Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Friendship From Adversity

When Padraig (sounds a bit like Patrick) the dragon finds a lost turtle named Roger, a friendship begins to bloom. Roger, who had been playing pirates and gotten turned around, does not know how to get back to his house.

When Padraig offers to help, he asks Roger what his house looks like. After that fails to get Roger home, Padraig has to know how the house looks, sounds, smells, feels, and tastes. With all of these clues to go on, the little flying dragon finally succeeds in getting Roger home.

And he gets a new friend and cookies, too!

A sweet lesson on helping others even when you don't want to.

I received this book for free to review from WaterBrook Multnomah.  Do you Blog For Books?

**There is now a contest open related to this book!  See below for details.**

Here's how to enter:

1.Enter the contest here: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/bookcontests/ . Be sure to fill in all the information and use the contest code SAFARI.

2.Have your child(ren) make their own Roger the turtle and Padraig the dragon crafts. We have some ideas and downloadable pieces to help you below.

Click Here for Ideas [pdf]

Download the Roger Coloring Template [pdf]

Download the Padraig Coloring Template [pdf]

3.Take a picture of their unique Roger and Padraig creations on their own "adventure" (i.e. at the library reading a book! swinging on a backyard swing! on the bus! in a tree!)

4.Send the pictures to us at info@waterbrookmultnomah.com with "Safari Picture" in the subject line and a short description of what adventure the picture captures.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Annual Christmas Letter

Hunter is a first grader this year.  At AWANAs he is about to finish memorizing all the books of the Old Testament.  He played t-ball again this summer (he had really improved and grown a lot taller!).  He loves to play outside, watch Spongebob Squarepants, and play video games.  He likes school and playing a "Sparkles" spelling game.  He can read very well, and he has earned some pizzas at school by reading lots of books.  He is beginning to go hunting with Phil, and he's been wearing his Chiefs clothes, too.  He lost his first two teeth on his 6th birthday--not his idea of a happy birthday present!  He is just as sweet as ever.

Hadley and Harper are big talkers and singers.  Staying at the babysitter's house each day seems to be going better now (not as much crying when mama leaves).  Potty training is in progress with many successes lately from Had and Harp (mama and daddy are very happy about this!).  The girls enjoy listening to music (they love to dance!) and story books.  They love baby dolls, stuffed animals, and dishes.  They think Hunter is the cat's meow and follow him everywhere (much to his dismay).

The kids have had their share of bumps, bruises, and medical episodes this year.  Hunter got some cuts, scrapes, and bruises from a playground incident.  He also lost a tooth (his third) to that same fall--ouch!  Harper fell off the porch steps at the babysitter's house and cut and bruised her face.  She also had a black eye from running into a table and a bruised cheek courtesy of her cousin.  Hadley, at some point in time, put a piece of fleece up her nose.  After one unsuccessful trip to the ER and several to the doctor's office it was FINALLY removed at the hospital in Liberal, KS under general anesthesia.  Amy was actually glad to see that chunk of fabric--she KNEW something was up there!

Amy crafted her way through the first six months of 2010 (felt food, an apron, or a ribbon tag blanket, anyone?) along with finishing up her Masters of Education.  She passed her certification test and finished her graduate portfolio.  She's now back to work as a Library Media Specialist for four sites (over 700 kids from kindergarten to fourth grade!).  The job is challenging and tiring, but the extra income is nice.  She's hoping for a new(er) vehicle in the near future.

Phil is teaching and coaching.  His basketball season is underway, and he thinks both teams will do well.  He is still raising German Shorthaired Pointers (he has a new litter right now!).  He had a great container garden this summer, and the family enjoyed lots of the fruits (well, veggies) of his labor.  He helped put a metal roof on the house, and he built a beautiful little playhouse in the backyard.  He's got in a few days of hunting already, and he looks forward to many more this winter.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Phil, Amy, Hunter, Hadley, and Harper

Sunday, December 05, 2010

A Message of Love

Little Star wants the older, bigger stars to see him, talk to him, realize he exists. They aren't mean to him; they simply ignore him, which is much worse.

The stars begin to speak of a rumor that a king would soon be born. When the baby arrives, he is born in a stable to poor, young parents. The older stars don't believe this could be the King, so they ignore him, too.

Little Star sees that Jesus is the King and chose to come as a baby of meager means. His heart fills with joy and his light burns bright enough to shine down on the stable in Bethlehem.

This sweet story has a good message: sacrifices big and small are rewarded in Heaven.

The illustrations are nice (my young children liked them), and the story flows well. I know I will remember Little Star when I decorate my tree with a star topper this year, and that will help me to also remember the true meaning of Christmas.

A gem of a story that packs a lot of meaning and truth into a small children's book!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.  Do you Blog for Books?

Saturday, December 04, 2010

I've been helping my mom start a new "school" blog for her kindergarten classroom.  Check out our rough draft at Little Tiger Paws !

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Sometimes I have to remind myself that things could be a whole lot worse.  Three years ago my twins were tiny premature babies in the NICU.  Now they are big three-year-old girls with a large vocabulary and energy to spare.  That's an amazing miracle if you stop to consider how they started out.  Thank you, God, for all of my blessings in life thusfar.  (is "thusfar" a word?  if not, it should be...)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I guess she got it from her brother!  He fell while pretending to fly.  My little bird learned the head-first hard way that flying is not meant for boys, only birds.  OUCH!
He skinned up his chin and his lower lip.  He lost a top tooth and tore up his bottom gumline.
Hunter, my dear, you can't fly!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

She's an accident looking for a place to happen!
Black eye from running into table corner

Bruised cheek from cousin biting her on the face

Black eye from falling down porch steps at babysitter's house

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall Fun!

Fall is a time when the kids can get out and enjoy the day without being too hot.  We went to visit my sister in Tulsa recently.  We enjoyed the gorgeous days and the beautiful leaves turning.  I think by next week it's going to feel like Winter.

Glad we enjoyed Fall while it lasted!
Look at the long legs on those kids!  They are growing up fast...
And judging from a previous post from Labor Day weekend...this is the only outfit they own.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

The UFO (unidentified food object) Removed and Identified:  It's Not What I Thought It Would Be

The drama of the stinky nose continued WAY past July.  On September 9, I took Hadley to a local pediatrician.  He looked in her nose, agreed with me that there was a strong, rotten smell, and told me there was not a thing he could or would do.  I got a prescription for Omnicef and was told to find an ENT.

On September 14, Phil and I took Hadley to an ENT about 45 miles away.  He looked up her nose and told us he didn't see a thing.  The odor was also not present since she had been on antibiotics for a few days by then.  He told us to finish the medicine and call back to schedule a scope if the odor returned.  That was on a Tuesday.  By Friday evening, the odor was back with a vengeance!

Phil called and scheduled a scope for September 22 at the hospital in Liberal, KS.  We had to be there (45 miles away) by 7:00 a.m.  The doctor really didn't think anything was up her nose, but he agreed to do the scope to appease me.  I was insistent that something was still up there. 

The medical staff took Hadley just before 9:00 a.m.  About ten minutes later, the doctor showed up with a specimen cup and this:

What is it?  Some sort of felt or fleece.
How big was it?  About an inch long, about a centimeter wide.
How long has it been up there?
At least since the beginning of July...maybe a lot longer.

When the ENT first inserted the scope (it had a camera on the end), he didn't find anything.  He kept looking because he was in there and we wanted him to find something.  As he was moving from the nose into the back of the throat (the posterior rhinopharynx, to be exact), he found the chunk of fabric.  He believes it was there due to the probing of the ER doctor done in July.  The ENT said there was no way a two-year-old could have lodged it back that far all on her own.   If he hadn't kept looking, he would have just pulled the camera scope out and told us he didn't find a thing.  Mini miracle number one

The ENT said she was lucky she didn't develop a staph infection which could have led to MRSA or sepsis.  Any one of those could have proven deadly if left unchecked.  Mini miracle number two.  I thank God for watching over our little Hadley Sue.  She is now perfectly healthy, happy, and odor- (and object) free.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Mexico Vacation!

We enjoyed getting away with the family to New Mexico over Labor Day weekend.  Two nights of mountain air, gorgeous scenery, and family fun.  Not to mention the great cooking of my mom and the wonderful restaurants we visited as well.  Yummy!  An all-around fun vacation getaway!

Three beautiful children smiling, happy, and healthy.
My sweet boy posing for a pic by Eagle Nest Lake, NM
The view from Eagle Nest...pretty!
A giant super-slide down the mountainside!
I think he'd like to hike every weekend!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cheap Fun!
The kids (all three!) and the parents (and a grandparent, to boot!) have all enjoyed building creations with this set from Cranium.  It's a lot like giant Tinker Toys made of plastic, foam, and magnets.  And, for only $2 at a garage sale, it's been a heaping helping of cheap fun!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First Day of First Grade
Time has flown by much quicker than I could have ever imagined.  Wasn't he just three a few months ago?  Wasn't kindergarten just over?  No?  Are you sure?  This six-year-old first grader stuff snuck up on me!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Texas County Free Fair 2010

Hunter and I both entered the fair this year.  Hunter had eleven entries, and I had two.  Hunter got nine ribbons, and I got two.  He was thrilled with the results!
Hunter and ALL of his ribbons and entries!

Decorated t-shirt--2nd place

Painted Butterfly--2nd place
Lego Helicopter--2nd place
Lego Dog--3rd place

Lego Service Station--3rd place
Lego Car--3rd place
Lego Truck--2nd place

Black-eyed Susan Flower--1st place
Carrots with tops--1st place

What  a great job, Hunter!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Going back to work tomorrow after almost three years as a stay-at-home mom.  I have mixed feelings about all of it, but I'm going to give it my best effort!  Wish me luck.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Using the idea from this post of beanie hats from a tutorial at The Rubber Punkin, I made these cute beanie hats (and the purses, too) using old t-shirts (and some I bought cheap at the thrift store).

They will be sold at the Country Store during the Texas County Free Fair at the OHCE area.  I also made some more ribbon tag blankets from this tutorial.

Everything turned out cute and was well-received by the other members at extension group tonight.  The fair starts August 12th!

Sunday, August 01, 2010


Was it a pea?
Was it a green bean?

Maybe a kernel of corn?

A noodle perhaps?

Or even a Yogo?

There are some questions without answers, and these are a few examples.  My daughter (she's two, almost three) has had a smell about her for a couple of weeks.  I kept thinking she was spitting on her hands (not sure why she'd do that) and rubbing the spit on her face.  She smelled like a dirty little kid who hadn't bathed in a few days.  I'd scrub her face and hands to no avail.  She still stunk like old dry spit.  

Flash forward two weeks:  now as I'm leaning over in front of her to help her put on her flip-flops, she smells like sewer water or a dead mouse (whichever is more rank).  I lean in closer and realize it's coming from her nose.  Upon further inspection (performed by her dad with a flashlight) a huge chunk of "goo" was seen lodged in her right nostril about an inch-and-a-half in. 

After a long drive home (we'd been on vacation in New Mexico) and an even longer stint in the local ER, the "goo" (which couldn't be persuaded to come out with suction) was pushed back down her throat and she swallowed it.  I know, I'm gagging as I type.  She was strapped to a papoose board to restrain her (she escaped twice--should have named her Houdini!).  She screamed bloody murder for about 15 minutes straight, got a nosebleed, and had to basically eat something rotten.  Bad day for her.

Now, her nose is smelling (the function, not the odor) again, and she doesn't smell (the odor, not the function).  Please, kids, don't put UFOs (that's unidentified food objects) up your nose ever again! 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gardener's Apron

What have I been up to lately?  Sewing.  Seam ripping.  Why, you ask?  I chose to make a gardener's apron for entry in the upcoming county fair for the extension group I'm in called "A-ha!"  I am not a wonderful seamstress, and I don't have a lot of patience when it comes to new techniques or materials.  Bias tape was new, and my patience was thin by late last night.
Bias tape--my conquered enemy
Waistbands--not a friend
Four huge pockets and more bias tape

But, I'm done.  It looks pretty good, and I won't embarrass myself by having my name on it now.  I used this pattern (altered somewhat in length and width) from a crafter's apron at Martha Stewart.com along with these sites and/or pictures:
Make It Do
Busty LaRue's Glitz and Glamour
GenevaDesigns on Etsy
GreatGoods on Etsy
All materials were purchased at my local Wal-Mart Supercenter.

1% inspiration + 99% perspiration = one gardener's apron

Now, back to getting the libraries ready for the new school year soon to begin...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Found a lithograph of this Fritz Hug painting for $2.50 at a garage sale the other day.
It's so fun to find great things at amazing prices!
I am not usually into cats, but this one called my name--"Meow!"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Why is it so hard for me to get rid of things from the past?  I hold onto stuff that 99% of the general population would consider junk.  It's the sentiment behind it.  I think by keeping the "thing," I can keep the memory.  I'm trying to remember that the memory is already with me, and I don't need the "thing" if it's not useful any longer.  Trying doesn't always mean succeeding, but it does mean I'm getting in a different frame of mind.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Have you visited my "sister" blog yet?  Please stop by and browse a little at Fayla's Fabulous Food Calendar!  You won't regret it, but your waistline might...

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

So you still have loads of t-shirts you've been hoarding all these years?  Old places you used to work, old restaurants you used to eat at, old shirts you just couldn't get rid of...oh, it's just me?  Anyway, if you do find a couple of odd shirts you don't want to just throw out, here's a great idea from The Rubber Punkint-shirt beanies!  Click on over.  You'll be glad you did! 

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Playhouse

We wanted to give the kids something to do out in the backyard.  First I have to describe our backyard:  it's a hill, an extreme hill, basically a mini ski slope.  It's not very conducive to playing unless you like rolling or falling a lot.  So, we decided on a playhouse.  Here goes:

The base (with the giant stilt legs on the far side--remember, the ski slope...)

The "bones" are up!

The walls are on and the roof is tar-papered.

Side view of same day.

The roof is on (and I helped!) and the trim is getting primed.

Side view of the same (and the hardworking hubby!).

The whole crew posing in front of their new mini-abode!

There's the metal roof (I helped hold it in place as DH put the screws in it--harder than I thought it would be)

"Thank you, Daddy!"

A pose with mom (who looks like Alice in Wonderland did when she ate the
"Eat Me" cookie and G-R-E-W!)

So cute!  Now as long as we don't move anytime soon, it will become a treasured memory for both the kids and the adults.  I'm so proud of my husband (who, by the way, gave up almost two weeks of golf to make this gorgeous playhouse).  That's some "daddy love" he's showin'!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chocolate Gravy

Oh, my gravy!  I thought this sounded good, but I hadn't gotten around to making it until today.  Why did I wait?  It's heavenly, creamy, chocolatey perfection on a biscuit.  It got a resounding "thumbs up" from everyone in the family!

You can find the recipe here on the website of The RHOK (that's Real Housewives of Oklahoma!) courtesy of my friend ShaRhonda!  Thanks for sharing, and I'll be making it again soon!

Warm Heaven in a pan!

Come on, biscuits--cook!

We can't wait to dig in!
It was a chocolatey mess, but it was SO worth it!