February 28, 2013

Thankfulness Month Day 28

Last post of the month!

I'm thankful for others taking my challenge. I've really enjoyed reading what you wrote! Next year maybe more bloggers will join in.

I'm thankful for reminders to be thankful. It can be easy to take things for granted, to get bogged down in daily mundanity, or to get buried under the negative.

I'm so thankful that Jesus died on the cross, for me and you.
But God commendeth his love toward us, 
in that, while we were yet sinners, 
Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

I'm thankful for an eternity in heaven to look forward to.
For the wages of sin is death; 
but the gift of God is eternal life 
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:23

In my Father's house are many mansions: 
if it were not so, I would have told you. 
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, 
I will come again, 
and receive you unto myself; 
that where I am, there ye may be also.
John 14:2,3

I'm thankful for ...
my husband
my daughters
our parents
our siblings
our nieces and nephews
our grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins
our church
our friends
our home
Eric's job

 ... and I could go on and on!

God is so good to me!

February 27, 2013


Almost there!

Today I'm thankful:
-for day 4 of the world-record-breaking February walks. We went to a nearby development with quiet streets and nice sidewalks. The girls got out of the stroller and ran a long way.

When Peabody started to slow down I asked her, "Are your legs getting tired?" She looked down and patted her legs and admonished them, "Wake up!" Mama Dog is not a good leash-walker at the best of times. When I walk her by myself I put on her choker collar and she does a little better, but when I'm pushing the stroller I put on her harness and loop the leash around the stroller handles and she helps pull. Today the girls ran in front and Mama Dog could hardly stand it that they were leading the pack. We met a couple of other people walking their dogs and she got lots of barking and lunging into her workout.
-for an answer I've been waiting a while for
-that the ceiling in the girls' room dried out okay after I accidentally left the vaporizer on high all night. Oops.
-that the girls are feeling better and don't need the vaporizer tonight!
-spring is only 20 days away

What are you thankful for?

February 26, 2013


Almost forgot to post! Only two days to go ...

Today I'm thankful for:
-another walk. That's 3 days in a row, a February record.
-homemade granola on
-homemade yogurt with
-apricot preserves (not homemade, but two outta three ain't bad)
-a washer and dryer right in my house, something I never want to take for granted!

What are you thankful for?

February 25, 2013


Today I'm thankful for:
-being able to go for a walk today. That's two days in a row! Mama Dog is very mellow today, I think she might be sore from all of this exercise.
-Peabody peeing on my lap instead of the couch -- it's much easier to take a shower and wash clothes than to get pee out of foam cushions. She so rarely has an accident. I guess my lap was extra-comfy and she just didn't want to get up.
-frozen vegetables ... well, you know, I'm thankful that I can buy frozen vegetables. I don't eat them frozen. But I have a very bad habit of buying fresh veggies then forgetting about them until they are no good. Frozen stays good for a long time!
-Bar Keeper's Friend. Seriously, where has this stuff been all of my (married) life? It's like Magic Eraser in powder form. My stove top is sparkling -- I don't think it's ever been that shiny. And my copper-bottomed pots!
Before, sort of -- different pot but in the same "before" condition
After! Oops, missed a spot ...

Truly, my pots have not looked like this since I started using them. Eric finally took the Bar Keeper's Friend away from me. I kept going from one thing to another. I couldn't stop.
-and lastly, this silly little girl who makes me laugh:

What are you thankful for?

February 24, 2013


Today I'm thankful for:
-a friend's baby staying put for the time being!
-being able to go to church and hear some of the preaching, despite the girls being sick
-waking up to a hot breakfast, then coming home from church to a hot lunch, thanks to the good old slow cooker which I must admit to calling a crock pot. ("Don't everybody?" Identify that quote, Pops.)
-a freshly bathed dog. Amen.

What are you thankful for?

February 23, 2013


Today I'm thankful for:
-a date with my fella
-a fun babysitter for the girls
-new slippers!
-sweet Boogie who cried tonight because she doesn't want to grow up and leave us. Awwwww.
-hilarious Peabody who got hold of my measuring tape today, told me, "I wanna measure your tushie," measured the back of me carefully, then declared, "It's big enough!"

What are you thankful for?

February 22, 2013

TMD22 and Other Stuff

There will be no rhyme or reason to this post.

-Last night Eric and I substitute-taught the kids' class at our mid-week service at church. Now, I regularly teach a Sunday school class of 4- and 5-year-olds. I have four kids for about 45 minutes. It's pretty easy, honestly. Last night we had 9 kids from age 2.5 (Peabody) to 9. They're all good kids, though the youngest boys were antsy, and every time I had to tell one of them to stop talking or sit back down he would immediately respond, "I'm obeying!" or "I'm being good!" It made me laugh. The class went fairly well but I was glad Eric was in there with me because it was pretty much barely controlled chaos. I realize that 9 kids for less than 90 minutes is nothing compared to what most teachers deal with -- I have great admiration for school teachers and daycare workers.

-While the kids were coloring their worksheets Peabody turned hers over to the blank side and traced her own hand several times.
That kid never stops surprising me. I had no idea she could do that.

-Both girls woke up with colds this morning. Actually I was up with them three or four times during the night. One of the downsides to Eric working so many hours is that I get all the night-time wake-up calls. At least I can sleep later if I need to. Peabody ended up in bed with me after he left for work.

-The Boogie and I have been doubling up on many lessons in school. Since we are technically several weeks behind due to our vacation in September, we are actually catching up instead of getting ahead. But, since I've figured all along that we won't finish the curriculum, I like to look at it as getting ahead. Ha! Anyway, because we don't use snow days, it will be nice to take a day off here and there, especially once the weather gets nicer, without feeling like we're getting even further behind.

-Although the weather is not particularly nice, we are taking today off.

-Do your fingers ever type a word different from the one you're thinking? For instance, I just typed "dog" instead of "day." I wasn't even thinking about dog. My fingers have a mind of their own. I don't know what they're trying to tell me. Maybe this: "We're tired of typing. We want to scratch the dog." "Please wash us, we smell like dog food."

-The Boogie is doing well with basic addition; recognizes numbers up to 100; can tell time if it's on the hour (9:00, 3:00, etc.); can count in ordinal numbers up to 30 (though the other day she read twenty-second as "twenty-twoth"); can read simple one-vowel words alone and in sentences; is just starting to read two-vowel words; recognizes several sight words; reads with good expression. She still sometimes mixes up 8 and 6 when they are not in relation to their before and after numbers; often confuses lowercase "d" and "b"; pauses to look up at me after every word she reads; when sounding out words with a short "e" chants under her breath, "e says 'eh'." Her printing is alternately good then sloppy. The good can be very good, though!

Overall I'm so, so pleased with how well she's doing, and feel a great sense of satisfaction that I get to be a part of this process.

-Peabody loves to chew gum. The Boogie liked it at this age but would only chew for a few minutes then want to spit it out, and disliked anything mint-flavored. Peabody, however, will chew the same piece of gum for hours, and always begs for the minty gum. Therefore, she almost always has fresh breath.

-One of my goals for this year is to use more homemade products. By this I mean, replacing products made for a specific purpose with concoctions made from ingredients I have around. (Or, you know, ingredients I've purchased for my concoctions. What can I say ... before learning about homemade laundry soap I didn't even know Borax existed.) So far I've experimented with cleaning spray, powdered laundry soap, hand soap, hair detangling spray, shampoo, wet mop cloths for my Swiffer, and have plans in the works to try dishwasher "detergent" as well as wool dryer balls sometime soon. I've done homemade laundry soap before but it was a liquid and I just didn't love it. So far I like the powdered version better. I haven't been using it long enough to form a real opinion yet, though.

-One thing I've been using a lot more of is baking soda. Combined with vinegar and water it makes a great scrub for the tub and sink. I'll add some to detergent in the washer when doing stinky work laundry. I'll sprinkle it on a mattress and let it sit for a while, then vacuum it off. It's supposed to work as a carpet deodorizer too, but I'm not about to stick my nose into my carpet so I can't speak from experience there. Trying to sprinkle it from the box is a pain, though. It comes out in big clumps. So I cleaned an empty parmesan shaker and filled it with baking soda -- voila! The perfect way to sprinkle it around. Then I carefully wrote on the container and the lid "baking powder." Yeah. In Sharpie. I didn't even realize I did it until I was proudly showing Eric how clever I was to re-use a parmesan shaker, and he pointed out my error. Well, baking soda by any other name still does the job ...

-I don't expect to completely eliminate commercial products. There is a time and place for bleach and sanitizing cleaners (toilet bowl, germy kitchen sink, laundering washcloths and towels, etc.), antibacterial hand soap (someone has a virus), and Gain laundry detergent (in the washer with my sheets!) But I can save us some money by not purchasing that stuff as often, right? Right. Besides, I'm having fun with it.

-My experimenting, while fun, has produced several fails -- like dish soap -- so when something goes right I'm delighted. Last week I attempted homemade yogurt. The first try was a huge fail. I used a different method for the second attempt and it turned out perfectly! I was thrilled. I'm going for a third batch today, trying the first (failed) method again. I'm more informed this time so hopefully it will turn out. Homemade yogurt has a much more mild taste and a softer texture than what we're used to. I strained some of it to make thick Greek-style yogurt and it was delicious, even plain. The girls and I eat yogurt often, and I sometimes substitute it for sour cream in baking, so I imagine this will save some money. Eric has been reticent to sample the homemade yogurt, which really surprises me because he is Mr. I'll-try-any-food-once. I think previous experiences with plain yogurt have turned him off to it. I'll keep working on him -- I might be able to coax him into trying it with some strawberry jam!

-Poor Mama Dog has been cooped up in the house for many months now.
I walk with her whenever possible, but with shorter days and below-freezing temps it just hasn't been that often lately. At her check-up last month she weighed almost 30 pounds, a good four or five pounds more than when she was there last April. She was awfully skinny when we got her, and still would have had some filling out to do even if she hadn't had puppies, so I'm not surprised at the weight gain. I imagine she'll slim down a bit with regular exercise. She's been "asking" to go outside more, even with how cold it is, so I let her out in the backyard for as long as I dare before making her come back inside. Because of her new habit of rolling in dead grass, and the fact that she's been smelling particularly doggy lately, she is banished from carpeted areas until she has a bath. Oh well ... hopefully the weather will be turning springlike sooner rather than later so we can walk more, and she can hang outside for more of the day, watching cars and passersby and chasing squirrels. I'm planning to have the carpets cleaned in the spring -- once that happens she will be banned from the carpet for at least the summer, bath or no bath.

-My favorite pair of slippers has gone kaput. My feet have been hurting at the end of the day and I finally figured out that there is no padding left. I'm sad. The upper part is knitted in a great neutral color which means that when I drip coffee on them you can't see it! So now I must go shopping for slippers in February. I've learned that although February seems to be the coldest month of the year, stores have clearanced out all cold-weather garb (garb! what a great word.) In my case, that means I will find lots of flip-flops but very few pairs of slippers. Maybe I need to look online instead ...

Today I'm thankful for:
-roses for $1.99/bunch
-a $10 pair of slippers that lasted through almost two seasons despite being worn constantly
-being one day closer to spring
-daffodils sprouting in my garden
-a vaporizer to make sleeping a little easier for two sick girls

What are you thankful for?

February 21, 2013


Today I'm thankful for:
-yet another phone conversation with a good friend -- Mrs. Specktacular!
-a nice fat paycheck
-the hard-working man who puts in many long hours every week to bring home that nice fat paycheck
-controlled chaos in the F.R.O.G (Fully Relying On God) Squad class tonight
-the fact that God loves me, even me

What are you thankful for?

February 20, 2013


Today I'm thankful for:
-something selling quickly on Craigslist! Too often that's not the case; it can be frustrating to get no responses, or get responses from potential buyers who then don't follow through.
-"big" shopping done in record time
-talking to Mrs. Cowboy yesterday, and my mom today
-phones which permit for conversations with people who live far away!
-putting the camera to use a little more often this month

What are you thankful for?

February 19, 2013


Today I'm thankful for:
-remembering to post every day this month ... so far
-this cute little dishwasher. She had so much fun and I got some clean dishes out of the deal. I think I need to make this a regular occurrence.
-walking into the living room to find this
and then getting this when I told her to pretend to sleep:

Then the Boogie had to get in on it.

And I'm thankful for answered prayer! God is good, today and every day.

What are you thankful for?

February 18, 2013


Today I'm thankful for:
-breakfast at Chick-fil-a
-my broom and vacuum, now that Mama Dog has decided that every time she goes outside she must roll vigorously in dead grass, then come inside and shake herself off
-cousin playdates
-a few hours of having the house ALL to myself!

What are you thankful for?

February 17, 2013


Today I'm thankful for:
-lots of filled pews at church!
-a restful afternoon
-Wawa hoagies
-indoor plumbing, especially on this windy, freezing day!
-funny blogs

What are you thankful for?

February 16, 2013


Day 16 ...? At least I think this is day sixteen ...

Today I'm thankful for:
-new household projects we have underway (I say we, but I mean Eric)
-girls' room and playroom tidied and organized
-not a single request from either girl to watch Toy Story, Toy Story 2, or even the newly acquired Toy Story 3. Hallelujah and amen.
-Peabody's fluffy blonde curls
-my bed. I love it. I'm in it right now.

What are you thankful for?

February 15, 2013


Today I'm thankful for:
-something slightly dreaded not being bad at all, and
-a husband who will go in to work an hour early then work through his lunch break in order to be with me during that something slightly dreaded
-the new recipe I tried turning out well (I must stop trying out new recipes on other people before doing a trial run)
-beautiful, spring-like weather today ... which of course meant taking a walk! It has been so nice lately to get fresh air and vitamin D.
-a really fun Valentine's fellowship at church! We ate pizza and wings and dessert (I skipped the wings) and played games. We were supposed to judge the food and guess where it came from. Our table played Apples to Apples, a new favorite of mine. I like games that move quickly and you can stop whenever you want. You will not catch me playing Monopoly. 

What are you thankful for today?

February 14, 2013

TMD14 -- Valentine's Day

Today I'm thankful for:
 -this valentine

He is a hard worker, a good provider, a loving husband, and an affectionate father.
I love him!

-this valentine:
 She is sweet, generous, observant, and funny. She's a willing helper, and a wonderful big sister.
I love her!

-this valentine:
She is snuggly, goofy, smart, and hilarious.
I love her!

-and this:
  She's mellow, patient, friendly, and mostly obedient. She's good with the girls and while I can't honestly say that I love her, I will admit that I've grown fond of her.

So, happy Valentine's Day! What are you thankful for?

February 13, 2013


Today I'm thankful for:
-snow holding off until tonight
-two very good girls while grocery shopping today
-a nice long walk!
-the hot shower I'm about to take
-the warm comfy bed that I'll fall asleep in after that!

What are you thankful for?

February 12, 2013


Today I'm thankful for:
-remembering to write this, though nearly at the last minute
-time spent outside getting some vitamin D
-humor during school, like this question in the Boogie's Bible lesson

And that's all my sleepy brain can come up with! 
What are you thankful for?

February 11, 2013

TMD11: Peabody the Photographer

Today I'm thankful for:
-a high outside temperature of 55 degrees today!
-a forecast of well-above freezing temperatures all week, plus sunshine
-the Boogie being such a trouper today while we trudged through extra lessons
 -remembering that peanut butter takes gum out of hair
-letting Peabody have the camera for a little while. It's fun to see the world through her "eyes."
She took lots and lots of pictures: me making the bed, me folding clothes, many varied shots of pillows, random things around the room. There were the obligatory feet pictures:

I remember the Boogie always taking pictures of her feet when she was this age.

Then the big sister showed up.
Please note the gum in her mouth

Oh, the silliness

Not so silly anymore. Notice where the gum is now.

Though this is blurry, the gum removal effort is apparent. This must have been about the time she came to me for help.

This is my favorite picture, though, because it contains every thing that is dear to Peabody these days: her lally (blankie), Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and the Toy Story 2 book she just got from the library. I am impressed that she happened to get everything all together in one shot.

And as an added bonus, a few more that I took.
The artist at work

"I draw a bunny rabbit!"
Last night Peabody told me, "Honey, Buzz Ligh'year is goin' potty." Absentmindedly I replied, "Oh, good." Then I realized what she said and, alarmed, asked, "Where? Where is Buzz going potty?"
"Righ' dere, on da potty!" She pointed down the hall. I ran into the hallway to find:

Whew! I was a little worried because, as you can see, Peabody's little potty sometimes lives in the hallway too, when the bathroom is occupied. And since she will use it but not tell anyone, there is often evidence in it ... so I was relieved that Buzz was using his own, although very pink, potty seat.
I'm thankful that the Space Rangers occupying my home are potty trained.

February 10, 2013


Today I'm thankful for: 
-a walk with Mama Dog 
-good preaching 
-discovering forgotten gift cards 
-"unplugging" for a day 

What are you thankful for?

February 9, 2013


Today I'm thankful for:
-heating oil in our fuel tank
-a company who was willing to delivery heating oil on a Saturday
-homemade pizza for dinner
-sunshine so kids could go outside and play in the snow
Eric built a tiny snowman on the porch
Mama Dog only liked to be out in the snow if we were with her
She said it was yummy. I took her word for it.

-these hot-chocolate-drinking girls

What are you thankful for?

February 8, 2013


I'm not feeling so thankful right now. I'm a little discouraged today, to be honest. But ...

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  
I Thessalonians 5:18

So, with that in mind, here goes ...

Today I'm thankful for:
-Snow. Yeah, okay, I'm really not. I don't like snow. I kinda loathe it, actually. However! 
It looks pretty.
It covers up dead brown winter grass.
It hides the fact that my car hasn't been washed since ... I truly don't know since when.
It makes my kids light up with excitement when they see it.

So, for those aspects of snow I am thankful.

I'm also thankful for:
-Being at the edge of the snowstorm so we should only get a little bit
-Being able to have lunch with Eric today
-Safety on the roads in cold, wet, rainy nastiness
-Electric space heaters

What are you thankful for?

February 7, 2013


Today I'm thankful for:
-other bloggers accepting my challenge. You know who you are. :) I like reading what you post.
-watching Peabody crack up her cousin O-nee in the nursery tonight
-good friends
-talking to my mom on the phone
-the Boogie telling me today about how excited she was to go to church!

What are you thankful for?

February 6, 2013


Today I'm thankful for:
-spending thirty minutes outside today. It was very cold, and it felt like much longer than thirty minutes. But the girls (including Mama Dog) enjoyed it. And there were even a few moments of sunshine.
-ink in the printer
-chai tea concentrate
-my non-smart cell phone, and the fact that it is non-smart
-this gem from the Boogie today: "Honey, are you an artist?" No, I'm not an artist. "Well, I can teach you! I am an artist."

What are you thankful for?

February 5, 2013


Today I'm thankful for:
-the wealth of information at my fingertips via the interwebz
-bottled water
-warm soft towels right out of the dryer!
-this snuggly-in-the-morning person (blurry cell phone picture)

What are you thankful for?

February 4, 2013


Today I'm thankful for:
-quiet time with God before kids get up
-teaching school from my favorite chair in the living room
-piano benches that are the perfect height to use as a desk ...
 ... thereby allowing me to teach from my favorite chair in the living room
-soup for dinner
-my Pops! It's his birthday. Here he is!

Okay, so he doesn't look quite like this anymore.
Happy birthday, Pops! You are a wonderful dad and I love you lots and lots and lots!

February 3, 2013


Today I'm thankful for: 
 -My Nook 
-Returning visitors at church 
-My Sunday school class 
-Downton Abbey (what can I say? I've been sucked in!) 
-My car 

What are you thankful for?

February 2, 2013


{Thankfulness Month Day 2}

Today I'm thankful for:
-Trader Joe's
-a five year old who randomly tells me "I love you"
-homemade cookies
-warm slippers

What are you thankful for?

February 1, 2013

Thankfulness Month 2.0

February 2012 was my self-proclaimed Thankfulness Month and I enjoyed it so much I think I should have a repeat!

Plus, I've been slacking in the blogging department and this is good incentive to get back on the wagon.

Today I'm thankful for:
-our working furnace
-teaching my daughter to read
-cousin & friend playdates
-health insurance
-a 2.5 year old who makes observations like this while inspecting her dog: "She have 'parkly eyes, an' ears, an' a happy face, an' a nose, an' paws, an' a tail. But I don't got a tail," patting her own backside, "I jus' got a tushie." 

Okay, people! I'm challenging you to join me this month! What are you thankful for?