Tuesday, March 30, 2010

ceasar salad and best buddies

I really don't care for bottled salad dressing.
It's just too salty and corn syrupy.
But I've never dared to try making Ceasar because well,
it just seemed scary to me.


Well, I found a super easy recipe and
WOW, did it get rave reviews at my house.
But as good as it was,
I knew that it really needed a key traditional ingredient that the recipe
didn't call for....anchovies.

I put on my shopping list 'anchovy paste' but just couldn't find it
at Wal Mart, to save my life.
Surprising, I know, being that so many chefs shop there
for their culinary needs.

Anyway, I found it at World Market...$1.99 for a tube.
*Doesn't tubed fish sound so yummy?*

I made the dressing again...only this time with the anchovies.
Then I made it again, and again....and again.

My boys,
are *in love* with this dressing.
And I do mean, IN.LOVE.
They both have eaten big Cesar salads every day since Sunday.
As a meal.

Brenden even posted about it on FB.

Isn't that hilarious?

Here's the recipe...
oh, and I suggest you double...or triple it.

1/3 Cup Mayo (yes, REAL mayo)
1/2 tsp. White wine vinegar (I used red)
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
(yes, I know, there are anchovies in W sauce)
1/2 tsp. Lemon juice
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/3 Cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tbl. Water
1 tsp. Anchovy paste (you simply must)

Mix it all together in a small blender-type thingy
and YUMMO...you will be addicted for life.

UPDATE:  I've made this recipe a DOZEN+ times and more often than not,
I don't have anchovy paste.
So please, don't shy away from it if you don't have it either!
It's DELICIOUS either way, trust me.


The weather here has been G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S, gorgeous!
Lucy and Zeke are lovin' every single second of it.
They are BEST buds.
And it's absolutely no coincidence that I caught Zeke
adoringly glancing at her...he truly loves her
as much as she loves him.

Friends, it's precious.

Speaking of precious...have you ever?
Did I say in a previous post that this girl
is naughty?

I'm just not seein' it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

what's your favorite?

I would really love to know what your favorite
Beth Moore study is.

I haven't done them all (yet) but my favorite so far, I think,
would be Daniel.

Wow, if you want to learn to understand the signs of the times,
this study is a must.
If you are looking for something really in-depth to do in your women's group...
I highly recommend this one, especially now.
It will open your eyes, big time, to what's going on around us.

I'm currently finishing up Living Beyond Yourself, which is
available online. I love doing it at my own pace at home...
but I sure do miss my favorite Bible study buddies!
But it's a great study on the Fruit of the Spirit.

And that's why I'm asking YOU what study you like best.
I'm hoping to do a study this summer at our church and would love your recommendation.
Though, they're ALL good, I know!

So, let me hear from you...give me your favorite one...or two.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

homegrown identity theft

For those of you who were hanging around Facebook
Saturday evening around 5 PM,
you know doubt got to play a real-time part in
the hacking that took place on my profile.

Let me back up.
I had decided to take a quick trip to WalMart, all by myself.
Did you know that WM lets you into their store without children?
They sure do.
I don't think I was aware of that before yesterday.
It was a super sweet visit.
I even bought a scented candle...just because.
*Although, turns out that the candle smells like syrup, which wasn't exactly what I was going for.

I was walking back to my van and got a text message
from my friend Martha (who always has my back).
She said,
"Have you checked your FB lately?"

it put me into sheer panic.
I kid you not, I seriously thought that my political posts
had Obama on my trail.

Oh, if only!
{I could take him, I know I could}

I was shaking like a leaf
as I dialed my phone to call home to have Kelly check
it right away.

Well, his reaction immediately sent a red flag.
Someone laughing hysterically at you tends to do that.
I told him to give the phone to Macy,
I wanted to talk to her
(at that moment, I knew she was the only one I could trust).
he wouldn't do it.

Turns out that
my family, with my husband heading up the entire identity theft scam,
posted this to my profile:

"I'm a big fat muffin that likes to eat!"

So nice to know that those who love you most
go to such lengths to show their affection.

Even Macy was laughing hard about it.

Paybacks, baby, paybacks.

*My sincere apologies to the poor woman in the picture.
Bless her heart.
And I hope no one took offense, I'm just reporting the facts
of my average Saturday.
Lucky me.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

"jimmy the greek" pasta salad

My goodness.
I'm up late. Again. I hate that.
My legs are super wiggly...my eyelids are heavy,
yet I can't sleep.

So here I am.

I thought I would share with you a great site that I just discovered.
It's Pioneer Woman's cooking community called,
Tasty Kitchen.

There are a gazillion recipes that will draw you in,
leaving your mouth watering and your grocery list long.

But so be it.

And let this be your warning about the
"Jimmy the Greek" Pasta Salad.

I will admit to you (and no one else) that I ate exactly
87% of it over a three day time period.
I could have consumed it faster but I practiced
restraint, of course.

So head on over there.
Pick out a two or 12 recipes to try.
And if you think of it...let me know what you picked.
I'd love to know what's soon to be cookin' in your kitchen!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

hope in Jesus is strong and sure

I couldn't be more outraged at the arrogance of our administration.


Check out this article.

The headline is,

"Obama Dares Republicans to Pursue Repeal of Health Care Law"

Are you kidding me??
He dares basically half the country to defy him.

I can't believe this.
Who does he think he is???

None of this has anything to do with his great concern
over our health.
You're kidding yourself if you think it is.

It's about CONTROL.

I'm thankful that I know the One who really is in control.


No matter how all this turns out (and it's looking quite grim),
our hope in Jesus is strong and sure.

Do YOU have peace and surety of salvation ONLY
found in Jesus?

You can.

It's a free gift for ALL,
no matter who you are or what you've done.

Peace that surpasses all understanding...
can be YOURS.

Click here to find out how to begin your relationship
with Jesus.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

a day in the life

It's been one of those days that,
you know,
you want to book a flight to
anywhere and have to think long and hard about making
it a round-trip.

it wasn't that bad.
But a getaway somewhere sure does sound nice.

here are a few of the better moments...

Lucy has taken a liken' to eclectic outfits.
And apparently she's quite happy with her selection.

Nick had a sudden urge around lunch time to
express himself through....art??

And wouldn't you know it,
Brenden is quick to rain on his parade by
blowing it down...
from about 15 feet away.

And make note of all Lucy's art work taped to the cabinet
just to the right of Brenden's head.
it's about five layers deep of creative masterpieces.

Also notice that the time-out spot for Lucy's toys
on top of the refrigerator is ummm....

There ya go...
my day.

Monday, March 22, 2010

spring at last!

In order to not go ballistic here with my opinion on the
health care reform crap voted in last night by the
most controlling, egotistical, arrogant,
president and his tail-wagging comrads,
I will just post a sweet little something about my family.


Spring has arrived in the Midwest
and I'm not the least bit surprised at how it
roared in because well,
it's just so typical.

At least some of us enjoyed it!

"Come on Zeke, let's go find some sunshine."

I woke up yesterday morning, having only had about 3 hours
of sleep. Grrr. I crawled out of bed right at the
time I needed to be getting in the shower for church.
But, I just couldn't.
I was exhausted and decided the girls and I would stay home.
A little later,
Macy walked out of the bathroom in a brand new outfit,
contacts in (she's down to it taking her 25 minutes!),
and said,
"Are we going to church??"


How in the world could I tell her no??
She was all ready to go and looked simply adorable.

I quickly gathered the three brain cells that were floating
in caffeine by then and said,
"Ummm, yes...yes we are."

Quick as lightning I jumped in the shower and prayed
for warp-speed in getting myself ready.

I pulled it off,
I got ready in record-time.
We loaded into the van, headed out...
only to find huge snow drifts on our little country road that
were completely impossible to get through.
So we turned around.

By the end of the day it had actually melted enough,
and someone graciously plowed a little
outlet through the big drifts and we took the fam to Wal Mart.
Good times.

Happy Monday.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

six months and counting....

Wow, six months have flown by...fast.
But not without some frustration, irritation, heartache...
and a whole lot of JOY.

Sometimes when I get caught up in seeing things on a daily
basis, I get discouraged.
But when I look back over the last six months,
I just think, WOW, we have come a LONG, LONG way.
Progress has come at a snail's pace at times
but very recently, it seems that we've turned a big corner.
Macy really seems at ease, finally.

I could go on and on.
But let's let pictures do the talking....

Yes I know I cut half her head off but I still think it's an adorable pic!

Can you believe...
this was six short months ago?
She was darling then and she is darling now.

Friday, March 19, 2010

bye bye glasses!

Ok, the big surprise is that Macy got contact lenses!!!

Let me tell you,
she is SO STOKED!!!!!!!!!!!!

She even let me take multiple pictures of her...
and she SMILED!!

From the very first photos we ever received of her when she was in China,
they were without her glasses...
then we noticed in many of the pics,
her glasses were in her hand, by her side.

And on Gotcha Day...
she walked into the room without them on.
Yet, she couldn't see a thing.
Her eyesight is really bad.

Anyway, we knew her confidence level was really low
because of them so once we knew for sure
she really wanted contacts,
we jumped on it.

Right when we got home from her eye appointment today,
she changed her Facebook profile pic!
Her old pic was not of her...but of Lucy.
Yeah, I'd say she needed a little boost to her confidence.

Anyway, we are all tickled for her!!

She had to work SO HARD at the eye doctor practicing
getting them in and out.
Bless those sweet almond-shaped eyes!
The doctor said she could come back another day
to try again if she was getting tired and
she said,
"No, I WILL get this!"

And she did.

It was a pretty special way to end the week.

Now she wants to go buy some funky new sunglasses!

big and exciting

We are off to do something really big and exciting
for Macy today.

not gonna tell ya right now.


But please pray that it goes well and turns out

Thursday, March 18, 2010

sticker chart

I've never been a huge fan of bribery for good behavior.
I've always expected my kids to be
good...for nothing (sorry).

But I'm tellin' ya...
this Lucy girl is a piece of work.
No amount of punishment
(even her beloved Dora being taken...gasp)
usually doesn't deter her from naughty behavior.

So my friend Patty (who also has a precious Fu stinker) suggested a sticker chart.
Ahhh, yes...the classic, last-resort-I've-tried-everything-else,
sticker chart.

Why didn't I think of that earlier??
Lucy and stickers go together like peas in pods.

And I was quickly reminded in my spirit that God is
a huge Giver of rewards for obedient behavior
so why the heck shouldn't I do the same??

So today was our first official day of

Oh my,
I hate to speak too soon, but it has worked like a charm!!

And when Miss Sassy Pants gets her sticker chart
filled up,
she gets a special prize from Wal Mart!

Oh and I would show you a picture of the coveted chart
but ummm,
I was in such a desperate hurry to put the
thing together that it's lacking any amount of creativity
so I won't bore you.

But to this ornery little girly,
it's priceless!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

macy's leaps of progress

Thank you all so very much for your sweet comments
and emails yesterday.

Truth is,
Macy's quietness is just her personality and is
completely consistent with the way she was
when she lived in the orphanage.
A couple of her friends have told us that she rarely played
games with the other girls and just kept to herself.
Before we traveled we were also told many times by a friend who worked
in the orphanage that she was shy, REALLY shy, and that we
needed to be prepared for that.

my venting yesterday was just that.
It wasn't so much about finding a solution for Macy's silence
(although like I said, we will get her the help she needs),
it was more about how our situation was making me feel.
Not that it's at all about me...but, you know.

Thanks again, I truly appreciate all of you!

Now let me list for a few huge leaps of progress,
lest you think we sit around just looking at each other!

One big thing that Macy is REALLY looking forward
to is that she and I are going to WA in April to see
two of her good friends.
We are both super excited!
I asked her the other day what outfits she wanted to wear
and she quickly told me what she had in mind.
I just knew she had been thinking/planning about that!
She even asked me my opinion on a couple of outfits.
I was pretty stoked about that.

On another occasion, when the guys were out of town for a
basketball tournament,
Macy looked at me and asked,
"Can we go to Kohl's?"
I was shocked.
Seriously, she's never asked for anything!
And even though I wasn't particularly feeling like
shopping, how in the world could I possibly
say no??
So we went!
And she picked out some great things...and tried
them on in the dressing room,
and even came out to show me each and every thing.
It was a mother/daughter moment that I'll
always treasure.

Food wise,
I had resolved a long time ago that Macy was
going to hate our food for the rest of her life.
I had decided that we would just make frequent
trips to the Asian market and she could get what she wanted.
she has taken a liking to lasagna, garlic toast (of course),
Mexican food and almost anything
with hamburger in it
(she has no idea hamburger is beef...shhhh, don't tell her).

And she loves homeschooling so we will definitely
stick with that.
I asked her not too long ago about going to college...
she said she doesn't want to go.
Kelly and I are convinced she will live with us forever.
I suppose her quietness will be much
more appreciated in the years to come if that's the case!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

a relatively silent six months

So far our spring break is really gloomy.
The weather is cool and cloudy.
Which is also the way I've been feeling this week too.

I find myself dreading reading my favorite blogs when
something serious is posted...
I just need a good laugh, not a spiritual challenge.
I've got enough of that going on as it is.
So, please forgive me for my own serious post here today.

This coming Sunday will mark six months since we met
our sweet Macy.
I'm thrilled for the progress we've made, I really am.
Our social worker was amazed by how
well she is doing.
But there is this huge mountain that is in front of us,
or so it seems.

Before we traveled to get Macy I ran many scenarios through my
mind...with a big dose of healthy fear.
I educated myself on all the challenges that could await us.
I had my concerns about certain children of mine who might have a hard time
with adopting an older child.

I prayed over all of it, a lot.

None of what I expected came to fruition.
But that doesn't mean we are without challenges.

You see,
Macy still remains silent most of the time.
She does speak, just not often at all.
I have to remind myself that a lot of loudness in my house annoys
me to pieces,
so I'm quite thankful that things are relatively quiet
around here.

But still.
It's too quiet.

I hear three kids talking when I should hear four.

I had a a nice chat with one of the social workers at our
adoption agency, along with our own SW, and they both assured me that
we need to be patient and give it more time.


Macy also seems completely disinterested in making friends here
and is slowly pulling away from her friends in China
that she used to chat a lot with online.
*All of that concerns me*

I am just really struggling with keeping my feelings stuffed inside
when I just want to tell her what I really feel.
That's what we do in America, we say how we feel (nicely, of course).
But I can't do that.
It could be detrimental to our attachment because it wouldn't
be received the way it was intended, I'm sure.
So, I chat with friends
and most importantly, my dear husband, who is amazingly helpful to me.

I am looking into grief counseling for Macy
at the recommendation of our social worker.
I'm really hoping that will be a good source of help to her
because she has experienced so much loss (and who knows what else) in her life.

I'm not sure why I am telling you all this.
Maybe I just need to vent.
Or maybe someone considering an older child
adoption needs to hear this angle of it.

It is always a risk to put out there what is on your heart.
So I do ask that your "advice" be only as directed from
the Lord.
And your prayers sure would be a tremendous help.

Thanks for letting me vent.

I promise I'll post something fun soon!
Like the fact that Nick has now requested lime green
golf pants.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

spring break, spring cleaning and other springy things

I am determined to make the most of every single second
of our spring break.

Homeschooling four kids, three dogs, a cat and a forgotten number
of chickens,
{Ok no, I do not attempt to teach my pets anything}
I am so busy that my housework suffers greatly, projects go unfinished,
and outings never seem to happen.

So I'm on a mission to clean, clean, clean;
paint my bathroom,
sew like crazy
and I guess I'll try to entertain my kids in between it all.

Although I will be down to three
since Brenden is taking a ten hour road trip with
his buddies to go see a friend.
For those of you between my house and Nashville,
watch out.

Nick will be on the golf course most of the time,
so that leaves me with two girlies to
have fun with.

Ok, I gotta go...
things to do, make and clean.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

sewing rampage

Yes, it's 2:22 AM and I'm wide awake.
It's been a while since
I've seen this hour of the morning so I guess I was due.


I'm on a new sewing rampage.

I'm obsessed.

I found a new nook in my living room for not only my
sewing machine, but also my laptop.
It's an amazing combination
and I could sit in my little cozy corner for hours
creating and communicating.
It's ingenious, actually.

I'm whipping out another pair of golf pants for Nick
and this time it's going really fast.

I'm also determined to make all of Lucy's summer dresses.
Which is so fun!

Here is one, although she was in a really
grumpy mood when I took this pic and it shows...
She wouldn't take her jacket off for anything.
I also made the headband.
Kinda cute, huh?

I really must go to bed now.
*Sleep, please come pay me a visit!*

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

my cen*us "helper"

You've simply never had a good hearty
laugh until you've let
Brenden help you fill out your Cen*us.

And for a small fee,
he'd be more than happy to help you fill out yours.

**additional fees may be required to guarantee
no fraudulent investigations, however,
that won't be near as much fun.

**Disclaimer: Just to cover my bee-hind
(because you just don't know who the heck may take this seriously)...

I would really rather not end up on the ten o'clock news, thank you very much.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

lucy's buddy

I really have nothing to blog about today,
except to post these cute pics of Lucy
and her new buddy (aka, victim).

They kinda look alike,
don't ya think?

Monday, March 8, 2010

it's not pink....

Lest you think Brenden would ever be outwitted
by Nick's pink golf pants....


not a chance.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

the debut of nick's crazy golf pants


Are you ready for the debut of Nick's golf pants?

*Am I making way too big a deal of this?*
Perhaps so.

But dog-gone it,
I'm pretty stinkin' proud of myself!
Though honestly,
I take very little credit because I literally prayed
my way through it.
*I had visions of finding them wadded up in
a corner somewhere, never having been worn*

But with God's guidance and a,
wonderful pattern,
I did it!

I had never used a Kwik Sew pattern before
(probably because I have been lured
too many times to the incredibly frustrating
but CHEAP McCalls patterns...but never again will
the $.99 price on those stupid things sway me).

You definitely get what you pay for.

This pattern was very, very good
and though it's not for a beginner,
I would highly recommend it to anyone with a little
experience under her belt!

Kwik Sew #3267

So here you go....

I didn't have my good camera with me but knew I had
to take advantage of Nick's moment of
graciousness in letting me
take this pic with my phone.

I feel the need to defend the pics just a bit.
The waste band looks a bit puckered but it's simply
a tad too big.
Easy to fix for the next pair.

his pocket wasn't fully pushed in so that's why you
see the lining a bit.

And they also look much better with his black golf
shoes instead of basketball shoes!

there ya go!!

I think I made them for about $12...not bad compared
to $90+ golf pants found anywhere else!

Oh and his golf instructor LOVED them!!

Now I have a pair of turquoise ones to make for him!

HaPpY BiRtHdAy, B!

My blogging habits are dwindling.
I just am so pre-occupied with other things.

Like making odd-colored pants for my son.
And Macy has also jumped on the
bandwagon and has a whole list of dresses she wants me
to make her.

So, you'll forgive me for not posting much, right?
Is there even anyone reading
this anymore?

Oh well, I know my mother is.

I got Nick's pants done.
But for some reason, the very confidence that he
has to wear the crazy things out in public,
escapes him to pose for a pic for my blog.


But, he is wearing them today for a golf lesson
so I am determined to get a pic of him,
even if I have to hide in the bushes
to do it.

And lastly,
but certainly not leastly (I know that's not a word),

Friday was Brenden's birthday!!


Can someone please tell me where all those years went??

I ran out of tissue paper to put in his gift bag...
so I knew he would enjoy toilet tissue

And he did.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

fancy pants update

Oh mercy be.
I am truly amazed at how easily these
pants are coming together!
why haven't I been sewing men's trousers for years now?
Ok well...they are a tad bit of work
but they are ALMOST done and ready for their

Nick tried them on tonight so I could make adjustments
and they look fantastico!
He even looked at himself in the full-length mirror
and said,
"Mom, they look JUST LIKE professional made."
Bless that sweet child's heart.

*Brenden is greatly disturbed by them, however*

I promise to post pics just as soon as I get them


Onto other things.....

I told you it was only a matter of time:

And look at two of my favorite super-heros!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

two right sides

Well, I'm sorry to say that I didn't take any pics
of our fabric shopping excursion.
There is just something about a teenager (x 3)
giving me the evil eye(s).
So I didn't even attempt it.

And I'm also sad to say that we didn't find the type of
fabric we set out for.
Although what we did find, Nick was equally
pleased with.

I won't tell you about it until I can post pics
of the finished product
but I will give you a little hint...

And no,
I don't mean because it is nauseating.
*Well, that's a matter of opinion, I suppose*

I started making the glorious golf trousers
right after our social worker
left tonight.
*Our visit was great, by the way!!*

And craaaap, if I didn't make TWO right sides
of the da-gone things!

HOW did I make that kind of rookie mistake????


So, I have to go buy more fabric.

*Sally, it looks like I probably will be making
Kevin a pair! After all, I've already got half of two pairs made as it is!*


crazy golf pants

Now that golf season is here,
Nick has been busy planning his game.
He goes out to the barn
and hits into his net for hours.
He putts on his homemade putting green
for even longer.
He even has his private lessons all planned out with
his instructor.

But what really tops it all off,
he has been planning his 2010 golf season wardrobe.

You won't believe it.

But take a look at some of the pants that he REALLY wants to buy...

Ummm, do you think I'm kidding?

No, I am not.

This is just a sample of the pants this avid golfer wants.

much to his chagrin, they are $90.
*Can you believe that there are grown men out there
who would actually pay almost $100 for
these pants??

So, always thinking on his fairway feet,
he turned to me last night
and asked me to MAKE him some.

Now let's just stop right here.
How many of you have ever actually had your teenage
son ask you to sew clothing for him?

And make no mistake,
this kid is ALL MAN.

So you can imagine the excitement when I told him
we would go fabric shopping today.
And I wish I could have captured for you what
Brenden's reaction was to that.

Let's just say that today will be VERY bloggable.
I'll be sure to take my camera.
Don't you worry.

And for those of you who are serious seamstresses,
I may need your help on making
men's pants!
He said absolutely no to the draw-string
and elastic band patterns I found.
He wants the real deal.

These kids!!!

Oh and we have our 6 month post-placement appointment
with our social worker tonight!

Big day, folks.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

how to fold a fitted sheet {a lost art}

Well, I'm not really sure why I'm going to tell you
this little story,
because I'm sure it's only amusing to me.

you get what you pay for.

And even though what I'm about to tell you happened
over 25 years ago,
I honestly think of it almost every single
time I change the sheets on my bed.


When I was 14/15 years old, I babysat a lot
AND cleaned houses for a couple
of people to make money until I was old
enough to get a real job.

One of the houses I cleaned was for a little old man.
He was old.
I mean, really old.
And smoked like a chimney.
And met up with his old-man buddies daily
at the local pharmacy to sit and chat..
and smoke.
At the pharmacy.
Boy, we've come a long way, baby.

none of that really has to do with my story,
I'm just paintin' a picture for you.

I always did a couple of loads of laundry
for Fred while I was cleaning his
little home.

I would strip the bed,
throw the sheets in the laundry
and put on fresh ones.

Then, by the time I was done cleaning the house,
the sheets would be ready to be folded
and put in the linen closet.

Riveting, I know.

But one day when I was getting ready to leave,
Fred had a question about the sheets.
As I recall, he even called me over to the closet
to show me what he was talking about.

He asked me bluntly,
"Don't you know how to fold a fitted sheet?"

As I starred at the wad that I had just stuffed on the shelf,
I was perplexed and since I really had no defensive
answer, I simply said,

He happily told me that when his sisters came to visit
next they would show me how to fold a fitted sheet

That's just what every 14ish year old girl dreams of.

sure enough the sisters came for a visit and they
taught me how to fold a fitted sheet...

Honest to goodness,
I was amazed at how extremely flat
that mysterious bed covering became.

I kid you not,
it was basically a magic act.

I was thrilled, truly.
It was a life lesson that not every girl has
the chance to learn.

to this very day,
I can't remember, for the life of me,
how to do it.
At least not the way Fred's sisters taught me.
And I'm pretty sure they're dead now.
Or around 115 years old.

That's my little story.

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