"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, August 31, 2006

"Regarding Our New Baby!"

Imagine opening your on-line "mailbox" and seeing a message from your husband titled, "Regarding Our New Baby" !! Of course, I immediately wanted to find out exactly what "our new baby" referred to, as I knew I wasn't giving him any more children ... so opened that letter first. Seems the new baby is a 1976 Jeep that dh's friend is bestowing upon us. It's to "be delivered" :) next week during dh's visit. Apparently it's a restored vehicle and needs a new home, so I guess that means we're adopting. (I don't know nuthing bout birthing no baby "er" driving a jeep!) I suppose it will be good to have a 4-wheel drive vehicle ... but you think he'd consult me first before bringing home his new child. Boys and their toys ... Here we go again!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

This week finds us (my family) in the practice mode for the start of school next week. To those of you with jobs outside the home, this practice is with you each day. But as a stay at home mom, I tend to let "things" relax over the summer as far as time schedules. By the end of the school year, I detest time tables, but by the end of summer, they're my best friends! Just yesterday I discovered that Nathan is not officially enrolled in school (oh, my!) ... so off I was to the school office!

On the home front, I ordered garage doors, floors, kitchen and bathroom tiles and got another quote for siding and the roof. All of the selections are starting to PULL together nicely.

I posted a GREAT cookie recipie on my Cooking- Previews site ... kid and husband tested and approved!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Comb-Over

Over at Birmingham Girl's site she was talking about hair salons (and forgetting to leave a tip) .. which got me thinking about the older gentlman I saw at Costco today. We've all seen men, usually older men, that are shall we say follicly challanged. You know the guys, thinning on top and they grow out the sides and do that little upsweep to cover their bald spot(s). Maybe they are trying to look younger, but in all actuality, they look rather silly (especially on a windy day)... I'd much rather see the shiny old bald spot than long whispy hair trying to be someplace it's not supposed to be :) Anyway, this man had grown out his mutton chops ... i.e. side whiskers on his face and had them folded over and around his ears meeting in the back of his head. At first glance, I thought he looked a bit like the Cat In The Hat ... minus the hat. As it was, he had a package of portabella mushrooms and was asking the gal at the meat counter how to fix them all the while I'm waiting for a hot out of the firey oven roasted chicken. Folks, there was a line for the chickens and I didn't want to lose my place and I tried to be respectful and not stare too much. After he walked away is when I had finally figured out how he had "styled" his hair, I mean whiskers. Oh my!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Building At Last!

Busy times ahead as yesterday we actually began grading the lot for our new home. Today found me playing in the dirt, finalizing the back deck material, watching the grading of the backyard and a nice little picturesque spot for a picnic table. I have no idea how the hole in the ground will be transformed into a lovely new house, but eventually we can call it home.

Check out my website, "This New House" over on the right sidebar if you want to follow along.
Photo showing grading of basement, crawlspace and garage floor ... can't you just tell from looking at the pic? :)

Thursday, August 24, 2006


It's not as though I need another blog to manage ... but from time to time I will be adding some of our favorite recipes to this site for you to preview . Try it if you wish ... just let me know how it turns out ... or post a cooking tip you'd like to share with others. Just click your mouse on over the the right side bar to "MY OTHER WEBSITES" ... Cooking-Preview

The Cat Fight

Have you ever overheard the "neighbors" fighting and almost felt embarassed to have heard their shouting match? My grandparents had such neighbors that would fight several nights a week. First they'd drink a bit too much, then the degrading awful words would be tossed back and forth. Grandma was pretty much bedridden and her bedroom window was just across from the neighbor's den. She'd make this little tich sound with her teeth and say, "Oh, for heaven's sake" ... then you'd hear her window slam shut to diffuse the shouting. This morning, my daughters, I'm embarassed to say, had a big shouting match; such a one I've never heard. They've never gotten along too well, one being a "potstirrer", and the other "borrowing" her sister's things without asking; besides there's almost a five year's age difference. Back to the shouting ... What exactly were they fighting about? Hangers and closet space! Seems a walk in closet big enough for three or four people is not enough for them. The oldest is twenty-one ... her sister is sixteen and they temporarilly are sharing the master bedroom of our rental house (a regular Felix and Oscar Odd Couple too). I immediately had flashbacks to "granny's" rude neighbors and was wondering what my neighbors must be thinking as they were leaving for work this morning. Did I mention I'm only having three official bedrooms in the new house? Let's see, that's one for DH and me, one for little Nathan, and one for Ann. I'm hoping that the oldest girl will be engaged by the end of the year with a wedding sometime next year. In the new home, she will be an invited guest just until she's married (within the year or she's got to get an apartment) so she can help save for her wedding. The girls will be on different levels of the home ... hopefully to put some distance between them for a while. And just think ... I was a only daughter and always wanted a sister. Here these two have each other and they can't get along. Ahhh ... did I mention only three bedrooms???? (Deep down they really love each other, perhaps they are pms=ing ... let's hope so).

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

When Grandpa Got Saved

My maternal grandfather was a late bloomer ... that is with his walk with the Lord. I've heard statistics through the years about how few older people make a decision for Christ ... he was in his late 70's before his "rebirth." His one liner as I was growing up was, "I'm going to get to heaven on Grandma's credit card." Even as a child, I knew this was not possible ... so why did he have to always say that? In 1986 I got up the courage to just present the Gospel to Grandpa. He lived in Northern California near my mom at the time ... and they would both be visiting for a few days. The night prior to his arrival, I had a very strange dream ... and in this dream, Mom called to tell me that she couldn't come down to visit because Grandpa had just died of a heart attack. As soon as she told this to me (in my dream), I immediately saw where his spirit was going ... and let's just say, folks, that it was not to heaven. Do you think this little revelation gave me the extra courage to witness? (YES) His first night staying at my home, he was presented with God's word and accepted Christ as his personal savior. The very next day, while visiting with a friend, he had a major heart attack (I kid you not)! He "just so happened" to be about a mile from a well renowned heart hospital ... and his doctor was a believer too. (Now, if this had happened at his home in the mountains, he'd not have made it.) Needless to say, Grandpa pulled through and lived another 14 years.

Photo of Grandpa Bob about age 10 (1918)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I'ts Been A Long Summer

s a ex-homeschooling mom (ex as in just finished up year #13), and last year being the first year to home school my 10 year old special needs boy ... I'm ready for a break and am actually looking forward to the start of school in two weeks (secret joy :) ; my batteries are needing recharged! This has been a long, hot summer that needs some relief. We moved to our current school district in April and he attended the last five weeks of school; doing actually quite well in his life skills class. With all that is on my smorgasbord platter called life, the thought of a smaller plate is appealing right about now. I just can't be all things to all people without having a break(down). So when the bus pulls up to my door on September 5th, I will gain a few hours a day (I only send him 1/2 day) for some down time ... i.e. : quiet time to read my Bible, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, clothes shopping, taking a walk with the dog, checking on the progress of the new home ... things that are difficult to do when he's home all day long. I can also forget for a few hours whether all the windows and doors are double bolted :) Caring for my special needs child is the biggest blessing, but a little "vacation" each morning will be a sweet reward.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Driver's Training 101 x Three

I'm at it again with a new teenage driver in the house! My youngest daughter got her permit last month and begs to drive whenever I go out on my errands. She asked how her driving was yesterday on our way to shop for her school clothes in Spokane ... my reply, "Well, honey, I'm not quite ready to relax and take a snooze yet!" My first offspring to drive, didn't get his license until after he got his "tank" (as in M1-80 Army tank) license. When he'd come home to visit and after finally getting his driver's license, my heart raced each time I rode in the car with him. Imagine his driving skills after first learning on a vehicle with a jet engine strapped to it! His "puddle jumping" maneuvers in my van gave me worry lines and gray hair! My oldest girl faired ok with her skills and is a good driver. Here we go again. The only driving Nathen will be doing is in the "driving mom nuts" category!

Friday, August 18, 2006

What Ever Happened To: (Foods My Kids Want To Forget!)

Am I that far removed from this current generation with regards to food likes? Here is a list of foods I grew up on and have tried to incorporate over the years without much success with my own children:

1. Creamed ham on toast (one out of the four kids will eat this)
2. Sweet pickles (no takers)
3. Watermelon rind pickles (yucky is their response)
4. Casseroles, i.e. tuna noodle, etc. (no takers)
5. White beans cooked with ham (no takers)
6. Coconut
7. Most nuts
8. Egg salad
9. Raisins

I have not purposefully raised picky eaters. They're not all that picky in that they eat veggies, fruit, meats, etc., but when it comes to a recipe with any of the ingredients they don't like, I usually omit them.

Well, maybe I'm pushing their buttons a bit too much. Seems I remember my grandparents eating peanut butter sandwiches with sweet pickles (yuck!).

I guess our food fare is somewhat better now, although we don't get as much farm fresh tasting veggies and fruits that we had growing up. Seems the supermarkets don't know about fresh tasting peaches and plums; they only know about fruit that is blemish free, picked way too green, available out of season from foreign countries, etc. What I'd give to have some fresh picked fruit. Maybe I should take a little jaunt out to a farm stand or visit the next farmer's market this weekend. And this fall, maybe we could go apple picking. Maybe it's ok that the kids don't like sweet pickles too! Now they know all about garlicky kosher pickles and seemed to use them as pacifiers as youngins. OK, it's really ok that we don't like all of our parent's comfort foods from childhood; seems I remember my dad grew up eating squirrel (yikes). OK kids, we'll strike tuna noodle casserole from the recipe cards. Silly me, what was I thinking?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Just Couldn't Wait

I just couldn't wait until next week to thank you ... to those that were praying ... for some building progress. WE GOT OUR BUILDING PERMIT TODAY! And I took out the insurance policy ... and, and, and ... I'm soooooo excited. This means we should be able to clear the land beginning next week ... can you dig it! Thank you Lord for answering prayer.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I'll Be Back Next Week

I've got lots to do this week trying to get the house we're building started. If you're so inclined, please pray that the engineering and county process gets completed ... or you may hear me screaming all the way to your neck of the woods; my patience with them is running thin.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Window Shopping

I just love that term ... Window Shopping! Growing up without a lot of extra funds, I was a pro at window shopping. I'd love to go to the open-air malls all bundled up with boots, scarf, gloves and a coat. Peeking inside the stores with their artfully arranged window displays to attract customers, and the rush of warm air against the body once you finally made the decision to venture inside. Certain stores had their own scent. For example ... the Sears store at one time sold popcorn and candy. The May Company store had a great perfume counter and a girl could get lost just smelling the bottles, squirting on a scent, and even asking for some free samples. Trying on jewelry was another favorite past time. I had no money or intention of buying ... just trying! Nine times out of ten, I may have only bought the popcorn ... but it was fun to experience the newness of everything. About twice a years my mom would take me "real" clothes shopping. This was usually in the spring and fall. Oh, the thrill of buying new school clothes ... even if it meant we had to buy the clothes that cost less down in the basement! Even the whole lay-a-way procedure and the having to wait for six weeks until we had paid off the balance to retrieve the clothes was a lesson in patience.

The window shopping gene seemed to have skipped my youngest daughter; she was impossible to shop with because she just expected to come away from an outing at the mall with something ... even if she could not find what she was after, the thought of leaving without buying was a long hard process for her to learn. After a few years of me refusing to take her shopping with me, she finally had success and was able to walk out of the mall without a purchase. You could say that window shopping was torture to her :)

Now with shopping on line and having price comparisons available, one has another choice in window shopping. Beside, shopping with Nathan is VERY TRYING.

Back to window shopping ... I'm doing some "real" window shopping today ... that is literally shopping for windows today ... for the new home. Catch you later.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Being Content With Simple Pleasures

Here's a list of simple pleasures that make my day:

1. Waking up to the smell of a fresh pot of coffee
2. A cool washcloth on my face at the end of the day
3. Finding my newspaper on the front porch instead of the wet grass
4. Getting into bed at night with fresh line dried sheets.
5. The smell and feel of freshly ironed clothes
6. Yeasty bread baking in the oven ... giving off that delicious "I love you" family scent
7. Hugs from my children
8. The way my dog nuzzles her nose in my hand for me to pet her head
9. Listening and watching Nathan play along with the neighbor children.
10. Knowing that God loves me.

Can't get more simple than that? Care to share?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

From a Relaxing Sunday to a Calgon Monday

Sunday found us attending church in the morning. I do believe we will be making this church our new home. The afternoon was a replay from my childhood memories: Church, relaxing afternoon, early dinner, then an after dinner drive. I had good word that a moose had been spotted up at our property in the morning, so was anxious to take a little drive. Since we'll be living not too far from a lake with a nice wetland area around much of it, there's quite a bit of wildlife in our neighborhood which has large wooded lots and plenty of green belt corridors for critters to roam freely. My home builder actually is the one that spotted the giant "Bullwinkle" as he was making an elevation study map. Can you just imagine if the moose had shown up while I was berry picking or having my treetop lullaby a few weekends ago? Anyway, as we were driving away, I spotted a strange looking creature crossing the road up ahead of the car. Was it a cat ... a furry Shelty dog? Then I heard this swish, swish as the animal lumbered from side to side just a bit ... it was a porcupine! The only time I've seen one was at the zoo!

Today was a Calgon day ... I was busy from sun up til sun down ... with grocery shopping; shoe shopping for Nathan (he needed a bigger size of "blinkie" light-up shoes); sprinkler repair for a neighbor's that got chewed up by my lawn mower. I made the mistake of taking Nathan to Walmart for some charcoal and a window airconditioner ... there just was not enough room in my grocery cart earlier. He decided that his new shoes bothered him and so had "sit-in" right in the middle of the floor at the store. Needless to say, I gathered up my wits, said child, and left Wallyworld without my coals or a/c. Earlier in the day found me shopping for a gas (wood) stove for the greatroom. Tomorrow it's off to pick out interior and some exterior doors and needed doorknobs. If I sat down long enough to think about the enormous undertaking I'm involved in with building this home, I just might want to fall apart. Thank goodness the Lord is strengthening me.

Sweet dreams,
Mrs. Mac

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Simple Words (Spoken From The Heart)

OK, enough already. Each day I think about something to write ... and often I get going on my youngest ... The first (potty) ... Great Escape ... etc. He did it again this evening ... melted my already mushy heart with three simple words. If you only knew half the struggles we go through with the littlest details involving his care, then you'd know the significance of him saying three simple words (in a sentance). Since dh is away temporarilly (most of the time), I've had to step in and be "daddy" ... i.e. playmate for sports, trips to the park and library, etc. Tonight while we were playing lawn baseball, the little fellow said, "catch ball mama." If you heard 80% of his everday language, you'd think you were listening to "Stitch" ... as in Lelo and Stitch. Yes, the little Disney cartoon creature from outerspace that has his own language with a few understandable words thrown in for good measure. Ten percent of the time, Nathan uses sign language (some ASL ... and some pure his imagination). The other 10% are words most people could understand one word at a time. So, to hear three simple words strung together with a pause in between each was better than an early Christmas present. Just the other day a new little neighbor girl (age 4) heard Nathan for the first time and declared, "He speaks Spanish too?" I chuckled so hard on the inside as she played along with my son. Most children just get used to his unintelligable speech and eventually begin to pick up on what he's saying from that 1 word or so in 10 that is recognizable. Great weekend tidings from one estatic mom. xoxo

Friday, August 04, 2006

How Organized Is Your Plasticware Cabinet?

I know that's a silly title for a post. But I was thinking about it after visiting with gramma_s and reading about cleaning for a friend's visit. I was just a wondering how much cleaning we (I) do for visitors and how much real life "dust" is around when no one special is visiting. Then I remembered my special guest that is with me each day ... His name is Jesus. Do I keep a clean house for Him? Is my plasticware cabinet in order? Often I'd tell dh he could tell the condition of my spiritual life by taking a peek inside this cupboard. My house could be spotless on the inside and out ... for show or company ... but the inside of my heart might not be in order and be just one big messy assortment of mis-matched bowls and lids. After about six months or so, I have to totally clean out this cabinet. It amazes me how many pathetic plastic items with missing parts accumulate. Time for a "plasticware" spiritual cleaning again.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Potty Training 101 (Plus About 8 Years Practice)

The most wonderful thing happened today! ... Nathan went potty all by himself!!! You say, "What's the big deal ... he's 10 years old for Pete's sake." Well, I'll tell you (proudly) what's the big deal: At birth his colon ruptured and sent him into septic shock; this alone nearly took his life ... another long story for later. The wonderful doctors at UCLA Medical Center performed quite a few surgeries on his little colon over a period of about 1-1/2 years, even removing most of his large intestine. The little guy had to wear a "baggy" on his abdomen for the first two years of life. Finally after his final "pull through" colon surgery, we had dirty diapers. Dh was so proud of his son that he had a hard time throwing away that first dirty diaper :) (yuck)! About the age of six, we had "potty training" services provided in our home to help train him ... I actually did all the training ... but it was nice to have the little chart and someone come to my home three times a week for accountability :) We got the little guy to be daytime "habit trained" ... this meant as long as we put him on the pot every two to three hours we had success. Just imagine, folks, having to remember to put your child on the pot all the time ... even after ten years. My Pollyanna spirit reminds me that other parents have it much worse and that I should be thankful. This week I started just telling Nathan to go use the potty! "You're a big boy ... just go do it by yourself!" ... AND for the past two days, he's actually been doing a pretty good job ALL BY HIMSELF! I'm still having to remind him ... but hope that with his new found self-help skills, he'll start going on his own. Hurray for N..A..T..H..A..N!!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Oh BTW, I'm Just a Housewife

Rinnnng, rinnnng, rinnnng, ... that's the phone ringing about 24 years ago. On the other end is a young lady confirming some personal information for one of our insurance policies. After asking the usual, name, address, etc. she got to her little check box that said "occupation". When she asked my occupation, I stated, "I'm a stay at home mom." "Oh, I see, you're just a housewife." I nearly lost it with this gal, but kept my cool and tucked that occupational term away in my memory bank to be brought out at a later date. Fast forward to tonight. That phrase has always stuck in my mind and I actually get quite a chuckle out of it. You see .....
I sleep well at night knowing that I've been home for the past 24 years for my family. I've seen each of my children take their first steps, ride their first two wheeler, cut their first tooth, heard them each say "Daddy" and "Mommy" for the very first time. I've cooked over 8,000 dinners and eaten with my family each night. Washed 18,720 loads of laundry and hung half of those out to dry. (Fresh smelling laundry can't be manufactured in the dryer.) Besides these motherly duties, I've homeschooled a total of thirteen years, taught sewing, cooking, and homemaking skills in my "Keepers at Home" girl's club ... helped with "The Lord's Little Stitchers" ... a group of young ladies that made flannel quilts for demised (or those not expected to survive) babies at our local hospital; was even the recipient of one of their beautiful keepsake blankets when Nathan was given a 2% chance to survive at birth. I've tube fed and changed ileostomy bags on my youngest son, inserted feeding tubes up/down his nose and through the abdomen. Tried hard as I might to get a child to eat by mouth that doctors had almost given up on learning that skill (eating is now his hobby). Been through 15 surgeries with the little guy and prayed fervently for God to spare my mentally retarded child's life to bring Him honor; to witness to others the importance of handicapped people. Began a special needs Sunday school program so other families could attend church and not be unchurched. I've spent numerous nights awake wondering if my law enforcement hubby would arrive home safely in the morning ... been through the aftermaths of three work related shootouts with dh ... and numerous sightings of him on the latenight "breaking news" broadcasts. Been through many a lonely night when, due to a terrible earthquake, had to be separated from dh so he could serve the community ... same scenario with some gang warfares. Now I get to pray for my oldest son that is proudly serving the past six years in the military as a tank crewman. With all the worry that could be heaped on my shoulders, I sleep well at night knowing that God is on the throne. No matter what happens, my dh and children have come to accept Christ as their Personal Savior ... this gives me comfort and can never be taken away. Have I missed out on my career? You may wonder what I did before marriage? Did Mrs. Mac attend college? Did she have a life before kids? Is she sorry to not have gone back to work? To be continued .......
Oh btw, this is NOT a knock against working moms ... but my personal choice to be "just a housewife" So, pleeeese, don't think I don't understand. My mom was a working mom my entire life ... even got divorced ... these two facts made me a stronger, more determined person that had to be very responsible at an early age ...