Friday, October 31, 2008

Filling Tummies at Suppertime!

Yesterday we had a super yummy supper! Earlier in the day, I made cookies for our youth group and even made some extra ones for us (although we were all too full with our supper to eat dessert...LOL). I also made a couple loaves of bread! YUM!!!!

So, for supper last night, we had homemade meatloaf, baked potatoes, yellow bean casserole (from beans I had canned last year) and homemade bread with my homemade strawberry jam!
Oh my goodness...it was so yummy! Even my kids loved it! They even loved the meatloaf! (Madelyn said I should make meatloaf more often! LOL) And I just love using things I have made or canned! It honestly makes the meal taste even better to me, does that make sense?

I am not sure how you make your meatloaf....but mine is super easy. I don't measure anything...LOL. I take a pound of ground beef and throw in some Worchestershire Sauce, Quaker Oats, some milk, an egg, and some dried minced onions! I just mix it all up and cook for an hour! LOL So easy and good!!! Lucky for Chris, we had some leftover...so he gets to have it for his lunch at work today! (I always pack his lunch...usually it's a sandwich and stuff....but some days he gets leftovers...I think he loves those days!!!)

I finished my first ever knitting project!!!! It didn't turn out as long as I wanted it to..cuz I made it too wide...but I am learning! I used a whole thing of yarn for it! LOL
And I started my next knitting project (below), the yarn is super soft!!! It will make a GREAT scarf.....

And just for fun...cuz Jaxson was being silly.....hahahahaha!.....

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday! Smile a lot and don't stress! God Almighty is in control!!! Thanks for stopping by! I truly love reading your comments! xoxo

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trunk Or Treat!!!

So...previously, I told you all how I am not a fan of Halloween. Well, our church was having a trunk or treat! Well, the kids really wanted to go...so I agreed! My aunt had previously bought these costumes for the boys from the Disney Store....Jaxson is Rattatouille and Xavier is Buzz Lightyear!
For Madelyn...we made her into a hunter. This way....the clothes she wore can all be worn again and again. My sister painted her face with some fun camo paint I had gotten! Didn't she do a great job with it??? .....And...because it is FREEZING here in PA and SNOWING...they moved the trunk or treat into our church's multi-purpose room!

Here is a picture of one of my aunt's (AKA~ Queen Esther) and Jax (AKA~Rat)...LOL....

More pics of the kids getting treats from members of our church dressed as bible characters.....


And some of the people even got truly into the part and decorated and told a story!!! :)

We enjoyed some yummy snacks....

And....after daddy got home and showered from work...he even came in to join us!!!!

X (or..ahem, I mean, Buzz) was actually sitting like this on the floor...and I just had to take a pic! I thought it was too cute!......

We had a really nice evening....exhausting but nice! :) I think the kids had a lot of fun...and ended up with a lot of "loot"....(tooooo much actually...LOL). Lots to do today as well.....so off I go...but I just really wanted to share these pics with you all!

Oh...and thank you all so much for sharing with me your feelings on whether you are a Martha or a Mary! I loved reading them and hearing about how you each are! :) I appreciate you taking the time to share them with me and everyone else who stops by and reads them! Hope you all have a wonderful Thursday! xoxo

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oh the embarrassment.....

....of a horribly cluttered school room. Yes....cluttered. *blushing* I know what you are thinking..."Katy let her schoolroom get cluttered????" Yep...I did. Not on purpose. We have been busy and I got lazy about keeping it looking right. Plus, it is a hard room. It looks bigger in the pics than it really is...It would be ideal to take the table out...but I am not sure where to put it then...and also...it is such a good spot to do crafts/activities at. However....the good news is that I decided to clean/declutter it!!!! Woooooohoooooo!!!! So... here are the before pics...that I hesitate to even post. ACK! (and yes...under the chalkboard...I have been peeling at some old wallpaper...LOL)

BEFORE:

AND.....



AFTER:




I think it is such an improvement!!! Not only did I declutter...but I organized things (more than the were before). There is still room for improvement. We have more toys than I would like in the schoolroom...the kids keep bringing them down from their rooms. We will have to work on that. But anyway...it is improvement. :o)

I struggle with all the normal things everyone does. I know sometimes it may seem like people have the "perfect" lives because of their posts....but not true, not true. I am just a normal gal struggling to balance life! :) It's kinda hard for me to show the BEFORE pics, especially because I have a tendency to get hung up on "perfection". But, I want to be real...and never be fake...and the truth is...I will never be "perfect"...and I am learning to be OK with that (slowly but surely). I will always strive to do my best at things...that is just my nature. But I need to understand that I can't achieve perfection on this earth...ever.

I do love keeping things clean...and organizing things...but sometimes I have a "Martha" mentality. Read here in Luke 10:38-42.....

38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was encumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, Martha, Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Oh gosh....seriously...how embarrassing. Martha was a servaholic. Probably a perfectionist as well. I wonder if she was the older of the two sisters? I am the oldest child and am this way...so I wonder if it mostly pertains to the eldest kids?

Are we to be tidy homekeepers and take good care of our homes? Absolutely! However, are we to get overly consumed by it that we neglect other things, such as reading with our children more etc? NO!!! I think having a good organized system is a GREAT thing...I like to make lists of things and I keep myself organized in my daily planner etc..and that can be such a great time saver and help me be a good manager of my time. However...it's when I get obsessive with some things...that it gets a bit ridiculous.

If you notice you are constantly cleaning (like, the second someone gets up...do you fix the couch cushions/pillows?), list making, daily planner book obsessing....you just may have the Martha Syndrome like me! ACK! Please join me in taking care of your home..but also taking the time to truly enjoy your children and family more! Now don't get me wrong..I do enjoy my family...but when things get messy, I get tense and it stresses me out. I can't enjoy the moment if things don't seem "perfect". This is something I will be praying about and working on trying to improve! If you suffer from Martha Syndrome...let's work on this together...praying for one another and encouraging each other! :)

I would love to hear what your thoughts are on this subject....are you a Martha or a Mary? Do you struggle with things like I do or are you able to go with the flow? Please share your thoughts with me!!! I would LOVE to hear them!!!! xoxo

Monday, October 27, 2008

Family Fun Night!

Sunday night, we had a fun family night together! We started the evening off with some homemade pizza!!! Yum! :)

Madelyn did a little reading from a new book that my Aunt got her....

The boys....always enjoying being silly! hehe....


Playing and reading some more.....

Ring around the rosie! (yep..my kids love these simple games!)....

We all fall DOWN!!!!!



X got hurt when they all fell "down". So he had some relax time on the couch to "recooperate"....

But Jaxson and Madelyn kept right on going!!! (I love Madelyn's sweet face in this pic below!)

Playing Simon Says....(Xavier still didn't want to play!).....

OK...seriously...look at those faces! Who couldn't love that?? I am blessed!.....

And to finish off our night....right before bed....it was time for some Icecream!!!! :o)

I love evenings where we spend time doing simple things together as a family!!! Those are the times that make the most wonderful memories to me!

Thank you all for the well wishes for Madelyn's dental appointment. It went well and hopefully she will be back to her old self tomorrow! (That anesthesia they gave her really knocked her out!) She is doing well and I really appreciate the thoughts and prayers sent up on her behalf! Thank you!!!!

OHHHH!!! And such wonderfully fantastic news!!! Our outdoor wood stove is UP & RUNNING!!!! Wooooohooooo!!! I love seeing the smoke come out of the chimney of the stove! And Chris finished it all just in time...it is really getting cold and windy around here lately and the heat is such a wonderful thing to enjoy!

Tuesday will be a busy day...catching up on schooling we missed today (Monday) and also doing Tuesday's work...plus I have housework to do! Whenever I get taken away from the house for an extended time of the day...I feel like I have to play catch up the next day! Know what I mean? :) Then Madelyn has Daisy Scouts tomorrow evening! A full day but we will live it with joyful hearts!

Joy is the best makeup. ~Anne Lamott

I hope you are all had a lovely Monday and have a truly joyful Tuesday!!! Thanks so much for stopping by and I will be sure to check in and say hello to you blog friends soon! xoxo

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A little Sunday Talk!


First, I just have to share...my new chair pads I got for my dining room chairs. I was so excited to find them! The other ones, I have had for years and didn't even match my dining room. So, I have always been on the lookout for some...but never willing to spend an arm and a leg to buy them! LOL Well, one day last week when I was out...I found some...for, GET THIS: $4.99 for the whole set!!! Seriously!!! Wooooohoooo! I was so thrilled! Now, if I can just find myself a beautiful, inexpensive rug for my dining room...it will be complete (well...till I get the farm house table and benches that I want someday...hehe)!


And....my knitting progress so far! I am really enjoying it. It's so relaxing and rewarding to be making something! I am trying to either make or mostly buy handmade things for Christmas! This is a scarf I am making for a Christmas gift! ......

This is going to be a busy week for my crew and I....schooling, plus tomorrow, Madelyn is going to a pediatric dentist, over an hour away. She needs to have a couple cavities filled and she gets super scared...so she will be put under anesthesia and they can get them all done at once. My friend, Heather, is going with me and I will take my knitting to work on as well.

Then, Tuesday...schooling and housework as usual and then Madelyn has a Daisy meeting in the evening...

Then we come to Wednesday. In the evening, we will be going to our church's trunk or treat. X doesn't want to dress up...I don't know if Mad or Jax will want to either...but we will see. Kids go around and get treats from trusted members of our church who have them out of their trunk (which they are decorating as well...AND they are dressing up as Bible characters and such). It will be really nice and I will be there, face painting for anyone who wants it done! :) I am making snacks to take in...other people are as well.
I am NOT a fan of Halloween. I don't like the history behind it (which I have went and found out about), I don't like that it is a traditionally pagan holiday and just in general...I don't like it. LOL I know the majority of people have fun with it and dress up innocently and all.
I don't stand in judgment...I just prefer for my family and me not to participate anymore. I was teetering on whether to even do the trunk or treat...and I decided it would be a fun alternative for the kids and also nice because there won't be those gruesome, horrible costumes around. Just a fun and sweet time! My husband isn't for or against Halloween...so he kinda let me make the decisions on this :).

What are you planning to do for Halloween this year? What have you done in the past? I would love to hear about it! Do you all dress up or do you do an alternative Halloween? Fill me in! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas about it all! Monica from The Homespun Heart has some alternative Halloween thoughts on her blog!

Anyhoooooo ~ thanks so much for stopping by and checking out my new chair pads, my knitting progress and reading my thoughts on Halloween! I gotta run off to the grocery store before supper...I need Jello for Madelyn for in the morning (it's the only type of food she is allowed to have before going to the dentist! She can only have it before 8:30am!) So...off I go! Hope you are all having a lovely weekend!!!!

PS***We had a truly lovely church service today. It was communion Sunday and I cried and am just so thankful for the grace and forgiveness we are given through the shed blood of our Precious Jesus! They showed a youtube video of clips from The Passion Of The Christ (which I still haven't watched...and don't know that my heart can handle it in it's entirety). Wow...talk about bringing to life the whole reason for communion!

OK...really....I am leaving now!!!!! xoxo

Friday, October 24, 2008

Lehman's


Have you ever heard of the Lehman's store? I have never been there...but my inlaws were there a couple weekends ago..and oh my goodness...I am so jealous! LOL It has such awesome stuff there. It is a place where a lot of Amish and people who are trying to live more self-sufficiently get there stuff! It is so fantastic! My MIL said they just loved it there. We are totally taking a trip out there sometime. It is a bit of a drive...but definitely worth it! If you want to see some of the stuff they sell....HERE is the link to their store online!

Does anyone else love oil lamps as much as I do? Aren't they so fantastic and beautiful?! I just love them! They have all kinds of goodies in their store. They even have wonderful toys! You know the ones you can actually use your imagination with?? LOL...yep..they have those! I absolutely LOVE this fold away barn...I know my kids would love it...a little outta my price range though...but isn't it too cute? I totally have a love for older and simpler items!

No...this is NOT a paid advertisement for them or anything...LOL. My MIL gave me the catalog and I just fell in love with it and thought I had to share it with everyone in case they had never heard of it before! It is an awesome place..located in Ohio!!! :) If you have been there...I would LOVE to hear about it!!! :)

And...I have this "thing" for handmade/sewn totebags and aprons. I just love them. I could just browse etsy and totally drool sometimes! LOL I love all these handmade Amy Butler bags. Aren't they beautiful? Argh...I wish I knew how to thread my sewing machine and was an awesome sewer so I could whip one up...ROFL! And...THESE aprons...aren't they fantastic? The talent people have that can make things...and build things...and create things...just amazes me! I love it! I am trying to buy mostly handmade things for Christmas gifts this year! Handmade is the BEST!!!

I hope you all have an absolutely wonderful weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by!!! xoxo

Duck, Duck.......GOOSE!


OK...seriously...my children crack me up! The other morning...before starting school...they decided they were going to play "Duck Duck Goose"! I heard this and ran to grab my camera! How comical. There is only three of them to play...(and Jaxson just runs and runs and runs and doesn't really "get" the idea of the game..LOL).

And below is a pic of the kids after "goose" is said...running (and running and running) in circles occurs and then BOOM, hit the floor! LOL (yes...everyone is still in their jammies in these pics! hehe)


A lovely picture of Madelyn and X...taken by Jaxson (without permission...but he did do a good job..maybe he will be a future photographer?? LOL). That's "mommy's chair"...but anytime I am busy (which is most of the time) and the kids are allowed to watch a movie or read together...they fight to get to my chair. The good thing is that 2 little butts fit into that seat...so as long as ONE of the three is busy doing something else...then the other two can sit in "mommy's chair" peacefully....


And...just because I couldn't resist my bean. Hehe...yes..here in PA it is corduroy weather! I love my kids in corduroy and I also love overalls...so corduroy overalls are the best!!! Look at that grin....hehe....I just love it! OH...before I forget...a few of you asked what a corn maze is (that I went to with our youth group the other night). Well...it's a maze cut through a corn field. It's a lot of fun. We went in the cold and the dark. Oh goodness...I was going in circles. LOL

I am actually glad it was cold..cuz after all that walking, I was getting overheated! After the kids (and us adults) finally made our way out (whew!) we had hot chocolate (well, they did...not me...it always makes my stomach hurt if I drink it....although, I took my kids with me (to the maze) and X...who didn't go through the maze, made Madelyn, Jaxson and I some hot chocolate...all by himself! Isn't that so sweet? Although, apparently, he put a LOT of spoonfuls of hot chocolate mix in the cup....but it's the thought that counts right?).

So there was hot chocolate...fellowship...and then our youth pastor did a devotional! It was a nice time and I think the kids had a lot of fun. I know I did....although, I did start to feel a bit panicky when I couldn't get out of the corn maze....LOL!


****I hope you all have a super Friday and a wonderful weekend! Be a blessing to someone! xoxo

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Blessings Brought By the Mailman!

Look what I received in the mail today! My friend, Sherry (who doesn't have a blog..but who I met because she reads mine!), out of the kindness of her heart, made me this stitchery above...of my family! Isn't it fantastic? I can't wait to frame it and hang it up! I just absolutely love it! I will treasure it always! Handmade items are such a treat! They are my absolute favorite!!!!


And....knowing my love of Mary Engelbreit stuff...Sherry sent me this book....isn't it fantastic?? I can't WAIT to go through it and see all the ideas in it!!!


And...that's not all!!!! Look at all this stuff she sent for the kiddos too!!! Isn't it all so sweet and thoughtful? I love it all and just had to share in my excitement!

THANK YOU SOOO MUCH SHERRY!!!!

And I want to thank you all for the super sweet comments you left on my previous post. Sometimes I wonder if I say things the right way and if people know I am posting out of love. I appreciate all your reassuring words! I hope you all are having a GREAT Thursday! xoxo


The Beautiful Gift of Life!

My sweet baby, Jaxson. My, how the time has flown! I didn't have a digital camera when my other children were born...but I got one for Christmas soon after I had Jaxson. So, I write these words concerning all my children..but just have baby pics of Jaxson to show on here!


What an absolutely wonderful gift God has given us women. The ability to have children! To think this sweet life started at a size that is unable to be seen by the naked eye! Look how he has grown over the past 2.5 years of his life! The time has just flown and I can NOT imagine my life without him!


If you have children....you know how I feel! Sure, there are frustrating times with them, lots of tears and upset over the years...but that's life. You live it and get through it and learn from it. Be their source of prayer when they don't even realize they need it. The love and joy that eminates from your children totally washes out the troubling times!
The giggles you hear when they think something is funny. The look on their face when they have just discovered something new. The stories and tales they make up with their imaginations. The amazing love they show me when I am having a bad day..(tons of hugs and "I love you, Mama"s). The sweet sounds of their voices when they sing at the top of their lungs.

If you don't already...live a life of love and show your love and obedience of Jesus daily! Let your kids see Jesus shine through you! Let me tell you...being the best example is one of the greatest challenges you will face as a parent. And although we all fall short....through love, prayer and forgiveness....we do our best. We want our kids to love Christ, love others and be in Heaven someday! Right?

And...can I tell you a secret?? Our kids aren't really our own. They're God's. He's letting us care for them for now. From the time of conception...God has entrusted that sweet life in your hands. What will you do with this responsibility? Everything we do should always be done with God's will in mind. That starts from the second of conception...till the end of time!

I am so thankful for my children. I am so thankful for a loving God who trusted me enough to give their precious lives to me. I am so thankful for the wonderful forgiveness God gives me through the blood of Jesus. I am definitely not the perfect parent. I try so hard....but fail miserably daily. I thank Jesus for his life, death and ressurection so I can experience God's great forgiveness.

Lea at the Shabby Olde Potting Shed has a lovely post you can go to HERE that has a video of a wonderfully loving woman who shares her experiences in life and forgiveness towards her mother for aborting her. Yes....this girl on the video was aborted....and lived anyway. She doesn't harbor ill feelings toward her mother. She is thankful for the beautiful gift of life and offers only love and forgiveness for what the abortion attempt did to her body.

I don't sit in judgment of anyone, ever. I sit here in joy...thanking God for my children and praying that maybe someone who is considering abortion reads this and changes her mind. I sit here hoping that those who have already had an abortion see why it is wrong but know that they ARE forgiven by our loving Creator. All you have to do is pour our your heart to Him. He hears you, He loves you, He forgives you.

Do you ever just wish you could bring all the homeless, orphan, hungry, not-wanted children home with you? I wish I had a HUGE house and could just give homes to all the suffering children in the world and give each of those women who think about aborting...a hope. A place that would love them and care for their baby. I just want to yell it from the rooftops..."Have your baby! I will love it and care for it!". Do you ever feel like that? I wish I could open a place that could do just that.

Thanks so much for coming by and reading. Please know this post was written in complete love towards all women. I don't know your situations or what you have been through...but He does. I do care about you though. If you need prayer or want to talk...my email link is up in the left sidebar! Whether it's about abortion issues or just struggles as a parent...I am always here to pray for those who need it. I pray constantly....I have to. It's the only way to live! :o)