Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Thinking, Playing, Reading

It's already too cold.  I need to go up to the attic today and hunt for the winter things I pitched up there with anger and spite at the end of last winter.  I am vowing here in public to not say ONE thing about the cold weather, and how it hurts all the parts of my body (it really does!), about the lack of sunlight and dark clouds and gray sticks in the sky (I'm getting it all out now) until April 1 when it's all over (or at least there is hope in the wormy smelling air).  It is particularly scary for me this year, because of the hell of last winter and the memories that are triggered by it.

If you have the same feelings about seasons other than summer, can you please tell me what makes you happy and feeling good and energized and positive in the winter vs. depressed and gray in pallor, and full of cabin fever and dried up like a frog without water?  How do you combat cabin fever besides moving to Florida for three months, which I plan to do as soon as I am able?

Thank you.  And thank you for all your sleep advice.  I put a LOT of things in my Amazon cart and will ponder them all-I can see myself sleeping smeared with magnesium oil, reeking of lavender, with a sleep mask, under a weighted blanket in a completely blacked out room all winter long and am looking forward to it.

I've had a few little guys over to my house lately and they have all loved playing with this track.  It's so much easier to clean up then the tracks with all the little pieces that fit together.


Our favorite Halloween stories:

This is a new one we received last year and I love it-the message is so neat, about appreciation and gratitude and how that makes life purposeful.

Perfectly hilarious because we have CRAZY squirrels this time of year, I swear they talk, fight, and work together-and sometimes meet their death in their daring desperate ways.

Our copy is so worn, I just love this tough little old lady.

My kids have always thought this was funny-teachers who give homework on Halloween, imagine!

A story of friends working together.

Image result for humbug witch
Janey carries this book around so I couldn't find our copy to take a pic but Humbug Witch is one of those vintage classic cute Halloween stories, of a little girl trying to be a witch but not succeeding.

And of course, (which is out of print but so worth hunting down):

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Encouragement For The Week

Love has only one meaning, self-giving sacrifice.
Doing something for someone else-even when we don't want to,
even when every fiber of our being tells us not to-
is the true definition of love. 
It's no wonder Christ said that the greatest act of love
is to sacrifice your life for a friend.
It all comes down to giving yourself away.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Ordinary Days And Sleep Advice Please

Cutest book ever-a nice old-fashioned story with a SUBTLE message which you can only find in vintage books.

I came home one morning from errands and opened the door to the basement to do laundry, and this is what I saw.  My scrapbook shelf collapsed!!!  Six neat piles, exploded.  I almost cried.  I haven't even touched it yet, I keep stepping over it.

I send my older kids pictures of my cookies all the time so they get homesick and want to come visit.

Eating lunch with this high schooler is a highlight of my week.  He's hilarious and so smart and eats a ton.

This is how we know it's officially fall.  Dead squirrels every where.  Falling off lines, and out of trees and being murdered by cars.  I'm always afraid I'm going to step on one when walking. 

And here's my help request:

For years I've woken up at 3 am every single night no matter what time I go to bed and I am so tired all the time.  I hate it.  I thought it was peri-menopause, but after chemo, that's not possible.  I HAVE TO SLEEP.  I don't want to take prescription medication.  Melatonin doesn't seem to work for me.  I don't have trouble falling asleep usually, I have trouble staying asleep for more than 4 hours.  And usually after I wake up at 3 am I can't go back to sleep.
(I don't drink soda or coffee, and I do exercise every day.  I don't eat before bed, and I hardly eat any sugar either.)

Does anyone else have this problem and if so, what has worked???
Help, I'm desperate.  

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Thinking, Playing, Reading

HELLO!  It's back.  I've waited all year.  Did anyone watch the first episode of Season 4?

Image result for poldark
Poldark on PBS


Still being played with!!!  Just adapted from animal cages to baby beds.

I find these markers in every purse and bag and box-Janey loves the small size.


My Dad, FIL and Jeff all really really enjoyed this book.  It was a great gift.

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by [Elrod, Hal]
I still love this book-it has helped me so much.  I review it all the time because it's sometimes difficult to keep up with the habits but when I do I feel so much better.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Apple Fritter Bread

Made this favorite recipe again, doubled it and baked in six mini loaf pans for gifts.  
The house smells delicious today!

This is so delicious! I doubled the recipe because it looked so tasty and was glad I did so since it went fast.  Matthew requested his own loaf and then topped the slices with vanilla ice cream.  He knows how to do dessert.

Apple Fritter Bread

Heat oven to 350.  Coat a loaf pan with non-stick spray.

Mix together in a bowl:
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Set aside.

In a different bowl combine:
Two apples, peeled, cored, chopped.
2 TBS white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Set aside.

In a mixer bowl combine:
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
2 eggs
2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp of baking powder
1/2 cup milk

Pour half of the batter into loaf pan (or if using mini-loaf pans, just eye the division so it's pretty equal).  Add half of the apple mixture, and then half of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Repeat.  Lightly press apples into the cinnamon mixture and swirl through batter gently with a knife (I just made a figure 8 with the knife through the whole loaf pan once).

Bake 55-60 minutes for a normal loaf pan or 45 for the mini-loaf pans, or until toothpick comes out clean.

To make glaze mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk.  Wait for 15 minutes after bread comes out of oven and drizzle on top.  (This is optional, it is sweet enough without this, but it adds a beautiful touch.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Thinking, Playing, Reading

Today I had to go to the pet store-I asked a question about the product I was buying and the cashier said into her microphone to the manager, "I have a pet parent here asking how long meal worms last?" She called me a pet parent!!!  Has this world gone crazy?  Because I, for God's sake, do not consider two geckos my children, nor I am sure, do they consider me (do geckos consider?) their mother or anything even close to a parent.  Because that is impossible people.  Impossible!  It's just weird, really really weird, I'll leave it at that.  


I had the lucky chance of having some little guys over the other day - this was a favorite of Patrick's and I was so happy it was being played with again. (Though Janey has had it out in the past few years also.)


The new "Who Is" book!!!  Patrick was so excited about this book, and read it in a day.

I am reading Pope Joan for book club next month.  So far, excellent.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Thinking, Playing, Reading


I found this old list on Pinterest the other day and printed it out for us and did a little checklist when applicable with each kid.  It was fun!  Everyone has a few things to work towards the rest of this year.  Andrew made a pie for his Grampy and he did a darn good job.

Boy's Version:
Football Season!
Wilson NFL Super Grip Football 

Girl's Version:
Janey rides this wiggle scooter up and down the driveway to burn energy after school.  We've had this for upteenth years, and it's been a favorite.


The instant New York Times bestseller!Entertainment Weekly’s #1 Must-Read Book for Fall • Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club...

I read this book very quickly-one of those "you can't put down" books about lives entwined within families and a community.  So much to think about.  I thought her character development of the teenagers in this book were excellent-how they see and feel things differently than adults was spot on.