This Week’s Blessings

My crazy week and HUGE BLESSING at the end. What kind of crazy person decides to peel old, cheap wallpaper (i.e. not the kind that comes right off, but the kind we’ve been working at getting off for 10 years) off the kitchen walls and patch, paint and wallpaper and border them 2 days before 19 people come to Thanksgiving dinner. Yep, that’d be me.

My Father God, and many others (my bestie Julie!) BLESS me all the time. But just to give added Thanks this ThanksGiving week, I share this week’s blessings.

This past week I decided I just really didn’t want to go through another holiday with the kitchen as it was. My cupboards had been repainted sometime in the last year but those walls were continuing to drive me nuts, ripped wallpaper on some walls, wallpaper removed on some, leaving plain white, or painted stripes, or leaf stencils, – in my least favorite color – all randomly scattered.

With 8 of us currently living at home, and 4 grown daughters and their families (8 grandchildren) that come and visit, I and the older children spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It really should be somewhere inviting and cheery to be in. It hasn’t been for the 10 years we’ve been here. It’s been a depressing disaster. It was time to do something. And when I decide it’s time. That means NOW!

So on Tuesday and Wednesday, when we should have been doing on the pre-prep for Thanksgiving dinner – food, cleaning, and setting up – the boys helped me strip the rest of the paper, and I headed out to look for new wallpaper – because I don’t like to paint. I found one pattern in stock that would go with my kitchen – almost the color of the paint we’d bought to put on those walls. Wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do if it didn’t match the border I’d bought 10 years ago (to go with the paint) but thankfully it matched! My bestie, who likes to paint, but not paper, said she’d come help me.

All was going well, until we came to the places that needed primed, as to not show through the paper. Out come the paint brushes and rollers. Then there were the holes to be patched. I did great at the small ones. Then we got to the big one. Chipped it out and put about a 16″ square of drywall patch in it. Wednesday evening found us finishing. But with that primer still out, I’m thinking. The rest of the walls (top half) could really use a fresh coat of paint. And away I went. And that antique cupboard, while I’m at it. 1 a.m. I finally finished. And I love it!

The children had gotten things pretty well cleaned around here, but nothing was set up and no food started. Thankfully, I had remembered to ask one of them to get the turkey out of the freezer Tuesday night. But God redeemed my time, – must’ve been the cheery atmosphere I had to work in – and all the food got fixed, and everything got set up and finished before guest began arriving.

In the meantime, the younger children had been working on preparing a play to present the story of the Mayflower and the ThanksGiving feast of the Pilgrims and Indians. The play was a hit, and dinner with 19 of us, (12 were unable to make it,) was a wonderful family feast. We were blessed indeed to all be together. Thankful of so many blessings – including 2 little ones, yet to come next year.

I think it strange, after spending a day giving Thanks for the bountiful provision of the Lord, we go shop till we drop buying more, more, more! Yes, I understand getting gifts and winter needs when prices are super cheap, but it still seems strange. I don’t think whoever dreamed up Black Friday was a great Thanks Giving person.

Anyhow, after preparing and cleaning up from all of Thur. I slept in on Fri. while grown dd’s hit the early morning Door Busters. They are great about picking up whatever I want from the super sales for me. Then I go out later in the morning for the “common” things that are worth buying at the great prices, but not things that fly off the shelves – like kid’s boots and coats, and jeans – and a new stove!

Yep, after 2-3 years of looking, the stove that has all the features I want was on Door Buster Sale (and since our Sears is not a full one – very small, tools and appliances only – and has never stocked this one, nobody else had taken the 2 allotted per store and they were able to order it in for me at Door Buster price! They said it’ll take a while to get it in, like 2 weeks. I said, “I’ve waited 2 years, I can wait 2 more weeks.” It will be nice to not have to deal with fickle burners, uneven heating oven, and broken pan drawer. And to have GAS burners, YEA!!, FIVE of them – with oval griddle burner.

Just blessed beyond measure. New kitchen walls, family time, and now a new stove coming.


This is a week of many milestones for Me & My House. If we lived in days of old, we would no doubt set up pillars of remembrance. I guess we have digital cameras instead.

Saturday we celebrated the 13th birthday of ds#2. He chose to celebrate with an afternoon at the river with family (including extended) and a friend, and wanted as a gift a BMX trick bike. Yes, it’s that son.

Yesterday marked my half-century birthday. I had a great day, beginning with emails and Facebook congratulations, (gotta love FB-more birthday wishes than I’ve ever gotten before) and “gifts” from various e-mailing lists I’m on. Then a trip to DMV for my driver’s license renewal. Not sure how that got postponed until yesterday (in all the crazy busyness of the past few months here.) But it was uneventful and quick – which is not much short of a miracle with our DMV. Got home and received a birthday call from my mom.

The next event of the day was lunch with 3 of our grown dd’s, at Gracie Mae’s. Good lunch, good fellowship. But, the restaurant brought me the wrong sandwich. When they brought the right one, they brought a whole instead of a half. So I had 2 halves left over, which our oldest 2 boys were blessed with when I got home. (Boys love my birthday blessings.)

After doing a bit of cleaning and laundry when I got home again, I realized I best get to the store for more “milestones” supplies, before supper time. Another near miracle to get out of there in just over an hour at rush time, especially when 20 minutes of that was waiting to get checked out.

Dinner out proved a blessing too. Waitress forgot the cherry for my drink, so brought me a small cupful of them. (It’s the little things in life.) 🙂 After dinner, she offered me a free ice cream. Since I was already taking half my dinner home, and going home to dessert, I told her I couldn’t eat anything more there now. She offered any of their desserts to go. Mmm, tiramisu. Then she asked if I wanted a refill of my specialty drink to go. Mmm, tropical sunrise – mango, pineapple, and orange juice with grenadine syrup. (Supper was a great veggie salad and black bean and rice burgers.)

Then home for my party, with 30 of our closest relatives and dd’s young adult friends that are staying with us for the next event. Dd made cherry cheesecakes, my faves, for dessert. And one of her friends made me some caramel roses. 2 of our grown dd’s gave me an awesome meaningful gift of a candle and olive vines in a basket with these Scriptures – Levi 25:10, Prov. 31:28, Ps. 128:3.

Tomorrow will wrap up our week of milestones with dd#5’s graduation party. It’s been a very busy 3 weeks putting that together. Today we will be dipping 250 strawberries and putting together a slideshow. Then I think we’re about ready. She has chosen my dad’s backyard, with his beautiful gardens and landscaping, for her party. That has kept our boys busy for a couple of weeks, helpful papa get planting, and weeding, and mowing and such done. (He, of course, feels bad that everything won’t be in full bloom then. We, of course, are praying for good weather after all that work, so we don’t have to move to our church annex.)

Saturday brings the returning of the friends. Hopefully it won’t be as eventful as the getting of the friends (read previous post.)

Life is good. Life is full. Because God is great. God is good.

For Me & My House,
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New Year Off & Running

Mostly running! Well, not running to fast, it’s been frigidly cold here until this past week. We’re just starting to thaw out – and now this week is getting colder again.

Sorry I’ve been so absent here the last couple weeks. I’ve been posting a ton of new info over at the Good for You-Naturally!™ for Life Course & Community, and just don’t have enough online time to write material for several places at once. Join us for the Course & Community today and find a New You in the New Year! Weight Loss – Better Health – do it for your Family, for Life!

But  as for an update here, so far the New Year has brought:

  • Out of town trip with 10yodd – birthday shopping and post Christmas returns.
  • Back to our studies – finished up Creation to Abraham, studying Job this week, then on to the Patriarchs, Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.
  • Broken arm – son #2, basketball mishap. Even though league was ending that day, he’s bummed. Travel team is just starting.
  • Lights down, Nativities packed away.
  • New hard drive and upgraded RAM installed – lightning fat Mac now.

Well, that’s about all the events for the last couple of weeks. Time to hit the hay, that food truck will be here early tomorrow morning.

I’ll try to do better at updating, but probably not with many articles before the Good for You-Naturally!™ for Life Course & Community is over.

For Me & My House,

Chris Klicka is HOME

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints…


Chris Klicka achieved his homecoming at about 11 MT this morning. He is now rejoicing in Jesus face to face, after a 15 year challenge with MS. Though we rejoice with the angels (and Chris and Jesus,) we also mourn with his family and all the home educating families blessed by his ministry. Please continue to pray for his family.

Read his wife, Tracy’s, post on Caring Bridge and these tributes from Home School Legal Defense Association and Israel Wayne, and the video tribute given from HSLDA leaders at the HSLDA National Leaders Conference on Sept. 26th when Chris was hospitalized.

Tea Time

teatimeYes, it’s not only soup weather. We’ve also hit tea weather. The hot tea started here when a couple dc had scratchy throats and wanted to nip it in the bud before it got worse. Throat Coat did the trick – along with some EOs.


But with the chilly, rainy, dreary weather, the tea spree was on. I decided to pull out my new tea pot with warming base I got from Let’s Do Tea this summer. (Cool, ain’t it?)


Chamomile tea is a favorite around here – Sweet Apple Chamomile, Sleepy Time, and plain ol’ straight Chamomile. Nice that it’s a relaxing herb, but it also relaxes enough to make you sleepy. Not something we needed to drink all day! English Toffee is a new blend I got from Celestial Seasonings. It is an herbal coffee-sub, made with chicory root and such. I also like Teeccino. But our tea is usually just my own herbal combinations or Celestial.


Never “real” tea. Many reasons I’ll get into on another day. But good enough reasons you should consider. For today, just go have a cup – or pot – of herb tea instead of one of the caffeine containing alternatives. It will be helpful instead of harmful to your health – and will taste GREAT! See my pregnancy herb blends here. Watch for more herb tea recipes for the whole family in Good for You-Naturally!™~ Simply Beverages.

Surrounded by Death

The 3rd death on our property in about 2 weeks happened today. Plus…

Beginning at the beginning –


Death #1 – our last guinea pig. The boys said she committed suicide. She kept going under her water bottle and pushing up on it, getting wet. They’d move her out. She’d go back and do it again. She died a couple hours later. Interrupted one of our first days back at lessons with an unexpected funeral and burial.


Death #2 – even more traumatic. A few days later, I turned on the car and started to back out. Heard a horrible clunking in the engine, and turned the car off. Thought a tool had been left under the hood or something. Got the boys to come look. Opened the hood. Fur went flying. A stray kitten had tried to find a warm place. It was taking its last breaths when we found it. Couldn’t throw it in the trash, the garbage men had just come that day. Didn’t want to dig a deep enough hole. Called the pound to come get it.


Death #3 – today. Young squirrel coming down the tree. Black lab jumping up the tree. There was running for them and calling dog. But not quick enough. Squirrel in dog’s mouth. Interception, but too late. Dog chained. Squirrel suffering. Boys and pellet gun mercifully end its misery.


Just as I was ready to type up our latest death sagas, I get a call. Boys coming home from hunting. “Bring the little boys to daughter’s house, so they can watch.” 30 doves to clean. (Guess they didn’t want to bring them here around the dog.) Just what I did NOT want to watch. Boys tearing wings off dead birds and …


I’ve seen about all the dead things I care to in a while.

Thanks be to God that though I’m surrounded by death in this fallen, decaying world, He has come to give us LIFE and that abundantly and eternally! “Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?”

What’s worse than…

a dead skunk in the middle of the road?

A dead squirrel in your ceiling!

Want to know how I know?

For the last couple of months we’ve had an awful stench, that comes and goes, in our master bedroom closet. At first I just thought it was someone.  🙂  Then I removed all our shoes, and things from the shelves, and cleaned everything well, thinking there was a dead mouse in there somewhere. Nothing. When the smell returned last week, worse instead of better, I removed all of our clothes, as well as everything else, and put them in another room. The smell seemed to grow worse.

By this time the idea of a dead mouse in the walls was becoming a dead body under the house – well, at least a possum or a cat or something. Surely a mouse would have disintegrated by now.

While I was gone last week, after I’d removed everything from the closet, investigation began. First crawling under the house. Of course, our closet is in the far corner from the opening to get in the crawlspace. Nothing.

Checking the ceiling was the next idea, but instead a wall was torn out first. Nothing. Finally, the ceiling was pulled down. As the insulation was shifted around  —- down it came! some insulation paper with a dead squirrel in it. UGHHHH!

I’m glad I was gone.

Now – the ceiling is being re-drywalled, as well as re-drywalling and mudding of the wall.

My clothes are still in piles, covering the bed and desk in the guest room. My shoes are still in trashbags covering the floor of the guest room. Awaiting the repainting and applying of the trim in the closet.

But at least the smell is gone.

The pattering of little feet across the roof of the house isn’t near as cheerful a sound as it was a few months ago.



Best Ad I’ve Gotten this Season

This truly is the best ad I’ve gotten this Season. It brought a smile to my lips. 🙂


bailout.jpgIsn’t it about time you got you very own

Yes indeedy. Just in time for the New Year we are offering you and your hot tub Bailout savings on filters, accessories and more. Don’t let your spa fall victim to “the worst economy since the Great Depression” (are you as tired of hearing that line is we are? …and just what was so Great about the Great Depression anyway?). Let us help you keep your spa “afloat” with our end of the year Bailout sale! After all, it looks like we’ll be needing all the stress relief we can get in 2009.

from the place we order our spa supplies from –