September 29, 2008

halloween 2008

well, Halloween preparations have been in full swing at our house for more than two weeks. it's our tradition to decorate as much as we can inside & out and then add something new each year.

since last year we thought we'd be in an apartment this Halloween a lot of our stuff is inside stuff that we got new -- and lookie, lookie we HAVE a yard (I guess you can call it that!)

so kid #2 has this great idea of what she wants to be -- a Gothic bride. and we almost had to say yes since we've never been able to do the other thing she always wants to be -- a hooter's girl. those outfits go for a pretty penny on eBay!

so Darkside went to a used shop here in town and found that they sell wedding gowns for $2 (!!!) and they are really nice, although older in style - which works for us!

Here's the one we got, I forgot to take a picture before we washed it & started working on it -



There are some problems with it, not sure if they were there before we washed it or not -

under the arms

back zipper some closures are missing

in spots in fraying, this is a shoulder lace piece

the little "pearls" are hot glued on??

here's the work I have done so far besides the pining up (shortened the inner layer)

we're planning on dyeing this black and making a crinoline/petticoat of some bright color to put underneath. oh and a veil & bouquet, of course!

here's some looks we're using as inspiration -

this is going to be sooo much fun! hope it all turns out good =)


September 28, 2008

kid #4 celebrated her 5th birthday

recently kid #4 celebrated her 5th birthday (has it really been that long?!)

Here she is with her cake -

And she's the last one to add their name to the birthday paddle this year. She was SO ready to do this too!

Here's the paddle all finished (sorry but some things have to blurred or replaced!)

Kid number 4 got lots of Hannah Montana gifts & said she had a GREAT birthday.


September 27, 2008

harvesting our cheyenne peppers

ok, first off I've been missing in action because I'm an idiot! I was harvesting our cheyenne peppers and preparing them for hot pepper relish this past week and I did it without gloves.

Well...... they never caused any problems before!

But they sure did this time! I thought I was gonna die!

And let me point out that any "remedies" that are online -- don't work! At least they didn't for me. But with some time it got better, thank goodness!

let this be a lesson, always wear protection hehe!


September 24, 2008

I Want That Wednesday: amazon kindle

**I posted this last week but the lady who runs this is still trying to restore order at her house after Hurricane Ike. So I pulled it and decided to wait till this week. I really hope she's able to get things back to some order. This must be VERY hard for everyone there.**

We have about 2000 books in our house, at any one time. They are mostly ours except for about 100 from the public library and the 150 or so meant for Paperback Swap. And I always want more.

You can never have too many books.

Well...... except when it comes time to move =)

And I always love new electronics.
So for I Want That Wednsday I want -

no I'm not crazy, I know it costs over $350.

But maybe, just maybe it'll somehow magically poof all these books into it (fairy dust, is included right?)

And then, maybe it'll get up and do the dishes.



September 23, 2008

apple and pumpkin recipes

Brenda whose blog I read regularly is looking for apple and pumpkin recipes and I have a ton of them so I thought I'd add them here too.

Actually I only have 2 but I have a ton saved that I'd like to try sometime. So here goes nothing =)

The first recipe comes from my FAVORITE cookbook, which just so happens to be my 1st cookbook -- Betty Crocker's New Cookbook. If your ever wondering what to get a young person for a wedding gift, new house/apartment gift, or a whatever gift - this is the thing. It's VERY helpful with well tested recipes and great pictures. They have everything well sectioned and many hints & troubleshooting tips, even tips for hosting dinners. There are many versions of this book, mine is the 1996 edition.

Since I'm lazy I photographed it instead of typing (click to see larger) -

I have done the recipe on the left as pumpkin bread -- GREAT!

Here's the picture the book has of it -

Here's the other recipe I use & love -


definitely have to type it up! LOL!

Got this recipe from my aunt. We went to her house once for a visit and she sent us home with some. When we ate it we were in LOVE! She said she got the recipe from a cookbook she had but while making it she messed up with the amount of one of the ingredients. She didn't realize until after it was in the oven though. So she figured oh well, what's the worst that can happen? Well it turned out great! She later made the recipe the correct way and no one really liked it so back to the messed up recipe! So here is her messed up Fresh Apple Bread.

Fresh Apple Bread
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (she probably used light)
  • 1/2 cup butter or vegetable shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1.5 cups raw apples -peeled- and grated (do apples last)
  • 1 cup milk (she probably used 2%)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour (she probably used all purpose)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt (she probably used table salt)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (she does have powder crossed out here)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (we usually don't add this & it turns out fine)
(1st) In a large bowl mix sugars, shortening or butter, eggs. Add milk and vanilla

(2nd) In a medium bowl mix flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda. mix well.

(3rd) Add dry ingredients with the first ingredients a little at a time. It might get stiff dough.
Then add your apples*. The juice and apples will make the dough smoother. add nuts.

* do apples last so they won't turn brown. I peal the apples and cut into 4ths and put in cold water when I first start, then all you have to do is grate them. (she probably used a food processor for this)

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. watch it for doneness for your oven. (she had a propane gas oven) You can put it in greased loaf pans or cake pan.

See what happened was after I got this recipe from her I thought wow that's alot of work (hey I am lazy!) so I asked if she had a good pumpkin bread recipe. She said instead of the apples add a can of pumpkin. She also said if you want zucchini bread instead just add the same amount of zucchini as apples and your good to go! So although I've ate this recipe, I've not made it the way it is wrote. I've only made it as pumpkin bread.

Here are some apple & pumpkin recipes I'd like to try & had saved for awhile -
In my opinion the Kraft Foods site is a great place to get inspiration and recipes. Although you do have to overlook some of their specifics at times - like use Jello brand gelatin, when everyone knows most times a generic brands works just as well.

And I'm not sure how much ANY of these recipes will help Brenda out but I wanted to try to help =)

good luck!


I stumbled across this site today - And all I can say is WOW! I knew that someone probably did this somewhere, but never was sure of where, ya know?

And they are sooo cheap too! I think this would make for a great birthday present for a kid. Make sure and check them out - the prices are on the how to order page.

I'd love to be able to save up our little pieces and broken crayons to send in, but we don't have too many of those here. We had one of those little crayola machines that melted down the crayons so you can make "new" ones for two years and never used it once! Our kids will usually color with a crayon till it's almost gone then throw it into the crayon tub. The crayon tub is a tub that is about the size of a plastic pencil box but 3 high. It holds ALOT of crayons.

We purge it about once a year, so I guess we could donate then. They would be some sad looking crayons, but hey, they got recycled - right? And we're really into recycle, reuse, repurpose =)

Sadly as the older ones get older, we don't seem to use as many crayons as we used to =(


September 22, 2008

Past Experiences Test

silly test I took -


69% Crazy, 57% Insane and 18% Lame!
You are the life of the party! You know how to have a good time and are not afraid to have little every now and then! You live life to the fullest and you do things for you! You've seen some pretty crazy shit but nothing gets you down.

who'da thunk it? HAHA!


September 21, 2008


Here is another piece I embroidered in the past -

**sorry about the toliet paper, but had to cover the name**

Bad thing about this was that I started in 1998 and didn't fully finish until 2004 - can you say procrastinate?! But hey, I got it done! Now if I can finish putting on the baby's name & stats =)

I originally started this for a cousin of mine, who at the time was pregnant with a little boy. When I bought it I thought it would be ok for a boy or girl. Later and even now, I'm not so sure. So I'm finishing it for #4.

It was one of those stamped fabric things you buy at the store. The hardest part was finding all the floss for it. There were like 30 colors needed! I messed up some here and there, but not anything real noticeable. But that's why I do stamped work & not counted cross stitch - I get confused easily HAHA!

You don't even want to know about how I have to count all the cups of flour that goes into bread!


scrapbooking LO

I did some messing with paint shop tonight, well morning now.

Here's two things I made & started -

first I messed with a picture I took earlier this year

and here's a new project I'm starting with all the kids, when finished it will be the year (2008) in pictures of them with the 20 being the first half of the year in pictures and the 08 in the last half of the year in pictures -

credits - Template by Liz Designs, paper by LorieM Designs

It's been so long since I've done any scrapbooking. I really liked doing again, but sadly that doesn't mean I'll be able to do it more often. There are a million things to be doing lately =(

im gonna try to post later too


September 19, 2008


This is a great series that Rocks In My Dryer has been doing, it's called what I'd like you to know. Here's the most recent one that hits very close to home for me & I wanted to share it here too -


September 18, 2008

a perfect ying yang

I bookmarked this post by Core Foundations so I could direct anyone who wants to there so they could read the great story she has posted. It's about how the grass is always greener on the other side.

Such a sad story. And Darkside says that this same storyline was a Twilight Zone episode once.

But that's the way most people think at least I know I do! But I also try to curb that part of me as much as possible. It helps if you try to see things from all angles.

I spend most of my time trying to make myself be as neutral as possible. Anyone who knows about roleplaying will understand what kind of neutral I am trying for -- the kind that is close to impossible. Each side wars with the other all the time.

Those who don't or haven't roleplayed can understand it by thinking of it this way -- I like to sit on the fence and it's a VERY small fence & I have a big butt! HAHA!!

I strive for a perfect ying yang.

crazy i know!


September 17, 2008


I've recently re-awakened my old love of embroidery. No I'm not even good at it -- but I really like it.

I was taught how to embroidery by a teacher I had when I went back to school while pregnant with #3. That teacher's name was Mrs. Robinson (I think?). I loved listening to all of her stories and great bits of wisdom. She taught me many things about parenting that no ones else could of.

Like did you know that when teaching a child how to tie shoes you can not teach them by sitting in front of them? If you do that you are actually showing them it backwards. You must sit behind them and reach around then show them. If you do it the other way (across from them) that is a good method for teaching a left-hander. Thankfully she told me this I was seriously losing my cool with #1 for not learning what I was showing him - which was wrong! But then I really needed to know because #2 is left-handed. Go figure!

But the way she showed embroidery was so down to earth and didn't make anyone feel as if they couldn't do it. She brought in a white piece of $1 cotton fabric in and told us to pick out a design. She let us see how much it cost for the whole class to be able to do this project - which was under $4! She let us pick out our own floss from her stash. Then a couple days later she brought back the fabric with the designs penciled in. We were taught how to work the embroidery without a hoop, too.

I finished that piece in 1 night. I was so excited! When I had class with her again I showed her and then asked if I could do another one. I knew I would be leaving soon to have #3 so I wanted something to keep my hands busy. She picked out a design and then told me how to do it. I tried and couldn't get the hang of it though (my belly got in the way, alot!). So she took it home for the night and the next day had it done.

That night I went home and got to work on it. And every night I'd try to work on it a little more. But things are kinda hard to finish when your going to school, tending to a 1 year old, taking a 4 year old back and forth to preschool, keeping the house, and dealing with all the court battles like we were. And Darkside was working full time swing shift hours so he could only help so much. That's not even mentioning the exhaustion I dealt with because of being pregnant!

About a week into it I went into labor. Although I kept it out and had every intention to finish it, that never happened. And through all the moves we've made it got put up. For 10 long years.

Till about 3 days ago.

Thankfully I found it and finished it! I could still see all her little X's - the time and effort she put into that for me was tremendous. And although I appreciated it and I'm sure I said thank you, I can't help thinking it wasn't enough. I sure wish I could thank her again.

I could almost hear that little square of fabric sigh with contentment! Finally, it was complete!

Crazy, I know!

here it is -

And here is my new project -here- downloaded & printed from the web.


September 16, 2008

common sense

I bookmarked this post by For Cheap Sake to talk about here. You should definitely read it.

I agree with her main point which is - children should be taught to respect authority at very young age or they may resent it later.

I've seen this first hand. Not a great way to live later in life when you walk around resenting ANYONE in a position above you. It's sad.

I am not like that. Although I do have a healthy dislike for people who are power high and in a position above me. But I know that if you wait those people will fall and all will be better later.

But I also believe that anyone who feels loved and wanted can overcome even something such as resentment to authority. No it may not last forever but the person will gain a tolerance that is much higher than they started with.

I think that people -especially kids- really need a lot of love, but mostly to be wanted. To be wanted for something makes a person feel like they have a reason to live and something to work towards.

But the key is to love your kids, make them feel wanted, and make sure they learn common sense early.

Common sense to me includes being able to understand authority. It also includes how you should act in public places, whether they are dangerous or not (Because dangerous is a whole different set of actions.) To me, common sense covers so much - but yet isn't usually anything difficult.

if you can tell common sense is on my mind alot lately!


September 14, 2008


I know it seems like I'm doing this alot but can't help it! The blogs I read daily are great sources of fun and thinking material. Here's another one.

I was reading How We "School" Part 3: Lessons on the blog My Total Perspective Vortex.

I totally agree with her thoughts on how to handle the tough situation like the one she had. I would of handled it EXACTLY the same way. Well, except I would of cursed and called her EVERY bad name I could think of for at least 5 years! (once I left the room) I'm pissy with the @&!*# and I wasn't there, didn't know her, and it wasn't even my kid! *(below)*

My problem is what do you do when you see other people treating your kids poorly and they are either too naive or willing to allow that to happen? And the problem is that all my kids are this way and have been ever since they were little.

For example - when #2 was in Kindergarten we put her in public school. All the adults at the school knew we believed in homeschooling and was only doing public school because the kids wanted too. (what was we thinking?!?!) Well #2 LOVED school -- EVERYTHING about it too.

Poor thing never even clued in that her old bat teacher was extremely hateful, rude, and mean to her. The old bat tried to tell me at the first quarter parent-teacher conference that #2 was so far behind the rest of the kids and had no attention span that she would probably need to be held back. AT THE FIRST QUARTER CONFERENCE -- OF KINDERGARTEN!!! There were other things too that she said that day and NONE of them were what should of been said to a parent of kindergartner that early in the year -- if at all.

I tried to explain, even just clue her in on little things - but nope she didn't even get a clue. (she don't remember now, thankfully!)

What does a person do then? At what point do you say - "I'm tired of my kid getting kicked like a dog and I'm standing up and stopping it!" And then when you mention it to anyone else they always say (at least to me) "Anne your trying to protect them too much. They need to go through that now or else what will they do when their adults?"

um, ok! somehow I think there's something wrong with that picture - maybe it's just me?

let my kid be abused (verbally, psychologically), used, taken advantage of, and made a fool of -- since they haven't seen/understood what's happening -- this is a learning experience that I HAVE to let go on .......... HUH?!?!

I believe that kids should have to wait till being more grown up to have to deal with people who are wrong like that -- no they won't have experience in dealing with these problems, but they will be more mature and will be able to handle them the way they want.

But then again, maybe I'm wrong. I'm only a about 1/8th the way through raising 4 kids. Maybe those older people who tell me I'm wrong are really right. You know one of those people is my mom. Heck she raised me (at least for about an 1/8th of my life) and I'm alright. She used these same ideals on me (somewhat).

oh except --- even though I was left to "learn" of how to deal with experiences such as the one in How We "School".... I still - even as an adult - don't know how to deal with something like that. My great idea on that situation is to curse the woman for 5 years --- wow, very adult and experience lead decision.

don't know, really don't know.


*RANT - why can't some people just appreciate we're all different and that it IS possible for someone to be doing something nice cause they want to -- some people are just helpful like that! Like everyone is supposed to be little soldiers and if you aren't you should be punished until you conform! UGH!

September 13, 2008

my mafia family

You know what? I am continually shocked at the treatment of people by those they are close to.

Also how so many people use time apart as a reason to not be polite. You know - I haven't seen you in years so why should I care if I offend you -by say- talking bad about your favorite football team? Well, DUH!

I have already went through and overcome the shock at how friends treat one another, new or old. It still baffles me and leaves me pondering - Is this the way things are for everyone? Or is it just me seeing the worst relationships around? I read many books where these problems don't happen to other adults. You also don't see these types of things in movies or TV often.

And I have seen how family can be just WRONG for no apparent reason. But I never thought that family would act as if time apart was a reason to not be decent. You know common sense decent. Especially my family!

But I should probably explain that most of my family has a mafia style of relationships. No I don't mean like real mafia (I don't even know about that!) but like what you imagine the mafia is. You know one head honcho who dictates to the underlings and they in turn dictate to their underlings -- that kind of thing. Yep that's my family!

So in my family here's how it works -
  1. don't EVER say anything about the head honcho unless your positive that the person your telling can be trusted under extreme pressure
  2. don't say anything bad about the 2nd tier of hierarchy to the head honcho -- this will result in an immediate dress down by the head honcho
  3. don't say anything bad about the 2nd tier to another 2nd tier -- this will result in an long drawn out conversation about all the "good" points of the gossiped about person
  4. don't interrupt while the head honcho is saying something bad about someone in the 2nd tier -- there is NOOO WAY you could know more than the head honcho about them!
  5. don't say anything bad about the 3rd tier to the head honcho -- this will result in a quick explanation of why said person is the way they are
  6. don't interrupt while the head honcho is saying something bad about someone in the 3rd tier, unless your willing to back it up for the rest of your life
  7. don't say anything bad about someone in the 3rd tier to someone in the 2nd tier -- exceptions are: months that end in y and every leap year, sometimes every even year too (being sarcastic here!)
  8. don't say anything bad about someone in the 3rd tier to someone else in the 3rd tier unless you want to hear about the 25 reasons why they think said person is even WORSE than you do
  9. don't say anything bad about someone in the 4th tier unless you want to hear about how it's not really their fault it's really cause the 3rd tier person above them screwed up
  10. and there are so few 5th tiers but just in those few cases -- don't say nothing bad about them because no one will even listen --- they don't count yet!
do I have you confused yet? Hell I almost got confused and it's me writing and my family!

what it breaks down to though is that people are not right. they aren't right in the ways they treat people -or- the ways they let people treat them.

it's sad to think that I don't want my kids to have even 1 of the same types of relationships that I have. cause the people are ok -- but they just ain't right -- and if their not right then what's the point?

back to square one.

I really thought that adult life would be different than this. But I guess adult life is alot harder than I was thinking.

Who would of thought that your only requirements of the people your around, be -
  • common sense
  • honesty
  • common sense
  • compassion
  • common sense
  • thoughtfulness
  • common sense
  • common sense
  • common sense

September 1, 2008

my kids' births

Just for fun, I'm playing along with Shannon from one of the blogs I read daily. Three cheers for the real "laborers" as we celebrate Labor Day! (cause we all know I'll NEVER labor away at a job!)

How long were your labors?
Kid #1: 5 years ~ estimate (*lol!*)
Kid #2: ~ 7 hours
Kid #3: ~ 15 hours
Kid #4: ~ 6 hours
How did you know you were in labor?
Kid #1: he was so cute I couldn't help but start to fall in love
Kid #2: induced
Kid #3: woke up @ 6am to read the paper (like this isn't unusual, sure sign!)
Kid #4: induced

Where did you deliver?
Kid #1: in J'ville @ home
Kid #2 & #3: hospital in J'ville, you know where the elite are born (story to follow)
Kid #4: in the hospital of my dreams in Burlington, IA
Kid #1: none! I wanted them though! prozac woulda been GREAT!
Kid #2 - #4: yep the wimpy shots - DON'T WORK!
I had a H-section with Kid #1 -- my heart was cut out! But no C-sections.
Who delivered?

Kid #1: his daddy
Kid #2 - #4: great (or at least passable) doctors

A lot of this is tongue in cheek. We all know that I didn't actually give birth to #1 but I feel that the process to now was the same thing. He's mine though. I may share him with another woman, but that doesn't lessen things. And for clarification purposes - she labored TERRIBLY with him in his birth to this world, which ended with a emergency C-section that she probably was grateful for. He was a big baby with a HUGE head - all the better to hold such a smart brain =)

The story about the hospital where all the elite are born. It's called Passaway by those who have ever been there for anything - well except me. Almost everyone I know was born there except - ME, kid #4, Miss M #4, my inlaw parents, and my Dad. I was born in Whitehall - the hospital is still there but it's now used for offices. It's soooo small compared to hospitals today! It's kinda cute =) It's difficult to deal with when filling out forms to fill in something different instead of listing " " <-- I love using those things! But oh well, such is life. You must either resign your life to fighting, whining, and crying over it or just deal with it. I choose to just deal with it - even the annoying parts. later....