Monday, January 28, 2013


First, I want to give a shout out to my friend Marva . . . Hey Marva! She is a sweet friend to me although we have never officially met in person . . . We met through the blogs and the minute be began chatting, we were immediately friends!

Marva requested the recipe for the granola . . .

6 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup of honey or maple syrup or mixture of both
1/3 cup of oil
1 tsp of vanilla (or maybe a splash more)
(you can also add flax if you would like)

mix all together

prepare a baking sheet - cover with foil and spray 
cooking spray on the foil

spread oatmeal mixture on baking sheet

Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown

15-25 minutes or until golden brown

stir the mixture mid baking

Once the granola has browned to your taste, let cool.

Place the browned oatmeal mix into a ziplock - gallon size
then throw in whatever extras you want to compliment your oatmeal. I like to add raisins . . . sometimes chocolate chips . . . sometimes sunflower seeds . . . or a mixture of all.

The combinations are endless . . . dried fruits, pepita seeds, etc.


(ps and let me know how yours came out!)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

There is a song, "Moments Like These" by Selah. It really puts life into prospective . . .

Down on my knees - help me soak it all in.
I want all of this life that you let me live.
Time flies by . . .
Remind me to breathe . . .
My Heaven on Earth are Moments Like These!

Take a listen:

Saturday, January 26, 2013


The timer just sounded . . . the homemade granola has finished baking. The house smells wonderful . . . the boys keep circling through the kitchen . . . I am thinking the yummy goodness is calling them from all areas of the house.

As I write, the boys are beginning to ask for a bowl of granola.
Two are currently enjoying their first bowl.

Lego talk over a bowl of granola in milk.

oops . . .
two more have joined in

Each one told me the granola was yummy . . .
each bowl was quickly emptied, they left the kitchen
and headed upstairs for more Lego.


 This is one of the fish in our little aquarium.

The fishies are very quick and hard to photograph. 

This little tank is six gallons.
It is adorable and easy to maintain.
(sorry for the flash glare)


I have instituted Clean Eating in our home.
The easiest way to explain it . . .
a lot of FRESH and nothing - well, almost nothing from a box.
When I look at the ingredients I look for things that are NATURAL. If I can't pronounce it . . . it is a No No.

At first, the boys were a little concerned . . .
What EXACTLY do you mean Mom?

No more . . .

Chef Boyardee . . . after it is gone
No more pop tarts . . . only a few boxes left

Less . . . much less . .  out to eat
In fact, we haven't eaten out all week!
(the kids did have pizza on Mrs. M day at school)

Going Healthy!

Plenty of home made yummy goodness!

Great food choices . . .

a lot of fresh fruits and veges . . .

meats ~ all types grown without hormones or antibiotics . . .

Home made granola, oatmeal, cookies, etc.

Yummy Home cooked dinners!

Just Saying NO to JUNK food!

Friday, January 25, 2013


A while back I told Randy that I thought it would be 
really fun to raise chickens. 

No, I am not kidding . . .


Randy immediately responded . . .
We cannot have Chickens in this City . . .
it is against ordinance.

Last week Randy came home from work and we sat down to catch up with one another about our days.

Oh, by the way, Randy said.
Chickens are allowed in our city . . .
I found out at breakfast.

I am not sure, but I think my mouth dropped open!

Not kidding!

Immediately my mind began reeling . . . 

I know where the perfect chicken house is . . .

(yes I know it is a coop, however coop sounds country . . .
and house sounds city)

Check these out . . .

I know you are super duper impressed . . .

I really think they are fun!

I think chickens are interesting!

Plus they lay eggs . . .
we LOVE eggs!

Now, before you think I don't have a clue what raising chickens entails . . . I want to tell you . . . I don't!

BUT . . .

I have THESE to teach me about them:

I am sure the books are interesting . . .
especially the Chicken Encyclopedia!

Who knows . . .
maybe we will do a Chicken Project during school!

Kelly's Korner "All About Adoption"

Today Kelly's Korner is hosting "All About Adoption" . . . so, I though I would write a little post to participate.

My husband and I have FIVE kids . . . FOUR of which are boys and each adopted.

We were married in 1982 and wanted children . . . a lot of them! Nine years later I gave birth to our beautiful daughter Katelyn . . . she will be 20 years old next month.

We always figured we would grow our family like most everyone else . . . giving birth as the way to add them. However, God's divine plan was quite different.

We adopted our oldest son as a Newborn. I remember seeing him for the first time . . . INSTANTLY I loved him . . . just as if I had birthed him myself. Ryan's adoption went smoothly and eight months after his birth, his adoption was finalized, a thoroughly BEAUTIFUL adoption.

Almost two years later we received an unexpected telephone call . . . two little boys need a mama and daddy. We met with them one day and took them home the next. I totally expected for that "immediate Mom love" . . . however, this time it was different that Ryan's adoption. My two new additions were withdrawn, didn't know how to react to affection. I wanted to immediately have Mom love, but it took time. I have come to the conclusion that my heart did not have time to prepare for my two newest additions . . . I had time to plan for Katelyn's birth. I had time to plan for Ryan's birth . . . we had "met" birthmom  four months prior to his birth. We had less than 24 hours to plan for our middle two boys. Although not immediate, the mama love came . . . to which I was relieved! It took several years for Cameron and Evan's adoption to finalize, but it was a very tearful day - Happy tears!

We added newborn Cody to our home a year after the middle two boys . . . his adoption was finalized with Cameron and Evan's. We knew of Cody months before he was born. Once again, the Mama love kicked right in. 

I thoroughly believe God designed our family at the beginning of time. He had His own purpose and timing. There were so many times I had grown impatient . . . Randy and I had to wait until God's timing. 

Today our home is filled with a fun loving almost 20 year old daughter and FOUR very loud, rambunctious and handsome boys . . . Ryan age 10, Cameron age 9, Evan James age 8 and Cody age 6.

Many times we are asked . . . 

  • Are all of THOSE yours? I am thrilled to say YES!
  • Don't you KNOW what causes THAT? My answer: YES, God!
  • You are finished adding children to your family, right? My answer: Although my answer at this point is yes, I cannot guarantee what God's plan is. There may or may not be more additions  . . .  ONLY God knows.
  • Aren't you exhausted? There are days that we ARE exhausted, but for the most part . . . not more than normal.
  • Would we do it again? Yes
  • WHY would you take in and adopt another child? My answer, How can we say no? We have enough room in our home and we can support them. God provides!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I enjoy the peacefulness that takes over our home in the evening AFTER the boys go to bed. I think my furry ones do too! My boys tend to be LOUD and WOUND from the moment their feet hit the floor until they climb into bed each night.

The peacefulness each evening allows Katelyn, Randy and I to gather our thoughts, have a little quiet time, think about the day and plan for tomorrow.

Today was a good day . . . the boys had a good day at school with Mrs. M - science projects and tons of fun. Katelyn had a good day in her new classes. Randy started the day out not feeling well, but throughout the day felt much better. I had my teeth cleaned at the dentist this morning and then headed to our home school to be with the kiddos. Beckett was not at all thrilled she was not allowed to go with Mama to the dentist. 

We had a nice dinner - vegetable egg omelets with turkey sausage. The kids had chicken fries, yogurt and fruit. Everyone was happy and filled up.

Tomorrow begins the weekend . . . we are supposed to get a little snow . . . I hope we get a LOT of snow! Sorry friends!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

MID WEEK Already?

My goodness . . .
where has this week gone?
Tomorrow is Thursday already . . .
Wow! Not much time to breathe before the weekend.

I hope your day has been awesome!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Our Day and a Prayer Request

It is quite brisk in my little neck of the woods.
The temperature is 7 degrees and with the windchill -5.
We are all snuggled in and ready for a long winter night!

Our Monday began like ONE OF THOSE days . . .
I had to take this baby to the vet for an unscheduled x-ray.

I was getting ready this morning and noticed she was chewing on a cluster of these . . .

The are called "Buckyballs" and are strong magnetic balls.
Although she didn't have all of these hanging from her mouth, she had a cluster of nine or ten of them. I saw her and quickly told her no . . . you can't have those . . . and she dropped them.
I quickly got dressed and headed out the door with her to the vet.

Our vet office is wonderful and gave her an x-ray promptly.
We were blessed . . . the vet did not see any sign of a magnet ball.
Needless to say I was relieved and praising God.
While we were in the vet office, we decided to get her vaccinations started. We divide them up into two sessions, so she received two shots today and will get the final one in a few weeks. 
Beckett was not at all happy about the impromptu visit or the shots.
Poor baby!

Needless to say, Mom and Dad told the boys . . .
We don't need a repeat!


We received a bit of good news today!
Randy's Mom is doing better and becoming more independent!
We are Praising God for answered prayer!


Our neighbor was a little better today . . . another answer to prayer!


We are saddened today to hear the news that sweet baby
Abby Ann Johnson passed away in utero sometime this past weekend. Abby had Trisomy 13 and had defied all odds of living in utero. She lived for 36 weeks and 5 days in utero.
She will be delivered tomorrow afternoon.
Please pray for the Johnson family.
The Johnson family lives in Nashville, TN.

Thank you all for your sweet and precious prayers.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weekend is Over . . .

Exactly where in the world do the weekends go? I cannot believe we are almost to Monday once again.

We have had a good weekend . . . it could be a bit longer . . . especially with the COLD we are dropping to tonight.  Temps now are 18 degrees but they feel like 7. The temps are to drop to -2 with a -10 to -15 windchill reading. I vote for sleep in and stay under the cozy blankets. I certainly hope anyone that has animals outside have them protected from the cold! If possible I hope they bring them inside!

Please pray for our dear neighbor . . . he is in the hospital with pneumonia in one lung. Please pray for wisdom and healing.

Time to head to bed . . . g'night all.


Good Sunday Morning to all!
Did you get to sleep in?

Randy and I did not sleep in this morning . . .
Seeley Booth decided he needed out around 5:00 a.m.

Randy headed over to his mom and dad's house a bit later.
Their floor in the kitchen was flooded.
Apparently, they have a few issues with the kitchen sink.
He is busy fixing it as I write.

Three of my boys are upstairs playing Lego . . . I hear them singing Christmas carols! Crazy!
the other is in the kitchen with Katelyn and I.

The boys seem to be having the issue of fussing with one another.
One day I hope they will appreciate each other a bit more.

My coffee this morning is tasting "OH SO GOOD" and is relaxing.
Not planning to tackle much today . . .
a little tidy up but not much else.
I do have a few books to read and today is just the day to stay in and curl up with a good book or two!

I read this on Facebook this morning and thought I would pass it along . . . thought provoking.

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her grandmother to her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she place ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, "Tell me what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft. She then asked her to take and egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked, "What's the point, grandmother?"

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity - -  boiling water -- but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her granddaughter.When addversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?

Does my shell look the same, but on the inside I am bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or, am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?

Author Unkown

Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Gift 81

Tonight the winds will be howling and the temperature will be dropping. The 6:00 a.m. temperature is predicted to be 18 degrees. The low for Sunday will be 7 degrees and 
the low for Monday will be 6 degrees.

Gift #81 for me . . .

A Warm and Comfortable home.


Today was quite the day . . . we tackled a lot, took a nap and had family game night.

I took some photos . . .


The Number Caller

Guess RyRy didn't have a good card in our Numbers Sequence game.

EJ and Daddy were a team.

Game is going better for Ryan

Katelyn and Ryan were a team.
NOT sure why they are so blurry!

We finished off Game night with a hysterical game of MAD GAB.

We had a great night!

Friday, January 18, 2013


This week has been a tough one.
Decisions, discussions and changes.
Life with aging parents . . .
not an easy task.

Randy and I have been married 30 years and although we knew the time would come to take care of our parents . . .
we failed to realize the magnitude of that stage of life.

Realizing your parents can no longer live independently is HUGE.
It is then you must have discussions, make decisions and then follow through with changes. Although those changes are made to help aging parents through their life . . . 
parents may not see it as help.

Seeing your parents age and lose independence is hard . . .
but for the parent, it is unbearable.
Parents do not understand WHY their independence is limited. They don't know of anything wrong . . .
They simply don't remember what they can't do any longer.

Then it begins:

irrational behavior

Things the parent treasured before can become forgotten.
The parent can actually take on an entire new personality.

It is hard . . .
It is tiring . . .
It is frustrating . . .

It is a total labor of love from grown child to aging parent.
May we not grow weary . . .
May we never forget . . .

Thursday, January 17, 2013


If you have followed my blog for any length of time you have found that our home is anything but dull. In fact, when I look at the house as we are pulling into the drive each day . . .  I see the house shudder as if to say . . . THEY ARE HOME!!! 
(insert HUGE cringe here!).

Our home is full to the brim with active boys.
You generally hear them before you see them.
Nothing they do is actually considered quiet.
Even playing with stickers requires a volume knob!

I really don't mind the noise level . . .
it keeps me informed of what they are up to.

The only time I worry . . .
when I DON'T hear them!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


It has been a while since I have written about the 
"spooks of the house".

You know the ones . . .
you probably have them in your home too!

"Ida Know"

"Not Me"


I am pretty sure "NOT ME" has been up to no good around here!
This morning two Kit Kat bar wrappers were found . . .
in two different toilets.

I asked the boys who ate the Kit Kat bars and through the wrappers in the toilets. "NOT ME" seemed to be the culprit as each of my boys answered the same.

I was pretty sure Daddy didn't do it, but just to be thorough, I called and asked him. He chuckled and answered, "No, I did not eat any Kit Kat bars and throw the wrapper in the toilet."

So, there you have it . . .
the guilty party is "NOT ME" as witnessed by four little boys.

I really do wish "NOT ME" would throw the candy wrappers in the garbage instead of the toilets!

Sunday, January 13, 2013


This morning began with a devastating house fire in our city that claimed the lives of husband age 79, and wife age 75. 

The news stopped me . . . the devastation of the loss of life . . . loss of family.

Life is so unpredictable. The past month has been a bit topsy turvy and the reality of life has become a daily reminder of our mortality. Our family is learning how to assist parents as age is changing them. I really never realized how hard and emotionally draining this would be. 

I am thankful. Thankful that we are able to help our parents through the aging process. I am thankful for prayer, strength and support. 

My friends, Cherish your family . . . Cherish your parents, spouse, siblings, children. Thank God for them each and every day. Pray for strength and direction when life becomes hard. God will be there . . . He will lead the way.

God Bless

Knitting and A MIRACLE?

Katelyn is trying to learn to knit and it is funny! I tried to learn to knit last year . . . it was funny too! I did manage to knit a rectangle . . . because I am talented! lol NOT!

There was quite a "miracle" in our home today . . . Ryan cleaned up Cody's room! Yep, you read that right . . . While everyone else was napping, Ryan cleaned up all of the Lego toys from Cody's floor. When I heard, I praised Ryan and told him how wonderful it was for him to do that for his little brother. Ryan gave me a bit of a . . . Cool, Mom is proud of me . . . BUT . . .

You see, most ten year old boys are not in the habit of "offering" to clean up their six year old brother's . . . unless he has a motive! Just keeping it real here!

Which brings me to the question . . . Why THAT look? And another question . . . Why? Why would a ten year old BOY do something nice for his six year old brother?

I decided to test the boys . . . First I asked Cody "Why did Ryan clean your room? Did you ask him to?" He answered yes. To which I asked, "What did you promise him?" He smiled and answered, "I told him he could play with my Legos." Hmmmmm . . . kind of thought so.

I then asked Ryan, "Why did you clean Cody's room up?" The answer . . . "ummmm, aaaaaaa, well, I wanted to do it for him to be nice." Really? Well, that is wonderful . . . it WAS very nice for you to do that for Cody! "What is the REAL reason?" I received "the look" from my oldest son. So, I changed the question to, "What did Cody promise you?" "Well, um, that I could play with his Legos." 


I have to smile as I think . . . Wow, their "LETS MAKE A DEAL" skills are improving!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Catch UP

Friday night . . . almost 11:00 p.m. I am writing with our back door open to let fresh air in. The temperature was in the 50's today . . . pretty weird weather for January in Central, Illinois. Tomorrow, we will be brought abruptly back to "normal" weather as we are expecting the temps to drop to the low 30's on Saturday and down to 23F degrees on Sunday. We are also anticipating a bit of snow . . . the boys are thrilled!


We finished up our first week back to school since Christmas vacation. It was tough to get back in the full swing of things, but we managed. It did feel good to have a schedule each day, but exhausting none the less. 

This afternoon before we left school, we found our little Crab had died. It was very sad and rather icky . . . 
Rest in Peace little Crab.

Little Miss Prickles . . . our hedgie is up and about tonight. She is much more active since coming to our home over Christmas break. We may just leave her here . . . 
we have not decided yet.
It is fun to actually see her uncurled and more friendly.


Flu Outbreak has reached epidemic levels in the USA.
Boston has actually declared an Epidemic emergency.
The strain: Influenza H3 N2
The CDC recommends vaccination to reduce the 
risk of getting this flu.

We generally do not get the flu vaccine . . .
however, this year we did . . . all of us.
I am thankful!

The CDC claims it is not too late to get a flu shot.
Apparently, in Illinois several hospitals were put on by-pass . . .
they could not handle anything but emergency cases in the ER.

When should you head to the hospital with the flu?
  • not responsive
  • perssitant vomiting
  • high fever
  • high risk
  • very young children with influenza symptoms
  • very old with influenza symptoms
How can you protect yourself and your family?
  • get the vaccine
  • hand wash frequently
  • do not go into areas of a high volume of people
  • stay in

Monday, January 7, 2013


Life . . .

Life passes by so quickly. 

Where has time gone?

It seems to pass in a blur . . .

Weren't we just:

  • learning to walk
  • learning to ride a bike
  • heading off to kindergarten
  • having our first crush
  • graduating from the eighth grade
  • getting braces
  • entering high school
  • learning to drive
  • experiencing our first kiss
  • graduating
  • getting our first job
  • dating
  • getting engaged
  • getting married
  • becoming parents for the first time
  • becoming parents over and over
  • celebrating anniversary after anniversary
  • enjoying life
  • watching our children grow
  • watching our parents grow older
  • growing older with our spouse
Life . . .

It has a way of getting away from a person. 

Remember to celebrate and enjoy life . . .

It goes by much to quickly.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Katelyn's Drawings in Photos

It has been a while since I have posted Katelyn's art.
Here are some of her recent projects . . .

Using water color and pencil . . .
This project was requested.

This project was the last for her 1st semester projects of her Sophomore year. She received an A on it, had it framed and gave it to her Daddy for Christmas! Randy loved it. Randy graduated in 1978 and the school mascot was a "chink". Shortly after he graduated the school mascot was changed to a "dragon".

This project is "in the works" and was also requested.
Of course it is "Captain Jack Sparrow".

This drawing will be heading to a competition in a week or two.
Katelyn has a bit more work on it before entering it.
Katelyn got Cody's head wet and then let the water drip all over his face. She took several photos and then began drawing.

This is the actual photo.

Katelyn also took several other photos . . .
I LOVE how this one shows his eyes reflecting on the counter and in the mixing bowl. Look at the bowl and you can see Katelyn taking the picture.

 Seeley Booth and Cody

I have to say, this one is my favorite!
I love Seeley's "shy" look and Cody's smile.
The two together in this picture . . .

Weekend Recap and photos

"If you saw them, you would be GROSSED out!" those were the words I heard after the boys fed the Beardies a new kind of bug . . . silk worms. I couldn't believe ANYTHING would gross out my boys . . . especially a little ol' bug!


Tonight we are getting those little EXTRA things accomplished.
Things like sorting the sock basket and matching socks ~ it is quite the job around here! Initially Cameron was sorting them, however Katelyn decided he wasn't quite doing it correctly and took over.

All the boys' cubbies are tidy - they are actually wooden locker built ins . . .  in our mud room. They are supposed to keep them tidy, but  you know how THAT goes!
We also took time to tidy the winter hat/scarf drawer and gloves drawer also in the mud room.

Cody and Ryan's Locker/cubbie

Inside Cody's locker

Randy's locker is on the left, Katelyn's is on the right.
The drawers for hats, gloves and scarves are located under the bench. It all works out very well and if everyone puts their things away properly . . . all stays nice and tidy.

Our mud room is located between the garage and the kitchen. Coming into the mud room and taking a right is our laundry room, large coat closet and a half bath.

EJ and Cody's locker is next to the door to the garage.

The car has been loaded with things for tomorrow at school . . .
with the exception of the Hedgehog and Hermit crab.
They are waiting inside the house until tomorrow.

Seeley is checking in on Gibbs and Alfalfa . . . the guinea pigs.
The hedgehog is to the right and we keep her cage covered with netting . . . it helps her feels a little more secluded and keeps any bugs/gnats away from her as well. She will be making the trip back to our classroom tomorrow.

Emma is plum tuckered out!
I think she just may be ready for all of the noise to disappear for a while when we are all at school. 
Earlier I saw Emma and Seeley snuggled together . . .
it was really sweet but I didn't have my camera or phone to take a picture to share. 


I took a few photos this past week and have not had a chance to post them . . .

A photo of our makeshift bedroom for Grandpa . . .
the bed is a queen size inflatable bed with headboard.
Grandpa claimed it was more comfortable than his own bed.

This is Alfalfa the guinea pig after his bath.
Yes, you can bathe a guinea pig.

Little Sophie

Poor Little Beckett . . . she looks like she is all eyeballs!
our groomer was not feeling well, so I bathed all 3.2 lbs of her at home in our laundry room sink.

This is Alfalfa all sudsy!
Gibbs in hiding at the back of the sink.

Two freshly bathed guinea pigs that were promptly blow dried.

A little bit of snow in town.

Mia is co pilot as little Sophie is in her Petflys bag.

More snow!

It is now time for coffee and to find a little something to watch with Katelyn . . . AFTER I fold laundry!

Have a great night!

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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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