Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tree Time

A few weeks ago the boys were counting the trees that had already changed colors for fall. I thought this was a very creative game to keep the boys entertained as we drove across town. As we topped the hill towards our house, they both shouted out "20!"

Wow, I thought, 20 trees had won the race to dress in their fall colors this early in the season.

Then, I saw the 20th tree was the one in our front yard. The leaves were not a golden yellow, brilliant orange, or flaming red. They were black. Yep, black as in not a healthy shade you want to see on the very tall tree in your front yard leaning towards your neighbor's house.

So yesterday, some trucks arrived. Chainsaws were started. A chipper was used.
Mikey had already boarded the bus to school, but Matt was still at home for the big event. When the limbs began to fall, the excited five year old exclaimed, "This is so cool!" Coming from a little boy who detests loud noises, this was an unexpected reaction. Less than a half an hour later, the tree was nothing more than a pile of logs on the front yard and a stump less than an inch high.

Wow, those tree guys did a great job with cleanup! Not a single branch was left. Unfortunately, the pile of wood could not remain where it was. So, that evening, another guy showed up to finished tidying the yard and wood.
I love my hardworking husband.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Camera

I have taken for granted the wonderful things a camera can do. I was enjoying the amazing colors of fall this weekend and wanted to get a picture of the sunlight coming through a brilliant gold leafed tree. I reached for my camera and snapped a few pictures.

Here's what I got:
Okay the camera doesn't like the tree, let's try the cute gazebo.

It was very frustrating. The same thing happened on the way home.
I think the camera realized that it wouldn't do justice to the beauty of nature in the fall and it just gave up. Of the 21 pictures I took this weekend, almost half of them are the pink grainy type.

But I found one that the camera gave its all for:
I will soon be getting a new camera to capture more such memories with out the pink grainy swirls.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Field Trip

Today, my youngest and I went on a school field trip. This is an annual trip the Preschool takes every fall. It is to the pumpkin patch at a nearby farm. There are pumpkins still on the vine for the kids to pick and they get to take a smaller one home. There is delicious apple cider from the farm's own apples. And of course, the farmer's market with wonderful baked goods and beautiful vegetables and huge bins of pumpkins and apples. This is usually a fun trip for the 51 students and their parents and some extra siblings.

Did I mention it was cold here this morning? The thermometer said it was 40*, but I don't think it accounted for the breeze.

Did I mention the rain? The few pigs and sheep at the farm petting zoo had lined up two-by-two.

Did I mention I have been fighting a cold and cough for the last week and a half? I forgot my kleenex in the car.

I don't want to sound like I am complaining (well, maybe I am a little bit) the kids had a great time and I bought enough apples to make pies and an attempt at apple butter. Matt even picked out a pie pumpkin so "we" could make another pie from scratch like "we" did last year.

At the end of the trip, with rosy cheeks and noses, we climbed into the car to have our cider on the way home. Matt had fun and my cold didn't get any worse (I hope).

My guy is in the yellow.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Birthday Cake

"We're having a princess party." one mom said standing outside of preschool. I slowly spoke up wondering if I should even voice my thoughts.

"I could make the cake if you like. You know the kind with the gown as the cake and the doll sticking out of the top."

"That would be great," said the other mom. And she paid me on the spot to make her daughter a pink and white princess cake for the following Monday.

Well today is Monday. Here's the cake:

You all know that the only way I got to make this cake is because it is for another family :) It was a nice change from cars and ball fields.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Good Book Review

I just finished another book and wanted to tell you all about it. It is the follow up book to "Same Kind of Different As Me" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.

"What Difference Do It Make" is a wonderful book that makes me want to re-read the first book just to pull more wonderful experiences out of it. This book not only allows the reader to get to know Ron and Denver better, it also focuses on the readers of the first book. In a humble way, Ron and Denver tell how their book has circled the country and touched lives of those young and old.

A little girl and a lemonade stand, a little boy who holds his mom accountable to reach out and many other experiences are shared. Homeless men women and children are helped, blessed, and saved because a rich art dealer loved his wife and followed her to served meals at a homeless shelter. Because that wife loved God, a homeless man and the rich art dealer became friends. Because of that tedious friendship, the rich art dealer came to know his heavenly Father in a much deeper and closer way.

This book reveals Ron's rocky relationship with his father and how that fence was mended before his dad's death. The book ends with Ron remembering his wife who died after a battle with cancer. A woman who also battled cancer and was losing the fight was given Denver and Rons first book. She called Ron to find out how to leave her husband behind and to see how she could help him grieve. The final chapter brought sweet tears to my eyes. Our Father will use unsusal relationships to bring us closer to Him and to do work He has set before us to do.

I highly recommend both "Same Kind of Different As Me" and this book "What Difference Do It Make" to anyone.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Book Review

You all know how much I love to read. So every once in a while I will post an honest review of a book. Here goes the first one:

Find Your Strongest Life: What the happiest and most successful women do differently by Marcus Buckingham

I picked this book because I promised myself I would read more non-fiction and I thought this would be up lifting and encouraging. There are some very valid points in this book for working women who are not satisfied with their jobs. The first seven chapters keep mentioning a "Strong Life Test" that the reader should take to understand herself and what to what career she may be suited. Finally when you reach the point in the book to take the test it is not in the book. It points you to a website. If you do not have instant access to computer, you need to stop reading until you can take the test so as not to bias yourself to answer certain ways.

This book focuses on emotions, specifically your own happiness, to find which jobs will satisfy your career needs. Forget what may be best for your family, focus on yourself and what will make you happy. Many of the examples in the book changed jobs more than once until they find the job that makes them happy.

I am not supporting staying in a job that makes you miserable and ill, but there is more to consider in finding a new job than just yourself.

Being from Thomas Nelson Publishing, I thought this would have been a Christian book, but God was not included in the "Strong Life Test" nor in the "Life Roles" the test leads you to.
While there are some valid points in this book, it will not lead anyone to any specific career path. This book is one of many options for people who are dissatified with themselves and their jobs. If you are looking for a Christian perspective, this is not it. If the Christian point of view is not an issue. This book may work for you.


I have been trying for the last few weeks to only do one grocery run per week. In doing so I should have more tome to get some housework (hear laundry - socks and such running dangerously low) done around the house.

So today I tried to get as many errands done as possible. So beginning at 9:00, after getting Mikey on the bus and dropping Matt off at preschool, I headed to Target for prescription refills. After the required 15 minute wait at Target, I headed to Sam's Club. I sat in the parking lot at Sam's for 30 minutes organizing my coupons before heading into the store. No Sam's does not take coupons, but I needed them for later.

After Sam's, I headed to pick-up Matt. I had 10 minutes to wait so I crossed the street and went into the library to get some audio books to listen to while I work. After selecting my limit of 4, I checked out of the library to re-cross the street and grab Matt from school. We headed home for lunch and to listen on the computer to a radio interview of the new head coach for the Army basketball team. He happens to be my cousin (and I thought the interview was great!).

After a wonderful lunch with husband and son, son and I headed to Giant Eagle for the smaller part of the groceries. Coupons for $0.99 or less are doubled at GE so they get used there. Also I like GE's produce. After the quick GE run (with Matt happily playing in the Eagle's Nest) we headed to Walmart for the remainder of our list (with coupons $1 or more).

After leaving Wally-World, we headed to the Wonder Bread Outlet for the bread we like at prices we love (these are also the kind ladies who always give my boys free treats whether they are with me or not). Once Matt and I were back in the car with our loaf of bread and golden creamfilled cakes, we wanted to head home. No such luck - our gas light was on!

So we headed to the gas station. Now I want to set the record straight, I try very hard to not let my car get below 1/4 of a tank, so the fact that the warning light came on lets you know how much runnning we did today.

Okay, now that the tank is full I look at the time, 3:55!! I am 10 minutes from home and Mikey's bus drops him off at 4:00!! When we pulled into the driveway, Matt was sound asleep in the back seat and Mikey had used his key to let himself in the front door while the busdriver waited to make sure he had gotten inside safely.

Now that all of the items on my to do list are crossed off for today, I can start thinking about supper. Oh, and my wonderful, fabulous husband will be driving Mikey to karate this evening so I can stay at home.