Monday, June 30, 2008

Family Visiting and the Motherload

It has been an exciting and busy past two weeks! First of all cousin Josie and her three children came to visit for a week. While Josie was here I got a call from one of our scrapbook customers mothers. My scrappin friend Teresa Wince passed away from a long battle with a pulmonary disease. Her mother was calling to tell me that Teresa wanted me to have all of her scrapbooking stuff. Josie and I dropped the kids off to visit my mom and we headed to Ellenboro (approximately 45 mins away). I had commented that I hoped it would be worth the trip since gas is so ridiculously high.

When we walked into Teresa's home there was TONS of scrapbooking stuff. Her mom was giving it ALL to me! We put the seats down in my stow and go mini van (man I love those stow and go seats...they sure come in handy!) and packed the van full from front to back and top to bottom. The whole way home Josie and I were just giddy! When we pulled up to the garage we immediately started sorting and trying to organize and oohing and ahing over all the new stuff! It was better than any Christmas presents I have ever had. Teresa had more scrapbooking stuff than I have had in my personal stash...and for those of you that have seen my personal stash...I am sure you are amazed that anyone could have more than me! LOL

So I inherited the motherload! I am still trying to organize all of it but thanks to Josie, it is somewhat under control! I am not sure what I would have done without her helping me!

Josie came on Monday and then left the following Monday. We didn't do much more than organizing the motherload all week! Well ok, we did take the kids to tennis lessons every morning. Brooke to Cross Country practive nearly every evening. Wed night we took the kids to church and then went to the Drive in to see Indiana Jones and Speed Racer. Other than that we organized and then got a little scrapping done at crop club on Friday night...which by the way, turned into an all nighter. Josie and I didn't get home till after 7am! EEEK!

My little sister Julie arrived for a weeks visit the Sunday before Josie left. We spent the evening playing canasta. We had a little INCIDENT involving a sleepwalking child...but I will not go into that because I am sure he would kill me when he was older if he found out I blogged about it!

Julie stayed with mom and dad but visited me everyday. It was so nice having her in town all week. She is usually just here a few weekends of the year. So having her here for a full week was a treat! We got lots of Canasta games in this past week! We also took the kids to the Marietta Aquatic Center. Wed night we went to the Drive In to see Kung Fu Panda and Spiderwick Chronicles. Both of which were super!

Julie headed back home to GA today. Was bummed to see her go back but hopefully we will get to visit GA before school starts in the fall.

So now the company has all returned home and we are trying to get back to normal. My laundry is overflowing. My house is kinda messy. I am overwhelmed with my two online classes and all the work I need to accomplish before vacation. I have to get stuff together for the "This is My Story" faithbooking class I am starting for the summer session at church. Plus, I got all my VBS materials tonight and have to start getting ready for that because it starts the day we get back from vacation! EEEEK!!

Well, writing that to do list has made me exhausted! I better sign off for now!

Friday, June 13, 2008

States I have Visited

Karma had a map of all the places she has been on her blog...or wait. Maybe that was places she has lived? hehe!

Anyways, I thought it was kinda neat so here is mine! I have been to all the pink places. jeesh I still have lots of states to visit!

Decluttering and Online classes

Wow! Where has the week gone? I have cleaned and decluttered my week away! With the exception of a laundry, cooking, dishes, a couple baseball games, a tennis tournament, church and an orthodontist appointment...I have literally been decluttering and cleaning all week....oh yeah throw in a little sleeping too!

The sad part is that I am still not done. Even after a weeks worth of almost non-stop decluttering there is still more! ARGH! We have to much stuff. And why in the world did I want a big house?? So...have come to grips with the fact I will never be completely caught up with all I need to have done around here. It sure feels good to have gotten this much done though! Still have my storage basement (with tons of homeschool curriculum that needs gotten rid of), my office which is almost done, the game cabinet and last but most certainly NOT LEAST my scrapbook room(might take me a week all in itself!)

I am taking 6 graduate credit hours this summer. Thankfully the classes are completely online. I need the six hours to renew my teaching certificate this year. With the cost of gas and the poor economy it looks as though I am gonna have to start applying for full time teaching jobs. I enjoy teaching and being with kids..but I really hate the early morning part of it all! Why can't school start at 10am?? I am a night owl you know...mornings are just HARD on me!

Learned something really neat in my Read/Write Web 2.0 class this week! Have you heard of Social Bookmarks? It is so cool. It is just like the ole favorite on your personal PC except that you can add your favorites and categorize them and share them online! It's pretty cool and I have all sorts of fun ideas running through my head for this! Here is my start using the social bookmark...pretty lame so far but hey I just found out about this...and you know...I haven't had much online time cause of the nonstop cleaning spree this week;)

My goal for Saturday is cleaning the scrapbook room...cousin Josie will be arriving Monday and since that is the room we will be spending most of our time in (I hope!) I better get it organized so we can both have a place to scrap! Oh yeah...Nic has double header baseball games starting at will be getting some serious sun too. You know it has been outrageously hot here lately?? Mid ninties with extreme humidty. What is up with that? It isn't even officially summer yet!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Amish Country

Chad surprised me with a romantic weekend away this past weekend. The boys were both going to Camp Cowan church camp for the weekend...and Brooke had plans of her own. The last time the two of us were on a trip alone together was before Brooke was born! So this was a long overdue weekend away! I have been begging and begging but Chad refuses to leave the kids with someone so we can run off by ourselves. Thank goodness for church camp! ;)

We had a fabulous time in Amish Country! We left home around 2ish Friday. Our first stop was Lehmans and WOW! It was awesome! So many things you can by there! Some of the things brought back childhood memories of things my grandmothers used to have at their houses! I was super excited to be able to gather some canning supplies that we most desperately needed! I got a jar lifter ( no more burning our fingers!) I also got a boiling basket and a Ball canning book! So I am ready for the garden harvest this year! We will be canning in style!

When we left Lehmans we headed down the Amish byway to Millersburg. we stayed at the White House guest suites and had the whole downstairs and porch(complete with porch swing) all to ourselves! It was fabulous! I loved how it was decorated!:) Funny thing....the bed was one of those super tall beds and the comforter and bedskirt are exactly the comforter and bed skirt on our bed at home!

Once we had checked into our hotel we headed to Troyers Amish resteraunt for dinner. YUMMY! I was so stuffed when I left that it hurt to walk! Once we were back to our house we decided to take a little walk in Millersburg...even though we were stuffed! Then we stopped at the little ice cream parlor beside our house and Chad got ice cream...I took a couple licks but couldnt handle anymore than that...I am not sure how he could have possibly fit in his stomach after that Amish dinner!

Saturday morning I woke up at 6:30am! What is up with that??? Well there were only mini blinds on the windows and I am used to it being fairly dark in my room. So I guess the brite room woke me up?? Yes, I was totally weird cause I never ever wake up on my own at that crazy house of the morning! ;)

We headed to Boyd and Wurtham Amish Resteraunt for breakfast and once again were STUFFED! I didn't even eat my whole plate of food. They serve enough for two Amish farmers on one plate! Delish but belly!! Right behind the resteraunt was a scrapbook store...but since we were such early risers they weren't open yet...yes I even woke up Chad early! Now that is unusal..he ALWAYS is up before me! LOL

We drove into Sugar Creek but there wasn't anything open there either. On our way back to Berlin we saw a sign for Yoders Amish Farm. We decided to head out there and it ended up being our absolute FAVORITE of the whole trip! We were able to tour a Dawdi Haus (were the grandparents live), a main house, the bard complete with all the baby animals, an Amish school house and even take a buggy ride on a real amish buggy driven by Mr Troyer(a real amish dude!). The funniest thing happened while we were on the buggy ride! Mr Troyer asked Chad what his occupation was. Chad said "I am an electrician." Then for the first time of the whole buggy ride there was was like he had said I am a voodoo witch or something! LOL Chad broke the silence by saying, she is a teacher. Mr Troyer then said..."oh that is good" and started up conversation with me! Too funny! I told Chad he better just tell anyone else that he works at Dupont..and just leave the electrician part out! LOL

After the amish farm tours we headed to the Holmes Country flea market. I found so many things I would have love to have brought home with me...but my lack on income right now reared its ugly head! I bought some yummy incense, some cardstock and a necklace. Chad hates flea markets and was done in about 10 minutes..when I was only at the 3rd booth! So he went out to take a nap in the car and ended up sunburned! I was in there like 1 1/2 hours. Could have stayed longer but felt bad that he was waiting for me!

We went to Heinis Cheese Chalet and were able to sample over 50 different cheeses. That ended up being lunch for us! All we needed was some crackers!

We then headed back to Berlin. Chad took me to some great shops. His allergies were going haywire because of all the scents in the shops. So once again I tried to rush through them. we walked around and explored downtown Berlin and some of the bulk food places that the Amish shop.

We ate at Der Dutchman for dinner and had another wonderful meal. I didn't want to be stuffed again so I opted for some side dishes instead of a full blown meal...and also got the salad bar. Then Chad and I shared a wonderful piece of cherry pie. MMMM!

The Amish people were so wonderfully friendly. It was just so neat being around them. Especially since I have read all the Beverly Lewis and Wanda Brunsetter books about Amish! I felt like I really knew alot about their lifestyle...and was able to tell Chad a good bit too. It was so cool to just be driving down the road and see Amish buggies traveling with you.

After dinner we went for another drive on the Amish byway. I must say that I was totally shocked at how NOT plain the Amish homes were. You really can not tell them apart from the other homes...aside from the fact that they do not have automobiles in the driveway or electricity running to their house. I was expecting the houses to be the picture in my head was obviously wrong! Actually though...the farm house and Dawdi house at the Yoder farm we toured...those were older homes and looked much like the picture in my head! Apparently the more modern houses are allowed to look just like the "English" neighbors houses!

Remember how I said our bed was really tall? Well Sat night I was getting up to head to the bathroom and forgot how tall the bed was, went to get out of bed how I get out of my own bed and landed hip first onto the hardwood floor! YOUCHERS! I have a nice bruise and woke up Sun morning feeling like I had been in a fight or something!

Sunday morning we slept in till 8:30am and then packed up and headed to breakfast. None of the Amish resteraunts or businesses...or pretty much anything in Amish country was open! We ended up eating at Shoney's in Dover. Then we headed to Parkersburg because we had to pick up the boys at the church at 2pm.

It was a fabulous trip and I was so thankful to have been able to spend a relaxing weekend alone with my most wonderful hubby! Hopefully we will be able to do it again soon!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Marriage Protection Amendment- Send a letter to your Represenative

We aren't hearing about this in the wanted to make sure that you could let your voice be heard. It is very easy to send off an email to your representative asking them to back this. If we Christians don't step up to the plate...nobody will. I have provided a link down below that will take you straight to an already typed up letter...and all you do is put in your zip code and they will find your congressman for you! It's totally easy to Just Do It!

A constitutional amendment making marriage legal ONLY between a man and a woman introduced in U.S. House

The Marriage Protection Amendment of 2008 needs your support!

Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia has introduced the Marriage Protection Amendment of 2008 (H.J. RES. 89). This amendment to the U.S. Constitution would make marriage legal only between a man and a woman.

If you haven't heard about this, it is because the liberal media opposes it. So if they simply refuse to report it, citizens will know nothing about it and will not act on it.

As you know, Massachusetts has already legalized marriage of homosexuals, while the California Supreme Court has ruled all laws restricting homosexual marriage illegal. In both places, the courts ruled by a one vote margin. The goal of homosexual activists is to see homosexual marriage legal in all 50 states.

Rep. Broun needs co-sponsors for H.J. RES. 89. Please contact you Representative and ask him or her to co-sponsor H.J. RES. 89.

Homosexual activists are determined to force homosexual marriage on America by using activist liberal judges, like those in Massachusetts and California.

A Federal Marriage Amendment will finally put an end to activist judges tampering with the will of the people.

Click here to send an email to your representative!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

New Recipe- Beef and Curly Noodles

I tried this new recipe. It doesn't exactly look pretty...but it sure was YUMMY! Everyone loved it, including my picky eater!

This is one that will go into my cue of fast to fix dinners!

Ingredients: (I loved this cause the ingredients are things I always have in my cabinets!)
1 lb ground beef or ground venison
2 3 oz packages of ramen noodles (I used chicken but expect any flavor would work fine)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can whole kernel corn
1 cup of water

Heat a large skillet to med-high heat. Crumble the ground meet and brown, stirring frequently.
Drain off grease.
Break up the noodles before opening by crunching them on the counter (careful cause the end might burst)
Stir in the flavor packets from ramen noodles.
Add tomatoes, corn (with their juices).
Add water.
Add broken up noodles to the skillet.
Bring to a boil, then reduve heat to love, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until noodles are tender.
Stir occasionally to break up any noodle clumps.