Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Season Begins....

Well, the children loved An Old-Fashioned Christmas by Louisa May Alcott. The movie didn't make it in time for the weekend holiday so maybe they will be able to watch it next weekend.

Tonight we started One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham. We read this story two years ago and they loved it. We will read it slow - just one chapter a night - and linger over it through December. Tonight we started by reading Luke 2 - the intro of the book. If you haven't read this story to your children - it is a beautiful read. It briefly tells the history of the Bible and shows our need for a Savior and God's gift of Jesus. The pictures are fabulous, especially the angel at the gate of Eden and the lion. I'm hoping Bobbie will draw the lion when we get to it. I'll try and post it if he does.

I have begun reading a new book called Frugal Luxuries. It has me thinking all about gardening right here at the end of November!!! The book flap says it's a combination of Simple Abundance and The Tightwad Gazette. Sounds good....

I am also trying to finish up The Missing by Beverly Lewis from the new series - Seasons of Grace. Last Christmas I got a couple of Grace Livingston Hill Christmas books and only had time to read one of them. I saved them and packed them away in my Christmas boxes, so I have a new GLH Christmas book sitting in there just waiting for me.... I SO LOVE BOOKS!!!!! :-)

Yeah!!! All the Christmas decorations came in this weekend after a long night of Black Friday shopping!! Hopefully tomorrow we can get started!!! I love Christmas!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Week at the Quinn Home

It's always a fun time here when the holidays role around. I am working on taking it slowly this year and doing what we can do (while not stressing over the rest).

The children only have 2 days of school and Artie has 3 days of work. It's always better when everyone is here. I am not that mama who hates to see her kids on school holidays. I miss them when they are not here!!!

We will be celebrating Thanksgiving twice this year as usual - once with the Clary family and then again with the Quinn family. I'm still working on my menus to bring and share...

During Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas and Easter are the times I miss homeschooling the most. I am trying to figure out the best way to keep teaching the children even thought they are in school a lot of the time. We had such a fun Advent study two years ago when the girls were homeschooled. I am hoping to add in what we can this year. We will be reading an Advent book the children got at church last Sunday. BTW, I love our church. After having a couple years without a church, I sure am thankful. Ours is a giving church, always into something. Last week we participated in the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. This weeks begins the first week in Advent. The churches I grew up in didn't study or prepare the way through Advent, it is something I learned about over the Internet. I am glad my church teaches these teaching preparing the way. I can't wait to get to church Sunday and sing of His coming!!!

We are currently reading An Old Fashion Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott. I'm hoping the movie will get shipped by Blockbuster in time to watch Wednesday or Thursday night. I have never seen this movie, but hope it will be good. They are enjoying the book so far.

I'm also trying to get ready for Black Friday!!! :-) This has got to rank up there as one of my favorite days of the year!!! My mama would have loved this day too!!!! I am trying to get all the sale papers so I can make my plan. I know they are all listed online, but I am a touchy feely ad shopper. I have to hold them in my hand and circle things I like and then work from there. Always part of our Thanksgiving day ritual is to find a gas station open who still has a newspapers so I can get all the ads!!! I wish there was a week between Thanksgiving and Black Friday (and a paycheck!!).

Monday, November 02, 2009

Yeah!! Daria's here!!! Here are some pictures from Daria's visit a couple of months ago. (I'm still so slow on blogging!!!)

Daria, Chad and the children all came for a day visit while they were in the states. When they were here we didn't know yet that they were going to be able to stay in SC for a year!!! BTW chickie, I'm ready to play again soon!!

Mrs. Photogenic!!!

Daria became my best friend when we were in college. Even though I was totally scared of her when I first met her - she has been nothing but a blessing in my life. Daria's one of those people who always thinks the best about you and loves with her whole heart.

Here are Daria and Chad's children. This is Daniel. We share a birthday. All the children would amaze you with their language abilities - all speaking 3 different languages before they came home to the states!!!

This is David. He's such a sweetie!!

Watch out world!! This one is just like her mama!! Hopie is a doll. Her and Terry are only a couple of days apart in age. Terry's very first trip was to see Hopie in the hospital when she was born.

Here's Chad. Stephen loved playing cards with him and Artie. Chad taught them a new card game with hats???

For lunch we fixed a big salad and some watermelon.

The kids had fun playing in the water and we took a walk around the neighborhood.

For dinner, we grilled some pork chops and also had some pasta salad, corn on the cob, tomatoes, peach cobbler and chocolate cake.

Daria showing the right way to have your picture taken while you're trying to eat!!

I was so glad that Brian and Lauren were able to come for Daria's visit. They came early and spent all day. I think we wore Lauren out!! We're a lot to handle for the whole day. I told her she needed a code word to tell Brian - "get me outta here" - but she was a trooper and stuck it out for the whole day. (Lauren - you need to give me your e-mail address. I wanted to write you back last time you commented.)

It was a beautiful day full of laughter and love.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What a Man...

I have the best husband I know!!! Tomorrow we will be celebrating our 18Th wedding anniversary and then in November it will be 27 years since we started dating!!!

I'm not exaggerating, I truly have the best husband I know. My granddaddy is a tight second second but I know he wouldn't be able to put up with my like Artie does - so Artie wins.

We married in a whirlwind - after being apart for 2 years while I was in college - when we reconnected and began dating again - we married 6 weeks later. Brian cemented our family together with Troy's birth quickly behind 11 months later. Things have never slowed down since...

Artie is the hardest working man I've ever known. I guess that comes with having a bigger responsibilities of a larger family. He has a minimum of a 2 hour drive to and from work everyday and then a 10 hour work day. Often there are overtime hours. But in our life things don't stop when the outside work ends.

It is a rare day when Artie gets to come home and just hang out and relax. He always trys to make time to make sure he has played with the children. He's the best at tag, kick the can, and King of the Hill (and not the TV show)!! He can out ride/play any of them on a bicycle, ramps, 4 wheeling, basketball (I know that's a hard one but still true Brian!!) or anything else he wants to!! He has an unending spirit about him.

Then the house is always calling his name. When we bought our current home, we were in a state of shock having just found out we were having twins (numbers 5 & 6) and needed a much bigger house and quick!! As I've posted in the past, there is so much to do on a 100 year old home!!! On top of the physical house work, there is just the fact of living with 8 people. No matter how much I get done in the day while everyone is at school, there is still house work and home work that needs to be done in the evenings. Our children wouldn't be able to spell if it wasn't for Artie - he is the spelling tutor and most all the children were blessed with my spelling ability.

So, a great provider, a great father, but most of all a great husband.

I've never loved another person in my whole life as I love Artie. Outside of Jesus - he's the beginning and the end. Life before him I hardly remember and life without him impossible to imagine. He became my best friend when I was in seventh grade and had the strictest daddy anyone knew. He was warned by a mutual "friend" not to try and date me - I wasn't worth dealing with my daddy. :-) Thanks Robbie, good thing he loves a challenge. That might be just what set him on my path!!! Russell, thanks for the introduction!!! God is good!!! :-)

Sharing a relationship with Artie and Jesus is wonderful. A chord of three strands is not easily broken.

It is such a blessing that God has given us each other. He has done more miracles than I can publicly share.

I had a woman tell me one time "well, if I was married to your husband, I could be happy too.". Life isn't all "peachy" with Artie. Life isn't all "peachy" with me. We are two sin filled people striving to be like Jesus. It's easy to look at someone else's life and think things are easy.

Our life hasn't been easy. It's not easy to be married to Artie - he's a hard man. It's not easy to be married to me - I'm a emotional woman who still doesn't know how to keep a house. But we are good together. I could give you a list of Artie's faults and someone would tell me - you should divorce him. They could do the same with him about me. We love each other faults and all. We push each other to be better and love each other when there is nothing good inside of us at the moment.

That's what love is - I love you no matter what - when you're good and when you're not. I love you~~~

Friday, September 25, 2009

Susan Branch's Book of Days

I got a new book today and it looks like heaven....
There is a tiny little badge on one of the pages (drawings all over the book) and it's a Girl Scout cooking badge. I earned that badge when I was a Girl Scout!!! Boy, I never knew all the cooking I had before me. Currently two big chickens sitting in the frig waiting on me for dinner...

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Secret

I just finished Beverly Lewis' first book in her new series - Season's of Grace. Not as good to me as her others, but just the first in the series - so kinda setting the story. Bet the next one will be better!!! I so love her writing. Got go find book no. 2 now!!!

2009-2010 School Year

Bobby's got to be the caboose at the school lunch line this week!!!

His class also has a turtle named Elvis.

Emily's excited because her teacher uses a clipboard with a list of what they need to do. (sounds little familiar??)

Each child in her class has a name on a frog. If they misbehave they get a fly on their frog and a note home. :-)

Terry things first grade is way different than Kindergarten. He gets to go to PE, Art, and Music now. AND he gets to play on the big playground!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Preparing for Fall

We have begun preparing for fall in the Quinn home.

Here's a little list we've begun:

Kelly - Working through winter boxes - taking out jeans and light jackets. (one year I will be smart enough to pack these separate from the heavy winter sweaters and coats - right now it's just all a big pile of anything warm clothes)

Children - Trying above jeans and jackets on to see what still fits

Kelly - Packing too little clothes in Goodwill bags

All - Straightening work room and cleaning behind all winter boxes as we go

Kelly - Packing up bathing suits, beach towels, tank tops, sleeveless shirts and sundresses

Troy - Gathering from storage - football chairs

Kelly - Make a "to go" menu plan for football nights

Artie - Deep cleaning porch

Kelly - setting out fall mums

Artie, Bobby & Terry - Weeded front flower beds

Artie - Grass cut and trimmed

Kelly - Setting out fall dishes (just a couple of cute ones I ended up with last year - not a whole set) A house with 6 children - who has a whole set of anything? :-)

Kelly - Cooking the last of everyone favorite summer foods - Saturday we fixed a big cold plate and followed it up with homemade milkshakes. It was so yummy. The kids love doing cold plates. We had several kinds of meats, sausages, peppers and pickles, crackers with pimento cheese, cheeses, croissants, deviled eggs - seems like I'm forgetting a lot, the table was over loaded!!)

Kelly - Gather all Scout uniforms

Kelly - Lay out cozy throws in living room on couches and chairs

Kelly - Turn the air conditioner off and open the windows

Artie and Troy - Cleaning gutters at Mimi and Granddaddy's

What are you doing?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Boy Scout Camping

Catching up with some pictures from earlier in the year...

Artie, Stephen, Bobby and Terry went camping with the Boy Scouts at Mr. Dan's house. Stephen was impressed with the tepee, it had a bathroom inside.... Stephen liked giving Granny Smith apples to the horses.

Stephen found a toad.

He had to show Bobby.

and Terry..

and Mr. Chris... You know how important a toad it to a boy~~~~ :-)

Talking at the campsite.

Time for a walk in the woods

On their hike they picked up their favorite nature finds and worked them into a spider web made of string. Stephen had a empty cocoon in his.

Even when Scouting, Bobby's still the gymnast!! :-)

The boys had a nice picnic in Artie's tailgate.

Yummm, Lunchables!!!

Time for the campfire - Stephen was picked to be the wearer of the Armor of God.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Big Pasta Salad

1 box tri-color rotini cooked
pepperoni - cut in 4ths
tomatoes - diced
cubed cheese - cheddar & Monterrey jack
Italian dressing

Combine all, let set in frig. Great on a warm day, no oven!!

Holiday Grand Plan

Yeah, the Holiday Grand Plan started this week. I love it. Lists, list and more lists!!!

This week is List Week/Front Porch. I have:

started my new Christmas notebook (updating the one from previous years)
- sorted through last years papers and filed the gift lists
-new Internet shopping list to keep account of items ordered
-new shopping list to work on (items for the house)
-new gift lists for this year - including Christmas eve presents and stocking stuffers
-new size list for the children (already have Brian and his girlfriend, Lauren's sizes all posted - now I just need the children that are living here~~)
-new to do list
-new present ideas list

-book of stamps

Beginning to work on front porch... still lots to do for this week.....

So, even though I haven't gotten near all that is suggested for the week, I've started.

Is anyone else working with the Grand Plan???

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Mama's Chocolate Pound Cake

2 sticks butter
1 cup Crisco
3 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 t baking powder
5 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 t salt
1 cup milk
1 t vanilla

Cream Crisco and sugar. Sift all dry ingredients together in separate bowl. Add eggs, one at a time to shortening mixture beating well. Add alternately flour and milk, then the vanilla. Mix all well. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan. Bake at 325 for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Added: I've been talking to my cousin Jill and she has sent me MaMa's icing recipe that goes with the chocolate pound cake. It's so good alone I never even knew it had icing to go with it. I will have to be trying this very soon!!!

Here's the icing recipe:

1/4 c. milk

1 box 10X sugar

1 stick butter

1/2 c cocoa.

Mix and beat well.

MaMa used to use a knife and kinda make pleats all around the cake in the icing. It was so pretty and she taught me how but for the life of me mine doesn't turn out the same. Actually, she used margarine so that may have made a difference in the consistency. Will take a picture of it and send it to you.

This recipe is from my great grandmother - MaMa. I can remember going over to her house on Sunday afternoons after church for a big family dinner and she would have cakes all around her counters. My granddaddy said she used to sell them from her front porch for extra money. She would line them up on her porch railing and people from all over town would come and buy one or two. Wish I was so industrious!!! :-)

Here's one more for her plain pound cake

Mama's Pound Cake

2 sticks butter

3 cups sugar

1 cup milk

3 cups plain flour

1 t baking powder

1/2 cup Crisco

5 eggs

3 t vanilla

1/2 t salt

Cream shortening and butter together. Add sugar, mix well. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add vanilla. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together. Add a little flour then a little milk. Beat well. Bake 325 for 1 & 1/2 hours.

Okay, while I'm here...

MaMa's 7-Up Cake

2 sticks butter

3 cups sugar

1 cup 7-Up

3 cups plain flour

1/2 cup Crisco

5 eggs

2 t vanilla & 1 t lemon (or 3t vanilla)

Cream shortening and butter. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs one at a time. Beat well and add vanilla. Sift flour. Add a little flour then a little 7-Up until all combined. Baked in a tube pan 1 & 1/2 hours - 325.


1 box powdered sugar

1 stick butter

juice of 2 lemons

Mix well

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

20 Little (and some BIG) Things to Treasure

Inspired by a post at The Inspired Room.

1. A God who always forgives
2. A husband who works hard
3. Children who love to read
4. A clean sink
5. Toenail polish
6. Movies, movies and more movies
7. Time alone
8. Chocolate
9. Books by Beverly Lewis
10. Seeing my daughters cook
11. Watching sons grow into men
12. CF Diet Pepsi
13. Shiny windows
14. True friends
15. Reading God's word
16. Clotheslines
17. Empty laundry baskets
18. Time at the lake (yeah, Artie and I have a date - all day - alone - coming up this week!!!)
19. Maid service (well, I'm sure I would love it!!!) :-)
20. Exercise (okay, that one's a lie - I hate it!!!) :-)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The True Test of Homemaking

I read a beautiful post today about homemaking and thought you might like to read it. It is taken from A Wise Woman Builds Her Home and is titled...

(I've posted from A Wise Woman Builds Her Home before, she has so many great writings, you must check her out)

The True Test of Homemaking

before we can say that we have realized the ideal of a true Christian home, we must prove its spirit. What impression would our home and its like make upon a pure and simple-hearted child?

We may build a palace of marble. We may fill it with the rarest beauties of art. We may adorn it in the most luxurious fashion. We may furnish it in the most costly manner. It may be perfect as a gem in all its appointments, a piece of art in itself. Then our home-life may be as stately as royalty itself. There may be the most perfect order, the loftiest courtesy, the utmost precision of movement. Each member of the family may fulfill his part with unfailing promptitude.

Bring in the child and ask it what it thinks of your home. "It is very beautiful," responds the little one. "It is very grand. It is a palace. Does a king live here?"

You turn away disappointed. You have failed to make such a home as you wished. You have piled up grandeur; you have made a splendid piece of art; you have succeeded in setting up a model which all will admire; but you have not made a home of love, of tenderness, and of praise.

You begin anew. You do not seek this time for grandeur. You build your home with taste and thought. You put into it as many lovely things as you can afford. You set up your household life and fill it with the spirit of prayer, of love, of gentleness, of unselfishness. Again you call the child. She moves up and down, in and out. She sleeps under your roof; she eats at your table; she tastes of your pleasures; she mingles in the life of your household. You ask her what she thinks of your home and she replies, "I think Jesus lives here!"

It is not the grandeur that impresses her now, but the spirit that dwells within; not the stateliness, but the affectionateness, not the courtliness, but the sweetness. She finds love everywhere---love that shows itself in tone, in act, in look, in word and in countless little manifestations of thoughtfulness and unselfish tenderness. It impresses the untaught feeling of the child as a home like that in which the Master would live.

This is the true test of home-making. It matters not how little or how much of grandeur, of luxury, of costly adornment there may be. Money and art can do many things, but they cannot make a home. There may be more of the spirit of a true home in a lowly cottage or in the one room where poverty finds a shelter, than in the stateliest mansion.--

JR Miller, The Family

This is so my prayer today. Life can be overrun with things - dishes, clothes, lists, chores, noise, appointments. That Jesus may shine in our homes!!! What better goal in a homemakers life?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday at the Quinn Home

Kelly - sorting kitchen items

Artie - working hard as always

Troy and Brenda - enjoying the beach with the church

It so changes the dynamics of the home when some of the children are gone. The littles are enjoying being the top dog and using the older kids things while they are gone. Shhhh, don't tell. They are also trying to eat out every meal. Yesterday they used their coupons for Zaxby's they got from Bible School. Not sure about today yet.

Emily, Stephen, Bobby, and Terry - all together making forts, and playing with tents

A fun summer day!!!

God is so GOOD!!

Our neighbor, Barney, is moving out. His mother died recently and he is moving into her home, which of course is coming complete furnished. He has been giving us things on a weekly basis as he has been slowing switching homes. Last night he hit his kitchen.

Here is a running list of just some of the things we have been given: glasses, cups, mugs, canning jars, plates, saucers, set of pots and pans, blender, Tupperware, silverware, kitchen utensils, colander, toaster, coffee pot and filters and coffee, grill, can opener, soup bowls, baking trays, Pyrex dishes, knife block, ice trays, complete unopened dish set for 8, 2 end tables, a computer chair.

That's just last night. Previously he's given me his mama's sewing machine and beautiful stand and chair along with her sewing kit, an older computer for the children to play on and computer desk, lamps, flowers, a washer and dryer (two weeks after our dryer finally died) . He's given Artie his mustang house (a fabric storage building with floor - Artie has turned it into a workshop), wood, books, a fan - more than I can't even keep up with out there!!

Tomorrow Artie is picking up a storage cabinet.

I'm so sorry for Barney's loss of his mother, but I believe she had been sick for some time and he is happy for her place with Jesus now.

We are a disposable family. Everything we have is temporary. Having 7 children in one home - nothing lasts too long. That goes from appliances to kitchen items to furniture - don't get me started on the windows!!! :-) If a average size family gets 10 years from a washer - that equals about 2 years of use in the Quinn home!! Pretty much - it runs all day every day. We use what God gives us until it is all used up and then He always comes to our need and supplies more!!! It has been like that from the day we married.

When I was pregnant with the twins (and a little scared of the future) we had four children and were temporarily living in a 2 bedroom house. We had just moved to town and were using a house from Artie's boss - Mr. Mickey - while we looked for something big enough. That was - big enough for the 6 of us - we didn't know about the twins yet. When I found out the twins were coming I have to admit - panic set in. Here we were 6 people living in a 2 bedroom house!! God was so good. We found a lovely old house (key word could be old, but lets make the key word lovely). When I went in the hospital to have the twins we were still living in the two bedroom house. When I came home we directly drove to the new big house. Artie had been working the month before trying to get things ready while taking care of his pregnant wife (a tough job in his life!!) and his four kids all at the same time. There was still so much to do. Our friends and family came in while I was in the hospital and did it all. Finished the painting, moving the furniture. When I walked in, the sheets were made on the beds, everything was unpacked and they had stocked the frig with food. God is soooo good and does always provide.

It's been like that our whole life. There is a need and God provides. Sometimes it just overwhelms me. Someone offered us a couch or something one day when we were first married and I was trying to decide if we really needed it or not - Artie told me not to turn down anything anyone gave us - there was gonna be a need for it. And it has worked out that way.

The one thing that sticks out in my mind is that God usually doesn't give us what we need until the need is already there. I think if we had waited on a house big enough for a big family to get pregnant, we would still just have one or two children. Trust God.....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I have a new favorite summer food... PEACH COBBLER!!! Yummo!! I used this recipe from Southern Plate. I actually don't know if I've ever eaten peach cobbler before. How can I grow up in SC and never have eaten peach cobbler - oh, I remember, it's not chocolate!! Anyway, I loved it. Can't wait to make it again...
Peach Cobbler

4 cups peeled and sliced peaches (measure, don't go by Daria's estimate)
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 cup s/r flour
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt stick of butter in oven proof casserole dish in oven while making pie ingredients. ( make sure your dish is big enough to hold the casserole - mine wasn't!!) :-)

Pour the two T. lemon juice over the peaches. Stir to coat. Pour 1/2 cup sugar over peaches. Stir. Heat in microwave for 1 minute so that sugar begins to melt.

Mix together 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and cinnamon until blended. Pour in 1 cup milk and mix until blended.

After butter is melted, take casserole out of oven and pour batter on top of melted butter. Pour peaches on top of batter. DO NOT STIR! Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over pie. (I also sprinkled some more cinnamon to look pretty)
Place in 350 oven and cook for 55 minutes or until golden.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Father's Day

We took some pictures of Artie and the kids on Father's Day before we went to visit Granddaddy and my Daddy. They turned out so good I had to post them all!! (Well, I didn't post them all, but several)
Daddy and Troy - I think this is my favorite in the bunch. Troy looks so handsome here...

Daddy and Brenda

Daddy and Emily

Daddy and Stephen

Daddy and Bobby

Daddy and Terry
(Such cute babies! I am so blessed for Artie to be their father!!)