Little Wife On the Prairie

When you are everything to everyone, well, you had better act like you have it all together.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Love this effect. You can do so many things with it.


So guess what I did for our snow day? I played with my new camera!!! So here for your viewing pleasure is my photoblog.

This is dinner! So delicious.

We made gooey treats that the kids got to sculpt into stone castles.

Everyone got their hands in it

Daddy didn't use his hands!

Zaddie poo!
So fun! More to come!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winter weather warning?

Tonight is church for the kids so we had eggs. Matt and I had egg salad and the kids had boiled eggs. Easy protein! Tomorrow will be a very wintry day so beans and cornbread were requested by all here in my house. That makes me happy. I may not be so happy when the beans set in and we are all stuck in the same house together. That's a lot of gassy bottoms! EEEWWWW!

Okay, about this wintry day, I will not say it out loud because I don't want to spook it. But the forecast is calling for s-n-o-w. Shhhhhh. Do not say that out loud! I am hoping it is really what the weatherman is saying it will be. 6-12 inches? I will be waiting to see the glorious white stuff fall from the sky. I am not a big fan of winter but when everyone can be home and inside, I think it is cozy. Plus it gives me a chance to be thankful for our warm home and our blessings that surround us.

Even though we are going to be socked in, I can't help but start dreaming of my little backyard plot that so faithfully produced goodies for us all last season. I just used the last of the frozen zucchini this week. The final jar of tomatoes I used making salsa. We have only 2 jars of jalapenos, frozen squash and lots of dried herbs left from the harvest. I guess it is good that we don't have to depend on that to survive the winter.

So I am planning and sketching and ordering. I am doing all heirloom seeds this year. I am going to try my hand at growing everything from seed. It is much cheaper but not guaranteed to work. So we will see. My plan is to do a photo-blog about all of this so you can all laugh at me as I stumble along!

So to all of you who are getting sn.... flaky icy precipitation this week, be careful and dream of a greener time!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Janet Brown

This week the world suffered a most tragic loss. Janet Brown, my sweet Michelle's mama, died in surgery after unexpected heart trouble. I have to say, I did not get to spend enough time with Janet during the time I knew her. Our visits were a birthday party or a Discovery Center day here and there. But the times that I was able to share with her left a lasting warm feeling in my heart. She was the ultimate mama. I'm sure there were times when I held her hugs just a little too long because they felt cushy, soft and familiar. She made me feel as welcome as if I were her own. (I do kinda look like I fit with her girls!) She treated my babies with the patience and tenderness of a grandma. And she even bought me donuts a few times!

I think the most honorable thing about Janet is spoken most perfectly through her girls. They are beautiful, kind and caring people. They love to laugh, talk and reminisce. They love their babies and can be the protective mama bear or the silly mama clown. (or Aunt Rachel!) They hold fast to their convictions and live life to serve. That is truly "Janet style".

I know the family's pain is great. I am missing her so and I only got to spend a few years with her. I know this wound will never heal. She has left a void and always will be remembered. There will be the "I wish mom was here" times and the "I just need my mama now" times. I can't even imagine how hard this journey will be. But we who are in the faith know that Janet is telling us she will see us in a minute. She is not sad, she is dancing and worshiping and seeing the things the rest of us dream for. But for those of us left here on Earth to continue our journeys, she has left us better for knowing her and so sad to not have her with us.

Michelle, Carrie and Rachel, I love you girls and am praying God's peace for you. You girls are precious to me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Metabolism anyone?

Tonight for dinner we had some yummy oven baked mesquite chicken with wild rice and roasted asparagus. It is one of those healthy meals that my family loves. I also had made two beautiful loves of whole wheat cinnamon-raisin bread which I was looking forward to enjoying this evening. Then I went to my metabolism class. And courtesy of my lovely friend and slave-driver Angela, I found out I have to stay away from sugar this week. *sob sob* I will miss you my cinnamony-raisiny yummy lump of deliciousness. I will forever remember you but will not retain you on my butt!!!

Seriously, I never had to think much about metabolism before in my life. My weight fluctuated naturally through high school sports (skinny), college (plump), falling in love (skinny), marriage (skinnier) and eventually loads of babies (fat, fat, fat and fat). I always put on lots of weight during my pregnancies but never considered it might one day be a permanent condition. Today, it feels like it will never go away!!!!!!!! So I am taking a metabolism class from my dear friend who is a darn good personal trainer. This class is helping me remember that my choices matter. This fourth baby has changed my body and not in the I want to wear a bikini kinda way. (It's more like the I'd like to hide in a mu mu kinda way.) I now have to choose to not stay like this. I have to choose to exercise when I don't want to. I have to choose to put redeeming things in my body and not the crap I think I want. I have to choose to turn to the Lord for my comfort when I am stressed instead of feeling like I have earned a pigday.(thanks Erin Lunn for that word!) It's hard but it is a choice.

On the bright side, I have discovered again how good it feels to be active and to use my muscles for good and not evil :). I am not the skinny size 2 kind of girl but I sure am the I can open a can of whoop-it on you if I need to kind of girl. I like to be strong. Heck, I come from good German stock. Obviously, I birthed 4 children in a combined time of 15 hours. (insert wide-hip jokes here please.) What I am trying to say is, I will never have the perfect bod but I can be a kick-butt mom who can keep up with her kids and can keep her husband happy! Woo hoo!

Now excuse me while I go sniff my cinnamon-raisin bread and then drink a big ol' glass of water.

Friday, January 15, 2010


This evening we celebrated the beginning of Sabbath with a simple meal of fresh veggies and homemade bread. Our daddy is at work so we had to light our candles without him. We had some Newman O's for dessert. If you have never had them you must try them. Like Oreo's but better and better for you. (well, as much as a cookie can be I guess)

I am just sick tonight as I watch the things unfolding in Haiti. Such a poor country and so ill-equipped to handle this. In a way I can see the light being shined on this country as a blessing. There are so many children living in extreme poverty. So many who have been forgotten. I pray that these babies get the help they need and have needed for a long time. Oh God we cannot begin to understand your ways but we trust in your sovereignty. Adonai that you would surround the least of these with you glory and your healing. Lord provide your peace for those who have lost their families and for those who still don't know.

Oh it is so hard not to feel guilty for sitting here in the comfort of my home with my babies safely tucked into beds. I have to examine my attitude and the things that I find it too easy to complain about. How could I even have any worry? Even if we lost everything, we still live in a place where we could find help. We live in a place where people have plenty and are willing to give. We cannot even comprehend what it would be live in a place like Haiti. I know Katrina was bad and there were many horrible things that happened but help was there and people were rescued. In Haiti, even when people are rescued, where is the help? Everyone is suffering. Everything in in ruins.

We just have to pray. Pray without ceasing. Pray for mercy. Pray for miracles.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Total meltdown?

So I was away for the week and let me tell you, it was refreshing! Our church starts each year with a season of prayer and meditation. It is a time for trusting God's direction for our lives, our families and our communities in the coming year. We are asked to fast in an area of our lives that might just have too much control over us. My fast last year was coffee. (Seriously, coffee has the ability to control me!) This year it was the computer. I had no idea how much time and energy I wasted with that thing! It was a good wake-up for me. I got more done in my day and could really focus on the things God has called me to. So my fast is over and I am back on the computer with a renewed sense of how to use the darn thing. Anyhow, that is why I was off for the week. I would recommend it to anyone!

To continue to the next topic, I am a horrible mother. I do nothing but gripe at my children. I have no patience and might just sit in the middle of my kitchen floor and cry. Please tell me that you all have felt the same once or twice before.
We are having issues. Can you tell from the post above? Call it pre-spring fever, call it mama is tired, call it AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! Any of those would be accurate. Now is the time for me to remember why God called us to this decision to homeschool. (It was not because it was going to make my life easier and give me loads of free time.) Matt and I did a ton of research and talked to lots of people before narrowing our reasons down to these basic things...

1. We did not like the state being able to tell us what to do with our kids. We wanted to be able to take them where we wanted when we wanted. While we understood the point of attendance policies, we did not like being made to feel guilty for removing our kids from school for a few days.
2. We did not have time after school to teach the things we really valued like Bible and real-life learning. These things were the things we wanted our children to know above all other things.
3. My husbands schedule is crazy. He works different hours all of the time. We hated the weeks he didn't get to see the kids because they were in school when he was home and he was gone when they got home. It is nice to have the whole family at home at the same time.
4. We wanted our kids to be involved in extra-curricular activities but got so tired of school all day and activities all evening. My kids were so tired and we had very little family time. Now we are together all day so I don't have to be jealous of the time they spend away in the afternoons.
5. Our daughter, who is very intelligent, was becoming increasingly disenchanted with school. She was being left to do word-searches while the teacher helped the kids who struggled. My little girl who once loved learning was losing interest. We had to take control of her learning and give her more opportunity to be challenged.
6. My son is a very hands-on learner who loves building and is very active. We did not want that to be squelched by the classroom. We realized it was impossible for a teacher to allow boys to be boys in a classroom of 22 students. We can allow him that freedom at home!
7. We really believe that God has given us the responsibility of our kids learning. Some people feel comfortable giving that to the classroom. I wanted to see it for myself. I wanted to be certain my children were learning what I wanted them to learn and really getting it! There are so many opportunities for extending learning.
8. Finally, we wanted to be able to give our children a firm base of confidence and ability before we sent them into the world. We hope that with a few good years at home, they will be well-equipped to go into the world to be what God created them to be and not be lured into what the world wants them to be. We still do a lot of praying!

It is so good to revisit those things. A lot of you have asked me why we chose to take this on. I hope that gives you a good idea of our reasoning. Knowing these things does not make it easy and we struggle everyday. But, we are getting better! I hope all of you had a great week. I missed my journaling/blogging/therapy time while I was fasting. I will be writing to you tomorrow! Be blessed.

Monday, January 4, 2010

No updates this week.

I will not be updating this week. No fear! I will return in full force next week. -chelle

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Thank you very much 30.

First, I just have to ask, has anyone else ever gotten dizzy while taking the Christmas lights off of the tree? Oh yeah, I did! I mean seriously! I just walked around the tree a few times to unwind the lights. It wasn't like I'd been drinking. You know what happened? I turned 30... and then I turned into my mother. She can't even turn a corner with out getting sick. Oh well. Just another one of those things I have to thank 30 for.

So no dinner tonight. We got busy ate a late lunch and had to be to Torah study. So we had cereal and fruit. However last night we had a wonderful Sabbath (Shabbat) meal with some friends. She made a roast with potatoes and carrots with challah bread. She also made 2 pies. One was buttermilk and the other was eggnog! I brought a salad made with dark greens, tomatoes, mushrooms, green onion and kalamata olives and some homegrown black-eyed peas from Marsha Smith in the old hood! It was a great way to start the Sabbath.

My baby girl made me so proud today. She really followed through with her conviction to help animals. She called the local shelter to ask what they needed. Then she took the list and her own Christmas money to purchase those things. Then she was able to go take them to the shelter herself. She has such a servants heart. I can't wait to see how God uses these gifts he has given her.

So one last thing,

Sorry, I just had to.