Saturday, August 30, 2008


I know this is random and has absolutely NOTHING to do with being a wife and mom... but in being an 80's kid, I'll always have a special place in my heart for the movie Goonies.
-reminiscent sigh-
Just out of curiosity, I wanted to see where the actors are today. If interested, here you go:

Sloth (he's actually normal looking)

Friday, August 29, 2008

2 months!!!

As of 8/24/08, Edmund's now 2 months old!!!

Doin' his ever-so-traditional buggy-eyed look

With mother

He's almost one cushion long

Reading FOX News with daddy

Children's Reading II

Just finished: "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM".

Now starting:

"Yea" for McCain

It's McCain's campaign slogan that should be "Hope"!!!

Mosquito Ringtones

HA! I may be an "adult" but I can still hear it! 20 khz, baby!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kid Project #4

Last Friday night (8/22), RD, the kids, and I made homemade Caramel Corn!

RD making the popcorn with our much-loved Whirley-Pop.

The ingredients


Caramel Corn
4 Qt. lightly salted popped popcorn
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Karo syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Pop popcorn; set aside in large bowl. In a microwave safe bowl, stir together butter, brown sugar, Karo syrup and 1/2 tsp. salt; microwave for 3-1/2 min.s. Stir. Microwave 2 min.s more. Remove from microwave and add 1/2 tsp. baking soda. Stir well. Pour over popcorn; stir evenly and quickly. Pour onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper to cool.

*For a fun alternative: spray the inside of a paper grocery bag with PAM; place cooked popcorn in bag; microwave caramel ingredients (as stated above) and pour into bag; close and shake well; pour onto cookie sheet (as stated above) to cool.

**We would have used a grocery bag if we had one. Would have been more kid-friendly.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kids say the darndest things

A cute e-mail I got from my mother-in-law today:

While I sat in the reception area of my doctor's office, a woman rolled an elderly man in a wheelchair into the room. As she went to the receptionist's desk, the man sat there, alone and silent. Just as I was thinking I should make small talk with him, a little boy slipped off his mother's lap and walked over to the wheelchair. Placing his hand on the man's, he said, 'I know how you feel. My mom makes me ride in the stroller too.'
As I was nursing my baby, my cousin's six-year-old daughter, Krissy, came into the room. Never having seen anyone breast feed before, she was intrigued
and full of all kinds of questions about what I was doing. After mulling over my answers, she remarked, 'My mom has some of those, but I don't think she knows how to use them.'
Out bicycling one day with my eight-year-old granddaughter, Carolyn, I got a little wistful. 'In ten years,' I said, 'you'll want to be with your friends and you won't go walking, biking, and swimming with me like you do now.
Carolyn shrugged. 'In ten years you'll be too old to do all those things anyway.'
Working as a pediatric nurse, I had the difficult assignment of giving immunization shots to children. One day I entered the examining room to give four-year-old Lizzie her needle.
'No, no, no!' she screamed.

'Lizzie,' scolded her mother, 'that's not polite behavior.'
With that, the girl yelled even louder,
'No, thank you! No, thank you!

On the way back from a Cub Scout meeting, my grandson asked my son the question. 'Dad, I know that babies come from mommies' tummies, but how do they get there in the first place?' he asked innocently. After my son hemmed and hawed awhile, my grandson finally spoke up in disgust.
'You don't have to make something up, Dad. It's OK if you don't know the answer.'
Like all growing boys, my teenage grandson, Jerome, was constantly hungry. I went to my refrigerator to find something he might like to eat. After poking around a bit and moving the milk and juice cartons, I spotted a bowl of leftover chili. 'Hey, Jerome,' I called out excitedly. He came running into the kitchen. 'Look! I found some chili.'
Struggling to be polite, he said, 'If you're that surprised, I'm not really sure I want it.'
My last name is a mouthful, so when my three-year-old niece learned to spell it, I was thrilled, until my cousin burst my bubble.
'You can spell Sczygelski any way you like,' he pointed out. 'Who's going to know if it's wrong?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Children's Reading

Just finished:
Now starting:

Edmund & the Chiropractor

Edmund went and saw the Chiropractor again today. Doing better! The doc was able to get 3 good cracks out of him. This was actually the first visit where Edmund didn't fuss and cry when he was getting adjusted! Doc wants to see him one more time Wednesday of next week.

He is SUCH a more contented baby since he's been getting his spine adjusted. Eats better. Sleeps better. He's just a happy baby now! (Who would have guessed chiropractics would have been the answer?!) In fact, we've caught him a couple times here recently trying to make his first attempts at laughing. I can't wait to catch on video!

Daily Schedules

Now that Edmund's sleeping better through the night, I've finally had the strength and energy to reestablish a daily routine with my kiddos. Thought I would share it with you. I'm also curious to hear what some of your daily routines include!

Me- Wake up:
5am-ish (for Edmund's AM feeding)
Kids- Wake up:
-morning prayers
-kids practice brushing their own teeth
-set table for breakfast
(in no particular order):
-get dressed
-make beds
-empty dishwasher/dish drainer
-brush hair
-(1) load laundry
-Weekly Home Blessing:
-Mon: meal planning
-Tues: grocery shopping
-Weds: chem. clean bathroom & misc. flat surfaces
-Thurs: vacuum & dust
-Fri: paperwork/finances
-Sat: ironing
Outdoor Play (if time allows)
-Clean-up toys & books
-Set table for lunch
Lunch: 1pm-ish
**Quiet Time/Nap Time**
(aka "Mommy Time" as this is when I do things that I can't do when the kids are up like blog, check e-mail, read, SLEEP, etc. )
Outdoor Play: 4pm-ish
-Set table for dinner
Dinner: 6:30pm-ish
**Family Time**

Bedtime Routine: 8pm-ish
-Clean-up toys & books
-Brush teeth (by mommy or daddy)
-Get in PJ's
-Dad reads the Bible & prays with kids
Kids- Bedtime: 8:30-9pm-ish

This schedule is fluid and flexible. It HAS to be with 4 kids (ages 5 and under), hence the frequent use of "ish". We do a lot of reading through the day, too, especially while I'm nursing. We've been on this schedule for the past couple of days and it seems to be working well in this season of our family's life.

Mmmm... salad...

In my August 8th entry, I shared with you all the recipe for this Summer Salad. It is SO GOOD I just had to make it again. This time, I cut up and put in some raw zucchini (seeing as how I have a plethora of it in our compost pile). YUM!


My mother-in-law e-mailed this devotional to me just today. I SO need to be reminded of this throughout my day!!!

"Volunteers" by Betsy Burnett
When we were weeding the garden to plant my eagle eyed daughter called me over and said “Mom aren’t these tomato plants?” Walking over I was quite pleased to discover a couple of ‘volunteers’ in my garden. Occasionally in a garden you will be blessed with a plant that you WANT just springing up naturally. These surprises you never are quite sure what variety you are going to get but hey they are free.
Sometimes life hands us volunteers. Those things that spring up in life that might not be exactly what you planned (or how you planned it but they are good (or at least good for you!) When I first started to homeschool I was very caught up in making sure everything got done every single day. With three kids 5 and under that was sometimes a difficult task and I felt like a failure! The problem was it just wasn’t the kids that interrupted, there were the calls from a friend that needed to talk, or someone that need help with something, or even someone getting sick and needing to be taken care of. I ended up feeling guilty if I did and guilty if I didn’t.
It was shortly after this I went to my first homeschool convention. The very first workshop I attended changed my life! The workshop was put on by a mom of seven (who was pregnant with her 8th!) I figured if anyone could help me be more organized with my day she could. Surely she would have the secrets of getting everything done that I had been missing! What shocked me though was the very first thing she told us “There is no such thing as an “interruption” to you homeschool day there is only an opportunity for God to teach you something” … She paused for a moment and allowed that thought to sink into our heads and our hearts. The she went onto explain.
What I ended up learning from her is that homeschool and well life in general isn’t just about the three “r’s” it’s also about growing up into the person God wants you to be. It’s about being available to what He has in store for you that day, or even that season. She then went on to talk about how sometimes the most precious characteristics can’t be learned in books, they have to be learned in life. The only way you learn them is to as Nike is fond of telling us “Just do it” She went on to tell us about the different seasons she has experienced with her children, she talked about her kids learning to grieve when her mother died, she talked about learning compassion and caring when their brother broke a leg. On and on with different examples, the more she talked the freer I felt.
I realized that if I watched my attitude checked my heart and consulted God about these interruptions to my day we could learn a whole lot more than school books could teach. Math could be taught while helping to prepare a meal for a sick friend on top of learning to reach out as Jesus did “when I was sick and in prison you visited me.” (Matthew 25:36) Compassion could be learned (not to mention how to REST) while helping to care for a sick sibling. Patience (not to mention oral reading skills ) could be learned when your little sister wants to have Wait for Elmo read to her for the 6th time. I was also reaping the blessings of not just godly character traits in my children, but seeing the blessings of growing relationships in them as well.
As time went on I learned that the kids weren’t the only one that benefited from this new approach. I was learning too. I was learning to seek God about things that came up. I was learning to seize opportunities when they did. I was even (very ) slowly learning to recognize those things that that needed to be done vs. those that were just time wasters. Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time and a season for everything under the sun. (Ecc 3: 1)
So the next time you want to get annoyed because of a seemingly interruption to your day or even life, stop and ask the Lord if he might just have something for you in what’s come up. Because you never know, that tomato plant that sprung up in your garden might not produce those great big beefy sandwich tomatoes you planted, but it does produce tasty little salad tomatoes perfect for snacking and they were just what you needed!

Made me smile that like this woman we too had tomato "volunteers". :-)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More on NYC

Yesterday, we held a "Welcome Back" party for Uncle Charles. In the spirit of his return, I thought it fiiting to make some apple pies for the party. Get it? The "Big Apple?"... Apple pie...
So anyway... here they are!

The Statue of Liberty crown


Saturday, August 16, 2008

How to reach the inner workings of a child

Have you ever asked your child probing questions to only receive back a blank stare? Sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get a child to express the inner workings of their heart and mind. Mostly because they lack the ability to express themselves in words. Sometimes they are lacking in verbal skills. Sometimes they're just unable to tap into their own lives and tell you what they are thinking and feeling. Well... I think I'm slowly starting to know what to do. It's called Play Therapy. Child Psychologists use this technique ALL the time, where they give children toys, dolls, figurines, etc. and observe how children play with them. Playing is one of the most effective ways for a child to process the events and experiences of their lives. The characters they create and the words they use as conversation are very telling about what they experience in their world. (Sheesh, with all the counseling training I've had I'm almost embarrassed I didn't think of this sooner.)

Yesterday, Arianna and I had the neatest discussion about salvation using these toy dinosaurs. Lovingly named after the characters off of Nintendo's "Mario Cart", from left to right: Bowser, Luigi, Mario, Princess Metal Peach, and Donkey Kong (DK). I played Bowser (in relation to size not temperment... hopefully) and Arianna played the other (4) characters.

We first started off just playing and goofing around but when Arianna casually made the statement that "bad dinosaurs" don't go to heaven, I saw an opportunity to give the gospel. I explained (as Bowser) that it's not whether a dinosaur is good or bad that determines if they'll go to heaven... it's if that dinosaur confessed their sins to God, asked for forgiveness, and asked the Holy Spirit to come and live in them and to help them obey and love God. We also discussed how just because a dinosaur accepts Christ doesn't mean he'll never sin again, but that there will be this on-going struggle inside between wanting to do no-no's and wanting to obey God.

What was so cool about this "dinosaur discussion" is that usually when I talk straight at her I get a blank stare and I'm just not sure how much in sinking in. But in using dinosaur's , I saw something sorta click, especially by the responses and questions her (4) dino's had.

Friday, August 15, 2008

When in a pinch...

Found this recipe the other day online. What a great recipe for breakfast when you (oops) haven't made it to the grocery store and your food choices are limited. Uses very basic ingredients that you might still have on hand...

French Breakfast Puffs
(makes 12 puffs)
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbls. butter, melted

Cream together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup softened butter, and 1 egg in large mixing bowl. Add flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add milk and beat well. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins. Bake at 350F for 20-25 mins.

While puffs are cooking, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.

When puffs come out of oven, dip or brush melted butter onto tops and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mix.

Love the Barbie muffin cups (reeks of motherhood). I would not use the cups again as they stuck to the papers pretty bad. I'd grease my pan(s) instead.

*These didn't last long!

Kid Project #3

Uncle Charles came back from an internship in The Big Apple yesterday (8/14) and here's what the kids made for him!

RD and I went to NYC for our anniversary a few years back and for some reason I held onto a few things like our Metro card, Circle Line card, maps, brochures, etc. I could never bear to part with them for some reason. Well, seeing as how Uncle Charles was coming back from an internship there, it seemed the most opportune time to drag all that miscellaneous memorabilia out and use it! After cutting a few pictures out, here's what the kids did with it!

Here's Uncle Charles meeting Edmund for the first time...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What's on the inside...

It's a zucchini.

I fried it up with some oil and a splash of white vinegar... yum!

Oh, and before I forget...
those other HUGE zucchini's got attacked and eaten by our dog. :-(
Apparently I took too long getting him food the other morning and he retaliated. Oh well. There's more on the compost pile and THOSE will be stored INDOORS.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Win a free Beco Baby Carrier

Submit your entries here. Entries must be submitted by September 30, 2008.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


I have been deeply disappointed with my garden this year! What with the baby being born I've been so busy attending to other duties. I've completely neglected my veggies! :-(

So anyway, my kids came running up to the house the other day just beaming with joy and excitement with large green and red bundles in their hands.

What in the world?!

As they drew near, I realized they were carrying beautiful vegetables!

"Where on earth did you find those?!" I asked.

No kidding, here was their response: "The poop pile!"

Out back behind our pole barn is a rather large pile of compost we use for fertilizer. With the coming of summer, this pile has just bloomed with weeds, Queen Ann's lace, clover, tall grass, etc. Much to our amazement, we have some sort of hybrid zucchini volunteer shrub thing growing... and tomatoes!

We were shocked! Me? I was thrilled! Without even trying, I've been blessed this year with summer veggies!!!

Here are pics of just some of what we've harvested thus far:

They look like baby Roma's
(the bigger one's are survivors from my neglected garden)

Look at these jumbo-sized veggies!
They grow on a vine just like squash, are fat almost like a watermelon, but look like a zucchini. They'd get even bigger if I left them on the vine, too.
Do any of you ladies know for sure what they are?

I'm gonna cut into one of these babies tonight to see just what's inside.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Summer Salad

You ladies have GOT to try this summer salad!!! I was first introduced to it by my sister. Talk about YUMMY!!! It is so simple and basic, yet packed with irresistable flavor.

Summer Salad
1 cucumber, peeled & diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes- cut in half
1/2 large Vidalia onion- chopped fine
1/2 green pepper- diced
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. ground red (cayenne) pepper
2 Tbls. olive oil

Combine all ingredients and allow to set in refrigerator at least (1) hour for fullest flavor.

*This recipe is totally flexible. You can really use any kind of tomato or onion; you can also use just regular table salt; I made this today but didn't have green pepper so I simply added more cucumber (sliced); still tastes amazing!

Kid Project #2

Foam House

I absolutely LOVE these foam craft kits!!!
Our local Christian library uses these kinds of kits during their kids' craft & story hour. Our children have so much fun putting them together. Here is our latest project, made with love specifically for Grandma E.

The roof tiles had an adhesive backing, but they just would NOT stick. We ended up having to glue them together and pin them down as they dried.

And then afterward, Cassandra and Arianna had fun playing with the leftover sticker pieces.

The Finished Product!