Saturday, September 29

Art Class

Sam is taking an art class this semester. The class is taught by Mrs. Barnabas, a very sweet retired public school art teacher. She has told us that she likes doing these homeschool classes (she has at least three that she does) much better than her last job, because how can you teach are without teaching about the One who created all things beautiful? We meet every other Friday at my friend Cynthia's house; there are two groups of kids. The younger group is 5-8-year-olds, and the older group is 9-12-year-olds. I think. Sam is the youngest one in the class, but he does really well. He seems to really have some talent, and I think we all know what parent that comes from. Not the one writing this, that's for sure. Stick figures are about as complex I get (and let's be honest, they're not even well drawn stick figures!).

And this class isn't just 'let's color the flower pink, kids' or 'let's cut some paper!' In the first class, they learned about lines and perspective. Second class was the color wheel, and primary colors vs secondary colors, and how you decided which is which. (John took the kids to talk class, because I was out of town having White Russians at the Skyline Grill and Bar and wearing black heels and generally looking amazing. But I digress ...) This week, the kids are learning about drawing people and portraits. The pictures that Sam did were amazing!! I hope our scanner is up and running again soon so I can show y'all what he's capable of.

And lest you think his younger siblings are left out, don't worry. All the 'youngers' come to class, too, they just don't take the actual class. The kids that are around Evie's age either play outside or in Shawn and Spencer's room, and the little ones crawl around or spend most of their time being cuddled by moms whose little ones have started growing up. It's a bad place to be if you're borderline baby fever-ish, because all the little ones are so ridiculously cute!!

This class is a huge blessing, and I am just so grateful that Cynthia agreed to host it, and Mrs. Barnabas agreed to teach it!!

Thursday, September 27

Babies ... Oh, how I want to eat them!

Really, is it any wonder that I want about 6 more kids? Just look at the most recent addition to our family.

He's musically gifted, and loves the piano.

And he can really jam, too. He's got soul, man!!

He's concerned with his health. He makes sure to eat a balanced diet, consisting of grains, veggies, and fruit. And sometimes some cheese, but only when I drop it on my kitchen floor and he gets to it before I can clean it up. But he makes sure he eats his recommended daily allowance of fruit. See?

And he takes pride in it, too. See how happy he is? (And no, he didn't slaughter anything, regardless of how it looks.)

But more important than all those things, he's a family man. Family comes first, and he makes sure to show love to each member of our household every opportunity he gets. This can include kisses, big smiles, waving and saying 'BYE' as we enter the room, licking our faces and arms, but of course, lots and lots of hugs.

Isn't he just the greatest?? And he can clean up Wedgits and books after he plays with them, too!

Wednesday, September 26

Books and more books

I just got home from book club, and had a lovely time as always. The women I meet with every month are so amazing. We're all so different, but we all like and respect each other so much, and we all bring unique perspectives to the table. And there's always a ton of yummy snacks. I do like to eat. :)

We were at Melanie's house this month, all the way out in Dripping Springs. She has such a lovely house, and she's such a lovely person. I really admire her a lot, and look up to her in some ways. And she's so much fun!! But it takes me over an hour to get to her house, so I had to leave and run back, because Hannah was watching the kids.

She said everything went well, and that my kids are very sweet and well behaved and she likes them so much. I swear, if I could have hugged her through the phone when she told me this, I would have. Seriously. I know that my kids are peachy, and I love them to death, but it's really nice to hear from someone else that they are well behaved. Cause Lord knows they have their moments. :)

And she cleaned my kitchen!! My goodness, lawsie mercy!! I'm going to get her a happy, because I didn't even notice until after she let, and didn't get a chance to say thank you.

Hannah is another person I admire a lot. She's very quiet, like me. Ha!! I almost wrote that with a straight face ... Anyway, she's just a doll, very sweet, but strong in what she believes, and maybe the kindest person I've ever met. And did I mention that she likes my kids??

We're going up to Georgetown tomorrow to see John's grandfather, who isn't doing too well. These next few weeks will probably be his last; please pray that he will be comfortable. His name is Jim.

Now, I'm off to bed, because I had the strangest dreams last night that kept waking me up. I normally don't have dreams like that, but they were crazy last night, and I'm beyond exhausted at this point ...

Tuesday, September 25

Pot Roast

We have this every other Sunday. A favorite with, well, eveyone!

Crock Pot Pot Roast
by Brea!

1 pot roast
1 medium onion, cut in thick slices
5-6 cloves garlic, diced (we love garlic, and I use about 10 cloves)
1 bottle Shiner Bock (optional, but this really brings everything together, trust me!)
2 c + diced carrots
2 c + diced red potatoes, skin on
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 t dried basil, or 1 T fresh
salt and pepper to taste
flour and oil for browning roast

Salt and pepper roast, and light flour while heating a small amount of oil in a frying pan. Brown the roast on all sides on medium-high heat for 2 minutes per side.

When the roast in browned, place it in the crock pot. Turn crock pot to high. Add Shiner, all veggies, basil, pepper, and 1/2 t salt. Add enough water to just cover everything.

Cook on high for 6 hours, checking every so often to make sure everything is under water, until roast is fork tender. Adjust seasoning in the last half hour of cooking.

Serve with homemade cornbread and a salad, and enjoy!

**Notes: If you don't have the full 6 hours (and possibly a little more) to cook the roast, cut it into two or three pieces before you brown it. This will make it cook faster.
**Also, if you're kind of new to buying roast, the packaging should say something like 'good for roasting.' And since you're doing this in a crock pot and not the oven, you can use a much more lean cut of mean, because you don't have to depend on the fat to keep it moist.
**If you're planning on prepping this whole thing the night before, follow the instructions the same way except for the potatoes. Wait until right before you actually cook the roast to cut to potatoes.

Monday, September 24

I done got tagged!!

Jesnicole tagged me a while back, and I just realized it a few days ago. Ok, I can be a little slow at times ... I've been working on this for a few days, since I can't seem to find more than 2 minutes to sit down before at least one of my children has blood or chicken poo (or both!) somewhere on them ...

1. What is your school name and why? Uh, I'm supposed to name my school? I guess it's the Stewart Please Don't Embarrass Me In Front of My Friends Whose Kids Are In Public School Cause They Already Think I'm A Little Strange Academy.

2. How is your weather today? A little warm, low 90's, but feels like fall already because the mornings have been cool and the humidity has been low.

3. What steals your joy? Waking up late. I do not like to sleep in past 6:30 because I feel like I've wasted my morning, and I like to have some quiet while I have my coffee and devotional, and sometimes fold clothes. Joy comes in the morning!!

4. Name 5 blessings you've received this week. Ooh, that's way too easy!
1. I had grown-up time with John, and the kids had a blast at my mom's house.
2. I helped raise money for a great charity. Helping others makes me feel great about myself.
3. Hannah agreed to watch the kids Wednesday evening so I can go to my book club alone ... yay!!!
4. I have pretty much the best husband ever. He is so good to me!!
5. I won a book and had a sweet email from Dawn.

5. Favorite Scripture? Easy, too. One of the first 'long' verses I memorized. Isaiah 40:29-31 'Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.'

6. Who in the Bible do you think you are most like? Well, obviously, Mary!! Ha, just kidding. I'm pretty much not like her at all. I really don't know. Someone with a lot of flaws, but with a desire to know the Lord better and learn His laws and ways.

7. Passage of Scripture you last read? I Corinthians 9, 10, and 11.

8. Have you ever praised God for something weird? Please, who do you think you're talking to?? Of course I have!!

9. If you were making a greeting card for God, what would it say? Seriously? This is probably the strangest question I've ever read. I'm too mystified to even begin to answer.

10. What is the most fun thing you have done lately? Had a beer on my deck with a fire in the fire bowl with John, just chatting for almost 2 hours with no interruptions!

11. How did you choose your screen name? It was my name on a (mostly moms) message board, and I just like the sound of tinymama. And I am a tiny mama!! :)

12. What is the best miracle God has performed in your life, or what is your favorite answered prayer? No question or thought about it. My answer to both is John.

I don't think I'll tag anyone else. I'm a rebel like that. And I don't know all that many bloggers. :)

My Slow and Special Chicken (revised)

When we decided to buy chickens, we went ahead and bought 11 total, over the space of about a week. One died, so we now have ten. We didn't want any roosters, but and a really funny twist of fate, both of the Hilton Sisters have turned out to be boys. So instead of Paris and Nicky, we've got Man Paris and Nicholas. We still call them Paris and Nicky, though.

Here's Man Paris.

Funny things happen when you have kids, especially when you've got boys. And some things are pretty funny in retrospect, but but so much at the actual time.

A while back, Evie and Sam were playing outside, and I gave them permission to play with the chickens. They had been outside for a while, and I was just thinking to myself, 'Hmm, they've been out there for a while now. And it's awfully quiet. No good will come of this,' when Evie came running into the house, shrieking at the top of her lungs. 'Mom, mom, Sam threw Nicky into the side of the coop and she's just dead and she's not moving and there are bubbles coming out of her nose and SAM KILLED NICKY and I didn't do anything and MOM NICKY ISN'T MOVING!!!!' (Yes, she said it all one sentence like that, and actually there were no spaces between the words.)

Was the chicken's welfare my first thought? Was I concerned about the psychological state of my son? Sadly enough, no. The first thing that came into my head was, 'Aw, crap. I'm going to have to explain to John how his favorite chicken died on my watch!'

So I went out to check on the chicken. Sam was standing there crying, partly our of guilt and partly out of fear. (As it turns out, he just wanted to see the chicken fly, which is admittedly very very funny, and ended up pulling a Lenny; he just didn't realize his own strength.) Nicky was indeed lying on the ground, with bubbles coming out of his nose, not moving. I picked him up and he started to move a few seconds later; in a few minutes he seemed fine, if not a little shell shocked. We had a long talk with Sam about having respect for all of God's creatures We really didn't give it much thought after that.

About a week ago, my handsome husband came up to me and said, 'Babe, I think there's something wrong with Nicky. He acts really strange!' He went on to tell me some of the peculiar things Nicky does. He likes to run off on his own, which chickens don't do, and he gets left behind by the rest of the flock on a regular basis. It isn't uncommon to walk out on the porch and find Nicky perched on the doormat, making little squawking noises because he's lost the rest of the chickens. When we go out to feed the flock some raisins (it's like chicken crack, I'm telling you!! They love it, and that's what we've used to train them to come when we call them), Nicky will often just sit there and look at the raisin, and one of the girls will swoop in under him and eat it before he can. He's easier to catch, and just gets confused. Sometimes he'll stand just outside the chicken yard, squawking at the other chickens who are inside the yard eating all the food, while he's standing two feet from the open gate and is perfectly capable of flying over the very low fence. And sometimes, when all the others are eating birdseed that's spilled on the ground, Nicky just plops down in the middle of it all and stretches out. And he's never crowed!

We think he suffered some brain trauma when he got knocked out, and now he's retarded. Slow and special, mentally disabled, stoopid, whatever you want to call it. He's very, very sweet, though. Very gentle, not at all like a normal rooster. We may be able to keep both of them!!

Ladies and gentlemen, my retarded chicken, Nicky:

That's Nicky eating raisins out of my hand. He loves me. Now, he runs up to me and jumps on my toes.

And here's Sam and his very blond cousin, Mary Jane, harassing ... er, I mean holding some of the chickens.

Sam has Zsa Zsa and Thelma, and Mary Jane has Louise. Thelma is a little bit hateful. She comes up and pecks on my toes if I stand too close to her for too long. Eh, whatcha gonna do?

Sunday, September 23

My Slow and Special Chicken

Check the post above to see what I wrote ... I'm having tech issues this morning, and you should be able to see the pics now!

my family is whole again

Yay!! My babies are back!! My very brave and wonderful mom took all three kids over the weekend. She drove up Friday morning, and I just met her this morning in Columbus to get the kids back. It was the most wonderful and relaxing weekend I've had in a while.

On Friday, John and I just kind of vegged. I took a peaceful and uninterrupted nap. John mowed the lawn. I straightened up the house. Then I made seared Coho salmon with a ginger-lime and soy marinade, with sautéed veggies, over steamed brown rice. It turned out delicious! Supper was out on the deck, because the weather has been hot during the day, but not humid, so the evening have been really pleasant. We were able to have a fire in the fire pit once the sun went down, and we just sat outside and had a few beers and talked for over two hours. Then we watched a movie.

I woke up at my normal time (around 5:45) Saturday, had quiet time, and got quite a few things done. Then I had a very leisurely cup of coffee and spent some time in prayer. I made scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast for breakfast after John got up, then started outside on my garden. Out of all that stuff I planted a while back, only the garlic and snap peas made it. So I tilled all the rest of the area up, spread more compost, and planted spinach, swiss chard, a new kind of lettuce, and broccoli. I was very hot and tired when I was done!

John was doing a car wash with some of the employees for the St Jude's event they do each year, and I had agreed to pick up pizza and bring it to them. Then I got stuck at the car wash, helping to wash cars. In my jeans. With no sunblock. I was there for about 2 1/2 hours, and could barely walk when I got home, I was so tired and sunburned. For those of you who don't know, I avoid the sun like a vampire. I make sure that I have on a big hat and am in the shade, and I try not to be outside when the sun is at its strongest. I completely fried yesterday!!

I got home and just laid on the couch for about two hours, napping mostly, then watched the Ugly Betty marathon and did lots and lots of laundry. I got the 'problem corner' of my room cleaned out, and started on my closet. John didn't get home till around 8, and he was waaaay worse off than I was. He ended up very dehydrated and sunburned on the back of his neck and his arms, and was asleep on the couch before 9. He slept for 11 hours, and really needed it! I, on the other hand, only got 9 hours of sleep, and was up really early again this morning.

It was so nice to have a weekend off, but I missed the kids a lot. I'm so glad to have them back, and I can't wait for tomorrow evening when all 5 of us can have supper together.

Tuesday, September 18


To all the lovely women who left comments on my last post, thank you so much!! Y'all totally made my day. Evening. Night. It's 10:30, past my bedtime. Y'all made my night. :) It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who sometimes has issues, know what I mean?

Today, we had school, did some housework, played outside, worked a little in what's left of the garden, took a meal to Mr McCormick, and visited with him for a while, got caught in a freak rainstorm, had supper, and watched Dirty Jobs. It's a hard, hard life we lead, I know.

This week's Bible verse is Proverbs 10:1 'A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother.' Hmm, ill-behaved and foolish children won't really make John look bad, they'll make moi look bad. Not the top reason to train up my children, but not a bad motivator!!!

Retarded rooster post tomorrow, with pics. I promise!!

Monday, September 17

A Few Ramblings

I've been very pensive this morning ... or reflective might be a better word, I guess.

My husband. Honestly, my life revolves around him. I wouldn't have it any other way. I love it. I love him. I love him more than my house, more than my kids, more than my family and friends. He is a good man, and has earned every single ounce of love that I have for him. He is fair, and honest, and loving, and gentle, thoughtful, strong, sweet, incredibly handsome, tall, creative, hardworking, supportive, incredibly funny, easygoing, somewhat antisocial, considerate, very cute, a good kisser, and really good at ... um ... darts (oops, that one almost got away from me! See, just the thought of that man distracts me ...). He is an amazing father, and he gives me some awfully cute babies.

He doesn't ever cook if I'm home and physically able to make lunch or supper, but he works in a restaurant. He's there for 10-12 hours every day. I'm not going to ask him to come home and cook after that! But he does enjoy everything I make (we won't bring up the black-eyed peas, though), and when I need a night off, he is more than willing to bring food home from Chili's. Not so much a treat for him, but he knows that when I get to the point where I'm asking him to bring food, I truly need a break.

I have a secret that will make y'all ladies jealous: I don't make my bed. Ever. I wash the sheets, and put the clean ones back on, but I don't make my bed in the mornings. I get up every day at 5:30 or 6, and John always sleeps later than that. Before he washes his face, changes clothes, takes a shower, or has coffee, he makes the bed. How lucky am I??

He never begrudges me time by myself. When I told him about Girls' Weekend, he was excited for me. The only requests he made were1) that we not wander around downtown after dark, and 2) that I leave a written schedule for what kid eats what foods at what times, and who naps when. How cute! He is the one who has encouraged me to stick with my book club, even though I have to drive an hour (if not more) to get there.

Did I mention that he is a wonderful father? He'll leave the house at 7:10, get home at 6:30, and play baseball with the kids for 20 minutes while I finish getting supper on the table. He won't leave without telling everyone (who is awake) goodbye, especially the baby.

Sometimes he comes home late. Sometimes he comes home in a bad mood mood, or comes home and mentally brings his job with him. Those nights are less pleasant for me. But you know what? He always comes home. Each and every single night, that is a worry I don't have, that a lot of other women do have. I never, ever doubt that my husband will be there when I wake up.

He loves the Lord. He is fairly silent about his faith, but it is there, it is real, and it is strong. He is fairly silent about a lot of things. He doesn't talk about his love for me every often, but I have never for a second had cause to doubt how big and strong it is.

He loves me. He could have nothing else going for me, and that would be enough. He loves me for who I am; stretch marked, much too talkative, slightly irrational, flawed me. That by itself makes a person rather attractive!!

I know I am Biblically commanded to honor and respect him, and even if he did none of the things above, I would. But I have to tell you, he sure does make it pretty easy for me!

Why am I posting what should be titled, 'Why My Husband Is The Best Ever'? Because I was so mad at him at one point last week that I couldn't even form words. I don't know when I've ever been so mad. And when I get upset, I start thinking about me. Me, I, me, I, me. Why would he be that way toward me? I am so mad at him. He can't talk like that to me. I work so hard for him. He can't treat me like that. I deserve to be spoken to in a better way. And so on and so forth.

Pride is a great feeling, isn't it? It makes us talk kindly, treat others with respect, put the wants and needs of others first, and generally act in a way that glorifies the Father. Oh, no. Wait. It does the exact opposite of all those things. And I was so full of pride that day. It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I was in a funk for a while. To snap myself out, I started thinking about just how amazing John is. And as I write this down, this list that only begins to cover the gift that God has given me in the form of my husband, I'm wondering why I was ever upset in the first place, because who could be mad at such a great person? The Lord has blessed me so many time over, and I was upset because two little comments?? It's not like he accused me of being fat, or being a bad mother. So now I'm going to plan out his fav supper, and plan my conversation that starts with me apologizing for being a total brat, and moves on to asking if we can just talk to each other before things get to the point they were at, and hopefully ends with a great round of ... uh ... darts. Seriously.

I think I'll even shave my legs this afternoon. It always helps my darts game. :)

and ...

And my weekend with Margaret and Sarah was amazing. More on that later, when Sarah emails me the pictures ... because even though I took my camera with me, I left it in the car and forgot to take pictures ... Yeah, I'm that person.

Supper Swapping




It's brilliant! I love it!! I hope I can get a group out here together to try it!!!!

And this could easily be adapted for all kinds of different groups. Oooh, I'm so excited! I have to go email my friends right now ...

Friday, September 14

My poor baby!!

The baby has a cold. Or allergies. Either way, he's been sneezing his head off for the last 24 hours, and has been really cranky, with a stuffy nose. I'm hoping it's a cold, because I really don't want to deal with this every time a northern blows in (even a weak little one like the one that came in a few days ago!).

So my post about Nikki will have to wait, because I David woke up 5 times between 10:30 and 5:15, and since John and Sam are out of town, I was up with him every single time.

I will say this. I had a lot of snuggle time with him last night, which I don't get much of because he's getting so much older. I think it made me want another baby even more, if that's possible!! I mean, think about it. David I pretty much out of the cuddle stage. I'm pretty sure he'll be walking in about a month. Even if we did start trying to get pregnant, it would probably be a few months. So that's at least a year before I would have the new little one in my arms. David would be two by them!! Aww, I have to not think about him being two. I don't even like to think about him turning one in a few weeks ...

xxSiiiighxx I really want another baby ...

Thursday, September 13

Coming soon ...

A post about Nikki, my retarded chicken. As in, brain-damaged retarded. Seriously.

My handsome husband and Sam left a little while ago to go to Dale's house for the night out in Katy; I miss them already!! They'll be back tomorrow morning, just in time for me to give everyone a kiss and leave for Houston, because MARGARET AND SARAH AND I ARE HAVING A GIRLS' WEEKEND!!!!! We're staying at the Hilton Americas, and having dinner and drinks out (although we have absolutely no idea where yet ...), and then doing brunch. Imagine, me!! Doing brunch!! I don't do things like brunch. It's all very wild and crazy. And I'm going to wear my fab black skirt and heels and I may even paint my nails. And wear lipstick and mascara. That's right, you heard me. :)

I am so freakin' excited that I don't know what to do with myself. I guess I'll try to get some retarded chicken pictures to go along with the next post.

Wednesday, September 12


Well, we officially started school last Monday, on John's 38th birthday. How old!!!! :) Everything has been going wonderfully! This year, we're doing handwriting, reading/phonics, very simply math, telling time, Spanish, geography, computer skills, and sign language. And the usual nature studies in science, along with Bible study and scripture memorization. I know it sounds like a lot, but we don't do everything (except Bible studies and scripture, and nature) every day.

Spanish consists of me getting out the Spanish book, pointing to things, and teaching the kids what the object is in Spanish. Geography is sitting in front of our two huge maps upstairs (US and world) and just learning the names of states and countries. Sam has already memorized the states that border Texas, along with five or six others!

For reading, sign language, and telling time, we have a set curriculum we follow; for everything else, we just wing it. Some people call it 'unschooling,' but I call it 'who wants to help me cook?'

Kids pick up things at an amazing rate. They are always learning, whether I think I'm actively teaching them or not! A lot of the math that they know has been picked up in my kitchen, at the grocery store, and at the farmer's market. They know that a tablespoon is bigger than a teaspoon, and that two sticks of butter equals one cup. We always try to have 8 frozen pizzas in the freezer when we get home from the store, so if we have one left, we only need to buy 7 for that trip. $.50 is two quarters, and if I give them a five-dollar bill to buy two treats, they will get $3 back, because each cookie or brownie costs a dollar and they each got a treat.

We read a chapter from Proverbs over breakfast, and a chapter from Psalms at most lunches. We memorize one verse each week, and review the verses monthly. Nature and science comes from cooking ('Evie, where does flour come from?' 'Wheat.' 'And who gave us wheat?' 'God did!') ('What happens when we open an egg? When we scramble and cook it? When we boil it?') and just being outside ('What kind of flower is that? What kind of tree is that? Where are the seeds on that tree? Why do tomatoes and green beans and pepper have flowers? What do bees do?) ('Let's catch that bug and feed him to the spider. What is the spider doing? Why?).

We decided to get chickens because, among other reasons, it is a wonderful learning experience for the kids. They have seen the chickens grow from chicks to little chickens, and they should start laying in the next 2-3 months. What a wonderful way to learn about where your food come from! Also, the kids are responsible for the chickens, so they're learning how to take care of their pets.

Computer skills involves opening Word, setting the letter size to about16, and letting the kids type. They're already getting pretty good with knowing where the letters are and using the mouse. I usually let one kid type while I play with the other two in the loft; they are never left alone with the computer, even for me to grab something out of the other room. This is something that will not change, even as they get older.

At night, we read at least one chapter out of whatever book we're reading right before bed, so they are learning several things (how to be still, how to exercise self control and be quiet, reading comprehension, vocabulary, sentence structure, etc ...). I think some parents don't realize just how valuable it is to read out loud to their kids!!

It's all a lot of fun. As I write this, it sounds like we do a lot; we really don't! We spend maybe an hour at the table each day, and the rest of 'school' is just going about everyday life and making the kids are not just included, but an active part of everything I do. Makes for a much better day, all the way around. Their attitudes are better, I'm happier, they aren't arguing and fighting (they don't have time, between school and chores, lol!), and they're learning in the process. I love doing school at home, because we acknowledge God in every aspect of what we do. Without Him, we would have no books, no words, no chickens, spiders, or bugs, no flowers or food, no math or art ... we wouldn't have anything!!

Wednesday, September 5

This rain is killing me!!

Ok, so there are many, many, many beneficial things about all the rain we've had this summer.

*We haven't had to leave the house because of fires a single time, which is three times less than last summer.
*We've had to water our lawn once this year.
*All the lakes are up, so I don't have to worry about water not coming out of my faucet one day.
*Everything is green and beautiful and lovely and it makes my heart happy to drive out here in the country because of all the flowers.
*The temps have been amazing!! We didn't even hit 95 until the middle of August, compared with last year, when we hit 95 for the first time in April.
*Actually, we haven't even hit 100 out here.

But there are other things about the rain that I'm not crazy about ...

*I planted 9 different 'crops' this summer, and only two of them did well. My garlic, onions, peppers, swiss chard, spinach, and Asian greens either were washed away or rotted in the ground.
*Out of 15 tomato plants, only 5 ended up producing tomatoes, and even those were less-than-stellar producers.
*I was very excited about my fall garden, and planted snap peas, swiss chard, carrots, garlic, spinach, and snap peas. Everything started to come up beautifully, and I was really looking forward to all the things I could make form my own garden. Then came the rain ... and everything but the snap peas have started to die!!

It's all very depressing. And yes, I know, too much rain is a good problem to have (at least for us, because we live in the middle of a giant sandbox, and it doesn't flood out here). It just makes me sad to see so much of my garden not make it, when I've put so much work into it. '

Oh, well. There's always next year. And the cooler temps really have been nice ...

Monday, September 3


Made some changes to the links over on the right. Added a few new gals, Amy, Ree, and Jesnicole, and took out some old and/or defunct links. Please play around and visit the sites I love!!

Mangosteen? Mango-what??

So, a while back I mentioned that I was trying something new, and I'm ready to share.

I get the magazine Above Rubies (check out my links to the right ... it works now, I just tried it!), and Nancy Campbell, the amazing woman who puts the whole show together, is always giving health tips. She has traveled to SE Asia with her husband to do missions work, and fell in love with the fruit mangosteen (not related to the mango ...). It isn't really available here in the US, which is a shame, because the health benefits are amazing. She was very excited to see a little while ago that a man in Canada has come up with a way to make a juice out of the fruit and rind, so you get the goodness of the whole fruit.

The juice is sold under the name XanGo. I decided to give it a try, and ohmygoodness, I just love it!! The juice is aprox 85% mangosteen, with a few other fruits (blueberry, raspberry, pear, etc) added to smooth the taste. The taste is wonderful, by the way!! The juice is packed with antioxidants, and is good for a variety of other things. It is also a known anti-inflammatory. I have seen a jump in my energy, and my knees haven't been bothering me like they normally do.

Hello, I have three kids under 6. I'll do just about anything to help my energy!!

The juice isn't cheap; it retails for around $40 per bottle. Each bottle is 750mL, the size of a normal bottle of wine. After trying and loving the juice, I went ahead and signed up to be a distributor, so I get a discount. I originally signed up just for the discount, but have decided to start looking into the business side, too. The company, also called XanGo, is a network marketing company, kind of like Avon or Pampered Chef. Buuuuut ... unlike those companies, you don't have to throw the parties!! (I mean, you can, but you don't have to!) I've been wanting something I can do from home, that will still allow me to homeschool and basically not change my routine at all. I'm really excited!

And have I mentioned how much I loooove this juice?? :) Cause I do! Now, I have to say, not everyone loves it like I love it. My mom tried it and never saw any changes (but she only tried one bottle). But my friend Kristie has been taking it since I have, and she's completely addicted, too.

If you're interested in something you can do from home and bring in a few extra dollars (you probably won't get rich anytime soon unless you're willing to work at it like a full time job), this could totally be for you. Let me now if you have any questions ... I'd love to answer them.