Friday, September 30, 2005

First Loaf of Bread

I baked my first loaf of bread tonight using the Beginner's Bread recipe from Hillbilly Housewife. am so geeked, the recipe said not to feel bad if it didn't turn out, her first loaf was a brick. Mine -- was not! It was delicious, light with a flaky crust. I am itching to branch out now, although I should probably make sure this one wasn't a fluke. I have a crusty french bread recipe, and a sourdough starter recipe too. For you bakers out there, though, I have a few questions.

  1. Can I make the dough and freeze it? Do I just mix it, then freeze it in a ball, thaw and do the 2 risings then?
  2. This is so dumb -- how do I store the bread? That is, if there's any left. Tonight it wasn't done til 8:30, so everyone only got 1 slice -- that was still half the loaf! Anyway, I wrapped it in Glad Press-n-Seal and put it in the breadbox. Wasn't sure if I needed to refrigerate it.
  3. Can I make a double batch? This little loaf was delicious, but like I said, won't last long! Will it be too hard to knead a double batch? Can I bake 2 loaves at the same time, and how do I need to adjust the heat and/or timing?
  4. And, in case I decide to get really granola-y, where would I get grain (to grind myself)? When I was growing up, I knew exactly where to get it. Drive down to the Co-op grain elevator and get some. Or ask a farmer at church. But here in the Detroit suburbs, where the heck would someone get wheat?!
OK, I think that's all the questions for now. We'll see how the next loaves turn out. I'm not sure how often I'll do this, but every loaf is a little less bread I have to buy from the store -- and a fewer preservatives in our bodies. Anyway, WOOT! I did it!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Family/Rita Update

More news 9/26: I just heard from my Aunt Vonnie. Here's what she said:
By the way. Scott told me tonight that they never even lost their power during the storm. Talk about the power of prayer and the All Mighty! They just have to wait for the Wallgreen stores to reopen so Tina can get her pay check and they can resume life.
Praise God!!!

Latest news 9/26: (Sorry, it was a busy weekend!) Everyone is accounted for and safe. I haven't gotten any information on how they weathered, but in any case it went better than anyone expected.


Thought I'd start a new post, the other one is getting pretty long. Plus, pictures from Houston. Still no word on Scott's family, we're all getting pretty worried. Aunt Vonnie says that Clear Lake is very near the water, so she's understandably worried. Here's the latest from the rest of the clan hunkering down in Houston:
It's 4 p.m. Friday (I think), and I'm SO bored! Okay, here I sit at home, watching the trees blow outside my window. Now, consider that I'm a trained photojournalist. The fourth largest city in the U.S. is like a ghost town, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get photos that you'll never get again. And my husband won't let me go out in the car. Now, also consider that all that is going on is a bit of wind blowing. It's not like there's anything dangerous out there, yet! He told me I could take pictures of the trees blowing outside, to which I responded "Woo! How exciting is that!" He also suggested that I might get in a wreck. I drive these roads, highways and freeways daily with millions of people driving crazy, and now I might get in a wreck with WHOM?Anyway, just thought I'd share my thoughts -- and a few pictures of what's NOT happening . You'll notice there are no photos of the emptiness of Houston, but perhaps the Chronicle could use these anyway!

Aargh, Blogger isn't putting in the pictures. I'll get them in when I can.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Who else but a man can have a broken tooth with pain so bad he can't stop moaning for more than 5 minutes at a time, but still doesn't hurt enough that he doesn't want to have sex?

Friday, September 23, 2005

What a Quote!

Modern culture tells us to “obey our thirst,” and the mantra rings stronger than the call to take up one’s cross.
Wow. That says a lot, doesn't it? Go read the rest at Amy's Humble Musings.


(Scroll down for updates)

I just got this e-mail from my mom's sister, my cousin lives between Houston and Galveston and is basically trapped there. Please pray that he and his family can find a way out!
Tina, Scott, Andrew, Ashli and Erica are stranded in Clear Lake, south of Houston. No money to leave, and a car that won't go. The two little girls went with friends of Tina's to Dallas, if they ever make it in the traffic. All the Walgreen's (where Tina works) are closed, and they were unable to get their pay checks before they closed down. So they have nothing to leave with. Please pray for their safety. They will need all the prayers they can get. I can't even send them any money, 'cause they have no way to go pick it up. I am so very worried.
These hurricanes seem so awful, even when viewed on television, with all the devastation, but it is just so much more so when you have a personal connection!

Update #1 (expect lots): My mom's cousin Edwinna lives in Houston, they're getting ready to leave as well:
Hi Sherry. Yeah, pretty much all of Houston from downtown South, Pasadena, Friendswood, Pearland, Alvin and everyplace going on down to the coast is having mandatory evacuation. We plan on leaving later tonight for Jan's, I think, with Mom. Right now, all we could do is sit still in traffic if we left. Stephen and Amy left here about 3 and made, maybe, 3 miles in 3 and a half hours. It's not pretty. The traffic on all the major freeways is moving about 10 mph.
Anyway, thanks for checking. We love all of you and we'll keep you posted. Hopefully, we'll have a home to come home to. It's doubtful that Paul and Heather will since they have a mobile home. But, hopefully, everyone will be safe. There are no rooms to be had in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas or any of the surrounding cities.
We haven't seen any of these cousins in a few years, so it still seems a bit unreal, but it's getting more real by the minute.

Update #2: Looks like that was yesterday's e-mail from Cousin Edwinna, they're on the road now. This is from another cousin further north they're trying to get to:
Well, Lynn and Edwina, Mom and Doug and the rest of the family are still outthere on the road since 2:15 this morning and before. I'm really worried about the oldest and youngest of them. I haven't been able to get in contact with them on their cell phones for various reasons. I talked to Edwina's sis-in-law, Mary, who lives here in Wiley (some family members were on their way to her house), and she filled me in on who was going where, but neither of us has been able to talk to any of them since they left. Heather and Paul were coming to Garland to stay with his cousin. They can't just stop and get a room somewhere because just about everything from the Coast to Oklahoma has been rented and the gas supply is very low in most stations.
I'm afraid they might have been better off to try and ride out the storm the way it's going. Will let you know if I hear anything. Jan

Then another from Jan, with info from Holly (Edwinna's daughter). Confused yet?
Just talked to Holly and she said she finally got Edwina on the phone and they haven't even gotten out of Houston yet. They have been on the road since a little after two this morning. She said Edwina was fuming because she didn't want to leave the Houston area in the first place. Holly told her if they could get to a turn off that heads to Ginger's house (where Holly and Jeff are going to stay in north Houston) to just go there rather than try to make it to Dallas. I'm just on pins and needles and can't do anything about anything.

Another thing I just remembered, my Great-Aunt LaVerna is diabetic. I hope they have plenty of snacks and her insulin to keep them going. I just heard from another family member that it's taking about 18 hours to get from Houston to Dallas and they have another 4 hrs to go. That can really mess up a diabetic's scedule even if they were expecting it to be longer than the normal 5 or so hours. All we can do from here is pray. It's hard to be so far away and so helpless, but harder still to be in the middle of it! We still haven't heard anything from Scott and his family in Houston.

Update #3: The lastest from the Houston relatives. We STILL haven't heard from Scott in Clear Lake (southern Houston suburb, not too far from Galveston. I guess they aren't having mandatory evactuations there yet, so they can't come get them yet.

Well, things change by the hour. Stephen and Amy and the girls are cominghere. Doug, Lynn,Edwina and Mom have all gone back home. They gave up after at least 18 hours on the road and were hearing it would take about 9 or 10 more hours to get to Dallas. They were out of fuel and couldn't get more. Stephen was lucky to get some gas. I bet he had to wait a long time to get it. Erika called from Buffalo, about 60 miles south of the Dallas cutoff to get directions. I told her to call again if they had any trouble. They have all been here before, so they will probably remember when they get a little closer to Dallas. The remedies the government offered were all too late for most everyone who had been on the highway for hours and hours. They finally opened both sides of the freeway near Dallas to the north and said there were gas tankers coming to the rescue, but the situation was already pathetic. Doug said he was so glad to get home that he forgot how tired he was. They will probably regroup and maybe go to the far northwest part of Houston if they see that the hurricane will hit them as hard as was first thought. Sherry, I've talked on the phone so much that I'm hoarse. I've kind of been a middleman relaying messages to everyone who called. Anyway, I'm relieved that everyone is finally off the road for the most part. Now, if Stephen and them don't get lost, everything will be ok with us. Jan

Update #4: Looks like the Houston younger cousins finally mad it to Dallas. The rest have decided to stay there in Houston, and we STILL don't know about Scott's group in Clear Lake.
Well, Stephen, Amy, the girls and Texas the cat arrived here a little after
2:00 this morning. They were exhausted, frustrated, and any other
description you might want to use. They first contacted me at about 10:00
just outside of Buffalo, Texas and I gave them directions to my house.
After my thinking the worst, or at the least they were lost, they finally
arrived. It took them another four hours to go about 60 miles. Everyone
took their bath (that includes Texas) and that helped to restore sanity.
After unpacking a lot of their worldly possessions and some visiting, we
sacked out. Everyone is still asleep and I don't have the nerve to start
breakfast this early. Texas has pretty much explored the house and my cat,
Fancy, is hiding under the bed wondering what is going on. I sat down to
pay some bills and decided to write a note while here. My take on all of
this is: it will be a cold day in you know where before any of us decides to
evacuate our home that way again. I sent so many emails and talked on the
phone so much passing on information (most of it false, as it turned out)
that I was actually hoarse from talking on the phone. I think this event
has actually aged all of us at least a year. I was fortunate enough not to
have had to leave my home and get out on the highway in stop-and-go traffic
for hours and hours, but I was beside myself with worry about everyone until
I found out where they all wound up. And the worst part is, the hurricane
hasn't even gotten here yet and Lynn, Edwina and Doug thought it made more
sense to just go back home. Please pass this note along to those
Love, Jan

Saturday, September 17, 2005

HONDA Fisked

No, not the cars, the FEDERAL homeschooling legislation being pushed by HSLDA. Yikes. I'm not a paranoid, conspiracy theory type of person, but if there are two things I'd rather not see in a sentence together it's "federal legislation" and homeschooling. Please, just leave us alone. Now, HSLDA has done a lot of good things for homeschooling families over the years (well, Christian homeschooling families who follow a curriculum anyway), but this doesn't appear to be one of them. Chris O'Donnell (not that one, silly) tells us why, line by line.

Update: Spunky has a great roundup of articles and posts covering HONDA.

Update 2: Natalie has more links and info.

Random Thought

Do you think it's coincidental or deliberate that the theme song for Disney's Recess, a cartoon about the culture of children during public school recess, is so hauntingly similar to the theme song of Hogan's Heroes, a sometimes-dark comedy about a rag-tag group of prisoners of war in a POW camp during WWII? I'm just saying . . .

Friday, September 16, 2005

Pictures I Found

I was going through some old floppy disks we had lying around, looking for Hubby's old resume and came across a bunch of old pictures. Ya wanna see some funny stuff???!!!

1976 -- For the Bicentennial, our town had different organizations paint the fire hydrants. The Girl Scouts painted this one, I think. Either that, or it was near my dad's Radio Shack store.

1985 -- This was from the Modern Miss Pageant (a scholarship pageant, not a beauty pageant, lol) I was in my junior year of high school.

1985 - I think this was at the Modern Miss Pageant too. The girl beside me had been a runner-up in the Miss Teen Kansas pageant, I guess she was slumming it for this pageant. You can tell, even back then I wasn't "normal". No big hair for me!

This is a really bad copy of Hubby's all-time favorite picture of me. Circa 1988 or 1989.

1989 -- our engagement picture

2002, after a Mary Kay makeover

Gratuitous Cuteness!

Aren't they sweet?! And that was after losing. I think. We never know with their games, which is just the way it should be, at that age.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


My Dd5 has been begging me to call our hairdresser and set up an appointment to cut her hair. It's almost to her bottom now and I've been trying to get her to cut it for Locks for Love, but she's not convinced yet -- and I really want her to do it from her heart. So, it was just a couple of inches off the bottom to hopefully control the snarls. She decided last minute to get bangs, and it just transformed her face!

Dd6's hair frames her face so prettily! She's making a silly face, but it really does look nice. In fact, when mine grows out a lot more, I'll probably go with a similar cut myself.

We didn't do much with Baby Boy's, just got it out of his eyes. He's getting a little hippy look in the back, and I just love it! I was afraid his eyes were going to go crossed, so I gave in and let her trim up the bangs.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Yes, It's Worth the Trouble

Thicket Dweller from Today's Lessons shares some of the hard moments in the day of a home educating mom -- and some of the Oh-So-Wonderful moments that make all the chaos so worth it! Do you have any of your own to share?

Why Do We Homeschool?

So, here's a different question. Well, the question isn't that different, just the asker (askee?). I've read many different answers that people give to strangers and family to the question of why they homeschool. What I want to know is, what did you tell your children when you first got started? My girls love being home with mom, but sometimes want to know why they don't go to school like the other kids. I usually give them a pretty vague answer that Mom and Dad have decided that's what's best for our family, but I don't go into philosophical detail. What have you told your kids?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Weird or What?

I wish it would just stay fall, OK? It was cooling off nicely, high's in the mid-70's, and then it had to go and get all 80's this week! I was hoping for one month of no A/C, no heat on the electric/gas bill. So, today (like every day since September 1) I kept the air off all day. It works for us, we were at church most of the morning, the kids napped this afternoon and actually never noticed it hit 80+ inside. I was a little warmish, but I dealt with it. Hubby came home, and to his credit didn't even complain about the heat. He is VERY warm-blooded, I don't usually let it get over 76 or 77 when he's home. But when he put Baby Boy to bed, he said that BB was sweating and we should put the air on. So, that's why now at 11 pm, I'm sitting here with the air on, set at 76, it's finally reached 78 in the house, and the fan blowing outside air inward reads 75. We have GOT to get this house insulated, dontcha think? I think it should have kept the cool from the night a lot better (it's still getting down in the 60's at night), so it didn't get so hot in the afternoon. But what can you expect from a 1942 brick bungalow. Another wierd thing is that our bedroom, the attic so to speak, is usually the hottest place in the house, but for the past week it's been quite bearable even with the air off. Weird.

Friday, September 09, 2005


. . . to quote Charlie Brown.

I am exhausted (late night after church, Baby Boy up a lot in the night, just not sleeping well myself), PMS-ing, and Dr. Pepper deprived. I am not a happy person today. The girls hate our read-aloud for homeschooling, they think I hate them because I want them to pick up their things in their room, and the baby needs constant attention RIGHT when I want to get something started with the girls or around the house. I'm feeling like a homeschooling failure, a mommy failure and a wife failure. I know it's all perspective and it all will pass, but that is my reality right now. I'll have to post something new in a little while so this whine isn't at the top, but just wanted to vent!

UPDATE!!! My dear, sweet, loving husband, after receiving a text message much like the above rant, came home last night bearing Dr. Pepper AND chocolate. Now, there's a keeper!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Coming back down

OK, I'm coming back down a little now. I guess I should have read my sidebar before posting, here's today's verse of the day:

“ Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. ” (Psalm 143:10)

Yep, level ground, that's what I need! Things like this remind me that "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." It doesn't add "to keep you from flipping out when you can't do it all yourself", but it may as well!!!

Thank you, God, for your Living Word that speaks to us, specifically, each day.

Amazingly enough, our service this coming Sunday is all about how the Word and the Spirit work together and are alive in our lives today. Guess I'm really needing that one! I'll blog more on that after Sunday service.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Classic Dame

Carole Lombard
You scored 9% grit, 23% wit, 47% flair, and 30% class!

You're a little bit of a fruitcake, but you always act out in style.
You have a good sense of humor, are game for almost anything, but you
like to have nice things about you and are attracted to the high life.
You're stylish and modern, but you've got a few rough edges that keep
you from attaining true sophistication. Your leading men include
William Powell, Fredric March, and Clark Gable. Watch out for small

I found this via Carrie at Mommy Brain. I'm never sure with these quizzes whether they portray my true personality or the one I'd like to be. I'd sure like to be the quirky, offbeat type. Most likely I'm the kind of strange, hard-to-pigeonhole type. And that's OK with me.