Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Right or Left Brained

I found this rather interesting, especially after the coffee bean picture:

Weird thing is that when I first looked at the dancer she was spinning counter clockwise (making me left brained) then I scrolled down and read what that meant. When I scrolled back up and looked at her again I saw her spinning clockwise...............I think I'm going crazy.

What do you see?

Milk and Cookie

Monday, October 29, 2007


I convinced my sister Gina that she needed to set up a blog. Actually, I took the liberty of creating it for her and posting her first post.
(it was an article she had e-mailed to me that she was submitting to her MOPS newsletter).
So here it is!
Expect great things because she is funny, smart, witty, creative, frugal, and SHE HAS FIVE KIDS!

Disneyland on a Shoestring

The boys and I are going to Disneyland!! It seems kind of strange, with money as tight as it is and Dave not being able to go because of school, to be taking a vacation, but this will truly be a shoestring budget vacation.

My mom promises all her grandkids (all 19 of them) that she will take them to Disneyland the year that they turn 7. The grandkids are all pretty close in age so her trips always include two kids and sometimes three. This year it is Ben and Caleb's turn to go. I think this is her fifth trip with the grandkids, so she has it down to a science. However for safety reasons, she asks (and pays for!) a parent to go along. This time I get to go along and since Dave will be working and preparing for his finals the next week he is not able to keep Cooper home with him, so Coop gets to go also.

We will be staying at my parent's timeshare, so we will have a kitchen which I hope to put to very good use. My plan is to try not spend any money on food in the parks because it is soooooo expensive. I would love any hints or suggestions on meals to make, snacks to take and money saving vacation tips in general!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

For Kris and LeeAnn

I was hoping to just be able to post finished product pictures and tell the story about how this came about (just a little hint.....I got the cabinets for free!!), but because the guys I work for are doing the work when they have time, I am at their mercy for the finished product. So here are some pictures I took last weekend while the tile was setting. Since my camera broke right before we started this project I wasn't able to take a before shot, so I will have to search the archives for a picture that shows the cabinets I had before.

The guys are having to build and hang one more cabinet for above my stove (micro-hood), re-hang my microwave, and put up the crown moulding. I still need to touch up my grout and paint, do the caulking, put the electrical covers back on and re-attach my base trim.
The "graffiti" says "I love Dave". I decided that since my microwave was going back up there it would be a fun thing just leave. The red paint ran down the wall though, so it looks a little creepy.
More pictures to come, I can't get any more to download to blogger for some reason..........

Monday, October 22, 2007

Five Things I know for sure after yesterday......

I know now that 25 lbs. of grout goes a very long way. I did not need to mix up the whole bag!

I know now that it will take a week and a big bottle of lotion to get my hands recovered.

I know now that grout is forgiving.

I know now that grouting is neither easy nor fun. No matter what Heather thinks!

I know now that the sense of accomplishment was well worth the work!

Pictures of my kitchen soon.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Camp Dutter

Cooper has a special name for his brother. He calls him Dutter. That was how Coop's first attempt at saying brother came out, and it stuck. We know that Cooper can now say the word brother, but we have allowed Dutter to remain as his special name for Ben.

Tonight was a fun family night, it started with pizza out with some very dear friends (We Love You Dumonts!) and then a fun filled family worship night at church. When we got home and I was putting the boys to bed, Coop wanted to sleep with Ben. That is usually cause for disaster because Ben is the one who falls asleep instantly and Cooper will lay awake in there and talk, sing or make just about any other noise, which really bothers Ben, then they end up fighting and then mommy ends up unhappy. Well, tonight Ben agreed to a letting Cooper sleep with him and I of course threatened that they would be seperated if there was any problems. The boys decided to get out the tiny indoor tent and set it up in Ben's room to sleep in. So the tent was up, the boys were snug in their sleeping bags, and I had prayed with them and was leaving the room when I heard Coop say "Dutter, your the best brother I ever had.", to which Ben replyed "I'm your only brother, but your the best brother I've ever had too."

Friday, October 19, 2007

Five things I know for sure

My friend LeeAnn tagged me to post about 5 Things I here goes:

I KNOW that God is my Father. The One that I can depend upon for all things. He will never leave me nor forsake me (Deut. 31:6), and because He gave his Son Jesus to die for MY sins, I will have life for eternity with Him in Heaven (John 3:16).

I KNOW that believing that Jesus died on the cross for our sins is THE ONLY way to heaven. You cannot get there just by being a good person, or living a "clean life". We are all sinners and the Bible says that "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

I KNOW that I rely to much on outside sources for my happiness when I should be relying on GOD and only GOD.

I KNOW that my three year old does not cover his ears out of disrespect when I am yelling. He truly does not like to hear me yell. I need to quit yelling at my kids.

I KNOW that I feel much better about myself and am a happier person when I work out regularly. Why can't I just get my hinney to the gym more often?

That is a little bit of what I know. Not sure who is left to tag.......Maybe my sisters should start blogs, so Michelle, Angie, Kris, Gina and Darla. What do you all know?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Yummy Dinner

Here is a really easy and very good recipe for Chicken Pot Pie that my kids LOVE! I make this often during the fall and winter because it really tastes like comfort food without all the labor. I call it Mara's Easy Chicken Pot Pie because the recipe comes from my friend Mara. Here it is:

Pie Crust for top and bottom of 9" pie
2 C. cooked chicken, diced or shredded
1- 15oz can of Veg-All Original Mixed Vegetables
1- 10 3/4 oz can of Campbells Cream of Potato Soup
1/2 C. milk
Thyme to taste
Pepper to taste

Place bottom pie crust in 9" pie plate
Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl
Pur into pie pan
Add top crust, crimp and cut vent slits

Cook in 375 (preheated) oven 40-45 minutes
Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

My Shortcuts and Hints:
*I usually use the Pilsbury premade pie dough, just because it is convenient and my mother never taught me the secret to her excellent pie crust.
*Whenever we have a store bought rotisserie chicken I pull the leftovers off the bone and freeze them until I have enough for a pie.
*I often make two pies at the same time and freeze one for later use or to give away when someone needs a meal brought to them. If I am making two pies at the same time I will use an extra can of Veg-All split between the two pies just to sneak in a few more veggies.
*Do not salt the ingredients before tasting. The Veg-All is salty already, and you could end up with too much salt!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Monopoly Outrage

I played Monopoly tonight with the boys. I have always loved that game. I remember playing it with my sisters and dad when I was a kid, I used to play it in college with my roommates (cheap entertainment!), and I had played it once before with Ben. Tonight's game was a quick one. We started at 7:15, with full knowledge that bedtime was at 8. I was really impressed with the educational value in a game of Monopoly. Ben set up the game and was the banker. Cooper and I were the realtor. Ben did an excellent job as the banker, he was able to make change for all the transactions very quickly, even when I payed him with a $500 bill for a property that only cost $120, he came up with $380 as my change. Cooper got to roll for me and helped me count out the spaces as we moved our race car along the properties. I was also impressed with Ben's financial prudence. He bought wisely, and in the end was the winner with more in cold hard cash and mortgage values than Coop and I. So why the outrage? Well, as we were putting the game away Ben said "I want to get Electronic Monopoly." I asked what Electronic Monopoly was and he explained that instead of having money you got to have cards that you just run through a machine. So after he went to bed I came online to check out this "Electronic Monopoly". Sure enough here it is.........

Instead of giving children the learning experiences of setting up the bank, distributing the fake paper money for each players beginning funds, and making change, now kids learn about using plastic (credit) to buy properties, pay rent and utilities, and even to get out of jail all in the name of Monopoly. As if our national consumer debt crisis were not bad enough, even the institutional game of Monopoly has gone the way of plastic. This is scary. I have seen in my own children the dangers of living in a no cash society. I once told Benjamin we could not buy something because I did not have any money with me, and he said "just use that gold card mommy". This cashless world makes it seem as if we have an endless supply of money available to us at the touch of a few buttons. It is possible to never "see" your money by using direct deposit, debit or credit cards, and on-line bill pay. I believe that we are doing a huge disservice to our children by having them never see the process of a paycheck earned, a trip to the bank, cash in your pocket, and a budget or list to stick to.

I am as guilty as most, but have recently started a new money process with both of my boys (this is another one of the great parenting skills I have gleaned from my sister Kris!). My boys both get an allowance for basic work that is expected because they are a part of our family (ie. keeping rooms clean, dirty laundry picked up, clean laundry put away, dishes cleared, and an overall helpful spirit); Ben gets $5 per week, and Cooper gets $1.50 per week. The boys and I then sit down with our change jar, their wallets and three envelopes for each of them. The first envelope is labled 'tithe' (or giving), the second is labeled 'long-term savings', the third is labeled 'at-home savings'. The first thing they do is put 10% into their tithe envelope to be taken to church. The remaining balance is then split in half (in Ben's case the balance of $4.50 is split into two piles of $2.25 each). One half is put into long-term savings, and once a month we take the contents of that envelope to the bank for them to deposit into their savings accounts. The remaining balance is again split in half, this time with half going into the save at home envelope and the other half going into their wallet. The wallet money is for them to spend however they want, no questions asked and is usually spent on candy, video games, or Icees at Target. I also give the boys the option of putting more than the allotted amount into their savings from their spending money. The save at home money is used to buy the bigger "i wants". As in I want a Webkins, I want a Transformer, etc..... I almost never (except in my weakest moments, which are very rare or for gifts) buy my children any more than the basics; food, clothing and hygeine items. If I am going to a store in which my children might find something desireable, I always let them know ahead of time that we will be going there, thus giving them the opportunity to bring along their wallets if they wish, although I never directly suggest it. If my boys find something in the store that they want to buy but do not have enough money with them, I do not pay the difference on a promise to be payed back when we get home or when they get their next allowance. I tell them that they may not buy things on credit with me. If they really want the item they can go home and be sure they have enough money to cover the cost and on our next trip to that store they can then bring along the correct amount of money. If they have enough money at home and the item of desire is still a priority, I usually make it a point to take the child back to the store within a few days. But often the child gets home and decides that the desired item is not so desireable anymore, and the money continues to builds up. This technique has worked wonders for our shopping trips and the boys understanding of money. They still get cases of the "i want"s or the "can we get"s but I always tell them that if they have enough money with them they are welcome to spend it.

Of course Cooper is not able to count out or split up his money on his own, so I do it for him, but he sits there with me through the process, and he is very excited to put his "spending" money in his wallet (all 34 cents of it each week).

Needless to say, I will not be buying (or allwoing my children to buy) Electronic Monopoly, and I hope others avoid it also. There is still a chance to reverse the debt crisis in our society, beginning with the game of Monopoly.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

It's been a while....

since I've blogged, and two people actually noticed! No one big reason for my absence, just a bunch of little ones. After the news of our little friend Luke it seems like my "stuff" is rather trivial (it is). Also, I am having new kitchen cabinets put in and my house is in a major state of disarray. Our house is small (1302 sq ft) and the kitchen makes up a big portion of that, so to have everything from my kitchen, in boxes and piles, in my living room has created so much clutter that even my brain feels cluttered. The kitchen cabinets are a whole seperate blog, I think it will be titled Huge Blessings, but you'll have to wait until the kitchen is done and I can post pictures before I tell the story of how this came about.

Speaking of pictures, my camera broke two weeks ago. The LCD screen went haywire. So I pulled out the paperwork to check the warranty. I had bought the camera last fall, so I knew it was getting close. Fortunately, I had 14 days left on the warranty! So I hurried and mailed it to the repair shop. Just yesterday I got an e-mail saying that it had been repaired and was being shipped back to me. Hooray!

Ben's school pictures came home on Friday. I am not sure I like them though. They are fine pictures, it is just that one of the great things about Ben is that his hair is rarely combed, and even when it is combed it is still usually pretty messy. Well, it looks like some picture day helper took it upon themselves to tidy up Ben's hair, thus making him look nothing like the Ben we see every day!

I am thinking about sending him for re-takes and pinning a note on his shirt that says "my mom says not to come my hair please!"
Remember the whole class picture? The one of all the students and the teacher lined up together. You know how there was always one kid who had that "deer in the headlights" look? This year it was Ben! definitely one to save for the wife to see someday!

Ben came out of his room about 20 minutes ago wanting me to feel his loose tooth. It is his first loose tooth and has been loose for almost 6 months. He is coming up on his dentist appointment next week, and I told him that if he didn't get it out that the dentist would pull it. So tonight it was just about ready to come out. I told him to get an apple out of the fridge and to take a bite. He did and it worked! The tooth didn't come out in the apple, but it loosened it enough that he was able to just give it a little twist and out it came. He was so excited! He called his dad at work and Grandma and Papa Rosebrook to tell them. And now the beutiful tiny little baby tooth is nestled safely under his pillow, waiting for the tooth fairy to bring him his moolah. I wonder what the tooth fairy does with all the teeth she will be collecting over the next few years? Does she save them as keepsakes or toss them? Comments appreciated!

Please remember to continue praying for Luke as he courageously battles leukemia.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Pray for Luke!

We have some friends whose seven year old son has just been diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. Please lift this family up in your prayers. They are embarking on a season of life that no family ever should have to endure.
Luke is beginning chemotherapy immediately, and while the statistics for this type of leukemia are scary, we believe that God is capable of miracles.
The sepcific requests from the dad at this point are:
1. A "brave heart" for Luke (he has a fear of needles!)
2. A new form of normalcy for their family, especially the two other children as their mom and brother will be away at the hospital for an extended period for treatment.
3. That God will be glorified through all this.
4. Healing for Luke
Here is Quote from Steve's (dad) e-mail that was sent shortly after the diagnosis:
"Praise the Lord! The Lord is good all the time, and He truly has been good to us. He is strong enough to accomplish whatever He wills. He is the only One who loves Luke even more than Vikki and I. I don't know (thankfully) what lies ahead of us, but I absolutely know that God is good!"
I will update as I hear more.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I am throwing a little party tonight. I only invited myself, since it is kind of late, but you all can celebrate with me when you read this.
What am I celebrating?
Thank you for asking.
I am celebrating a major parenting milestone.
We are completely and totally a diaper and pull-up free house!
Cooper has been day time potty trained for well over a year, but we have been putting pull-ups on him at night. Well, for the past two months or so he has been waking up dry nearly every morning and yes, I re-used the dry pull-ups for a few nights before tossing them. (Which is not nearly as bad as my sister who rinses, dries and reuses disposable swim diapers!) Two weeks ago we used our last pull-up and I decided not to buy any more. I figured I could take him to the bathroom before I went to bed, and since he usually wanders into my room in the night I would have to make it a point of telling him to go potty before he gets in my bed.
It has worked. He has not had a single accident since he quit wearing the pull-ups!
(Isn't this about the time most people start wanting just "one more"? Cuz i don't have that feeling at all!)

Fish Update.......

The fish are Dwarf Platies, and it appears that Bubbles is actually with child, or shall i say with fry. I "Googled" the information and came up with a picture that looks exactly like Bubbles with her white belly. The info i read said that she and Flipper would probably eat the fry unless they are protected in a "breeding net". So, do I go buy the "breeding net" or allow nature to take its course? HHMMMM.......

Monday, October 1, 2007

Responsible Pet Ownership

I am NOT a pet person. As a matter of fact, I really see no purpose in having most pets. I know I'll be hearing it from some people for those comments, but that is my opinion, and this is my blog, where I can post my opinion, so there!
I have had animals, some as pets and some not. For a while growing up, we had a small "farm". We raised chickens, rabbits, a few cows, and pigs. We had a humongous sow named Kupcake; she lived out towards the back of the property, and every year we would put up the side rails on my dads truck, load up Kupcake and drive her to a farm across the river for a conjugal visit. She'd stay a few days to be sure the job was done, and then we'd bring her home and about four months later she'd have little piglets. They were so cute! One litter had an exceptionally small runt that we brought into the house and hand raised for the first month of it's life, just like Charlotte's Web. I think we even named him Wilbur, but unlike the book, reality is that Wilbur met the butcher. I was careful to not get to attached to any of the animals, because they were not usually pets. Besides, it is easy to stay unattached when you have to help with the castration. Yes, I have participated in pig castrations. Care for more info? Ask me about it sometime! I have also participated in chicken butchering, and it is true that when you cut off a chickens head, it can still run around for a short period of time. On butchering day we would have dead, headless chickens lined up on the kitchen counter waiting for the boiling pot. You have to boil a chicken for a short period of time in order to get it's feathers off. And the horrific smell of boiling chicken feathers is something I will never forget.
We also had a few family dogs and often some stray cats, but rarely did pets ever live in our house, with the exception of the runt pig and the occasions when the dogs were let in to get out of the elements. What I remember was that every animal had a purpose. Cats were mousers, dogs were security and everything else was breakfast or dinner!
Now, as an adult, I do not see any reason to have animals as pets, much to the dismay of my children. And believe me, we have tried. When Benjamin was a toddler, a neighbor offered us a kitten from her litter, so we took it. It proceeded to chew up every pacifier that Ben left laying around (which was okay with us since it was time for them to be gone) and pee on my carpet. Since the idea of having a litter box and a toddler just completely grossed me out, I was trying to train the cat to go to the door to be let out, but it just didn't seem to be working. So when the neighbor girl came asking for her kitty back I eagerly obliged. Goodbye Samson.
Shortly after that my sister gave Benjamin a goldfish as a gift, because he was still a toddler the fish had to stay in a common area of the house. One evening after Ben had gone to bed, I cleaned the fish's bowl and left it on the counter next to the sink. The next morning as I walked into the kitchen I noticed that the fish was no longer in the bowl. I asked Dave about it, he knew nothing. I searched for evidence that Ben had somehow done something to it, but there was no mess or anything. As I looked around the counter for the fish a slight glimmer in the garbage disposal caught my eye. I looked in, and sure enough there was Dorothy. She must have jumped out of the bowl sometime in the night, landed in the sink and flip-flopped her way into the garbage disposal. Dorothy was dead.
A few years ago, another offer for a pet came our way. A friend of a friend had a litter of fullbred Black lab puppies. Did we want one? Dave and I talked about it, and decided that a puppy could be fun for our kids. We went to the house and picked out our little male black lab and I named him Tucker (cuz I knew that he would tucker me out!). We brought Tucker home and he proceeded to cry all night, every night for the next week. We were determined to kennel train him, so at one point I even slept on the floor outside his kennel to keep him company. Finally he slept through the night. Then he became a full blown puppy! And puppies chew. And Tucker chose Cooper as his chew toy. And soon Tucker was bigger than Cooper. Tucker would see Cooper and go bounding across the room, knock Cooper down and proceed to "chew" on his face and ears. It was all fun and games to Tucker, but Cooper didn't think so. Cooper would start crying and screaming at the sight of the dog; which Tucker took as his sign to start barking. That in turn would send Ben into hysterics, and he would try to run away. Tucker the puppy liked running, so he would chase Ben. Ben would climb whatever he could to get away from Tucker, and Tucker would run circles around whatever piece of furniture Ben had climbed, barking. The puppy was having so much fun. But I wasn't. Something or someone had to go, and since it's against the law to sell your children, it would have to be the puppy, who by the way was the sweetest dog when my children were sleeping! So after eight weeks with Tucker, we found him a new home. He went to live with a young, single guy who worked for his dad's construction company where all the guys took their dogs to work with them. When he picked Tucker up he loaded the kennel and stuff into the back of the truck, picked Tucker up and put him on the front seat right next to him. Off they drove. So long Tucker.
Well, now it has happened again. Again the offer for a pet came our way. This time my nephew was selling a five gallon aquarium. He offered the entire set up, including two small fish to us for $12. I told Ben that we could have it if he paid for half. I was trying to teach him responsibilty. Of course Ben is not one to pass up a chance to spend his money or mine, so we now own a cute little fish tank, with a lid! Here is the problem. I think one of the fish is either sick, crazy or pregnant. I can't remember what kind of fish they are, they look like little goldfish, but they aren't actually goldfish, they are dwarf something or anothers. Ben has named them Bubbles and Flipper. Well, Bubbles has a large, distended white belly and Flipper does not. They both used to swim to the front of the tank when we would approach it, but now when we are standing at the tank only Flipper comes to the front and Bubbles swims frantically back and forth at the back of the tank. I guess we'll find out soon what her issue is. Does anyone know the gestation period for fish?