Friday, September 27, 2013

goodbye blogger, hello wordpress

Due to difficulties moving my Xanga archives here to this blog, I have moved over to wordpress.

Here is the link:

Stop by and say hello!

Love, Shanda

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

cappuccino in a jar, a turtle, a leech, and football

“Afterall," Anne had said to Marilla once, "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string." 
LM Montgomery

This morning, I was looking through my favorite fall cookbook from Mom, she bought it for me 10 years ago!  I found an intriguing recipe for "Cappuccino in a Jar".  I had all the ingredients in the cupboard so I went downstairs to get an empty quart-sized mason jar and mixed some up.

from Gooseberry Patch's cookbook, Flavors of Fall

2/3 cup instant coffee granules
1 cup chocolate drink mix
1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg

Mix ingredients together; spoon into jar.  To make, add 3 tablespoons of mix to 6 ounces hot water.  Makes 10-12 servings.

I tried some right away and it was delicious.  I think it would make a lovely gift!  I plan on taking the jar with me to Bible study tomorrow for my friends there to enjoy at coffee time.
about the books : (I got a box from today; with three new ones, memoirs, to look forward to reading.  I am also reading Bleak House by Charles Dickens and The Jesus I Thought I Knew, by Phillip Yancey.)

In other news:  Seth and I found a turtle yesterday just sitting in the grass by the pond.  We rarely find them out of the ponds.  If they're out of water they are usually on a rock at the edge, sunbathing.  We said hello and picked it up.  It hissed quite quietly "hello" and waved all four legs to try to scratch itself out of our hands.

After taking it inside to show the workers, Seth promptly let it go downstairs in his big brothers' room.  It was forgotten until this morning when David found it and it was released back to the wild waters.......I just love life with boys and turtles!
I also took a variety of photos of a leech yesterday.  Oh yes indeedy.  It was attached to the poor turtle, I had never seen one before so I scraped it off him with a stick.  I hope you "enjoy" the pictures I took of it.  It was quite a fascinating creature, capable of stretching itself out or bunching itself up.


It was beginning to dry so I threw it in the stream, even though Rich thought I should kill it, I just couldn't.  I guess I bonded with it after all the photography. 


One last bit of news. 
Jacob, our oldest son, played his first football game yesterday.  I homeschooled him for five years and he went into public school as a Freshman.  He is now a Junior (!!).  This is his first experience playing football and deep down in my heart I am petrified that he will be seriously hurt.  I am displaying a brave front for the moment and doing my best to keep his uniforms clean.....anyway.....he is quarterback for the jr. varsity team.   I took some pictures but I don't have any good ones of the action, as it was pretty hard to follow.  Plus I was only there for the last half hour because I was stuck at the eye doctor's with Grace.  Rich was there for the whole game though.

this one is funny, of Jacob directing the team.  it was interesting to hear him yell out calls and stuff.  he did great.

talking to one of the coaches on the sidelines, #9

very proud of him for trying new things and learning so much

they lost badly

 but it was a great experience; next game is Saturday.  my heart is touched when he asked over dinner last nigh,  "Are you gonna come to my game on Saturday, Mom?"  He wants me there.  :)   he's a good kid

I'll take pictures of Ethan playing soccer when he actually gets into a game.  He's been sidelined since last week with a hamstring injury.  I'm taking him to a physical therapist this afternoon.

Enjoy your day, my friends! 

Friends are the sunshine of life.  John Han

Monday, September 23, 2013

snapshots from the weekend

A few months ago I had the best time asking the children questions.  I had a list of 12 questions (lifted with permission from crappy pictures blog) and asked each of my seven children them all, alone, without the siblings around so they didn't influence each other.  It was not only fun but also interesting and impressive.  I wrote it all down in my journal and still chuckle over them.
For example:
What is the meaning of life? 
"To enjoy God's creations.  Because every day on the bus I just look out the window.  To see God's creations."  Caleb, age 8
What do you want to be when you grow up? 
"That's a hard, hard question.  I really don't know--there's lots of things I want to be.  A scientist, a librarian, a book writer (which you don't have to go to college for), or an herpetologist."  David, 10
What brings you the most happiness?
"Singing"  Grace, age 13
What are you afraid of?
"Nothing"  Ethan, age 15
When do you feel the most loved?
"I like my mommy."  Seth
"At Grandma's house."  Jacob
What is the best thing in the world?
"I like to eat chicken" Seth
What is the funniest word?
"I laugh at the trees."  Sarah, 3
"butt"  Caleb
"fud"  Jacob
"cumquat"  Ethan
"meow"  Seth
What makes you mad?
"I don't have mad.  I just happy!"  Sarah
What is the worse thing in the world?
"being alone"  Ethan
"homicide"  Jacob
"sin" Caleb
"my stomach hurts"  Seth
What is the meaning of love?
"Butterflies in the stomach....marriage--but I don't even think THAT makes sense because what if you love a cat?  How about, universal unity?"  Jacob
"To make more people"  David

 On Friday, Grace was able to come right home and not stay after school for anything.  I found it touching that Sarah got right in the couch with her big sister and snuggled in....they watched youtube music videos together. 

I got up and made a big Saturday morning breakfast with pancakes, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, and scrambled eggs.  Seth was so impressed that on Sunday morning he asked, "Can you make That Breakfast again, Mom?"

Our little girl kitten, Silkie.  Watching out the window

Poor Caleb got all grumpy so I told him to take a nap on the couch.  He stuffed his head in between the cushions and went right to sleep.  xoxo
The fire department had their annual "rent a table" tag sale and I bought a box of horsies for Sarah Joy.  She loves making up little stories with them.


Other tag sale purchases:  A wooden napkin holder and a pretty candle.

Parker in a sunbeam with those soft floppy ears.

I got these two old frames from a second hand store....I have so many pictures and whenever I see frames I search out the ones that have interesting shapes, like these two, with gold matting.  The picket-fence picture is a favorite of mine, of little Grace years ago.
I'm going to make a pillow from this old quilt scrap, also found at the second hand store in town.

Well, it's hard to see, but I was taking a picture of baby fish in our pond.  Rich and I walked around checking them out.  He says the bass (not pictured) might be big enough to fish next year.  I wonder if it will happen, as he and Ethan have them practically as PETS at this point.  :)

Saturday evening tea time with Jacob and Gracie.  

Oh, this one is funny.  Sort of.  We have a big sectional sofa which is hard to vacuum thoroughly so I don't do it very often.  The urge struck me last week to take it all apart and do a proper cleaning.  I not only threw away a lot of garbage, but collected all this stuff, too. 

These are the days of toys in the couch.  How I'll miss them.

Friday, September 20, 2013

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 

inspired by soulemama

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

a gorgeous sky

"And one called to another and said, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!"  Isaiah 6:3

"Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!" 
Psalm 57:5


It was such a beautiful evening on Monday.  In front of me, the sky was dark with heavy cloud and behind me a bright sun was going down, shining it's glorious light on the trees.    God has created such a beautiful world for us to enjoy and admire.   Almost every day I see something of delight, today it was the bright red ball of berries from a Jack in the Pulpit flower.  No longer a flower, but berries on a short stalk between two big green leaves.  The stream is low but still trickling along, I like to close my eyes and listen to it.  I rested my cheek against a pine tree and could smell the pitch.  The sky is clear and bright blue today and smells so sweet.

The sunflower at the front steps inspires me.  Though it was damaged twice, it continued to recover and bloom.  Three blossoms instead of the one.  Incredible.

The leaves here are just starting to change color, and when they are at peek what a stunning view it will be.  The children will collect fallen leaves and dark brown acorns off the ground and show them to us.  We will go apple picking and to the pumpkin patch.  I am slowly collecting costumes for Halloween.  I just drank a glass of cold cider, we put on jackets this morning, and the goldenrod is in full bloom.

I'm thankful for this time of year.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

anniversary pictures and such

this one is my favorite
I wrote yesterday that I was going to meet Rich for an anniversary lunch so we could kiss....but, HOWEVER, as soon as I got off the computer the school nurse called and said that Ethan had to come home, sick.  He's had a bad cough for almost 2 weeks and kept having coughing attacks during class.  Yesterday it was all too much for him so he came home and crashed.  I took him to the docs and he was diagnosed with "almost bronchitis" so we went to Target to fill a prescription for antibiotics.  When we got home he slept and slept and it did a world of good, he got that sparkle back in his eyes and started smiling again.  Anyway, I had that situation happen and then Jacob texted me and said I had to pick him up from school at 2 (the exact time I was to meet the husband) and take him to the fairgrounds so he and the rest of the football team could do their community service by cleaning the grounds after the fair this past weekend.  Okay!  So, Rich and I, we decided to go out to dinner instead.  After picking up Jacob and Grace from their school activities, we were ready and on our way by 6:30.  Yes indeed, we had a nice Mexican dinner ... and guess what?  The food was served on the dearest FIESTAWARE plates.  I almost stole one but my Christian convictions stopped me. 
Grace took the pictures of us before we left and I have decided I hate my hair but oh well, I did take the ponytail out on our way to dinner and that seemed better.   (trying to grow out the bangs, but not fully committed)  I wore a green anthropologie dress, a cardigan, and wedge sandals.  This is noteworthy because I was originally going to wear comfortable jeans but I could hear my sister saying, "You better dress up for your date!"  So, thank you, Amanda.
It is a gorgeous fall day today and I've gotten a lot accomplished.  I feel like I could do anything in Autumn, it is my favorite time of year, the season in which I feel the most alive and energetic!
"Delicious autumn! 
My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird
I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns."
George eliot