Monday, December 31, 2012

I'm Back!

After my unintentional break from blogging, thanks to several days without internet service and then dealing with a nasty flu virus, I'm back and ready to go.

The girls are still sick, but they're so much easier to care for than Buddy was. He wanted to be held constantly and by no one but me.

I had stopped making New Year's resolutions a long time ago. Maybe it was the goals I set that were too unrealistic, and then the feeling of failure and disappointment when I realized that I had broken them usually within the first few days that made me decide not to make any more.

Rosebud was enthused about making some New Year's resolutions and as we were discussing them we decided to make resolutions that involved the whole family. This year we are taking a slightly different approach and we're creating a list of twelve things we would like to do in 2013. The idea was to pick one thing off the list each month and concentrate on it.

January we'll be trying a new recipe every day. Another month we want to walk to the tunnel on a nearby hiking trail at least twice a week. Someone else chose for us to sing several songs every night before we go to bed.

For the first time ever I'm actually looking forward to achieving everything on our list, and having a lot of fun while doing so.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fun Question and Answers ~ Part 2

How many cousins do you have?

I have ninety-seven cousins. The oldest is ten years younger than my mother and the youngest is a few months younger than Sunbeam. Since I was born close to the middle of this group I don't know the oldest or the youngest very well, but used to have so much fun with those close to my age.

Are you taller than your mother?

Yes, I'm almost two inches taller than she is.

Do you have any pets?

We're a family of dog people, but instead of a dog the only pet we have is a gray cat that someone dropped off. It adopted us and well, we all kind of like it. A lot.

Do you play an instrument?

Does a harmonica count as an instrument?

What is your favorite shampoo?

I don't have a favorite shampoo. I usually use one brand until my hair no longer reacts to it the way I want it too and then I switch to something else. Currently I'm using Total Care.

What did you do yesterday?

Besides the daily dozen I washed several loads of bedding, did a pile of mending, went grocery shopping, enjoyed digging through a box filled with Christmas goodies that the mailman delivered from my parents, took the children to their last pageant practice for the season and picked them up once it was over.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fun Question and Answers ~ Part 1

Recently I received a long list of questions from someone who suggested I may want to answer them on my blog.

I won't be doing them all at once since there were more than a hundred of them.

Are you allergic to anything?

I get really, really sick when ever I eat peanuts, but strangely I can eat peanutbutter without anything happening. Several days ago I tried eating half of a peanut that was included in a basket filled with Christmas treats. They had a coating that everyone was decribing as really delicious and I wanted to see how it was. I paid dearly for eating that peanut half.

What was the first car you drove?

For years we had only one vehicle. An F-350. It was several years after we left the Amish before I drove an actual car. It was an old Monte Carlo that a friend loaned to us so I could care for their animals while they were on vacation.

What was your first job?

My first job was working as hired help for an overworked mother.  It wasn't a very good experience. You can read about it here.

What is the last book you read?

The last book I read was Tea and Trouble Brewing by Dorcas Smucker.  Currently I'm reading The Lesson by Suzanne Woods Fisher.  Both wonderful books!

Who is your favorite comedian?

I always enjoy a good laugh. Jeanne Robertson never fails to deliver. Here is one of my favorites from her




Monday, December 17, 2012

Scattered Thoughts

My mind seems to be going in so many different directions this morning that I decided instead of focusing only on one single topic I'll share a handful of different things I have been pondering.
~~~~~
A subject that has been weighing heavily on me, same as on millions of others is the senseless tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook.  I won't even pretend to know or give answers why it happened or how it could have been prevented.

I will though hug my children a little closer and cherish everyday we have together.

~~~~~

Last night our children joined the rest of the children from our church to go to a nursing home to sing. When they got home Rosebud shared her experience in great detail. She felt sorry for everyone there and assured LV and I we would never have to live at a place like that.

Caring for the elderly is something I really admire that the Amish do. Older people are cherished, loved, and still very important part of the family. Once they can't care for themselves they can rest in the knowledge that they will be well taken care of by their children or grandchildren. For those that weren't blessed with children, nieces and nephews are more than willing to make those last years as pleasant as possible.

~~~~~

Our oven stopped working yesterday. I had been hoping to bake and decorate some Christmas cookies this week and I had also signed up to bring dessert to the Christmas pageant at church. My initial reaction after discovering that the stove doesn't work was deep frustration, but now I realize without the means to do all of the baking I had planned to do it will free up some more time to relax and enjoy the season.

I'm trying to view this as a blessing in disguise.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mornings

I love mornings like this morning.
 


 
Now if we would get a generous layer of snow it would be perfect!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. So, when did you last take a walk in the woods? A stroll along the beach? A drive going nowhere in particular in the car?

The last time I took a walk in the woods was more than a year ago. We took a stroll along the beach in July and I can't remember the last time we drove no where in particular in a car. Maybe if gas prices would come down it would happen more often.

2. Are you sending Christmas cards this year? About how many do you send? Photo card or something more traditional? How do you display the cards you receive?

I will be sending out traditional Christmas cards this year. But unlike most years this time only a few cards will be mailed. We usually display the cards we receive on top of our rolltop desk.

3. What's a word you've heard too much of in the past week?

Does a whining cry count as a word?  Buddy is teething and has a cold so a whining cry has replaced his usual cheerful sounds.

4. December 13th is National Cocoa Day-are you a fan? Plain or flavored? Marshmallows or no marshmallows?

I enjoy it and prefer plain rather than flavored and lots of mini marshmallows.

5. What is something you do to help alleviate the hectic pace of the Christmas season?

This year we aren't getting into the whole hectic pace thing. Our Christmas will be a fun filled day with our family and a few gifts. I'm not preparing a lot of treats and the only decorating that will occur is our small Christmas tree in the corner of our livingroom.

6. Besides jewelry, what's a favorite sparkly-glittery item in your home or closet?

I don't think I have anything sparkly-glittery in my house.

7. Share a favorite line or two from any Christmas carol.

I love Christmas carols and Rhonda Vincent's version of O, Beautiful Star of Bethlehem is one of my favorites.  Right now I'm wishing we would get lots and lots of snow so my current favorite line is "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Today looks like a perfect day to get some more sewing done. I'm hoping to finally make a dress for Rosebud with the fabric she has been keeping her eye on for quite a long time already. There isn't a whole lot of time to work on it, but those few hours when they are at our church's pageant practice keep getting put to good use and hopefully by Christmas morning the dress will be ready.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Marshmallow Buggy

Every Christmas when I was a little girl Grandma Mast used to make marshmallow buggies for all the grandchildren. I used to think it was so cute that I hated to think of eating it. Instead I would keep it on the top of my dresser until the marshmallow was hard and the rest was too dusty to eat. My brothers never had that problem. By the time we got home from Grandma's house all that was left of theirs was a little piece of thread and the toothpicks.

After telling Rosebud and Sunbeam about those little treats they wanted to try making them this year.

Last week I got the last of the supplies we needed and last evening seemed like the perfect time to create them.

Supplies needed:

Regular marshmallows
Animal crackers
Lifesavers
Gummi bears
Toothpicks
Thread
Scissors
Water


Take a marshmallow and insert two toothpicks with just enough space between them to place an animal cracker between them. Take a short piece of thread and tie the animal cracker to the toothpicks to keep it from falling. Next take two lifesavers, preferably the same color and carefully dip one side into water and stick them to the side of the marshmallow. Dip the bottom of a gummi bear into the water and place on top of the marshmallow. Set aside to dry.

Try not to move until the water has had time to dry to insure that the lifesaver wheels and the gummi bear will stick properly.

These are a hit at our house. Very easy to make and so cute!

Friday, December 7, 2012

For the Love of Curls

Last night the children were part of a Christmas program. A kind lady came and did most of the girls hair in a lovely Victorian style up-do. Rosebud absolutely loved it and when it was time for bed she was sad that it had to come down.

This morning she was talking about working in a hair salon once she's grown up. Obviously feeling like a princess for a few hours made her want to pass that feeling along to others.

A few minutes ago Sunbeam came running to find me, saying that there's an emergency and Rosebud needs me right away. She grabbed hold of my hand and we went hurtling down the hallway while all sorts of possible emergency related situations flashed through my mind. I wasn't prepared to see what I saw as we rounded the corner and the most pitiful sight met my eyes. Rosebud was standing in front of the bathroom mirror with a comb hopelessly stuck in her hair after being substituted for a curling iron.

I tried my best to untangle it, but soon saw the only option I had was to cut it out.

Per her request we'll be keeping the picture of her new look for our family only. So instead I'll share a picture of the envelope that contains her failed attempt of lovely curls.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Treadle Fun

As a little girl I used to love playing with the treadle of Mom's sewing machine. My brother's and I could spend hours sitting on the floor in front of it, pumping it up and down, pretending to be doing all sorts of things.

Our children have enjoyed playing with it too. Sailor and Rosebud have grown out of that phase and Sunbeam is at the verge of doing the same. She still plays with it occasionally, but bigger and bigger chunks of time pass between her taking a few minutes to play there.

Last week Buddy discovered the treadle and it seems to hold a big attraction for him. He scoots over to it and tries his best to pump it. So far his efforts only pay off a small percentage of the time, but he keeps trying.

I still love my treadle sewing machine and don't see me ever making the transition to an electric model. Not only do I like using it to sew, I'm also happy how the children have been able to get the same enjoyment out of it that I used to as a little Amish girl.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Invitation from Rosebud

Rosebud loves words and I can count on finding her sitting somewhere everyday writing away. She has a book filled with short stories she has written and another of songs she has composed. Another of her favorites is creating menus and then sending invitations to the rest of the family.

One of her latest invitations made me chuckle and I'm sharing it today, with her permission.

Please come to the Kinsinger family restaurant this evening where we will be serving haspatchi style food. Please bring your chopsticks for eating and a bed sheet to use and share for napkins.

No purses or large handbags inside the restaurant for we are tired of our salt shakers and fancy napkins disappearing.

All customers will be asked to turn their pockets inside out before being allowed to leave the restaurant.

How she ever came up with that is beyond me, but I'm tucking it into a box along with the rest of the things the children created that I want to keep.