Morning is Broken

I hate mornings.  No, I REALLY hate mornings.  It takes my brain several hours to figure out that my body is actually out of bed and moving.  But, with all of my hatred of mornings, I’ve realized that if I get up “early” than I have a better day.  I kind of figure that most of you hate mornings too.  After all, not all of us are like my little brother and Smarty Pants, bouncing out of bed to greet the morning with a loud roaring “Hello” and a huge smile.

I think I have found out how to have a good morning (for me).  Obviously you’re morning may look differently, but one thing that won’t be different is that if you have a routine and stick to it every day, your mornings will go smoother!

My alarm goes off at 5:45 am.  I turn it off, bleary eyed and then I sit up in bed.  I have found that if I don’t sit up, I go right back to sleep!  I begin to pray, praising Him is a priority.  I thank Him for things that make my life easier (think microwave, stove, COFFEE!), and I ask Him to help me be the best wife, mother, daughter, and friend that I can be.

At 6:00 am my alarm goes off again.  That’s just in case I fell asleep while praying – hey, stop laughing!  I do that all of the time!!!

I stumble to the bathroom, with my eyes still closed.  Papi is usually finishing getting ready for the day. (The man doesn’t go to sleep until way after I do and still gets up at 4:30 am.  There are moments I hate him – just kidding) I grab a bunch of dirty clothes from the hamper, my glasses, and my cell phone and stumble my way into the laundry room; clicking on lights in every room.  (That makes Papi crazy, he turns off the lights as fast as I turn them on.)  I start a load of laundry (my first of the day) and it’s just past 6 am.

After I’ve started the load of laundry (I make sure the washer and dryer are empty before I go to bed for just this reason), I grab my first cup of coffee for the day and sit down in the living room with my bible, my journal, a pen, and my cup of coffee.  I read 5 Psalms, 1 Proverb, 1 chapter from the New Testament, and a bible study (either my Sunday School lesson or one of the myriad devotions I’ve gotten hold of).  By the time I have finished that and my first cup of coffee, it’s a quarter to 7.

I put my morning devotion things away and head off to the girls room at my first attempt to wake Barbie up.  She has clearly inherited my hatred of the morning sun.  I go back to the kitchen, refill my coffee, and write all of the information on the FAQ board for the day.  Our FAQ board is a marker board on which I write the menu for the day, the weather, Prayer Requests, Cleaning Goals, the date, and any special things going on that day that might change the schedule in any way. I also switch the wet load of laundry to the dryer and start a new load.  Yay!  I’ve started my second load of laundry already!

I then go and re-shake Barbie, gently announce to the other girls that it is time to get up, and head to the boys room to get them up and moving.  And this is when the insanity starts.  By now I’ve been up for over an hour, and my brain is starting to get the idea that WE ARE UP!  I sit down at the computer to check if I have any emails that need immediate action and check our bank account for the day (just a safety precaution).    For the next half hour I am calling children to me to check if they have their morning stuff done.  Barbie needs to wake up, work in her faith journal, shower, get dressed, make her bed and start her math.  BAM! needs to do the same (except for the math part).  Kissy needs to wake up, do her morning devotion, shower, get dressed, and strip her bed (if necessary) and make her bed.  The boys all need to wake up, brush their hair and teeth, wash their faces, get dressed, make their beds, and do their morning devotions.  It is utter insanity.  All of this is done with 2 bathrooms!!! 😉

As I see that everyone is up and moving in at least a semblance of alertness, I jump into the shower and get myself ready.  I also make my own bed.  Then I head back into the kitchen.  If Nana hasn’t made breakfast yet, or if she needs help, I dive right in.  Once breakfast is ready, I call the kids to the table with an officials whistle.  It’s loud, and that way I don’t scream.  It scares Simon our greyhound to death though, so I try to make sure he is outside.  We eat our breakfast the 7 of us, as a family.  Nana leaves for work right after I jump into the shower.  After I am done eating, I read to the children as they are finishing.  At the moment we are reading The Yearling.  It’s a great book about growing up in Florida waaaaayyyyyy back in the day.  As we are studying Florida in school, I thought it was apropos.  We’ll be going from this one to books about Christian Heroes and Martyrs.

After everyone is finished eating breakfast, then we do a 15 minute pick up.  They each have chores in the kitchen, and I’m folding the clean laundry and starting my third load of the day.  Whomever doesn’t have kitchen chores that day (they take turns) helps me by putting the laundry away.  After the 15 minute pick up is done, we all congregate in the living room with our Bibles and have a quick family devotion.

Exhausted yet?  That’s when we start school!  And that’s my morning folks.  I hate them.  But I find if they go smoothly, so does our day.

So, your turn.  What does your morning look like?  Do you hate mornings as much as I do????

The Capable Wife Part 5

 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.  Proverbs 31: 21-22

Our Capable Wife does everything she can to take care of her family.  Not just her family, her entire house (in that day it would include slaves and servants as well).  She has worked for so long so hard, that when rough times come, she knows they are taken care of.

In biblical times, Scarlet was a color of power, wealth, luxury.  Scarlet dye in that time came from a tiny little bug, so small that it is like a grain of sand.  So it took time and money to make and entire robe of scarlet. Our Capable Wife knows that her family and her servants are clothed to the very best of her ability.  They are warm and secure.  Are they in Polo?  No, not necessarily.  But they are dressed in well made clothing and appropriately for the weather.

She made herself clothing…clothing of silk (more bugs, ugh) and purple.  Purple came from a small sea snail and took a very long time to get it right!  So we see she is dressed also in well made clothing.

Now, in no way shape or form am I suggesting that you need to go and spend a ton of money on clothing.  I’m not saying you need to take up sewing either.  Here’s a small hint:  I have a monthly budget for the family for clothing, and to get the best bang for my buck, I usually hit the local second hand stores.  I have found name brand, new with tags, clothing for bargain basement prices.  And that is saying a lot…especially when you are dressing 3 picky teenage girls and 3 rough and tumble destructicon boys.  Remember the name of my blog???

I also have a rule, if we are leaving the house, no holey, torn, ripped, or stained clothing.  (Beach or hiking is different)  When we leave the house, hairs must be brushed, faces washed, teeth brushed, and clean neat clothing must be put on.  All my household is clothed appropriately – weather included.  On my FAQ board I list the weather of the day, and how that will feel in our hot Florida Sun.  That way they are dressed appropriately for the weather as well!!!

164 The boys even come shopping with us…even though they hate it! 😉

Science: Melting Ice Experiment

I was in a random mood in the beginning of March, so thanks to pinterest, I was inspired to do a random Science Experiment.

We decided to see what household substance would melt ice the fastest.

Our first step was to fill 5 cups (left over from Barbie’s Quinceanera) a quarter of the way with water.

023 024 025Eyes decided he had to make sure they were all even. 😉

 

 

Then we put them all in the freezer and let them sit over the weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).

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Our ingredients to check the rate of melting were: hot water, apple cider vinegar, salt, baking soda, and sugar.  Our Experiment was to see which ingredient when applied to the ice would melt the ice fastest.

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The most dramatic visually was the apple cider vinegar, so I decided to post those pictures.163 168This is after just a few minutes.

172The end result was that the salt actually melted the ice the fastest, faster even then the hot water.  When the experiment was done, they poured all of the ingredients out of the cups and into the pan ….just to see it foam.

It was a fun experiment – and a good way for them to practice their “Scientific Method”.  So I judge it an unqualified success. 🙂

Hot Pink Nails

The girls were doing their nails the other day, and aren’t they sweet?  They took pictures so that I could post it on the blog!!!!

Hot Pink Nails1                          They started with some hot pink press on nails.

HotPinkNails2

Then they added some silver nail polish in a french tip style.

HotPinkNails3And then some fun black stripes.

Every time they try a new design it gets better and better.  I’ll post more as we get them! 🙂

Independence

Are you valuable?In large part in some peoples minds, your value has a lot to do with if you are dependent or independent.  Do you live on your own, away from your parents?  Do you function on your own?  Breathing, eating, walking, dressing on your own with no assistance from anyone? If  someone close to you is into Eugenics – look out!  They believe that if a person is no longer independent, than they are no longer of value.

Are you valuable?  Have you ever held a newborn baby?  What is so attractive about them?  For me, it is their total and complete dependence.  They look to you for comfort, warmth, food, love.  It’s an awesome and amazing feeling.  We would all agree that they are not independent.  And this is where eugenics comes in.  There are schools of thought out there that believe that an infant is not of value unless someone wants the infant.

Are you valuable?  Have you ever known someone who is dependent on insulin? Or dialysis?  They are dependent on medication to live or machines to live.  Does that make them less valuable?  We had a friend pass away recently who needed a heart transplant.  He had one several years ago, and his transplanted heart began to fail.  As his heart failed, his liver, and then his kidneys failed as well.  He was such a valuable person.  He loved every one.  No matter how much pain he was in, he was always trying to help people and comfort them.  He went out of his way to find projects for the church to do to reach out to the people in our community.  He was so valuable!  We miss him so much.  I miss his smile and his laughter and his all out goofiness.  I miss most his love for life!

Are you valuable?  Why does dependency make someone LESS valuable? One of the frequent arguments for pro-abortion is that the fetus is dependent on the mother.  They liken the baby to a parasite living off of a host.  ewwww.  Yet, if they want to keep the baby, then it’s no longer a parasite but a wanted baby.  Is the baby that is wanted MORE valuable than the baby who is not?  NO!!!  Chelsea Clinton, someone who is adamantly pro choice recently announced that she is pregnant.  She’s not carrying a parasite.  She’s having a baby.  Not according to me, according to HER.  So how is this baby valuable?

Independence does not make a human being valuable.  LIFE does.  And life begins at the moment of conception.  End of story.

The Capable Wife Part 4

 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:20

Yes.  One verse.  Mainly because I think that the Church as a whole has failed at this miserably. We just don’t reach out our hands to help people.  Do we help those who come to us, yes.  But we don’t really reach out to help people much.

Politically, I am not a Democrat, nor am I a Republican.  I am an Independent.   Why am I telling this to you?  Because it will help you to understand where I am coming from.

I think that (in some ways) the Democrats have their hearts in the right place.  They want people to be treated better.  They want families to be fed, and have housing, and health care, and clothing.  I think they are right.  People SHOULD be treated better.  Families should have food, and housing, clothes, and health care, clothing, and job opportunities.  Here is where I disagree.  I don’t think that the Government should be providing those things.  The Government of the United States was not set up to provide those things. But I know an entity that was.  The Church.  It was set up back in the day to provide all of those things.  The body of believers would get together and share everything.  We are to take care of widows and orphans.  I’m not suggesting that we sell all we have…but this is what our OFFERING is supposed to be for.  Not our tithe, that’s something totally different.

I think that (in some ways) the Republicans are right.  Giving hand outs doesn’t help people.  Not really.  Give a man a fish and he eats for the day, teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life.  I don’t think the Government should be giving permanent hand outs.  Help people.  Really help people.  Teach them marketable skills.  I believe that if someone is getting WIC or Food Stamps, then they should be required to take classes in job or life skills.  When you give a hand up instead of a hand out, you will also give self esteem.  I also think that the churches should be doing this…not the Government.

Pretty Radical, huh?

For our household, we do several things.  We are constantly donating to our church food pantry.  We provide food for people in the community who need it, anytime word gets to us.  And starting in a month or so, we will be doing service projects IN the community to help people.

Do you have any Helping Hands ideas we can use?  We’ll be happy to use them…and report back to you how it went!!!!

Helping Hands

May Menu 2014

Alrighty guys.  I finished my May menu a whole week ahead of time!  Aren’t you proud of me!!!  I have several new recipes I’m trying out.  Trying to slowly get healthier by not eating as much pork or red meat.

Also, we’re going to be on Staycation the last week of May (and who knows what things Papi will want to eat on Staycation!)  – so I didn’t schedule anything (we’ll be eating out a lot if it’s anything like our normal staycations)

Someone told me on facebook that they were inspired by my meal planning and we’re tackling a 2 week meal plan of their own!  That’s wonderful!  I hope you all are inspired.  And I hope you share your favorite recipes!!!!  I’ll use them!!!! :0

meal-plan-may 2014

Determination: Bob, The Red Squirrel

We love to feed the birds around our house.  We have one bird feeder (and are making more) that we feed the birds.  We have a map of identification to identify the birds that drop by for a visit.  We have enjoyed robins, cardinals, doves, scrub jays, blue jays, chickadees and cowbirds.  We also have squirrels.  Two of them are frequent visitors to our bird feeder.  The fat one is a Red Squirrel.  The kids and I have affectionately named him Bob.

Bob is one of our favorite visitors.  He comes every day and he is so determined!  He climbs up on the bird feeder and hangs upside down using only his tail to hold on.  He uses his front paws to grab as much seed as possible and stuff it into his mouth.  Have I mentioned Bob is fat?  He’s very fat.  I think it might be because he eats every day at our feeder, but I could be wrong.

We have a greyhound, we adopted him from a Greyhound Rescue.  He is older, I think he is almost 9 years old.  But he is still fast when the mood strikes.  And his mood strikes often, especially when Bob is stuffing his face at the bird feeder.  We always try to give Bob a little heads up by knocking on the door before we let Simon the Greyhound out of the house.  And then it is a race to the finish!

I’m not sure if Simon will ever win, but he is determined.  And Bob is equally determined, both to stuff his face and to survive to the fence, up the tree and out of Simon’s reach.  I have made it my mission to be as determined as Bob and Simon.  I am determined to get my house back in shape.  I am determined to teach my kids the love of God.  I am determined to have people see that I am a Christ follower.  I am determined to be the best wife possible.  I am determined.

If Bob every holds still long enough, I’ll try to get a picture of him hanging upside down and post it.  Until then, Please enjoy this picture of a woodpecker that was a rare treat about a month ago at the feeder. 🙂

Robby

Simple BBQ Ribs

I love to entertain.  Preferably at my home.  A couple of weeks ago I invited another family over for dinner.  Papi scheduled a football game for the same night (getting him to look on the calendar is an exercise of patience), so the dinner needed to be rescheduled.  We rescheduled for the next day, but I knew, I just knew, it was going to be a problem.  What I had decided on for dinner was going to take at least 2 hours to cook.  We had rescheduled the dinner for 6:30 pm.  And the girls and I were going to a baby shower at our church….at 4:00 pm.  Have I mentioned yet that Papi only cooks pasta and ramen noodles???????

Papi gracefully volunteered to make dinner….so then I had to find a simple recipe for him….I mean seriously simple….that he could follow.  Google to the rescue!!!!!

I found this great recipe for Simple BBQ Ribs over at http://www.allrecipes.com .  I left him with instructions on how to do that and some corn on the cob and to boil potatoes so that I could mash them.  I headed to the Baby shower with much trepidation.

When I returned back to the house, the smell of BBq Ribs cooking was filling the house.  It smelled so good.  Papi had cooked the ribs, the corn, and boiled the potatoes.  All I had to do was butter and salt and mash the potatoes!!!  Our guests were supremely impressed with the ribs, saying that they were some of the best they had ever eaten.  So PROPS to Papi!!!!

 

INGREDIENTS:

5 pounds pork ribs

2 tablesppons garlic powder

2 teaspoons pepper

4 tablespoons of salt

2 cups your favorite BBQ Sauce

Place ribs in a large pot with enough water to cover.  Season with garlic powder, pepper, and salt.  Bring the water to a boil and cook for 45 minutes.

Remove ribs from pot and put them in a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Pour BBQ sauce over ribs.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 325* for 1 1/2 hours.

Feeds: 15