Friday, October 31, 2008

Blogging Lite

Now, I know I've been a little light on the content lately. Just so much jostling for my attention right now that coming up with original thoughts and pondering have been difficult...

and this is no exception! LOL

Flicka's drawing abilities are expanding exponentially lately. And, this morning was no different. She was watching this Buzz Lightyear VHS while I paid bills. In the midst of deposits and check writing, she hands me this:
It took a second but it occurred to me what she was drawing. Do the little green guys in this picture look familiar? LOLOh, and if you are wondering...that yellow sun lookin' thing? That's the "uni-mind"! LOL

Bloggy Giveaway winner!

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-10-31 11:22:28 UTC

According to, the winner of the little blue pie bird is:

CrystalGB at Conversing With Crystal.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by! It was nice to "meet" you all!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway

(Comments have been closed at this point. A winner has been chosen. But, feel free to look around!)

If this is your first time here, welcome to the Vikings' Hus!

I'm Beth and this is where I try to find some sanity (or show off our insanity) before the bloggy world. I'm a 40-year-old Christian SAHM trying out homeschooling for the first time with my 4 year old "Flicka" with my 2 year old "Pojke" tagging along.

I'm married to DaHubby (who is a proud Yooper) and we now live in SW Michigan. Prior to this family life, I lived all over SE Michigan and the Thumb area working in one of my three careers: video/TV production, law enforcement (don't ask! LOL), and teaching.

For now, we're all about homeschooling, frugal living, Dave Ramsey, church, and helping DaHubby through a full-time college program to start a new career while he continues to workhis current full-time job which supports this household.

With the introductions out of the way, let's get to the good stuff:

My giveaway is a small one. The last few years, I've been learning all sorts of new stuff about cooking. While I can now whip up several good-tastin' frugal meals, I've never really improved my baking skills much. LOL I just don't find it as rewarding plus we really don't need the extra sweets around here! *wink*

So, while I loved receiving this gift, I just haven't used it. But, for one of you who might be a proficient pie baker, it could be a wonderful thing. I'm giving away a brand-new, in-box pie bird.
For a history of a pie bird, check here. And, if you are interested in winning this cute little gadget, just leave your name and contact info in the comments. US addresses only please.

And, head back to Bloggy Giveaways for more free stuff!

Homemade With Love 2008

Well, GiBee is at it is the start of her Homemade With Love 2008 carnival. She is asking folks to do the following...

1. Think up your best idea for a homemade gift...could be for the holidays, a welcome gift, a gift for
a neighbor.

2. Make a sample and take a picture.

3. Post that pic with well thought out and complete instructions in a blog post.

4. Then, go to GiBee's bloggy home and sign in with a Mr. Linky.

5. Finally, begin browsing everyone else's ideas and start getting your Christmas list items crossed off! LOL

As for me, my idea doesn't *quite* fit her description but it IS what the Vikings and I did last year for a couple gifts for Christmas. Plus, this week is the PERFECT time to do it because...well, you'll see what I mean in a minute.

We have been using
this book for the last few Christmases to try to bring a homemade feel back to our holiday season. I've made her ice cream topping recipe and used her idea of buying/making EVERYONE on your list the same type of thing - last year we did Christmas ornaments. But, here's one more of her ideas: "forcing" narcissus/paperwhite bulbs!

And, since they take about 8 weeks to bloom, this week is the perfect time to start!

You can plant them in nearly anything: a fancy teacup, a regular clay pot, an oversized coffee mug, a ceramic container, a brass container, etc. (With those last two, double line the container with plastic or bubble wrap.)

And, they can be planted in a variety of things: pebbles, gravel, potting soil, sand, just about any supportive material.

Plant the bulbs so they are anchored but the top of the bulb is peeking out.

Keep it wet, not soaking, just wet.

Place in the dark until there's about 3 inches of growth.

Then, bring it out! They do best in bright, indirect light when blooming.

As it begins to grow to its full height, it may begin to lean over. Carlson suggests tying a couple lengths of raffia (or something similar) into a bow around the middle of the plant.

One word of warning: don't try to substitute another bulb for the paperwhite if you are unable to find them. I bought other bulbs and (being a "flower rookie") didn't think about them having a different "blooming" time. The bulbs I initially bought will not bloom until nearly Valentines Day! LOL)

Finally, due to the nature of this gift, I have no personal pictures to show you but I have found several links online to give you a visual. Check these pages out here and here.

So, jump up, dust off your crafty brain cells, come up with an idea, and stop in at GiBee's never know what you'll find!

Friday, October 24, 2008

When playdoh goes wrong

"Mom, this playdoh is too sticky."
So, Mom adds a little flour (mistake #1 - this was the "clue phone" ringing that this would be a mess. LOL)

"Mom, (Pojke) is in your flour!"
(mistake #2 - left it on the table and walked away and now 2+C of it were on the table)

"Mom, we're done!"
And, Mom says "off to the bath witchu all!" LOL

Funny from DaHubby

A good Wordless Wednesday? *wink*

Two new recipes

In the interest of DaHubby's veggy diet
as well as trying to eat more seasonal veggies
plus cook with more "unfamiliar" veggies
and (finally) due to an overabundance of MONSTER-SIZED carrots in the garden,
I whipped up a new recipe this week:
carrot soup!

Not as strange as it sounds and it was a WONDERFUL fall-feeling soup!

I normally make a new recipe as it is written at least the first time. I don't usually experiment until the 2nd or 3rd try. But, I jumped right in with this one.

Instead of water and bouillon, I boiled up a small batch of broth from veggies and the leftovers of two bone-in chicken breasts from earlier in the week.

I used DaHubby's beloved olive oil instead of unsalted butter.

And, defying the recipe again LOL, I tossed in half of a leftover sweet potato as well as two leftover small potatoes baked earlier in the week instead of the requested one large potato.

What resulted had to be the best smelling soup I have ever made - and I've been making some good soups in the last year - as well as the best tasting!

Carrot soup along with Crystal's (of fame) recipe for frugal homemade breadsticks and DaHubby and I were well-filled, happy, and warm!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Anyone interested....

in doing 30 Days of Thanksgiving again this year? (See last year's starter/explanation post here.) This would start next Wednesday. I've been tinkering with a new button but, with all that is going on here, didn't want to jump in with two feet if no one else would participate! LOL Leave a comment if you think this is something you would like to do. Thanks!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Where do I start?

God must have realized I was reaching the end of my rope last week and sent a wonderful respite this weekend! :)

Friday night: The family who runs our favorite local restaurant the next city over opened up another restaurant nearby. They bought a locally historic building which most recently housed a fancy restaurant - the one at which DaHubby and I were married! So, with cash in hand (thank you Dave Ramsey) and with the Vikings and I sharing a large combo meal (LOL), we four had a wonderful dinner out!

Saturday: While DaHubby went to his morning class, the Vikings and I ran some errands. When he arrived home from school, we all jumped in the van with packed lunches and headed to Kalamazoo! We went to the Air Zoo which is one of DaHubby's favorites. The kids have been there before but it's been about two years.

Then, an auntie/uncle combo watched the Vikings that evening so DaHubby and I had some time alone!

Sunday: We all were able to be at church. DaHubby's been using Sunday morning with me and the Vikings gone to get some homework done in peace and quiet. He's been sorely missed by all (most of all ME) but I supported his decision. He was able to go yesterday and then played 3-4 songs with the praise and worship team during prayer/altar call at the end of service which brought the place to its feet! *big smile*

Then, DaGrandparents made up for some lost time since dealing with my MIL's knee replacement and took the kids for the afternoon! More alone time with DaHubby! *bigger smile*

Finally, we all attended evening service as well and all were pleased to see DaHubby opening service with a few songs.

Other than the colds it appears the Vikings pick up at some point, a nearly perfect weekend!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Blaming it on Maslow

How bad is it when a lifelong bookphile and chronic, incurable writer finds blogging just too difficult and too taxing on the brain to attempt? *sigh* And, as a hat tip to my "kiddie psych" class and due to DaHubby's current "business psych" class, I blame my bloggy brain block on Mr. Maslow. His hierarchy of needs means that if I can't get my basic and necessary bases covered then everything else goes to pot! LOL Hard to be creative, witty, and literary when all my energy and every waking hour is going to make sure we're all sleeping, healthy, happy, safe, and fed!

There's so much going on right now - inside and outside my brain - that just keeping my head above water is difficult.

I'm still feeling a sense of grieving over the loss of Böna in August. I've hit the stage where is seems *everyone* is pregnant (and largely so) around me all the time. I would be 20 weeks this Sunday. Next week would have be the time we would have found out if Böna was a boy, a girl, or just very modest. The grieving is complicated by the fact that we don't know if we are grieving just for this lost little Viking and/or grieving the end of our child-bearing opportunities all together. We've have not really felt any sense of direction from God on the matter or a sense that our family is "complete".

I'm overwhelmed but hanging in there with the home situation which is requiring me to not only handle my regular responsibilities but the many of DaHubby's as well that I've found I took for granted. Not that it's a big deal but I haven't cut grass in 7 years and I keep nearly forgetting to put out the trash. LOL Also, we've talked about me learning the ins and outs of the snow blower since I will most likely have to run it solo this winter. But, at least it's a snow blower and not a very large shovel! LOL

But, being "on duty" constantly is starting to take its toll. With my more-frequent babysitters out of commission (aka my in-laws) due to my MIL's second knee replacement, time alone and/or quiet time in non-existent.
I'm starting to have "shower optional" days again as well. LOL Pojke's up nearly as early as me and as soon as the Vikings go to bed, DaHubby arrives home and it's time for us grown-ups to go to bed.

My ADD has this weird manic-depressive thing going on. Some days I'm on-task, motivated, crazy efficient, and productive. Other days not so much. I can barely just focused long enough to do the dishes, make meals, and keep the kids occupied.

I'm getting discouraged with our homeschooling adventures. Trying to keep the kids busy and happy and distracted from missing DaHubby means not home very much which is not particularly conducive to schooling. And, the organizational part of it is bumping up on my ADD struggles.

With my coping (or lack thereof) and with DaHubby gone so much, Flicka's exhibiting some concerning behavior. Most times she's golden but suddenly, without warning, she gets in these funks. She's expressing all kinds of worries, having some separation anxiety, having nightmares, and biting her nails.

The economy troubles are beginning to hit home as well. I found out Monday that my dad was laid off and then yesterday DaHubby's hours were cut back (again) with no new work on the horizon. If DaHubby's shop closes or he is laid off, we'll have to consider selling this house and/or losing the minivan plus I'll will be going back to work - and at this point in the school year it would be as a substitute teacher making about $90-100 per day. While are in a significantly better place now than a year ago due to our involvement with the Dave Ramsey FPU plan, a cut in half of income is still a major deal breaker for trying to live as we are currently.

All this upheaval is snowballing around me and within me. Trying to keep an even keel and finding God's peace amid all this has been difficult. There are constant demands for our time, attention, and money and my immediate initial turtle-like reaction is to lock the four of us in the house and the rest of the world can take a long walk off a short pier. LOL

While keeping in contact with my local and online friends keeps me smiling and significantly lightens things up, I'm in more of a "receiving" mode than a "giving" mode right now. So, I ask for your patience and understanding as I work through this season, the temporary bump in the road.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

October 15th

Haven't been able to share anything about the repercussions of losing my most recent pregnancy in August. As one would expect, it's been a typical roller coaster type experience. It's still impossible for me to blog about it yet. However, it hit me in the last few days that I would be halfway through that pregnancy with Böna as of this coming weekend. As a result, sadness has dripped into my daily thoughts for the last week or so.

Losing Böna into the Lord's hands was made more heart-breaking when it occurred six years to the day of losing our first angel in 2002.

So, today - I remember those *other* two little Vikings we've never met in this world, the two little angels waiting for us in heaven.

Post-obit follow up

We're still (somewhat) grieving the loss of Mr. Sony following his sudden death last week.

However, instead of the salt-in-the-wound insult of having to watch at 13-inch screen as it sat in front of Mr. Sony's 36+ inch self (LOL), DaHubby took a break from his studies last weekend to provide a surprise for the Vikings and I upon returning home from the Detroit area.

Before: After: The kids are thrilled. And, I'm amazed at how much bigger the living room seems. It's also easier to not miss having cable when what TV we're still watching has to be seen on that size screen *snort*

Anyone know of someone who a "tinker-er" like my grandpa was who'd want to fix something like Mr. Sony? LOL As well as a 3-person moving team who will be able to move it out of my house?

Wordless Wednesday: Hello? Hollywood Calling?

Lord, help me when this child grows into a teenager! LOL
For more WW, go here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

On the road again

We're on our way for a short Viking road trip to SE Michigan to see my family. We'll be staying with my mom and attending a party for my "baby" cousin who recently enlisted in the Marines and is shipping out for boot camp next week.

DaHubby will be home holding down the fort, doing homework, and leading two small group meetings here at the house with his compatriots from school. Big projects due next week.

Blessings to all. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

For more WW, go here or here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Last minute Tackle

Wasn't planning on doing a post for Tackle It Tuesday but it occurred to me as I was cooking dinner that this recipe has been on my menu list for 2 weeks and I finally decided to...TACKLE it today! LOL

Using this recipe, I give you, my first ever attempt at making PASTA! FROM SCRATCH! *big smile*

A little too thick. A little strange looking ("It looks like snakes!" from the peanut gallery) Could use some additional spices and/or salt but overall - really good!

For other tackles this week, go here.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A recent Wordle

No, Mom - I DON'T feel better!

But, my temperature is down and no "pukies" (so far).
And, we keep praying that'll STAY that way! LOL

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Abel and who?

Last week, school took a back seat to the "pukies" so we are a few days behind. But, earlier in the week, one of Flicka's Bible lessons was about Cain and Abel. We're using Rod and Staff's "Bible Pictures To Color/Bible Stories to Read" preschool level books for Flicka's introduction to familiar Old Testament and New Testament stories.

On the day following the lesson, we were at my in-laws and I was trying to get Flicka to "show off" all she'd learned.

"Baby, can you tell Grandma and Papa what the Bible story was that you learned yesterday?"

(blank stare from Flicka)

"The one about the brothers?" I asked. "What were their names?"


"That's right, kiddo, and who was the other one?"

Flicka's brow wrinkles as she looks up to the ceiling trying to remember.

Then, she looks at Grandma and says "John McCain."

Bachelor TV - R.I.P. was it is with all things.
Huge, heavy, an over 3-foot screen,
and (at the time of purchase) hugely expensive

Worked fine this morning as the kids watched PBS while I took a shower.
Then, sadly, when DaHubby turned him on after church...
A flash on the screen
And he was gone.

He served our family well. He is survived by a 13 inch little brother and another hand-me-down cousin - one of which will be set up in the living room shortly. When all TV goes digital in February, it won't matter much because we probably will be watching it on the cousin's 16 inch screen.

Memorial gifts can be donated to the "Dave Ramsey said no credit cards; no buying new toys without cash" fund.


Friday, October 3, 2008

As if I'm not around enough already...

...Flicka woke up with the "pukies" this morning. Luckily, one of the aunties swooped in for our rescue and just arrived with two grocery bags filled with Gatorade, popsicles, Teddy Grahams, and apple sauce. THANKS AUNT SUZIE!! YOU ROCK!!

Spending the morning holding the bucket for Flicka and sitting on the couch with her at her request (can't even leave the room). Maybe I'll some reading done? LOL Or, I wish DaHubby had left his new cool little Netbook (like this one) at home - I could surf from the couch! *wink*

Hope everyone has a good weekend. Hopefully, we'll be off the couch by church Sunday.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Only an Engineer!

The joys of being married to an engineer...impromptu contraptions and spontaneous alternate use of materials! LOL

For more WW, go here and here.