Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fairmont Fair

Last night we went to the AWANAS Fairmont Fair. Never been there before. It was a wonderful Halloween alternative. No scary costumes and lots of good clean fun. I was the only adult who was dressed up, so I felt a little inconspicuous. Adults really need to have more fun! My kids love it when I dress up with them. Hailey wanted to wear her little frilly, tutu dress instead of her Civil War outfit. I can rarely get Michael to dress up with me. Last night he said he was dressed as a "grumpy old man".
Josiah opted out of being a Civil War soldier at the last minute and instead chose to dress as a WWII GI. We got him an Army pack for his birthday and it came in handy in the candy department. Oh my gosh, I've never seen so much candy in my life! We came away with an enormous amount. I let the kids choose five of their favorite pieces. We're going to use the rest tonight if we get any trick or treaters. If we have any left over, we'll ship it to the pastor we know in Kenya where it is much appreciated since they don't get very much candy there.

Michael made me this cloak a few years ago. He used a cheap cloak I bought on Halloween clearance and then lined it and put beautiful old-fashioned hook fasteners on it. I love it! It is one of my favorite gifts he's ever given me.

They had some really unique games at the party. This spoon catapult was really interesting. They tried to fling AWANAS tokens into little buckets. Josiah did pretty good. Hailey pretty much used all her tokens on the cupcake walk. She just loved walking/running around in circles over and over again. Sounds like a typical toddler, doesn't it?

A big thanks to all the workers who helped put the Fairmont Fair together!

God Bless,
Jackie
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Friday, October 30, 2009

What Happened to the Snowman's Nose?

You thought I was joking when I blogged earlier in the week that our pumpkin man would soon have a snowman friend, didn't ya? Well, yesterday we had our first snow (the leaves aren't even off all our trees yet) and there was enough for Josiah to make a snowman and for us to have our first snowball fight of the year. Later, I asked why the snowman's nose was missing. Josiah says, "Um, well you see...I got hungry and ate it." That's my boy!

Read a couple of posts down for another Friday Funny.

Have a wonderful, safe weekend!

God Bless,
Jackie
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Puttin' It All Together

Last weekend, Michael had a chance to work on his T-Bucket project. It has been in pieces for over a year. He decided to put it all together without bolting it down just so we could get an idea of what it would look like. So here it is! You can see that he's worked hard welding a new skin onto the body. He's going to make a box to go behind the seat. The kids thought it was so cool to get to sit in it (we were sitting on the board that makes up the instrument panel). We are going for the "old fashioned look" again as these pictures were taken before I had a chance to clean my lens :P

View from the front. He didn't have the radiator on there yet, so that is why it looks weird. He's got a Ford Flathead V8 engine in this baby. He found it for free and it even runs - same thing with the transmission. How blessed is this guy? Michael is really good about paying for parts for the T-Bucket from little side jobs he does so that it doesn't come out of the family budget. I really appreciate that about him!

T-Buckets are made for short people! Look how crunched up my legs are. Yikes! Won't be able to drive this thing long distances. It was really fun to get an idea of what it will basically look like after seeing it in pieces for so long. It has been a fun project for him and keeps him busy. Just had to share what my other half has been up to. BTW, his new job is going great. Thanks again for your prayers everybody!

Have a Blessed Day Everyone,
Jackie
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Watcha Gonna Do?


So I just have to share this with you all. Josiah got into trouble a minute ago. He was coming back from a "break" and telling me what he did wrong, why it was wrong and what he was going to do differently next time. In the middle of my very serious talk with Josiah, Hailey walks up and starts singing, the "Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do....?" song (she must have heard it while at Papa's house since he likes to watch COPS). Can anybody tell me how you keep a straight face when a two year old is singing that song during a very serious lecture? So was I able to? Of course not! I crumpled up laughing and then I ran to the computer to "record" it on the blog!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Have You Seen The Pumpkin Man?

Martha, Martha! I'm freakin' myself out with all the fall crafts I've been doing this year. Having kids is forcing me to expand my horizons. I got the idea of stacking pumpkins in a Martha Stewart magazine my mom gave me. I decided to make a pumpkin man out of all the pumpkins that Josiah accidently broke the handles off. I added the sticks for arms. I didn't get the right camera angle here, so you can't see the cute cinnoman stick nose, although you can see it on Hailey's pumpkin. We put a light inside the pumpkin man's head.

Here are all the pumpkins we carved. Josiah carved the big one on the left. I carved Hailey's while she was sleeping. I loved the long, twisted stalk on her pumpkin. Of course we saved the seeds to roast and eat for snacks later.

I relectantly let Josiah carve his own pumpkin this year with great supervision. He did really good. Once he started carving, he didn't want to stop. The mouth on his pumpkin kept getting bigger and bigger. I thought he did an excellent job for only being 6 years old. As we were carving the pumpkins, he kept telling me, "This is the funnest day of my life, Mom!". I thought that was so cute.

I just had to throw in this last picture of Hailey since she wasn't in on the pumpkin carving. Yesterday morning I was putting together my slow-cook garlic chicken recipe (see sidebar for lables-->recipes-dinner) and she was helping. I gave her a piece of garlic to "chop" with her safe cutter knife, I turn around and she had eaten half the clove. That's our girl! We love garlic around here. I was just surprised a two year old would eat a raw clove of garlic. Very healthy for her.

It was snowing this morning when I went to Curves. First snow of the year. Not sticking, but we are supposed to get more throughout the day. Maybe our pumpkin man will have a snowman friend soon?

God Bless,
Jackie
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Civil War Kids

This is why I was making the bloomers! For Halloween this year, I'm dressing my kids up as Civil War era children. I also got some old time photos taken last weekend through a MOPS fundraiser. So I'm getting my money and time out of making these bloomers for Hailey. Plus, she wore them to church on Sunday. I made them big, so they will fit her next year, too. I tried to take some pictures of the kids before the professional photo shoot, but I wasn't having a lot of luck. Hailey was not cooperating since I had to wake her up from her nap early. Therefor these pictures aren't that great. I don't know what is going on with my camera. I seem to have an annoying glow about all my pictures now. Anybody have an idea? I'm wondering if the lense got scratched or there is condensation in the camera.

This adorable bonnet was made for my niece, Darienne, by Michael's late Grandma Viola. She made a precious outfit to go with it, but the outfit is too big. Next year, we'll have pictures taken with her in it. My SIL graciously let us borrow the outfit. The bonnet fit perfectly. I wish I would have taken a picture of the back of her head. The bonnet is open in the back, so it really does look old-fashioned.


Yeah! One really good picture of Hailey doing her "thing". I can't remember where she got this sweater, but it is the cutest thing. It is really thick, so perfect for winter. I think it looks kind of old-fashioned, too. Hope you all had a great weekend!

God Bless,
Jackie
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Rides

While I'm waiting for my cheese to brine, I thought I'd slip in another post of this weekend. After we went to Dufur's homecoming parade, we loaded into Diana's mini-van to go see Papa and Great Papa at a Pumpkin Patch event in The Dalles. Wow, you should have seen the line for the miniature horse rides! My parents have two minis, this one is Baker Man. Yes, he's adorable and has a sweet temperament. He takes both horses so he can trade them out so as not to overwork them.

Check out that 'stache! I swear it gets longer (and more grey every time I see him). Dad used to have a very long red beard (see, red does run in the family). I remember trying to find his chin when I was a little girl. When he finally shaved it, I was traumatized because he looked so different, LOL!

Here is a picture of my grandpa and his wife, Regina. They were giving Hay rides. Everyone looks like they are having a great time!

No, this is not my husband, but don't panic! Even though it was Dufur's homecoming weekend, when I went to the pumpkin patch in The Dalles, it felt like homecoming weekend for my class. I saw so many classmates I hadn't seen in years. This was my commencement walking partner, Robbie. It was so great to see him and catch up a little.

Also, I didn't get one picture (too busy talking - who me?:), but on Sunday I visited my good friend from high school, Leslie, at her ranch near where I grew up. Josiah and her son hit it off immediately. They kept getting into trouble together, so we had to confine them to the house so we could visit. They really had a good time. On the way home, I stopped off at my grandmother's retirement home and visited with her. It was wonderful to see so many family and friends all in one weekend.

Well, better get my queso fresco in the press. Have a good one everybody!

God Bless,
Jackie
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Homecoming/Cute Cousins

This is going to be kind of an eclectic post of some more happenings this last weekend. It was Dufur's homecoming and since my dad and step mom are Dufurites, we met them at the volleyball/football games on Friday night. It was the first time the kids have ever seen any high school sports. They did better than I thought they would. In this picture they are sitting on Dad's lap just taking it all in.

The next day we went "downtown" to the small town homecoming parade. They had a story book theme going. It was great. Diana's 2nd grade class was Wild something or other. I can't read the banner in this picture. It was cute! Diana is the one waving. The kids got an enormous amount of candy that we are mostly going to give to some an African church we help support in Kenya. Since we try to do as little refined sugar as possible, at parades and such, I tell the kids they can pick out five of their favorite pieces and the rest goes to Kenya. Works great for us.

Here's a picture of Hailey holding her cousin Lily. She just loves holding her and petting her hair. Lily is simply delectable!

Here's the other cutie pie of the family, Noah. My brother, Jerry and his wife Sonya, have the such a little sweetie. I could seriously take this kid home. Do you think they would notice? Josiah asked to hold Noah in a rare moment of actually holding still. He was so cute with him. Noah looks a lot like Josiah when he was a baby, only Noah has more baby fat on him than Josiah did. He even has some red in his peach fuzz. That's our boy! Fits right into the family. Just had to show my newest niece and nephew off a little. Stay tuned, got more pictures of this weekend comin'!
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Bloomin' Good weekend!

My hubby had drill this weekend so I decided to spend it with my parents at the ranch. My step mom is a seamstress, so I decided to enlist her help to make a pair of bloomers for Hailey. This is my first time making a garment. Hey, this looks simple, right? This is how not crafty I am. I would have never figured out how to do this if I hadn't had hands-on, step by step instructions. Reading directions seems to confuse me, so hands-on demos are right up my alley. All was going well -we had everything cut out and had it halfway sewed together. We took a little break to say good-bye to my brother and his family (Jaws theme). I came back into the sewing room just as Hailey snipped a good 2 inch gash into the bottom of one bloomer. Yikes! I admit that I did freak out a little, but according to my step mom, I did good. My very level-headed step mom saved the day by using some interfacing to pull it back together, thank God it ended up being on the inside of the leg so I can just put a small zig zag stitch on the cut. Also, the lace I used at the bottom was white and didn't go at all. I'd seen people dye Easter eggs with tea, so I decided to try it with this lace. It turned out great! It looks very vintage. I can't believe how long it took me to make this, but it was worth it.

I really liked sewing on Diana's antique sewing machine. I have a modern day, cheap Brothers machine at home. It does the job, but I really loved using this machine. Thank you, Diana, for taking the time to teach me! I really had fun with you.

Nope, I didn't sew these aprons. I bet you were just about to get impressed! I found these for only $19.98 in the Victorian Trading Post catalog. I showed Stacie what I was thinking of getting, so in a rare "twin moment" we decided to both get one. I think as we get older our tastes are merging. This picture doesn't do these aprons justice (I'm hoping Stacie has a better one that she'll post on her blog), but I promise you, they are simply delicious! I got mine in the mail on a day that I was wearing my motorcycle clothing. My hubby cracked up when he came home to see his motorcycle mama in a frilly apron with motorcycle boots on! I've got more pictures to post of this weekend, but that is all I have time for at the moment. I'm so behind on catching up with my blog list. I'm hoping to stop by some of your blogs soon.

God Bless,
Jackie
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Ya Think She's Got a Brother?

I've been saving this picture of Hailey for a Friday Funny post for awhile now. We were in Joseph, letting the kids do a little toy shopping in Mad Mary's, and what does Hailey do? She makes a bee-line for the guns. She grabs a gun and then finds a princess hat. She's walking through the store with her machine gun (yes, it made noises) and her princess hat. Everyone was cracking up. I don't know why! Hope you all have a great weekend!

God Bless,
Jackie
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cooking With My Kids/My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I've said before how much I love cooking with my kids. The first thing you need when cooking with toddlers is the gear. They love an apron and a chef's hat. They gotta look the part! The second thing you need is a "safe cutter knife" (can get cheap from Pampered Chef). Trust me, they can't hurt themselves on this knife! In this picture, Hailey is trying to split a macadamia nut in half. She wasn't successful, but it sure kept her busy.

I'm carefully monitoring Hailey as the butter is melted on very low heat. She enjoys "stirring" it around. We don't have a microwave, so I bought this adorable little cast iron pan that I use just for melting butter or coconut oil. Isn't it cute?

Cooking is such a great homeschooling activity. Josiah is learning his fractions simply by cooking with me. Now that he is actually able to use a small knife, he is getting to be a great help. When I use the food processor or my KitchenAid , the kids fight over who is going to help me. They love it!

Here are the yummy white chocolate macadamia nut cookies the kids helped me make. The thing I absolutely love about this cookie recipe is that it is so versatile. I use this same recipe to make regular chocolate chip cookies and well other types. This recipe makes a lot (48 cookies), so I like to freeze half the dough and only make two sheets of cookies at a time. By the next day, the whole wheat flour tends to make the cookies crumble easily, so you want to eat them fairly quickly. Trust me, this won't be a problem!

Jackie's Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies:
1 cup honey
1 cup sucanat
1 cup butter or coconut oil (softened)
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
4 1/4 whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (use organic if possible - don't want anything hydrogenated and if you can get them made with unrefined sugar, even better!)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together honey, sucanat, butter or coconut oil, eggs and vanilla. If you are using a mixer, add flour, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips and nuts. When well mixed, drop dough onto sheet (I love using stoneware) and cook 10 to 12 minutes. However, I like to bake two stoneware bar pans at a time. If you are going to do this, place both room temperature stoneware on middle rack and only cook for 9 minutes if you like soft cookies. You may need to adjust flour and length of cooking time depending on if you like a soft or crispy cookie. Enjoy!
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Krazy Kid Pictures

I had some miscellaneous pictures I wanted to post, but couldn't really think of a theme, but then I realized I could do a "Krazy Kid" theme. This first picture is of Hailey eating fermented veggies right out of the jar. How many 2 year olds would touch that stuff? She loves it!

This is a picture of our friend, Billy, and Josiah with his real WWII Russian helmet. His American helmet he got for his birthday is the one laying on the coffee table.

My kids love to give and receive massages.

Hailey is doing her deep tissue pounding on Josiah's back. I pay them a quarter for a 5 minute massage. They do pretty good, too. Start 'em young, I say, LOL!

Here are some miscellaneous items that may be of interest to you. Michael had a good first day at work although he couldn't get into the Forest Service computer system. The Help Desk told him they would get back to him anywhere from 1 hour to 5 days. Huh? Could we narrow that down a little? That's the government for you! In the meantime, he can't do his job so is just doing filing and fun busy work like that. He said he has a huge pile of stuff he has to input into the system and there's not a thing he can do about it. So pray it gets fixed soon!

I had a great night at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) last night. I'm really enjoying being a table leader. I just love all "my" ladies! I don't have any other ministry responsibilities right now since we just changed churches and so I'm able to give this my all. I love relationship building, so this is right up my alley. I'm really going to try to stick to just one outside ministry activity at a time. "You heard that right, Lord! Now help me stick to my guns on this one."

Well better get off here and start my busy day of homeschooling, cooking and cleaning. Plus I've got to squeeze in an hour of soil science work. I had a chance to pray as I drove home from Curves early this morning. After looking at my day, I'm glad I'm prayed up!

God Bless,
Jackie
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Fiddlin' Around

I know these are terrible pictures (I really need to figure our how to work my camera to pick up action better), but I still thought they were cute enough to post. Josiah was listening to some fiddle music and decided to bring his 1/4 size fiddle out and start "play" while Hailey danced. It was so cute! He'd yell, "Dance, Hailey, dance!"



We included a fiddle lesson into homeschooling that day. He's got a natural bow hold and he was applying good bow pressure to the strings. I'm hoping he'll stay interested. I can teach him the basics since I'm a novice fiddle player myself. Don't want to pressure him though, so we'll see if this is just a phase. He's really going to have to want to play, or I'm not going to waste my energy trying to teach him. Thanks for stoppin' by to fiddle around with us today!

God Bless,
Jackie
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