Wednesday, January 31

I am a Wuss

It's true! I totally chickened out of doing the kids' bathroom yesterday. I made up a zillion other things I needed to do, so I wouldn't have time to get around to the bathroom. On the upside, I got a TON of ironing done, lol!!

My MIL Sherry is going to come visit on Saturday, with a few of her friends. The kids and I are really excited about this. Then Dad, who was in Mexico last weekend and bought me some real vanilla (YAY!!!) and a new b-b-que smoker (huh? but ok!!) is also going to visit this weekend. Mom just bought Wes a new bed set, so she's giving us the set of twin beds she'd be getting rid of anyway. Which means that people actually have a place to sleep when they come visit us overnight!!

However, after this weekend, I am boycotting the world. I will not be going anywhere, and no one can come over here, maybe with the exception of someone who has kids that are the same age as mine. But that's it!! :)

Ok, I must brag on the wonderfulness of my older kids!! I had to run out the the car yesterday afternoon, and when I came back, David was leaning against/sitting with Sam on the couch, chewing on the paw of Smoochie (Sam's beloved stuffed frog). David had been on the couch and started fussing, and Sam went and moved David to that they were sitting together, then Sam had Evie run upstairs and grab Smoochie, so David would have something to play with. Aww!!!

And now, as I am writing and paying bills online, David has been laying on a blanket behind me. He started to get fussy, because nap time is coming up. Without anyone saying anything to her, Evie came up to play with David and keep him happy, even though she had other (more fun) things she could have been doing. This is what it's all about!!

John is still asleep; he had a late night last night. The kids and I are about to sit down to do some school, and then I see a nap in my future ... I just cannot seem to regain any of my energy, regardless of how much I sleep at night! Oy!! I've got a roast in the crock pot, and it smells so good! I can't wait until lunch!!

Tuesday, January 30


This weather is horrible! Just cold, and rainy, and all around generally icky. Blechhh! The older kids are going completely stir crazy. I think we'll make some banana bread later, so they can help me. They've been helping all morning with chores and things, so they need some fun time! When David gets up from his nap, they'll be able to run round upstairs like the banshees they are, yelling and stomping to their heart's content. :)

As for Candi's laundry challenge, I did pretty well. I got all the clothes in the house washed, but didn't make it to the ironing. So that will be this afternoon's chore. Today, I am going to tackle the bathrooms! Mainly, the one upstairs. For Christmas, we go the kids an easel that has a chalkboard on one side, and dry-erase board on the other. It also has a roll of paper attached to it, so you can paint! Happy, happy, joy, joy. Oh, oh joy. (Are you decting the sarcasm yet??) While I was gone one day last week, John and the kids spent quite a while painting, which is fine with me; I'm not going to do it, I don't do paint. But they had a great time, and made some very cute pictures.

Have I mentioned that this while thing is set up upstairs?? :< Grr. I didn't know that all the paint was still out and hadn't been cleaned up yet when John went to work. I sent the kids upstairs so I could feed David, then I got a phone call, and had to make supper. I kept thinking, 'Wow, Sam and Evie are being so well-behaved! I am so proud of them!'

You guessed it, they were painting the whole time. And to their credit, they didn't paint on anything except the paper. But there were many, many pictures painted, which required new paper each time, which means the old paper had to be somewhere, and there were many water changes ... And then the bathroom looked like several things had exploded in it. So I'm just now getting around to cleaing the whole thing. I tried to convince John that he was the one who left all this stuff out, so he should be the one to clean it all up. All I got was the hairy eyeball.

Eh, it could be worse. And it has been, at times. So I'll take this anyday, expecially knowing how great my kids behaved, and how creative they are. You should have seen some of their pictures!!

Whole Wheat Bread

I have tried so many bread recipes, trying to find a whole wheat bread that was good for me, but that actually tasted good! I don't care how healthy something is, if it doesn't taste great, I'm not going to eat it. I finally found what I was looking for in this very easy recipe from my friend Kristie from church.

Whole Wheat Bread
From Kristie Ellison

10 cups whole wheat flour
2 T dry yeast
2 T vital wheat gluten
300 mg vitamin C crystals
4 c warm water
1/2 c oil
1/2 c honey
1 T salt
1 c chopped walnuts
3/4 c coarsley ground flax seeds
1 c raw sunflower seeds

Mix 6 cups of flour, yeast, gluten, and warm water for 1 minute. Let dough sit (sponge) for 10 minutes. After sponging, add oil, honey, and nuts, mixing thoroughly. Add salt and vitamin C crystals, and remaining flour one cup at a time, allowing it to mix in completely before adding the next cup. You may need a little more or a little less than the remaining 4 cups. The dough should be soft but not sticky, pulling away from the sides of the bowl.

Knead for 7-10 minutes in mixer, or 12-15 minutes by hand. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Form into three loaves, place in greased load pans, and let dough rise in the oven set to warm (150 degrees) for 25 minutes. Turn oven up to 350 degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes. After cooled, slice with an electric knife for even, thin slices. Eat within 3-4 days or freeze (will keep for several months).

Whatever you do, do NOT eat this bread while it is warm, with butter or honey, and a glass of milk. You will end up eating an entire loaf in one sitting! :)

Pumpkin Bread

This is one of my favorite snacks, hands down! Because it is so time consuming, I never make this without at least doubling the recipe, and I usually tripple it. Very good eaten warm, with some honey butter on it!

Pumpkin Bread
by Brea!

2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 T cinnamon
1 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c sugar
3/4 c oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
3 c shredded pumpkin
1 c coarsely chopped nuts
1/3 c coarsely ground flax seeds
1 c raisins

Preheat oven to 325.

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

In mixing bowl, combine sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Mix until combined. Slowly add dry ingredients. When just combined, fold in pumpkin, nuts, flax seeds, and raisins.

Spoon into muffin tin or mini loaf tins. Bake until golden brown on top, and a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool five minutes in the tin, then remove and cool completely.

Cuts best when chilled, using a serrated knife. The tops of loaves or muffins will be very sticky. Best stored individually or in one layer. Freezes very well for up to 4 months. A small pie pumpkin will give the best flavor. Whole wheat pastry flour is also sold as ‘white whole wheat’ flour.

Tomato Sauce

This is another recipe that I always have on hand, because it freezes and cans so well! It's all by taste, so play around with it to make it your own.

Tomato Sauce

by Brea!

½ c olive oil
½ c extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
¼ t salt
5-8 cloves garlic, minced
2 T dried basil
3 T brown sugar
1 #10 can crushed tomatoes (available at SAM’S or Wal-Mart)

Heat olive oil in large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sprinkle with salt, and cook until onion is translucent and brown around the edges. Add tomatoes, sugar, extra-virgin olive oil, and basil, reducing heat to low. Let everything warm through, and serve immediately.

Keeps in the fridge for 3 days, freezes for 6 months in an airtight zip bag. (Do not fill bag all the way full if you are going to freeze!)

If your family doesn’t like to eat chunks of onion, like me, then use a smoothie blender (or regular blender) after everything is combined to make this a very smooth sauce. The canned tomatoes have salt added, so taste before adding extra salt. In the summer, I dice up all my really ripe garden tomatoes that are about to go bad and cook them with the sauce, which adds a very fresh taste.

Monday, January 29

New Additions

And no, I'm not pregnant. :)

I have a lot of friends who ask for recipes when I start raving about something new I've made, but I'm pretty much the worst person in the world to try and get a recipe from. I will forget to send it to you for up to two years, regardless of how many times you ask me for it. If you don't believe me, ask Melanie, who had to ask me for over two years for my taco soup recipe, one of the easiest things I make. So here are the recipes I love. I'll try to add one or two new ones each week.

Ok, the antibiotics I'm on make me feel upset to my tummy. I started taking acidophilous, and the improvement has been huge! I take one capsul every time I take my meds (twice a day), and I just feel so much better. John would probably say that it's all in my head, but I really don't care. Physical or mental, it's working! :)

So in response to Candi's challenge, I'm doing my laundry today after school. The rest of my house is somewhat presentable, so I'm not going to worry about cleaning anything else, other than sweeping my floors again. My game plan is to get all the dirty laundry in the house done by this afternoon, then spend the two hours during nap time ironing. If I can do that, thenI won't have to worry about ironing for about a week. Yay!!

Please continue to pray for John's grandfather. He will probably die within the next few weeks, and we are asking for prayers that he is confortable, and that when his time comes, it would be completely painless. Thank you!!

So now I'm off to start school and read to the kids while I nurse David. We've been reading the Miller family book about missionaries ... it's amazing!! And the kids just love it, too. :)

Chicken Vegatable Soup

This is a relatively new recipe for us. I came up with it during the ice storm, when it was really cold outside, I couldn't get to the store, and we all wanted something warm and very hearty!!

Chicken Vegatable Soup
by Brea!

3 skinless chicken breasts, simmered on medium heat until very tender, shredded
6 medium red potatoes, cut into half-inch cubes
2 1/2 c carrots, cut into half-inch cubes
8 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, cut up
1 1/2 c canned corn, drained
1 1/2 c black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c half & half
1 T freshly dried basil
1 T chili powder
chicken stock (fat-free, reduced sodium)
olive oil
salt and pepper

Place al veggies (except corn and black beans) in a large stock pot. Just coat with olive oil, and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on medium to medium-high heat, until onion is tender. Add 2 cups chicken stock, enough to just cover all veggies, and basil and chili powder. Cover, and simmer, stirring often, until potatoes are tender (al dente, if they were pasta, lol!). Add 2 more cups chicken stock, chicken, corn, black beans, and cook until corn is heated through. Add half & half and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately. Great with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese on top, eaten with fresh cornbread.

Peanut Butter Cookies

An old recipe, from my great-grandmother, Evelyn Turk, Evie's namesake.

Peanut Butter Cookies
by Brea, modified from Evelyn Turk

1/2 c butter
3/4 c crunchy peanut butter (or 1/2 c smooth peanut butter)
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 brown sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Cream butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and peanut butter. Sift dry ingredients together in a small bowl, then slowly add to wet mix. Add chocolate chips.

Cover with plasic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, no longer than 36 hours.

After dough is chilled, scoop into small balls and press down with a fork. Sprinkly with sugar, and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet until edges are light brown.

Enjoy warm, with a cold glass of milk!

Doubles very well, and dough freezes well if rolled out and pressed with fork before freezing.

Taco Soup

A cold weather mainstay at the Stewart casa.

Taco Soup
by Brea, modified from Rebecca Smith

1 lb ground venison or turkey thighs
1 jar salsa (I love Mrs Renfro's Roasted Garlic salsa, if your store carries it!)
1 jar water
1 can fat-free refried beans
1 can black beans
1 can no-salt corn
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
shredded cheddar cheese, corn chips, sour cream to garnish

Brown venison or turkey meat in a large sauce pot. Add all remaining ingredients (except garnishes), and cook on medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until heated through. Ladle into deep bowls, garnish, and serve immediately. Enjoy!!

Shiner Beef Stew

One of John's favorite meals, and especailly good on a cold night when paired with homemade cornbread.

Shiner Beef Stew
by Brea!

1 bottle regualr Shiner Bock
4 c water
seasoning salt
1 package (3/4 pound-ish) stew meat
flour and oil to brown meat
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small white or yellow onion, cut into very large pieces
2+ c cut up carrots
4-6 small red potatoes, cut into chunks
2 T freshly dried basil
2 c corn (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Put Shiner, 2 c water, onion, garlic, basil, tomato, and 1 t seasoning salt in crock pot on high. Brown lightly seasoned and floured beef in a very hot skillet, adding to crock pot as soon as browned on top and bottom. Cover chrock pot and cook on high for 2 hours.

Add potatoes, carrots, salt & pepper to taste, and hot water as needed. Cook for 2 more hours, until beef starts to become tender. Adjust seasonings, and add corn. Cook one more hour, then serve immediately.

Homemade Honey Butter

A staple around our house! Great on toast, rolls, or whatever.

Homemade Honey Butter
by Brea!

2 c (1 pound) salted butter, softened
1 c canola or light olive oil
2 t vanilla
2/3 c honey

Mix all ingredients on high until completely combined. Divide and freeze or chill. Serve straight from fridge, and do not let sit at room temp for too long. Because of the oil in this recipe, this will spread on bread when it it still cold, but turns very mushy, almost runny, if left at room temp for too long.

For a fun twist, add 2 T cinnamon for a nice wintery treat!

Sunday, January 28

Honey, I'm Home!

We had our first Girls' Weekend on Friday and Saturday. This involves Margaret, Sarah, and Moi.

Except that Sarah had her tonsils removed Thursday. My poor, wonderful, in-an-insane-amount-of-pain best friend!!

So I drove to Katy Friday morning to visit my mom, and my grandfather came out to lunch. It was very nice, and I had a wonderful time chatting with Papa. And David hammed it up like I've never seen before. If I could bottle his cuteness and sell it on eBay, I'd be a gazallionaire. Seriously. Then I went over to visit Sarah, and take her husband some food I made for him. That's right, I made Scott food and delivered it from 150 miles away. That's service with a smile!!

Then I made my way to Marg's. Let me just add this side note here: I hate all people who drive in Houston. All of them. I really like living in the country, where the worst traffic issue I deal with is getting stuck behind someone who drives too slow on the little roads near our house. That being said, I had a great time with the Cecils, and Marg and I went to Black Walnut Cafe for breakfast Saturday. If you are ever in The Woodlands and have a chance, you simply MUST visit this place. A google search has just revelaed that they also have a Houston location. Whatever. Go eat there, and you will think you have died and gone to foodie heaven.

Then I drove back to Katy, because I left my glasses at my mom's again and needed to pick them up. That, and mom bought me Sonic for supper. :)

I was a wondeful weekend. Sam and Evie had a wonderful time with John by all accounts, and I had a blast with Marg. We were giggling like little girls on minute, then we were discussing docterine from Romans the next, then I learned exactly what an EKG is, and why and how you would get one. It's great to have good friends. I can't wait until the next time, when our dear Sarah can join us!!

John is at work very late this evening, and then he still has to go to the store (I would go, but the base to David's carseat is still in the car!), then he'll finally be home. And on that note, I really should feed my older kids some supper.

Tuesday, January 23

This just In:

I have very sweet friends!!! (Hi Candi and Sarah!!)

And mastitis. Along with the 102 fever, body aches, chills, and headache that makes me want to crawl into a small black hole and die.

Ok, ok, so maybe its not that bad. It's actually a lot better after only two doses of antibiotics. Yes that's how bad I felt, I actually went to the dcotor!! Shocking, I know. John has been the most wonderful husband ever the last few days, and has been taking care of me in the sweetest way. It makes him very nervous when I get sick, so he has just been great.

I have a lot of guilt when I get sick, because I never get just a little sick. I am either well, or very sick. (On the upside, I get sick about every second never.) But I feel very guilty that I am just laying around doing 'nothing' instead of doing housework, playing with the kids or doing school, cooking, or doing laundry. Well, let's be honest, I'm ok with getting out of doing laundry any way I can. :) So mostly I just try my darndest not to get sick, and to get well very quickly.

Today and tomorrow, I am making food to freeze and take to wonderful Sarah, who is having her tonsils removed Thursday. Well, it's acutally for Scott, since Sarah won't be eating solids for quite a while. But I'm going to see her Friday, so I'm takin' vittals with me. It's what I do.

Please pray for physical healing for my family!! I know it's just that season of the year (and life, considering the kids ages), but I'm ready for everyone to be well at the same time, even if it is just for a week.

Sunday, January 21

I'm back!!

Our cable was knocked out for a while with the ice storm (which was awesome!!), and all me bambinos have been under the weather at one point or another, so I've been scarce on the computer. Which has been kind of nice. :)

Life can be so frustrating sometimes!! As some of you know, housekeeping is NOT one of my naturally strong spots. Actually, I am VERY bad at it. I have my strengths, but this sure ain't one of 'em. But lately, it's been a lot better. It started when I was pregnant with David, and I guess it wasn't just nesting, because it's stuck! However, it always amazes me how fast things can go downhill. Within the space of about 30 minutes, my house can go from being very clean to a totaly disaster zone that would probably qualify for assistance from FEMA! I would love to use the excuse of 'I have a new baby and my others are sick,' but that's all it would be: an excuse.

I've had to learn a lot since we moved here last year. Here's a problem I have: I don't see clutter. It doesn't bother me, because I just don't notice it. When I do finally notice it (or when it is pointed out to me), I don't know where to start. I see a messy living room, not a cluttered couch, covered coffee table, and dirty floor. If I saw things the second way, life would be much easier.

It's something I contunially have to work on, because even though I could care less, John really likes it when things are somewhat orderly. And I love the look on his face when he comes home after a hard day at work and the house is clean and smells nice. Is there anything in the world more satisfying? So I work on mot making the messes as big, and cleaning them as I go, and not getting overwhelmed, and taking things one project at a time. And prayer. Lots and lots of prayer.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Since 'all things' includes blessing my husband and my family by my actions, this verse gives me huge amounts of comfort! Added bonus: it teaches Evie how to clean her house and take care of her family one day. A many-fold blessing!!

On a totally unrelated note: seeing how I do not have the self-control to keep my nails out of my mouth, I have an infected cuticle that is KILLING ME!!!! I am really not whining; it hurts really bad!!!!!!!!! :( Poor me ....

FAbulous blog for those of you who need some inspiration or encouragement:

This is my dear friend Candi, who is very wise and much better housekeeper than I. You can all learn much from her, young padiwans.

Pics of David coming tomorrow or Tuesday, if I can get John to help me.

Tuesday, January 16

Things to Ponder

"Mom, did Davy Crockett go to heaven?"

"Hmm? Oh, um, I don't know. I think so, but we can't be sure. I don't know enough about him."

"But he maybe went to heaven?"

"Sure, hon, he maybe went to heaven."

"OOHHHH!!! I can meet him one day!!! I am so happy! I probably will be his friend in heaven."

"Well, hon, if Davy Crockett is in heaven, I can't think of anyone that he'd want for a friend more than you."

"Yeah, I hope he'd like me. ... Mom, can I have cocoa?"

Ah, to have the attention span (and excitement!) of a child. Peaise the Lord for my wonderful blessings who keep me on my toes!!

And ... HI CANDI!!!! :)

Wednesday, January 10

This Just In:

We all now hate the letter 'B' because it is from the devil. Seriously. We spent waaay too much time on that silly letter this morning, and have decided to skip it for a few weeks, so that we don't all end up hating each other.

We went to the Guys' house yesterday, and there were probably 9 or 10 kids ther, not including the itsy-bitsies like David. The kids had a blast! All of them took really, really long naps. Gotta love that!!!

I now have a tiny giggling baby on my lap. He just spit up on my fav sweatshirt, but that's ok, cause he's so cute that it's impossible to stay mad at him!!

Tomorrow, we go horseback rinding at the Seales' place. These girls are amazing!! Hannah, who came over last week, is the oldest sister. Their website,, is pretty cool. Check it out and buy one of their CD's. The music is just good, uplifting Christian stuff. We really enjoy it around here.

Off to put Itsy-Bitsy down for his nap now, then heating up some chicken and black bean chili for lunch. Ciao!

Monday, January 8

school days, school days

Today was our first day of school! Or at least, today was our first day of the new school schedule. This morning, we had math (learning numbers on the measuring cup, then adding 2 cups and 1 cup to make pancakes), writing (playing in the tracing workbooks, then we're working on the letter A this week), language arts (chapter 21 out of Farmer Boy, to be exact), history (we've started the story of Abraham and Sarah), critical thinking (having them paraphrase what we've read in Farmer Boy and Abraham and Sarah), and home ec (they helped me take clothes to the laundry room, take clean clothes to the couch, fold said clean clothes, put away the clean dishes from the dishwasher, feed the cats, brush teeth and hair, straighten their rooms ... also known as chores!), plus some extras like helping me finally put away Christmas stuff and making lunch.

Ahhhh ... the hard life of a homeschool mom!! Classical approach, schlassical approach ... we're unschooling, baby!!

On a differnt note, taking the lights off the tree has made my hands break out in a rash, and I'm soooo durned ichy!!!

Prayer request: John's grandfather had a heart attack on Saturday, and is in the ICU in Georgetown. Please pray that the Lord's will be done, and that Jim would not suffer either way. He's such a cool guy ...

Saturday, January 6


Any female (and most males) on the face of the planet knows this feeling: Your FAV pair of jeans starts to develop a very inconveniently-placed hole. You worry, but decide to go try on new jeans. You end up MAD because the copmany that made your old jeans doens't make the same cut anymore. Seeing how it's been three years since you last bought jeans, this is somewhat understandable, yet still maddening.

Weeks pass by. You start washing your jeans on the gentle cycle, in the hopes that the hole will magically heal itself (this never happens, by the way). Finally, you have to admit to yourself that you can no longer wear the jeans in public. It is a very sad day for you.

Then one day, after a two weeks with no jeans, you break down and decide to try on jeans again, just to see if you've calmed down since your last outing. You have. You're trying on jeans, one pair after another, and then ... it happens.

You find The Pair. At first you feel a little guilty, like you're betraying your last loyal and faithful pair of jeans. Then you reason that your last pair would want you to move on, to be happy after they were gone. And the feeling of a well-fitting and flattering pair of jeans is ... well ... bliss. Pure bliss.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am wearing Bliss at the moment, in the form of GAP Boot Cut Curvy Fit Ankle (but still slightly too long on this tiny mama) faded wash jeans.

And I'm just so happy!!

Wednesday, January 3

I Forgot

I have AdSense now, so please please PLEASE click on the ad at the top of my page each time you visit!!


My Firends have Issues ...

and I love it!! Hannah came over yesterday. Now, this amazing gal is about a year younger than me, and is the oldest of 4 sisters with an older brother. These gals don't 'date,' but believe in courtship. They sing, have their own CD, and are all around peachy. So Hannah is over for a while yesterday, and I got to know her a little better, and it's nice to know that she has struggles, too, just like the rest of us.

Pace was over today with her youngest 4 kids (they have 6). I have heard about Pace for quite a while, because she is friends with my aunt, and my aunt really looks up to her. Pace is another amazing person. I was talking with her about how much I struggle with my house and being organized, and how I feel like total crap when I can't get stuff done. She was so incredibly sweet and encouraging, and made me smile, and gave me several Scriptures that really helped me. Then she shared with me some things that she struggles with ... like whining children, being spiritual, doing school, serving and honoring your husband with a good attitude ... again, it's nice to know that everyone has at least a few chinks in their armor!!

Book club is this evening, and I am really looking forward to it. Hopefully this headache will be gone by then ...

Sam and Evie are sick!! we looked at Sam after Pace & Co left after lunch, and he looked a little too flushed and bright-eyed. SO we took his temp, and it's over 101 now. Poor angel. Looks like Evelyn has the same thing, so we're in for a fun couple of days. On the bright side, it's already serious Movie Weather.

Now, off to shower and feed a precious, cute, sweet-as-all-get-out baby!!

Monday, January 1

the New Year!

Happy New Year's, everyone! I'm back, after a long break. Things that happened while I was gone? Well ... I had a baby! David Gray Stewart was born October 5, around 5 am. He weighed 7 lb 10 oz, and is absolutely the most perfect thing ever! He has a wonderful disposition, and has been sleeping through the night since he was about 4 weeks old. The big kids are crazy about him, and just can't get enough of him. They love to play with him and make him smile.

Also, we're potty training David. Sounds completely insane, I know, but it's actually working! That's right, my son, who isn't even three months old yet, goes to the bathroom on the toilet. Thank you, Pearls!

Other news ... We had Thanksgiving in Georgetown with John's dad's family, and there were over 30 people there. It was a blast! And John's dad wore a VERY VERY pink shirt, and kept going on and on about how he wears pink because he always gets hit on every time he wears it. EEEWWWWWWW!!! I never want to think about that again!!!! Jim was in Austin for a month, and stayed with us twice. Yay. Bobby, John's cousin, got married just before Thanksgiving in a beautiful ceremony. Congrats, Bobby and Kendrick!

Christmas was here, with Dan, Rebecca, and their kids; Dad; Sherry; and Nanny. It was fun, and the kids got waaaay too many presents from all their grandparents. By Dec 26, I had hidden more than half of their new stuff, so I can bring it out throughout the year. Christmas was great.

Which brings us up to the new year. John worked New Year's Eve, and the kids and I stayed home and watch some of the small fireworks our neighbors were setting off ... man, I jujst love living in the country!!!! John rushed home and made it here at 11:55 (which means they were able to close the store down in an hour. For those of you who don't know this is a very big deal!), so we were able to kiss (awwww!) and midnight. Then I promptly went to bed. :)

Hannah is coming over tomorrow. The prospect of having a friend close to my age, that lives (somewhat) near me, is exciting. So I'm glad that she's coming over. I'm going to the store this afternoon. And Pace and 5 of her crew are coming over Wednesday to play for a little while, and we're going to Austin on Friday. Seriously, this is more than I normally do in a month!! :)

So I will not conclude the world's most boring post with promises of more posts to come, and some pics of my new angel soon. xoxo, and good luck to all in the upcoming year! Remember to praise God each morning for the blessings Hs has given you, and the one you have yet to receive!