Monday, September 29, 2008


How's that for a creative title? One word that conjures up a lot of feelings from excitement to frustration depending on what context it's used in. An unexpected bill...frustration? A sudden windfall...excitement? There is so much public talk about money right now, and I am no expert but here is a link to some one who is

Dave Ramsey. In the link above he helped me, for the time being, put this "financial crisis" in a realistic mode. I do realize all in all, any of those who bring home paychecks, including Paperman, could lose their jobs. But don't panic. Dave Ramsey has also done a lot for a lot of people. Read around his site if you're interested. To be honest, I have not read any of his books, I have never listened to an entire radio show or podcast, but I consider myself a convert, by marriage. :) (Not that Paperman needed a radio talk show host/author to teach him to be frugal....) What has Dave done for us? He has given us the inspiration to be completely debt free (ie: no mortgage) (1) in a (short)time frame that still lets us live our lives (2). I'll explain the numbering system. Dave and Paperman came up with the first half of that sentence, I came up with the second half. It's all about compromise right? Not everything we do is "by the Dave Ramsey book" but our general debt philosophy is. So for now, Paperman still works his Heine off and I try to clothe and feed our family in a fiscally responsible way (Aldis, garage sales, Von Maur sales racks...), the 96 Concord keeps on ticking and I'll keep dreaming of the home addition. My favorite quote from Dave is "live like no one else, so later, you can live like no one else." I guess if everyone had bought into this saying ( bankers AND borrowers), there would be no financial crisis... (check out Iowa Geek and Green 3 to see some other very insightful money articles. You can find their blogs in my profile under blogs I follow.)

Bowl training....

We've all heard of crate training a dog, potty training a child, ever heard of bowl training? We try to bowl train our children right about the time they have their first bout of stomach flu. For the girls it has been around age 4 (see Sprite with straws post). This was dd3's first time. Bowl training (not something that had a name before now!) means basically, once that ugly vomit monster rears his head the bowl is your friend until you feel all better. I must say it has saved many carpet cleaning bills and loads of laundry. I have never had a one year old ask for a bowl or need one for that fact, until today. DS, as usual, wanting to keep up with his sisters, has joined the "need a bowl club". Of course, for all who know me, I NEVER have any unusually high expectations for my children, he didn't get a bowl. I just covered the area rug with a sheet and his carseat with a towel and let him play. Poor baby, hasn't eaten since lunch, wants to chug water (against the dr advice, sips only), but he's sleeping now. Sweet peaceful dreams baby boy....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Girls rock!

Yesterday was our school run pass and kick competition. They hold this every year around homecoming as a fundraiser. DD1 has entered every year but thought it wouldn't happen this year due to softball practice. Practice was cancelled, we got her registered, and she took 2nd place for third graders. We're so proud of her!

Sprite with straws

Yep, the sickies have hit our house. My last entry was Wednesday- that's the day my mom went to the hospital (stomach virus). I really wasn't too worried as the last time we had spent with her was last Saturday at a softball tournament. We were outside, it was a long time ago, what to worry about?? Thursday morning- dd2 started, Friday morning my dad, Friday night ME, Saturday morning dd3. Who is next? We are hoping and praying NO ONE!!! So, the drink of choice around here has been sprite with straws, hoping to calm the tummies, keep some fluids down and the bright spot in a day of not so bright activities. The tv has not blown up from overuse (yet) and Paperman has been hero of the week around here. The laundry has more than doubled, it was time to "do diapers" (I said to go to disposables until further notice!), he's trying to get grass to grow and the healthy girls have had a busy weekend with activities. His woodcutting treestand checking plans for the weekend pretty much went down the drain with everything else. Thank you Paperman, you'll always be my hero, even when you're not doing laundry. :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One heartbeat at a time

One heartbeat at a time is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman. He is a christian artist who was in the news last year as he lost one of his daughters in an accident. One of his older sons ran over his little girl in a tragic turn of events. This family is amazing. Their story is full of faith, forgiveness and hope. Here are some of the lyrics-

One Heartbeat at a time-

You're up all night with a screaming babyYou run all day at the speed of lifeAnd every day you feel a little bit lessLike the beautiful woman you areSo you fall into bed when you run out of hoursAnd you wonder if anything worth doing got doneOh, maybe you just don't knowOr maybe you've forgottenYou, you are changing the worldOne little heartbeat at a timeMaking history with every touch and every smileOh, you, you may not see it nowBut I believe that time will tellHow you, you are changing the worldOne little heartbeat at a time

Thanks Mom. Thanks Jean. Everything you've done, one heartbeat at a time, it mattered. I hope to follow in the big footsteps.

Happy Fall Y'all

I'm not sure if it was in the air, if the kids were remembering that it was "officially" fall all day today, or just the fact that they LOVE to make leaf piles. The rakes, buckets and even brooms came out in full force as 6 kids (ages 8-1) worked together for (a record) hour to make this pile. It was so much fun to watch them with one common goal in mind-the big jump! Maddy was the first to take the plunge! (no toads were harmed during this photo shoot- they were reluctantly released back into the wild without kisses- if you double click on the picture of dd3 you can see what I mean)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

oh the Lord is Good to Me....

And so I thank the Lord, for giving me, the things I need, the sun and the rain and the appleseed.... (From the Johnny Appleseed song, DD3's favorite prayer) We have plenty to thank HIM for, and plenty of appleseeds now that we've went apple picking for the 2nd time in a week. I'm not quite sure why I went again when the first picking was still untouched, except for being brought in the house, then back to the garage when I decided I was just too tired to even think about applesauce much less make it! The oldest girls got out of school early and got to go with us this time (along with their friends) and DD3 was an old pro at the apple picker. DS enjoyed his apple enough to keep him in the stroller. The group photo kind of sums it all up....

So many apples, so little time.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Full tank of gas to drive to tournament site ( 2 round trips) - $65

Snacks/drinks/concession stand for 5 people - $40

Daily tournament admission- $8

New Bottle of Sunscreen- $7

Sliding pad, sliding shorts, glove, hat- $120

Watching your daughter do something she loves and make new friends- PRICELESS
(Great job this weekend DD1!!)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Decision 2008

As I was listening to some election coverage on the news I got teary eyed. This is just a guess, but I'm not sure this happens very often unless you are a candidates wife (or husband) who has just lost "the big one" or you're a semi emotional over tired mom. Why would I cry at election coverage? No, MY candidates weren't losing in the polls (especially since it seems to be neck and neck right now), I realized that the election meant a lot to me this year and why. I want my kids to grow up in the same safe, happy and comfortable world that I grew up in. The world where I wasn't really scared or worried about too much. There was the nuclear threat with Russia and the Johnny Gosch abduction (I always thought I'd be next), but over all safe, happy and comfortable. I know that Paperman and I plan to do our very best to make this happen and I guess part of that is helping them stay little and grow in their own ways, embarrassing our kids by being overprotective and voting in November.

Make me feel like it's my birthday

The other night we were having supper with another couple, it happened to be the day before the husband's birthday. He and his wife were having some kind of friendly "discussion" and he said "Hey- Make me feel like it's my birthday!" It has stuck with me for some reason. I'm thinking t-shirt material here.... take it how you want to. In my opinion a child could wear it and I also think it could be in the naughty t-shirt category. If you happen to see it somewhere sometime, just remember- you saw it HERE first. (thanks Steve-Happy Birthday)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Works for me Wednesday-BIG baby bibs

If you have a super messy eater, serving a super messy food OR both try this out.
I used old hooded baby towels no longer in use. Cut a slit in the seam where the hood is connected to the towel big enough for your baby's head. Put this on them so the towel part is in front. It covers all their arms and body with enough to make a "shelf" to catch all the extras! Click on the title of this post and it will take you to Rocks in my dryer- and LOTS more Works for me Wednesday tips.

Recipe: Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken

This was our supper tonight. I called it Brown Sugar chicken to get DD3 to try a bite. (I also make brown sugar (baked) beans) Hey, you do what you have to do...
It received 2 thumbs up from DD1 and DD2. We ate it with brown rice and green beans from Mom and Dad's garden. (THANKS!)

1-2 lbs chicken pieces ( I used boneless skinless thighs)
1/2 c soy sauce
3 T Brown sugar
1 T sherry
3 cloves garlic
Mix and dump over the chicken in crock pot. Cook on low 4-6 hours or until done.

It's apple picking day!

It's apple picking day, it's apple picking day. We'll pick an apple from the tree and eat it right away! (from the Dinofours book- Apple picking day. Check out the series. They are really cute books.) Today dd3, ds, Susan and I went to pick apples at a farm up the road. There were 6 or 7 trees with the branches touching the ground from all the weight on them. I guess the trees are trying to make up for leaving us "sans applesauce" last year! It was such a beautiful day weather wise with temps around 75, sunshine and a nice breeze. Ahhhhhhh, nearly perfect in my book. DS was in need of a nap but hung out in his stroller munching away on a freshly "jean shined" apple. Seriously, he chewed on that baby for 1/2 an hour!! DD3 was in heaven. She reminded us to "twist the apples until they come off, don't just pull or you can hurt the trees" (once again, from the book). DD3 really got the hang of the apple picker and loved getting the high apples with no holes! We did a lot of pulling and filled bags and laundry baskets. Susan is my inspiration for food preservation as she's making pies and sauce to add to her bounty of other canned and frozen goods from her garden. I hope to make sauce and if there is enough, some sliced apples too (for crisp in the middle of the winter). (No pictures from this adventure. I did take some on my phone, but can't quite figure out how to get them to the computer.)

One of the joys of home ownership...

The picture above is "before".

This picture is "during". I am hoping the after picture will be some lush green grass with an in ground pool, maintenance free deck and some drinks with little umbrellas in them. The reality will most likely be a huge bill in exchange for a worry free septic system for the rest of our lives. The system we are replacing is 36 years old so we are expecting to be traveling around the US in an RV visiting our 16 grandchildren by the time it needs work again! As with any project we've done around here, it's never run of the mill, by the book, easy. A tree had to be moved and replanted (the "unlucky" buckeye tree we planted 3 years ago) and due to the hard to access location, around 80% of our grass will need to be leveled and reseeded. Country livin'. Ain't it grand??

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Nephew!

Happy Birthday to you, remember Jesus loves you, he made you so special, Happy Birthday to you! (This is dd3's special version of Happy Birthday, which she insists on singing, by herself, at nearly every birthday party. Sing on sister!) Five is cool. Have a happy day tomorrow and every day.

The kids and I spent the morning and part of the afternoon celebrating our godson's (nephew #3) fifth birthday. He is a Thomas, dinosaur, snake loving boy. It was fun to get all the kids together and see the other half of my family also. The kids got to play with 2/3 of their cousins. The other 1/3 came to our house tonight for pizza. He's almost 15 and we don't get to see him nearly as often as we like or used to. Something about friends and sports that take up his time now. So much for little cousins and aunts and uncles.


I had mentioned in the previous post about ds being patient in his stroller (at the state fair). Not wanting that to end and knowing we were dangerously close, I took him for a walk to find an appropriate place for a rock/cigarette butt/paper eating toddler to burn some energy. The first place we came upon was the gentleman selling hog panels (I only know what these are from stories Paperman has from his days on the farm), livestock waterers and other farm equipment. The salesman looked friendly enough, the grass was semi green and clean so I let ds out of the stroller. He was so happy to be able to move on his own he plopped right down, took his shoes off, and even laid down in the nice shady spot. Thank you Mr. Hog Panel selling man.

Who are you and where is my dad?

While going through our pics from our visit to Des Moines and the Blank Park Zoo this summer I ran across this picture. It made me laugh. At a quick glance this looks like our family. Look closer and the man holding the little boy is not Paperman, nor is he holding ds. The girls belong, the boys do not. Go figure! I think the real men from our family were just a bit out of camera range for this photo. We had a great day at the zoo and even made it to the state fair for some time that evening. Then back to the fair the following day. The girls got to ride horses, eat ice cream, ride the sky lift and participate in story time with Dan from IPTV. DS was patient in his stroller, got to pet a calf, and even had a nap. More fun for him next year.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I finally did it...

My maiden post! I'm so excited. I hope this blog will help me remember and also be able to share with family and friends what is happening in our ever changing household. I may share opinions, things we learn or like, and even a recipe or two. In my "previous life" I took pictures thinking "that would make a great scrapbook page". Now I've started thinking, "I'd love to write that somewhere" so here I am. Feel free to leave comments (only nice ones!). This blog will refer to my husband ( Paperman), oldest daughter (dd1), middle daughter (dd2), youngest daughter (dd3), only son (ds). If you're wondering about the name of the blog, read the right hand side of the page "about me".