Monday, July 30, 2007

Wow I needed this

As I had mentioned, I have felt my life has been a bit out of control and in a lot of Chaos. And part of my reasoning was that I had not been reading my daily devotionals. Yesterday, I picked up my devotional bible and turned to the passage that is where I left off and it caught my eye. It was for Wednesday, but the title is what caused me to read it. Here it is:
Handicrafts and Creativity
by Catherine Doherty

Handicrafts serve as a means of communication among people who are afraid, shy or sick, or even people who speak different languages. There is something reassuring, homey, pleasant and relaxing to see someone embroidering or knitting in an airport or on a train. One feels a trust and confidence about such a person. If one has some similar work at hand, one becomes friends almost without words. Or one might ask what the other is doing; and a bond of friendship, gentle and warm, is established with this person who only a short time ago was a stranger. The handicraft is a bridge.
All creative effort is from God, and people who do handicrafts create. To create is to be at peace, for in creating one is joined with the Creator. Creativeness is one of the needs of our humanity and one of the gifts of God to us. Handicrafts also are one more way of restoring us to wholeness in the natural and psychological order so as to better restore us to Christ. The loneliness of modern people has almost reached a point of no return; but in a common effort of creativity, men and women may find someone else who is interested in similar crafts, and become friends through their craftsmanship. Friendship is still the most precious possession that a human being can share. So handicrafts open the door to both friendship and creativity. Theses aspects go together, for friendship both creates and demands creativity to grow.
Passage: Psalm 90 Verse: Psalm 90:17
Additional Scripture readings: Proverbs 31:13; Colossians 3:17
It made feel much better about taking the time to do the crafts.
I moved forward and read the passage for the weekend which was Psalm 118. I particularly liked reading Psalm 118:7 The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I then went to mass and Fr. Dennis was the presiding priest and Wow did I need his homily. What really stands out is when he said asked " How many of you ever feel alone?" He then went on to say that we should never feel alone because we only need to remember that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are with us everyday, so that we may never be alone. I needed to hear that yesterday and it lifted my spirits up a bit.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Fun at the Fest

Happenings in the Snow house...

Today has been a catchup day. For blog posts, housekeeping and vegetable preserving. The boys decided they wanted eggs and bacon for breakfast this morning. I said no problem and gave them their bowl to crack their eggs into, while I prepared the bacon for them. It was such a great photo opportunity.
And believe it or not, not one eggshell landed in the bowl. Yesterday they made sugar cookies with their friend, but I didn't have the camera handy. Next time we make them I'll try to snap some photos of them.

I have a big stockpot that my husband gave me for Christmas a few years ago and inside of it my pickles are on their final resting before I pot them into containers and put them in the refrigerator. I'll share my grandma's recipe at a later date. I can't wait to see how they turned out.

The other thing that I did today was prepared some corn for winter meals. I can remember when I was growing up how my dad's family would plant a portion of a corn field with sweet corn. When the sweet corn was ready the entire family would get together and "put corn up" for the winter months. As I grew older, I can remember helping my mom's family do the same. This is the process that we used:

Step one was to remove the husks and silks. The next thing was to add them to a pot of boiling water. I added 3 at a time, the water was able to return to boiling quickly that way. I set the timer for 2 minutes, the water had returned to boiling by this point and they had a chance to roll around in a rolling bath for 30 seconds.

I removed them from the boiling water to a cold water bath. Where they sat for 2 minutes.
The corn was then placed in a baking pan, on a towel, to let the water drain off and to finish cooling.

After they were cool to the touch and could easily be handled (about 30 minutes), I started to cut the corn off of the cob. I would first take the corn off and then after the corn had been taken off I would scrape the cob with my knife to make sure I had gotten all of the milk.
This was my bowl after I had finished cutting the corn off the cob. I then used a coffee cup to put my storage bag in and scooped up 1 cup of corn and placed in the storage bag, removed the bag from the coffee cup and added another cup of corn. Sealed the bag and removed any air bubbles and set aside until all of my corn was gone. From 26 ears of corn I was able to get nine 2-cup bags of corn for the winter months. I'm going to call my dads mom this afternoon and let her know that I "put up" some sweet corn for the winter months. I'm sure she'll be glad to hear that I tackled this on my own. And I'll call my grandpa this afternoon and thank him for the corn, that resulted in my adventure this morning. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and it didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would.

Mission to Read...Splash Station Fun

The boys and I participated in the Mission to Read Summer Reading Program through our local library. They had to turn in 4 book logs over the course of 8 weeks and if they turned in 4 logs then they would receive a ticket to go to Splash Station for them and their parents. We went to the library weekly and checked out as many as 20 books to read over the course of a week and then we would turn in their logs. A lot of reading for mom and a lot of fun listening by the boys. These are some photos of them at their big party.

Sitting in the water just watching all of the other kids. At this point in the evening he was tired.

Turning the wheel and trying to avoid getting a faceful of water. He really enjoyed himself and was not ready to go home when mom said it was time to go. A daredevil, he really wasn't afraid of anything. A watchful eye was kept on him,! He was too brave for mom!

Sitting on a water fountain. I do not know where they find their energy. At first he was dancing around the water fountains, running in and out, but then he saw the older kids standing on the fountains or sitting on them. Monkey see, monkey do...he would sit down on the fountain and then jump up to see if he could not get wet.

Vaction in the Poconos

We arrived home a few weeks ago from our 2nd vacation and I have not taken the time to add any pictures. We stayed at a family friend resort in Bushkill, PA and the boys had a blast at the Zero Depth Pool. They were very happy not to have to wear their arm floaties.

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And the above picture is of 3 of my guys looking out towards the Statute of Liberty. We took a day trip into New York City. And I was just in awe.

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We walked around so much that the baby was exhausted and just went to sleep! When we finally walked back to the van my older boys were so tired we wern't even 2 blocks from the parking garage before they were asleep.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Farmers Market Friday

Today was our library day and visit to the local farmers market. The produce is starting to come in and is beautiful. We did not buy any today as we were just given cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet corn and zucchini by mom and grandpa. My tomatotes on my tomato plants are starting to turn red. So we will have an abundance of those in the next few weeks. I'm going to use some of the cucumbers to make my Nonnie's Sweet Pickles. I think the boys will enjoy them as they love pickles. The zucchini, well, I am planning on grilling some and then making some bread out of the rest. The sweet corn, we are going to enjoy with dinner tomorrow evening and the rest (there are 2 dozen ears) I am going to freeze.

At the farmers market I picked up my flowers for the week. Beautiful lilies, sunflowers, gladiolius, daisy's, and many more little treasures. We again purchased 3 bouquets for $12. A steal in my opinoin. I chatted with the flower lady and when she asked where we had been for the last few weeks, I told her on vacation in the Poconos and that we made a trip into New York City. She and her husband both asked if we visited the Farmers Market there and I said I was able to and it is so big and busy. I then chatted with Tammy and I purchased some Mango Tea, that I cannot wait to try. She was so kind and I am going to browse her products some more and see if there is anything else that could be of some use to me. She's going to contact me about crafts shows, as I was discussing with her the crafts and things that I make and do.

Monday the boys and I went Blueberry picking at Tammen Treeberry Farm . They are/were selling blueberries for $1.40 per pound. What a great deal. They took you out to the blueberry bushes by tractor with a trailer, let you off and you pick whatever you want. They do ask that you only pick the blueberries and the ones that are not yet ripe to leave as they have 2 pickings each year. We had a great time. We went with some moms from my MOMs Group and it was nice chatting with them as the kids played. We ate lunch and then came home. We've made blueberry pancakes this week and I froze the rest, am planning on some cobblers and muffins later in the summer.

I'm all caught up on our happenings. I'm going to go and spend some time sewing.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Dresses & Granola

I have been busy sewing the last 2 days. I completed 3 dresses that I am going to be mailing off to my friend Kristi for her to give to her niece. I think they turned out cute. I had to make an alteration to the pattern of two of the dresses, because I was short on fabric, but it worked out just fine. The 3rd dress was just a matter of sewing up the sides and adding the ribbon to tie the straps. Here they are:

I have many more sewing projects that I will be working on over the next few weeks and I will add more pictures. Since we will be leaving on Sunday for our 2nd vacation of the summer, I wanted to make a snack to take in the car. So I made some granola:

It has oats, pecans, walnuts, cashews, almonds, diced papaya, diced pineapple, cranberries, strawberry cranberries, cherry cranberries, blueberry cranberries, raisins, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon and coconut. I'm sure I have forgotten an ingredient. But it turned out really good. It will be an easy snack to pack in Shannon's lunch bag as well.


I have realized in the last few days that my life is in Chaos. I could not figure out what has caused the change of events that has made me feel out of control. And then the light bulb went off over my head. Over the last 4-6 weeks, I have been neglecting my devotional readings and my other reading. I am currently reading 8-Weeks to a Well-Behaved Child and have been building new routines for the boys and watching how I speak to them. I am participating in the Honor your Husband Challenge over at Fruit in Season and have been working on being kinder to my husband. But over the course I have lost the part about taking care of me. So this afternoon, I'm going to set aside so me time with my devotions and a new book. I'll be back later to post pictures of 3 dresses that I have completed today.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Maybe this time it will stick

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I am a frequent reader of the Tales from the Scales blog. I have joined many challenges and dropped out. I have joined Weight Watchers and either quit going, cancelled my membership or thought I could do it on my own. Although I think there could possibly be something else going on (I have been dieting for the last year and have only gained weight). I would like to have a plan that I have followed for 30 days, with food journals, etc. that I can take to my doctor and say, please help me.
For that reason, I have joined the May Day Weight Loss Challenge. I have also joined in on the Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Oranizing Junkie .
I am going to plan my Menu's for the week (I need to better plan breakfast, lunch and snacks) and post on my here. But I am also going to Weigh-In on Tuesdays. I may not necessarily post my weight but will post whether it was a loss or gain. I am going to follow the points system provided by Weight Watchers. I have had success following the plan before and have faith that as long as there is not anything wrong that I can have success with the plan again. I am also a member of Ladies Workout Express and will be working my way back into going to the gym. My current plan is when the boys go to preschool, the little one and I will go to the gym and he can play in the playroom and I can workout.

Honor Your Husband

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Today is the 2nd update in the honor your husband challenge that Christine at Fruit in Season is hosting. I have to be honest and say that this has been a tough week for me. Emotionally, mentally and physically. I have had to work really hard to refrain from saying harmful things. It has been a challenge. So for this week I am going to continue to work on my goals from my original post, which I have listed below:
  • To be kind and loving towards my husband when he comes home from work. I understand he's had a hard day and to not make things harder on him by being a grump and rude when he comes home.
  • Not be short with him. Watch how I talk towards him. Don't take the troubles of the day out on him.
  • Speak openly with him about what is bothering me, but talk nicely and not be so harsh.

My items from last week, which I did not even get done:

  • Get the office cleaned up and organized. It's a diseaster and he has made comments about wanting to get it cleaned up.
  • Don't complain. Not only to him or about him. But no complaining in general. I feel as though I have become a negative person and that's not who I am.

We are leaving for vacation on Sunday the 8th and will be gone until Sunday the 15th. So I am going to post a few goals for the trip as well. Here goes:

  • Try not to get frustrated when we don't leave the hotel room until it's almost the babies nap time.
  • Find away to allow him some alone time while we are on vacation, perhaps I can take the kids to the pool or for a walk.
  • Really watch myself and make sure that I do not get angry or frustrated for reasons that I have no control over.

It will be a tough week, I was ready to come home early from our last trip. But the nice part about this trip is we are staying in a 2-bedroom villa that has 3 levels and the 3rd level is a loft. The boys and I will be playing games and reading books for our reading mission this summer up there!

Have a wonderful and blessed 2 weeks.


Menu Plan Monday

This is my first attempt at a Menu Plan Monday. I have always tried to plan my menus but sometimes get in a menu planning rut or nothing sounds even remotely good. But here goes my attempt at this week.

Monday- Hot Dogs & Chips (real healthy but it's just me & the kids)

Tuesday - Mexican Chicken Sandwiches, brown rice, salad

Wednesday - The boys and I will be taking a day trip to see my family, so I am taking a dessert to a family reunion. No cooking for me!!

Thursday - Not sure - perhaps sandwiches - again it will just be me & the boys

Friday - Steak Sandwiches, crunch time salad, faux-tay-toes

Saturday - Artichoke Tomato Pasta, salad

Sunday - We leave for vacation, so we will be eating out of the car or stopping at a restaurant.

Since we will be on vacation, I have gone ahead and planned next week's menu, so I can get some staples before we leave and then stop at a grocery store and get the perishables once we arrive.

Monday - Mediterranean Pasta with Zucchini, warm pita bread, pear slices

Tuesday - Tex-Mex Stir Fry, tortillas, chocolate ice cream

Wednesday - Tuscan Chicken & Beans, garlic cheese bread

Thursday - Skillet Ziti & Vegetables, crusty rolls & chocolate ice cream

Friday - Tomato Cheese Ravioli Soup, crusty rolls

Saturday - Sandwiches or leftovers

Sunday - We will be travelling home from vacation and eating out of the car or at restaurants.

I realize that we are eating a lot of pasta while we are on vacation, however, pasta is a nice inexpensive meal planner, especially when you are not at home and not familiar with the stove where you are going.