Boy Fun

Today, dh and our eldest 2 boys went to the coast to go crabbing and clamming with a friend. This was the first time. They came back with loads of clams/crabs and had a blast.


Eleven and One-Half

What goes on in the mind of an 11-1/2 yr old girl? Do you remember? I remember playing in the field with neighbor kids. We would help each other do our chores in order to have more time to play. I liked to read, sing, and play the piano.

Pearly takes after me in a lot of ways. She loves her music: piano, violin, flute, and singing. She loves to read. Today she was reading a good book laying in the hammock in the backyard. She sews, cooks, loves to play four-square with her brothers. Life is sweet at 11-1/2 yrs old.


Cake Competition

Some of our children are in AWANA - a Bible club for kids. Yesterday, there was a cake competition at AWANA. The cakes needed to be made by dads and kids only with no help from moms. We had a bunch of overripe bananas, so dh thought banana cake would be good. He picked out a recipe from The Joy of Cooking and went to town - no Betty Crocker box for my dh. Both Pearly Girl (11-yr) Orange Boy (8 yr) made theirs separately from scratch. Because dh got home late it was put in the oven around 10:45 p.m. While the cake was baking, I played Yahtzee with the kids (a cool math game, but the kids don't realize I play it so they will practice their math). So yeah, the kids were doing math and science projects at 11 pm, what can I say? We homeschool - we get to make our own schedules, so I just let the children sleep in the following morning. The following day, when dh got home from work, they quickly had to decorate the cakes. He had stopped by the store to pick up cake decorating supplies. Orange Boy was really into the decorating part. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a decent picture of Pearly's cake. She wrote 2 Tim 2:15 and drew a Bible. Orange Boy wrote Approved Workman Are Not Ashamed - the AWANA motto. The competition was stiff and was judged on creativity and taste. Orange Boy wanted his judged by creativity and Pearly wanted hers to be judged in taste. Unfortunately, Orange Boy did not win. Pearly Girl, however, won first place for taste. She won 3 coupons for Baskin Robbins, so she decided to take Papa and Orange Boy with her.


Done, Finished, Lessons Learned

Thankfully, I have learned to not take my knitting too seriously, or I think it might be upsetting. Here are the things I am happy about: I love the yarn - LOVE it! I love the contrasting ribbing and buttonbands, love the yellow buttons on the white buttonbands. However, knitting is just like life - in order to succeed you need to learn from your mistakes. Here's what I learned not to do next time around:

Lesson 1 - When calculating buttonhole placement, don't forget to account for neckline ribbing. I figured it would need 6 buttons including neckline, but when calculating the placement, I forgot to include the neckline in the total figure, so instead, ended up with 7 buttonholes. This sent me in a button frenzy because I only had 6 buttons and bought the last of them at the store. Thankfully, my friend was able to find some at another store. After all this was said and done, I think 7 buttons were too many. Six would have been much better spacing - maybe even 5 would have done nicely. Oh well!

Lesson 2 - Do not expect 13 lb 3 oz newborn baby to fit in Size 6 months sweater.
That said, dh's office just gave me a belated gift for baby - a gift certificate at a LYS - how cool is that?! Woohoo!! Maybe I'll make another one, but this time, hopefully one that will fit PLUS some growing room.



Sunday, my parents came over to celebrate my mom's and son's birthdays. We went went bowling again and had a blast!! Our 3-yr old son beat most of his older siblings. Okay, well, the 3-yr old brother did use the bumpers to his advantage. But what fun we had! I love this picture of my mom and son.

Oh, and see my son's dimple? I put my order in early for that.


International Cuisine and Lively Debates

Last week, my daughter invited her Moroccan friend from her college Spanish class to come over for dinner. He had come over a few weeks earlier, and this time wanted to reciprocate by bringing us a Moroccan meal. We weren't quite sure what to expect and couldn't wait to try something new. The kids did a great job trying the new foods.

Oh, her friend also brought another friend. You see, this wasn't just about a meal, it was about the conversation that was to be discussed after dinner. These guys are Muslim and are trying to convert our daughter (and perhaps our family). Our daughter is Christian and my husband, daughter, and her friends have been having friendly, yet lively debates comparing the two religions. It has been fascinating. I have really appreciated the mutual respect both have shown each other.

Back to the dinner: we had couscous with beautifully seasoned roast and stewed vegetables (carrots, zucchini, turnip?, chickpeas, onion, etc). We were expecting something more spicy. Maybe they were being gracious not knowing that we like spicy. Who knows?

One interesting note: unbeknownst to us, our 6-yr old son was on the recliner in the living room when it was prayer time for our guests. They politely excused themselves and went into the living room to pray. One of our guests came back to the kitchen to ask which direction was north (Muslims must pray towards Mecca). A little while later, as they continued to pray, our son came out and asked what they were doing. It must have been pretty interesting for him to see them bowing down, praying, and chanting in Arabic.

Here's a bit of info about Islam I found on the net:
The second pillar, devotional worship or prayer, requires Muslims to pray five times a day - the dawn prayer, the noon prayer, the afternoon prayer, the sunset prayer, and the evening prayer - while facing toward the Ka'bah, the House of God, in Mecca. Like all Islamic ceremonies, prayer is simple and personal, yet also communal, and the wording of the prayers, the ablutions which are required before prayers, the number of bows, and other parts of the ritual are set out in detail.


Please, Tell Me It Isn't So

Please don't tell me this style of sweater with the saggy armpits is considered fashionable. I don't know if I can bear it. I just got an e-mail from Lion Brand regarding their new improved baby pattern sweaters. Is this improved?

"Your adorable baby will get even more attention in these easy-to-make sweaters."

Yeah, I'll bet they'll get more attention! But you won't catch my baby in a saggy armpit sweater.


Old Film, New Treasures

I was going through my file cabinet and found a file with 8 rolls of undeveloped film (who thinks of film after converting to digital, anyway?). It was sure fun to see events I had long forgotten. I thought the film for these little bird pictures was lost forever. The mama bird abandoned her nest and while my little boys were playing outside by the trees, the little chicks landed on my son. My children put their fingers out and the birds landed on their fingers. We took pictures and then I told them we needed to leave them alone. In the back of my mind was the little book by Eastman, Are You My Mother? Poor little chickies.


Sound of Music

Ok, I have been a serious slacker since pregnancy and new baby. I have 3 children who are taking Suzuki violin lessons from a wonderful teacher at the homeschool co-op. I have been learning along with them (kinda, sorta). Thankfully, I have a musical background in my favor, so that has sure helped.

Today, I spent probably 30 minutes with our 6-and 8-yr olds teaching them a little theory: quarter notes and eighth notes. They learned it very well and quite easily. My goal is to get everybody singing and playing instruments. Now my 16-yr old wants an acoustic guitar (in addition to his classical guitar) and has expressed interest in singing vocal parts. We WILL do this. It has always been my dream to be like the VonTrapp Family Singers. Off with the TV. We WILL do this!

Whoa - I just had my son check out his vocal range. He's a baritone. That means my 11-yr old sing soprano, my 19-yr old and I can sing either tenor or alto, and my son is baritone. (The other little munchkins would be soprano/alto at this point). We have all 4-parts covered- woo-hoo! Agenda tomorrow: get/order 4-part vocal music! We've been singing rounds as a family for years, so it won't be too much of a stretch to sing 4-part. Why have I waited so long for this?



This is the kind of thing I love to see going on.


Baby Vest

I'm just about finished with the back side of the vest. The pattern is quite easy to memorize and it is coming along pretty quickly (if I can just find the time to knit!). Spring fever has hit, so unfortunately, the vest has not been top priority this week. I should have taken the picture during the day - the lighting is yucky.


Nekkid Baby

Today I had fun with my camera and baby after he had a bath. What you don't see is that he peed on the sheet twice - lol. He's 9-1/2 wks old now.


Baby Shower

I just received pics back from the baby shower my friends gave me. I love how my friends welcome every child to the world, not just the first baby. We were spoiled!

In the picture below, Pearly is behind me and Birdie is the other redhead on the left.


Here a chick, there a chick, everywhere a chick chick . . .

Saw these cute little chicks at a friend's house today while I was taking photographs for her son's senior pictures. Aren't they adorable?


Kids Return Safely!

The older 2 kids had a great trip to Honduras. They were able to help at an orphanage several times, have health clinics to educate the people on hygiene, help a single mom of 5 boys, etc. Our dentist donated cases of toothpaste/toothbrushes for the cause. What a great experience it was for them.

Welcome home hug from Papa.

Of course they both couldn't wait to kiss little Polliwog.


Big Weekend

This weekend was pretty busy. The two older kids were spending their last day on a mission's trip to Honduras, so we wanted to have a little special time with the 5 younger kids. So we on Friday, we took the younger kids bowling. This is probably the 2nd time they had gone bowling in their life.

Bunny trying to find his bowling ball - lol.

Once, Bunny (3-yr old) got up to bowl without Papa's help. He threw the ball, but instead of going into our lane, it veered off into our neighbor's lane just as our neighbor was about to release his ball. We all laughed hysterically. Thankfully, our neighbors did, too. It must not have blown our neighbor's concentration too badly as his next roll was a strike :)

Dh helping Bunny bowl.

It didn't matter whether he got several pins down or zero pins down, he always had a huge smile on his face. He did manage to get 2 spares!



It's so nice when we get a dry spell after seemingly weeks of rain. How fun to be able to enjoy God's creation. Pearly made this daisy wreath:

And the kids played with this snail (he was only about 1/2 inch).



We used to live in the Philippines over 15 yrs ago, and one time, I stopped to see what a street vendor was selling. I usually was not too adventuresome when it came to trying ethnic cuisines - especially if I didn't know what it was, but for some reason, I did this once.

Looking in the big pot, I thought it must be fish eyes or something equally as bizarre. But it turned out to be little balls made out of sweet rice flour, marble tapioca, plantains, etc, cooked in a coconut milk sauce/pudding. It smelled so wonderful, I gave it a try. I was seriously hooked. Ever since living there, I have tried to find this recipe, but I only knew what the locals called it which I later figured out was not the same name that most Filipinos called it.

Yesterday, I met with some Americans who live in the Philippines and I described it in great detail and found the correct name: Guinataan.

Hello Google - here it is - a picture and all. This is definitely on my to-do list: Guinataan


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