Thursday, March 31, 2011

As The Family Grows :: The Grass Is Greener

Riddle Me This??? (Sorry about the missing pics...hope to have that problem fixed ASAP...) The other day I was driving around running errands with the boys. James made an observation... "Ever notice how 'other peoples' yards look greener than ours?" As a homeschool mom, every moment... every question asked... could be a quick science lesson OR a possible research paper. (My boys think it's a sickness :) Regardless, I explained how everyone's yards are brownish because the grass is dormant during the winter months. To which James responded with a matter-of-fact tone... "Nope, theirs is greener than ours!" Hmmm... We weren't in the drive for 5 seconds and James came out of the garage on this. (Pic of James on dirt bike here!)
I quickly pulled out my camera and took a shot. I told James the name of the post I was going to blog... "Mom, why is their grass greener than ours?"
(Pic of James riding on said dirt bike in the yard!)
I wonder...
(Another pic of James In yard!) was a beautiful early Spring day.
Joe hopped on his favorite mode of backyard demolition. The BMX Bike.
A little slower BUT just as destructive.
James decided to join him. Notice where this picture is being taken... on the grass... not the pavement.
I went to get the mail and saw another picture begging to get captured.
What could have torn up my front yard? Hmmm... Could it have anything to do with this???
The quad that not only plows the snow off the driveway... but also pulls the kids on sleds through the yard? Things that make you go... Hmmm. Oh, don't worry...I will make an assignment out of this. Just keeping it real... and keeping my sense of humor.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Living Boldly

Random Thoughts...
I have had a lot on my mind lately. First and foremost my guitar has been calling me. Calling me to play more music. And so I play.
I have found that when it comes to my creative energies they are limited. I enjoy writing songs, but when I am focused on crafting, songwriting moves to the back burner. However, when I was asked to participate in my church's talent show...the guitar took precedence in a big way! Normally I perform for God alone. He loves my songs. He never complains about a sour note or a wrong chord. But, as I always tell my boys... live boldly! Now I had to live up to my own words. I had butterflies for a week! I kept reminding myself... I will not be alone...God is always with me. I truly felt His presence. Now... real life is pulling me back to my priorities. Homeschool beckons...Harmony in Life called, needing me to re-stock... Dinner had to be made! And so I doodle...
Drawing designs for my altered clothing line.
Creating the stencils from those designs...
Sewing more zafus! The shop was completely sold out. My creative energies had to be redirected... again.
The kids are hungry... again. Time for another Home Ec lesson. I am going to call it... "Making a Meal For Others." Homeschool IS Cool! Now get out there and live boldly!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Babysitting & Biscuits

Grandmas Galore!

Not just any ol' Grandma here...we're talking

Great Grandma (aka Oma).

The other day my daughter-in-law asked if we could watch the girls.

Are you kidding?

We couldn't wait to get our hands on them!

I called my Mom and told her to stop over for a visit with these wee little charmers.

Of course I had to take tons of pictures...

and each one was better than the next,

so, I posted them all!

This is the newest addition to our family... Kaylee Marie.

Pardon me while I creep into her four month old brain and

add "her" comments.

"I like this woman...she has nice fingers to hold onto!"

"Gwamma...stop bugging me for a picture...

can't you see I'm trying to play with Oma's fingers?!"

So, Oma decided she wanted a picture with both girls on her lap.

I caught the picture quick because Kierstin was on the move.

She had no time for picture taking...

there were things to do...pets to pester.

"Geesh...what's her's cuddly and fun up on Oma's lap!"

A little later...

Joe got the honor to entertain Kaylee in her bouncy chair.

(I think the grandmas were taking a coffee break.)

He must have been doing something right...

"I like've got nice hair."

"You again...can't you see I'm trying to have a conversation with Uncle Joe?"
The question that everyone is asking themselves...
Where's that feisty two-year-old?
Well she was hanging out the dining room window, of course!
Doesn't everyone let their toddlers do this?
Here she is...calling the dogs over for their biscuits.
"Buddy...Zoey..." OR "Buhee...Oee..."
Oh, and they know to come to Kierstin's call...
she always has goodies to share.
There's Buddy...
Now stop fretting...grandma had a firm grip on Kierstin.
Here comes Zoey.
They know treats are buried in those tight fisted fingers.
"Kierstin...look at grandma...I want to take a picture."
Turn and snap.
That's all the time she gave me.
She had a job to do after all.
Enough of a glimpse to know I had better wash that
Cheese Puff face before Momma comes home!
Who would have guessed...
how much fun babysitting can be?
I hope your weekend is filled with
Babysitting and Biscuits!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

As The Family Grows :: Six-Packs

Mission: Six-Packs By August 1st
My son Joshua, (age 24, married to beautiful Sara, two adorable daughters)
decided this was his quest.
At age 24, he'll probably make it happen...darn it!
I mean good for him...ahem.
He's already done the hard part in my opinion...
for 6 weeks he has been following the Abs Diet and has lost
20 pounds!
Again, a mother's opinion (for what it's worth),
20 pounds that he didn't need to lose.
On To Part Two Of The Plan.
Josh enjoys BMX Biking, home repair...
even his job is physical.
He's never been a fan of the gym.

When I heard he was joining an interval training class

I asked if I could tag along.

We even got James on board!

Joey decided to stay behind and help Dad finish a project.

Between us, I think he was a little afraid because we

heard the instructor can be a bit intense.

Hello Old Friend...I haven't seen you in, well, a way long time.

And we'll leave it at that.

As I was taking the above shot I glanced at the time...

"Oh no, we're running late by 2 minutes...

let's get in there quick because we don't want to get the

instructor angry!"

The Instructor:

Let me introduce you to my oldest son.
Jake "The-Workout" Ondrus
And yes, work-out is his middle name.
Unlike Josh, Jake loves going to the gym...
he calls it his bliss!
We helped him put the finishing touches onto the stations
he had planned for us.

Ten in all.

Kettle bells and push-ups for upper body.

Jump rope and shadow boxing for cardio.

Four Ab stations...ouch!

Intermixed with squats and lower body torture chambers.

A close up of the gang...
a better view of those biceps...
yeah Josh, I'm talking about yours!
The Spartacus Work-out.
Sounds scary, huh?!
Ten stations.
One minute at each.
15 seconds to get to the next.
Two minute break.
Repeat 3xs!
BUT we did it...and we are well on our way to those six-pack abs.
Josh wants me to document his progress.
(Warning to all women...
after viewing these pics you may never be satisfied with another man!)
Advance with caution.
Lookin' Good...
Here is a close-up for future reference.
Like Jake said...he is going to see some fast improvement because
he has been dieting.
Don't worry...
I am not getting in on this action.
No ab shots for me.
I'm not fooling myself.
Four babies, I won't discuss age, and damn...I like food!
But I will share my perceived exertion with you.
Yep...right about...
Seriously, we had a great time together.
If you're ever in the Bedford area please join us for some fun.
Location: The Francis Family YMCA .
Days: Whatever works for the Ondrus schedule
(Usually Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays)
Time: Around 3:30/ 1:30 on Sundays.
A very proud moment.
Jake told me I was the first woman to take his class!
Love it!
Next time we'll get the whole gang to the gym.
After all...
the family that sweats together stays together!
(I couldn't help myself)
Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 21, 2011

Flower Power Peace & Love

Do you remember my Simple Valentine's post?
(see February listings)
The other day I played with that itty-bitty heart...
and made it a little groovy.
Again, I made a card with a "curtained window."
A nice place to fasten my tiny brooch.
Only this time I worked with tone-on-tone felted wool...
and if you look close, you might see the
peace sign enclosed in the heart.
Rather subtle in green.
More visible in the blues...
With a few hippie charms of the day...
(or so they tell me...wink!)
a peace sign...a smiley face...and a girly flower.
(That curly flower seemed to land all over
my notes in class.
Come to think of it, this may have been the beginning
of my flower obsession :)
Tucked into an envelope for giving.
An all-in-one gift...a card with a little-something-extra attached.
It's true what they say...
good things do come in small packages!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 18, 2011

Calendars & Coffee

Here's a corner of my kitchen.

My mom got me that mug tree from an antique store in

Noblesville for Christmas. I had been looking for one

all summer...who knew how hard they were to acquire?

I loved that red so much I had my hubby spray paint my calendar

frame that same brick red.

About that calendar...

I've gotta know if anyone else does this.

Whenever I get my new calendar (at January's half-off)

I find that although I like most of the monthly pictures...

it is usually only one that "speaks to me" and I wish I could

leave it up all year.

That would be March's in this case.

It isn't the sentiment, "Keep Good Company...Share Your Stories"...

For's all about the Bialetti...

And memories of Italy.
Where I was so very fortunate to go
to visit my Jacob who was stationed there for 3 years...nice gig.
I won't ramble on about the beautiful scenery...the beautiful people...
the beautiful everything.
I will say that while I was there, I broke the pop habit.
Water, wine and coffee were always on tap.
Each of which tasted better there somehow.
I'm sure it had nothing to do with my surroundings.
Thus began my love for real coffee...
the dark roasts.
I've jumped around with coffee makers quite a bit lately.
Right now I'm back to hanging-out with my automatic drip.
Likewise, I've dated a few different coffee brands.
I like Starbucks, but even their bags of brew are pricey.
I decided to brave it out and try an Aldis brand.
I must say...I was pleasantly surprised.
The price is right at $2.50.
The flavor is good.
A smooth House Blend.
I can make some extra special coffees with that little frothing
toy that Rudy got for me...
another half-off item. Thanks, babe!
I warm the milk in my mug for 30 seconds and then the
frothing fun begins!
It works best with skim milk...
creating a thick whipped topper
...that holds up to the chocolate syrup
swirled on top.
This would be my afternoon treat of late.
Maybe you can help me with something...
I've been noticing that I've put on a few pounds.
Any idea why?
I'll have a cup of joe while I mull it over.
Won't you join me?
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

As The Family Grows :: On The Table

There's a joke among homeschoolers... What's on your dining room table? The answer can range from artwork to dissections to board games. Confession... As a homeschool mom, I am often confronted with feelings of self doubt and inadequacy. I usually call my sister-support system, aka Sue, who puts my mind at ease with words like... your kids are great...they're getting that one-on-one time...just breathe! Unfortunately, these feelings crept in the other night. A night, after a day, where I felt little was accomplished. Ah, that never ending list. I had been feeling like we were in a rut... and longed to take a new and fresh approach... maybe the un-schooled approach... interest led learning. Then I looked at the table that was right in front of my face.
It was so loaded down that I could have made an I spy game out of it! I was just about to holler at James since 90% of this belonged to him...I paused and took another look. Even though my list had few items checked-off, interests were being explored. Drawing.
Following step-by-step instructions.
Playing Bananagrams...using the dictionary for spell check...
Fine tuning those magic tricks to impress friends and family... The Mystery of History (a subject we enjoy daily)... duct tape...scissors...a cardboard box project...
James had a plan that he was determined to bring to fruition. Another confession... my boys are boys and they enjoy air-soft guns. Top Shot is a family favorite. BUT... purchasing the pellets is on their budget. Therefore, James wanted a way to retrieve them to cut down on expenses. He got creative!
Now target practice isn't a waste of bullets... and yes, we have a strict no shooting in the house rule... but even I wanted to see how it worked. Notice the accuracy.
Don't notice the Corona pj's...long story... the they're loose and comfy. Footnote here: The time...around noon. That rumor about homeschoolers staying in their pajamas all day... it's true...for us anyway. Back to the project... it was a success!
He perfected the design by putting a small hole in the corner and funneling the bullets into the thing-a-ma-jig. Mom obviously doesn't play. But my boys sure did! Moving the fun to the (messy) basement.
Target Shooting Range. Homeschool Style! Hey're doing fine...your kids are great... just breathe!
Posted by Picasa