Thursday, December 18, 2008

Water. Agua. H2O.

Ahhh.....can you hear it? Feel it? Taste it? Mmmmmm....
You just don't know how much water you use and how bad you need it until you don't have it. Running water is something not to be taken for granted!!! I've always heard that if you have running water (indoor plumbing) that you are rich compared to the rest of the world. I know it's hard to believe that many people don't have indoor plumbing.
We have been hauling water in for cooking, cleaning, drinking, hygiene, and flushing potties. We have been taking showers at my parents house. This HAS NOT been fun!!! (not the parents part, but just being without water in general) Being stuck at home because of icy weather is okay with me, as long as I can get something done. No water makes that difficult. No laundry, no dishes, no cleaning the bathrooms, etc.
So, yesterday afternoon, since the temp finally rose above freezing, hubby got out to work on the well only to discover that the filter housing was busted. So, expensive as that was, we replaced it. (Most of the time I HATE, I mean ABHOR credit cards, but in this case I sure was glad we have one!) One other problem.....turned the water on and the shut off valve had busted also. Grrrr. Hubby replaced that this morning with some spare parts he had (thank goodness!). We now have water and he is supposed to replace the points on the well this afternoon (which we purchased A LONG TIME AGO, but somehow they never got put on....). YAAAAYY! Now....dear hubby expected us to jump up and down cheering for daddy when the water came back on. That's not really the reaction he got. Sure, we thanked him and we expressed how glad we were to have it back on. I think he was a little bumfuzzled as to why we weren't more excited. Let's do the math.
Family of 5, 3 meals a day, plus snacks=lots, TONS of dirty dishes to catch up on.

Family of 5=5 pairs of clothes daily, plus pajamas, towels, wash clothes, etc. to be caught up on (not to mention we were behind on the laundry already!). (might I add here that we wore layers of clothing to keep warm, so there were even more extras!)

So. My 3 girls and I who are the keepers of the home (laundry, dishes, and cleaning) know that having the water turned back on means warm water to wash hands with, brush teeth, and take baths (not to mention flush the potty) but it also means time to give the house a thorough run down....which might take days! LOL

We really are glad to have water back!!! May you NEVER have to experience life without it, but learn from us that it is a convenience not to be taken for granted!!! :0)

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Colors and A New Spin on "The Twelve Days of Christmas"

A Plethora of Popcorn....

Well, what else should one do? No water....STILL, leaves us with time to follow a few of our Advent activities. I have to highly recommend our book we are using called "The ADVENTure of Christmas" by Lisa Whelchel. I love Lisa Whelchel. She is so down-to-earth and "real." She has written many great books, some of my favs being "Creative Correction," "Taking Care of the ME in Mommy," and "So You're Thinking About Homeschooling." Each of these books have helped me in my parenting and homeschool endeavors and I would recommend them to ANY mom!

Anyway.... There are many activities, but we pick and choose. This is the first year we have actually done more than 1, LOL! I like this simplified Christmas that we are practicing. It gives us more time to concentrate and ponder the real reason and meaning of this wonderful celebration.

So in talking about Christmas Colors and why they are red, green, and white (you'll just have to read it yourself...don't want to give too much away!) we decided on making green popcorn. The best part of the experience (for me) was the interest in the idea of home made popcorn from my girls. I brought the bag home and they looked at it, and with questions in their voices, asked, "Yellow Popping Corn??? What's that?" Oh, how I laughed!!! I guess I haven't made any this way in a long, long, looonng while. So they watched intently while I made it...ya know, the old-fashioned a pot with some oil. I shared with them how this was the only way we had popcorn when I was a kid. Just when was microwave popcorn invented??? I don't even remember. I don't think I bought it until I had the ballerina (she's 13, remember!). Wow. That makes me feel old. I feared they wouldn't like the blandness of it. I made some extra, let them taste it plain, which they made "hmm" noises to, then added some salt, let them taste test, then added some melted butter, to which they fell in love with! They asked if it was cheaper to make it home made (trying to convince me it needs made this way every time). Well, with microwave popcorn being so cheap, I don't really know if it's cheaper. I haven't done the math. Does anyone know???

So, with the other 16 cups of popcorn we followed the recipe which makes a sort of candied popcorn. It's pretty yummy! We chose green to color it, but next time I think we'll do red.
Junior and Roo chomping down!

"The Twelve Days of Christmas"
In her book, Lisa also talks about different Christmas songs and carols (and helps kids understand the difference!). It's so wonderful! I learn right along with the kids most of the time. (my home school mommy friends will agree that this is quite common for us!)

Legend says that "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written to help parents teach their children the true meaning of Christmas in England during the 300 years that it was illegal to be a member of the Catholic Church. The words are a 'secret code' that I'm going to crack for you, so that you may share it with your kids, or simply learn something new! :0)

"My True Love"
represents God, who gives all the gifts listed in the song.
"A partridge in a pear tree"
is Jesus, who gave His life on a tree (the cross).
"Two turtle doves"
symbolize the Old and New Testaments.
"Three french hens"
are faith, hope, and love.
"Four calling birds"
speak of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.
"Five golden rings"
correspond to the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Pentateuch.
"Six geese a-laying"
stand for the six days of creation.
"Seven swans a-swimming"
are the seven gifts of the Spirit (Romans 12:6-8).
"Eight maids a-milking"
point to the eight beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10).
"Nine ladies dancing"
signify the nine fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
"Ten lords a-leaping"
represent the ten commandments.
"Eleven pipers piping"
are the eleven faithful disciples. And finally......
"Twelve drummers drumming"
call to mind the twelve points of the Apostle's Creed.

That's quite a bit learned about the Bible in a very unique song! I don't think I will ever forget that. We created a game (suggested in the book) to help us remember each symbol. Cool, eh? :0)

P.S. I have NO idea why the print is SO large on this post....I tried to make it smaller, but blogger won't let me!!! Grrr...

All words in purple are from "The ADVENTure of Christmas" by Lisa Whelchel.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The No Water Woes Ice Day........
So. It's 20 degrees and our school work is done. What to do? I know! How about build a Gingerbread House without having any water?! (I betcha wanna eat that! LOL)

Yup. No water. Ah, the joys of living on a farm. Getting the tractor running took precedence this weekend over winterizing the well house. Hmph. And again I say HMPH! We do keep some jugs of water around for just this very reason, and my parents live right down the road if/when we need more water. That being said.....
The girls have been dying to build a Gingerbread House, so might as well do it while being stuck inside, right? Well, we thought so. We spread the newspapers out because a friend had warned me of the mess that could be created, and since there wasn't warm water to clean up a mess.....Voila! The finished product! So beautiful that I wouldn't let them eat it....just yet! So, instead, I gave them some graham crackers, extra icing and candy and they created their own master pieces that they could eat! (Which they did before I even got pictures!)
I couldn't help but take some pics of my buddy, Frodo. He hasn't been on the blog in a while. This is his first haircut! Isn't he adorable? He's so soft to the velvet, only fluffy! :0)
I'm really surprised he hung on the wall, too!

So, what did you do with your "snow" day?

P.S. I have no idea why some of my print is underlined or seems hyper-linked. The only link should be the word "friend." Also....blogger won't let me move my pics around very easlily anymore. Can someone help me out with that? Thanks!

Small Town Christmas Parade

It's A Hometown Christmas Parade!
Saturday night was our hometown Christmas parade and since the girls are in 4H, they got to work on a float and ride in the parade. This is Junior, and 2 of her good friends riding on the rocking bench.

We did a Pioneer Christmas theme. (Our town's high school mascot is a pioneer as well) The float won the Theme award and the Chamber award. Can you guess how many napkins were used to make that white fluff? Me either! LOL I helped with it, but my-oh-my was that a lot of napkins!!!
Roo and friend....aren't they cute?

In the moments before the parade, when the grown ups were completing the construction of the float, the kids made cards and crocheted hangers for the Siloam Springs Nursing Home, which we were supposed to go and deliver on Tuesday, but due to the weather, that is being rescheduled.

The kids all had a blast and slept very well that night! LOL So did mom and dad! ;-)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thrifty Mama Giveaways

I hope you are all keeping up with The Thrifty Mama blog because she is doing some FANTASTIC giveaways!!! I always have her button on my sidebar, too!

Some current giveaways:
DVDs (such as the new Charlie Brown ones), and a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card!!! :0)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bizzy, bizzy!

We've been crafting/cooking/running like crazy with the Christmas dazzle in our steps! (Which has left little time for blogging-sorry!)
On Monday we made homemade candy canes-yum! It was the first time I've tried making rock candy home-made, so the consistency was a little off when we were trying to form them into canes. I would have gotten a pic of that part, but my fingers were too sticky trying to help the girls! They made lots of different shapes, but mostly canes.
They might not look that great, but they taste REALLY good!
Tuesday we decorated store bought candy canes like little deer, copied the story of the candy cane, and tied it to them. We plan to pass them out throughout the season whenever we are out and about.

Tuesday evening was the CHESS Christmas Variety Show. This is the first year the girls have been able to participate in this. (Seems we always have schedule conflicts!)
Roo and Junior sang Rudolph and did a little diddy....well, sort of. Junior forgot to do her moves, but she remembered her lines!
It was really cute!
Rimshot planned on singing Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant. She has wanted to do this song for years. Unfortunately she got very nervous as she started to sing and then became too emotional to continue. She really did a beautiful job and has sang in front of the church a few times, so I'm not sure why she got so nervous, but we all felt so bad for her!
These are some of Rimshot's friends who did a REALLY cute little Beatles Medley with some slides in the background.
Speaking of GREAT friends.... they came back with Rimshot at the end of the show and sang with her. Isn't that so nice? They helped her get right back up on that horse. :0) They truly are an amazing group of girls and I am so thankful that Rimshot has such wonderful friends!
Towards the end of the night we knew we must have "Twas the Night Before Christmas," but we didn't expect a twist!
Here, a quite talented young man recites his (yes, HE wrote it himself!) "Twas the Pirates Night Before Chirstmas!" It was a hoot!
Here we have all the performers gathered and singing, "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," at the end of the night.
More crafting, trying to finish up shopping, ladies' Christmas party, Lowes workshop, 4-H work, parade, dinner with friends, and all the like will occupy the next 72 hours, but I'll update as soon as I can!

Also....if you could say a prayer for me.... I've had a bit of a sore throat the last couple of nights and am getting quite achy.....I can't get sick now, there's too much to do!!!


Hope you are enjoying your Christmas festivities....leave me a comment and tell me what you are doing!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Beautiful White Blanket

What's better to wake up to on a Monday morning than a beautiful white blanket that makes everything look new, fresh, clean, and pure? (Sorry for you commuters who have to drag kids out in the cold....probably not very pleasant!) This light snow was easily packed into snowballs....and little hand held ice packs to tuck down the neck of the kiddie's sweaters! ;-)

Unfortunately, when it melted away by lunch.....

... it left a soggy, muddy mess! Ick!

I won't disgust you with those pictures....blah! was a nice, early teasing of winter's tale! Hope everyone is having a great Monday!