Of School Things and more

If I were writing a Budget letter, I would start with the weather.
I would talk about how warm it was in February and how cold it is in March.

I would talk about the snow we had on Friday and how blue the sky was.
I would talk about how much snow we had this week and the fact that there was no school yesterday and the fact that it was in the 20’s and the fact that my three youngest stayed out for hours and the fact that I have no desire to leave the house.

But I’m not a Budget writer so I won’t start with all that. Instead, I will ramble on and on and tell you all the things that have been happening that one would not write in the Budget if one were a Budget writer.

~~~

Last week was simply full of running to and fro. Every day felt like a marathon. Marathon, funny I should compare anything to a marathon since I do not know the first thing about running one and would most assuredly pass out after running a simple half mile in this unconditioned body. Speaking of run-on, that would include the previous quite a few sentences today.

We made cut-out cookies one day for the Ohio State Open house at school.
What an affair of floured fun that was. Cut-out cookies and I do not get on well at all, in fact, I think they dislike me very much.

Every year our school does an open house and the kids are in charge. This year they studied the state of Ohio. Each group was in charge of a different set of years and had displays set up with information. It was very informative if you enjoy history.

There were people of all eras represented.

Each group was supposed to make a diorama to display. Obviously, this group’s era included the Wright Brothers.

Reagan was in her glory that night. She was so, so happy that she didn’t end up in a ‘boring modern day group!’ 🙂 Her time frame was 1786-1800 and let me tell ya, there is quite a lot I know about that time period due to helping with research!

Dakota’s research involved listening to us explain things while he spun in circles and picked on the sisters. He did watch some videos on the French and Indian war that brought things to life for him.

This group’s diorama was the Erie canal.
There is a canal full of water complete with boats and all behind the greenery.

Ohio supplied seven presidents for the United States. In a clashing of time line, we have President Grant and from the table next door, our very own governor, Mr. John Kasich.

If there is anything you would like to know about Ohio right now, stop by the school. I’m sure they could answer some questions.

And this one. She would have liked to be in the group that studied the 1950’s by the looks of things but instead she kept her Mother busy running marathons.

~~~

Other random things…

Do yourself a favor, make some scones.
Drizzle a coffee icing over them!

-There was a good-time brunch here on Friday.
-I made so much food on Saturday one would think I was feeding the five thousand.
-Sunday was too short.
-Time changed whipped me. How old does that make me considering it seemed to effect no one else living here?
-Confession: Snow days are not my favorite. If you are not a Mom, I will just leave you to wonder on this one.
-I was so hungry for donuts and cinnamon rolls after browsing facebook on a snow day. What’s up with everyone acting all Pioneer Woman and making me feel bad?
-The people living here will want food again tonight. What are you cooking up?
-Does my entire world revolve around food? It would seem so.
-My mental stability is entirely too unstable right now to listen to chewing children munching something crunchy.
-Speaking of food, what is your quick, last resort meal?

~~~

 Good day all!

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Winter Days

News from around the farm…
Well, not really because we have no animals other than our fat cat named Jack, who is always free to a good home since he’s not technically ours but rather the neighbor’s, but I would give him away anyway!  Now wasn’t that a great run on sentence to start out with?! As far as news, I don’t know… January was fairly relaxed and rolled into the next month that has the weirdest spelling. This month has been crazy. All kinds of things happening at the same time. Too many things.

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Monday was butchering day… does that interest any of you? 🙂
I know some people just perish at the thought of butchering, but it really doesn’t bother me. It was something we did every winter when I was a kid so it has good memories.

~~~

Food wise around the farm….

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Madison continues to bake.
Not everything turns out perfect and this was one of those times. 🙂
The macaroons were not growing feet! ??
Don’t ask me.

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This stuff.
Oh, my word. Make it. Eat it.

It’s called Honey Dutch Blend. It’s not my recipe, it comes from my friend Anna and I think it came her way from someone in our big Miller family, never the less, make and eat. If you are a health nut, just skip over this recipe and keep reading. If you appreciate all things sticky, ooey, gooey and good, just turn a blind eye to the ingredients and enjoy it. 🙂

Honey Dutch Blend

1 box Honey Combs – 1 box Rice Chex -1 box Corn Chex – 1 bag of Pretzels
Mix together in a large bowl.

1 c. Honey
1 c. Karo
2 1/4 c. Brown Sugar
4 sticks of Butter
Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes
Add 1/2 tsp baking soda
Stir and quickly pour over cereal mixture.
Spread on wax paper until dry.

It makes a huge batch and it can be cut in half if you wish.

We also made Mocha Brownie dessert the other night.

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This has got to stop, though!
When there is all this good food in the house I have no self-control. none.
Thankfully, we took this to a family gathering and only had half of it left to tempt me. With a crew like mine, that was only enough for one round of dessert.

~~~~~

Do your kids like to listen to stories?
Go HERE and listen to the Laura Ingalls Wilder books.
Reagan loves them! I think she was born in the wrong era.

~~~

School Days for the kids…
Our teachers do a great job keeping the winter months exciting. Every week there is one or two days with something happening.

They had “clash day” in January but those pictures make me shudder!
One day was “Missionary Day.” The top activity for that day was when the kids smuggled Bibles into the school and hid them. The teachers spent quite a lot of time searching and declared that next year they will bring in reinforcements because the kids are getting better at it every year.
There is cozy-day, popcorn day, exchanging lunches, snack day and more. One day every family is supposed to bring a gallon of milk… hot chocolate day?

Last week we celebrated 100 days of school. They were supposed to dress like a 100-year-old person. I wasn’t home that morning but they needed very little help! One of them especially loved this day.
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I told Dakota to just wear sweatpants because if I were a 100-year-old, I would sit in my chair all day like that. 🙂
Reagan happily dug through a box of old lady dress up clothes I had for other occasions.
Madison didn’t know what to wear so I told her I would stop at Goodwill. I did, and there it was in all its glory for only $4. I took it up to check out and the two little old ladies working the register picked it up and started exclaiming. I opened my mouth to tell them why I was buying it when one says, “This is just beee-u-tiful!” I quickly closed my mouth without speaking and left grinning.

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Yesterday we spend 3 hours on the tubing slopes with the honor roll kids. It was a lovely, bright and sunny day and the kids quickly warmed up! To say they were hungry for lunch after 3 hours of this was an understatement.

~~~

The princess and I have been busy.
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Her room was always just leftover colors from Dakota and she dreamed of having a pink room. Well, her mother is not a lover of all things pink, but oh well, it shouldn’t be too hard to repaint when she is done with pink.

I did my usual painting thing. Started the day by planning to clean the room. Oh well, may as well paint a coat of pink, ah shoot, while it’s drying we’ll do a little gray. Hey, the pink is dry, let’s give it another coat, and by now I would hate to mess up another day, let’s just finish it all! And so by 4:30 we were done. She says, “I didn’t think we were going to do it all today!” Well, neither did I.

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She was happy, happy, happy that night!

~~~

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When you have a birthday and can almost not get to your gift because everyone else wants to see it too.

The princess has a birthday coming up too. She is all concerned about me going to town alone sometime or else she won’t have a gift for her birthday!
Unknown to her it’s already in hiding.

~~~

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Psalms 91:1-2
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty… He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I am trusting in Him.

What do we need in a storm?
shelter. rest. refuge. safety.
Where do we find that?
In Jesus.

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Tales of Nellie Hamster

Now as the summer came to a close,
and the days of earth shortened in length,
it came to pass that the children
of the tribe of Eric, son of Dan,
went back to their place of learning.

Now the son of the tribe
was in his first year of twelve,
and much excitement abounded.
He was joyful in heart and mind
to be leaving the house of his Mother
and joining a classroom with
the beloved teacher of his sisters.

Now the Mother of the tribe of Eric,
loved this teacher also
for her skills and abilities in the classroom
were not to be compared to any other.
But the Mother of the tribe was also wise
and she knew much about the ways of
this much-beloved teacher of her children.
Many years before when the daughters of the tribe
were scholars of this teacher,
animals aplenty abounded
and this mother felt an ill wind blowing,
when she pondered on her son attending this class.

And so it was that school commenced
and excitement rose to an all-time high
in the house of this tribe.
Upon arriving home
from the first day of schooling,
shouts and cries could be heard
from the son of the tribe,
“We have a hamster for a pet at school
and we get to babysit him on weekends!”
And when upon hearing the words of her son,
did the mother’s head drop with her chin
against her chest for all of her fears
had come to pass.

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True to the words of the son of the tribe,
a paper soon arrived for the Mother.
Instructions were to sign for weekends
when you did not want to be the caretaker
of the previously mention small ball of fur.
Immediately upon reading these words,
the Mother grabbed a pen and began to sign
the son’s name upon every line.
Now her children were wise unto her ways
and a cry arose voicing their disapproval of her actions.
Being the kind-hearted Mother she is,
she relented and allowed that the
small creature of fur would be able
to cross the threshold of her home,
but only for the sake of her son.

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Anticipation mounted high
in the weeks awaiting the creatures arrival.
As circumstances would have it,
the parents of the Mother of the tribe
would be arriving the same weekend.
The Mother of the tribe of Eric, son of Dan,
had an uneasy foreboding about the
meshing of said visitors.

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And so the day arrived that
Hamster Nellie of the tribe of Miss Lois
arrived at the home of the clan.
Much hooping and hollering did abound
when the cage was brought into the house.
They immediately knelt upon the ground
and loosen the latch to free the small prisoner.
And so the much loved Nellie was thereafter
carried and cuddle and cared for
in the most adoring manner.
Along with the loving,
this small creature caused many an argument
over who was to have a turn next.

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Now the grandmother of the son of the tribe
is not a lover of all things small and furry.
Armed with this knowledge and a sneaky smile,
her grandson proceeded to place Nellie
upon her lap and stepped back to watch the action.
Much yelling and protesting did come forth,
just in the manner for which he hoped
and with much laughter on his part,
he did rescue poor Nellie.
After the swift removal, it was then discovered
that when a small hamster is nervous and scared,
their bowels produce multiple droppings,
even if it isn‘t appropriate to do so
on a grandmother‘s lap.

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And so the entire weekend was filled
with shrieks and yells and much
exclaiming and ado over
the actions of one small furry creature.
The little fur ball may have been frightened
for her life on more than a few occasions.
Escapes were made under furniture,
behind computers, under tables and such like,
with much chasing and rioting to follow.
Burrowing down under the blankets of
the bed of the son of the tribe,
seemed to be a favorite of hers.
The Mother of the son just
closed her imaginative mind
to the things that must be residing
in the bed and made plans to
clean many things the following day.

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Monday morning could not come
soon enough for the Mother.
Many were the threatenings
and evil thoughts bouncing
when mention was made of this ball of fur.
And much to her dismay
as she was closing the door behind her son
as he made his way off to school,
she heard him excitedly say,
“I can’t wait till the next weekend
we can babysit Nellie!”

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Off to School

Finally.

Finally back to school.
Due to technical difficulties involving buildings, permits, and inspectors, school is starting two weeks later than we had originally planned.

Now I can finally sit at home all day and do nothing. ha.
More like, pick up all the work that I didn’t realize they did all summer.
Or, entertain the small fry that I wanted to leave at school for Preschool. 🙂
I thought she would do well here alone, less screaming for sure, but she is completely bored so far and has had only one question on her brain and that is,
“Is it lunch time yet?”
Once lunch was over we started with a new question,
“Is it time to go get the kids?”
No, but I do believe it’s nap time.

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We have one in 8th, 5th, and 1st grade.

They were actually very excited about school starting, whether they look like it or not. Reagan was excited, if for no other reason than to wear this dress.

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Does anyone else feel like they are too young to have children this age?
How does this happen, that of children aging faster than their parents?
I am stricken with thoughts like this every year at this time.

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We are blessed with wonderful teachers for these young minds.
Here’s to a good school year!

But first, completely off the beaten path from school, scroll back up please, and take a look at that fern on my steps. It may pale in comparison to yours, but I am here to tell you this is the first living and breathing green plant that I have kept alive. Not just alive, people, but alive, well and flourishing! It is completely noteworthy for this black thumb, non-gardening person when something like this happens.

I would love to be able to smile cheekily and tell you I have a wonderful secret for making this thing grow like this but really, I don’t. I only dribbled a little bit of water into it every day, or maybe every other day, or whenever. Pretty much, it just grew itself right up there nice and pretty and all without much help from me. I’m going to buy it’s brother and sister next year and try this again.

The end.

But not quite the end.
I must now go find my preschooler who ran off to hide when I told her it’s nap time.

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School Time

Say it isn’t so.
Those early mornings.
That early bedtime.
Daily runs to and from.
Homework. (they better not yet)
Studying for tests.
Bible memory.
And lunches.
Who could forget packing those!

School it is.
Here already.

School (1)
{Reagan – 3rd grade}

She was very excited this morning.
And a little sad.
She has to leave her beloved Miss Lois
behind and move on to the next room.
Miss Katie will be a wonderful teacher, I’m sure.

School (3)
{Madison – 6th grade}

Madison was nervous this morning,
leaving Miss Britt and moving up with the big guys.
She was ready to go back,
but reading all day appealed a little more.
Last night she says,
“Don’t you feel sorry for us,
for tomorrow we will be confined to the chains
of the prison called school!”

School (2)

{The 2 inside were less the happy}

School (4)

I think they were ready.
Restlessness had set in and they needed
a schedule and more to do.
Now I have a schedule too and more to do.
More to do would refer to the Little One around here.
I guess she notices the change because
we have not had a very good morning.
If she’s not whining around my legs,
she’s running away with Dakota’s toys!
I’m hoping in a few days we’ll have a new normal.

School (5)

How can I have daughters in 6th and 3rd grade?
What happened?
Am I not still 20 years old?
I was yesterday!
Or at least I thought so in my mind.

Sometimes I look around and I wonder,
“How did I get here? Are these my children?
I’m not old enough to be a mom to these kids!”

But the ones I call mine keep hanging around,
acting like I know what I’m doing in this parenting realm…
so I guess I’ll keep trying.

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3 happy purple 3rd graders.

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~~~

And we’re off to another good year.

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Bless you teachers as you teach!
I for one, sure am happy for the job you do!

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May their days be filled with learning, wisdom, new experiences,
growing, fun times, and all things good.

May they learn about important things in life like Jesus, friendships,
kindness, being a peacemaker and putting others first.

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I wish them a fun year and lots of new things learned.

God grant their teachers wisdom and much patience
because it sure takes a lot at home.

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And may my days be filled with more peace and a lot less fighting.

Ta-da! They are off to school!

 

Tales of Teachers and Ducks

And there came a day when the daughters of Eric, son of Dan,
were old enough to receive an education.
They were in need of someone to teach them,
to instruct them and promote growth to their young minds.

This was to be a great education to be exact,
for not just anything would do for the daughters of Eric, son of Dan.
And so it came to be that they were enrolled into the school of choice,
seeing as this school employed high quality teachers.

Soon came the day that the eldest ventured out into the great wide world
and began to attended school day after day.
As the weeks passed, she fell in love with her beloved teacher.
From here forward, this teacher could do or say no wrong,
no matter what the parents of this child might say,
the teacher was always right in the eyes of the child.
And so it was.

A year passed and we began the second year of schooling.
Late into this school term, the eldest daughter came home
with much excitement bubbling forth for so it would seem,
this beloved teacher was going to buy eggs and hatch chicks for them all.
The child’s mother was not bubbling forth with excitement over this news.

And so with much ado, the incubation of the chicks began.
Day after day we were graced with many details of these happenings.
And it came to pass that the chicks were hatched,
2 for each student.
The chicks were lavished upon greatly by teacher and children alike
until one day the beloved teacher tired of caring for stinky chicks.
The message was sent home to all parents,
“Go into the towns around and buy cages and chick food and prepare,
for the chicks will be arriving at your houses any day!”
And so it was.

But lo, this mother who loathes chicks and all things smelly,
did not prepare properly, much to her daughter’s dismay.
After arriving home from school,
2 chicks were sent away to the dungeon of the house.
Soon it became too much for one and he fell into a great of depression,
and shortly there after, took his own life.
“One chick,” said the skeeming mother, “will be lonely.
We must needs give it away to another student with 2 chicks.”
And so it was,
much to the dismay of the the eldest child.

Now it came to pass that the 2nd daughter of Eric, son of Dan
reached the age of education and was sent to the same school.
As before, Miss Beloved Teacher was there to welcome her
and taught her a great many things through out the year.
So it was that the 2nd daughter loved her teacher, just as much as the first.
“What a wonderful teacher,” thought the mother,
who had long forgotten the chicks.

But there came a day, one of great excitement and shouting with joy,
that the children of Eric arrived home from school
to inform their mother of a new project.
So it would seem this beloved teacher
had once again taken it upon herself
to buy eggs and produce more feathered friends for the children.
But it was not to be just any eggs,
these were special,
for there were ducks inside.

After days of turning eggs, much ado,
talking and regaling of egg tales,
they were hatched.
Oh joy of joys, there were ducks,
teacher and children were happy.
Much dancing and laughing occurred at the thought of owning ducks,
all the while the mother’s of those children were groaning within.

Now this mother, although being much wiser this time,
still prepared nothing for when the ducks would arrive.
And there came the day, much to her dismay,
that the second daughter arrived home
with the sons of Mr & Mrs Quack.

Since the wife of Eric, mother of his children, did nothing to prepare,
the daughter filled the little blue pool with water.
After placing her hand in the water,
she declared it much too cold for her precious ducks
because the most beloved teacher had proclaimed that ducks
only enjoy warm water.
One can only imagine what happened next.
The mother was called upon to carry 5 gallon buckets
filled with warm water from the bathtub
for the enjoyment of the ducks.
And for a short period of time,
life was grand while the ducks merrily swam.

Now the tribe of Eric, son of Dan,
has recently become the caretakers of the neighbor’s stray cat.
As all wise ones know,
cats and ducks are not usually on friendly terms
so much care was given to the guarding of ducks from said Cat.
Cat alternated between stalking the ducklings
and slinking away when they quacked.
The daughter, much concerned for the fate of her ducks,
tied a string around Cat’s neck
and the string to the porch railing
and resumed normal life.

It came to pass at a later time
that the mother of the tribe of Eric,
made her way from the dungeon and to her amazement
heard a sound unlike ever heard before.
Much howling, squalling and screeching was coming from the back porch.
Upon investigating, the mother flew into a frenzied state of panic
at the sight of Cat nigh near strangling to death
due to the rope being tied around his neck.
Much will be left unsaid of the frantic events that followed,
suffice to say that all is well with Cat and ducks at the present time.

The ducks it would seem, leave great droppings all around
and cause much grief with smells, sounds and Cat.
The mother of tribe of Eric has been left to tend to these feathered fowls
while her daughters attend school with their beloved teacher.
Many thoughts crossed the mother’s mind today
while she filled the little blue pool with cold water
and swept away droppings of all kind.
So without farther ado,
Pete and Polo Duck will soon be finding their way
to the a fore mentioned neighbor’s pond
where they may swim in peace
with nary a sign of Cat to be seen.

The teacher remains much beloved by her students.
And with chicks and ducks put out of sight and mind,
the mother of the tribe of Eric, loves this teacher too,
for she does a wonderful job of educating little minds.

In the end,
since this mother teaches her children to be honest,
she must be too, and say
she is very glad that there will no more ducks or chicks
in the near future of her children.

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 Follow the ongoing Duck saga here.