Sunday, August 30, 2009

I am so blessed!

Over the last four weeks, things around here have been rather CRAZY. It started four weeks ago when my oldest 147#, 5ft. 10in. son came to me and told me that his throat hurt and that he had a really bad headache. That started a looooong bout with a really nasty virus. After a week of him literally on the couch, he felt better. Then with in two days, my 12 y.o. daughter came down with it. I knew that I was coming down with it because I had been running a low grade fever with a sore throat as well. As I have already posted, things went wacky with some extended family issues as well as several items broke or quit working as well. I was literally afraid to walk outside. Last week, when I was still sick, my husband made an appointment for me at the doctor's and my son, who recently got his permit, drove me to my appointment. I must say that I was not in agreement to do this, because I did not want to spend the money on myself. Anyway, after the appointment, I had a diagnosis of pneumonia and had to rest. So, that is what I tried to do. My kids jumped in and helped with the house as well as working on their school work. I HATED not being able to teach them. It killed me. I am a mom that gets involved with her kids learning and I take it very serious. My 9 y.o. had surgery this last Friday for an ear problem. He was not able to hear out of his left ear at all. After a tonsilectomy, adnoidectomy and a tube placed in his left ear drum, he could hear.

So...these are the things I am thankful for:
1. My Saviour Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for me
2. My husband who did the work of three people while I was down.
3. My kids who are just awsome kids.
4. My freedom to school my children at home.
5. My abilitly to pick up the phone and call my doctor when I or my family is sick.
6. The great strides that have been made in medical science, to be able to restore my son's hearing.
7. Family - my mother in law and my husband's aunt (who lives near Springfield) came to be with us while my son was in surgery. Even though I was not able to talk with my aunt much, it meant the world to me that she came by. The rest of our family were unable to come due to work or other obligations.
8. Friends who come up beside you when you are down and make you laugh or just love you. We had a good friend come to the hospital also. He prayed with us for my son and then took my oldest with him to run some errands while in town. Another friend watched my daughter during that day. It was wonderful to know that people were there for you. Also, those crazy gals in Carthage that are so much fun to be around... thank you all for your prayers. Laura... Thank you so much for the prayer you posted. That really meant a lot to me.

Well, I could go on and on, but I need to stop for now. I thank everyone who has been praying for my family during this last month. We have felt the wonderful prayers going up.

Thank you Jesus for all these things that you have blessed me with. I am truly grateful for all that you have given me. Thank you for guiding the surgeon's hands during the procedure and for bringing Gavin thru the surgery.
Amen

Until next time....
~Gayla

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sometimes LIFE just happens!

Isn't it funny how when you think everything is going great and you have things planned out, God just throws a monkey wrench into it just to see what you would do? Well, let me tell you that certainly happened to us this week. I am the mother of three kids ages 15 - 12 - 9. My life is pretty status quo now. No diapers, sip pee cups, temper tantrums, etc.... Oh I am not saying that I wouldn't want more of that, but I am saying that since our youngest is 9, things run fairly smooth. Well, actually for those of you who know my youngest, things run smooth most of the time. Anyway, I am going along this week, started my home school year this last Monday, the 10th. We were doing great... first day no problem. Well, Tuesday morning I started running a fever with sinus stuff. Yuck. Several of my family had already had it so I knew it was coming. Ok, made it thru Tuesday and on to Wednesday. Oh boy....Wednesday came. Around 12 NOON I received a couple of phone calls and by 1 pm I was on my way to pick up my sister's two small children......uh..4 hours away. Fever at this time was 100 degrees F. I can make I said. No problem. My oldest went with me. Getting home around 10pm... we put all the kids to bed and fell into bed ourselves. Well, Thursday (yesterday) we had to go to Springfield for an appointment for my youngest because of his hearing.
My husband took off in one vehicle to take my oldest to a job interview and I started out with the car with the other four. Making it into town, I made a couple of errands and went to drop off my oldest two at a friend's house. It was then that I found out that my husband had a flat tire on the way. So off to WalMart we go to have the tire fixed. Leaving the van at Wal Mart, we headed out on our 1 1/2 hr. trip to the doctor's appointment. Getting there in plenty of time, we pull children out of car seats (I have not had to do that in several years) and we head into the giant five story building to the doctor's office. Checking in, we were told that the doctor was running a little behind. A LITTLE? Our appointment was for 3pm and we finally saw the doctor at 5:15pm. We found out that our son will need surgery and we will need to call back the next day to schedule that appointment. UGH! So, needless to say, we had three very tired little boys with us. To sit in a doctor's office for two and a half hours is outlandish for adults, much less small children.
But it got me to thinking... #1. several of my friends have four or more kids and they do this everyday. I stand in awe at them. My hats go off to them all. #2 God is the one who has the plan...not me. I had spent several weeks getting my school year planned. That was my first mistake. It is great to have a plan, but life happens. I sometimes forget that... in fact I forget it alot of the times.. Then I get upset when my plan is messed up. It was more important for me to spend time with my nephews this week, than try to do school. With everything going on in their home at the moment, they needed a place to feel safe. I thank God for my wonderful husband who has been there thru this whole week to help me AND continue to keep the state park running. I am hoping to look back and see seeds that were sewn this week that will last a lifetime. The Dr. appointment was non-negotiable, but the rest of the week is.
My fever? Yes, I still have it, but I also have three wonderful kids who are helping me take care of these little guys. Did I mention one of them tossed their cookies at breakfast this morning? Toddlers... you gotta love them!

Until next time please be in prayer for my sister and her husband as well as my family. I really apprecitate it.

Happy blogging~

Friday, August 7, 2009

Whole Wheat Thins

I was in my kitchen yesterday cooking up dinner and I ran across this recipe. It was given to me last year by a friend. I recently looked at the price of Wheat Thins in the store and quickly decided that I did not need them that bad so I put them back on the shelf. When I found this recipe in my recipe box I was excited. I made them up and guess what? My family LOVES them. I couldn't keep them out of the crackers. As I would pull them out of the oven, the kids were standing at the stove with their hands out for more. So gals here is the recipe for you. I hope you enjoy them.

Whole Wheat Thins

3c whole wheat flour
1/3 cup olive oil or coconut oil. I used olive oil.
1c water
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. You can add other spices or herbs. (I added homegrown dried oregano and garlic powder.) Knead as little as possible to make the dough smooth. Roll very thin on a lightly floured counter. Cut with a pizza cutter and place them on a cookie sheet. Prick each cracker with a fork, then sprinkle with salt over them. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 mins. or until golden brown. Let cool and eat plain or with peanut butter on them.

I cut them into one inch by one inch square. Kinda like cheeze its. I am thinking that parmesean cheese placed in the flour mix would be good. Have fun with these great little crackers.

~Gayla

A neat site that I found...

I was visiting with a friend about a month or so ago and she told me about a great place for us book readers to check out. It is called Paperback Swap. It is a website that you go on to and post all of your books that you are willing to trade with others. You post them and then people will request your book. Wrap it up and send it out to the person. Then with every book that you send out, you get a credit for a book of your choice. It is a neat place to get rid of some of those books that have been sitting around and to pick up some books for yourself. Check it out when you have time. You can find me at www.prairieflower03.paperbackswap.com.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Gearing Up for School

August is here and that means that Wal Mart has moved out the July 4th decorations and moved in the school supplies (usually on July 5th) in their place. Families are taking their last summer vacations before school starts. (That is why we wait until the fall to take ours... not as many people to contend with). Anyway, for the past week I have been working on my school year plans. Making out lesson plans and such. I thought I was finished when I realized that I did not have a "World History" lesson planned out for my oldest. The think about it is he has been studying world history since he was 9, but the State of Missouri says that to graduate, he has to take a World History class. So I thought, "Shoot, now I need to go to Springfield and buy a history book for him". As I was talking to my husband about this, it hit me... just because the class says world history does not mean we must cover everything the "text book" would have us cover. I didn't need an actual histsory book. Out came the Time line of History book that I bought years ago. We started looking at main events in history and decided to hit on those and cover WWI and WWII this year. What a concept!

I have been homeschooling for over 10 years now and I still sometimes find myself conforming to the institutional ways of thinking, keeping me bound up in a textbook style of teaching. This does not give us freedom to learn what God wants us to learn. We put God's plan aside. Sometimes He remind me of that. OUCH. Am I the only one who does this? I am getting excited to see what God has instore for our upcoming year.
~Gayla

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Saying good bye to the pink flowers...

The hardest thing is to watch your little girl grow up into a preteen. I have watched my daughter become a very beautiful young lady who is very skilled in homemaking and cooking. One of her passions is ballet. She has been taking ballet since she was four. She is twelve now. She came to me one day and said that her room needed to be updated. She said that the pretty little flowers were not really what a girl of her age wanted in her bed room. The purple on the walls also had to go. So, after some grieving on my part (I loved those pink flowers on the border), we sat down and decided on what to paint her room. My best friend, who also has a twelve year old girl ( who is my daughter's best friend) told me that her daughter was wanting to change her room. We decided that it must be a twelve year old thing, you know transitional times. So, her daughter was wanting teal and brown (well sorta) and mine decided on pink and brown. I could handle that, because I LOVE pink and brown. We went shopping and have found the absolute prettiest fabric that will be perfect in her room. It is a pink and brown toile...I LOVE TOILE. Today we started moving furniture and getting ready to paint the room this week. I had to say good bye to those pink flowers, which was hard but I made it through the first tearing. After that I couldn't go back. This will be an ongoing project as it takes money to completely change a room and school will be starting in a week. I will continue to blog about this project that she and I are embarking on. Until next time....

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Basil Pesto----A Family Favorite



Nothing makes my family smile quicker than to tell them that we are having spaghetti with pesto for dinner. That being said, my husband makes sure that he plants plenty of basil every year right next to the tomatoes. So, this morning I told him that I had the ingredients to make pesto and could he please bring me in some fresh cut basil. Man.... I wasn't expecting what happened next. My daughter came packing in FOUR bags of basil. We started picking leaves off the stems and we picked and picked and picked. I had huge bowls of it. We put up pesto for several hours and still didn't get it all finished. We just got tired. So, after all this, I thought I would share my recipe with you. I have found the best basil to use is the Genovese Basil. It is the basil that has the large leaves.


Fresh Basil Pesto :

2c lightly packed fresh basil leaves

2 cloves of garlic

3 TBS walnuts or pinenuts

1/3c Parmesean cheese, finely grated

1/3c extra virgin olive oil


Place basil, garlic, nuts and cheese into a food processor. Chop on high for about 20 seconds or

until chopped well. While the processor is on, slowly infuse the olive oil. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated well. Serve on toast or pasta. Enjoy.


Prairie Day Camp 2009







Yesterday the kids and Brian went up to the park office for the annual Prairie Day Camp. The theme this year was A Night On The Prairie. They spent the day learning about animals that come out a night. They went looking for insects. Gavin found a cricket and a small spider. Matthew found a spider and placed it on Sam's desk. Shhhh.....don't tell Sam. They worked on their shirt, decorating them with glow in the dark paint. They played a game where they were coyotes and went looking for food. The night was ended with a story around the campfire. I think they had a great day. I know they came home and fell into bed. All three were asleep very soon. If you live around Prairie State Park, you really should check out all the programs they have for the public. Just give them a call.