Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Joy.

Everyone around here had a wonderful Christmas.

How about you?

Now, bring on the New Year!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Parenting Success.

Holding my tongue is not my strong suit.
Especially on Monday mornings when
a sleepy, toe-headed, little boy stops me just before I go out the door
and asks me to sign a paper that he didn't do well on.

He had a ready excuse.
"It was old words.  Not the ones I studied last week."
Sure, I thought.  But held my tongue.

Then he presented me with the paper.
And sure enough, it was an old test from early November
that  had already been signed!

I'm not sure why I kept my thoughts to myself.
Usually, I'd have begun lecturing him. 
 He'd have fought back,
and the morning would've been ruined for both of us.

Instead, I left with a big hug and kiss.
And he jumped in the shower without complaint.

I thought about this on my drive to work.
Remembering all the times I've totally blown it.
And I realized that developing
parenting skills is just like old tests.
Sometimes we've done this before,
and not handled it the best, then it comes "home" again.
Hopefully, it's already been signed. 
 So to speak.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Let it Snow. Let it Snow. Let it Snow.

This can only mean one thing....

It's the first snowfall of the year!

Joshua's snowmen.

So, I decided to decorate for Christmas.

How about you?  Are you ready for winter?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Home Love.

Tonight my kids were exceptionally well behaved.
No little brothers doing they're pestering thing.
No complaints about dinner.
No fuss about finishing their homework.
We read the scriptures together, just before bedtime, and there wasn't one argument.
I'm not sure how it is that the planets aligned so perfectly,
but no complaints here.           

Then, as I was sitting here thinking about what to write,
I heard it.
A catacalysmic argument between the girls.
Something about the dishes I'm sure.

While they argued, I caught up on some of the blogs that I follow.
One in particular is by a woman who has recently lost her 13 year old son.
Her grief is almost palpable.  And I cried for her.  For her loss.
And I listened to my girls argue about the dishes. 
And I gave a silent prayer of thanks.

My children. How I love them!
I'm going to go tell them now.

Have you told yours today?

Monday, September 26, 2011

How to keep track of your kids.

A few weeks ago we got our driveway paved.
It was a very. big. deal.

That first night we played on it together as a family.
The boys let things roll down the hill.
Owen played an imaginary game of basketball.
A few days later we finally put up the new goal.
A gift from his Aunt Robyn and Uncle Mike.

My favorite driveway quote:
Olivia - "Mom I feel like we're the rich kids on the block."

That night sticks out in my mind as one of the main memories from summer.
There was nothing special about it.
No money was involved.  We didn't even leave home.
We were just a family spending time together.
Enjoying a welcomed change.
Enjoying being together.
I wish every family could enjoy impromptu moments like this.
The simple moments in life.

What have you enjoyed doing with your family?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How to solve your laundry problems.

Model Not To Scale

Dear Laundry Pile,
     We need to talk.  Things just aren't working out for me.
Your needs are just too much.  If you don't receive daily attention
you're worse than weeds in a garden.  Even your pet name, Mt. Ray, no
longer seems to fit.  
     Why laundry pile?  Is it the detergent or the fabric softener? 
I've talked to the washing machine and the dryer, and they both agree
you are out of control!
      I just can't allow you to influence my daily activities any longer.
I've decided to put you to better use.

Best regards,
The Domestic Diva

Awesome photo found while using Stumbleupon.  If you know the source please share.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The arrival of fall, a family milestone, and a persimmon pudding recipe.

Fall is here.
If I haven't told you before,
it's my favorite time of the year.

The leaves are just beginning to change.
In a week or two the hillsides will be bursting with color.

The Persimmon Festival has come to town this week.
Our little town will swell to at least twice its size.

It's the next best thing to Christmas around here.
Which means I can get the kids to do their chores without 
too much of an argument.

Like last night.
The boys did the dishes without one argument.
Not one.  
One of my hot chocolate mugs got broken.
But no arguments.
Impressive indeed.

One of my favorite treats this time of year is Persimmon Pudding.
If you're fortunate enough to get yourself some persimmons
here's a recipe.
It's the best.

2 cups persimmon pulp
2 beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Add sugar and pulp.  Add beaten eggs and mix well.
Add soda to buttermilk and stir until foaming stops.
Then add to pulp mixture. 
Sift dry ingredients together and add gradually to pulp mixture.
Add cream and butter
(which has been melted in a 9X13 baking pan, leaving enough to grease the bottom)
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Political Statement.

This is a political statement.

Josh has been telling me for weeks that his
church shoes were too small.

I kept telling him I'd get him a new pair this week.

Then I found this in the yard the other day.

I guess he's decided to take matters into his own hands.

You do know what this means?

He'll probably be barefoot at church on Sunday.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11 Remembered.

Today, and every day I am proud to be an American.

The kids and I spent the afternoon watching the stories of those
whose loved ones were lost on this tragec day 10 years ago.
  I remember some of the pictures and vidoes of that
day and they seemed just as real today as they were back then.

My kids were so young when it happened.
One wasn't even born yet.
They listened intently to my account of that morning.

I  learned of the attacks from my sister in law.
I had just finished a night shift at the hospital and as was going to bed.
She had been watching the morning news.

Both towers had already been hit. 
There were talks of it being an act of war.
But surely, I thought, it was some sort of accident.
Who would purposely do something so terrible as that?

Now, I can hardly believe the innocence of that thought.

How much our lives have changed since that day.

May this country never again know the sorrow of 9-11.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

WWE Smackdown.

If your house is anything like mine
then you know that if you leave the camera laying around
the kids will find it.
And heaven only knows what you'll find.

They're photograpy and videography skills are a-mazing!

Sometimes I delete the silliness.
Sometimes I just file it away.
And when I'm feeling nostalgic
I look through it all
and ooh and ahh over my babies
and how much they've grown.

And then every once in awhile I come across
a sweet little treasure like this.
I found this video the other day
and laughed until I cried.

I know right?  Funny.

Don't worry too much about Olivia
she is the instigator.
Do you have one those?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chorkie. Chorkie? Chorkie!

Sometimes as a parent I am a complete pushover.
And my kids know it.

Especially if they are of the blonde- hair -brown- eyed variety.
Or blue -eyed -brown- haired variety.
Doesn't really matter.
Because this post isn't really about parenting skills.

Which is exaclty why we now have one of these.

This is Daisy.

She's cute.

So is her rightful owner.

But she is a poop machine.

Sorry.  I wouldn't normally say that on here,
but it can't be helped.

If she wasn't so darned cute
I would be seriously mad at her.

She's a chorkie. 
Isn't that a funny word? 

It took a few days for Josh to come up
with just the perfect name.

Call her Princess said one,
Charley said another.

Then it happened.  Just like that.
Daisy was her name.

Sweet little flower that she is.

She really ate one of the kids' homework papers last week.
Which may or may not have been before she had a name.

Monday, August 22, 2011

"I'm running away!"

Josh.  Being Josh.

Thats what my baby said,
Then he ran out the back door
leaving a trail of chaos behind him. 

I was fixing dinner
so I watched him from the kitchen window.
 I could tell by watching him that this was gonna
last awhile. Because he was seriously mad
and the older kids had been picking on him.  Again.

    He has a fiery temper that one.

Andy and Josh eating dinner while on vacacion July 2011


   Back under the apple tree
    Andy the goat, not the cousin, had joined him.
  Just a boy and his goat.
  There they sat for awhile,
    until Andy started chewing at Josh's hair.

                             When dinner was ready there was no coaxing him in.
                                                      Papaw couldn't even do it.
                                                           At least not at first.

                        Then I saw a blonde streak dart through the kitcen
                                                          and out the back door.
                                         There he was again under the apple tree
                                                           with his dinner plate.

4H Fair 2011
                                                      Pride before hunger.

                                             It must be so hard being the baby.

                                                    He turned 9 last week.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Who's the slacker?

It pains me to admit this
But I am a slacker.
My absence from blogging only
testifies to that fact.

 I've been hanging out in blog land
visiting all of my favorite blogs
and totally neglecting my own.

The good news though is that my long
absence this summer has provided me with
loads of stuff to chat it up about,
so stay tuned.

Do you wanna know some of
my favorite places to stalk visit?

First up is Traci @ Beneath My Heart.
She's from Kentucky (but we won't hold that against her ; )
She is a talented decorator and has a serious love affair with burlap. 
She and her family have moved recently,
so join her in the journey of making
this new house a home.

Next up is sweet Noelle from Because Nice Matters.
Noelle just had a sweet baby girl, Emily. 
Or Elimy as her sweet little niece "Trouble" likes to call her.
Emily just had surgery and should be going home soon.
Head on over for a visit.  You'll love
it there.

Serene is my name, not my life is where Serene shares
her humorous stories of motherhood.  And with 5 little ones
at home she's never short on stories.  Her wit and humor
make me laugh right out loud.  Mainly because I've been there.
Hang in there sister!  Go visit her.  Her kids are adorable.

Another person that I often visit is Becca.  She's a kindergarten teacher,
but shares her love of cooking, decorating, and gardening.   Her home
is beautiful.  And I want the shed in her back yard.

And lastly, well not really lastly, but if I shared all
of the blogs that I visit you'd be here all night.

Last is Teresa over at Meadowbrook Farm.
I love. love. love. love it there.
I don't know what I envy more
her to-die-for flower beds,
mad photography skills,
or her perfect country farmhouse?
Go visit her and let me know
what you're coveting.

Now go grab a Diet Coke, or a cup of coffee, or whatever else
 you need to snuggle up in front of the computer
and enjoy some of the best sites blogging has to offer.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When Squirrels Attack.

Last week my niece was bitten by a squirrel.
I'll let you process that for a minute.

Now close your mouth.
And when you quit laughing I'll go on.

Have you ever heard of such a thing?
Me neither.

Here's the story as told by my sister, which by
the way was the second time I
had heard the story that day
because my little sister had already
called me and given me the scoop. 
She couldn't wait to tell me
because it was hilarious she was so concerned.

My niece and one of her cousins (who shall not be named)
were walking along the road when they
happened upon an injured squirrel.
The unnamed cousin left to get something to put it in;
leaving my niece with these instructions, "Don't let him get up."

As luck would have it, little squirrel raised his head. 
Being obedient to the instructions she was given
 Niece tried to push his head down.

And that's when it happened.
Cujo on the mini.
He latched onto her palm
and would not. let. go.

When shaking her hand wouldn't rid her
of the tiny vermin,
 she was forced to yank him loose
and Little Squirrel limped away.

Now, there is a lesson to be learned here.
Several actually.
1.  Injured little squirrels do not like to keep their heads down.
2.  Being instructed to keep an injured little squirrel's head down is bad advice.
3.  Injured little squirrels have cat like reflexes and jaws like vice grips.
4.  If you see an injured little squirrel you should probably walk away.

Squirrel 1 Niece 0

We are such a close family.  We were way concerned about Niece
and breathed a huge sigh of relief when we learned that the wound would
be ok and didn't need any care other than basic first aid and that rabies was not a concern.

We would never dream of nicknaming her
Squirrel Girl, or Squirrly, or anything else like it.

If she starts collecting nuts for the winter or
develops some sort of weird squirrel sense I'll let you know.

; )


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Same Door. New Look.

Earlier this spring we got a new screen door.
It is a full view type. 
(How's that for a description?)

The main door is made of wood
and was in desperate need of attention.

A couple of weeks ago I painted the entire door black.
But wasn't thrilled with it.
It was better than the dirty white
that it had been, but it was so...

So, after doing some thinking
and some painting this is
what I've come up with.

I'm thinking a better message might have been
"Enter At Your Own Risk!"

; )

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Family Pictures

I love pictures.
I have my favorite ones in frames all around my house.
I've shared some of them with you.

When I go to other's homes I love to look at their pictures
and hear about the stories behind them.

I think I prefer snapshots to professional photos.
I believe it's those that tell the stories of our lives.

The other day a lady at work and I were talking.
As it turns out she grew up next to my family.

She and her sisters were often cared for by my great grandmother.
They loved her so much that they continue to call her Mamaw Kiefner.
 She brought me this picture a few days later.

Amanda Kiefner 1969

I barely remember Mamaw.
 I was 5 when she passed away.
  But I love to hear stories about her.
 She was a remarkable woman.
   Kind hearted and gentle.

    This picture is priceless to me.
   I'm  so glad that someone took the time to take it that day.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weekend In Review.

2005.  Waiting for their gifts that we brought them from Florida.
Josh's expression is priceless.  

This weekend I painted my front door black.
I'm still not sure if I like it.
I read once that people who wear black
are trying to not be noticed.
I wonder what that means about my front door?

I planted impatiens in the flower bed behind the house.
I still haven't done anything with the flower beds in front.
The weeds have taken over.
I should let the goats take care of it.

I did a few hundred loads of laundry
(which may or may not be an exaggeration)
and there's still a pile of clothes in the laundry room floor.

I went to the store and forgot the milk.
Seriously, who forgets the milk?

Josh has called Meghan "Chubby Button" all weekend.
She doesn't like it.

Olivia gave Katie a bath.
But didn't brush her.

Andy and Kaden came over earlier.
They woke me from my nap.
They hadn't been over in awhile.
So I didn't mind.
Even when they got the boys all wired up.

One of the topics that was talked about at church today
was being optimistic.
With that in mind I'm
working on developing good thoughts
for the week ahead.

But, I'm going to bed now.
Because 5 o'clock comes
way. too. early.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger was down yesterday
and somehow my last two posts were gone.
Missing.  Vanished.

So I've reposted them.
Mainly cause I like the kids in them.

Unfortunately I lost the comments that
were left by visitors. 
But I'm glad you stopped by
and left a note.
I love logging on and seeing that someone has left a comment.
(That's one of the best things about blogging.)

I'm working in the garden this weekend
if anyone wants to stop by and help...

Have a good weekend.

Happy Birthday Meghan.

       Today Meghan turns 17. She’s thrilled about it.
        She even set the calendar reminder on my phone.

 As if I wouldn’t remember
 the birth of the child that hurdled me into motherhood.

I love Meghan.

Her birthday this year is bittersweet,
a reminder that she’ll be leaving the nest soon.
But I can’t think about that today because I’ll cry.
 And I don’t feel like crying today.

Last weekend was Meghan’s junior prom.
She went with another couple.
They’ve been best buds since preschool.


Once when Meghan was around two,
we were leaving Wal Mart when Meghan said:

“You want to hear a dirty joke?”
Will and I looked at each other mortified
thinking where in the world did she hear a dirty joke?
“Sure.” I said not sure of what I was going to hear.
Just knowing that my precious two year olds mind had forever been polluted.
 “A boy fell in a muddy puddy.”
And with that she fell into a fit of two year old giggles
and leaving this momma
with her first of many mothering moments
  never to be forgotten.


Happy Birthday Meghan.

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