my TV:
Little People, Big World

On the menu for tonight:
Spaghetti, Salad, Bread

On my To Do list:
Laundry
Clean Kitchen
Paint some of my treasures, if time
Babysit
Weed while the kids play outside

New recipe I tried last week:
No new recipe tried last week. I hope to have some time to play in the kitchen this week.

In the craft basket:
Learning to crochet

Looking forward to:
Painting a cabinet for my bathroom.

Homemaking Tip for this week:
When browning beef make extra for the freezer. It is great to be able to make quick tacos, spaghetti or for use on pizza.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
Didn't have much time on the computer last week.

Favorite photo of the week:

My Mother's Day gift. It has handprints on craft paper to wrap around the base of the milk can, they ran out of time to get it attached. My hubby is very creative!

Lesson learned the past few days:
Life can be crazy no matter where you live. If I really want to live a simple life it is up to me to make decisions to make it simple. It is a daily challenge to find the right balance.

On my Prayer List:
My husband & daughter
Brian, my brother-in-law

Devotional, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
"Despite all new inventions and modern designs, fads and fetishes, no one has yet invented, or will ever invent, a satisfying substitute for one's own family."
-- Dr. Stuart E. Rosenberg in his book, The Road to Confidence


Please visit Sandra @ Diary of a SAHM to read about other Happy Homemakers. Be sure stop by and wish her a great Monday!


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Treasures

While visiting my father-in-law he mentioned that he had a pile of stuff he was getting rid of. He asked if I wanted to take a look. Of course I did!


If it will fit I plan to put a light in the jar and place it on top of my kitchen cabinets.

I also found a dairy delivery container. It says Loaned by Banquet ice cream and milk co. I am not sure what I am going to do with it, but I love it!

I also found this shelf.


This will be painted a shade of red and placed above the toilet in the bathroom.

I am so happy I found these goodies, especially since they were free! I will be sure to post when they have had their makeovers.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Down on the Farm

Our trip to Iowa was fantastic! We had so much fun down on the farm. Megan was able to feed the cows corn. She thought it was great until the cow licked her!


A calf was born while we were there. It was a couple of hours old when we were able to go see it. It was so soft and sweet!


We were invited to go see some pigs. I thought it would be a few pigs in a barn, but no that wasn't it. We went to a hog operation.


I can't say it was the best experience. The smell about knocked us over and it was a little sad to see that the pigs spent their entire life in a building. One of those parts of country life that isn't very pretty.

Megan had a blast "driving" the tractor.


We saw firsthand the change in rural America scenery. There were hundreds of wind turbines in the area.



There were four on the farm where we stayed. We were able to walk out to the field and have a close look.


This will give you an idea of how big these things are.


It was amazing to get to see one up close.

The main reason for the trip was for a wedding. Chuck's uncle brought his bride to be and her son here from China in February.

It was a beautiful wedding with a mix of American and Chinese traditions. I think it is wonderful that Megan has an aunt and cousin that are Chinese.


I hope that you enjoyed a glimpse of our trip to Iowa. As great as it was it is always great to be home! I look forward to settling back into our routine.