Fancy Girls!

Our church offers three services: a traditional liturgical service at 8:15 Sunday morning, and contemporary/traditional service at 11:00 Sunday morning and a very contemporary service at 6:00 Saturday night.  Bob calls the Saturday night service Party Church because the dress code is very relaxed, almost to the point of soccer clothes for some people, and the music is provided by the Praise Band.  Simply put, it’s not his favorite service.  The girls, however, love, love, love it!

I try very hard (OK…maybe not “very”) to avoid bribing my children to wring good behavior out of them.  This weekend, though, I was desperate: “If you’re helpful and kind today, we’ll go to Party Church this evening,” I pleaded.

It worked!!  In fact, they  were so helpful that I was able to finish up the Saturday chores about an hour ahead of schedule.  That left us time to get gussied up:


Planting Taters with Granny

The girls have no idea how lucky they are to have their great-grandparents as an integral part of their lives.  We see Granny and Grandpa (pronounced Grampa, which I learned nearly 2o years ago) at least weekly.  Generally, it’s lunch and playtime on a Sunday afternoon.  During the summer, though, the girls and I try to get out on weekdays to just let the girls run around outside.  You see, G & G have grass…and trees…and a garden.  (We’re still working on the grass and garden at home. Ugh!)

When we went this week, Granny had saved some sprouting potatoes for the girls to plant.  Whether or not the spuds survived the planting doesn’t really matter because the girls got to Plant Taters with their Granny!



















Even Josie got into the action:









Pancakes for Breakfast…or…My Little Girl is Growing Up Too Quickly

Mornings are a little rough for Lauren: she takes a theme from one of her aunts (Rachel, do you remember the agony we went through getting you up and moving in the mornings?) and would prefer to just wait to start her day until the rest of the household is ready for a late morning nap.

So, I’m continually trying to find ways to make mornings easier, less painful for her (and for the rest of us!).  This morning, I asked her to make breakfast for the family.  Lauren hopped out of bed and dashed for the kitchen.

“What am I making, Mama?”  I suggested pancakes and handed her this recipe from that fabulous site, (The only “extra” added this morning was vanilla.)

I was prepared to help her measure, pour and stir.  I left the kitchen for a moment to do my every-minute-of-every-waking-hour sweep of Josie’s mouth to clear it of small, random pieces of things, and when I came back, this is what I found:

How did she know how to measure, pour and stir?  I asked her, and she just shrugged. “I’m 8 years old, Mama.”  ANd that confirmed it…I guess.  Of course, I’m thrilled she’s growing up self-confident and able, but geez, did it have to happen so soon?

Anyway, back to breakfast.  Lauren waited impatiently and flipped with panache.










And her family ate with relish…um…syrup, actually.

A Clean Face? A Shower Everyday? Luxuries, I tell you!

Having four children is one of the best parts of my life…it’s also one of the most frustrating.  If I don’t shower before my husband leaves for work, I generally have two options: take a shower with an audience (and this audience opens and closes the shower door, often tossing in non-water-resistant objects in the shower floor) or go stinky for the day.

I’m all about trying to expedite my routines.  To date, I’ve found that since I’ve cut my hair short, I can use a 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner; I shave my legs with this, too (also, using Bob’s razor is quicker because he remembers to change his blade!  Shhhh…don’t tell him, please!); and now, I’ve found a way to wash my face morning and night that only takes a minute…at most!

I tripped over a website called the other day.  Not only did I find a lot of good ideas for cooking ahead (another post, dear friends!), but the author posted a recipe for facial cleanser/moisturizer.  I made some up, and I love it!!

Here’s the link to the original recipe (, but I, of course, had to tweak it just a bit.

6 T castor oil
(yes, the same stuff that does NOT bring on labor)
3 T olive oil
(I used cold-pressed extra-virgin because that’s what I already had)
10 drops lavender essential oil
(for stress-relieving properties)
(Thanks, Mom, for the lavender!!)

I use a cute bottle I found at Dillons, Wal-mart, Target, Aldi’s…take your pick because I can’t remember, and squeeze a little onto a cotton ball.


My Starchy Husband

Let me make an incredible statement: My husband does his own ironing!
Before kids, I would generally iron his work shirts, but his pants are too long for the ironing board, and getting them to stay in one place while I ironed a 36″ crease just made me nutty. After kids, well, let’s just say Bob went to work for a few weeks pretty wrinkled before he realized I wasn’t ironing anymore.
Once he took over, he wanted starch, starch and more starch. A can of spray starch isn’t too expensive, but a couple bottles a week was getting a little much. Add to the usage, Bob (or maybe some of his daughters) would knock off the bottle, and the floor would break the spray nozzle, rendering the (usually, of course!) full bottle useless.
Enter my craftiness…or my frustration…take your pick.  I doubled the recipe and added a few drops of lavender essential oil.  (With the oil addition, when Bob’s stressed at work, he just has to lean over and sniff his arm to calm down.)

My starchy hubby is back in business:

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