Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cold and blustery!!!

This is truly a winter day here at home!  It's how my life is right now.  At home.  In my happy space.  Warm and cozy.  Holding baby and playing "Guess Who" with Ashlyn!  Then we fold more laundry.  :)))

Staying home and indoors is my way of living at the time being!  I am the type that likes to get out a little each day if possible instead of waiting till I have many errands to go and do.  But it's different with a baby!  A lot different actually!  Austin eats, plays and then naps.  He is a momma baby right and every time he see's me, he cries for me to pick him up.  He does good in his car seat but going out in the wind and cold, if I don't HAVE to, it's better if we just stay at home!  However, it is fun to go down to moms or visit Mommy D. now and then if I want to have the afternoon away from home!  Last week we played some "Panic"!

Thursday is cleaning day for me here at home!  It takes a lot longer now with more to clean.  Going from two bathrooms to four and having A LOT more floors to clean up and sweep ... takes time.  If I'm honest, it looked overwhelming to me when we first moved back home.  I was thinking that if I had outside work to keep up with yet, I would be stressed with too much work!  I guess that's one advantage with moving in the winter months.  I focus on the inside work only and I'm already getting into a system!  My cleaning days are still work but it's going faster!  This morning, I started as soon as the kids were off to school.  Ashlyn was still sleeping and baby boy was fussing and playing as a cleaned.  Ashlyn does a great job entertaining Austin, especially in the morning and it worked to my advantage today!  When she woke up, they played together and then it was soon time for his morning nap.  That's when I can really get to cleaning!!!  :)

Hunter and Adrian came for awhile today too.  This must be cousin week with Shakia being here yesterday!  :)  Adrian went down for his nap soon after they got here and the two older children went off to play.  I woke up this morning thinking "bake bread".  Because my cleaning went well and it was already finished before lunch, I decided to mix the dough and bake some homemade bread.  It's been a long time since I baked bread.  I would do this a lot more often if Matthew would like it better than store bought bread.  He says that the toast just falls apart when he dips it in his morning hot chocolate.  And it's not the bread he likes for sandwiches.  I'm not one to make bread and then buy some too.  So, we just buy bread.  But recently we got to talking about health and the preservatives in food.  Bread is one that must have a lot of preservatives because a loaf of bread lasts a really long time before it molds or goes bad.  So, I opened up my old Weavertown Cookbook and mixed the dough and kneaded it in my Bosch and then left it rise.  Then I divided it into four loaves and let it rise again.  After it was baked, the house smelled amazing!!!  I'm sure Matthew will love this bread for supper along side some hot soup and a simple salad!  He does love it fresh and warm with butter and jelly.  I'm gonna try to really brag it up and see who all votes for only homemade bread in the house!!!  :)  It tastes so much better and is so good! 

This is what these two play a lot when they are at our house ... doctor.  They played while I made bread.

Silly ...

Hunter and Ashlyn love each other and play really nice together.  They play doctor.  They play hunting and fishing.  They sometimes play baby and kitchen.  They are best buds and recently I thought about it that I don't have that many pictures of them together.  So I grabbed the camera and took some today!

When Adrian woke up, I gave him some cooked carrots and then graham crackers for his lunch.  The other kids spied the crackers and wanted some milk to dip them into.  Giggles and milky fingers were created!  ;)

He's so cute!

Look at this ... Hunter is on the left and an old picture of Matthew on the right.  Everyone says how Hunter looks so much like Matthew.  We now hear that Austin looks like Hunter.  When Hunter came here today wearing Matthew's old hat, I had to take a picture of this!  They really do look alike.  Cousins.

The homemade bread turned out wonderful!!!  Ashlyn asked for a warm slice with butter and jelly!  Yes ma'am!


Outside ... it's cold.  Cold like last winter!  We are having freezing tempts day and night.  The wind is howling today but you can't hear it from inside because now we have a tight, well built home!  The roads are more of a mess today than yesterday but the children still had school.  The roads got snow drifted and messy as the day went on.  Small groups was canceled last night and volleyball games are canceled for tonight.  That means it will be another evening at home!!!  Yes!!!

Freeze the germs and bring on Spring!!! 
I drove out to Target last night all. by. myself!!!  Baby's formula was getting scarce and I needed to go get more.  It was a quick little outing ... just me.  :)  Mentioning Spring ... if I get the winter blues, I will go shopping.  :)  Heehee.  Target now has all their Spring clothes and the soft colors of pink and blue and purples and yellows just melted my heart!  I wanted to buy all kinds of things but stuck to the baby formula, some hygiene and a pair of pants for Austin off the clearance rack.  I did good!  ;)
It will be another fun night right here at home with hubby and the kiddoes!  

Stay warm!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Crazy snow day!

We are all home again today.  A few inches of snow feel yesterday making the roads slick this morning and it kept the kids home from school ... again.  We are using up all our 'snow days' and I sure hope we will be able to keep the last of school the same original date!!!

What do we do on snow days?  Sometimes we do puzzle.  Sometimes we bake.  Sometimes we clean.  Or build a snowman.  Today, we went for baking.

We made soft sugar cookies in the shapes of snowflakes.  This recipe was shared on here before so I won't repeat myself.  Hadassah mixed while I put the ingredients back on the shelf.  While she was mixing, I was also digging into the flour and made two big Stromboli's.  The cookie dough needed to chill for an hour and Ashlyn kept asking me when it's time to cut them into snowflake shapes.?.  An hour later, we were all around the bar playing with chilled dough!

Our large bar area in the kitchen is so perfect for baking and mixing and especially for rolling out dough!  We sprinkled some flour on the counter and rolled out the dough thin.  Then we cut snowflakes shapes but when we went to lift them off the counter and onto the cookie sheets, it was a mess.  I then remembered that we had the same issue with these cookies the last time.  So, we cut small sections at a time and rolled it in more flour and then pressed on the cookie cutter.  It went much better!  They went right into the oven and baked for eight minutes.  Hadassah then mixed up a batch of icing and as soon as the cookies were cooled down, the kitchen got messy!!!  That's when the icing went on each cookies and the sprinkles were shook on top!  Sprinkles always make a mess!  Every time we use them!  I was tempted to tell the kids that I will just do this part but then I remember that this would be the fun part for a kid.  The kitchen can be cleaned I told myself inside!  Hadassah and Matthew got all crazy with it!  There was a few times I had to calm them down but they got creative.  They even tried to see who could eat a cookie the fastest.  And videoed themselves doing this!!!  I will laugh every time I view this video!

I was disappointed when my central vac didn't start up for me with my cleaning up the kitchen chore!  Sigh.  Matthew dumped out the trash from the container downstairs and I'm not sure if it's not put back together right or what???  New things are fun and great ... until I get confused and not sure how to make them work again.  So, I got the old broom out and swept the sprinkles up.  I'm spoiled with central vac because it is so much easier to clean up messes like this than to spread them all around to get on a big pile.  I vote central vac!!!!  Clean up went fine and it will only be a few hours before we start making it dirty again.  Smiles and cheers were put on the kids faces when I said that I would make pretzel wraps for supper!!!  Yum!


Shakia came for the afternoon and the girls had fun with some leftover dough.

 Another snowy day at home was fun, crumbs created and cleaned up, and warm!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

More snow. It's called winter!

It's a wintry mix here at my house today.  When we went to bed last night we thought that maybe there would be a two hour delay for school this morning, but no.  It snowed about two inches during the night and now snowing all day today.  It's just blowing around outside with the temperature so cold.  Freezing. 

Hadassah is shadowing at Faith High School today.  She was a bundle of nerves this morning but I'm sure once she meets Courtney and then Mariana there, she will be fine.  I drove her to the school this morning and she jumped out to met her cousin Ryan.  I remember how it was going to high school and meeting all those new faces and not real sure how the high school life is.  Not real sure at all!  But I loved high school and I hope Hadassah will too.  We are praying and thinking about which school would be the best choice for her!

Matthew only has a half day at Linville today.  He will be home soon for some warm soup for lunch!!!  That's what we have on cold days!!!  And that is why I made another batch of soups last week!

I cooked a ham on Thursday night.  The kind that has a bone in it.  They are the best kind of hams in our option.  Then on Friday mom came up to help me make some soup.  She cut the ham up into small pieces while I mixed a batch of vegetable soup.  We jarred that and canned it.  I wasn't thinking when I decided to do two different kinds in one day because I only have enough of canning space for on kind.  So, on Saturday, I mixed the ham and bean soup ingredients and then canned that!  I loved doing it in our new garage.  I had a few jars that didn't fit in my canner, so I brought out the old big gray canner and cooked it on my kitchen stove!  I never canned did canning in my kitchen because it took so long to get water boiling on my flat top stove.  But now with a gas stove, it was a blast working and chopping in my spacious kitchen!!!

Vegetable Soup I canned:
2 1/2 gal. tomato juice
1 qt. corn
1 qt. peas
1 qt. chopped carrots
1 qt. chopped onions
2 qt. chopped potatoes
2 Tb. parsley flakes
2 lb. hamburger, fried
1/2 c. sugar (I also added some brown sugar)
salt to taste
1 28 oz. pork and beans
2 cups alphabet macaroni
1 pk. meat loaf seasoning mix
1 pk. beef stew seasoning mix
1 pk. sloppy joe seasoning mix

Cook carrots, celery and potatoes in salted water.  Drain.  Fry onions with hamburger.  Cook alphabet noodles.  Mix all vegetables, meat, macaroni and seasonings with tomato juice.  Put in jars and cold pack for 2 hours.  Makes about 18 qt.

Ham and Bean Soup:
8 cup cooked, diced ham
4 c. chopped potatoes
4 c. chopped carrots
2 c. chopped onions
4 c. celery
 1 gal. water
1/2 gal. tomato juice
4 lb. Navy beans (I used a gal. of the Northern beans)
3 c. ketchup
2 1/2 Tb. salt
2 1/2 Tb. pepper
3-4 c. brown sugar
Cook vegetables just till soft.  Mix everything together and cold pack for 3 hours in prepared jars.
18 Quarts.
And this is what we do on cold, snowy days.  Ipad time, games, puzzles, coloring pages and eat snacks!  So cute. We thought we were going to Bible Study this morning but because it got canceled again ... we stay in our pjs! 
Ginger sits right beside her side and watches.

My window views of the snow falling!

Stay warm if you have snow at your house too!!!  Drink coffee!  Hot tea!  Eat warm soup!!!  Blog!  :)

We will be so ready for Spring time!!!  I'm gonna try to forget about all my friends and family that are heading south this coming weekend.  Oh how some of that good ol' sunshine would feel so good!!!

Winter is cold and snowy here.  I'm grateful for a warm house and hot water and a healthy family!!!

What a basketball season!!!!!!


Hadassah had such a wonderful basketball season!!!  She played so hard and aggressive!!!  There was sweat and even some tears!!!  The whole team played to win!

Basketball games were every played every Tuesday after school VS other Christian Day Schools.  The Linville team also had practice every Tuesday and Thursday after school.  Let me tell you, they worked hard to get so good!!! 

We went to all the games!  It's road time and game time and cheering time and by the evening all said and done ... it's supper time!  :)  I love watching Hadassah play sports and these games were so much fun!

Every year there is a tournament at Conestoga Christian for basketball teams to compete.  Linville went and did well!!!  The girls played hard and were determined to go all the way!  They made it to the finals and even took it down to the seconds to try to win!  Parents were cheering from the side lines and the tension was thick!  It was so close for them to get the first place trophy but they had to settle for second place.  They lost that last game ... 14-12.  And just as the buzzer went to end the game, a foul was called!  Jenna got to take foul shots.  She tried but missed with all our nerves going crazy!!!  :)  Second place is still great though!!!  They worked hard and had so much fun!!!

Take a look at those determined eyes!  Hadassah was point guard and scored so many points!

Bringing the ball down court.  She wanted number 44 like her dad but had to go with 4 since the higher numbers were not an option.  :)  Her dad is her hero!

Time out to go over a few drills and take a breather!  Courtney got her finger jammed right at the beginning of the tournament.  Not fun but she took courage and played the ending games.

One of many baskets went in for Hadassah!

Team picture!

These girls played so hard!  They all did great!

Best friends!!!

Last night was the last basketball game that Hadassah will play for Linville Hill.  I can't believe that we are already looking into High School options and that she is visiting Faith Menn. today.  It seems like we just enrolled her for kindergarten!  Yelp!!!!  :)
This game last night was again against West Fallowfield.  The girls again had us on the edge of our seats as they went down to the last minutes to try to win the game. 
Foul shot ... and this makes me chuckle because Courtney is in the background again!  These two girls do everything possible together.  They call each other at least once a night even after being together at school all day long.  They just seem to be each others shadow.  We, as parents, are so happy that she has such a great friend!!!
Every minute counts so go fast!!!  Go hard!  And ... Courtney right ahead of her!  :)

They are not holding hands!  Defense at it's best!!!
With basketball now over.  No more after school practices.  No more going to games.  We now think more spring sports.  Track.  Soccer.  It all comes so soon!!!
Good playing Hadassah!!!  We loved to watch you play and loved to see you sweat out the tough games!!!  You are so good and we are proud of you!!!