Rosie's Ramblings

The Perfect Holiday Gift: Wooden Watches+Giveaway!

(I received this watch compliments of Jord Wood Watches. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone).

Can you believe that the holidays are already here? Thanksgiving is only a couple days away and then Christmas is right around the corner. I love this time of year and it's making me even more excited that I have two little love bugs that are just now actually "getting" Christmas and able to look forward to it!

There is one thing that I don't like about this time of year, however. I hate feeling rushed. I like to be able to enjoy afternoons and weekends curled up on the couch reading books, drinking tea, and watching Christmas movies. I spend a good deal of my time planning ahead for the holidays to avoid all the last minute stuff that usually comes with them. 

I love giving gifts, and I love everything about presents; the buying, the wrapping, and the gifting. I honestly HATE doing it last minute though. That's why I always try to have all my gifts purchased before Thanksgiving. That said, I am a little bit behind at the moment (I'm about halfway done buying presents).

When it comes to gift giving and people that you are really close to (parents, siblings, significant others) I find that I like to find a unique something special and that it is made even better if it's something that they can use every day.
Enter Jord wooden watches. They are sturdy, unique, one-of-a-kind, AND you can get them engraved! If you remember my post from earlier this year, I got Adam one, and he loved it. These watches are made to last. When Jord reached out again to me recently and asked if I'd like to try one of their new watches I was so excited! Mine came in the mail last week and, let me tell you, it's beautiful. I love the square face, but what I really love is the green color on it.


When I was looking around on Jord's site I was honestly surprised at how there are many new (and really nice) pieces that they've added to their watch collection. Do you know that they even have wooden bands to wear with your Apple watch? Not that I have one right now...but it IS kinda making me want to buy a wooden band and then get an Apple watch to go with it...

So, if you happen to not be like me, and still have all your gifts to purchase, consider one of these lovely watches. They are honestly the perfect gift. I'm not even a really big watch wearer, and I've been wearing mine non-stop since I got it in the mail!

And, what kind of person would I be if I didn't talk about all this and NOT have a giveaway! Jord has kindly offered to give one of you a gift certificate for a $100.00 off one of their watches! Just go here, to enter! (giveaway ends 12/09/2018)

Go here to view men's watches.
Go here to view women's watches.
My watch that I'm wearing.

after the weekend: with the fam

Surprise! We (well, the two girls and I) are in Connecticut! We drove early Saturday morning and only let a couple people (Julia and Stan Lee) know that we were coming. 
All of us children are here for this week (yes, all ten) and are leaving to our separate places of residence after Thanksgiving. I'm sure this is going to be a busy and FUN week! 
Adam is coming down Thanksgiving day and then we'll all head back on Saturday. 
While there is tons of snow in New York right now the weather here, although cold, is a welcome change. There's hardly any snow (we were able to go for a hike!) and we are loving it! 

We had a great weekend and I hope you did as well. 

Happy Monday! 

Book Review: Educated

Last Saturday I finished reading Tara Westover's Educated. I love memoirs and was really looking forward to reading her book. It is very similar to The Glass Castle, however, there were some rather outstanding differences, number one being that Tara's story is so recent, coming from someone my age, that grew up at the same time that I did.

Tara tells the story of growing up in an extremist Mormon home in Idaho. Her family chose to live an "alternative" lifestyle. They believed in home remedies (Tara's parents now own a successful essential oils business), homeschooling, self-sufficiency, and lived in fear of the End Of Days (they stockpiled food and gasoline). This was mainly fueled by Tara's father, after hearing of the Ruby Ridge incident and also due to (what she later discovered) his bipolar.

This is the story of seven children, their parents, and how their faith so strongly affected their lives.

But it's not just that. As Tara's story continues she relates tales of health hazards, fingers being cut off while working at the family's business (a junkyard), severe burns, and how the option to go to a doctor was never even considered. She tells about the abuse she suffered growing up at the hands of an older sibling, about how they were told that they didn't need to wash with soap after using the bathroom, and were told that hard hats and gloves would "slow them up" while working at the junkyard. The family steered away from the government in every way (getting birth certificates, registering cars) for as long as possible.

According to Tara, this was all happening, while at the same time there was no schooling. Apparently, her parents pulled their children out of public school after the Ruby Ridge incident, and Tara, as the youngest never stepped foot in a classroom. Her parent's had a very traditional, old-fashioned view of schooling. Leave the books and learn hands on. With that mindset, combined with the conservative biblical belief that a woman's role is in the home and being mainly domestic, Tatra didn't receive much of an education (personally I think it also sounds like her parents had a lot on their plates and by the time it came to Tara they were burned out).

Tara worked hard, took tests, and got into BYU. There she heard about the Holocaust for the first time and found out that she had to actually "read" the art textbooks and not look at just the pictures.
Due to the fact that she chose to take a different path, and also that she decided to address some of the abuse that she experienced growing up, her family decided to break ties with her (first she stopped talking to them and then tried to repair the relationship and they had no interested).

This book is excellently written, easy to read, and in my opinion, fascinating.

**side note: after reading the book I read many reviews (some by siblings and a past boyfriend on Amazon), as well read around online a lot. I loved the book since I enjoy hearing people's stories. There does seem to be quite a bit of disagreement in the family about the accuracy of Tara's story since she was incredibly young when the majority of the events in the book take place, and she mentions many times in the book not knowing herself what really happened in many situations.

For my part, I thought it was sad that she DID feel the need to publish the book, and lay her family open to such scrutiny (you can easily find all of her siblings, parents, and even Google Earth the family businesses and home). Since she is so young and obviously she and many of her siblings are still working through their past, and by writing this it sounds like she has decided to cross a bridge and then burn it behind her, never to be repaired.
Reading the book I also sensed the whole time an undercurrent of defensiveness and self-preservation. Almost as if Tara was recounting her story in a rush, trying to make sure that she got "her side" out there first and defended herself. Basically, as much as I loved the book, I also felt that she did her best to fit all the anger she has towards her parents and her viewpoint into one book. Unlike The Glass Castle, this is not a story of finding a silver lining, and surviving adversary, this is a story of (justified) blame and anger.

All book reviews are just my opinion. Please always read the book for yourself and feel free to open a discussion! 

an Eyes of Wonder post

Many of you dear readers were followers of Eyes of Wonder back in the day (for those that don't know what I mean, my mama had a blog for a few years and documented our family). All of us children still have access to the blog (it's private now) and occasionally I go back to re-read her writings. I thought it might a be a nice treat for some of the long-time-ago readers to see one of her posts again. 

Rest On Sunday...
Sunday, March 25, 2007

"The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes,
and surely it is in the everyday things around us
that the beauty of life lies.”

~~Laura Ingalls Wilder

The little things in life surely do matter.

The little things, the true foundational things that we may be tempted to forgo, for the seemingly greater, cannot really be forgone. They're the things that add up and make a difference, the immeasurable, magnificent difference, in the long a life, in relationships, in a home.

Our little acts of kindness, our words of love spoken, written, throughout each day, even though seemingly passing unnoticed or even unappreciated, are *never* so, in the eyes and heart of Him who knows us and loves us best, and is a rewarder of even those things that are done, in secret. These seemingly small deeds, throughout the ordinary of each day--that add up, and make a difference, individually, generationally, eternally.

It's the small things, left unaddressed, that cause a heart to grow cold and hard, immovable, unloving. We make mistakes. We do things that we wish we hadn't. We don't do things that we wish we would, or even could.

Each night when I crawl into bed, I curl up like a child beneath the beauty, soft and luminous, of a starry summer night sky. I warm up, acutely aware of, yet strangely at leisure from, myself, beside God.

I let Him hold me, just as I am. My eyes may be open, they may be closed. All may seem silence, crystal clear, audibly. Though Life is within and without, beneath me, above me, before me, behind me, round about me--I am enveloped, cocooned, in Love.

In the freedom of His loving acceptance, I walk with Him through the events of the day. I pray for Big Papa, for my children, and ask God to search my heart, as only He can--seeing to the deepest recesses of my heart and mind, to my motives, intentions and desires, while all the while loving me, still, and desiring His very greatest good, for me, and for those I love--I ask Him to show me my mistakes, my shortcomings, my failures, my life lived that day, through His eyes.......and how to proceed in light of it all, that I may begin tomorrow, afresh--a new day, with no mistakes in it, free to begin again, in Love.

I find that the children learn far more by what I do, than by what I say. They will become what I model before them. In light of this, quick and humble apologies, sacrificially serving, gentle words of kindness, love, understanding, compassion, acceptance, praise--for even the smallest good I see-- far more praying for God to do inside of them, what He is likewise doing, inside of me--a fellow sheep-- rather than striving, or berating, and trying to bring about superficial growth and change outwardly. Bring about change Lord, in Your way, in Your time--and let it begin in me--make me the mother that each of these children needs.

Change *me* Lord, day-by-day, each day, anew. Humble me, melt me, mold me. Let my children walk in mercy and Truth, extending the grace and love that you extend to me, that I 'm thereby able to extend to them, to each precious one their lives touch, along life's way--both near and far.

It's the little things that matter, for they are the substance of the larger things, that grow and become, almost imperceptibly, moment-by-moment, day-by-day.

"The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes,
and surely it is in the everyday things around us
that the beauty of life lies.”

~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Rest well, this lovely March day.

after the weekend: first snow

We had our first snow this weekend. It started on Friday afternoon, while we were on our way home from Storytime. It kept snowing steadily all day and into the night. Adam worked Saturday morning, but other than that we stayed at home for the weekend. 
I read a couple of books, we made cookies, watched some Christmas movies, went sledding outside (briefly) on Saturday, and I even cleaned the kitchen cabinets. 
We pulled out the Christmas mugs, and I tossed all the pumpkins outside (most of them were rotting at this point anyway).
Now is the time that we start to "get real" about Winter. I'm in full Christmas shopping mode, and can't believe we are coming up on Thanksgiving here in just a little over a week! 

Today I'm busy with work, and the normal "life" stuff; reading books, cleaning, drinking coffee, and planning dinner.

Happy Monday!

Weekly Meal Plan (11/10/2018)

{edit. this is last week's menu--I wrote this post last Sunday (?) I believe}.

It's a new week and that means a new shopping list! I normally do my grocery shopping on Friday (because that's Storytime day) but if we don't go to Storytime then often I shop on Saturday. I like to have a fridge full of groceries for the weekend (we live way too far out to make runs to the store for single items).  So here we are, this is our meal plan for the week:
  • Saturday: Ham Dinner. Served with Asparagus, green beans, and mashed potatoes.
  • Sunday: Ham sandwiches, some sort of soup.
  • Monday: Minestrone Soup.
  • Tuesday: Scalloped Potatoes (made with leftover ham).
  • Wednesday: Oven Fried Chicken. Served with rice, and steamed corn.
  • Thursday: Pizza.
  • Friday: Fish (salmon) and Chips We didn't have it last week so we will this week).
As I mentioned before, all the meals are changed around sometimes, so this is just a rough guide for me to go by.  

On my list I had: 

Half and half
Cheese (mozzarella and cheddar)
Veggies (like lettuce, 
Breakfast sausage
Onion soup mix
French fried onions

Pasta (for the soup)
Pouches (for kiddos)
Snacks for kiddos (like crackers, and goldfish).
Apple juice
Orange juice
Flavored water
A pizza (for dinner that night)

And that's it! I think I may have grabbed a few other things, but I don't remember. As for pricing. I always try to stay under $120-$130 total. It was about $110 at Aldi and then a little more for lettuce and the cheese at Walmart. 

Current Favorite Children's Books

Now that the weather is chilly outside and we can't be outside as much as we would like we are reading more than ever (and, let's be honest, watching more t.v as well). Here's a little list of some of the books that we are currently reading and re-reading over here.

Ox-Cart Man. I love Babara Coony and Ox-Cart Man is a favorite. I mainly am reading this for myself, since the kids are not overly into it. However, as long as they are listening they can do whatever they like (look at books, play quietly)

Seasons books. There are four of them, Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn, and I love them all. It's a good way to teach the changing seasons to small ones! Oh, and they are alphabet acrostics as well, which I love.

The Mighty Bitey Creature. A cute, colorful little children's read. My kids love it.

A Unicorn Named Sparkle. I read these books to Adri when she was little, but we are now discovering them again. I'm hoping this time around she'll be older and more into them.

But First, We Nap. Super cute little board book. Not a ton of words, but I love the illustrations.

Bear Can't Sleep. My kiddos LOVE anything about Bears. This is a really good autumn book.

Time For Bed. We read this multiple times a day. It's hands down Piper's favorite book on earth. And no surprise, thanks to Jane Dyer's beautiful art.

Cranberry Thanksgiving. Anyone else LOVE this book? We read it all the time growing up. I'm always so excited to introduce my children to books that I grew up reading and loving. There's a Cranberry Christmas and a Cranberry Halloween as well!

Peter Pan. This version is a little old for my children, but they love the story so I shorten and edit it a bit and we look at the pictures. 

Easy Overnight Egg Bake

On the weekends I like to take one morning to not have to cook anything. The other morning we usually have something fun like waffles, but I like to get at least one morning a week where I don't cook. Enter overnight casseroles. I'm a big fan of them and usually concoct my own recipe. Here's one we made last Sunday and it was SO good. Even Adri loved it, and she's a super picky eater!

You will need:

7 eggs.
splash of milk.
1 cup of chopped ham.
1 cup of grated cheese.
four slices of cinnamon raisin bread
3 slices of white bread.

To make: 

Beat eggs well and add some milk to thin them out. Add cheese and ham. Mix well.
Chop bread and add to eggs mixture. Stir to make sure that all the bread gets wet.

Butter a baking dish (mine was 9x12) and pour everything in. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.

Cook, covered, on 350 for about 30 minutes.
Serves 6