Friday, December 30, 2011


I hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas! We had a very nice one, although it wasn't white this year. This was the first time I can remember where we didn't have snow.

For Christmas Eve, we went to my parents house. This is our usual tradition, and it is always special. It was sad that this year my sister and her husband couldn't be there. We missed them!

Here we are, getting ready to hear the Christmas story.

I love Evie's face in the background!
I love this picture of my Dad, about to read from the Bible.
After reading the Bible, we opened our gifts.

Then we ate a wonderful meal. My Mom always has the most gorgeous table decorations!
This picture of Evie cracks me up. She is very intently watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas" :).
This is another tradition we do. After Evie gets in bed on Christmas Eve, we read "Twas The Night Before Christmas". She doesn't believe in Santa anymore, but she still thinks it is fun to read the book.
Here are Jeff and I on Christmas Day! We are trying out a new camera to see if it works. We were bummed that the pictures we took that day weren't very clear.
Here's my sweet Evie girl on Christmas. She looked very Christmasy in her red sweater.
We had another wonderful meal with Jeff's parents after church, at our house. We ate first....
Then read the Christmas story from the Bible.
Then we opened our gifts.
Jeff and his Dad both matched on Christmas. I thought this was a great picture of them both (even if it is a little dark).

I hope you all had a blessed Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Birthday, tree and goodies

It has been a busy last few weeks. Evie is doing much better, and got over the chickenpox pretty fast. The problem now is that she is covered with scars :(. She has at least 4 on her face, some on her chest, and some on her back and belly. I kept telling her not to scratch because she could scar, but she would dig at them at night. I'm trying some different scar remedies to see if I can get them to go away. Some of them are pretty good sized craters.

Our yearly tradition is to go cut a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. Because Evie was feeling so terrible, we waited a week before going to get one. The only time we could go was after Jeff got off of work. By the time we got there, they had closed the area where you could go cut your own tree, so we had to pick one from off the lot. We still got a nice tree. We were all bundled up because we thought we would be out in the cold for awhile. It only took us 5 minutes to find our tree! We took SiSi with us, but she couldn't get out and run around like normal. It still worked out though.

My sweet girl turned 10 years old on the 6th. She had 2 parties. One was with her friends, and it was on the Saturday before her birthday. The girls were all homeschooled, so the creative, energetic, and super imaginative juice was really flowing when they were here :). It was really fun!  Here is Evie at her first party...
The Sunday before Evie's birthday, she asked me to do her hair special. I put it in braids, and she slept on them. Her hair turned out so pretty!

Evie also lost a top tooth on the day of her birthday party with the girls. I wanted to show off how cute she looked :).

On the morning of Evie's birthday, she woke up early and asked if she could open up her presents from us. We said that would be fine, since Jeff still hadn't gone to work yet. She had fun playing with her toys all day.
We homeschooled on her birthday, but had a relaxed, fun day and played lots of games. She had to do some computer work, so Daisy kept her company. Don't you just love how Daisy is sitting, with her legs on the computer??

At night, both sets of grandparents came to celebrate Evie's birthday. We had a lot of fun! We ate some great food, had cake, then played a fun game called Apples To Apples Jr. We had never played it before, and it was really fun!

I have been going a little crazy with making stuff lately. I have been on this homemade beauty products kick. I had been using a deodorant that was labeled "natural", but I found out had a lot of really bad chemicals in it. I have read a lot about women and breast cancer, and many naturopaths and even some doctors believe that deodorant/anti-persperant can be a cause of breast cancer because of all the chemicals. I found a recipe online for making my own deodorant. I LOVE it! It does an amazing job, is super cheap to make, and is good for me! I made 2 different scents. Here they are...

I also made some homemade face cream. This is actually a recipe from my friend April's website. It can be used on your face and body. I really like it so far! On my face it can be a little oily, so I need to tweak the oils to figure out how to make it less oily for my face. I'm using it on Evie's face too, along with therapeutic grade essential oils, to get rid of the scarring.
Today I made a homemade toothpaste, from a recipe I found online. It has baking soda, glycerine, salt, xylitol, and essential oils. I like it. I have only used it today, but it makes my teeth feel really clean.

We are slowly trying to start accumulating baby things. We are borrowing a crib from a couple at church, so that was a huge blessing! I also bought some of these....

Okay, I know it is a bottle, but isn't it the cutest thing ever?? I decided I wanted to do glass bottles this time around. I have read so much about plastic leaching into the food, especially when heated. I wish I had known that when Evie was a baby! Next on the list to buy is cloth diapers. Yep, I'm doing cloth. We did cloth with Evie, and it was great. I know people think it is awful, but it is SO great. No having to worry about running out of diapers! You just wash and dry some. Plus there aren't chemicals, and you aren't filling up the landfill. Plus, there is nothing more adorable than seeing a baby in a cloth diaper :).

Sorry this post is so enormous! I told you we have been busy these past few weeks!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

It hasn't exactly been a normal Thanksgiving!! Last night we had fun grilling hotdogs outside on the deck.

Who would have thought that after a great night of playing games and eating yummy food, that Evie would wake up this morning like this....

Yep, it is chicken pox!! Actually, in honor of Thanksgiving, it is now called "Turkey Pox". Yesterday she started getting a few water blister spots on her. I just figured it was an aftermath from another rash she had the week earlier that was from something she was allergic to. Last night she got a headache, which she never gets. Then she woke up covered from head to toe with the blisters. I had chicken pox my senior year of high school, so I remember it quite well. She has all the symptoms I had. She has spent the day watching tv, itching and feeling pretty crummy. I have been slathering her with stuff all day to keep her as comfortable as possible.

We ate Thanksgiving lunch out with her in the living room. No family came over because she is so contagious. She was really bummed about that. We all relaxed today.

Even with Evie having chicken pox, I still have so much to be thankful for! I feel so blessed to have Christ in my life, to have my family, to live in a free country, to have a nice warm home, to have food in my freezers and pantry, and so much more.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tech support

We have had such crazy computer issues lately. Sometimes I just want to throw the thing out the window! It seems like whenever we call a place for help (like a computer support place), we get someone who barely speaks English. Our wireless router and Vonage phone got toasted by lightning the week before last, and Jeff had to call Vonage to see about getting a new box. The lady who answered was Indian, and when Jeff told her that our box got struck by lightning, she didn't understand. She did not know what the word lightning was! She just kept asking him over and over again if he wanted to sign up for new service! Jeff called them at the very end of the day, while he was at work, and his co-worker in another cubicle was getting quite a laugh out of listening to Jeff navigate that conversation! So between the computer situation, and the phone situation, I thought this video was quite appropriate for how we have been feeling :). I hope you get as good of a laugh out of it as Jeff and I did!

Okay, I promise this will be the last of the canning pictures for awhile. I just thought they looked pretty, and I hadn't taken any pictures of all of them sitting on the shelves. So bear with me here :). Lol.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Oh my. Has it really been almost 3 months since I last blogged? Here is the reason. For several months, this has been my "station".... 

I have never canned this much before! I thought I was done after I did the grape juice. Isn't it pretty?
Then Jeff brought in a huge amount of green peppers and tomatoes from the garden. He said, "How about making some more salsa. So I did some more salsa.

I was really starting to feel like this about my canner at this point....
I am so glad to be done with canning!! It is so worthwhile, but so exhausting! We had an overabundance of peppers and tomatoes, so after canning, I froze peppers and dried tomatoes. I'm still trying to figure out how I am going to use the dried tomatoes! The peppers are great frozen. I froze them halved, and then I make stuffed peppers with them. They are yummy! I just need to figure out how to use the dried tomatoes. I dried them because I had so many of them canned that I didn't want to can anymore!

Besides the canning, we have been finishing up with the adoption homestudy. We had our last meeting this past week, so the paperwork is done!! Yippee! They told us that the paperwork on their end of it should be done right after Thanksgiving, so they will be ready to show our profiles to the expectant moms that come in. Wow, it all seems unreal! We are seriously needing to start working on the nursery. We found out today at church that someone has a crib they can give us, so we are so thankful for that! We have tons of clothes...if the baby is a girl! If we have a boy, we have no clothes right now. We also have been trying to come up with names. That has been harder than I remembered. Evie keeps giving her suggestions, and they are usually the names of her dolls :).

I have been amazed at how God has helped me to get stuff done through all of this. I have been able to keep on track with homeschooling, and Evie has been able to do Bible quizzing and homeschool get-togethers. I still have tons of things to do, but I'm trying to pace myself. We are planning on starting on the nursery after Christmas. I am going to have to move the homeschool room to the dining room, which should be interesting!

I hope it won't be months and months before I blog next!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Curly pics

I took a few pics yesterday of my waves. I haven't started using the Rockin' Ringlets yet because it hasn't come in the mail, but I am using the Confident Coils. It is really bringing my waves out. It is a sample packet, and it is almost gone, so I am looking forward to getting the bottles in the mail. For some reason, when my hair is all forward, it looks so much shorter!! It is actually about 3 inches from tailbone, but it looks ways shorter than that with it all pulled forward. Sorry the first pic is a little blurry..

I have been dehydrating herbs a lot, and have quite a bit stored now. I am dehydrating chocolate mint, spearmint and stevia from the garden. Boy does it smell good! I loooooove my Excalibur dehydrator!
Here are some pics of my stuff I already canned.  I just love how it all looks on the shelf :).

Here is my super crammed freezer. I'm not sure if I can put much more in here. Maybe a few packages here and there.
We just bought 1 1/2 bushels of pears. They are ripening pretty quick, so I will probably be making pearsauce on Monday. Pears and apples are a lot of work. It is going to be interesting trying to do that and homeschool too. It is going to be some long days next week!

Monday, September 5, 2011

So much to do.....

We are just all tired out! lol :).
I haven't had much time to blog lately. I finally finished all the paperwork for the adoption, and we are sending it this week!! Yay!! Between that, and canning, it has been a really busy time. I canned 20 pints of salsa, 28 quarts of pickles, 25 quarts of peaches, and 7 quarts of tomato sauce so far, along with drying herbs. See why I am not blogging? lol! The garden has been so good this year. I am so thankful. My tomatoes have been late, but I have been getting some from Jeff's parents. Mine are loaded on the vines, but are just now turning. I am only going to do sauce and chunks. I am done with salsa. I still have applesauce, pearsauce and grape juice to do, so fall is going to be busy!

We start homeschooling tomorrow. I had planned on starting it in August, but I wanted a little bit more vacation time. This time around, we are NOT going to homeschool year round! That did not work well at all. The breaks during the year were great, but once summer hit, it was so hard to get it done! We didn't get our 180 days in until the end of July, but we did finish. This time I am hoping to go Labor Day through Memorial Day, with very few breaks in between. That way we get a long summer.

On a hair related note, I am trying some new products to try and bring out my curls. They are from Jessicurl. Since I am trying to save as much money as I can for the adoption, I sold a bunch of stuff on eBay to get the money for the hair products :). I ordered this stuff called Rockin Ringlets, and Confident Coils. I had a sample of the Confident Coils, and was so happy with the results! My waves really came out, and stayed very nice without frizz. If I worked on it, I could get some nice curls too. I was fighting the wavies before, but decided again to try and embrace them. My hair is just not ever going to be straight unless I straighten it with a flat iron, which takes way too much time and kills the hair. So, I guess I'm a wavy girl!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Garden pics and news, news, news!!

I am finally getting around to putting pictures on here of my garden! It is going quite crazy, and there are lots of pictures, so for those of you who are bored to tears with gardens, please bear with me :). The first pic is of my yellow squash and zucchini. They yellow squash is starting to take over my beets. You can see some broccoli in there, along with some cabbage.

My bell peppers are doing so well. They are so sweet! I picked about 25 of them the other day. My freezer is getting full of them. Love that!

My beans are about done. Sad! I wish they would have kept on going. I planted 5 rows, and they did great, but didn't last as long as I would have liked. The next pictures are of my beans, and then of the whole garden.
My ground cherries are going to town. I have 6 plants, and they are loaded. They are really sweet, and I love that they fall onto the ground when they are ready. I just need them to fall all at once!
My cucumbers are growing and growing. Doing the vertical gardening has worked well for them. I have made several batches of dill pickles so far.

Here are my trees....oh wait, those are tomato plants!! They are HUGE! Our fence in the back is 6 feet tall, and they are taller than the fence! They are loaded down with green tomatoes. I am going to be really busy when they start turning red!!

Here are some pics of our produce. We are getting the most ginormous cucumbers, and even when they are this huge, they are still crisp! They are making some great pickles too. I am definitely going to grow this variety again next year.

Our peppers have been huge too. I haven't let them turn colors. I read that once you let them turn, the plant stops producing. I have been picking them green. Look at the size of these two!

Besides gardening, we have been a tad busy. Want to hear our news????? Our news is that we are in the process of adopting!!!! We are in the beginning stages, and are just finishing up our paperwork. After that, we will start our homestudy. Then we will be in the waiting stage. We are going through a different agency than the one we used with Evie. We want to adopt an infant domestically, just like we did before. It is an exciting time!! Evie is sooooooo excited! She has the baby names book out about every day, and she talks about the adoption all day long. The waiting is not going to be super easy for her :). We have lots of work to do :)!!