Welcome to the mayhem

Hope you enjoy your visit!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Move over Turkey its Santa Time!

After Thanksgiving was done...we started our Christmas traditions.  Everyday after Thanksgiving we go over to Grandma Beninghof's and cut down a Christmas tree.  This year was beautiful, 60 degrees! and sunny.  We trapsed all over the field to find the perfect tree.  I wanted a big one and we got it.  We had to trim 6 inches off the top to get the angel to sit on top.

We decorated and strung light, listened to David Archuleta Christmas (thanks to Kayla) and enjoyed every minute.  We braved one Black Friday event and went to Wal-mart at midnight to pick up a new digital camera.  We have been wanting a new camera and have been price matching and comparing for the last six months.  We have been talking to the photo department people and getting opinions.  Instead of going the top end, they talked us into a middle of the road camera.  It has almost the same amount a zoom as the high dollar lens.  Not the same, but I'm not a professional either, so I went for the money saver.

Kyle, (the kid that he is) has been playing with the camera most and took the above picture.  If you know anything about zoom the camera only has optical zoom for more of a crisp picture.  (The novice that I am just learned the difference.)  The plan is to save money by doing our own senior pictures with Kota this next year.  We shall see..

I am proud of myself for not allowing work to take over on my break.  I gave a few extra hours before break got started and didn't pick up a single paper to grade or work on a new plan.  I enjoyed being mom and wife, uninterrupted for awhile.  It was just what I needed. 

Basketball games start up Friday night.  We get to go see Kayla cheer, and watch the boys defend their WCAL champ title.  I hope they have a fun season.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Harvest Home

Just of 4 of us on Thanksgiving Day.  It was fun enjoying our little family quietly around the table.  It seems that simple act is the first thing to go when life ramps up with busy schedules.

Kayla made the centerpiece in young women's, it was beautiful.  She was proud it made the table. 

We laughed and talked.  We enjoyed each other.  Later that evening we taught the kids how to play poker.  We used to play poker when Kyle and I were dating.  We'd go to a friends with a roll of nickles and play.  So we took out the change jar and divided it out and played.  Then we packed the change jar back up for another round.

With a day like that, what's not to be thankful for!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Homemade Wheat Rolls

Whole Wheat Rolls

1 1/3 cups milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons honey or sugar
4 teaspoons butter
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

I put all these ingredient in my bread maker on dough cycle.  (2 lb loaf) When it is finished kneading the bread for me.  I divide the dough into 12 dough balls and let rise for the final time.  I bake at 350* for about 20-25 minutes.  I turn out of the pan and butter the tops and let cool.

I suppose you could hand do some of this or use your kitchen aid and the dough hook.

Other things I do to use some food storage is instead of milk use water and 3 tablespoons dry milk powder.
I grind my own wheat flour when I'm feeling ambitious.  (like tonight, my electric grinder is great!)

I'm taking these rolls tomorrow for work for our annual Thanksgiving staff feast.  It's always fun to break bread together.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Let the Thanking Begin

 This cow chalkboard has been a part of our family kitchen decor since we have been married.  I was decorating in cows way back when and acquired this chalkboard.   Many a days did my kids stand on chairs to be able to write on this board, especially Kayla.  Kayla keeps us updated with her moods or such as the weeks go by.  I am thankful for those little messages.  How awesome is it that my 15 year old loves her family.  When I was her age I wanted to be any where, but home.  Can you tell she is happy at home?  I can, what a gift!
An extra chair has been pulled up to our dinner table, because it is often frequented by a friend of Kota's.  This boy has been missing in action from the youth group of our church for years.  Hasn't come on a Sunday for a long time (years).  They met up at Kota's new school rekindled the friendship and now he often stays over.  He has joined our seminary group and has been coming to church.  I am thankful Heavenly Father loves that boy and my son enough to allow this friendship to happen.

Bucky as we loving call this mount, is a reminder that my daughter can do anything her brother does.  I am thankful she has that spunky personality that will carry her through life.  It is those personalities I often gravitate to.  I hope she can support others in the future with her willingness to be happy.

In this tough school year there are so many things to complain and worry about, that often I have to make myself find something good about what I am doing.  An item presented itself to me the other day, on a particularly hard week...A student, who is one of my bright shining stars, brought me a picture she drew to hang on the board where I hang their work.  It was a picture of a little seed who was being watered and growing into a beautiful flower.  The art in itself was incredible for her age of 12.  Then I caught the message: thank you for helping me to grow Mrs. Crawford.  I am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who prompted this little girl to let me know that my efforts are worthwhile.  Even though what is in my face daily is tough and negative, there are positive things going on in the room. 

So in this season of thankfulness, I am starting early, shutting out the preseasonal other stuff, and just being thankful for what is good in my life.  The thanking has begun!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Our grandpas that passed away this year were WWII vets.  Grandpa Beninghof served in the Army and was stationed in Panama during the war.  He told us a lot of tall tales from back in the day.

Grandpa Souleret served in the Marines and was proud of it.  He bought Kota a Marines licsence plate to hang in his room.  He always told Kota if he joined any branch of the service to make sure it was the Marines.

Today at school we had a Veteran's Day Assembly.  Our choir director did a fantastic job on this.  My favorite part was the last song.  The kids were singing a song thanking the veterans and at the end they each held up a sign with a Veteran in the audience some living, some who gave their life in combat.  Ah! the tears sure did sting the eyes.

Happy Veterans Day.  Thank you to all who have and will serve protecting our freedoms and country.  We sure to love you!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Feeling Rushed...Does it make Me a Grinch?

 I am feeling like I'm missing out on the Thanksgiving experience every time I walk into a store.  I really enjoy the bountiful harvest, the idea of being thankful for what I have, the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  I like living in the holiday of the moment.  However, when I walk into the store, Christmas carols...Already?

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas.  The thought behind it, the celebration of the Savior's birth.  The giving versus receiving, the carols, the love....but can't we live in the moment. 

Does that make me a.....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Drive

We decided to take a drive today and enjoy the fall splendor and the beauty of our earth.  It was just what I needed.  Nature often brings peace to my soul and gives me the energy to continue.

 We stopped at a place just south of Mifflin.  The site of the Copus family massacre.  I've always wanted to go back there, but never took the time.  I am always interested in local histories.
 It was just a little headstone.  No plaque or story to tell the the visitors what happened.  See the link if you're interested.

This bridge is important to my family as well as this lane.  My great, great grandparents owen this farm at the turn of the 20th Century.  This little farm outside of Mifflin, Ohio was part of the Crider family.  My great, great grandma was Mary Alice Crider and she married Charles Steigerwalt, they had 8 children.  This bridge was how they went into their farm back that now over grown lane.  In the past this was know by people as the Steigerwalt bridge...now it's just driven by, barely noticeable to those who aren't looking for it.

 I can just imagine horse drawn wagons and model Ts driving across this during the industrial revolution time period.  I can see my great grandpa and his brothers laughing and working in this area.  They had instant relief in the creek from hot summer days.  Lazy fishin' spots right in walking distance from home.  It reminds me of the Walton's.

The bridge has been dead long before I was born.  Replaced several hundred feet away by another.  Also going over it is now I 71 connecting Cleveland and Columbus.  It was interesting walking back to the bridge today.  Kyle was reflecting about all the history we whiz by when driving on an interstate highway and never really think about all the things that did happen or could have happened in that particular area.  Just like my great, great grandparent's place, it is just a shell of a long gone generation.

Friday, November 4, 2011

T G (goodness) I F

I am so thankful it is Friday!  I feel like I muscled my way through this week.  36 parent teacher conferences, 14 no shows and phone calls later, I'm done!  Whew!  I'll be looking forward to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off as our comp. day for the extra hours.

I'm also thankful for Kota.  He came in on his day off from school today to help his mom.  He worked for 4 hours labeling the reading levels and putting stars on all my books that have a reading quiz on our Scholastic Reading Counts program that I just learned how to use.

I am thankful this is my first Friday not to dash off to a football game.  I'm enjoying my children and a mostly clean house because they were able to do some chores tonight!  Now, I might get my yard mowed one more time before the snow flies. 

I am thankful that we will have a mostly normal, quiet, run-of-the-mill week for awhile...until basketball games start.

Here's to a happy, restful, get a lot done around the house weekend!