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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Easter 2008

I woke up Saturday morning to find that Madison and Carter were already doing Easter crafts. They found a pattern for a little bunny candy holder from my craft folder and were well on their way to finishing it before I even realized what they were doing. I think it turned out very well! In the afternoon, we dyed eggs and cooked our food for Easter.

We woke the kids up at 5:30 on Easter morning, so they could hunt eggs and enjoy their baskets before getting ready for the day. They got their baskets full of goodies from the Easter bunny as always, but I also got them some great stuffed animals this year. I don't know if they will ever outgrow their love for stuff animals!!! I never did!

If they do outgrow the stuffed animals, we can always give them to Ginger!
Almost all of my family met at my Dad's church Easter morning then went to his house for lunch and a big egg hunt. Everyone was there but my niece, her husband, my brother, and his wife. We had such a great day filled with lots of food and plenty of fun and laughter.

Monday, March 24, 2008


People used to think that we were triplets. I never realized how close in age we all were until I had my own children close..it was then that I realized how full Mama's hands were when we were babies. Look at us all dressed alike with Vicki and I standing with identical stances and Lori in the middle so tall and strong. That's how it is now. Vicki and I tend to fall apart at the same time while Lori remains her strong, steady self. We need her. She makes us laugh when we don't think we want to and nearly sends us over the edge in "laughter" tears without even trying hard to do so. I remember her knocking on our door when we were little to ask if we wanted to be in her pretend Brownie troop..or students in her classroom. Other days she might set up pretend birthday parties for us or little houses outside.
I never wanted to approach Lori with Mama's shoes in my hand...didn't want her to feel that she had to be comfortable in them if they were too big. I also didn't want to take from her the shoes that matched Vicki's and mine. Recently, during a trying time when I wanted to yell to God for answers...beg Him to explain to me why I don't have my Mother anymore, He revealed something to me. There are two women in my life who love me as closely as anyone can...who, together, share Mama's shoes. They are the ones that God has chosen to love me, comfort me, accept me, and "mother" me. They understand because they are also reaching out to me.
We are still those three little girls in the blue shirts and patriotic pants in front of Mama's car. We've had a lot taken from us, and we've had a lot given to us. More than anything, through it all, we have had each other.
I love you Lori and Vicki!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Irish Beef Stew

We did another cooking activity for one of our country/continent studies. This time, we decided to cook something from Ireland. We're studying Europe, so we had a lot of great places to choose from. I thought Ireland would be a good choice with St. Patrick's Day upon us. We made Irish Beef Stew. The kids originally wanted to make the Irish stew that contained mutton, but I just didn't think that I could find that, or that I would even want it if I did! We settled on beef stew instead and made homemade cornbread to go with it. Here is the recipe that we used:

1 1/4 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 large garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

We just put all of the ingredients into my crockpot, boiling the carrots and potatoes and adding them an hour or so before serving. We also sauteed the onion before adding it. We loved it and will definitely be making it again!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Easter Party On The Farm

We went back to our favorite farm on Saturday for an Easter party. I organized a fieldtrip for the homeschool group, but there were so many people there that I barely even saw any of them. Jeff and I took Madison, Patrick, Carter, Josh and a friend of Madison's. The weather was perfect!
We got to hold baby animals...my favorite part!

Carter was very excited about the horse rides.

They also had a storytime, crafts, and a corn dig(they got to dig prizes out of the corn).

Patrick's favorite part of the day was chasing the goats! They gave prizes to anyone who could retrieve a ribbon from around the goats' necks. Patrick got one, then went back in to help Carter get one :). I was so proud of him!

Afterwards, there was a hayride and an egg hunt.

The weather turned out so nice for the day. After a night of hail and tornado warnings, I thought the whole thing would be called off. I'm glad it wasn't!

Monday, March 10, 2008

An Unusual Weekend

Two rare, but wonderful, things happened this weekend. First, my sister and her two youngest children spent three nights with us. However, more surprising and rare than that was the fact that we got snow on Friday!! My children haven't played in snow for 7 years..the boys don't really even remember it. The last time we had any significant snow was New Year's Eve 7 years ago. The ironic thing is that Vicki and I were also together last time it happened. None of it stuck this time, but it snowed for most of the day. We were just happy to sit at the table with our Scrabble game and watch the snow falling while taking in the aroma of Vicki's homemade gumbo cooking in the crock pot. Yes, I had to get out in the falling snow some with the kids, but most of the time I spent inside with Vicki while our children ran in and out.
Vicki arrived on Thursday and stayed until Sunday. We made plans to be together because Jeff had plans to spend the weekend in Texas for a fishing trip. His trip was cancelled, but we kept our plans. As always, it was very hard to see them go. I just enjoy her and her children so much! I miss the snow too! I wouldn't want it every day, but a little more of it would be nice!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Madison's New Room

I spent the last few days painting Madison's room pink. We bought the paint months ago, but have just now gotten around to using it! It's a darker pink than I expected. Needless to say, it's perfect for Madison...she loves it! I had enough paint left to do her bathroom as well. We also bought her a new shower curtain and rug to make it even pinker in there. My sister, Vicki, will think she has died and gone to Heaven when she steps into the room, being the "lover of pink" that she is! I'm so happy that I finally did this for Madison. She's so happy with it :)!