Monday, May 31, 2010


I've probably mentioned it, but I have this new found love of hanging clothes out to dry. Any time that the sky looks remotely clear enough I throw a load in the wash and then drag them (well not really drag...then they would be dirty again) outside to the line. Seeing how the line is in the front yard I do refrain from hanging any "unmentionables" on the line; I just don't want my neighbors to know that much about me. I've thought long and hard about this new passion (mostly when I'm procrastinating instead of oh, let's say, making dinner) and have yet to come up with a substantial reason as to why I love it so much. Is it the smell of clothes and towels and sheets dried in fresh air? Is it to lower our electrical bill? Is it because it means that it's not raining? None of these seem to adequately explain the satisfaction and contentment I receive from the lines full of drying clothes, though the last one comes close except for the small fact that I don't mind the rain. I suppose it's not important in the grand scheme of things. So I guess I'll just do it and remain blissfully unaware of the deeper meanings to hanging laundry out to dry, if there are deeper meanings. Or maybe I'm just a housewife whose friends are contemplating intervention because I need to get out a little more.
"Oh dear, there she goes, she's rhapsodizing about laundry again!"
But alas, no more procrastinating, I really must get up and make dinner.

Friday, May 28, 2010

My Little Artist

Hannah is always drawing. This morning she asked if I knew anyone who could help her be a better artist because, "I am an artist but I need help to be better."
Here are a few of her latest drawings, she's going through a pencil or pen drawing phase right now.One sun, two flowers, three butterflies and six princesses.

Starting from the top right corner and moving clockwise: "Waiting to talk to someone when they are talking to someone else." "Being patient" "Putting your toys away" "Picking up your clothes" and "Letting Ivan go first when we go for a walk".

And the above is my personal favorite; they are all superheros on the left. The top one is a guy who takes care of cars, the middle is a girl who takes care of people and the bottom, oh the bottom one, is a person who takes over the world.
I love how it just naturally follows the other two. : P

Hope you have a great day!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Breakfast at Emily's

Believe it or not, it's that time of week again. I think.

It is Thursday, right?

Oh good. It's really been one of those weeks.

Head on over to Cowgirl Clippings for Soaked Granola. This is a new favorite breakfast at the Dante house even though we are currently out of it. Food doesn't last long around here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday Night Fun

Erik and I have been watching tons of Mythbusters on Netflix lately.

Truth be told, I would rather watch Mythbusters than a chick flick.

That said, even though they warn you not to try any of what you see at home, we figured this one was safe.

Which one you ask?Well, just wait a minute and I'll get to it.
But first, we decided to invite our friends over to watch. While we were waiting for them to traverse the length of the road from their house to ours......we decided to run some races. My kids love to run races and Erik got in on the fun too:

And again!

We're still working on sportsmanship. This is the "he pushed and pulled me and so I lost" face:
So can you guess the experiment we're recreating?

That's right. Mint Mentos and Diet Coke fountains.
The crowd waits in expectation.

Two Mentos:

Four Mentos:

Um...more than four :

Oh yes. Good cheap fun. Much better than actually drinking the stuff.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Our dog Quincy has been holding his back left leg off the ground for a day or two so Erik took him to the vet today.

Diagnosis: partially torn ligament in his knee.

Poor puppy dog. So we've got to keep him resting for the next couple weeks.

Oh my. This should be fun.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Then There Were Nine

No, I am not pregnant with triplets.

No, I am not pregnant at all.

The other day, much to our disgust, we realized that we have owned eight vehicles in less than 7 years of marriage.

Yesterday we picked up our ninth.

Sure I can justify each and every vehicle but still, eight?!

I tried to see if I had pictures of all our different vehicles just to make this post more interesting but alas, even though we have gone through a lot of vehicles, I just don't love them enough to take their pictures.

And now, without further ado, here is number 9:
It's a '99 GMC Safari with less than 10o k miles on it. The plan is that this once will last us for a very long time.

And now for a little story.

Erik and I both dislike looking for vehicles. Though we know some great mechanics we are not mechanics or car people. We know if they drive. We know if they are clean inside. Erik knows more but that's about the extent of my knowledge.

So we prayed.

We've always liked GMC Safaris or Astros (they're basically the same vehicle) and so we started looking around on Craigslist. We found one in Vancouver, WA in our price range with low miles. We arranged to go look at it yesterday and drove out after church. We left the kids with Erik's parents. They are wonderful like that.

Thanks to his parents' GPS system we finally made it to:

Victor and Angelina are a wonderful Christian couple that were very excited to learn that we had a "large family" and that we were Christians also. They invited us into their home for tea and then fed us while all the time continually speaking encouragement to us about God providing and looking after us. They shared their hearts about raising children to know God and know that the Bible is truth. It brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart. They moved to the US from the Ukraine about 18 years ago and still speak with very thick accents but it was so much fun and made our car buying experience just that, an experience.

I love when God goes beyond just what we ask.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Breakfast at Emily's

It's that time of week again and the only reason that this post wasn't up sooner today is that I haven't had internet service until now. So check out Cowgirl Clippings for Breakfast at Emily's: Authentic Sourdough Bread and Cinnamon Rolls.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Miss Moddy

I just have to tell you about this girl of mine:

This little girl continually amazes me. Maybe being the fourth kid she decided she had to assert her personality more. She is by far the least cautious of all my children.

She loves dirt:

She loves to climb. Her favorite spot is the top of the table; be it the kitchen table or the picnic table:

Clayton introduced her to chair climbing and honey. She added her own twist by climbing up the "rungs" of the chair back and over the top of it to reach the honey on the counter:

She has also discovered that if she pulls the table cloth towards her it also pulls whatever is on the table cloth. We have found her eating the extra pancakes and brother's vegetables. She loves to eat, but you'd never guess it by looking at her. She's a peanut.

She definitely keeps me on my toes. She's such a curious little thing.

I like her.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Car Accident

Don't worry, we're all just fine.

Last night on our way into Erik's parents' house we were in a car accident.
Let me repeat, we are all okay.

The van on the other hand, is not.

We all got to ride in Scovel's big tow truck:

Marilyn was fascinated by the stick shift. Sorry the photo isn't very clear; have you ever tried taking a picture in a moving, bouncing tow truck with the setting sun glaring through the windshield?
Scovel's kindly dropped us and our van off at home and here we all sit. Erik and I are a little sore this morning. The kids are running around and playing & fighting like normal. They are mostly disappointed that we aren't at Grammy and Grandpa's house.

Thank you Lord for protecting our family. Please work even our accidents for your good. Teach us and guide us. Praise the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever. Amen.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Oh the Drama!

My dad's nickname for me growing up was "Princess".

Emily, age 6:
In third grade a girlfriend invited me to her birthday party. For her party they were going to the movie theater to see "Wayne's World". The only thing (or so I thought) that was standing in my way was that she had planned her party for a Wednesday night. I had Awana so I knew I couldn't go, but then, much to my delight, she changed the evening of her party so I could go. At least this is what I believed. But then my ever wise and caring parents stepped in and said that this particular movie was not appropriate for a group of third grade girls and I would not be allowed to go.

Oh the agony! I refused to go to school that day, this girl was going to hate me! She had changed her party for me and now I couldn't go, I couldn't face her! Oh the shame! The humiliation!

To those of you that know me, I know you might be a little shocked right now. Me, drama? I know, it's hard to fathom but it's true.

This is how I remember it. Mom, you could correct me or you could let me live under this delusion a while longer, I kind of like this story:

I didn't go to school that day but I had to stay in bed all day and that evening my mother presented me with this mug:

My darling daughter Hannah now drinks from this mug.

I wonder how many times my mom muttered under her breath, "I hope you have a daughter just like you." Now she just laughs when I tell her all the things that drive me nuts about the Fair Lady Hannah. Apparently I do have a daughter just like me.

So here's a new one Mom: the stall tactic.Was I good at this? More than any of my other children, Hannah is brilliant at this and she practices it a lot.

The other night right before bed, out of the blue, Hannah asked, "Why is God going to destroy this earth? Why is he going to take it all down and make it new?"
"Hannah, that is a discussion for another time, remember your question and we will discuss it later."
"But I want to know why he's going to get rid of this world? I kind of like it here."

Now I'm all for taking every opportunity to share truth with my children but this was very obviously a stalling question and she wasn't as interested as she claimed.

Some days I wonder how my mom survived my drama.
Some days I wonder how I survived my drama.
Some days I wonder how to survive Hannah's drama.
But then I remember to enjoy it; I think I'm turning out okay.
There's hope for Hannah yet.

Breakfast at Emily's

Well, for better or for worse, it's there. It's Thursday and today is the very first "Breakfast at Emily's" post over on Cowgirl Clippings. So head on over for Blueberry Biscuits. They're oh so yummy and easier to make than muffins.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Church Shirt

I was kind of grumpy Sunday morning. I had plans and expectations of getting to church early to practice special music for church and I was changing a diaper when I looked up to see Erik watching something on I think I snapped something to the effect of, "Is that really important to be doing right now?!" To which my dear, loving husband snapped back, "I'm trying to figure out how to tie this stupid tie!"
We apologized to each other later.
And he wasn't referring to the tie on my sweet Ivan; Ivan's is a clip-on. Hannah and Ivan got together and suggested that Erik wear a tie because Ivan was wearing a tie and Erik being the amazing dad that he is said, "Okay" even though he doesn't wear them often enough to remember how to tie them.
Alas, Clayton did not have a tie but it didn't seem to bother him.
And is there a point to confessing all this to you?
I just wanted to share the picture of Ivan (sorry about the whole "squinting into the sun" look on his face) in his new church shirt and tie.
I suppose I could have shown you without all the back story, but what's the fun in that?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Wonderful nap in my hammock, in the garden, in the sunshine with a favorite quilt; this is what my afternoon looked like:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Breakfast at Emily's

I'm thrilled to announce that starting Thursday, May 13 I will be posting as a guest contributor on my new favorite blog Cowgirl Clippings (yes, it was a favorite even before they asked me to contribute and they are kindly overlooking the fact that I am not a cowgirl).
My title may have clued you in but it will be about breakfast. Every Thursday I will be sharing an old or new favorite breakfast recipe over there and reminding you over here to check it out. I hope that between times you will check out all the other fun stuff they have. Did I mention I'm really really excited?

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


It's here! But more importantly, IT WORKS!

The UPS man actually came early to my house. My camera was waiting on the doorstep when I got home from MOB this morning. I quickly grabbed my battery and memory card and put them in and flipped the switch to on...YES! It turned on! It took pictures!

And since a camera can't take a picture of itself I had to use my old camera. Can't wait to start sharing more pictures with you!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pumpkin Soup

Yum. That's pretty much all there is to say but you guessed it, I'm saying more because, well, I can.
Usually I use pumpkin in things like pumpkin bread, pie or waffles but that just didn't sound thrilling at the moment and I've wanted to try pumpkin soup for awhile. And so much for the "not running to the store all the time" - I was out of carrots and celery.
I'm attempting to cook one meatless dinner a week, we eat a lot of meat. Not that that's a bad thing, it's just really expensive.
The kiddos weren't quite thrilled with the soup but they ate it. Erik on the other hand almost ate himself sick he liked it so much. And paired with sourdough bread straight from the oven...YUM!

Pumpkin Soup Recipe

1 large onion, chopped
6 fresh carrots, grated
3 stalks celery
4 TBSP butter
3-4 cups mashed cooked pumpkin
1 TBSP minced garlic (I used 3 or 4 cloves, pressed; we like garlic)
2 tsp thyme
4 TBSP chopped parsley
2 cups 1/2 n 1/2 (I used 1 cup milk and 1 cup 1/2 n 1/2)
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion, carrots and celery in butter until soft
Add the remaining ingredients except the 1/2 n 1/2 and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add the 1/2 n 1/2 and reheat gently, salt and pepper to taste.

We sprinkled Chives on top because my children are obsessed with chives right now.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Happy Spring...

...we're having pumpkin soup for dinner.

I know, they don't really seem to go together. Pumpkin soup, spring...nope...but it is what it is. I have a whole bunch of frozen pumpkin, real pumpkin from a friend's garden, that is languishing away in my freezer and no ideas for dinner tonight. Okay, well, I had no ideas until I remembered the pumpkin. It's part of my "use it up and don't go to the store more than you have to" goal.

And the rambling is only to get to the point of telling you that I have never made pumpkin soup before but I've heard of it.

Last night it was really cold and windy and today is much of the same, so I think winter is still keeping it's claws in and holding on for a few more kicks and least it's a good excuse for something warm and cozy like soup. I like soup. I'm hoping I like this soup; I'll make sure to let you know how it turns out. Maybe if you're lucky you'll get a picture too. Not off my new camera though, that doesn't get here until Wednesday and I have hopes that the soup won't wait around that long to be photographed.

Happy Spring to you!