thoughts on a drizzly day

This rainy, gloomy Monday isn't gonna get me down. Today is a good day to finish finishing the laundry, etc....

We have lots to be thankful for here at the Fitz farm, including the tuff stuff that teaches us to "get right" and softens the hard spots in our hearts.

I still need SO MUCH WORK!

Father of Heaven, don't give up on me, I beg!


P. B. & J Granola Recipe

My friend made some of this granola at sukkot this year. It is so good! Her recipe is slightly altered here because I didn't have a couple of the things it called for (ie. wheat germ, peanuts, or pecans) so instead I upped the amount of oats a wee bit. It turned out great anyway!

You'll need:

4 c. oats (I used 2 cups steel cut and 2 cups old fashioned)
1 and 1/4 t. salt
1 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. honey
1 c. peanut butter
1 and 1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. extra light, extra virgin olive oil (I used coconut oil- did not have extra light EVOO)
1 c. raisins
1/2 c. dried cranberries (or just put in extra raisins)
*Optional* chopped or whole peanuts and/or pecans

In a large bowl combine oats, cinnamon, ginger, and salt (and optional nuts). Mix well.

In a sauce pan mix honey and sugar over med-high heat until bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla.

Pour peanut butter mixture over oat mixture and mix well. Pour oil over all and coat well.

Spread evenly on cookie sheet and bake at 300 for 30 minutes- stirring well every 10 minutes.

Cool and return to large bowl. Mix in raisins and cranberries. Store in air tight container.

*The original recipe called for baking at 325 for 35 to 40 mins. (stirring every 15 mins.), but this caused my first batch to be overly done. It depends on your oven. In my case, reducing the heat and bake time resulted in toasted and crunchy, yet not burnt tasting granola.

I think it would be very tasty with the nuts. Maybe next batch I'll throw some in.


On a High

Okay, it could be from the cleaning supply fumes, but this girl is so high- floating on a cloud today! ALL of the laundry is done and our problem areas are clean and purged. More purging is in progress and I am feeling ready for the remaining fall feast days; Yom haKippurim and SUKKOT! It's the most wonderful time of the year, y'all!!!


My boys

Oh, how they love each other!

Clinging to Bubba

Chillin on a lovely Shabbat afternoonGood morning!
the brother he always wanted

May they love each other this way for all of their lives.

Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!


Yom Teruah! Leviticus 23:24-25

Warming up dad's shofar for the Feast of Trumpets or Yom Teruah 2011.

Micah's turn

Sunny's turn

"Give it to me, Sissy. I'm GOOD!"......
Eliana's turn
(Wow! She IS good!!! :-D)


The Story of The Perfect Baby Bib (if I do say so myself)

Once upon a time a young mother was browsing at her favorite local thrift store when she found the perfect baby bib. But, alas, as the years went by, the baby bib became worn out from overuse and was cast into the trash. Lamenting her foolishness for not making a pattern from the perfect baby bib before tossing it out, she began searching in all the land to see if such a pattern existed. Many years passed and the sought after pattern eluded the now, not-so-young mother. And then, one day, there it was! A free tutorial for the "Bapron" (also known as the perfect baby bib) flashed upon her computer screen, ending her search and filling her heart with glee.

The End


But wait! There's more...
While mind planning this sewing project I had a genius moment: Why not make the bib adjustable (not to mention easier to sew), by making a casing at the shoulder for the ties to slide into? And furthermore, why not line it with the same fabric (or some cute coordinating fabric), making it reversible, thereby eliminating the worry of stains ruining your masterpiece!! HA! By jingo, I think I've got it- the PERFECT baby bib!!

Ta-Da!! This was my prototype made with *blushing, hanging head, and mumbling* store bought bias tape. Future bibs will be made with totally adorable and custom made bias tape. Hopefully.

*in Barry White voice* Awwwww, yeahhhh. Reversible in case of staining. Perfect.

Ties slide into casing, making the "pbb" fully adjustible for any size baby or toddler (or preschooler)


Making Stuff

Ever since I can remember creativity has been in me. The best thing, when I was a little kid, was a blank sheet of paper on which to draw and a pen. The back of junk mail, bank envelopes, the inside cover of coloring books, and even the inside of gum wrappers were my canvases. Art was my favorite class in school, by far. All my life I have loved to draw and make stuff.

But for the last couple of years that creativity has been all bottled up. Being a mom has kept me very busy and even overwhelmed at times. The best I have been able to manage is an occasional, little sewing project here and there.

Apparently all that craftiness and creativity could be contained no more and has bubbled over, because I have been making stuff and working on projects left and right lately. It is good to be back at it and making things again.

If you have a creative bone in your body, an itch to make something, paint something, sew something, draw something....Do it! Make time to create.

Here is a small sampling:

Favorite sewing project- my new cute apron

Painted for my girl's room at a painting class I took with my friend. What fun!

Eliana's Weather Window


3 in a Row

Our week started off so gloriously! Three happy, wonderful school days in a row is kinda rare and we had pulled it off. Not that most of our school days are horrible, but there is a good amount of chaos with all that needs to happen in a day, plus a busy 3 year old and a clingy 9 month old. Most days I am on constant chaos/task master partol. But this week we had managed 3 lovely, wonderful, low-stress, productive days of enjoyable learning in a row! Rare. And, like I said before, glorious.

As for day 4?.....let's just say our record stands at 3 in a row. ;-)


Scrap Skirts

An idea has been forming in my mind for a couple of days, but no time to stop and really plan it out or actually make it happen. Finally, yesterday afternoon, I had some free time so I headed out to my fabric scraps and grabbed a stack to make these skirts. There were lots of scraps from other sewing projects piled up. Each piece was too much fabric to throw out, yet not quite enough to make anything out of. I started by making a simple, wedge-shaped pattern piece on wrapping paper. Then I cut out several wedges from any fabric scrap that was big enough, pinned them together, sewed them together, added a waist band and threaded ribbon through to make a drawstring waist, then hemmed the skirt with double fold bias tape. Each skirt took less than 2 hours. My first plan was to add patch pockets, but then the girls and I decided we liked the option of spinning the skirt so that any part of it could be the front. The bow (from the drawstring) can be worn in the front, back, or on either side. These are so cute and colorful and comfy and, perhaps best of all, just about ANY shirt will match!



You just don't even know how long and how much I had looked forward to this trip. We planned and saved for it for months, but dreamed and talked about it for the last 2 years. All of the tough stuff life has thrown at us lately just made our vacation that much more desperately longed for. So the day finally came to get on the road to the beach and our very special family vacation.

The ocean was beautiful. The campground was wonderful. The kids had a blast...all except for little Mr. Asher Daniel who decided that this vacation was a major cramp in his stay-at-home style and cried endlessly and refused to nap or sleep at night for more than a couple of hours. The amount of crying, fussing, screaming, and squealing we endured over those six days was traumatic. The lack of sleep was horrifying. Oh my!

There were wonderful moments and memories on this trip which I will enjoy thinking back on. However, I have probably never been so happy to get home and put that baby in his own crib where he badly wanted to be and where he slept for 12 hours straight.


100 Things

A blogging friend challenged her readers to think of 100 things they love about their husbands and blog it. Pssshhht. You call that a challenge? It's on...

100 Things I Love About Scotty:

1. He is a fox, of course.

2. He loves funny movies.

3. He acts out scenes from his favorite movies or events to entertain us at family gatherings.

4. His ears are cute.

5. He is a freak of nature in a good way because he never smells! No bad breath (even in the morning), no stinky feet, no B.O.

6. He doesn't think I'm weird for sniffing him to see if he stinks.

7. He doesn't think I'm weird for any of the weird stuff I do.

8. His eyes are the most lovely, unusually beautiful color of light, ocean green or blue... depending on what he is wearing.

9. Everyone (almost) he meets likes him right away.

10. He is a people person.

11. He is not quick to judge.

12. I can depend on him when it really counts.

13. His feet are really nice looking when he trims his toenails.

14. He looks great in flip-flops.

15. He never, ever missed a single one of my ob appointment with all 4 of our pregnancies.

16. He will go shopping for clothes with me and doesn't seem to hate it too much.

17. He loves to give gifts, small and big.

18. His laid back-ness is a good balance to my overly anxious tendencies.

19. He has never hesitated to change a baby diaper- no matter the filling.

20. He fell in love with our first baby in a way that surprised me and made me fall in love with him even more.

21. He never complains even though, Lord knows, there would be plenty to complain about!

22. He shares whatever he has.

23. He gives money to bums.

24. Kids love him, although some fear his beard.

25. He's tall.

26. He writes poems...but only for me.

27. He doesn't mind cooking dinner when I don't feel like it.

28. He NEVER badgers me. Even though he probably should sometimes.

29. He kindly and lovingly will not let me get away with being mean/wrong/bratty, thus saving me from myself.

30. He puts us before himself. ie: He is the last one to get new shoes.

31. He couldn't care less about other people's opinion of him- good or bad.

32. He is amazingly self-confident without even a hint of conceit or vanity.

33. He usually laughs at the hilarious things I say.

34. Sometimes his eyes twinkle.

35. He was the cutest baby!

36. He lets me pick the paint colors.

37. He never gives up until the job is done.

38. He is the hardest worker I know.

39. He takes a sincere interest in our children's interests.

40. He encourages them to do their best.

41. He is all about giving the benefit of the doubt.

42. He will return things for me if I really, really want him to.

43. He always drives.

44. He buckles the baby in and out.

45. He wears the baby in the front carrier because he likes to.

46. He will carry a pink diaper bag without thinking twice about it.

47. He lets me sit in the office chair when we are looking on the computer together.

48. He like to do puzzles with me on the computer.

49. He likes to play games like Connect 4, Guess Who, and Uno with me after the kids go to bed.

50. He jumps on the trampoline with the kids and has even been seen jumping on it alone.

51. He tries to get me to jump on the trampoline with him.

52. He vacuums.

53. He will clean the tile in the shower as a surprise.

54. He will remove all the toys and rinse out the tub so I can take a bath.

55. He's athletic. (I had to put this for #55)

56. He handles the bills.

57. He once stopped by a thrift store and bought me a hospital grade breast pump for $15.00.

58. Every year for my birthday he takes me shopping at my favorite thrift stores , even though he does NOT like to go.

59. He always finds the best things while we are there, even though he does NOT like to go.

60. It was his idea to take each child on a trip for their 10th birthday- just them and dad.

61. He won't let you give up.

62. He is an emotional rock.

63. He is kind.

64. He has an easy swagger.

65. He has an internal GPS.

66. He lets me hold the remote. Usually.

67. He can be very tender hearted.

68. He is unusually unselfish.

69. He holds hands with me all the time.

70. He still likes toys and has no problem taking one away from a kid to try it out.

71. During a meal, he will gladly hold the fussy baby and eat with one hand so I don't have to.

72. He has never once complained about having to go to work even during periods of heavy over-time.

73. Breaking the stereotype about sick men being the biggest babies- he never, ever complains when he is sick.

74. He RARELY gets sick. This is one healthy man.

75. He loves to clean out the kid's ears.

76. He has never slept on the couch because he absolutely refuses to allow us to sleep apart.

77. He can type really fast.

78. There might not be a mean bone in his body.

79. He is stubborn in his convictions and won't back down from his beliefs.

80. He calls me and our daughters his girls.

81. He is strong, yet gentle.

82. Providing for his family is important to him.

83. His patience abounds.

84. He loves music.

85. He LOVES to sing- anywhere, anytime, all the time!

86. He is calm in a crisis and knows what to do.

87. He has beautiful skin.

88. He is trustworthy.

89. He trusts me.

90. He can break it down and always dances at weddings. If the wedding has dancing, that is.

91. He can and will fix almost anything around the house.

92. He watches over our elderly next door neighbor and helps her in any way he can.

93. He truly cares for the people he loves.

94. He has math skills.

95. He finds all the good bargains. This manly man once came home from Target with a bunch of clothing for our daughter that he carefully selected from the clearance rack in the little girl's department.

96. He is predictable, yet occasionally does things that really surprise me. (See numbers 20, 26, 57, and 95.)

97. His life is a good example for his sons.

98. He loves the truth, prays for us, and seeks his Creator.

99. He reads the Bible to us each week and teaches his children to know the One, true, living God.

100. Yeshua's love shines in him because he loves his Savior.



Somewhere in the whirlwind of getting used to new things- a new baby, gymnastics twice a week, Scotty's work schedule- and moving through everyday life- school work, chores, childcare/rearing, nursing, NOT neglecting my marriage....something happened....my little tiny newborn baby somehow turned 6 months old. It happened a tiny bit at a time, day by day, as he napped and when I wasn't looking. And now he is half of a year old! Wow! As sad as it is that he's no longer a tiny infant, it is fun to watch him learn and thrive and be loved by his siblings and smile and play and discover his feet, his toys, his thumb, his voice... I just love those big cheeks and that happy smile. He is over 18 pounds of wonderful person.


Almost there!

The school year is winding down....FINALLY! Only 8 more school days and we are out for the summer. Who is more excited? Probably me, although the kids are pretty dang happy about it too. We are so ready for a nice, long break.


Still Here

Bloggidy Blog Blog....having blogger's block. Will return soon.


Spring has Sprung, Pollen is Fallin'

The sun is shining on our freshly cut back yard as I look out the window on this lovely day. Spring must be here since the boys allergies are revving up and the summer clothes have come down from the attic. We've been flip-flopping around for over a week now and turning on the a/c at night. Spring is in the air.


Handy Little Cones

These go over a baby boy's "spout" while you change his diaper, to protect you from getting sprayed. SO SO easy to make! Also, they didn't cost me a dime since I used fabric scraps and a washcloth. Here is the tutorail: http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2009/08/wee-wee-wigwam.html (I cut up a washcloth to line mine because it seems like it would be more absorbent than fleece.)


Unwanted Facial Hair?

Ever since my youngest daughter was two years old she would mention my "mush-tash" from time to time. It was funny, but also kinda hard to hear. I mean, I know I have some peach fuzz on my top lip, but if a baby is noticing and calling it a mustache then maybe I need to look into a waxing procedure.

Today she drew a picture of me. I pointed to a circle at the bottom of my face and asked what it was. She told me it was my mush-tash. :-( Great. Now I'm thinking she means beard and I must not be noticing the apparently large quantity of unwanted facial hair I must be sporting. Kids notice everything, so I'm feeling really insecure for a second....
then, come to find out- "mush-tash" is what she calls a CHIN! Just a smooth, flesh chin.

Whew! What a relief.



Change is usually scary to me. I don't like it- no, I don't! But lots of changes have happened lately in our lives and still more yet to come. So far I'm coping pretty well and have learned something: life is change after change. Better get used to it, Self.



The best times of my life, growing up, were spent in a small town in west Tennessee. My great grandparents farmed there and my grandparents owned (and still own) the town barber shop. A WWII airbase was the scene of my best childhood adventures and the address of my kin folk. Both great and grandparents lived on that airbase only about a quarter mile apart. No other houses were there and my Gramp's farm land stretched between the houses on one side of our wide, cracked, concrete playground. Twice a year we got to visit and spend time in our own little paradise, playing with beloved cousins and being spoiled rotten by our Nanny. It seems like, if I try hard enough, I could reach back in time and do it all again. So many precious memories are there. It seems impossible that today, three out of four of those grandparents have passed, and the two houses on that airbase are no longer the warm, lively, second homes where I felt so safe and loved. In my heart and in my memories it will always be the same: Nanny's drippy window unit, climbing the cherry tree, swinging in the yard, wandering back and forth between houses, riding bikes as fast and free as you like, dress ups, black eyed peas with ketchup, playing board games with grown-ups, getting our hair washed in the kitchen sink, tea parties with Grandmama's mini tea set, gazing at her look-but-don't-touch curio cabinet dollhouse, watching Pink Panther with Grandaddy, gold Dial soap, a special book Grandmama always read to me and my "best cousin" (we never got tired of it), Grandaddy's organ music concerts, the turtle foot stool, old photo albums, Nanny's candy tin, green panelling, fruit salad, happiness...the list is endless. What a blessing that I got to be there and enjoy life and be loved by those wonderful people- my grandparents.

Gramps and Nanny's house and farm. You can barely see Grandmommy and Grandaddy's house in the distance.

Micah and Sunny walked, just like we used to, from Grandmommy's to Nanny's on this dreary summer day in 2009.


Life, Recently

It's been nearly a month since my last post and I could blame it on the new baby, except that it's not his fault. I've sat down to blog several times and couldn't get my thoughts together to make it happen. But right now we are having a rare moment of silence. Both little ones are asleep and both big ones are working quietly and diligently to finish their school day. Only now I can't think of anything interesting to blog about so I'll just record some about our life recently.

First, the baby: Asher is an easy little fella to take care of. He doesn't cry much and has very few digestive issues to speak of. He gets hungry every 3 hours during the day and sleeps a 6 hour block at night. His bladder works very well as we go through many, many diapers per day. Lately he has been staying awake more and checking us out. We even get smiled at now and then. At 7 weeks old (which he is today!) he is so big- already outgrowing his 3 month clothes and size 1 diapers! His name means "happy and blessed"....and we are by his presence.

Second, Eliana: This girl has a huge personality in that little body! She keeps us laughing. We were relieved at how much she loves the new baby and hasn't shown any jealousy at all. She has been a pacifier addict all of her life and quitting can be tough. But she is doing a great job of only using it at sleep time. Soon she will move from her crib to her big girl bed and then we will throw her pacifiers away forever. At a recent (huge) family gathering I was pleased to see that she is one of the more mature 3 year olds- being fully potty trained. Then, she proceeded to wet her pants in front of everyone- something that NEVER happens. We had to laugh because that's life.

Next up, Sunny: She is about to embark on an adventure that she has been hoping for and looking forward to and waiting on for 5 whole years!! (And when you are only 8 that is a long time!) Soon she will start gymnastics! Ever since she was 3 years old and took a summer ballet/gymnastics class she has been asking to take "just the gymnastics part". Due to the high cost of this activity we haven't been able to make it happen for her, but recently daddy got some overtime at work to pay for her first 3 months. We took her for a trial class which she loved. So her dream is about to come true. She is a little sporty girl and did awesome at the try out. Sunny is also Asher's second mommy. I don't know what I would do without her help...and best of all she loves helping with him.

Last (but not least), Micah: Mr. Imagination is still a wonderful big brother. We just keep adding siblings and he just keeps loving them and being awesome. He isn't in the baby's face all the time like the girls are, but he occasionally wraps him in a blanket and goes to the rocking chair for some brother bonding. Micah's calm, cool, and collected-ness soothes the baby to sleep every time. He loves rocking his long awaited brother. The latest excitement for him was when we visited a home school co-op in our area. He was in classes all day with other 6th grade homeschoolers. They go once a week for academics and then school at home for the rest of the week, getting their assignments from the teacher's websites. Then, one evening a week they can go for electives. He absolutely loved the co-op and would like to attend regularly. We'll see if it works out for us.

As for the grown ups around here, we are just taking care of business one day at a time. I struggle with staying positive and grateful and he struggles with being WAY too laid back about everything. Some post partum depression got a hold of me for a while there, but the worst is behind us now- I hope. It was awful! But I think I have climbed out of the pit. Last week we even got to go on a little date when my sister offered to keep our older 3 kids for the evening. Asher slept in his baby seat while we shared a burger and a giant piece of cake and chatted and laughed without interruption. It was wonderful! We have so much to be thankful for and try to always remember to bless the One who made us, brought us together, and blesses us in abundance. Even when He takes us through the rough times- it is only to show us what is in our own hearts. Yikes! That has been a scary lesson for me at times. This verse expresses my desire perfectly, however He will be faithful, and it is not always what the flesh might want to hear/do/or go through as He leads. My guts are crying out: Less flesh, more Spirit!

Psalm 139:23-24 "Search me, O Elohim, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."