Monday, February 27, 2012


As most of you know, I have a cold/bronchitis thing. It is one of those nagging, tickle in the throat, mucus in the chest, nasty keep you up all night cough that you would swear you need to start wearing Depends for. Like most people, I hate having a cold, bronchitis or pneumonia. Alas, it didn't matter that I didn't want it ~ even though I had a cold three weeks ago . . . it hit hard and fast, but I am thankful a cold/bronchitis is treated pretty easily and recovery is only days or maybe even weeks away.

I am Thankful for a loving and patient family when I am not feeling my best. I am Thankful for Alice to help with the house ~ even more so when I am not feeling well.

Tonight, I have many emotions brewing around in my head and heart. Many in this world are suffering with illness . . . more than just a cold. How can I complain about a cold when others are enduring much, much more.

Sadness . . . if you have read my blog for very long you will remember my asking for prayer for a precious little girl named Kate with brain cancer. She began her journey a few years ago and has had no active signs of cancer in her MRIs the past several scans. This sweet little girl has blue eyes and blond hair . . . has been having a bit of weakness in her right leg. Her kidneys may not be strong enough for further treatment. Kate is scheduled to have a Brain and Spine scan this Thursday at 1:00 p.m. and her family is requesting God's people to pray. Will you join me in praying for this sweet little girl and her family?

This is Kate . . .

This is Kate and her family. . . I copied these photos from their caringbridge site so you could see her beautiful eyes and sweet smile.

You can read about or contact Kate's family HERE.

Solemn . . . quiet in my heart as I ponder all that is important to me . . . all that I am.

Prayerful . . . for those that I love. Two very special Aunts ~ enduring more than imaginable. My Cody recovering from pneumonia. My Ryan, Cameron and Evan as they learn to make good choices. My Katelyn as she travels to and from college and all she encounters each day. My husband Randy . . . he always has so much on his mind, I don't think his brain ever takes time off. My parents, sisters, brother and their families . . . between all of us and my immediate side of the family - 25 family members in all . . . safety, health, day to day endeavors and life in general. My husbands side of the family as well . . . elderly parents, 18 family members in all . . . again, safety, health day to day endeavors and life in general. 

Thankfulness for sweet images of an Aunt and Uncle in pictures from the past. Thankful for amazing memories made through the years. Thankful they are no longer in pain, have no worry and are together in Heaven.

Blessed . . . I feel blessed beyond measure and Proud of my heritage. This afternoon I received a sweet sweet message from my dear friend Angie. We met at the eye doctors office . . . she works there and I am a patient. We immediately connected the very first time I was there. This afternoon I found out that Angie lived on the same street as my Grandma, Aunts and Uncles when she was growing up. Here is what she wrote after that . . . it is sweet!

"And why I felt a connection with you .......... it was those Fisher genes. They are the best. When you walked into your Grandma Fisher's house you felt the love there."

I remember Grandma's house fondly. It is crazy, but today my Mom dropped by some old pictures for me to look at . . . in those pictures . . . Grandma, the grand kids, the house and the front porch with pictures of her children and grandchildren. Putting the conversation with Angie, my Mom and the photos together . . . gotta be God's timing. Perfect. Remembering Grandma and her house has been going on in my head for years and years . . . today I relived through photos and sweet memories from a friend . . . a long time family friend.

Relieved . . . 

Grateful . . .

Amazed . . . I am amazed at how God works. Writing that just now takes my mind back to the old hymn - I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene . . .

Sunday, February 26, 2012

End of the Weekend Update

The weekend is coming to a close . . .
how do I know?

For Several Reasons . . .

the kids have school tomorrow

Randy will be at work tomorrow

early bedtime for all of them

laundry is done

The Worst Cooks in America is on tonight ~ always Sunday Night!


This evening I also took time to write my Compassion kids . . .

Parn, Yesseli, Joselin, Sergio, Jonatan, Kevin, Rafael, Alan, Sudeep, Ashok, Israel and Joven.

I have their pictures hanging in a special place:

I have always wanted many children . . .

have five of my own to raise up


twelve more to pray for, write to, help to support and to love.

All together I have 17 children ~~~

Hey, I am catching up to the Duggar Family!

(o.k. only kidding about catching up to the Duggars!)

We are blessed in receiving letters from each of them . . .

God's Precious Children


Katelyn has been busy in her Art classes at college.

Here are a few of her latest assignments:

The Cupcake . . .

Bottle Drawing . . .

 Drawing with Pastels . . . Katelyn chose this little ol' froggy . . .

Yes, Katelyn drew this . . .

Isn't it amazing?

I think it looks like it could hop right off of the paper.

He looks slimy and his eyes seem to stare right into you!

What do you think?


Katelyn has made me a cup of coffee and it is time for the 

Worst Cooks in America on Food Network . . . 

gotta go!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bless His Little Heart! Facebook

This morning I received a hand written letter from my seven year old EJ (Evan James). I copied it word for word and letter for letter . . . 

Dear Mom and Dad, 

Thank you fo a house, Thank you for food and water, thank you for a Grandma and Grandpa, and thank you for a bed, and thank you for a Christchin School, and Thank you for toys, and thank you for letting us go to the globe troders, and thank you for adapting us, and Your a osom Mom! and You are a osom Dad to!

Did your heart melt? Mine did! Bless his little heart! He has really been into writing lately . . . now to work on spelling! lol


Today was VERY relaxed in our house. Everyone lounged around . . . envision kids with nintendo games and the adults with Ipads. The furry ones snuggled up and enjoyed the calmness. This afternoon we watched a movie . . . we as in Katelyn, Cameron, EJ, myself and Cody - on and off. We watched:

It was a very good movie and had all of us cheering them on. This movie was VERY good and family safe.


Cody is feeling much better and I am thankful the pneumonia is responding well to the antibiotics. Cameron is coughing, as am I . . . hopefully we will both clear up soon. 


Today, I sat down and cleaned the proverbial house . . . Facebook Friends!

I figure if I don't chat with people or read their posts, why should they be on my Facebook . . .
friends from school . . .

30 years ago?

I still connect with a few, but the pickins are slim!

Many people I don't regularly chat with or even comment to.

Some people were on my friends list that don't even post a status.

So I sat down . . .

went to my FB friends list

650 PLUS

and started to un-friend.

It really felt good . . .

it was a hard thing almost as fun as getting new fb friends!

I am now down to 355 Facebook friends.

I would say . . . I made some progress.

Friday, February 24, 2012



It was a VERY long week!

How about your week? Was it l-o-n-g?

This past week was quite the struggle around here.

Ryan had his good days and not so good days with his schooling.
He tried several times to get me to believe he had completed all of his papers ~ 
when I asked to see them, they mysteriously had disappeared.
Or so he tried to make me believe . . .
didn't work for him.
He was quickly instructed to locate the papers and give them to me . . .
Guess he didn't think I was paying attention . . .
I was.

Needless to say, I was not a happy Mama . . .
he earned himself extra work.
Not a great move on his part.


Cody came down with pneumonia . . .
he was treated with azirthomax.
He is feeling better now, but tired.


One of our employees had her baby girl this morning.
Mommy and baby are doing well.
Congratulations Norma!


Update on Kelly Stamps ~ she was given additional antibiotics and has noticed a HUGE improvement this morning! Praise the Lord!


For some reason or another, I have begun coughing again.
Seems like I simply can't shake this cold!
LOTs of fluids, Mucinex DM and rest!
Movies and bon bons sound pretty good too!

Have a great Friday night!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I just read Kelly's blog post for today . . .

Please click HERE to read her post and PRAY for her . . . she is in the hospital with MRSA.

Thanks everyone, I am sure little Harper and Hollis would like to have their Mama home soon.

1000th Post and Pneumonia is in the House

Wow. . . post number 1000!!! I can hardly believe I have hit 1000 posts!

Today I spent all morning in the Urgent Care with Cody.
Cody's fever was low grade yesterday, but spiked up today to 103.5.
The docs office could not get us in ~ in fact, I couldn't even get through to them ~ they are that busy.
Seems like there must be an epidemic or something going on.
So, we headed into the Urgent Care and saw the doc there.
Doc ordered up a chest Xray - I knew that one was coming!
Off to Xray we went and waited a few minutes to get in.
A very nice guy took the Xray and in minutes we were headed back to the Urgent Care.
Another half hour later and we had the diagnosis confirmation for the head of Xray and the doc . . .
pneumonia in Cody's left lower lobe.
So, he will be out of school for the remainder of the week.
He is to continue with his zithromax, rest, drink plenty of fluids, humidifier to sleep, treat fever and give breathing treatments as needed.

We headed back home and arrived about a half and hour ago. 
Checked in on what Ryan has accomplished with his home school for today.
I was pleased to see that he did three days work in history and is finished with history for the week.
Woo Hoo!
He only has to take two quizzes and work on his spelling for the day.

 Tonight - we will all chill out . . .
and early bed sounds really good!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Another Tuesday is almost in the history books ~ so to speak . . . it is just about bedtime for me.

I have a sickie in my house . . . Cody has come down with something nasty.
Sore throat, cough, congestion . . .
I am sure he is a little petri dish full of virus germs.
The docs called him in an antibiotic ~ the office was jammed packed with patients waiting to see the pediatrician ~ no room to see any additional kiddos. I have to say, our pediatrician we have had for 19 plus years and have always without fail gotten in if the kids were sick and I was concerned enough to call.
Today was the first time I couldn't get one of the kids in.
The nurse even mentioned that her grandchild was sick and she couldn't get him/her in either.
I Praise God for one of our favorite nurses - Beth . . .
she consulted with me and then the doc . . .
symptoms given
consultation with the doc
antibiotics ordered
I am thankful!

Monday, February 20, 2012

No School for the Kids today . . .

Today the boys' school observed President's Day.

The boys were all home . . .

all mine.

We took the day kind of slow,

until I thought it just might be warm enough for them to play outside.

So, out we went . . .

I was wrong . . .

it was cold . . .

I was froze . . .

we came inside.

Down to the basement to play air hockey - four player.

I was snuggled in a blanket.

Everything started out o.k.

Then the arguing with one another began . . .


After a few warnings,

air hockey was cancelled.

Four boys headed upstairs . . .

I was right behind them.

Nap time . . .

sleeping bags and pillows . . .

blanket and puppy for me.

Snuggled all together in our master bedroom's sitting room.

Quiet and naps on a chilly February afternoon.

Everyone was better for it . . .

and woke TWO HOURS later . . .

(the boys slept - I simply rested.)

It was a beautiful thing!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Drawing, Pioneer Woman, Recipe

I think I saw the weekend blur in front of my eyes!

Wow, Sunday night 11:11 p.m. as I begin this post. Just where did this weekend go?

The kids are home tomorrow from school - all but Katelyn, in honor of President's Day.
Should be an interesting day ~ to say the least.
Randy will be at work, so it will just be me and the boys.

Katelyn worked on home work all weekend . . .
I felt bad that she had to study the weekend away and not have tomorrow off.
She did finish up a new drawing assignment,
Do you want to see it?

Yea, I thought you might!

The class was assigned "bottle" drawing.
This photo doesn't do the drawing justice!


This afternoon Katelyn FINALLY took a break from studying . . .
we watched the newest Twilight movie.
I have watched all three with Katelyn and I think the last one was the best . . .
as far as vampire movies go.


Have you ever heard of Pioneer Woman?
I have followed her blog for several years and NOW she has her own Food Network Show!

I LOVE watching her show and see her yummy recipes!

She recently made a little something she called Pop Pulled Pork on her show . . .
on her blog she named it Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork.
Whatever you call it, spell it . . .


Here is the link:


My family RAVED about this yummy delicious Pulled Pork.
If you aren't big into spicy . . . just cut back on the Chipotle peppers.
We used a small can and it was just right for us.
Try it . . . you will love it!


Emma is on the puppy pillow snoring.
Beckett is between my arms as I type.
Mia has gone to bed with Katelyn. I am sure they are snuggled.
The beardies' UV and Basking lights are turned off.
Four little boys are snuggled in their beds.
Randy turned our bedroom light out an hour ago.
The guinea pig is nestled in his bedding.
The fish and froggies - well, they are doing whatever it is that they do at night.

The house is quiet ~ except for Emma's snores.

Tomorrow, we can sleep in . . .
except for Katelyn and Randy.

What do you think the chances are that the boys will sleep in?
Maybe I should have told them we will be having school tomorrow!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday, Homeschool, Good Book

It never ceases to amaze me how many things busy us on a Saturday. Today was not exception!

I began my day by going over Ryan's papers for the week.
He accumulates plenty of seat work papers, quizzes and tests.
Each day I tell him the lesson he is on and expect him to listen to the class on streaming and then do each lesson's papers as the teacher instructs. Most of the week went pretty well . . .
until we took a field trip. The field trip was awesome, but getting that boy back into schooling - 
not so awesome! (insert unhappy mom here).
So, today I sat the papers he worked  was supposed to have completed in front of him.
Guess what he got to do today?!?!?!
Saturday School.
Yep, cause this Mama Teacher is tough.
Needless to say the boy is less than thrilled, but completing those pages he neglected.


I also tackled the making of new file folders for the 2012 invoices, receipts, bills, etc.
Let's just say . . . I had plenty to make.
Now everything is filed away . . .
the filing folder is E.M.P.T.Y!


I started reading a little book that was recommended by Lysa Terkeurst.
A Place at the Table
by Chris Seay

So far, it is a great book and I can't wait to sit down and devour a few more chapters!

Click HERE for a link.

I downloaded the book and was reading it within minutes on my Ipad.

Book Description

January 15, 2012
In a culture built on consumption--especially of food--it is easy to forget the poor that Jesus cared so much about. Following the pattern of his successfulAdvent Conspiracy, Chris Seay invites readers on a journey of self-examination, discipline, and renewed focus on Jesus that will change their lives forever.

He challenges readers to eat like the poor for forty days in solidarity with a much-neglected group of people, and to donate the money they save on groceries to a charity or project that serves the poor in concrete ways. But he doesn't expect them to go it alone. A Place at the Table includes a short chapter for each of those forty days with Scripture, reflections, prayers, encouragement, and tips for engaging the whole family in the process. The six-session DVD, shot in such locations as the Holy Land, Haiti, and Ecuador, will help small groups and entire churches go on a passionate journey of radical faith, personal action, solidarity with the poor, and extravagant grace.


I also checked in on Facebook, my Blogs, played a few games of Spider Solitaire 
and took a little snooze.

I am going to finish up a few things . . .

finish tidying my desk ~ now that I have found it again!

feed the baby beardies . . .

throw in two loads of laundry

get the boys to bed early

grab a cup of coffee and a big ole water

head to the family room to find something to watch on television or movies.

Friday, February 17, 2012

You are Going to be Shaking Your Head at This One!

As I write, the house is very quiet . . . there is only a slight fan sound from my laptop as I write. Silence!

Friday was an enjoyable day . . .  set apart from the other four work days this week.
Today, Ryan and I met up with Katelyn and Randy for lunch . . . Granite City was our choice for today.
Ryan quickly accomplished three classes before we left to meet Randy.
Katelyn only had one class today so she was able to join us.
We had an enjoyable lunch . . .
relatively quiet and sweet conversation.

After lunch we were on to Bass Pro . . .
can you believe we have had one in our area for several months now and we (Katelyn, Ryan and I)
had not been inside until today?
The store was unlike any other we have shopped in . . . 
rather amazing inside.
I have not been in too many store that the store employees were as pleasant!
Extremely friendly and helpful!!!
We browsed and had fun looking at all of the merchandise AND animals, fish and fun.
The customer service counter were equally as helpful and quickly assisted me in a return of an item that I had purchased through the online Bass Pro.
I am pleased to say I give BASS PRO in East Peoria Illinois a 

100 A+ . . . 

It isn't often I can rave this highly on a store . . .
especially a "fishing/hunting" kind of store.

A quick stop to pick up  MORE baby crickets . . . 
yes, I know we just purchased baby crickets for our baby beardies, BUT we are out.
I know . . . I know . . . we just bought a few dozen on our Wednesday . . .
however, I underestimated the size of those wee little crickets . . .
when I went in to feed the baby beardies this morning and looked into the cricket keeper . . .
there was only ONE!


Needless to say . . . 
the baby crickets were having a little freedom party . . .
the baby beardies didn't get breakfast . . .
and I felt like a cotton headed ninny muggin for not thinking the baby cricket container through.

After our fun at Bass Pro, we headed over to my Mom and Dad's house.
We had a lovely visit with my Mom and niece dog Lucy.
Lucy is amazingly funny and full of energy .  .  . and gas! lol
It was nice to just "hang out" and chat with Mom . . .
everyone enjoyed.

Once home, we were greeted by three very happy furry babies!
Two very happy beardies  . . . yay ~~~ breakfast, lunch!
Several dead baby crickets - the bug guys spray got them (he sprayed this morning).
and Alice saying she found the baby crickets.
Thankfully, she laughed!


Speaking of Alice . . .
I thought I would give you an update on how the past three weeks have gone.

After the first week of weirdness . . .
(totally strange and weird to have someone take care of things I have done for almost 30 years)
Wow, that makes me sound REALLY old!
I am still in my 40's folks . . .
O.k. slightly over the mid 40's mark, but STILL in the 40's.

back to my story . . .

After that first week, things began to click . . .
today marked the end of three weeks with Alice and I must say . . .

our family LOVES her!

The boys are learning Spanish . . .
The dogs are learning Spanish . . .
Alice is working on more fluent English . . .
I . . .
well, just let me say . . .
there isn't anything that Alice and I talk about that either of us can't figure out!
Although, we have had a few times when we both were at a loss at the translation for a second or two.

Alice is very conscientious of how she does things.
She takes the time to do each thing 100% and above.
She is a perfect fit for our family.
She cracks me up!

I have been asked if it is strange to have someone in your home each work day that is not family. 
I have to honestly say . . .
at first yes, yes, yes . . .
but now, no . . . 
I know she is in the house, but really don't pay attention to what she is doing anymore.
She takes care of her job and I need not look over her shoulder or check on her.

Today . . .
she even cleaned the oven!

Which leads me to a confession . . .
yesterday I decided to make Pioneer Woman's Pop Pulled Pork.
No problem, right?
Well, I began prepping everything to go into the oven . . .
chopping the onions, measuring out the soda, brown sugar and opening the can of chipotle peppers.
Grabbed the Pork Butt out of the fridge and a pan.
Alice came into the kitchen and offered to help . . .
sure . . .
dig in!
Alice thought the 13x9 pan I was going to use was maybe a bit small for the roast . . .
however, I chose not to heed her warning . . .
I said, "Naaaa . . . it fits, see!?!

We finished prepping the roast, covered it with foil and popped it into the oven.
A few hours later  . . .
I went into the kitchen to turn the roast over as per the instructions.
Much to my surprise and irritation I opened the oven and received a huge ball of smoke up in my face.
Of course, I coughed and coughed because of the smoke . . .
Alice heard me and came in quickly . . .
she asked me if I was o.k. 
Yes . . . I answered, but then she saw the MESS!


I looked at her and said . . .
I must apologize, you were right . . .
I should have used a bigger pan!

I grabbed some oven mitts and pulled the 13x9 pan out of the oven . . .
in doing so, I spilled the marinade and pork "juices" all over the oven door, front of the stove, stove top and floor . . . the pan was just too full!

Needless to say, I had a mess.
Alice helped me move the roast to a roasting pan and get it back in the oven.
No time to clean the crazy thing . . .
the roast still needed another three hours to roast.

It was time for Alice to leave and for me to get the boys from school.
Once I returned home, I began the clean up of my big ole mess.

Once the stove top, front and floor was clean . . .
I waited for the pulled pork to be done and then pulled it from the oven.

The good news .  .  .

Pioneer Woman's Pop Pulled Pork was a HUGE success with my family!

Then, there was that oven mess!

I pulled the racks out of the oven and turned on the self cleaning oven . . .
for the next several hours - with the window open, we smelled my ooppss . . .
and it was bad.
Once the oven was finished with it's cleaning job, we turned everything off and went to bed.
We couldn't do any more as the oven was too hot.

This morning I came down to the main floor to find Alice already at work scrubbing the oven.
Bless her heart!
I really didn't intend for her to take care of the oven mess . . .
but boy was I thankful she did!
She is a real gem!

The sweetest part . . .
when I told her that I should have listened to her advise . . . 
she said, "Oh . . . it is o.k., it will be alright!"

I am amazed and blessed all at the same time.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Field Trip Day . . . yesterday Ryan had a field trip . . . to the Lakeview Museum. It was AMAZING! I took a ton of photos . . . Ryan learned a lot, as did I.

The very first thing we did inside the Museum was PLAY.
There was this amazing hands on learning experience . . .
thousands of plastic tubes with pink tips . . .
push from the back and it become 3D on the front . . . 
we played with this display for 20 minutes or so . . .
Katelyn got in on it too.
The above photo is the side of Ryan's head
and his hand.

The many faces of Ryan . . . and hands.

This one reminds me of a sonogram.

This is Katelyn - she had her glasses on . . .

Ryan was absolutely in his glory with all of these gems, fossils, minerals and rocks.

 Triceratops Horn

fossils - they are really amazing


magnetics - Katelyn and Ryan working together to build a bridge of magnets.

 being a dentist

wind tunnel


 cloud mushroom maker


I will name him "George"!




video game of being the TREX

textiles - I really like them.



hovering ball


 scary bugs - very large - wouldn't want to find these guys in the house

a slice of tree

We thoroughly enjoyed the museum . . . and frankly could have stayed there for hours but Katelyn had class once again starting at 1:00 p.m. So . . .
we headed out to lunch . . .

Look at the desserts . . .

Apple Crustini


Key Lime Pie

Death by Chocolate cake!
Ryan is thrilled.

After the museum and lunch Ryan and I headed to Petsmart to pick up crickets for Apollo.
We stopped to look at the baby beardies . . . 
mind you, we only stopped for crickets . . .
we headed home an hour and a half later with:

two baby beardies - now affectionately named Zeus and Artemis 2

Zeus is the lighter colored one and Artemis 2 is the darker one.

the baby beardies moved into Apollo's terrarium
and Apollo got himself new digs . . .

a much larger terrarium!

Everyone is happy in their little homes and the baby beardies are a blast to watch.
They are so cute!

We had an amazing day . . .
we were thoroughly exhausted . . .
we can't wait to go again!

Copyright Text

Our Lives Uncripted is written by me. All pictures are personal and cannot be copied. No portion of this blog can be copied and/or sold. All content copyright JCP, All Rights Reserved!

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