Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Hello, 2018

Wow, it is here and with it the time to go back to school already.  I did accomplish a few things. The playroom is clean and I made room in the closet for Christmas stuff.  Next up is the upstairs.  This is my last day home, but either allergies or sinus or something has plagued me this break. In spite of sending eviction notices via extra C, elderberry, hot tea, rest and nose spray, whatever it is has decided it is quite comfy squatting between my eyes.  Anywhoo, that is a good excuse not to stir up more dust and possible allergens, ahem.
It is cold.  2 degrees when I got up this morning.  I don't think we had any weather like this last winter.
So I ordered a fine coat for our shorthaired SamWise.

Yeah, he won't wear it.  He doesn't mind his sweater- what I mean is he comes in with the sweater still on, but the coat lasts about two minutes.  Ahhh, more than one way to skin a cat.  Today I put the sweater over the coat.  The fact that it is only 17 degrees and he's been out longer than five minutes, must mean I've found the solution.  He loves to be outside, chasing squirrels and making nice with the neighbor's dog, but this is just too much. We've upped his food, as he's burning it up.  We keep a close eye on the time he's out chasing things.  I don't worry much as long as he has on a coat and is moving. 
He didn't even ask to go out this morning until 11:30. Likely depressed that his buddy is missing after babysitting him on the couch for past week and a half.
Well, New Year's Eve was definitely too cold for an outside fire.  Since Giddy-Up was too sick for the movie date, he joined Bean and Bugg for New Year's Eve.  Pap and Bean watched Jumanji, while Bugg and I watched Ferdinand again with Giddy-up.  That Bugg and Giddy-Up are just the most holiday fun.  I waited to open a game and a couple of gifts from Pap, so they could be a part.  They love everything.  I'm afraid I've lost Bean to his phone.  He surfaces to eat
Can I say this is the most junk stuff I've ever purchased at one time.  I don't get it. I don't like any of it, bleah.
and smile at the camera,
 and he does enjoy poppers
and things like setting up my jelly fish tank.
I like him being here, so that will have do.

 Miss Bugg still finds the sparkling grape juice too sparkly. Giddy-Up on the other hand, loved it and said, "Is this kefir?"  Hmm, sort of, not exactly.

 First thing in the New Year, we went out to see if our bubbles would freeze.

 They did, but it took a minute.

Next up, Blessing Gems.

Bean slept through all the morning festivities.

Making some cheesy, garlicky beer bread for lunch.

 Cabbage and black eyed peas to ensure a wonderful 2018.
Hope that is true for us all.  God Bless!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

So Long Traditional Christmas Eve

For all of my life, Christmas Eve has been spent at Mom's.  When she moved to an apartment, we did the party in the social room just across the hall.  This year, Mom thought she would prefer people to come in smaller groups. Umm, well, I don't exactly have a small group, but I signed up for the noon spot and brought along White Castles and fudge.  Ol' Mother Hubbard and her crew came at that time and Tim and Ashely.  Sometimes life happens in ways you don't understand.  It is strange to have so few pictures here of Christmas Eve.  Ah, life.

Our littlest Pixie wasn't feeling well, so we're missing a couple in this picture.

Mom nearly has more drink choices then the Sav A Step- our attempts to get her to drink.  She only wants to drink hot chocolate.

 I keep a few things at Mom's for them to play with when they visit.
 They color Mom pictures and she likes to put them up in the apartment.
 I try to find a little something that she can give them as gift.  They spent quite a bit of time trying to catch the ball in the cup.
 I returned on Christmas Day to bring her beloved fried turkey.  Laurie Lou and Tony and Becky stopped by, but alas, I had not brought my camera.

The Friday night before Christmas the head cook at the soup kitchen was sick. That was my night to do our traditional Blackbean Omelet Suppper with Ol' Mother Hubbard.  I asked if she and kids would like to help before we headed to her house.  We had fun and they were a big help.

For real, this would be the last year to celebrate in the house they have now.  I had decided to gift them with a winter dinner date, but wanted a little something for them to unwrap.  Then I decided it would be nice commemorate our years of blackbean omelet Christmas suppers.  Now bacon ornaments you can find, but not so much omelets, ha.  I happened on a little Annalee ornament of a gingerbread man with an apron to his ankles and  a big chef's hat.  Ahhhhh, perfect. Only one on the stand, so I nervously turned the stand, and there were three more!  Perfect.

And..... this was the big highlight of our Christmas morning.  I should have had ten kids.

Hope your Christmas was merry and bright.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Way Early Christmas

When Rae married, we moved our family Christmas to the Sunday before Christmas.  This year the Sunday before Christmas is Christmas Eve, our usual day with Mom.  That meant my little nest's celebration was moved back to last Sunday.  We weren't out of school yet, so it was quite a feat to get it all pulled together, but it happened. Lots of good food and fun and gifts galore.
The New Toy

Bean is nearly as tall as my tree.   I never get over my love of  Gramerlings in Christmas jammies.

When Bean was very small, Gardner E gave him a huge Ferdinand the Bull book.   Who knows why kids fall so completely in love with a book.  Turdeman, as he called it, was a favorite and we read it over and over and made up many stories.  In addition, she gifted him with a little cast iron bull that filled out the play.  Now, all the kids say, "Turdeman" and when you get to the part where he would just sit quietly and..... they say, "Mell the Towers," just like Bean did.  It is so hard to work around all of their schedules, but we finally hit upon a time for us to see the movie.  It was adorable. 
My little sassy pants was here too. Sadly, my sweet Giddy-up, who loves nothing better than an evening out with cousins, had a massive, scary ear infection blow-up out of nowhere and was too sick to attend.  Thank the Lord, he is on the mend.
This coming just after Phil's forty year old supervisor passing away from a tooth infection that went to his brain.  Terrifying.  Bless that poor family.
Wednesday evening some friend girls joined me for our church's Blue Christmas service.  It was so very sweet and sacred.
Today is Christmas with Ol' Mother Hubbard's kids, who are first helping me cook at the soup kitchen. I've managed to snag a nasty cold, but thankful it didn't take hold until school was out. So I will Christmas on.  All good wishes to you as you do the same.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Christmassy Goodness

Ahh, yesterday was Christmassy sweet.  I started the day with a walk around downtown with my Holy Hike's group.  It was so very cold, but there was a bit of snow blowing and lots of pretty windows as we walked and prayed. 

 Everyone shared stories of a different downtown and what we remember of Christmas shopping when we were small.  Lots of laughter and prayers.
Next was a winter's nap.
Let's back up.  It had been a hectic week.  Wednesday night was the Christmas program.  Monday and Tuesday had been fraught with sound trouble. We always have sound trouble, but this was particularly awful.  My poor kids. Every practice they had to try a different configuration of mics till by Wednesday morning we were down to trying to unobtrusively pass around only two handheld mics, when miracles of miracles the seventh grade teacher got it all going. Thank you Jesus.  Just a little stress.
Then Thursday, I go straight from school to Mom.  She was better than two weeks ago, but not as good as last week.  Any change in her behavior has us on high alert.
Friday is usually Playdate, but I had been trying to get together with friends for supper and that was the only night between us we could manage.  I flew out of  school,  and Handy Man got off early too. I gave directions and he stepped in time and we had it done at 6:28.  It was so yummy.  I made a Chicken/cheese dish, a new roasted vegie recipe from Jacob, a potato galette that was beautiful, salad and bread, oh and bread pudding for dessert.  The company was delightful.
Needless to say, the preceding three days immediately came to mind when I said, "nap."
After the nap, Rae and the kids came for make-up Playdate.  I had a few little crafts I'd squirreled away.
The boys went from their own play to crafts, to outside snowflake observing to more play. 

Mr. Smiley remembered the kitchen appliances and sat at the table for over an hour completely absorbed in the mechanics of it all. 

So we ate leftovers and the bean soup I'd put in the oven before I left. 
This boy's happy place is a bag of chips as big as he is. He also ate two bowls of soup.
Rae helped me make fudge while we listened to Karin and Linford sing about Christmas.  When all the fudge was done we played a game.
After the littles were on their way, we put in movie, The Hobbit- I know, you are surprised. I made a huge bowl of popcorn and Handy Man and I snuck a piece of our favorite fudge- white toffee and black walnut respectively. Just lovely.
I have said before and was reminded again this evening, I am just not a solitary person.  We didn't really do anything particularly amazing. There was no big agenda.  I am a working person, I do not mind working, actually I'm not happy for long if I don't have something meaningful to do.  I don't like working by myself though.  Usually the fudge making means hours in the kitchen with just my own company, so it is a chore.  Yesterday, with the littles making merry around our feet and all of us chatting and singing, it was a joy.  Thank you Lord for the joy.
I've been tutoring every morning ( fourteen kids) with some help, though the planning is all my responsibility.  The reading assessments are coming in and are very encouraging I'm happy to say.   That might make it a bit easier leaving so early on these cold dark mornings.
Today is Mom Sunday. I need to make some bows for church this morning, so I best be getting to it.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Gingerbread Party 30 Plus

Statistics for this year's party-
15 Kidlets
14 Adults
1 Gallon of hot chocolate
3/4 gallon sausage gravy
36 sausage links
24 hashbrowns
30 biscuits
27 cinnamon rolls
Lots of candy.
Bean put down the icing and manned the camera.