Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Mixed Bag

The complete randomness of this day:

1.  Our son has been throwing up since this morning.  Yucky.  Our kids very, very rarely throw up.  I'm praying no one else gets sick and have disinfected every surface I can think of.  My hands have been washed raw.  I'm working hard to control my imagination, what with the whole pandemic panic.  I sure hope our little guy has a good night tonight!

2.  I am very happy because our friends had a new baby this afternoon. Hooray!  What great news to brighten a difficult day!  Babies, babies, babies.

3.  Ben had a terrific idea --- a great disciplinary tactic for when our kids are older.  We'll send the kids out to the huge field behind our house make them pick up litter.  Brilliant!

That is all.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday
April 27, 2009

Here's our menu plan for the upcoming week :-).

Monday:  No cooking (supper with my parents)
Tuesday:  Homemade pizza, green salad
Wednesday:  Citrus chicken (in the slow cooker), brown rice, steamed veggies

Thursday:  Toasted artichoke sandwiches, sweet potato wedges

Friday:  Lasagna (from the freezer), caesar salad
Saturday:  Leftover buffet
Sunday:  No cooking (supper with Ben's parents)

I will also try to bake Toffee Bars.

Check out Menu Plan Monday on Org Junkie each and every week!

Friday, April 24, 2009


I made the following soup for supper this evening.  I found the recipe in a Wonder Time magazine I borrowed from the library.  I made a few modifications to use ingredients we had on hand and we ate our soup with popovers (as suggested by the magazine).  Yummm!

Lentil Soup

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 C. crushed tomatoes (or plain tomato sauce or pureed tomatoes)
1/2 tsp. salt
1, 19 oz. can lentils, rinsed and drained
8 C. chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. dried thyme (or 1 small sprig fresh thyme)
1 C. diced kielbasa (optional)
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Heat oil in a wide saute pan over medium-low heat.  Saute onion until translucent (about 5 minutes).  Add celery, carrots and garlic.  Saute until vegetables soften a bit (about 5 more minutes).  Then add the tomato sauce, salt, lentils, broth, bay leaf, and thyme.  Stir.

Simmer soup on very low heat, partially covered, for about an hour.  Add the kielbasa, if using, after 45 minutes.  Add water if the soup looks like it's drying out.  When the lentils are nice and creamy, stir in the vinegar, then taste the soup.  Add more vinegar or salt if the flavour needs brightening.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I love him to bits but, lately, our four-year-old is driving me crazy.  He's quite the space cadet.  He's a sweet, smart, sociable little guy but he also has an incredibly vivid imagination.  It often seems the stuff going on between our son's ears is far more interesting to him than real life.  It's nearly impossible to get his attention!  And following directions? Forget about it!

This morning I sent the oldest boys downstairs to eat breakfast.  (I took the boys downstairs, got everything ready, and left them shoveling cereal into their mouths.)  I hurried to get the two little ones dressed. Our four-year-old soon ran up the stairs to find me.

"Mommy!"  he yelled, "We've got trouble!"

(I thought, "What?  Did they spill the orange juice?")

"Mommy!  We need a hero!"  

("I guess I can heroically wipe up juice.")

"Because there's a big pile of dirt!"

"Um, excuse me?" I asked, "What in the world are you talking about?"

"I need to dress up as a super hero because there's a big pile of dirt out on the street!"

(I failed to see the connection between dirt, super heroes and breakfast, but that's usually the way of it.)

"Dude.  Did you finish your cheerios?" I asked.

Our young hero stared into space, deep in thought.  "Oh yeah.  That's what I was supposed to be doing..." he replied.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Goin' to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

The forecaster predicted sunny skies and temperatures above 20 degrees.  I figured we'd seize the day.  (After all, they're predicting snow for Thursday.  Say it ain't so!)  I guess I wasn't the only mom with the same idea...

The zoo was crazy this morning.  Totally packed.  It's a Tuesday morning and school is in session, so I figured things would be relatively quiet.  Boy, was I wrong!  I can't remember the last time I've seen the zoo so busy. 

The kids had a blast, nonetheless.  I let the boys run and run and run and run, hoping for a long nap this afternoon.  (So far that seems to be working!)  The weather was actually rather cool and cloudy.  We visited the hippos (who were literally snoring), giraffes, lions, monkeys and gorillas.  We ate a nice picnic lunch as well.  I love our zoo pass because we can stop for a quick visit and leave when the kids get tired. Usually, a two hour trip is about perfect.

Now I'm looking forward to a quiet afternoon and evening.  I think I'll spend some time praying for the snow to pass us by...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Very Happy

I saw this book in the store yesterday.  I haven't read the story but the title alone brightened my day.  What's not to love about naked mole rats?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Homemaking Hint of the Day

Don't use Oxy-Clean on dark khaki fabrics.  My favourite green khaki pants have been demoted to gardening clothes :-(.

I should have read the directions!

Friday, April 17, 2009


I always enjoy finding the newest Taste of Home magazine waiting in our mailbox.  I like the bright pictures, the unfussy recipes and the everydayness of it all.  Taste of Home is totally unpretentious.

Unfortunately, sometimes the magazine is a little too unpretentious.

Actually, the magazine itself is not the problem.  The ads enclosed with Taste of Home are really classy, though.  They make me want to run off and load my credit card to the max.  (Insert sarcastic tone.)  Here's an example of this month's gem:

"Rockin' Through the Years" begins with a fully-sculptural replica guitar adorned with a vivid montage of favourite Elvis moments ... just flip the switch, and you'll be dazzled, as the special built-in lighting system illuminates the vivid art from behind.

What in the world is a "fully-sculptural replica"???  

Apparently, the king is still alive and well.  (And tackiness reigns supreme.)  You, too, can own the "Rockin' Through the Years" commemorative guitar for two easy installments of only $29.99.

(Requires two "AA" batteries, not included.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Big Boy!

Our littlest Inkling celebrated his first birthday yesterday.  How did that happen?  Our little timbit is all grown up!

Here are some of the things our big boy is up to:
  • Timbit has six teeth and is working on number seven.  He likes to feed himself all sorts of things --- pieces of banana, pear, orange, grapes, hard boiled egg, peas, corn, beans, chicken. Our growing boy is a good eater.
  • Our one-year-old is not quite crawling yet.  He gets around by bum-scooting.  He also like to turn around in circles (sitting on his bum).  Over the past few days he's started flipping on to his tummy, so he'll likely make it to his knees soon.
  • Timbit knows the signs for "more" and "all done".  He can also wave bye-bye.
  • I think our big boy's favourite birthday present was a sparkly gift bag.  (Not too interested in the gift inside the bag!)  He's a typical one-year-old :-).  

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring, Will You Ever Arrive?

I can hardly believe we woke up to snow again this morning.  Will it ever completely melt away?  I'm just itching to get outside and play in the dirt!

Ben and I spent most of the weekend talking, planning and dreaming about our yard.  We even made two separate trips to Home Depot. (Scouting expeditions.)  We have grand plans and a small budget, so we'll see what actually gets accomplished!  Ben and I have never done anything with a yard before.  It's all a great, big adventure.

I've been mulling over the flower beds I dug out along the driveway last fall.  Ben thinks we should just fill them with bark mulch this year.  I sort of agree.  I also sort of disagree.  I'd like to fill the borders with an easy, pretty, low-growing perennial.  I'm thinking pinks might look nice, maybe cheddar pinks?  (The name alone is almost enough to sell me.)

If the weather improves I hope we'll rake the lawn next weekend.  We may even start digging out the veggie patch along our back fence.  I'd love to clean off the deck and bring out the patio furniture, but then I'm sure we'd be guaranteed to receive another dump of snow!   

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Quote of the Day

(Setting the scene:  Our four-year-old tried to draw the squirrel from Over the Hedge.)

"I can't draw Hammy, Daddy!  It's too hard!"

"What are you talking about?  Your picture looks great!  Look at that big bushy tail."

"But Daddy, that's not supposed to be Hammy's tail.  It's his tongue!"

Thursday, April 09, 2009

On This Day in History...

One year ago today Ben and I placed on offer on a beautiful home.  The offer was accepted and six days later (mere hours before we signed the final papers) our fourth little Inkling was born.  What a crazy start to a very busy year!

If Ben and I had charted our own course, we certainly would not have chosen to buy a house last spring.  In our eyes the timing was all wrong.  However, God had a bigger plan and we are very grateful He was guiding our steps.  Ben and I had no idea the housing market would take such a nosedive and we sold our condo at the best possible time.  God's timing was perfect.

Looking back, we have lots to be thankful for: terrific next-door neighbours, our school right across the street, a huge expanse of green just out the back door, a safe and beautiful home.

We've been totally, thoroughly blessed!   

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Mommy, when I spin for too long I feel kind of noxious."

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Delicate Issue

Our little girl is nearly three years old.  She's been essentially potty trained for a few months but still has occasional accidents.  To be blunt, she has poop issues.  She doesn't like to poop in the potty.  She doesn't like to poop in a diaper.  She won't poop in her panties.  She simply holds it all in, for days and days and days and days and days.

(Each of her older siblings have done exactly the same thing.)

The problem is, a little body is not designed to hold on to poop for weeks on end.  (Here's where things get a wee bit gross.)  Often, she leaks. Her poor body just can't handle it.  We've tried everything but our girl refuses to poop until it's absolutely necessary.  After a lot of disgust and frustration (and a ban on diapers in the daytime) we came up with a workable solution.

For the time being, our daughter wears "poop skid liners" on her underwear.  They are simply pantie liners designed to be worn by women.  I figure the liners are meant for panties, so why can't a toddler wear one?  Those liners have saved many a pair of small panties over the past few weeks.

Our little girl has no problem with wearing the liners, and in fact, now refuses to wear panties without one.  She's completely accepted them. There's just one problem, however.  It's pretty embarrassing to travel down a store's feminine hygiene aisle and hear my daughter loudly exclaim:

"Hey look Mommy!  There's the poop skid liners!"     

Monday, April 06, 2009

Menu Plan Monday
April 6, 2009

Better late than never, right?

Monday:  No cooking (supper with my parents)
Tuesday:  Spinach pastrami wraps, sliced apples
Wednesday:  Homemade soup (from the freezer), whole wheat toast
Thursday:  Bubble and squeak
Friday:  Creamy salmon pasta and peas, green salad
Saturday:  (Guests for brunch) baked ham, southwest brunch bake, banana chip muffins, poppy seed orange muffins, fruit with dip
Sunday:  Forage in the fridge (Easter brunch with my parents)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

I Feel Loved

We had a great day today.  (At least, I think we had a great day.)  Ben and I tackled a project that has haunted me for months and it feels great to be finished!  

I thought the walls and baseboards along our stairway and upper hall looked patchy.  The nicks and marks really bugged me.  This weekend we borrowed our neighbour's ladder (thank you!) and fixed everything up.  Painting the tall walls was definitely a challenge!  Thankfully, we only needed to paint one coat because we kept the original colour.

I haven't read Gary Chapman's Love Languages book yet, but I'm fairly certain my primary language is gifts of service.  I feel most loved when someone helps me with a task.  I know how much Ben loves to paint (insert sarcasm here), so I'm very thankful for his help this afternoon.  I couldn't have done it without him!  The thought of climbing that tall ladder totally freaks me out.

Most people who visit our house probably wouldn't notice any change to our hallway but I can see a huge difference.  The walls are clean and bright now.  Thank you for your help today, Benjie!  I really appreciate it.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Don't touch the van.  It's totally filthy."

"Yeah.  It's filthier than ... than a jellyfish with a wig on!"

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Resurrection Eggs

The other day I bought a dozen hollow plastic eggs.  I'd spotted a neat kit for "Resurrection Eggs" at the Christian bookstore and hoped to recreate it (more frugally) at home.  A quick search of Google turned up these great instructions!

There are twelve days left on the calendar until Easter Sunday.  Each day we will send our kids on a treasure hunt for one hidden egg.  Inside the egg they will find a Bible reading and a tiny object representing the day's theme leading to Easter.

Here is what's inside today's egg:

Day 1:
Message --- Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.  The people waved palm branches.
Passage --- Matthew 21: 1-11
Item --- Piece of a palm branch or a small plastic leaf.

Last night Ben and I filled all the eggs with the appropriate slips of paper and small objects we scrounged from around the house.  (We had to be creative for a couple things!)  We numbered each egg with a sharpie pen and placed them in a reused egg carton.  All told, our resurrection egg kit cost $1.49 to make.  

I am looking forward to the kids' reactions later today as they hunt for the first egg.  Ben and I hope to build anticipation and excitement for the fast-approaching Easter season!