best picture is at the end of the post

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get kids ready for school
run on treadmill for half hour (2 miles) while watching Unsolved Mysteries
shower, dress
make bagels for R and G
fold a ton of laundry that has been too easy to wash but not too easy to fold for some reason
while watching Mr. Selfridge
upload photos then abandon blog to snuggle on husband while he goes through emails
eat a cream cheese, sliced tomato and cracked pepper bagel for lunch
pop a bowl of popcorn and read a book (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince)
fall asleep
wake up to Dave home and clattering things in the kitchen, making perfect rice and a sauce to go over it (youtube video recipes) He needs help finding  lid, the cornstarch, and rice vinegar
make a cuppa
facebook

AND NOW I finally get a chance to tippety tap a blog post, a very long blog post.

Did you notice in the first photo how my cobalt canister broke it’s lid so it sweet talked the sunflower canister to give it it’s lid?  Now the poor sunflower canister has to use a pot lid.

After years of having a subscription to Country Living I let it run out and now get Cooks Illustrated, which I love reading through.  It’s a cooking magazine for readers, as most of the magazine is very long explanations of recipes and THEN the recipe.  And I also used the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook again, this time to make potato bread.

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while the dough rose

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I did a portrait session with a nonpaying customer.

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She thought I would be honored to take her picture.  Look how carefully she posed for me.

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Her brother was, as usual, taking a nap (which often run to 4 or more hours at a stretch).

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I did not realize I would end up with so much bread.  we ate it for days.  Buns for sloppy joe (sprinkled with herbs) and several loaves.  The potato in the bread kept it soft.

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This is what sometimes happens when I get a sad feeling.

Star Wars the newest movie became available to purchase on amazon prime so we decided to buy it and eat all the junk food we wanted.  (we were sad because Rich had left for a 10 day business trip).

Grace felt hesitant and guilty about the groceries and the boys were all like, “stop it.”

The Ben and Jerrys was for meeeeeeeeeee.

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We invited our friends and told them to wear pajamas.

Seths skinny little feet…so cute and dear.  (Grace just said I made the face I make when I see a cute baby).

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I took one picture during the movie because I saw something so sweet:

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Tessa in a love sandwich.

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thrifting (fiesta plates and amber stone dishes)

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Sarah made me laugh and laugh because she told me she wanted me to fix her hair “just like Tessa’s” which (she directed me) was a ponytail with a big chunk pulled out of the side.   She also had a hair band doubled around her wrist “just like Tessa” but I said, “Tessa doesn’t put hairbands on her wrist so tight her hand turns purple” and made her undouble it.  Tessa is all the rage in Sarah’s opinion.   I should tell her that Tessa would NEVER suck HER finger.

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My very favorite way to eat my morning eggs!  I found an old bag of frozen raw shrimp from Costco which had been in the deep freeze for like a year.  So I thought I would throw a handful in the pan along with some peppers (also bagged frozen).  When the shrimp and peppers were cooked I put them on a plate and then scrambled three eggs and ate it all together while closing my eyes and saying “this is SO good!”  Jacob cooks his eggs at the same time.  It’s fun to be together.

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journaling with a dog and a cat and also Grace (not photographed)

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David’s perfect rice from a few days ago.

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spring is here

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the sky is blue, whoa oh oh

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birds all sing as if they knew

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Today’s the day, we say I do,
and we’ll never be lonely anymore……

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Ethan started track season.

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Uncle Nate very generously sent a Tom Brady rookie card to Caleb in the mail, it was so sweet to see (don’t you feel like one of the best parts of being a mom is watching their faces when they’re happy?)

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Jacob and Emily playing with Parker the Dog.

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I made Alaskan coffee in my french press this morning and then….

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It was only like one cup that I dumped but it went everywhere.  Then I had to search for a dustpan.

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folding laundry in front of the TV

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I saved The Best for last…….Rich arrived back home yesterday and as soon as he came in the door he had three of his sons in a big hug.

I cry a lot because I’m so happy.

When the heart is full, the eyes overflow

 

funny morning

“Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life.”  Psalm 23:6
DSC_1158(yesterday, early morning) The snow was falling and blowing all over the place….the flakes were small and icy cold.

DSC_1159(yesterday, around noon).  The snow was till coming down and the road wasn’t plowed.

DSC_1166When the snow let up in the afternoon, Rich went out to plow the driveways with his tractor.  Ethan, Seth, David, and Caleb got dressed to play on the mountains of snow their Dad made.

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DSC_1179Torturing his brother.

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DSC_1184They came inside with blotchy skin, it was so cold that it took a little while, and some hot chocolate, to defrost.

DSC_1204We began to see a little traffic on the roads again.

DSC_1168Sarah began throwing up.

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DSC_1188Grace and Jacob, who was recovering from being sick,  played a card game.  David searched the cupboards for something to eat, Rich was in the other room on a phone call.

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DSC_1208The rest of these pictures are from this morning.  We rarely get a snowstorm that causes us to have to shovel our porch.

DSC_1220“This is ridiculous!” ~Sherlock the Cat

DSC_1210Shadow of the house where I was standing on the porch, and drifts against the garage.

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DSC_1213You would think that with a three car garage I would not have to deal with this.

DSC_1231Sherlock is cute because he likes to all of a sudden dive into the snow and play like a crazy cat.  it was too much for Parker the Dog, so he pounced on the cat to play, too.

(Emily are you reading this?  I love you!)

DSC_1235a walking path through the snow

DSC_1249I took this picture back in the house, through the glass door.  The chickadees line up to get a sunflower seed from the bird feeder.

DSC_1253Seth was the last child to leave for school this morning.  He walked carefully to the bus.  He normally runs full speed, perhaps he didn’t want to go?

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***

This morning was a two hour delay and frankly, we needed it.  I woke up to discover that Rich was already gone to work and all seven children were awake.  Sarah was sick on the couch, and Ethan was making french toast. As soon as my door opened Seth ran to me and asked if he could have a piece of French toast, too.  I stumbled into the kitchen and used the last of Ethan’s eggs to make Seth his requested breakfast.

Grace wandered around asking me for safety pins and I told her where to find them at my sewing table.

Jacob wanted french toast so I gave him directions on how to make the egg dip for the bread.  I made myself a cup of coffee and added French Vanilla creamer.

By the time Jacob was done making his breakfast, Seth asked for another piece, so this time I used Jacob’s left over egg.

David made himself scrambled eggs and asked me to put toast in the toaster for him so I did.

Sarah asked me to sit with her.  I got my Bible from my room and began reading the portions for the “bible in a year” program, with a reading in Exodus, Matthew, Psalms, and Proverbs.  I read it all out loud to her.  I read about the Nile being turned into blood and you should have seen Sarah’s face.  She gasped and was properly disgusted.  She asked several times, “Is this true?” and I was able to say in a motherly sort of tone, “This is the Word of God, and everything in it is true.”  We laughed over the names in the genealogies of the Israelites.  She said she thought they were weird names and I told her she was smart.  (I was impressed that she listened so intently, but when you’re sick you don’t have as much fight in you.)

Grace was trying to wear a pair of pants that fit almost perfectly; the waist was about 2 inches too big.  First she pinned them and then she tried a belt.  She was getting annoyed with the pants so I had her slip them off in my room and I took them in on my sewing machine.

As I sewed, screaming began in the boys’ room.  David found Seth playing the DS and took it away from him and Seth screamed at him and came to tell me about it.  My bobbin had just emptied (of course!) so as I talked to him, I got out my manual and refilled the bobbin, letting Seth help me by pressing the pedal.  “Slowly, Seth!  Slowly!”  David came and perched on my bed and I stopped what I was doing to say, “Dave.  SETH was not the problem in this situation.  YOU were the problem.  If you see Seth doing something that you don’t like, you need to come straight to ME and I will help you.  You are NOT Seth’s parent, I am his parent.  You are only Seth’s brother so he is offended when you boss him around.”  I made him give Seth back the DS (which Dave had put in his own dresser, even though it wasn’t even his) and then of course the GAME cartridge was missing, so I had to send Dave back to give Seth the game.  *sigh*  David was upset and wondering why HE was “always the bad guy.”

I got Grace’s pants taken in and now fit perfectly.  She was happy and asked if I would put her hair up in a bun for her.

I left my room and immediately smelled burning eggs.  Caleb was trying to make scrambled eggs and he did really well except he didn’t scramble them as they cooked.  Instead, he stood there and watched them burn, wondering when to “flip” them.  I ran over and flipped the eggs over and sure enough, there was a smoking, burned skin that I promptly tore off the top.  I took the egg patty out of the pan and placed it into the bowl containing french toast egg dip remnants.  I got Caleb a plate and some cheese, hoping with the cheese to make the eggs more palatable.  He didn’t complain or say anything. He just ate them.  I’m sure they had a taste of ash and cinnamon to them, but like I said, he had no comments.

Sarah was thirsty and requested a gatorade.  I went in the pantry but did not find any so I got her a juice pouch.  She wanted it in her teacup so she put the straw in and squirted juice into the cup, and some onto the coffee table, too.  I got the wood cleaner and paper towels to clean it up.

I sat Grace down and  put her hair in a pony tail, then braided it and sent her upstairs to pin it into a bun herself.  I noticed later that it didn’t happen.  She smiled and said that she gave up. She went to school with just a pony tail.

I noticed Jacob and Ethan both quietly reading their Literature books and secretly fumed, wondering why I hadn’t seen them doing their assigned reading YESTERDAY when they had the entire day off.  I may have even said something sarcastically but received no reply.

Finally, the High School bus came and took four children away to school.  I had another hour to get Caleb and Seth ready by washing faces, making sure their teeth and hair were brushed, and turning on an episode of Arthur.  I had nuts and a banana for breakfast and Seth ate a hotdog, a bowl of applesauce, and half a banana so I think it’s safe to say that his appetite is back after having the stomach bug.

I emptied a dishwasher, loaded the other one and pushed “start”.  I scrubbed off the island.

Eventually, the other two boys got on their busses and I could breathe a sigh of relief.  I love them all to death, I was amused by the chaotic morning, but I admit it was nice to have them leave for school.