Monday, March 30, 2009

Baby Stellen

I don't know if any of you follow MckMama's blog -- My Charming Kids -- but I want to ask you to pray for Baby Stellen. He is a miracle baby as he was not expected to live outside of the womb but he did! He is five months old now and has been in the hospital for nine days with Supraventricular Tachycardia: A very rapid heart rate electrically originating on an inappropriate spot on the heart. Each time I read an update I find myself very emotional. Things like this with babies and children just break my heart as I think of my own children and am so thankful for their health! I have a button on my sidebar you can click on to read more about Stellen.

MMmmm Monday -- Cinnabon Clone

I was on and found the recipe called "Clone of Cinnabon" and had to try it. I made the dough Friday night and was going to start the rolls but the dough took too long to rise so wasn't ready in time. I thought something was wrong with the yeast so just left it covered on the counter and went to bed disappointed. Saturday morning it had risen enough and I was able to roll out the dough and make cinnamon rolls. Now I wouldn't say they taste like a clone of a Cinnabon, although I always do make a few "healthier" modifications with some whole wheat flour but not as much this time to be a better comparison. But they are very tasty and George asked me if I could make them every Saturday and Sunday. My husband also said they were very good and he doesn't often comment about food without being asked. He also said he was glad they didn't taste just like a Cinnabon as he thinks the real thing is too sweet.  No pictures this time but if you would like to try the recipe click HERE.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Template Changes

If my blog looks a little strange and things don't match when you visit it is because I am trying to play around with my template. I had started a new blog to do these type of things but it seems to work better working with the real thing. So at the moment I do not have a header to match and I have been on the computer too long to fix that. I am tired of my blog look now that I see all of the cute templates out there. I have heard that homeschool blogger is working on updating their system which will include new template choices and such which I am excited about but until then...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Refreshing Weekend

Last weekend I had a wonderful time at our church ladies retreat! It was such a great time of laughter and sweet fellowship. But most of all the Lord spoke to my heart through our speaker. She taught about the names of God and went into detail encouraging us to chose a name that we needed, claim it and call out to God by that name. The name that I need most at this time in my life is Jehovah Raah which means "The Lord is My Shepherd".  We probably all know Psalm 23 and very often it is heard at a funeral but I was reminded that it is very much a Psalm for the living!

Do you know that sheep are the dumbest animals? They are in need of constant supervision and care and their welfare depends on that care they receive from their shepherd. We are like sheep, week and helpless but He is a loving and tender Shepherd.

I read a translation of the first verse of the Psalm that was misquoted by a little boy that really applies. "The LORD is my shepherd, and that's all I want". If the Lord is the Shepherd of my life that should be all I want.

I need my Jehovah Raah every day and am calling out to Him as He alone can meet all of my needs so that I in turn can meet the needs of the "sheep" He has blessed me with.

I am so thankful for a weekend of refreshing, not only physically but spiritually!

The ladies at my table that happened to coordinate our colors that day (except for me). My Mom is to the right of me and my dear friend is on the left (her Mom is behind her) For fun we bought the same shirt in a different color which brought back memories of when we were in middle school and did goofy things like that! :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Julius, NOT Julie

Well, the cats are still here this morning. We found them curled up together on the old blanket George had put out for them. I felt guilty last night as we were all in the house and the cats went from window to window watching us. No, I do not want the cats in the house but yet, having those eyes looking at you longingly is not easy.

Yesterday I was trying to figure out if the cats were girls or boys and I couldn't quite get a look at the orange cat.
I leaned toward a girl probably because Missy kept calling it "Orange Girl". Well, we found out last night that "Julie" is really "JULIUS!" Would you like to know how we figured that one out?

The boys were saying "Goodnight" to the cats and I asked if they were curled up on the blanket. Pete and Re-Pete said that they were but that the bigger cats sure curl up in a strange way. I asked what they  meant and they said that the orange cat was on top of the gray cat! Oh No!!!

I went to see and sure enough, it was plain as day that the orange cat is indeed a boy! So, the kids are all standing around watching and I told my husband that we have a boy cat. He came to see and started pounding on the door saying, "No, Stop!" The boys asked how we knew it was a boy cat and we gave a brief explanation which satisfied them. My husband just pulled the curtains on them so we wouldn't continue to watch and then kept shaking his head as if to say, "What have we gotten ourselves into?"

I got online trying to find out how long a cat is in heat and such. It is obvious to me now that Jumper is in heat as she was very loving yesterday and is all over our legs to the point she is tripping us up and it is hard to ditch her when trying to get in the house. We'll have to see what transpires but we could have kittens in nine weeks. Oh my!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pets For A Day?

Living in the country we frequently have cats visit. They come and go, look in our windows, and dig through our garbage but usually run as soon as we open the door. The boys have wanted a pet, a dog to be specific, for a long time. Having started out with dogs, before we had children, we know that we are not ready for that kind of commitment right now. Cats have never been a favorite of mine mainly because spending too much time with them I am sneezing up a storm and have itchy eyes.

Today the boys found three cats, one is a kitten, in our storage garage. My husband and I had thought that it might not be bad to have cats for pets as long as they were outside and could come and go as they pleased. My in-laws ended up with a cat when they began to feed it and so we fed the three cats, gave them water and the children have been playing with them for most of the day. As soon as they come in the house the cats are at the door meowing. The children have named them and grown quite attached already. We'll see if they return tomorrow but I have a feeling they might.

George has been enjoying the cats the most and they seem to really love him too.

This is the kitten they named "Zebra" because of the stripes. It follows Pete everywhere.

The one on the left was named "Jumper" when he jumped off the deck. The orange one is named "Orange Julius" (a favorite drink of ours) but "Julie" for short.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Geography Fair

"Zdrastvuytye!" (Russian for Hello!)

We had a fun time participating in a Geography Fair last night along with 12 other families. We chose Russia as our country to study and put together a display board and gathered Russian items. My great-grandparents immigrated to America from Russia and so my Mom has some items from them. I was reminded of the story that my great-grandfather was not allowed to sail at first because of an eye condition and so my great-grandmother ended up sailing to America with four little girls and was pregnant at the time. I cannot even imagine that!

The boys favorite building was St. Basil's cathedral, a most colorful building indeed and they each traced and colored a picture of it. We read a number of children's fiction set in Russia and learned to count to ten and say a few words. I found some Russian recipes as we each brought food from our country as well. I must say that their cuisine is not very appealing to me. While I do enjoy beets I did not want to bring beets or cabbage which I know are very common. I ended up making some sweet rye biscuits called Lepeshki that my boys gobbled up. We also served Pierogies (also called Pelmeni in Russia) along with black tea that they put a type of jelly called Varenia in (something my grandma used to do).

We had hoped to dress up but I didn't have a chance to find costumes for the boys. I had scarves that a girl could wear but nothing for boys. Instead I made name tags for each of them with the Russian variation of each of their names. So we had -- Naum (Nay-um), Luka, Jann (Yah-nn), Foma (Fow-ma), and Katerina.

What a great opportunity to learn about various countries in a short amount of time and of course the food was a favorite! George and I especially enjoyed the daikon radishes from Japan and the food from Mexico! Yum!

We hope to do this again next year this time studying states.

Here are Naum, Luka, and Jann -- Foma and Katerina were off playing and Baby boy was looking for food :)

Our display table

Our display board. Highlighted in blue are the names of my Great-Grandmother and her daughters on the list of "aliens" sailing on the Lusitania.

We also had a dish of sunflower seeds as we learned that Russia grows more sunflowers than any other country and they have seeds out in a bowl as we would have candy in a bowl. You can see Baby Boy behind the table.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Daylight Savings

I usually dread "springing ahead" when setting the clocks back and losing that hour but I have to say that there is one benefit. All of the children are sleeping longer in the mornings. Instead of waking at 6:30 a.m. as a few were doing they are actually sleeping until almost 8 a.m.! I am loving this! Even Baby Boy has taken to sleeping later. The only problem is that I have had a hard time dragging myself out of bed earlier than 7:30 a.m.

On another note -- thankfully sickness is on it's way out. My husband had the fever thing this weekend but his only lasted 12 hours which was nice. We found out that Baby Boy's fever was most likely caused by the fact that he cut his top two molars this weekend. He has had a rough time of it though and so his nose is again running which has given him yet another cough and more breathing treatments! At least this time it seems to be clearing faster.

Ahhh,  the sun is shining bright today despite the wind and cold. And how I love the longer days when it is still light when we are eating supper. Spring is on it's way, albeit slowly but I know it's coming!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sick X 6

Update from 3/6 -- Missy Blue came down with a fever in the middle of the night and Baby Boy woke up with it. Funny how differently everyone reacts to a fever as they played and went about life as normal despite having a temp of 103° but were only slightly more clingly and tired. I now have a cold and have been achy and tired most of the week. On the upside, the other boys have perked up and are actually playing today! Yay!

The part of winter I very much dislike is the sickness that frequents our house. It seems from January through the end of March there is always someone sick. January brought a couple of boys the stomach flu and in February the rest of us got it and that was miserable! The only ones spared were Baby and Daddy (only slightly had it). Missy Blue had it the worst as the poor little girl was up all night with a bowl on the side of her bed and she never missed it! I had commented to my husband that at least we only had one at a time with this but that same night I ended up with it along with Re-Pete.

Baby Boy seems to have a cold every 3 - 4 weeks and his always turn into an asthma cough in need of breathing treatments. This time around he passed a form of it onto the rest of the children one by one and some of the symptoms are so out-of-the-ordinary.

Last week Re-Pete had a terrible migraine with a slight fever. Nothing would relieve his pain and so he suffered all day with it sometimes to the point of tears. Finally relief came as he took a bite of dark chocolate (a friend recommended caffeine and that's all I had) and ended up throwing-up. Everyone else was running from the room and saying how disgusting and I was saying "Thank You Lord!" as I knew it was at the end. Sure enough, Re-Pete said the pain was completely gone!

Sunday brought George and Tank a fever and small cough which progressively got worse for George and he has been down with this fever and a nasty cough all week. Very unlike him and I am really missing my normal boy! Today Pete came down with the fever and was sleeping most of the day. This afternoon during naptime (even Tank fell asleep today), Re-Pete said how boring it is when everyone is sick. No one wanted to play and it was SO quiet around here. I missed all of the noise, even the arguing.

Once in awhile I wish everyone could get sick all on the same day without passing it from one to the next, to the next as this just drags on so and we are up so many nights with coughing or some such thing to the point where it gets draining. Thankfully the boys are all sound sleepers as they can sleep through each others coughing where we hear everything over in the next room.

I am very thankful the sun will be out tomorrow and warmer temperatures are in the air as we need a little pick-me-up and spring in the air is the perfect thing! 

Monday, March 2, 2009

Another Bath!

Saturday night was bath night (a couple of showers too) and Baby Boy took a bath with one of his brothers seeing as his sister was taking a cat nap. He really enjoys his bath and when he is done he enjoys visiting his other siblings during their turn. So Missy was in the bath and my husband went to check on her only to have him call to me to come. It seems that Baby Boy didn't have a long enough bath and so he climbed in the tub with Missy, sleeper pajamas and all. There he sat splashing away as if this was nothing out of the ordinary.  What a sight, I only wish I had gotten a picture.
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