Thursday, January 31, 2008

Happy Birthday, Lurker!

A very Happy Birthday to my lurking childhood friend who I'm sure will be reading this post! I know you've never posted any comments or even acknowledged to me that you read this, but I know that you do because of comments your family has made to me regarding your thoughts on some of the entries (like Timothy's mural on our bedroom wall and the combination of ketchup and hot dogs!) I will not reveal your identity, but I do hope you know that I appreciate you keeping in touch with our family through this blog. I wish you a very happy birthday, and may your husband and children treat you special on this day!!

PS Please comment sometime ... or at least email me to let me know you're out there! :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Comments Overheard

Yesterday I sent the boys out to play since it was so nice and I had heard that it was supposed to warm up enough to possibly melt the snow today. They didn't really want to go and kept making excuses until I mentioned that they could take the sleds out and go sledding down the hill. Well, that sure got them going! They ran outside and off to the side of the house where I can't see them, unfortunately. Since I knew where they were, I was able to open the window in the living room to at least hear what they were up to. I heard them laughing so heartily and obviously having a blast, so I lingered a bit to eavesdrop on their play. That's when I heard Stephen say, "I never knew that something Mommy told us to do could be so much fun! I love this, Timothy!"

That sure got my curiousity up because I still couldn't see them, and for some reason, I just wasn't trusting that they were innocently sledding down the hill anymore! I pictured them jamming our neighbor's exhaust vents with snow or throwing snowballs over the fence into their shed or something, so I went out to investigate. I figured I would only be out there a few minutes to spy on them so I just slid on my boots and ran out the door. Stephen saw me, however, and all play stopped immediately. He asked me why I was out there and I told them that I just wanted to see what they were doing. I asked what they were up to and they came to life again telling me all their sledding experiences. But then Stephen stumped me with another question: "Mommy, why are you so blank?" Huh?! He repeated himself, "Why are you out here so blank?" "Why am I so WHAT?!" "So BLANK! You don't have a coat on!"

Now that's an interesting way to put it, isn't it? I've been described in many different ways, but I've never been called BLANK before. Knowing that they really, truly were just having fun sledding down the hill, I turned around and came back in before he came up with another word to describe me.

Friday, January 25, 2008

We Got A Dog!!

Actually, we just got a dog for the day. Or rather, we just had him for the morning. By the afternoon, he was tired of being around, so he was dismantled.

Today was Character Day at school. Stephen dressed up as Clifford, the Big Red Dog. He was so excited before school as he put on his red outfit, slipped his dog tag over his neck, adjusted his ears and attached his tail. He was crawling all over the house barking at everyone until I reminded him that Clifford was a very thoughtful dog and he did a lot of things to help his friend, Emily Elizabeth, and her family.

We enjoyed creating Clifford this week. Stephen enjoyed being a dog and the other boys enjoyed having a pet. This is as far as we'll get in owning a real dog. (I hope I don't have to eat my words some day because I really, really don't want a real dog!!)

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Cookie Kitchen Lives On!

Can you believe it?! I got a call today from a woman up the street who purchased some Christmas cookies from The Cookie Kitchen and she asked if we would be interested in baking cookies for her family on a regular basis! Unbelievable! She is probably in her early 50's and confessed to me that she never baked a cookie in her life ... she wouldn't even have a clue how to do it! Marianne told me that her husband has been begging her to call me and see if they could buy cookies every month from us, or did they have to wait until next Christmas. I told her that we would be happy to bake for her, and wondered if she and her family would mind being a "test" family for us. We have been wanting to experiment on some of the cookies to make some changes or possibly add some new ones, and what a perfect way to try them out on the general public!

So, The Cookie Kitchen is back in business after a month's vacation! Woo hoo!! Thank you, Lord! Just this afternoon I was talking with my sister-in-law about Fred's brother Henry's wedding coming up in July in Vancouver, BC. We were talking about how expensive it's going to be to fly there, rent a vehicle, book a hotel, possibly stay the next week to go to Warm Beach Camp, etc. I made the comment that it's getting more and more expensive as we keep thinking about it. She told me that I'd just have to sell more cookies to get us there and I laughed at her, telling her that the cookie business was done until November! And then Marianne called just minutes after I hung up! Now, Marianne's order will NOT fly our family out to BC by a long shot, but I guess God wanted me to know that He's still got plans for us.

Cookies, anyone? We're back in business!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Knock Knock Jokes

These have been our favorites lately. Would anyone PLEASE have any new ones to share with us?!

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Boo Who?
Why are you crying?

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Chooch Who?
Chooch Who! Here's comes the train!

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Ach Who?
Bless you!

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Cow's go
Cow's go Who?
No they don't! Cows go MOO!

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Eyes Who?
Eyes got a knock knock joke for you.
Knock Knock
Who's there?
Ears Who?
Ears another knock knock joke.
Knock Knock
Who's there?
Nose Who?
I nose another knock knock joke.
Knock Knock
Who's there?
Chin Who?
Chin up. I don't know any more knock knock jokes!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


For those of you not interested in reading about Watkins, sorry, but I just have to post this today! Today is Wednesday: Anti-Procrastination Day according to This is the day you are supposed to do something that you keep putting off and just get it done already! I decided to tackle some spots on the carpet in the boys' room. No one seems to remember what it's from, but it's black. Very black. Very penetrated. Very un-removable. (Poor grammer, I know, but I want to prove a point.) I have tried all kinds of things on those black, greasy, thick spots, but they did not move, except to smear with each attempt to remove them. I very hesitantly pulled out my Watkins All-Purpose Cleaner (Lavendar scent!! Mmmmmm.) and thought "I've tried everything else. I'll see if these Watkins-loving people are telling the truth about this stuff working on spots in the carpet." I was grumbling to myself the whole time because I KNEW it wouldn't work! How could a plant-based, non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner made out of purified water, coconut-based surfactant, and lavendar and rosemary oils do any good on my light beige carpet except to smear those spots even more!

Well, I wish I would have taken before and after pictures! Honestly, truly, I can't believe it, but those spots are GONE! I sprayed it on, gave it a minute or two ... just in case it needed it ... and rubbed those spots right up! You cannot see them anymore! What an eyesore before, and now you would never know that there were huge black blobs on that floor! I couldn't believe it! I'm telling you guys the truth! It really, really worked!

I was on such a lavendar-scented roll that I pulled out the window cleaner and went around the house and did all the windows and mirrors, too! Again, that window cleaner, used with skepticism at first, has become a miracle-cleaner for me! All of our closet doors are mirrors so I see smeary fingerprints all over the place all the time! This stuff (also made with the same ingredients) does not smear, it leaves no residue and it makes the house smell heavenly!

If any of you local readers ever want to try these out, you are more than welcome to borrow my stuff just to see. You have to promise to give it back, though, because now I would be lost without it! Seriously, you won't believe it until you try it!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Profound Discovery

Last night the Tiny Tots were in front of the congregation singing their Tiny Tot songs for us. I walked back into the sanctuary after taking Christopher to the babyroom and the kids were already standing up in their places ready to start singing. Stephen, however, was off to the side by himself, obviously scanning the crowd for us. When I walked in the back doors, his whole body showed that he had seen me at last and the waving and jumping and smiling and more waving and more jumping and more smiling began. Throughout the rest of the evening, Stephen would stop every once in awhile to make eye contact with me and wave again. At the end, the children were dismissed to go sit with their parents and Stephen ran to me while Timothy ran to Daddy. On the way home, Stephen shared a four-year-old's profound discovery with us: "Mommy, did you know that you know how to find your parents by their faces? If you didn't have a face, I wouldn't know where to find you. All I had to do was look for your face and then I knew where you were!"

Once again, my little child hit me with a bit of Biblical truth! All I have to do to find my Father is look for His face! Then I'll know where He is! This morning I looked up "face of God" in my concordance. Many verses, especially in the Psalms, talk about seeking God's countenance or face or being. The word "face" seems to mean all of God, not just a physical face, but an entire entity, a presence. King Jeroboam asked a prophet to entreat the face of God for his healing. The psalmist speaks often of God's face shining on us. Psalm 24 says that those who seek God's face are the ones who have clean hands, a pure heart, are not given up to vanity, etc. They are the ones who will ascend to God' holy hill and will receive the blessings of the Lord!

Did you know that you could find your Parent by His face? He has one, and if you look for it, you'll know exactly where He is! He's already standing there waiting for you to see Him, and He's ready to wave to you, too! With a big smile on His face!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dora the Explorer

For those of you familiar with the character, Dora, you'll be able to understand this post. Dora is a spunky little hispanic girl that goes on missions with her friend, Boots, a little boot-wearing monkey. Her job is to save her friends by using a map to reach the final destination, getting her friends to safety.

The boys have been playing "Dora" lately. One will put on their white tennis shoes and the Dr. Suess backpack, equipped with a Pennsylvania/New York map, and the other one puts on a pair of red rubber boots. I can hear them as they go around the house, stopping every once in awhile to check their map to find the Knock-Knock Door or Tico's Tree or the Tall Mountain. The most amusing part is that they do it all while speaking their version of spanish! They've got some of the voice inflections and even phrases correct, too! I heard Stephen saying to Timothy, "Donde esta the tree?" and then Timothy gives some answer in "spanish" and they both go running off to the basement to find the tree.

I love how they have learned to play together and to really use their imagination. It reminds me so much of our childhood and how (remember this, Mom?) we used to put a clothes basket on our heads and play "Grandma Schley" because she had a neat little roll of hair around the base of her head. I love how the boys are imitating things they see in their lives, but when Timothy asked me for a pink shirt so he could be Dora, I kind of drew the line. Besides, we don't have pink shirts in this house that would fit 3 and 4 year old boys!

Wouldn't it be fun to immerse yourself in imaginative play again? Forget the real world and just become someone or something else for a while? I'll confess. It IS fun! I got drafted into being the Knock-Knock Door yesterday and I had to listen to knock-knock jokes over and over and laugh as if I'd never heard them before in my life! When I heard one I particularly liked, I was allowed to open the door for my little Dora and Boots to pass through. We had a lot of fun playing Dora yesterday. I'm sure we'll be playing again today, too. And probably tomorrow. And probably Saturday. And probably Sunday ..... I love it!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

In The Words of Winnie the Pooh...

In the words of Winnie the Pooh, today is a blustery day. We heard the wind howling all night. I heard objects being blown down the street. I heard our vent caps on the roof slamming down relentlessly. This morning Fred took the recycle box out to the curb and less than a half hour later, I noticed the box was flipped upside down and all our recyclables were blowing down the street. I ran out and tried to gather them all back, but I just couldn't bring myself to walk up on my neighbor's porch to retrieve the Corn Flake box that was plastered up against their railing. I don't know, maybe I should have, but it was only 7:20 in the morning and I just couldn't do it.

It's a blustery day for sure, so I've just ground some Koffie Fabriek Aroma Bandoeng coffee from Indonesia (funny, there's a sticker on it that says 'MADE IN TAIWAN') and I'm going to observe nature from inside today. This is the first time I'm trying this special coffee from Roger and Amy so I'm not sure how I'll be the rest of the day. It smells nice and strong so I hope I'm not overpowered with caffeine! I'm also going to have it with one of my muffins that I made yesterday. I had to hide one from the boys because they wanted to eat them all right from the oven yesterday! If you're feeling muffin-y today, try these! They're wonderful.

Wheat Germ Muffins
1 c sour cream (I used light)
1 c brown sugar (I used about 3/4)
1/4 c butter (I used less)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 c flour (probably could have used whole wheat but I was out)
1 c wheat germ
Mix above ingredients together and pour into muffin tins. Bake at 375 for approx. 20 min. (My recipe didn't give a time, so I guessed.)

These muffins are best shared with a devotional in front of you or over a cup of coffee with a friend!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Pictures

I haven't had a chance to share any of our Christmas pictures, so here they are! The memories are still warm and fuzzy for us!

Ruthie and Walter at our Christmas dinner at Richard and Margie's. Wonderful, but messy ribs for our meal!
Christopher got into Dianne and Gabe's gift before he was supposed to! Our whole wheat beer batter bread was slowly becoming just whole wheat bread because Christopher kept carting off the cans of beer! Allyson's consecutive shots of this or Fred's video would be much more appropriate in capturing the hilarity of this little toddler getting into the unopened beer!
Oma and Opa sharing a moment at the Weinhardt Christmas dinner at Claudia and Matthias'.
Stephen is modeling Laurel's Christmas hairband. Laurel is looking a little jealous of how good Stephen looks, but she shouldn't worry. It looked much better on her!
We had a wonderful week visiting our family and friends over Christmas. The boys already have plans for next year's activities because they had so much fun! It's too bad we can't get together like this every week!
I also semi-promised my friend a blog entry about a short car trip across town that ended with her being stranded in my sister's driveway. No names to be mentioned, but I must say that I was humored more than she was when we realized it was just that she ran out of gas. Thank God for a lawnmower's reserve of enough gasoline for her to get back home, and thank Him also that it was at the end of the driveway and not down the street somewhere as she was driving with no wallet, no phone, no AAA card, no nothing! I guess we can't blame our teenagers for doing silly things like this when we get caught ourselves, right? (It was great seeing you again and memories like this are always a joy!)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my dad's 67th birthday. We called him to sing Happy Birthday this morning, but unfortunately he had already gone to work. Grandma got to hear our song instead. Stephen told us that on the bus when the kids sing Happy Birthday to someone, they always say, "Are you 1? Are you 2? Are you 3?" etc. until they reach the birthday child's age. I told him it would take us too long to sing that part to Grandpa this morning. He can count way past 67, but the attention level of singing this into an inactive black phone just wouldn't have been there.

My dad:
* Is a Christian
* Is a husband
* Is a father
* Is a grandfather
* Is a friend
* Is a firstborn
* Is a comic
* Loves to do brainteaser games with kids
* Loves to discuss the Bible
* Loves to discuss computers
* Loves to save things
* Loves to tinker
* Loves popcorn
* Knows a lot of trivia
* Knows a lot of people
* Knows a lot of scripture
* Knows how much gasoline prices are all over the area
* Can talk to anyone
* Can use the tiniest scrap of paper to write a note
* Can play with the kids for hours without getting bored
* Can play the saxophone
* Can make people smile
* Has been a wonderful dad
* Has been married for 43 years
* Has had too many broken wrists (and other bones)
* Has a great family

Happy Birthday, Dad! We love you!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy 2008!

What a beautiful world we woke up to this morning! Actually, it's more like what a beautiful world we went to sleep to this morning. The snow is at least 6" deep and the fresh, white snow covered over the world, as if it had buried the old year and left us a clean new start to 2008. It was just breathtaking to see! What a promise this was to me this morning as I stood at the window looking at the untouched snow. We have the promise in Isaiah 1:18 "Come let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." and Psalm 51:7 "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Looking out at the perfect snowfall, I could feel God's comforting reminder that He has taken my sins and removed them as far as the east is from the west and now He was giving me the chance to start brand new again. His mercies are indeed new every morning, but the reminder in the covering of snow was very powerful for me today. I get to start all over again!

Last night we had a party here with some friends and their children. What fun! I wasn't sure how the boys would handle things, but they had a good long nap in the afternoon and I told them that they could stay up as long as they could handle it. Christopher didn't get that privilege. He was put to bed after we got home from church, but Timothy lasted until about 11:45. Stephen, on the other hand, took full advantage of his ultimate dream: staying up until Mommy and Daddy went to bed! (Almost, but don't tell him that!) He was up until our last guests left around 1:30. He was in his glory playing with the other kids, eating cookies without being supervised, experiencing sparklers for the first time, shoveling snow at 1:00 in the morning! Wow. He loved it!

We had a lot of fun last night eating great food, telling funny stories, doing a craft (that bombed) with the kids, playing Outburst and just having a great time together, but at midnight, we stopped to thank the Lord for the old year and invite Him into our new year. Fred said something that really hit me last night before he prayed. He mentioned that everyone in the room had gone through things this past year that may have been difficult or burdensome to us personally, but he encouraged us to leave those burdens behind and let God take care of them in the new year. Looking around the room, I reflected on job issues, health issues, concerns with children, spiritual struggles, etc. Yes, we all did have some burden that we had to deal with in the past year. Did we really have the faith to leave it in the Lord's hands and not carry them with us into 2008? That's something to really ponder.

Well, even though I have no more splint on my finger and my typing is pretty good now, it's still painful to be sitting here pounding out the keys. Not to worry! I'm hoping that I can now be back on a more regular basis!

Happy New Year to you all! I encourage you to also leave your 2007 burdens with the Lord and walk with Him in faith in 2008, letting Him carry those burdens for you!