Author Archive

My New Favorite Snack, the Toothfairy and These Small Hours

My New Favorite Snack – Helping meet my 3 dairy a day goal!

About a month or so ago my mom introduced me to The Laughing Cow Swiss

L-O-V-E I-T-!!!!! Be sure to eat your 3 servings of dairy a day! Please excuse the quality of this picture..I used my phone.

Cheese wedges.  Being the Swiss Cheese lover that I am, I had to give it a try.  I’ve been on a bit of a “Made In the USA,” kick which means looking at every label…well, due to Willis’ nut allergies I do that anyway but I’m now also checking for where the product was made.  So as I read the label I noticed that the cheese is imported.  It didn’t come as much of a surprise considering the true, original Swiss Cheese is only produced in Switzerland and actually is not called Swiss Cheese but Emmental.  (from reading The Laughing Cow’s website I believe this particular cheese comes from France)  Imported or not, I was in LOVE!


Your tidbit for the day: In modern-day, the words ‘Swiss Cheese’ describe cheeses with have holes.  There are various types.  The holes are caused by carbon dioxide which is trapped during the fermentation process. One of which is Lorraine cheese, a household favorite around the farm.

Back to my wedges…so I have gotten hooked on these wedges.  Yesterday we made a trip to town for groceries and I spent more time looking into the wedges.  I left the store with the plain Swiss Cheese wedges and their close cousin, The Laughing Cow swiss cheese wedges in French Onion flavor.  Yummo!  I actually had a wedge with a serving of Wheat Thins for breakfast.  And, for my morning snack.  And, probably for my afternoon snack.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I’ll have to make another run for town for more.  Side note: The French Onion flavor is not imported.  :o)  So I’ve had one of my 3 -a day! Have you had your 3 dairy a day?

In other news….

The ToothFairy

The tooth fairy is going to go broke around here.  Pickle lost another tooth; number eight if you’re wondering.  His left eye tooth.  Willis is close to losing another…I know, at his age most kids haven’t even lost one.  He’s lost three.  The each receive a $2 dollar bill for their teeth.  So that’s, uh, 1+5, minus 2, plus 5, add another then times 2…that’s $16 bucks.  Yes, you are correct I missed two.  That is because the first tooth is a doozy.  We were conned on Pickle’s first tooth.  He told us his best friend got $5 for his first tooth.  After the fact, I learned his best friend hadn’t even lost his first tooth yet.  Suckers!  So that would be a total of $26 so far.

Anyway, the $2 are special and its money they will save because of the uniqueness as well as potential for being worth much more in the future.  Most importantly, no worries about adding extra sweets to their diet.  I can be so smart sometimes! The only hiccup is that I’m running out of $2 bills.  Better add that to my ‘to-do’ list….which is a great way to transition to These Small Hours….

These Small Hours

Speaking of to-do lists…go check out Laci Tatum at Tatum Tales.  She has been making some awesome mini-scrapbooks for a long time and I’ve admired her work since the beginning.  Overall, she’s an inspiring mom making small moments with her girls a high priority.  She is one of those bloggers who I wait (not-so-patiently) to see her name in my email box.  So, I about fell off my seat when I read she was making her mini-books and more for US! She has now decided to open her own store on!!  So exciting!

Her latest item is a home-made clipboard covered in black chalkboard to be used as a To-Do list.  On the clip board she has listed the numbers 1-4 to help you keep the day’s goals in sight.  It’s a great idea for those like me, who need to be kept in check…I never feel like I accomplish much in a day.  I overwhelm myself with 20 million to-do’s.  Anyway, go check out her new store….These Small Hours on Etsy. I just ordered two of her mini-books and can not wait for them to arrive!

Don’t forget (because I will! Ha!) to spring ahead an hour!!!  Or, you might just miss church tomorrow morning…it’s never happened to me.  REALLY!  Ok, maybe once.  Ssshhh!

Have a fantastic weekend!!

***I have not been paid by The Laughing Cow, Wheat Thins (I’m sure these companies have NEVER heard of me) or These Small Hours.  These are my own opinions about items I wanted to share with you, my readership.***

Flying in Seat 9C

A Pioneer Woman inspired peaceful.

During the last leg of my most recent trip I experienced something new.  It may have been the egg roll which was devoured as my plane flew down the runway prior to take off.  Perhaps it was the terrified gentleman who sat to my right – who later told me it was the lack of control of his destiny that triggered his fear.  Or, was it his buddy who sat to my left and stabbed at the poor man’s dignity until we were 15 min. into the air? Maybe the reason stemmed from the fact there were only 12 rows of seats and at 5 ft. 2 1/4 inches tall, I could touch both hands to the ceiling of the plane.


What ever the reason, I was sick.  At first I thought, “Really? This is how my wonderful, rejuvenating and inspirational trip is going to end.”  Then I began analyzing.  What in the world would make me feel so dizzy and nauseated? Keep in mind that this was my fourth flight in less than 36 hours.  Until this point I might have been a little nervous during the landings but I certainly was not physically ill.  The plane was spinning and my stomach was churning.  The oder of a nearby passenger made me want to let the cookies fly right there and then.  Another scent flowed into my nostrils as the stewardess floated by…vanilla perfume or lotion or something, yuck!  Get me a bag woman!

Then we began to approach my destination.  We were ordered (seriously) to stow all belongings which left me with nothing to do the last 25 min.  As the aircraft tipped forward my nerves were very much on edge.  Then the woman walked by and demanded, “turn that thing off!!”  She didn’t catch on to the fact that I had nervously been flinging the end of my ear buds in the air…they weren’t attached to anything.  When the landing gear, located directly beneath me, came out I nearly jumped out of my seat. That put the icing on the cake…I really wanted off  that plane and PRONTO!

I was then questioning the angle at which the DC 9 was sitting.  Desperately, I looked back and forth between the windows trying to see lights on the ground.  I’m not sure what the poor guy next to me was thinking but I was trying my best to disguise my concern.  All I could see was clouds, or was it fog? Were we about to dive right into earth?  Where were we?  Someone please come over the intercom and say it’s all ok.  I don’t dare get up and head towards the bathroom.  The airplane nazi would surely get me! LOL!

Finally, I saw lights on the ground.  The more we left the clouds, the better I felt.  I’ll grant an egg roll just before flight probably wasn’t the smartest move.  However, I’ve eaten on flights prior to this occurrence without problem.  The second flight we were told the landing approach would be a bit bumpy as visibility was very low and there was rain.  I’ll admit I was nervous…is it ever a good thing for the pilot to warn you of possible problems and doing so while stuttering?  But I remained calm the whole time.

Egg roll aside, the only common thread is the darkness and inability to see the ground.  Is there a word for being scared of night flying?  Well, if there isn’t we need to come up with one to help described my experience while in seat 9C!

Happy Thursday! Oh, and watch out for seat 9C.

Manic Monday News

Where can you be under a Winter Weather Advisory, a Flash Flood Warning AND a Severe Thunderstorm warning…all at the same time?  And, in the middle of that there was a special weather statement to be alert for tornado sirens.  So there was ice, hail, lightening, thunder, thunder snow, rain and high winds at the same time or within a few minutes.  The only thing missing was a rainbow.

Where can you find such wonderful weather you ask?

Central Illinois, of course!

Sick of being Sick

I’m sure there are others who feel the same way.  I’m so sick of all the illnesses we’ve had in our household.  I believe there has been at least one illness infecting our home since before Christmas.  We are on our second strep incident in less than a month.  I have some kind of virus…feeling much better than I have in the last 5 or so days but still have a hoarse voice, cough and extremely tired.  On top of the day-to-day illnesses, I’m fairly certain that I’m pretty anemic now too.  I had an abnormally heavy cycle over the weekend and a Crohn’s/UC flare-up began on Sat. And, it’s not a minor flare-up.  A good amount of blood loss in outputs.

I know my doctor will again push daily shots of Humira.  I’m very much against the treatment.  I think he was using a scare tactic by telling me I had to take the shots to prolong my life so I can see my kids grow-up. Hmmm, not exactly the best thing to say to a person who is dealing with Post-tramatic stress and severe anxiety due to her step-father being killed in a horrible construction accident on Christmas day ’09; which was in a string of deaths affecting our family.  I was literally scared to death of death.  It was all I could think about. I didn’t want my hubby going to work.  I didn’t want my kids going to school.  With that aside, I’m still shocked my doc used this approach.  At the time I thought ‘ok, this is really serious.  I’m going to have to take the shots.’ I’ve been through numerous docs in the last 15 years and he is one of the ones one I’ve trusted the most so that does weigh-in on my decision.   On the other hand, I’ve been in much worse shape…like in the hospital without food for several days.  I wasn’t bleeding, not throwing up, not in sever pain…was the Humira really necessary??

Over the course of the last 18 months and a few unfortunate situations, the trust I had in my doc has been trickling.  In the past, I’ve respond well to antibiotics and he refuses to use them in treatment.  We used to have a relationship where he presented the options and then together we choose what to do…not anymore.

When this Humira issue began budding its ugly face, he even presented me with paperwork to apply for charity assistance due to the drug’s cost. To me, the cost doesn’t even qualify as a reason to consider not taking the shots. Giving my self the shot would be a compliance issue. However, the largest reason is their own pamphlet/brochure!  Every single page addressed the side affects of the a rather large font size for a brochure.  Then you begin considering why each page is designed around these warnings.  Did the government require the warnings?  Is the company that unsure about their product?  It is a product after all, not just a treatment.

No matter the reason, after a flex-sigmoidoscopy, I was able to get around the shots.  However, I continued and still have this pain in my upper abdomen off and on.  I should have been scheduled for a colonoscopy not a flex-sig.  I questioned it twice and the nurses insisted the flex-sig is what I needed.  When I was on the table and the doctor walked in he was prepared for a colonoscopy.  Ugh!  Duh! He claimed that he had changed his mind after my appointment and someone forgot to call and tell me.  Accidents do happen and I settled with that.  We proceeded with a flex-sig just to get an idea of the amount of inflammation in the lower portion of my colon.  Turned out, it wasn’t bad enough for the shots.

I went back for another check-up and again complained of the pain.  I had noticed by then the pain did correlate with how many outputs I was having.  If I was backed up, the pain was there.  If my outputs were fairly normal, there’s no pain.  He said his guess is that the lining of my colon is thickening causing some discomfort when I’m constipated.  He once again began his debate for Humira.  I insisted on first having a colonoscopy (my preferred choice), or even in the least a CAT scan.  He chose the scan.  I thought about it and called back saying I really thought a colonoscopy was warranted.  Nope, he wanted the scan….which ended up showing ZERO, zip, nothing…expect for a $5,000 bill.  Still no answer to my pain but it got me off the hook where Humira was concerned.  He said that over the last 5 years, I have had ‘smoldering inflammation’ that will end up with the need for surgery if I choose not to take the shots later down the road.  Generally, the main area of inflammation is in the last 32 cm of my colon.  Therefore, I will likely end up with a colostomy.  Again, a scare tactic??  I truly believe a lot of this has to do with the endometriosis which surrounds my colon in the same spot, just on the outside of the colon.  My GYN tends to agree.  My GI disagrees.  But she’s a she and he’s a he.

I missed my last GI appointment because he had to reschedule – I’ve yet to reschedule.  I’m almost out of my meds and now with the bleeding as it is, I’ve got to buck up, stop avoiding the problem and do something. Recently, I saw a friend of mine who also has Crohn’s and the same doc. He’s been pushing the Humira on her, too.  All I said was that I was having some issues with him.  She said she was too.  Then I brought up the Humira.  We both have the same reason for our issues.  Why is he pushing so hard?  I’m just not convinced that the pro’s out-equal the con’s in this instance.  Especially since he pushed her to take Remicade and high levels of prednisone.  Neither treatment helped.  She ended up having surgery and as a result of those meds she’s now been diagnosed with has Lupus and osteoarthritis…she has two biological children and two step-daughters.

Should I even bother going back to him though?  I’ve been seriously considering just changing docs, yet again.  It’s exhausting just thinking about it.  I don’t even feel like I can go to our local support group for suggestions because he is an intricate part of the group.  And, then I begin asking myself, why is he practicing like he is…I don’t want to think about the possibilities…..

Thanks for listening!!

Soda Stream: How much soda pop do you drink a day?

In the last year or so my hubby’s soda pop consumption has increased dramatically.  At first I didn’t realize just how much he was drinking.  When I found out he was going to our small town gas station every morning, and drinking at least 52 oz. just while he was there,  I became concerned.  Especially for his health but when you start adding up the money he spends it’s an item you actually have to budget for each month.  I tried buying can soda as well as the 2 liter bottles but he rather prefers the fountain soda.

So when I found a giveaway at The Freebie, I was pretty excited.  The contest loot includes:

Winner’s choice of black/silver, white or red/silver Fountain Jet
CO2 which makes over 100 liters of soda
2 reusable carbonating bottles
A sample pack of flavors
and 3 full-sized flavors of the winner’s choice

How does SodaStream nutrition stack up against national brands?
Check out the full list here

Calories Carbs   Sugar Sodium Caffeine

Pepsi®          100      27g       27g    25mg     25mg
Coca-Cola®    100      27g        27g    35mg    23mg
SodaStream Cola    34        9g         9g       2mg    15mg

All SodaStream regular sodamix uses a mixture of Splenda® and sugar. Diet flavors are sugar-free, sweetened with Splenda® brand sweetener. Comparison is based on 8 fl. oz. serving size (0.34 fl. oz. of SodaStream sodamix per 8 fl. oz. of water). Info provided from The Freebie

My general practitioner once told me that 80% of people in the U.S. are either dehydrated or borderline dehydrated.  Primarily from drinking so much soda pop and coffee.  We become tired with fatigue and begin consuming more soda pop and coffee.  Which in turn de-hydrates us.  It’s a vicious circle.  Even though one of my New Year’s goals is to drink at least 70 oz. of water a day, I know I’m guilty of my coffee addiction (and sometimes Mt. Dew).  Whether we win the SodaStream or not I truly hope it becomes the new trend in our country saving people both money and bone structure.

I’m crossing my fingers, toes, legs, eyes and all in hopes that by some chance win the contest.  I would love to give this a try to help my husband cut down his gas station soda pop addiction!!

Stop by The Freebie Junkie to read more and enter her contest!  While you are there check out all of the other awesome freebies or nearly freebies.

Thank you to Angie of The Freebie Junkie for providing us all with great offers and freebies!!

Tuesday’s Top Ten: What is Redneckishness?

This past weekend my hubby & I went out to our old hangout, just outside his hometown.  It was a benefit to honor a friend of ours who was killed in a car accident in Dec. ’09.  Naturally, many people attended. We had a blast catching up with old friends…some of whom cracked me up due to their ‘Redneckishness’.  (By the way, that’s my new word of the week.)

So this week’s Top Ten was inspired by all of you rednecks out there.  Here is this week’s Top Ten…What is Redneckishness?, complete with bonus material at the end. :0)

1. Someone says “Give me a Beast (Milwaukee’s Best) immediately, with a capital E!” True story from years ago.  The guy who coined the phrase, was present at the gathering Saturday night. We use the phrase quite often around here.

2.  You hear that some guys are going ‘Bank pullin’ – this means they are taking their jon boat down our river, putting poles into the ground every so often.  The goal is to catch the biggest catfish possible.

3.  If you see a man and three boys competing to see how far they can water the grass while emptying their bladders.  Never seen that around here, honest.

4. If you find your kids duck taping the garden hose to the top of their slide and calling it the world’s best water slide.

5. You notice your neighbor’s security cam is behind his house, pointed towards his deer food plot.

6. The neighbor’s family room has two TV’s…one for the Direct TV and one to watch what’s in the food plot.

7. When the song “Family Tradition” by Hank, is played at the local bar most of the crowd starts singing.  Not just because they love the song but because 1/2 of the bar is truly related.

8. Your wife would rather hunt while you fix supper and take care of the kids.

9. When your son asks to go potty #2, you find him squatting outside in the front yard.

10.  You use mineral spirits to light the charcoal fire.

Bonus #1: The highlight of your summer is floating down the river in inner tubes…complete with a highly sophisticated refrigerator – the cooler tube.

Bonus #2: When you spend more time wiping a cow’s butt than changing your kids’ diapers.

Bonus #3: When you are able to differentiate between the smells of cow poop, horse poop, pig poop, goat poop and of course, chicken poop.

And, finally….you hunt from within your home!

Hope I’ve provided some laughs to brighten your Tuesday!  If you have anymore, by all means share!

I’m a Mac Daddy Girl!

Through most of college I had two choices for working on papers and projects.  Using the library computer lab, the computer lab in my dorm or on a Macintosh at home or on loan from my mom.  Back then, no one and I mean no one used Mac’s.  It was such a hassle to convert files back and forth between Windows and the Mac.  Losing data, reformatting, etc… Ugh!  It frustrates me just thinking about it.

In recent years, Apple has cleaned up its image and products…first it was the iPod, iPhone and now the buzz is the new MacBook Pro and iPad.  My Dell is almost 7 years old.  Which is almost unheard of considering the software that’s used on it. There was a period of time when I had hardly used it because my PC was the only machine with my Adobe software.  A little over a year ago I was able to put the Adobe CS 3 onto the Dell.  It decreased my productivity and it slowly began having numerous problems.  Last week it stop working.  I’m not an impulse buyer…I’ve done it twice with big buck items and both times I’ve been bit in the butt.  For the last 6 months or so I’ve been doing my homework.  Not all designers use the Mac but a high percentage do.  After the Dell decided to get an attitude I was forced to make a decision.  And, thus….

I’m now a Mac Daddy Girl!!

I’ve had a few problems with my Verizon USB stick working and have yet to put on the Adobe CS?.  That’s my project for this weekend.  Unfortunately, with my current workload, I do not have the luxury of waiting months to decide which version I should purchase.  I am excited about checking out the App Store.  I’ve heard about some very nice inexpensive apps that will make life easier.

With these new tools, I hope to be closer to finishing my new blog layout.  Cross your fingers!

Super Bowl Sunday: The Cheeseheads vs. The Thieves

Which side are you on?  Or, are you riding the fence.   What side am I on?  Well, since you asked…

Disclosure: I have been a St. Louis Rams fan for years and intend to keep it that way – check out pictures below from their last home game this past season.  This is only a do or die answer, if I had to choose…

It’s really an obvious answer.  The Packers are “cheeseheads” from the cheese state of Wisconsin.  How do you make cheese?  From milk.  What do I love? Milk, the dairy industry and dairy farmers.  I’m also not a thief so there’s no chance of cheering on the “Stealers.”  LOL!

I know this probably sounds like I know NOTHING about football and I’m one of those chics who call touch-downs, home runs.  You couldn’t be more incorrect.  I’ve always loved football however, baseball is my absolute favorite.  After tomorrow there will be a void…no football, baseball or hunting.  Don’t worry it won’t last long.  Pre-season baseball games and turkey hunting will be here before we know it.

In honor of tomorrow’s festivities, I’ve collected a special Top Ten list for you.  These should be great conversation starters during those awkward parties when you don’t know many people – if they aren’t, please let me know.  Or, shock the pants off your family and friends as a know-it-all.

Top Ten Super Bowl Factoids: Get the Super Bowl Party Started (or, make people think you know what you are talking about)

1. The Pittsburg Steelers have played in seven Super Bowl games.

2. The Steelers have won six out of seven SB games

3.  Four of their wins were within six years.

4. This will be the Packers fifth time playing in a Super Bowl game.

5. The Super Bowl is being played in the new Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington, TX.

6. One of the highlights in the stadium is the largest plasma screen ever used in a game.

7. The screen alone, cost $40 million.

8. There will be seven officials and two alternates which has been appointed by the Commissioner’s office.

9. The winning players will each receive $83,000.  The losers will receive $42,000 per player.

10. The winning team will receive the Vince Lombardi Trophy.  The trophy is named after the late coach, Vince Lombardi, of the two-time Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers before the 1971 Super Bowl.

BONUS FACT: As of Tuesday morning the average price for a ticket to this year’s Super Bowl was $3,000 each.

Enjoy and most importantly have fun!!


We had fabulous seats!!

Decisions, decisions...RAMS WIN!!

It was a great Mama & Pickle time! After the game we visited the Arch which I'm completely obsessed with photographing. I'll have to do a post dedicated to this mind-blowing structure.



Robins in a Blizzard??? Changing Seasons Give-away!!

The first report came in last week…my girlfriend who lives about 2 miles away – as the crow flys – said that she saw some robins in her back yard.  This was just before the blizzard hit.  I thought “No way, she must be mistaken.”

Yesterday we were driving through a nearby town and turned a corner to find 10-20 Robins!!!!  I was shocked.  Each year one of my absolute favorite spring time activities is watching for the Robins to arrive.  In my mind, the arrival of a Robin has always been correlated with spring.  I was so pumped!!

As I was ready a post on Facebook a friend said she had seen 50 that morning.  Well, this prompted an extensive conversation from numerous people who had also been seeing robins.  The earliest was around Christmas!  With all of the talk about climate change and the planet growing warmer every year, the Robin sightings have prompted me to be a bit concerned.

So what gives?  Has the cold streak in the south chased them back up north?  I’ll be very interested to hear more about these sightings and the reasoning behind a spring event that’s occurring during winter.  It just doesn’t make sense…I must research, research and research even more as I get to the bottom of this unusual behavior.

Speaking of spring…Don’t miss out on a fantastic Changing of Seasons give-away over at The Beginner Farmer’s Wife.  While you are there read about their journey which involves naturally raised heritage meats and true free-range poultry.

Watch soon for a post on my blog which will discuss true free-range poultry.

Welcome to the week-end!!

Adventures in our *Magical* Blizzardland 2011: Before and After Pics

The Groundhog Blizzard, as it’s being dubbed, has passed.  The mess is still being cleaned up.   School was still out today, as there are many roads in our rural district which haven’t been cleared.  I’m hoping the kids are able to return tomorrow…although we’ve heard there are people who are still unable to leave.  I’m sure all of the kids are enjoying the snow.  Due to the temperatures I resisted allowing the boys to play outdoors.  I know it’s hard to believe, living in the Midwest and all, but we now have  ‘Mount Snownomore’ in the middle of our circle drive.  Yesterday, as the kids were enjoying the fun and the parents were trying to figure out how to get running water.

If you currently live or have lived in the country, you know that if you lose power, you also lose water.  Oddly enough, we had no water but the lights continued to glow.  I’m not complaining, there are many without power now, two days later.  Instead of losing power completely, we had a few brown outs….which just happened to burn the well pump.  Or, at least that was the theory.  Without pulling the pump up the 140 ft., it was hard to make an accurate decision as to the cause.  In the 10 years we’ve lived here we’ve had to pull it other two times.  On the previous occasions we’ve had 6-7 men pulling the pump up.  Instead there were three men, two kids and myself.

Thankfully, it turned out that part of the wire which runs the pump, had burnt completely through.  In turn, we saved $350! Yay!  And, after two days I was able to take a bath again, the livestock had their heated water restored which was relief since the water we would carry to them was freezing quickly and although egg production was down, today the girls were back to normal.

Here are some photos of our adventures…

Water for the livestock and toilets rapidly became a necessity. I began gathering snow in water jugs (cut open at the top) and then melted it in pots. This process took forEVER!

Once it was melted we would store it in two 5 gallon was used quickly.

Just before the worst hit we decided we may need extra gas on hand to run the BobCat. I needed a break and chocolate so my hubby granted me a run in the snow...I resisted hard, kind of...I actually LOVE to play in the snow with my trusted 4x4. Don't most girls?! Here is a pic from my trip. When I took this picture my skepticism had cracked and I decided that we might just receive the 16-20 inches of snow which was in the forecast.

On my way back I found this poor guy...unfortunately my chains had *magically* disappeared from the truck and I couldn't pull him out. I did offer blankets and he assured me that someone was on their way to get him.

The truck, front yard and drive before the blizzard...

Truck after...

Our porch stairs before The Groundhog Storm...

After...there really are stairs under there!

This how Mt. Snownomore looked on the first evening...long before the worst was to hit.

Mt. Snownomore after an hour of digging to the end of our lane.

Today it is no longer called a mountain but a **MAGICAL** Castle.

Complete with secret tunnels. This is behind the scenes of the *Magical Snow Fort's* secret tunnels...

Finally, a little guy who is ready to drive around the moat in his boat. Hope everyone is safe and sound after this historical storm!

Tuesday’s Top Ten…What to do on a snow day?

I’m sure we all have visions of green, lush grass, the sweet songs of robins, laying on the front porch glider reading a book, sipping lemonade and sweet tea, the smell of freshly cut hay, watching the kids chase fireflies and building forts…oh, I could go on and on and on.  I have the worst case of Cabin Fever.  Judging by the amount of arguing, tv watching that’s been going on I would say I’ve spread my *fever* to the kids.

Time for some Cabin Fever tips!  Some of these are tried and true, some I have in a folder I keep from magazines and some are just activities I’ve been wanting to try.

#1 Brown Sugar Sand Castles: My boys LOVE playing with brown sugar in place of sand.  All you need is extra brown sugar, containers (think *outside the sandbox on this one…could be Tupperware, plastic milk jugs cut in two, empty and clean cans who are waiting to be recycled or reused,  measuring cups, cleaned OJ boxes…the sky is the limit!)  Instead of sticks use spoons, straws or paintbrushes for flags and decorations.  I’ve tried doing this on our activity table-cloth or on cookie pans.  I would recommend using both and line the cookie pan with foil which can replicate water for the moat.  WARNING:  This is not a good activity if you are a high maintainance mom who does not like big messes.  It’s similar to Moon Sand whereas it can get everywhere with an added bonus of stickiness.  With that said, the kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this activity!

#2 Mini-Me Scrapbook: Gather up any group of photos per child – at least 35…alphabetized based on the activity. Using typical scrapbooking supplies mount the pictures on a piece of acid free, lignin free cardstock or heavy scrapbook paper.  Using a patterned pieces of scrap book paper have your child draw or trace the letters of the alphabet (make sure they will fit on the scrap book page).  Then if age appropriate have them cut the letters out (adult supervision advised).  Pair up an activity which begins with the letter “A” and place the cut-out A on the page, then decorate.  Stickers, acid-free pens and other embellishments will finish the page up nicely.  Continue until you have a page for each letter.  There are a few options for assembling the book.  Using a 3-hole puncher, you could prepare the pages and place in a binder.  Or, you could only punch one hole in each paper and attach with yarn, ribbon or string.  If you’re needing a day out of the house, run to Staples, FedEx/Kinkos or your nearest office store and have it professionally bound…this can increase the cost of this project.  You can also use my favorite method and place each page in a scrap book, covered in plastic…you have a homemade book to help your child learn the alphabet and a family treasure.

#3  Ice Skating in your kitchen (this idea comes from “The FlyLady” website under the Camp Gonna Wanna Fly section) – We use this in conjunction with our weekly cleaning chores.  Begin by digging out the swimming suits!  And, maybe turning up the heat a degree or two.  Next, make sure everyone keeps or puts socks on.  On the Flylady’s website they suggest using a tub for the kids to get their socks soapy and wet.  We save a dish and just spray down the floor (and sometimes the kids) with the kitchen sink sprayer.  Using your regular dish soap draw the kids’ initials in the floor or pictures, lines, whatever makes them giggle.  Begin skating!!  Once I can tell they are starting to become bored I bring out six towels.  I spray the floor again and give each child a towel.  Sitting on their knees, they pull themselves around in their “boats.”  This is the rinse and dry cycle.  Finally, once the floor has had a good scrub down provide each child with their own towel and presto, you have exhausted, exercised, giggly children and a sparkling floor.  All you have to do is remember to take pics!

#4 Trip to Barnes & Noble…One of our favorite winter and summer outings is taking a trip to Barnes & Noble.  Our nearest store has a table for the older kids to sit and read.  The real highlight is the Thomas the Train table that’s complete with all of the engines.  Most of the time I can quickly grab a book of my choice, stop at the Starbucks counter for a coffee and then go relax in the children’s section while the kids play Thomas the Train.  For this reason only (besides the fact we live in a little old farm house), I have never thought twice about not buying a set.  Some days we even tie this in with a McDonald’s lunch date.

#5 Family Film Making: I’ve always wanted to try making a large puppet show theater, complemented by sock puppets.  I keep the old socks and then we never get around to doing the activity.   I recently found a new type of puppet which will allow you to reuse those mix/matched gloves.  Sit down and go through magazines or photos with your kids.  Have each child pick out the face they would like to be.   Paste the picture or photo onto card stock and cut around the face.  Grab those gloves which are missing their partners and cut the fingers off.  Using craft glue or a glue gun (adult supervision recommended), glue the face to the front of each finger.  You could also put a little dazzle into each character by using some sparkly, puffy paint.  Draw dots or lines or whatever your kids dream up.  The large set that I’ve always dream of ends up being overwhelming to build.  So I found an idea using cardboard or a shoe box.  Cut-out a large rectangle in the lid of the box.  Cover with inexpensive felt from Walmart or your local craft store.  Add ribbon or other embellishments for decorations.  Set up the box, pop some popcorn and you have your own home theater!

***School has already been canceled for tomorrow and mostly likely Wed. due to the impending Blizzard.  I think we might give this a try and then I’ll have pics to share!***

#6  Horizontal snowman: As long as the temps are too low and you have snow on the ground…make use of it!  Of course you can stick with the traditional snowman where you roll the three balls but last year we ended up with quite a few cold snows where the snow just would not pack.  Instead we would make three hills of snow, one small, one medium, and the bottom would be the largest.  It sure did help turn some frustrated frowns upside down!

Mr. Laidback...The Horizontal Snowman

#7 Snow Fort: If you live out in the country and have access to a tractor or Bobcat you’ve got the beginnings of a fun, filled fort.  Now, even if you live in town or do not have access to a tractor look for nearby ditches where the snowplows will sometimes live a nice mound of snow.  Even if these aren’t options, you are not out of luck!  As long as the snow packs you can roll three or four enormous snowballs.  Set them each next to each other and find a sheet of plywood for the roof.  My kids love to use their hills of snow for sledding and when they grow tired of that they begin to dig tunnels.   Our hills can get so big that tunnel digging is only allow with an adult nearby, just case something would cave.   My favorite is when they build slides that go down into their fort!!

This is a pic from our last major snow storm.

***My hubby is stoked about tomorrow’s snow storm.  He is already planning where he’ll place the pile.***

#8 Fort building without snow: When there isn’t snow on the ground (which hasn’t been very common this year) the kids will head down to our storage shed for a ‘roll’ in the hay.  Willis must be adequately medicated prior to doing this but they are never disappointed with the fun.  So you don’t have a hay shed or barn?  That’s alright!  Grab as many blankets as you can and get ready to move some furniture.  Your family room can quickly be transformed into the coolest fort on the block!

#9  Search and Find/Name Game Decorating: Long name, tons of fun!  A really neat way to decorate your home is by creating a unique picture frame which contains every letter in your last name.  The letters are found around town, in the country, house or where ever.  As you find each letter, stop and take a picture.  Edit using your favorite software (Photoshop Elements is inexpensive compared to the full version, or go to for free software.)  Print the pics and frame each individual letter.  Display on the wall and wade through all of the compliments you’ll receive!  I might work on this one tomorrow!

#10 Library Day, with a twist:  Going to the library is another great way to spend quality time with your kids.  Many offer wonderful children programs, story time, etc…  If you are like us and only have a small library to your disposal you can play library at home.  Don’t get me wrong, I love going to our one room library that’s about the size of my dining room and kitchen combined.  It reiderates the fact that we live near one of America’s all-time true Mayberry’s.  And, I LOVE it!  However, there aren’t the programs you find at larger libraries.

At home you can play library, killing three birds with one stone…it can be done!  Pretend you are librarians going through all of the on-hand books.  As you go through them keep your favorites but make a stack for a local child care center or crisis pregnancy center.  Make sure you give the kids a little fun by “checking” out a couple of their books!  Entertainment, organization and giving.  I like it.

I had originally planned to post this last week but wasn’t ready.  Boy am I glad it wasn’t!  I hope these tips help those of us who will be stuck a home with three little boys…two of which want to wrestle, constantly.

Happy Snow Day to those receiving all of this wonderful snow!!

The Making of a Cookbook

**Special note…Tuesday’s Top Ten Tips will be about combating Cabin Fever in your children.  Check back tomorrow!!***

Last week, as the co-chairperson, I was part of a group of women who completed the making of our first school cookbook.  Although it was a relief to have it complete, I did enjoy the process and would do it again.  We worked with Morris Press on the project and look forward to seeing the final product.

It was a fairly simple process to enter recipes however, their system works best with Internet Explorer.  As a Firefox user I ran into a few hiccups such as making changes to recipes to then find the changes weren’t saved.  I bit frustrating after spending a great deal of time entering recipe after recipe.  Another disadvantage I found was the inability to submit our class recipes.  Each class was given a task of creating a special recipe: A recipe for Love, a recipe for building a snowman, a recipe for a scarecrow, a recipe for learning, etc…  Due to the lack of food ingredients they would not accept these unique recipes.

We were impressed with the pricing and selection of free designs.  There are various layout choices, font choices, divider choices, a free list of kitchen tips and a free list of contributors.

We saved $0.25 per book by typing the recipes ourselves.  It was simple to do.  We found many mistakes or blips from contributors…issues that someone at Morris Press would not know how to deal with doing.

Tips for making a successful cookbook for your organization or school:

  • Use TypNSave software to enter recipes
  • Designate groups specific types of recipes.  For instance, our pre-K classes brought in appetizers, Kindergartens brought in Soups and Salads, 1st Side dishes, and so on.
  • Set guidelines ahead of time…such as measurement abbreviations.  They provide suggestions on each page for abbreviations.
  • Have a typing party!  Get a group of gals together with their laptops and type away.

It is rewarding to know that the proceeds from the cookbook sales will be given to our school’s playground equipment fund…our equipment desperately needs replacement.  Next, we begin our marketing plan….

Have a Happy Monday and great week!!

Snow is on its way, ugh, a neighbor just had robins in her yard.  That’s early for us…but doesn’t that mean spring is right around the corner??  Why are we getting 10 inches of snow?


What you need to know about my teeth…

Something I guess I don’t tell many people is that I’m obsessed with my teeth.  Two other things to note is that I am a terrible teeth grinder during sleep and I have receding gums.  One of my life-time goals was to not have a cavity before I was 30.  I reached that goal then decided I would change it to 35.  Then it happened.  A year and about 9 months ago I chipped a tooth while eating and it had to be fixed.  My dentist, who is well aware of my crazy business, said it would not count as a cavity.  SCORE!  It was broken off after all and I had gotten in there soon enough that a cavity had not started.  Most likely it had originally cracked due to the grinding and then the buffalo meat I was eating was the last straw (another story for another time).  I know this might sound like useless information and it probably is but stick around to the end of my story…that’s where it gets real fun!

A few months following this tragic moment in my life, I happen to notice that #6 (see what I mean) had something on it.  That’s the tooth right behind your eye tooth on the right-hand side.   Right now you are either thinking this chic is wacko or hmmm, interesting information.  Am I right?  Unfortunately, #6 showed his bad side right before fair time and it was about a month before I was able to get into my dentist.  It was a sad, sad day.  My first cavity at age 32.  For days, I agonized over having a needle stuck into my gums.  I asked several people about what to expect.  Not a one told me that they numb your gum with an ointment BEFORE they stick the needle in…joke was on me.  It took me a while to get over the whole situation…I mean come on, I’ve worked very hard to get this far…ask my mom, she knows better than anyone.

Life’s been going along and I had no other complaints.  I have my 6 month routine check-up in about two weeks.  When baaam!  Something was up with #13 or #14.  I couldn’t tell which.  My gums were a little swollen and it was very tender to chew.  My initial thought was there was something stuck in between.  I began flossing when something resembling tooth came flying out.  You might want to stop here if you get grossed out over things like this.  I decided just to be safe I’d check again.  I was amazed at how much was stuck between the two teeth.  I didn’t think too much more of it, except that it was odd.  I didn’t put two and two together…are you saying “duh!”  Although the first piece resembled tooth, I honestly didn’t believe it really could be.  Plus, the pain went away the day after I flossed.  I passed the cold and hot sensitivity test with flying colors and it only hurt when eating.  I thought I was in the clear.

Fast forward a week…pain is back, flossing is causing bleeding, severe pain when chewing and sharp pains shooting up towards my head when not eating.  Not a good signs.  I got right in to the dentist.  The moment I opened my mouth he said, this is bad, something is broken.  I relayed the information above and said when the part which looked like tooth came out I thought “NO WAY!”  My fairly conservative and serious dentist says “WAY!”  I thought I was talking to a surfer.  After that, the news just kept on getting worse.  I was sent away to a specialist.

Yesterday was the day and I can say that I survived my first root canal.  The x-ray showed that 1/2 of the inside part of the tooth was gone.  The “endo whatever his title is” specialist opened it up and said this is an extremely bad cavity.  He couldn’t get over how much stuff was stuck into this open pocket.  What started as a cavity in between the two teeth grew into a hole which was then packed with food, bacteria, etc…GROSS!!!

Today, I have a temporary filling, about 1/4 of my tooth left (on the inside), and can only chew on my right-side for the next 6-9 days.  I’ll need to go back to the dentist have the temp filling removed and a permanent one put in, crowned and then covered with porcelain (is that really safe).

Here is the funny part….So I’m without children and in the big city.  I need to renew my driver’s license.  I pay, they put a sticker on the back of it and I’m out the door.  Why not kill two birds with one stone?  So I went in and passed the vision test, answered the questions about whether I drink and drive, do drugs and drive  (I do not do either, I don’t even drink more than once a year, if that, but seriously, who is going to answer yes to those questions).  I paid my money and was told to sit down next to the testing area.  I was kind of nervous because I’ve never had to take a test at a driver’s license facility.  In high school, if you had an A+ in the class you automatically received your license and did not have to test at the facility.  So I was due.  A few minutes went by and they call my number.  I’m escorted to the testing area, passed the testing area, started getting confused, turned a corner leading right into the photographer’s area.   Say what??!!  Unless they change the design of our state’s licenses you don’t have to have your picture taken.

***Note to self, check to see if a new picture is required before renewing your license, especially if you plan to go right after a root canal.***

The guy at the cameras was super nice and understanding.  He wasn’t sure if I’d like the way it looked.  From his description, I was imagining my face looking like the joker.  He asked the nearest gal, sitting in another area, for her opinion.  A younger girl mid-20’s.  She thought I looked just fine and said, let me quote, “who cares anyway, I don’t care how I look on my license, it doesn’t matter.”  I thought, alright let’s go for it.  How did it turn out?  Um, I look a little out of it but what’s done is done…who cares after all.  Right?

Then the guy calls for the next number…it was the same girl and here’s how it went down…

Guy: “Ok, have a seat.”

Girl: “Huh? For what?

Guy: “Um, your picture.”

Girl: “WHAT?!?!?!?! I have to get my picture taken???!!!! I wasn’t prepared for this at all.  Like, seriously?  I haven’t even done my hair, wait I have to put on some lip stick, OMG WHERE IS MY LIPSTICK!”

Guy:  Tries so hard not to laugh, bless his little heart!

At least I could bite my tongue and not feel it!!  :0)  Happy Friday!!


Become a better dairy shopper…here’s how…

Submitted by Susan Anglin – My first Guest Blogger!!!! I’m so excited…can you tell??

I’m delighted to introduce Susan Anglin of Anglin Farms and The Spotted Cow Review.  She is such an inspiration and motivator in the dairy industry.  These are trying times for dairy farmers and Susan works hard to keep everyone going.  My favorite quote from her blog:

“Faith, family, farm–my life is full of truth, treasures, and transitions.”  So true.  And without further ado…

Dairy Shopping Tips

American consumers are enjoying the safest and most available food supply in the world, but it does come with increasing cost. As a dairy farmer and a consumer, I am concerned with the rising price of oil and what it is costing us on the farm and at the grocery store. It would be logical to think when the price of milk goes up at the grocery store that dairy farmers are making more money. Unfortunately, the dairy farmers are not putting more money in their pockets. The final price that we pay at the grocery store includes the increased fuel costs in transportation, packaging, and distribution of the product. Here are a few tips to remember when stretching your food dollars and shopping for dairy foods:

  • All packaged milk is safe and antibiotic free
  • Generic or store brands are usually cheapest but have same nutritional value as name brands
  • Check the date when purchasing; the date on the package is the last date for the store to sell it; milk stays fresh 5-7 days after being opened
  • Store milk at 36-40 degrees
  • Buy milk by the gallon
  • Buy low-fat, plain yogurt by the quart, flavor it yourself and use it as an ingredient for healthier recipes
  • Buy cheese in block form and shred it yourself

You can find more information about dairy nutrition and the added value of dairy to your diet at and  Do you have any other dairy shopping tips to share?

Thank you very much Susan!!  Please follow Susan at her Blog “The Spotted Cow Review” at   I met Susan at the iBlog conference this past fall and had a ball sharing stories with her and the other gals.  I even overlooked the fact that she doesn’t milk Jerseys…the very best breed!!  That’s hard for me to do! ;0)

Extra-curricular or Farmopoly?

I’ve always said I wouldn’t be that parent who pushes my kids into too many extra-curricular activities.  “They will only have the option to be in 2 or maybe 3 activities,” said The Magic Mama, 10 years ago.

But here we are juggling two activities which could each be considered 3 activities on their own – Cub Scouts and 4-H.  Additionally, Pickle’s baseball practice begins in mid-March (the older kids started practicing a week ago – it’s JANUARY and a summer league.)  In the summer will be juggling Pickle’s baseball games, Willis’ t-ball games, getting animals broke to lead, 4-H projects ready for the 4-H fair, swim lessons and let’s not forget Cub Scout camp.  That’s not to mention baling hay and all of the other tasks that come with farming.  The summer will come to an end with showing at fairs and football practice.  Then school starts, a new year of Cub Scouts begins along with football games and a new year of 4-H.  And, we made Pickle give up playing basketball and Willis playing soccer this winter.  Let’s not forget there’s a third child being shuffled in the middle of all of this.

Look at how serious he age 6 he won a radio interview, family tickets and opportunity to throw the first pitch out during a minor league baseball game. All because he said he wanted to be Albert Pujols when he grows up.

They LOVED swim lessons...too bad we didn't have enough time to take a second session.

Recently, I’ve been feeling burnt out.  It might be that I’m anemic again or the continuous loss of friends and family members.  In the last two years we’ve lost three of our own grandparents, my step-dad, both of my sister-in-law’s moms (both from cancer and at young ages), my mom’s neighbor who watched me grow up, a friend from high school and a friend who lost her 4 month old baby.  Between Dec. 23rd and Jan. 2nd of this past year, my younger sister-in-law’s mom lost her battle to pancreatic cancer, our next door neighbor lost his mom and a friend who was just married on Dec. 11th, lost his 47 yr old mother-in-law to a massive heart attack. Then three days ago an old friend/acquaintance was killed in an accident.  After all of that you start you realize you’re getting old and time is precious.  You start to question, is this REALLY suppose to be happening at age 33?

We spend so much time running around, fighting because we’re late and can’t find this or that.  I’m questioning if it’s worth it and what is the point?  It’s kind of like my favorite line in the Cars movie…”instead of driving for a good time, we drive to make good time.”  Where’s the enjoyment and family time?

The irony behind it all is we can only be faulted for saying no.  Not for pushing, persuading or even offering these activities.  So I wonder are our children in these activities because they really want to be involved?  Or, is there a new-age version of peer pressure among kids these days?  In which case we really can’t complain.

While reading a blog the other day I was enlightened.  It was another mom who had recently made the choice to home school.  She had all of these dreamy expectations which I’ve had myself.  Those expectations were quickly thrown out the door and replaced with meeting new children.  She began to learn things about them that she never knew existed….she was able to spend more quality time with them as a teacher and they had more time for traditional play.

So besides their extra-curricular schedule, what do I truly know about my children?  As I try to answer that question I will continue to reassess how we spend our individual time and more importantly, how we should be spending our family time….in extra-curricular activities or at home playing Farmopoly?

This was one of the best Christmas gifts ever! We've spent more quality time together and the kids are learning to watch their money...otherwise, Big Daddy's gonna take it and your farm too!

Yes, I choose to be the cow, what else would I choose, the pig?  I'm stuck in the drought (instead of jail).  Such a fun game!

Tuesday’s Top Ten: 10 Tips for Women Deer Hunters

Introducing “Tuesday’s Top Ten!” echo, echo, echo.   I’m going to give this a try for a couple of weeks and see how it goes.  The top ten could be any number of things…top ten quilting tips, top ten vegetables and fruits you should grow, top ten deer recipes, top ten ways to potty train…it could go on and on…so let’s get started.

If you are a guy I’d love for you to read this post but I just heard there are some great deals over at The BassPro Shop.  Several pages of clearance items.  AND, the new 2011 Catalog is out! So, skip on over and check out their website.  Don’t forget to come back another day and check out my hubby’s grilling magic!

Ladies, we’re friends right?  Now that it’s just us, I know I can trust you to keep these tips and tricks in your pocket, right?  Shake your head yes.  Very good.   You have to pinky promise, you won’t share or tell guys about these Top 10 Hunting Tips. Now that we’ve gotten that taken care of we are all sister for life.  Let’s get down to work….

In our family, to be taken seriously as a female hunter you have to be able to do two things.  1. Clock as many hours in as the guys.  2. Shoot and hit.  The shooting takes practice and patience but you will get it.  Now, why is the time clock such a problem?  Well, A. We don’t like the cold. B. We get bored easily.  C. We can’t hold our pee.

So for my first “Tuesday’s Top Ten,” series, I’m going to share some top secret hunting tips for us girls….some you might be familiar with, others you might think are crazy…either way I hope you can take something from the list and prove to the boys that girls rock!! The secret to this is making sure they don’t find out about your tips & tricks.  What they don’t know won’t hurt them and in the process you’ll earn their respect while havin’ a little fun.

1. Invest in hand, foot and body warmers.

1a. Send your hubby to McDonald’s Playland with the kids for ice cream or out to the barn while you get ready.

1b. To keep the menfolk from cacklin’ about how you couldn’t stay out there because it was too cold (and to keep you out there)….the first step is to grab one of your microwaveable warming pouches used for keeping food warm at potlucks.  Warm it up as warm as your microwave allows.  Stuff it nonchalantly into your hand muff warmer thingy.  Cute, huh?

2. I hate to suggest spending money but I highly recommend these shirts and pants called Cuddle Buddies.  Great for keeping warm in a drafty, 120 year old home and perfect for your first layer of hunting clothing…double layers of long-underwear will work too.

3. Layer, layer, layer, baby!  Start with a turtle neck (I think they still make them) then the Cuddle Buddies followed by long-underwear, fleece lounge pants, overalls**, followed by a hooded sweatshirt – this is your back up warmth pouch, winter coat***, orange sweatshirt with hood.  Before zipping your coat tie on the hand muff, see #7, then cover the muff with coat.  The coat will help preserve the heat.

4. Toe Warmers!! This is a pretty common one.  I like to use three pairs at a time.  Used correctly and with ample coverage your toes will be nice and toasty for hours.  First, begin with a regular pair of boot socks.  Remove the adhesive from the bottoms and stick them to the bottom of your feet.  Next, put on a good pair of insulated outdoor socks – the guys won’t have a clue you’ve got extra warmth going on.  Next, prepare your boots.  Take the second pair of toe warmers and adhere them inside, on the top of your boot, above your toes.  Finally, place the third pair on the bottom as intended.  Depending on your warmth level you could leave out the first pair.  It just depends on how well your toes handle the cold.  Mine do not fair well…thus, the three pairs of warmers.

5.  Body Ache Warmers – I can think of the brand name but they advertise there products for relieving pain.  You can adhere the patch right to your Cuddle Buddies, near your lower back.  This will also help to keep you calm and relaxed while waiting for your harvest.

6.  Your Head – Another area that cries, “let’s go in, please, please!!”  Begin with a fleece headband/ear cover.  Use a hand warmer and place it in the top of a regular stocking cap.  Then cover with your blaze orange stocking hat.  If you get too warm you can always take the first one off.

7. Your neck – For your neck we will use a multi-use tool.  Find some scrap fabric or go to the clearance area of your local fabric store.  You’ll only need 1/4 of a yard.  Fold the fabric in half and cut 5 inches wide.  If you sew, sew each side, reinforce the bottom which should still be a fold, leave the top open.  Measure 20 inches and cut the remaining off of the open end.  If you do not sew, have no fear.  You can use a hot glue gun or purchase the no-sew products from Walmart, Target or sewing store.  Find yourself about 5-6 cups of corn or enough to fill your sack.  Fold the open ends in and sew or glue shut.  Reinforce with a second stitch.  Now you have your own neck warmer.  Just microwave for 30 sec. until you find your desired temp.  Try to preserve the heat by placing the warmer under your hooded sweatshirt, use your bibs to keep it in place and then coat.

**Side note:  Use 1/2 yd. and make two.  On your second one place small droplets of lavender oil or a citrus oil to help relax or revitalized your body.

8. Your fingers – for me this is the worst part.  Once my finger was so cold I couldn’t even tell if I had it on the trigger or not.  First, find a pair of those cheap, thin gloves the sell for $1 at Walmart.  Put those on along with a hand warmer in the palm of your hand.  If you are a Droid user, you will want to cut a very small hole in the pointer finger.  (If your a lefty then cut the whole in the right mitten)  If you do not do this you can forget about #9 because the phones respond to body heat rather than pressure.  The mittens which open up to gloves with the finger tips cut-off are next.  Place a pair of warmers on the inside of the mittens as far to the top as possible.  Then another on the other side of the mitten.   part to keep the top of your hands/fingers warm.   a cloth pair of gloves then put the mitten/gloves on top.  Don’t forget that your food pack is also there to help keep your hands warm.

9. Boredom – If you have one, take your smart phone along.  If not, find something similar that you can silence.  I have learned so much about my Droid X just from sitting out in the bales.  And, have gotten some amazing photos.  Even a phone that is textable can keep you entertained.  My pesky good-hearted, brother-in-law likes to take goofy pics of himself and send them to us all.  And, don’t worry, as long as you remember to keep scanning the area you won’t miss any deer.

10. Buy some depends.  Just remember to stash a plastic sack in the bathroom before you leave and some newspapers in the garage next to the garbage can.  Run right in claiming you have to pee and remove your business, place in the sack put inside your hooded sweatshirt and head for the garage where you will drop it into the garbage can.

And, presto you just had yourself a relaxing time with God and nature without kids screaming, fighting or asking you to do 10 different things at once.  It helps you re-center and re-focus.

If you have any ideas for future Top Ten’s, by all means share!

Have a great day!!

P.S.  I’m joking about number 10 but I had you going didn’t I??  Come on, admit it, you were falling for it and thought I was crazy.  Right?  Love it! Gotcha!

P.S.S You might be a tiny bit correct about the being crazy part…but just a bit!

Smiles and hugs to you all!

Remember to live each day as though it’s your last and take not for granted what you’ve been given. Let those positives flush free your desires for things you have not been given, or this will only create negativity from within.

Deer or No Deer? Or, dear?

Tonight at 5:26pm, deer hunting came to end until next fall.  We have 5 different weekends from mid-November until mid-January.  Before first season I said, “This is going to be my year!”  And, it probably would have been if I didn’t have what my pesky, goodhearted,  brother-in-law calls “deer fever.”

My first mistake really is out of my control.  BUT I have and will continue to practice.  I stink…I mean really stink at estimating distances.  I thought my target was at approx. 170 yards.  Knowing that my firearm was shooting a little lower than where it was sited in, I took my shot a tad bit higher.   After it was over we took the range finder out and determined the target was actually closer to 150 which would have been right on had I not added that “tad bit.”  First lesson re-learned, always carry your range finder!!

On my next attempt things were really slow and there was nothing in sight.  I continued to check in between the bales but was keeping from standing up completely.  I had reached the point of peeing through my long-underwear, jeans and camo, insulated, Cabela’s bibs.  No, thanks.  I got up to leave the blind and there he was.  Right on the other side of the main bale.  Urgh!  He was spooked and jumped over the fence to the neighbors ground.  That gave me the motivation to stay.  Just 10 more min. I could do it!! I think I can, I think I can.  Well, I couldn’t and got up to leave.  As I began walking away I realized the buck had jumped the fence and laid down just on the other side. URGH!!

At my third opportunity was a romantic date night in the blind…romantic for us.  We had a babysitter and went hunting together.  I was trying not to put a damper on the mood but I was irritated with myself after prior attempts.  With that said, I had really gotten myself pumped up for this go around…maybe too much.  I wanted to get one so bad that I stirred up every ounce of anxiety in my body.  Although it was controlled as we patiently waited for supper to appear, my nerves went out of control when my prey came into sight.  My biggest fear was spooking the deer before I was able to get myself into a steady position.  Unfortunately, I was on the wrong side of the blind and it’s not easy maneuvering two people in a small space with two firearms.  I got over to the other side with my hubby instructing me to brace my body against the corn bale before I took the shot.  As any good wife would do, I didn’t listen.  The barrel was making circles and I missed all three shots. Ugh!  Hence, “deer fever”.

So my “deer fever” has continued over the last two months and sadly tonight was my last chance.  In order to get a deer, you have to see a deer.  And, I did not.

Squirrel and Turkey seasons are next! And, next fall is another season.  The best part is my dearest hubby has taken on a lot of the cooking and cleaning so that I can have time to hunt.

So even though I didn’t get a deer, I have a wonderful dear!

Forget-me-not Flower Arranging at 4-H

So last night was Pickle’s monthly 4-H meeting and I left the evening yearning to be a young 4-H’er again.  Pickle choose his club because it was his daddy’s…which I think is pretty sweet.  The club meets in a nearby town, out of our school district, where my hubby grew up.  I lived there for 2 years but have lost touch with many friends.  We are both meeting new people and I’m re-connecting with old acquaintances.  Last night, while riding in the fanciest semi-tractor he’s even seen, he finally got to know his first two ‘friends.’   Yay!

The meeting was called to order, treasurer’s report, minutes, etc…then came the demonstrations.  The boys went first since they were headed out to see the semi.  The first little guy made electricity from a potato…way neat!  The next demonstration was the ice breaker to one of Pickle’s new friendships.  A demonstration about firearms.  I’ve never seen the boy so focused and attentive.  (At the last meeting his other new friend did a demonstration about trapping…a rapport was immediately built.)  Then the guys took off and the girls stayed behind to hear one more demonstration from a little gal who was making brownies.  My mind began wandering and reminiscing.  The club to which I belonged was all girls.  Lots of demonstrations on baking, quilting, sewing, knitting, arts and crafts, etc…  One of the best ever that I think about often as I bake, giggling as I go, was a how NOT to do a demonstration on baking cookies.

Two girls worked together…one demonstrating the proper way to bake – hair tied back, hands washed, ingredients prepared, recipe in hand, correct measuring utensils, etc…  The next demonstrator had dirty hands, hair dangling in the batter, chomping on some gum which was then accidentally dropped it in the batter.  The gum was picked up followed by digging a dirty finger into the batter for a taste test.  Yum-no!  The final scene had the audience rolling when she ‘borrowed’ (without asking) baking soda from the other gal.   As they fought over the box, it opened sending soda flying everywhere, some landing in the bowl, a puff in the air and an unrehearsed covering of the ‘not-so-proper’ baker’s face.  I was hilarious!  (If I don’t say so myself.)   We had a blast doing that demonstration!  I had a blast in 4-H and credit those years for the person I am today.

Now, back to reality…the brownie demonstration came to a close and it was announced that a local florist would be teaching the girls about flower arranging…my heart went pitter-patter.  I had forgotten how much I love to arrange flowers.  A little known fact you probably don’t know about me is that in college I took a semester course on flower arranging.  It came in very handy for our wedding.  I did the arrangements for the reception.  If only I could master growing the flowers.

I’m no green thumb…in fact, I’m more of your purple, black and pink thumb variety that’s been hit by a hammer.  I pretend to be a gardener who designs beautiful landscaping around my matching wrap around porch and home.  If you’ve talked to my neighbors, you’ll understand why I should just stick to arranging the flowers and not growing them.

So many choices of colors and textures.

After watching the florist make up a couple different arrangements, each girl made their own.  As I watched the girls go crazy over the flowers it made REALLY want to have a little girl.  It was so much fun to see them squealing with delight.  Unfortunately, the meeting did need to come to an end.  What better way to conclude the workshop with the throwing of a wedding bouquet!  What fun we had!  The girls left with smiles on their faces and an arrangement in their hands.

I left running for the truck so I could get home and look online for open floral assistant positions.  You, know, in my free time.

Oh, and the boys had a great time too.  :0)

The Flu during Christmas

One month ago, I was brewing with ideas but lacked motivation as I juggled an increased workload, the house, volunteer responsibilities, outside chores, etc…  The day before my last post, my mojo began cranking and I was ready to unleash my ‘special’ Christmas plans.

Christmas Day was the one year anniversary of my step-dad’s fatal, construction accident.  It was important that I make the day a happy, unemotional day for all.  My side of the family is strongly dedicated to honoring long-time traditions.  One of which is to celebrate Christmas at mom’s house with the same type of Christmas tree every year.  After the opening of gifts we would always had a brunch with our traditional, doughy, Swedish Christmas bread called Jule Kage.  Every year my mom would attempt to achieve an evenly, baked bread.  Each year we would eat only the outsides of each loaf due to the center of raw dough.

This year would be significantly different as we invited everyone to begin a new tradition of Christmas at our home.  I was pumped as I was given the chance to bake the coveted Jule Kage and to have the freedom to try some new foods.


Using a clothes pin and twine we decorated the kitchen with Christmas cards.

I also wanted to have the house nicely decorated but not overboard with respect to my mom.  For a couple of years now I’ve been wanting to try a new way of displaying our Christmas cards.  Using twine and clothes pins, we hung each card from the twine and draped the top of our kitchen walls with the twine.  Not only did it bring the mood of Christmas into our home, it also became a game.  Everyday I would get the mail, grab the cards and quickly hang them.  In the evening, everyone would try to guess which cards were new and then we’d enjoy looking at the pictures of our friends.  Everything was going smoothly as we approached Christmas day.


Although I try to purchase gifts throughout the year, there were several I still needed to mark off my list.  So one night after my hubby arrived home from work I took off on what turned out to be a very long night.  My mom was doing the same but in different towns.  We would call each other, looking for ideas, checking for duplication, comparing prices, etc…  At the first phone call I noticed a bit of a tickle in my throat.  As the phone calls went back and forth the tickle grew to a cough.  I went to bed very late that night and took a nap the next day.  When I awoke my voice was gone but in it’s place was a horrible sore throat.  During the next 24 hrs. my cold symptoms continued to increase.  Then the fever started.  I patiently waited for my hubby to arrive home with cold medicine since I had run out earlier in the day.  Before I knew what was happening or what to do I was running a fever of 104.8.  I was calling him for help but he couldn’t understand what I was trying to tell him.  I tried calling my doctor but called the pediatrician’s number.  Thankfully, the nurse helped me.  From the symptoms he felt it was probably influenza and suggested I get the fever down immediately or go directly to the ER.   Had I known how dangerous it is for an adult to run a fever that high, I would have found someone to take the kids and take me to the ER.  Instead I waited for the cold meds.  It took a couple of hours and standing outside but eventually we got it below 104.   By the next day it was safely running around 102.

Needless to say, my plans didn’t go according to plan.  Looking back, it was probably a blessing in disguise because it gave my mom something to take care of on Christmas Eve and Day.  I wasn’t able to make the Jule Kage but the

The boys making Christmas bread...a.k.a. Jule Kage.

kids helped her make it.  I continue to be tired and still have a cough that just won’t go away.  Everyday it seems to be better.  Luckily, Pudder was the only one who ended up with the flu and it was a smaller version.  All three kids did get their flu vaccines.


I still have big plans for my new blog…I’ve just been set back a bit.  I also hope to be back working on Monday morning.  Lesson learned…I do not plan on skipping out on the flu shot again.

Where, oh, where have I been??

I’ve been very, very busy laying in bed, visiting the bathroom, taking baths, sitting in front of our toilet, which I’ve decided needs a major overhaul, going back to the bed, looking into a pan, playing with the thermometer and using a heating pad.  Can you guess what I’ve been doing??

Yes, I’ve been living with the horrible stomach bug that’s rapidly flying around these parts.  It was the worst stomach virus I’ve had in a long, long time and I have no plans to repeat.  I only hope no one else in the fam gets it.  It rates right up there with a really bad Crohn’s flare-up.

This will sound a bit like a Jeff Foxworthyism “You might be a redneck if…” BUT…you know I’m sick when I don’t touch my computer for over 24 hours and I was off of it for almost 3 whole days.  I haven’t eaten a meal yet and am still living on crackers, Gatorade and water however, I feel so much better.  Baby steps!

SO, I apologize for not updating sooner and promise an exciting few weeks of posts.  Tomorrow I plan to “release” something new coming to The Magic FarmHouse.  In the days that follow I also hope to share some magical Christmas thoughts and traditions with you all.  I do have some great Christmas ideas floating through my head at this time, but for now go visit Lacy over at Tatum Tales…she has some incredible memory making ideas!!

Stay tuned!!  You should be waiting in anticipation…shaking with excitement just like a child whose to see the Rudolph special on ABC!

A Day In the Life – Realizing Self-Worth

****I did it!! My DITL is finished…finally!! Yay!  I’ve even had time to proof and make corrections. :0) ****

When I saw the DITL exercise Lacy at Tatum Tales proposed, I was a bit hesitant.  Is my life really busy or exciting enough to journal and capture on film from minute to minute?  Will anyone really read it?  Forcing past my skepticism I decided to go for it…what did I have to lose?  So here it goes…

Tuesday, November 16th

6:15am:  I look at my alarm clock and realize Pickle is standing at the bed.  I jump up “Wake-up! We’re late!”.  In general, it’s unusual for the boys to ride the bus everyday at 6:50am.  As hard as we try it’s almost impossible to get to bed on time at 7:30 pm.  So I give in and allow them to sleep for as long as possible.  In the long run it saves me grief.  Unfortunately, on this morning, driving to school isn’t an option.  Our crew cab truck broke down yesterday while my hubby was returning from a trip to Iowa.  My brother is unable to look at it until later this week.  So my only mode of transportation is our bench seat 1994 Ford which will only seat Pudder and one of the older boys.

6:25am: Willis FINALLY gets up and out of bed.  Pickle has eaten, brushed his teeth and is working on feeding the dogs.

6:40am: Willis FINALLY (are you seeing a trend?) has a portion of his clothes on and brushed his teeth (I think).   Still hasn’t made it down the stairs.  Pudder is awake and adding to the madness.  Pickle has finished feeding the dogs but realizes he is missing part of his homework.

6:45am: Time to go down to the end of our lane and meet the bus.  Willis has yet to eat.  At this point I’m dressing him – something I strongly encourage he takes ownership and do himself.  While I’m helping him get his pants on followed by socks (which he’s not doing willingly) and then his shoes; he’s eating his yogurt. Pickle is helping Pudder get his coat and shoes on.  In the end, the shoes never really make it on his feet.  Oh, well…pick your battles.

6:48am:  We must go down or we will miss the bus because our driver will not see us heading down.

6:50am:  A call to 911 comes in about some crazy woman who’s wearing her house coat and slippers with a scarf wrapped around her waist and neck.  She’s running in circles, yelling and screaming and running around some more, yelling at her oldest son “run down to the bus…no wait jump in the truck…no, stop, go…run boy, run!” (he followed those directions to a T, poor kid).  In the same breath she’s telling her middle son to get in the truck while carrying her toddler by his bibs.  Luckily, the 911 call didn’t really happen but the rest is pretty darn close to being true.

6:51am:  The bus is here.  Pickle is walking across the highway to get on the bus.  Willis and I are turning in circles trying to get his backpack on the right arm while he frantically eats his toast and puts on his gloves.  By now, the bus driver is rolling out of the door she’s laughing so hard.  Ok, so she stayed in her seat but from what I could see,  she was near tears.  I really think we would have had a strong chance at winning America’s Funniest Videos.

6:52am:   There goes the bus…the boys are on their way to school.  And, no I have ZERO pictures from this part of our morning.

6:55am:  I collapse from exhaustion.  Then Pudder asks for milk.  Which reminds me that we’re almost out and it’s grocery day! And, I haven’t finished my list yet.  I check the reusable refrigerator list.

Hmmm, not much on the list...1/2 of the items are things I buy online. Ugh! Shopping is seriously a task I dread!

After the shopping list I bath, put on my face, dress to shoes and make our bed.

Yes, that's a lump in my bed and yes, it's alive. You know it's cold out when the dogs stay under the covers even as the bed is made. It'll be a mess before 8am. BUT, let it be known that I tried!!

In the meantime, Pudder eats his breakfast.  Need, coffee, now!!

Kind of funny that I couldn’t get WordPress to edit this photo and flip it correctly because this is what life looks like until I drink my coffee! LOL!

7:30am:  Reboot laundry and dishwasher.  Pudder decides to start becoming fussy and won’t let go of my leg.

I decide to give him a little pain reliever…he seems to be chewing on a lot of things and still hasn’t had his 2 yr molars peek through.

7:45am:  He’s calmed down a bit so I continue with my planned routine.  Over the weekend, I vacuumed upstairs in preparation for  carpet cleaning today.   Our room isn’t that bad.  The boys ‘ room is BAD.


Pudder dumped a glass of Willis’ Gatorade all over the floor.  He also go a hold of a marker last week and while giving Willis his nighttime allergy medicine we dumped the spoon, leaving a large portion on the floor.  Nice and sticky, just the way I like it!


I forgot to add that during this time I also swished and swiped the upstairs bathroom and played a game of peek-a-boo behind the shower curtain.  See below…


A little swish and swipe. Excuse the painters tape...still renovating!


8:30am:  With the carpet finished, we pack the truck with our re-usable grocery sacks, plastic sacks which need to be taken to recycling and empty water jugs to be filled at my in-laws.

8:45:  We leave and head for the farm to fill up on water.  On our way we see this enormous cloud of black smoke.

9am: We arrive at the farm to fill the water jugs and catch up on what’s been going on…who’s calved, not calved, family Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc… I picked up some nuts that fell off their Walnut tree.  We’ll take them to my grandpa so he can feed his squirrels.

9:30am:  We’ve spent too much time chatting away and there isn’t enough time for shopping and driving back and forth to town.  Curiosity gets the best of me and I decide to locate the fire which continues to bellow black smoke into the eastern sky.  At the same time Pudder takes his morning nap.

10:00am: I finally find the fire.  The source is/was a beautiful horse barn/stables.  I was told all of the horses escaped but that at first the fire was so hot they couldn’t get close to it.   They anticipated a total loss.  I later spoke to my mom and she had been there before.  She said it was a beautiful, one-of-a-kind facility with an air-conditioned and heater arena.  So sad!

Before the fire, the barn had been visible from this viewpoint.

10:20am:  Time to head home and pick up Willis from the bus.

10:35am: Picked-up the mail and unload the Cub Scout popcorn we loaded the day before.  It needs to be sorted and delivered.  Checked on the livestock, let the dogs out, grabbed some snacks, drinks and pottytime.

10:56: The bus arrives and drops Willis off & away we go on our shopping trip.  A mile down the road we see this…

We stayed and watched this doe and buck for a few minutes then moved on…very nice rack.

11:40am:  Arrive at Aldi’s for the first half of our shopping.  I had two fantastic little helpers!

12:05pm:  We drive thru Mickey D’s and grab some lunch.

Willis shows off his new Happy Meal toy!

12:15pm:  Arrive at Wally World for some quick mega-shopping.  I threw the boys into a cart with their food and away we went.

While at Walmart…

I'm going bananas!! My kid is obsessed with them. Even though we had just purchased a bunch at Aldi's he had to have more. They each are given the change to pick one small item. Pudder chose a "banabala."

Look mama! Opples! Can I have one? Oopps, I dropped it!

Your welcome brother! Good thing Willis was there to play 'catcher.' I was beginning to see images of apples everywhere.

They just HAD to have their picture taken in front of the tree.

Willis' item was chap stick...I was glad he made that choice...his lips have been so dry lately.

Tough lesson, not yet learned. We keep telling Willis that these machines are designed to NOT pick up an animal and that it's a scam. He just keeps on trying and trying and trying. At least this machine is only 50 cents and its HIS money.

The boys have three envelopes for their money. Spend, save and give. Willis chose to give to the Salvation Army this week. I'm a proud mama!!

And finally,

See ya next week! Such good helpers!!

1:45pm:  Time to head home…I’m exhausted.  Might have to stop by McD’s again for a hot Mocha coffee.

2: 30pm:  We arrive home, unload the groceries, get ready for snack time and the arrival of Pickle who gets off the bus around 3pm.  We also try on Laci’s new coat.

"Does it make my butt look too big mama?"

3:15pm: Time for Pickle to do homework.

He is working on using more emotion as he tells the story.

With a 50 min. bus ride home he usually is able to complete his math. Then it's my job to check for corrections.

Once his homework was done Pickle turned in 10 buttons to play on the Wii.

Then it was time to sort the Cub Scout popcorn.

Everything is accounted for, now we need to label and organize by town.

Next we did chores. Our female duck laid 15 eggs however, some are turning black and are more than likely are rotten. Since this is our first experience with hatching ducklings, we took one egg out to the middle of the pasture and broke it open. It was the worst thing I've ever smelled. We ended up with 6 eggs left after throwing out the black ones.

Cracking open one of the black/grey eggs...Yuck!! DO NOT do this at home!

Next, we fed the steers, chickens, ducks and goats, then it was time to collect eggs. Only 7 tonight. Then we gave a couple hay cakes to the steers. With the cold weather here they are relying more and more on the hay.

4:40pm:  We had a little downtime.  I did a little work on a website and logo while the boys played and my hubby browsed through his cookbooks.

6pm:   Mama/Son night for Pickle and I!!  We started the evening by attending a fund raiser called Community Claus.  It’s a spaghetti supper held at a local church…homemade spaghetti sauce and garlic bread…yum, yum, yum!!  The monies raised are given to members of our communities, who are in need this holiday season.  Following the supper we went across the street to the grade school for our annual Family Reading Night program.

I forgot to take pics while at the Spaghetti Supper so before we ran to the school I had him “pose” in front of the Christmas tree. He ended up winning one of the door prizes!!

6:45pm:  Family Reading Night begins! It was an interesting an entertaining program which began with a unique Laser Show promoting literacy.  Here are a couple of pictures I was able to snap…

Pickle was picked from the audience to help explain what the word laser means. Who know, LASER is actual an acronym! You learn something new everyday!

Promoting AVID readers through asking questions, visualizing, interpreting and deciding. Throughout the presentation there were laser shows choreographed to popular songs. Our neighbor girl who sat behind us was really rockin' it out...especially to the Taylor Swift song! Too cute! Too bad it was dark and I couldn't get her pic. She was adorable!

This is Sponge Bob!!

7:30pm:  I LOVE our school because all of the teachers and staff are so dedicated.  This year our PTO teamed up with the village library and everyone received a free book and goodie bag as they left.  It was a nice touch to a great evening!

8:10pm:  Arrive home…Can I pretty please change into my jammies and relax??  The other two boys weren’t asleep yet so there was some tucking in that was warranted before I could change.  We did “Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite,” said our ‘love yous’ and to sleep my precious boys went.  Pickle in his new room, Willis back in his old bed which leaves Pudder in….our bed!  Something I swore I’d never let happen again.  Pickle slept with us for his first 3  1/4 years.  It’s so hard to move him back to his own bed…you never want them to grow up, but grow up they do.

9pm:  Time to change and go to sleep…NOT!  Actually 8pm on is usually my work time.  So I’m late for work!  Hope the boss isn’t too hard on me. LOL!  I’m working with two new clients and one of my longtime clients.  She sells retail so this is the busiest time of the year.  There is much preparation to do before Black Friday.  At the same time I try to get a little laundry done so we aren’t running around in our birthday suits tomorrow!  I’m not sure if I have enough energy to climb Mount Washmore but I’ll give it my best!

Midnight:  I’ve had enough and can’t keep my eyes open…off to dreamland!

I LOVED doing this activity!  I only wish I would have had enough time to write all in one sitting, work comes first.  I’m blessed to have work at this time of year, especially when it is slowing down for my hubby.  So I can’t complain, and I appreciate everyone for being patient.  I hope there was something during that famous November day that has helped you or enlightened or made you giggle!

The most important lesson I learned is that I’m important…very, very IMPORTANT.  It cracks me up that I thought I wouldn’t have enough to write about and with the exception of our night out, it was actually a slow day in comparison to most.  I also learned that I’m not doing enough playing with my kids.  I’m thankful for Lacy who forced me upon my will, kicking and screaming (no, not really) to participate.  It truly has forced me to realize my self-worth.  If you didn’t have a chance to participate I encourage you to post your own DITL…oh, and be sure to leave a comment if you do…then I can come take a peak into your world!

Happy Monday!

A Day In the Life

My “A Day In the Life” post is coming tomorrow…I had a sick child over the weekend which has delayed the post.

Stay tuned….

Today is one of the most important days of the year – Open Season!

I’m not talking about the movie either.  In Illinois, we welcome celebrities and hotshot hunters from all over the country, just to hunt in our timbers and fields.  In fact, when we travel to our hunting ground in Adams County you will usually see more out-of-state vehicles than our own.  The cost of guide services is crazy but when you have hunter’s like Michael Waddell and country music stars or major league baseball players, the cost of opportunity jumps higher than a deer. 

I’m can’t verify the country music stars name because it is hear-say however, after rubbing shoulders with Michael Waddell at last year’s NWTF State Banquet, I can confirmed that he has hunted and shot footage nearby.

Ok, so I'm not exactly rubbing shoulders...but hey, I can't help that I'm short!!!



Don't they look like a couple of old buddies catchin' up? As they chatted away a long line was forming for autographs. It looked my hubby was part of Waddell's caravan or something.

A native of Peoria, IL, Jim Thome, a major league baseball player, is rumored to also have hunted in the vicinity.  Other than shopping with him at a fantastic meat market while in Peoria, IL, I again cannot verify.   I was tongue tied and star struck at the time, I couldn’t think of anything to say.   My point being this is a huge area for the hotshots!


For our family it’s an exciting, 3-day vacation where our older two boys hang out in our “cabin in the sky,” while Daddy hunts out the window.  Or, at least that was the plan.  I had hoped to post this a LONG time ago however, my hubby called at a little after 7am, letting me know that shortly after eating a poptart, Willis had vomited twice out that “coveted” cabin window, once on his own pillow and once on daddy’s gun case.  Heehee!  I’m laughing with him, not at him…I promise!  Well, maybe not but don’t tell!

So I gathered myself up, skipping my usually routine of hair and putting on my face.  Pudder was still sleeping so I scooped him up and fastened him into the car seat and away we went.  Just before leaving the lane my hubby called again and said he had started this way.  Willis was having trouble standing, walking and had become somewhat disoriented.  Not good.

We sped towards one another, covering what would normally be at least a two hour drive.  In the meantime, Willis continued vomiting, so I called the doctor’s office looking for some sort of guidance on dehydration.  They advised providing him 2-3 tsp. of water every 5 min.  The nurse assured me that even though he may lose the water, a portion of it will be absorbed into his stomach, avoiding dehydration.  Although I’m sure this helps many patients, it made him vomit twice while at our meeting spot and then two more times after I picked him up.  I decided to stop the water and the vomiting finally stopped.  Once we arrived home he slept for a while, woke up and asked if he could call daddy and go to the cabin.  I took that as a good sign! :0)

If you are a hunter you are probably looking for a tally.  No, not a number of times Willis vomited but the deer hunting results.  As of 2:30pm they had harvested two does.  As my hubby’s phone went dead, I believe he was trying to tell me he harvested another but can’t be sure.  So for now I’ll go with

  • Hubby – 1
  • Brother-in-law (LB) – 1
  • Sister-in-law (I’ll have to think of a nickname for her)  – 0
  • Me – a big FAT zero…you have to be able to go out to get anything.  My tag is for our home county.  If Willis is better by Sunday I might try to get a sitter and go out.
  • My brother – ? I’m guessing zero, b/c he hasn’t called but I’m always the last to know.  I hate it when he does that!
  • Vomiting – 11 (thought I might as well throw it in)

I’ll try to post a final tally on Sunday evening.  Now time to start supper…I’m thinking “panpakes” as Willis’ calls them.  Not just any panpakes, The Pioneer Woman’s panpakes…heavenly!!  Especially with blueberries.

I’ll end by with a short conversation between Willis and daddy, just before they met up with us…

Daddy:   “I bet you’ll never want to go hunting with me again, huh, buddy?”

Willis:   “NO! I will NEVER eat another poptart again!”

Spoken like a true hunter!  I’m a proud mama!

Kids Say the Darndest Things!

This picture has nothing to do with the post but it just shows that boys NEV-ER grow up!!

I have numerous other topics I’d like to write about but this is still making me giggle so I have to share…

I was talking with my MIL about various things and she mentioned Willis was a little upset the last time he was there.  He shared the following with her:

“Granny, they’re [the school] are making us do things that they do in Pickle’s class and he’s in second grade.  You know Granny, I’m only in Pre-K, Pre-K!  I just can’t believe it.  **Huff** **SIGH** ”

He would not elaborate on the “things” which they are apparently were being forced to do.  Otherwise they’d be sure to hang the kids by their toe tails…she said he gave quite a performance.  Yesterday I decided I’d do a little fishin’ to see what these “things” might be.  He was hilarious and said “Yep, they’re making us do all kinds of things that Pickle has too *huff, huff, sigh*.”   So I asked if he could provide some examples.  “Nope, can’t reymemer.”

My MIL also shared this with her cousin who returned with a whopper.  It’s so funny I was crying.  At the beginning of this school year her cousin’s granddaughter entered the first grade.  One the first full-day of school, just before lunch, the little granddaughter got up from her desk, grabbed her backpack and proceeded towards the door.  The teacher asked where she was going and the little girl said “home.”   That had been her normal routine during half-day Kindergarten.  The teacher explained that in first grade you have to stay all day.  The little girl replied…

“What? WHO signed me up for this crap??”

The end.