Tuesday, December 6, 2011

O No You Dit'nt

O yes I did.  Well it's been about a month now and I have some very big news to share.....

My dreams have come true!  I'm officially a stay-at-home mom! 

That's right, a saty-at-home-ity-home mom.

I remember being a little girl playing with dolls and pots and pans and I thought to myself "I wanna be a mommy when I get bigger."

 I did well in school and my head filled my future up with college and career.  Staying at home got smushed behind all of that.....

but it was still there....

When I got married, I thought about how nice it would be to have little ones at home and spend my days caring for them.  There were so many obstacles, though.

     How could we possibly afford to live on one salary.....my husband is a hard worker but he's no brain scientist.

    I'm not really domesticated.  In fact I'm sloppy and a pretty poor cook AND when babies look at me, they generally tend to cry. 

but it was still there...

I was mostly afraid to dream my dream.  I was getting older; past the age that I pictured stay-at-home mommies to be.  I didn't want to talk to Bill about it because he would feel so bad that he couldn't give me what I wanted (husbands really want to do that for their wives, you know).

Our son was born in 2005.  I was working 25-30 hours per week and  thought, "This isn't too bad.  It's kinda how I always pictured it."....wow the stuff dreams are made of, right?

Last fall, Bill and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary.  We, of course, couldn't "afford" to do anything major because I was only working 25-30 hours per week.  We spent the weekend at this beautiful place

We came away rested and inspired....the two best indicators of a good vacation.  During the weekend, I summoned my courage and tested my faith.  I told Bill my dream; I mean really told him.  I told him that I wanted to stay home and that I wanted him to be okay with that. 

I saw that my desire had to be changed into his desire too....not just for my husband to give me what I wanted but to see the benefits though his own eyes. 

We prayed because that is what we were reduced to.... Reduced because the equation was there but the numbers were not adding up. 

So this story turns out to have a happy ending.  We waited on our heavenly father patiently for over a year but it wasn't hard.  You see, he needed that time to prepare us for what was ahead (which is a whole other blog post).  When he gives us the desires of our hearts, it's a big deal to us.  We want to be the best possible caretakers of these dreams because they come around but once in a lifetime.

And me?  I'm so very excited about having a dream come true.  I'm soaking it in, I'm relishing the moment and most importantly I'm at peace.  As I reflect on this whole process, I see that it was not  painful as I thought it would be.  I'm not a good waiter.  The beautiful part was that I was never really waiting.  Deep down I knew that the time was not right and that when it was right, everything would just fall into place...


Thanks for reading

  jenny rosie

Monday, November 7, 2011

What Grandma Gave Me....Her Apple Sauce Recipe

Bill's Grandma lived to the ripe old age of 96.  To me, she was the idyllic homemaker.  Her house which she lived in for the first 95 years of her life, was always spic-n-span and it seemed like she was forever creating something in her pink kitchen. 

 My own grandmothers never lived close to me so when I married Bill, I latched right on to his grandmother.  She passed so many things on to me before she died knowing that, like her, I was sentimental and would treasure them always. 

One autumn afternoon, Grandma showed me how to make her famous applesauce.  "How was it famous?' you ask.  Well of course it was the centerpiece at St John's Episcopal Church's pancake supper every winter.  When you sat down to eat in the church's meeting hall, there was no syrup on the tables, just grandma's applesauce.  She never added sugar; she knew the secret to naturally sweet applesauce.

Grandma's first instructions that afternoon.were to purchase three kinds of apples....Greening, Spy, and Cortland....equal amounts of course. 

Rinse them well

Here's the cool part....Dont peel them; just cut off the stems and the "butts" and quarter the apples

Put just enough water to cover the bottom of your kettle and fill it with the apples

Cook the apples on medium heat checking to make sure the water never boils completely dry at the bottom of the kettle.  Ignore that, while they're cooking with seeds and peels, they look like brains. 

When the apples are soft (it only took about 30 minutes), take them off the heat.

Enter "The Ricer"....this is another super cool thing she passed on to us

That wooden paddle fits right into the cone and separates the flesh of the cooked apples from the seeds and skins as it is pushed out of the hundreds of tiny holes of the cone.

The seeds and skins are left in the cone...

And this is what you end up with.  I wish my camera could do the color justice.

So, you see, the secret to the sweetness is in the core.  The sweetest part of the apple is around its seeds.  Leaving the skins on gives the sauce such a beautiful color.  Could applesauce be any easier to make?  No peeling or coring. 

Thanks, Grandma (she says with her mouth full of apple sauce)

  jenny rosie

Friday, September 23, 2011

Finger Lakes Friday

On Fridays I'll be postings pictures of one of my favorite things...the place where I live.

The Finger Lakes region is located in central NY....

most of its residents haven’t even been to New York City.

There are eleven lakes in all, some as long as 40 miles, none wider than 3 miles across, and each boasting its own unique beauty. The region is dotted with small cities, quaint villages and tiny crossroads called hamlets.
I love that we're relatively undiscovered.

I'm no professional photographer and I don’t have any fancy editing software so the subject matter will simply speak for itself.

I took a drive down the west side of Canandaigua Lake the other day. I like taking drives; they clear my head like nothing else.  Here are some pictures I took toward the south end of the lake.

There she is, folks.....Canandaigua Lake snaking herself out from in between the Bristol Hills.

Bear Hill keeping watch over her. 

At the south tip of the lake the hills are so steep that the water reflects the color of the towering trees instead of the gray sky.

Tell me you didnt just relax a little

  jenny rosie

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We Got a Lot of Rain Last Week

Remember this picture of my cuties taken a month ago at Taughannock Falls state park??

See the little trickle of water falling gently into the tranquil pool in the background??

Here's a picture of that trickle last week after Tropical storm Lee dumped 10 inches in the Ithaca Area

Photo by Carrie Smalser

More like a raging torrent pounding into swirling angry murk .  

Yeah we got a lot of rain last week....

 jenny rosie

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Closin Down Summer

Quite a summer we had there, eh?

For the first time, this summer we had a child with the summer let down...you know, what happens when one goes from structured school days with lots to do and playmates at arms reach to.....hangin' out at home with mom.

The Pumpkin did swimming lessons

read, read, read books

and even made some new friends

 I tried harder than ever to put down what I was doing to get down on the floor with my son and just BE with him.

For the first time. this summer we had 2 kids.  They've been getting to know each other....isn't that so crazy???

For the first time, instead of complaining about the heat, I coped.  That's a big deal for this girl.  I mean do you REMEMBER this summer????  Do you remember what the thermostat read????!!!!  I cant tell you how I did it, I don't really recall....I don't even want to talk about it.

We listened to this a ton....I even kept it in the car and listened to it by myself.

Speaking of Andrew Peterson....I've also been reading this:

Its the 3rd installment in his Wingfeather Saga Series.....this is one well rounded dude!  Have you ever seen him in concert?  mmm mmm mmm.  He's special!!!

My friend Missy and I expanded our garden, watered it, and watched it grow

My sister helped us can some of the beautiful tomatoes we picked last week.....Oh dear, I'm finding that I could do this kind of stuff forever

Bill and I also watched our sweet pea grow...she'll be 6 months old next week.

So here's to you, good summer.  We embraced you and accepted you for what you are. 

A time to slow down and get back to some basic stuff like hanging out in the long back yard shadows of cool evenings

sitting in the grass watching the kids tumble around

and leaving the oven of a kitchen, eating dinner on the front porch, and chatting with the neighbors doing the same

Next week I'll have a kindergartner on my hands.  I'd better not be in too much of a hurry for this season to end.

   jenny rosie

Friday, August 26, 2011

Finger Lakes Friday

On Fridays I'll be postings pictures of one of my favorite things...the place where I live.
The Finger Lakes region is located in central NY
....most of its residents haven’t even been to New York City.
There are eleven lakes in all, some as long as 40 miles, none wider than 3 miles across, and each boasting its own unique beauty. The region is dotted with small cities, quaint villages and tiny crossroads called hamlets.

I love that we're relatively undiscovered.

I'm no professional photographer and I don’t have any fancy editing software so the subject matter will simply speak for itself.

The Genessee River runs the weatern cusp of the Finger Lakes Region. This photo was taken at Letchworth, a state park 35 miles south of Rochester.  Here the river has cut through 550 feet of rock to form "the Grand Canyon of the East".  The park follows 17 miles of river and waterfalls and boasts many miles of hiking trails and superb vistas along its park roads.  Bill and I love to pack up a picnic lunch, hike to a quiet spot and spend the day.

the park even has dining accomodations.....the historic Glenn Iris Inn.
 I feel a "date" day coming on.

check out the view!!

Wow, I cant wait to go back!

  jenny rosie

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mental Health Day

The other day, I declared "Mental Health Day!"

Mental Health Day for me????  No no no

For my little boy. 

Sometimes I think when he looks at me he sees this:
The lidless, nagging eye that see's all

or this:
The floor better shine like the top of the Chrysler Building and while you're at it, dont forget to say "I love you, Miss Hannigan"

Wow.....I sure can put a lot of pressure on my kid.  Bill and I strive for consistency in our discipline but sometimes consistency sounds like:

"Please get your finger out of your sister's eye.  Now get off the arm of the couch.  And please stop grabbing yourself.  Stop blowing bubbles in your drink.  The toothpaste goes on the tooth brush".....all in one run-on sentence.

On weeks where we have lots of discipline challenges, I declare "Mental Health Day!" and we go somewhere where we can break the rules.

This week we went to Taughannock Falls State Park.  We had one of these.

I gave the pumpkin the camera and he had a blast taking pictures like this

and this

Then he started getting the hang of things...

We took our shoes off and went in here

Everywhere, there were stones for throwing.  One of his favorite things to do.

And he had his picture taken infront of the "biggest waterfall of all".

The Pumpkin kept saying, "This is great!"  I watched him run, jump, climb, gallop and dance around.  I think he's feeling better about life.....so is his mommy.  At the end of the day, I was feeling a little more like:


  jenny rosie

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"CHORES" Is Not A Dirty Word

Our little boy is getting to be a lot like his daddy....

For a 5 year old boy, he is extremely neat and tidy.  He also despises being late for school and is worried about using too much electricity and eating too much sugar.  This is the essence of Bill.  We're embracing this and, believe me, it isn't difficult.  His room is never messy, he clears the table after every meal, and helps with chores such as feeding the cats and emptying the garbage.

We definitely are embracing this!!!!!  Yet we are careful not to push him.  I don't ask him to "fetch" things for me unless I'm in a total jam and I don't expect him to do chores while I'm on my rear end eating bon bons.....we definitely do chores together. 

The other day, the pumpkin made his bed by himself without me even knowing he was doing it.  We had to take a picture....

This is the little Melissa and Doug chore chart his grandma gave him for his birthday....he loves it.  I love it because it has helped him with his reading and he knows what to expect each day.  It truly is fun to do and if it ever becomes "not fun" we'll nix it. 

A big thank you to his Uncle Josh for this last minute addition while visiting from Michigan a few weeks ago...

  jenny rosie

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Sweet Pea's Room----Raw Materials

A few years ago Bill and I kind of settled on the fact that we were "destined" to have just two children for a myriad of reasons I wont delve into now.  Our first born, a bright eyed boy, has been such a blessing.  Little boy stuff was so foreign to me, even though I have 4 brothers, so much of my time spent with my son has been deliberate and full of discovery for me. 

Last October when we were told our 2nd baby would be a girl, I remember bursting into tears of joy.  "One of each!"  In some ways I think having a girl will present a greater challenge but Oh what fun I've been having relating so easily to her. 

So here's one of the cool things about having a little girl so far.  I get to create a magic land in her room and pour some of my hopes and dreams into it.  When we moved into our house 5 years ago, every single room was unfinished.  At first I wasn't sure where to start but one day the thought occurred to me, "The kitchen and living room can wait;  I want the kids to have a fun, safe place to retreat." 

I've been working on my daughter's room (mostly in my head, letting inspiration percolate), collecting raw materials and deciding on fabric and color since October.  I think I've got the makings of a dreamy little space for her with lots of sentiment and very little expense.  Yes we did paint it blue but wait until you see what blue can do!  When school starts, I plan to get the sewing machine out and "going to town" with all manner of plaids, florals, stripes, ric rac and buttons. 

So here's a little preview of things to come......

This is a faux mantle we had built on the chimney "bump out" in her room.  The fun stuff on the mantle is some of the chotchkies I'd like to incorporate around the space.  .....Some favorite old books I've collected over the years....always somehow with her in mind.  Little Women, Anne of Green Gables and Lovey Mary

Here are some of the fabrics I'd like to use.....and a disclaimer, There will be no matching and very little coordinating.  BTW....this rocking chair was Bill's when he was little. 

This window used to be a dingy, dark, boarded up blemish.  It's good to let the light in.  Now we just need a lick of paint and some curtains and she'll really shine!

Here's a super perfect picture I found for $12 at the local second hand store.

A pretty Jenny Lind crib that used to be a handsome Jenny Lind crib when it was my son's.  The window above need to be trimmed out.

The closet is quite useful.  I've got a start on the shelving and storage.  Now for a little de-cluttering (the story of my life...)

Here's where we spend quality time.  I think I'm going to paint that rocker a daring color.  Notice the window above.  All the windows on the second floor resemble that one.  It's beautiful but not practical.  There's iron scroll work bolted to the outside which makes for a bad situation in a fire.  Never fear; we have installed one open-able window in each bedroom.  I found the lamp at the local second hand store for $10.  It's a throw-back to the lamps in the bedroom I shared with my sister growing up.  I just loooooooove it.

Here's the changing table/dresser.  I bought it a the local second hand store for $30 when we first got married and I remember thinking, "now wouldn't that be cute with a little changing table on top!"  I painted it white a few year back but now I think it needs a little daring color too. 

The floor has been painted a creamy white and I'm saving for the one big expense; a precious braided rug from The Land of Nod. 

My step-mom who we will refer to as "The Quilting Goddess"  is helping me with my first quilt.  I think it's fitting that it'll be for my daughter.....sigh.

....and here, of course, is the focal point

Here's hoping to having it done before the sweet pea turns 1....

  jenny rosie