Saturday, April 27, 2013

Kiev, Ukraine Journal - 2-24-1997 and 2-25-1997

*Disclaimer: Please remember that I wrote these when I was 14! I could be a snarky brat! I also am typing these journals exactly as I wrote them, bad spelling and all, except I have abbreviated names to protect the innocent or not-so-innocent.


I bought bread alone. R did not go with me. I went right up to the window and said deva. Then I went into a store and bought a Kinder Surprise. It was a different brand, though. I went back to the swing and swung and ate the chocolate. I got the cutest toy in it. It was a little white puppy dog that has red hearts all over it. I like that one. I have three now. Earlier I went to the S's and babysat the kids with R. R and I made taco shells for K2. I then watched Alladin; the king of theives. I couldn't finish it, so next time I go over there, I will. It was good that far. I went home and did home work the rest of the day.


I went to the park accross the street with R and Chad. (Chad was R's dog) I had to be back in twenty minutes though. We walked on the little paths and played with Chad. Dad decided that we can't go out alone anymore. He is in the worst moods anymore. Then he decided to go to the church building to make copies and we had to go with him. None of us wanted to but we didn't want to get into the line of fire. Then after we went to the building we went to the bizzarre. I bought another kinder suprise. I got a smurf playing a trumpet. Then the head broke off that day. I will glue it back on with superglue when we get back to the states. I wouldn't mind having to live over here. Actually I would probably like it. I love all the walking and the people. Everyone is always out. Well that's all for today.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Recent Chloe-isms

So kids say the funniest things. I know you all know that. Lately, CJ has been so funny! Here are some of the things she has been saying lately:

One evening I made a roast, potatoes and carrots in the crockpot for dinner.
Chloe Jo: "May I have some more carrots, please?"
Me after picking my jaw up off of the table: "Of course! I am so glad you liked the carrots! I can't believe you ate all of them!"
Chloe Jo: "I am 4 now so I like carrots."

While walking through Kohl's one day:
Chloe Jo: "That woman is naked!"
Me: "It's just a mannequin."
Chloe Jo: "Yeah, it's just a nakedquin."

Yesterday, in the car:
Chloe Jo: "Mom, can I drive 'cuz I am big?"
I couldn't stop laughing at that one!

Yesterday, also in the car:
Chloe Jo: "Mom, can you marry me?"
This is a favorite of mine. I will, one day, tell her that she is, in fact, not going to marry Mommy.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spring Days

Chloe Jo and I have really been enjoying the last couple of weeks. There has been a lot going on, but as of last weekend, I have a break in big events until the end of May. While I love being busy, I also like having a lot of time at home.

Last week, we bought a 3 containers of strawberries and made Slurp. My family calls homemade strawberry jam "Slurp" because it is slurping good. HA!

Chloe Jo was thrilled to help me made slurp. She has helped twice in the past, but I'm not sure she remembered. I usually make enough to last for a long time so I only make it about once a year.

If you want to make Slurp, the recipe is in the box of Sure-Jel (you get this in the canning department). We make the Easy Freezer Jam recipe.

CJ was a great helper this year! The last couple of times, she was still too young to be able to do anything without my supervision. This year, she was careful and did great!

Mashing up the strawberries.

The stove is not on, yet in these pictures. She isn't quite ready for that!
Heating up the sure-jel.

Mixing the strawberries, sugar and sure-jel together.

We were able to make several jars of jam and are planning to share with friends and neighbors! Of course, if we share, that means we will have to make another batch and that's a-okay with us!

This week, I have been able to get several things done around the house. I've had a pile of stuff in our room that I've been needing to take up to the attic for about a month. I finally got that done a couple of days ago. It's not really that it's a big deal, it's just I always forget to park in the drive so I can get the attic stairs down and then I never want to take the time to do it. I know. Excuses.

I also bought some more vinegar so I can make more carpet cleaner. There are a few more spots I need to scrub, but I wanted to wait to see how the spots I have already done did after a few months. I have to say, I am so happy with the homemade carpet cleaner (you can find the recipe here). None of the spots have come back and the carpet looks great still. I also have several places to do in the car and some on our dining chairs. Must get to that today.

The comforter in our bedroom has been needing to be replaced since we moved here. It is stained on both sides and it is just getting frayed and ratty. I have been keeping my eyes out for a new set, but I didn't want to pay a lot for one. I finally found one at TJ Maxx this week that was on clearance for $44.00! I was so excited and it looks so nice in our room and with the headboard I made. I will eventually change out our curtains since they no longer match. I'm so happy with what I found!

Yesterday was full of planting a few trees in our yard. Our yard had 1, very dead, tree when we moved in last summer. I knew I wanted to plant some trees, but I do not have a green thumb at all so I wasn't sure what to get or how to plant them. I did a lot of research on it and finally decided to go with maple trees. They are supposed to be some of the best trees for our zone. The Arbor Day Foundation sent me 10 free saplings after I became a member for 6 months for $10.00. I was great with that because I don't feel like I've wasted a ton of money if the saplings don't make it. I followed the instructions very closely and we now have 3 Maple saplings in our yard. We have a Silver Maple in the back, a Sugar Maple in the front and a Red Maple on the side.

Today was a big day as we enrolled Chloe Jo to start pre-k in the fall. She started out happy and excited to go enroll.

She was not so happy here because the sun was in her eyes. She hates taking pictures outside!

By the time we got finished with enrollment, she was crying. I think it was just overwhelming for her because we met the secretary, the nurse, a pre-k teacher and several other people. Poor thing. I'm going to continue talking to her about how much she will learn and all the friends she will have and hope for the best.

So very blessed,

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fun Times

Yesterday was such a fun day!

First thing in the morning, I organized Chloe Jo's toys. I do this about once a week and it gives me so much satisfaction. I love organization and making sure all of her toys are present and accounted for. Yes, I am cray-zay!

After Chloe Jo and I ate some lunch, Russ came home early and we went out to our friends, Landon and Kristin's, house. Landon's mom is in town so we decided to take advantage of her Nana skills and go on a double date. We went to see Jurassic Park in 3D. It was so much fun! I do believe I jumped no less than a gazillion times.

After we picked up Chloe Jo, we headed back into big town to grab a quick bite. Chloe Jo is a total Bueno-head and always wants to go get a quesadilla at Taco Bueno. We don't complain about that much.

Chris, my sister's husband, plays basketball in a city league so we headed over there to watch a very fun and fast game. Whoop! Whoop! The Meerkats won the game so that made the evening that much more fun!

Brianna and Chloe Jo were so happy to see each other! Every time they get together they act like they haven't seen each other for years. Silly girls!

Brianna decided she wanted to make a silly face for the camera. Um...okay.

Chloe Jo isn't usually the one to hatch up ideas, but she is normally willing to follow along.

I did get one semi-good picture of the two of them. I'm not sure, though, if Brianna is smiling or grimacing. It is tough to get a real smile on camera with that girl!

We ended the day with a trip to Cherry Berry. Yum!

I love days like yesterday!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Out and In

Sorry for the blogging hiatus last week. Life has been so busy since moving to Oklahoma. It is hard to find a block of time to update the ol' blog. I am getting behind again so I'm going to try to catch up.

April 1st was our one year anniversary of starting our work with the church here. When we moved here, the deal was that Russ would work alongside of the minister (Vance) who was already here as a mentor/associate minister type position. Vance would stay on for a year to "pass on the reigns" and then retire. Vance has worked with this congregation for over 30 years so a new preacher/the old preacher retiring was a very big deal for this congregation.

At the end of March we put together a retirement reception for Vance and his wife, Darla. The reception was for people from the area and the members of our congregation to honor them for the years of service they have put in. We ended up having a huge crowd and it turned out to be a great success!

The ladies here decided to do a "spring" theme which was ironic because we got a bit of snow that day!

The cake table. We decided to serve people so the table is pulled out from the wall. We almost didn't have a big enough facility for all of the people who came!

We have 2 bulletin boards in our multi-purpose room that we decorated in a spring theme.

Of course, we had to have flowers on the tables.

This is the card basket. We asked for only cards, but then the congregation also gave them each a lap robe made by the ladies.

The best thing about the day was that many people came for Sunday morning service and many more stayed for our Sunday evening service. The auditorium was packed and the singing was so amazing. Vance very much passed the reigns to Russ in his last sermon as the preacher here. It was a lovely day.

Russ, Chloe Jo and I are so blessed to be a part of a loving and working congregation!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Kiev, Ukraine Journal - 2-22-1997 and 2-23-1997

*Disclaimer: Please remember that I wrote these when I was 14! I could be a snarky brat! I also am typing these journals exactly as I wrote them, bad spelling and all, except I have abbreviated names to protect the innocent or not-so-innocent.


I went with R again to buy bread. R bought 5 loaves and they were gone by that night. They also all eat 45 tacos altogether at one meal. They are pigs. Anyway we swung after that for a long time. She then asked Chelley and I if we wanted to go ice skating with her and the boys. She got directions from J (an American friend). But only got us to the right metro stop. Js directions were stupid. C finally asked someone and he led us to it. By the time we got there, though, we would have had only twenty minutes to skate so we said we would go tomorrow. R and I went to the department store to look for some white paint and couldn't find any. We got huge ice cream cones thoug. Then we went to Rs house and watched "While you were sleeping".


My day was terrible. I went to church as usual and then went ice skating. Church was great, but after R, J, C, Chelley, and I all went ice skating. J was in a hurry because we were running late. So we were running down the mile long escalators that made us all really dizzy. When we got to the rink we were late so we decided to go at 4:15. We had an hour to kill. J and C went to play basketball at a nearby court and R and I went to a kiosk. Then we had to wait in line forever to get our skates. I went one time around the rink. That took the whole time. My ankles were not strong enough and they all kept bugging me. I use the wall for support. I went home all the way without saying one word. I was mad. I had made a fool out of myself. I couldn't skate and everyone else could. I won't make that mistake again. Then we went and played fictionary that evening with the C's.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chloe Jo, you are 4 years old!

So Chloe Jo turned 4 years old last week! How did that happen?!?

Looking back, it seems like we have always had her and it also seems like it can't be 4 years already. How does life do that? It's fast and slow all at the same time.

April 2009 - Brand New

April 2010 - 1 year old

April 2011 - 2 years old

April 2012 - 3 years old

April 2013 - 4 years old

So what has our little dear been up to lately?

The biggest thing is that she is really thinking through "life" matters.

For example:

She asked me the other day what nipples are for. That was a fun one to talk about.

She asked me how babies come out of their Mommy's tummies.

Just today she asked me who was in Daddy's tummy.

She is a bit obsessed with death. Yes, I know exactly how that sounds. Ugh. But, really, she is. She knows people and things die and that we don't see them after that happens. She is trying to work through this in her brain so random questions or comments come out of her mouth about it a lot. If she sees an animal that is not moving, she automatically thinks it is dead (sometimes we go see chicks at a local farm store and this happens quite a bit...the chicks are never actually dead, though). I tell her as much as I think she needs to know at this age.

She has been so inquisitive lately. Normally she is oblivious (a bit like her mother) but it's been different the last month or so.

CJ is finally out of night time pull-ups. I have been waiting for this for a very long time I am thrilled! She was daytime potty trained before she turned 18 months but I've still had to buy pull-ups for her to sleep in. She has been able to stay dry maybe 2 times in a row and never consistently. One evening last month she decided she didn't want to wear pull-ups any more and she hasn't since and hasn't wet the bed a single time. She is so black and white. It cracks me up!

I printed off the paperwork to fill out to enroll her for preschool in the fall. I'm so excited for her but I know I will miss my little sidekick terribly. Luckily school is out for all kinds of reasons all of the time so we will still get to spend days together.

She has really started having an opinion on the way I do her hair and on what she wears. Most of the time I can talk her into whatever I chose, but sometimes she just has to wear her puppy shirt with the hood.

I have been really working with her, teaching her to do different things around the house. She has started brushing her teeth by herself sometimes. Sometimes I still do it for her if we are in a hurry, though. If I wash dishes, she loves to rinse them and set them on the drying mat. She also loves to help me prepare food in the kitchen. Her favorite thing is stirring. She also has been helping me fold laundry and does really good with washcloths, socks and underwear. She always wants to help me make her bed and pretty soon she'll be able to do that by herself.

She wore her new birthday dress the Sunday before her actual birthday and was such a priss in it! It was hilarious. She loved it so much that she wore it all day and to evening services, also. That is a rare occurrence!

As for her stats right now: I measured and weighed her during her birthday week.

She is 42 3/4 inches in height and in the 96th percentile for that. Sometimes I call her Amazon Girl because she is so tall.
 She weighs 37 1/2 pounds and that puts her in the 60th percentile.
I find it funny that her growth charts have never had a perfect curve. She is anything but ordinary!

I am so blessed to have my sweet, sweet girl!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Kiev, Ukraine Journal - 2-20-1997 and 2-21-1997

*Disclaimer: Please remember that I wrote these when I was 14! I could be a snarky brat! I also am typing these journals exactly as I wrote them, bad spelling and all, except I have abbreviated names to protect the innocent or not-so-innocent.


Mom and Chelle went with D to go to the Bizzarre. Mom wouldn't let me stay home alone so R came over. We played Battleship and Outburst. She won on both. On Outburst she only won by one point and on Battleship she only won by 2 boats. It was pretty fun. I did some more homework. After supper we all had a little tea party. Then I went to the gastronome with R to get some more tea. I bought Strawberry and Blackberry. I finished "When we First Met". I really liked it. It's alot like "Romeo & Juliet", except they don't kill themselves. I went down to the pond with R to see the boys. C and J had built a bonfire on the ice. The wind was so cold and strong that it kept blowing out though. C mourned it's death. He madeup a huge long funeral speech about it. It was hilarious. Then we all came back and got some games out and played Family Fued and Taboo the rest of the night. I put a tea bag in my mouth and acted like I was sucking on it and told R that it was really good. So, she did adn almost doubled over gagging. I was laughing so hard at her. I wonder what she expected it to taste like. She was not happy with me, but toke it in stride.


Today I went to buy bread and juice with R. I bought some orange juice and tomato juice at the dollar store.  Then I went home. I did some homework and found out that I needed paint. So I went alone and bought some. I went home and painted the rest of my rose. I gave it to R. I sat out on the swing after I bought the paint and swung for about an hour. I went in and started another picture. I didn't turn out good, but I kept it any way. That night I went to the C's for a bible study. It was fun. R had gone to the S's to babysit, so I talked to J the whole time. Actually he talked to me the whole time. He told me lots of joke and my diafram hurt from laughing so much. I bought a Kinder Surprise and got a rejected toy in it. The chocolate was good, though.

*A Kinder Surprise is a European treat. It is a hollow, chocolate egg that has a capsule inside with a toy in it. Nestle tried to market a similar item in the states a few years back. They had to quit selling it because the toys were too small and they were sued.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Easter Egg Snake Tutorial

What do you do with all of your leftover Easter eggs?

Our house is full of them during the Easter aftermath.

While scouring Pinterest one day, I found an idea that I thought would be fun to do. It was easy enough for Chloe Jo to do and it was cute. It just so happened that Russ was going on a trip with his friend, Landon, so I decided to invite Kristin and the twins to come hang out for the day.

I had enough Easter eggs for 1 snake, not 3 so I sent Russ to our local Dollar store to get some. Since they were on sale for $0.50 each he went ahead and bought 8 packages.

What you will need:

Easter eggs. We used 24 for each snake. These were the small eggs, but this would work great with the large eggs, too.

Fishing line. We used crochet thread for ours because I did not have any fishing line, but I did go back later and replace the crochet thread because it broke when my nephew, Brenson, who is all boy, played with it.

Googly eyes.

A piece of red felt or foam for the snakes tongue.

The first step is to separate the pieces of the eggs. The bigger, top pieces will be the head and upper body of the snake and the smaller, bottom, pieces will be the tail.

String the fishing line through both holes of one of the bottom egg pieces. Tie 2 slip knots to secure the line. Then string just the bottom pieces onto the line. Once all the bottom pieces are strung, put one of the top pieces on the line and connect it to the first bottom piece. This will make the snake have one whole egg in the very middle.

Take lots of pictures.

Especially of your friends who are crafting with you.

String the rest of the top pieces onto the fishing line and tie it off. The knot can be on the outside. Hot glue eyes on the snake and then hot glue the tongue right over the knot of the fishing line.

And then you have a fun snake to play with!

Obviously the kids thought these were great!

We also made cheerio bird feeders, but the birds don't like ours. We only had the multi-grain, lightly sweetened cheerios and I think that is where we went wrong. Regular cheerios all the way if you are going to make a bird feeder.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Happy 4th Birthday, Baby Girl.

You are, and forever will be, one of our greatest blessings.