Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pumpkin Challah Bread

I am a lover of pumpkin...I like it in my coffee, goodies, soups, stews, and now bread. It's addictive I tell you! I got this recipe for Pumpkin Challah off the site. They have an abundance of quite yummy dishes I have found, and this lovely bread lived up to par!

Shooting the Kids

I will admit, I love to shoot the kids on occassion, especially when they are least expecting it...rubber bands work great, water guns, hoses, the sprayer from the sink...they are all good tools of the trade. While I enjoy these fabulous ways of making my kids scream in shock because they didn't see it coming...I love to shoot them w/the camera too.

Several weeks ago, we watched as the trees went from the long lasting green to the sudden & short fall colors. We had been waiting, anxiously watching...because once they went, we knew we had to be ready to run. Fall pictures haven't happened for several years and it was apparent that I was slacking in my duties as "school photographer". Monday we woke to sunshine & a bounty of fall colors. There was a scurry in all the rooms & yells of "where is my ....." "MOoooooooooooOOOOOOOMMMM" We got it sorted, hair brushed & collars straightened...then one by one they came out of the house to the prepared areas & slowly we made our way around the outdoors snapping individual shots, correcting hair that was blowing, smoothing skirts, fixing the mum plants & trying to keep Jack out of the actual shot, all while being creative & getting good backgrounds. Finally we wore out our options at the house & piled into the truck for a trip to "the projects". This is a piece of state gamelands not far from our house that happens to be quite beautiful & rustic. Exactly what our family craves on a daily basis and hates to be so far removed from living in town. We drove from one spot I had spied over the last several months of driving through to get to grandma's house (yes, we drive over the river & through the woods to grandmothers lie!). The kids did great, very patient with mom's nagging to put their chin down, now turn just a hair to the left, no right, no wait...
Once we finished, we had over 100 shots to peruse...I was shocked that for the first time, they were ALL good, the kids were honestly patient & willing to work with me, no fighting, no sobbing, no arguing, no tantrums. Could it possibly be that my babies are not "little impatient kids" anymore & have turned the corner into that "we like to have pictures taken of us being fashionista's"??? could have fun with it if they have!!!
For now this will do...I have a sudden yearning to attempt "Christmas" photos...we'll's a real possibility if they can handle the cold!!

Seasons End

When I played soccer, I was always sure I was ready for the season to end. Yet, when it came, I would sit & wonder what I was missing, sure I had forgotten something major & yet couldn't figure out what it was. Today we handed in Hunter's football uniform, had his pictures taken, banquet was last night...and so the "seasons end" begins. This week has been spent washing the multiple pants, cleaning pads, and preparing for the banquet, so despite not having practice each evening, there was still "stuff" to do, at least for me. I have watched Hunter start to wander aimlessly around the house like he is looking for something he feels he has misplaced.

As we waited for Hunter, the last one, to get his "individual" shots done at the field, we got to chat with his coach as we all stood in the rain. We thanked him for a great season, for saving my sanity by turning our otherwise "driving his mother out of her mind w/excessive energy" boy into a worn out, exhausted, football player. He laughed that laugh that says "I've heard this so many times, and been there myself". But he finished his good hearted chuckle by telling us that we have quite a football player. He served as the teams "utility" player this year, but coach, who has coached football for just shy of 50 years, told us w/a shake of his head, that its easy for him to see already that Hunter will be one of those amazing players & he is excited to watch him grow & play each year to see just how far he will take it.

What a proud mom & dad walked off that field...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dutch Wonderland Day

The kids all read like little bookworms over the summer, so they wound up with "FREE" tickets to Dutch Wonderland for the end of September. This sounds fantastic doesn't it? Yeah, we sure thought so, till we got to this "children's paradise of amusement parks" and found that mom & dad have to pay full price to take said bookworms into the park even though we could only attempt 2, maybe 3, of the rides if we dared. After serious discussions off to the side, Daddy came to the kids rescue & purchased the tickets, dragging penny pinching mom with the 5 of them into the park. I know, I know...but seriously 75.00 for two adults to take the kids to a "special readers day" put on by the park & the library??? Do you know what I could BUY that we NEED with $75.00???? Ok, so I shut up, Len gave me a hug and said "just keep looking at how excited they are" and I did what I was told & "let it go"

The kids had a blast. We had taken them there twice before, many many many moons before, and it was WAY too overwhelming. This time, they were all of a decent age, the older 3 almost TOO old. Being the nut cases Len & I are, we joined in the fun & rode on the rollar coaster (just as frightening this go round as the last time when we thought we would loose someone out the side of the car it jerks around so fast!), we did the log float & got drenched, and we did the space ship (that one WAS fun). We also took them on an "old paddle boat" ride and everyone enjoyed that as well.

Oh, and one that didn't go over so well with "the girls" was the bumper cars. I know, typically those would be a lot of fun, I mean how often do you get told as an adult to drive fast, and HIT as many cars as you can?? On a serious note, they allowed our twins to go solo because of their height, however, our daughter didn't understand how to work things and got turned around and head on hit many times, went wildly fast and out of control (to her) when she did get it turned back around, and just overall, freaked out. We didn't even get to the end of the building upon exciting before she burst into tears and sobbed for the next 5 minutes into my shoulder as I held her. I must admit, I wasn't a fan either, the "mom" in me must be a lot stronger then the "fun" anymore and I felt panicked at the speed as I tried to drive, NOT hit anyone, yet know that we would go faster & faster if we didn't hit someone, and keep my arm around Jazmine, keeping her from getting slammed into the side of the car when we did hit or get hit. I just kept screaming in my head "you can't HIT them, everyone will get hurt" like I was actually driving the truck! know you are old when...

All in all, the kids enjoyed the rides as a whole, all 4 went on everything and it was a great perk to having read so much all summer long. One really nice perk to those tickets was the "free kids meal at Applebees" just up the street for after we were done. Normally, we HATE Applebees...BUT we would HIGHLY recommend the Applebees just up the street from DW on Rt. 30. The manager that was in was gracious & understanding of having 4 kids and told our waiter to take all 4 stubs & let the kids eat free. Apparently, they will normally not take more then the number of adults purchasing meals. I made up for it with a fabulous sangria...apparently Len felt my nerves had been disturbed enough to warrent a little "calming" Like I would argue?!

Watkins Glen, New York

We took the kids on a short day trip from our camping spot in the PA's Little Grand Canyon (Wellsboro, PA) to Watkins Glen, NY at the southern end of Seneca Lake in mid October. It exceded our expectations and we had a fabulous time hiking the falls. It is a nice walk, despite the stairs. You go with the slow flow and with the fantastic structures of walkways, stairs, and bridges that are so natural and almost hidden along the walls, it is easy to enjoy the sounds of the water and relax!

There are two areas where falls flow OVER the pathway and you are able to reach out and touch the falling water. The kids really enjoyed this aspect and it kept the journey up and back down entertaining for even our most "bored". The walk is a straight shot, not a loop, so you go straight up to your stopping point, then back down the way you came. At first I was a little put off by this, but once we turned around to come back, it was obvious that the entire experience would be completely different. The way in you hike UP the falls, always looking up and around the bends to see what is next. On the way down, you get a completely different view as you are now heading down all those stairs & get a fantastic view out the canyon to the town at the base of Seneca Lake.

There is a $6.00 charge to enter in a car. We saw others walk on in or ride bike and not stop to pay, so if you go up and stay close, it appears to be free! They also have a larger (view from the map on the computer) campground with access to the gorge walk if you are into doing a weekend that way. We hiked it and even did bathroom stops before/after and a gift shop run in 2 1/2 hrs. with 4 elementary age kids on a busy sunday fall day.

Cold Weather Camping Anyone???

PA's Little Grand Canyon
October 10-12, 2009
Mission: survive 29 degree nights & enjoy spectacular fall folliage
Status: NEVER again will we camp in a TENT for 29 degree nights!!

I know you are just dying to know...I'll try to keep it brief but toss up some fun pictures for entertainment.

We took the kids for our first "cold weather camping" trip to the Little Grand Canyon in upstate Pennsylvania the second weekend of October. Why? This was when we were told by many that you just HAVE to go because it is always peak fall folliage and amazingly beautiful. Here is our first look at the little grand canyon:

We did come prepared for the very chilly, but dry, conditions w/numerous down comforters, air mattresses, more comforters to go between the ground & the matress, the matress & the sheets, flannel sheets, gloves, hats, 3 layers for each of us to wear at all times, heavy winter coats, and LOTS of hot chocolate & stew, hot cereal & marshmellows. Food wise, we were golden. The stew was amazing, the hot chocolate & coffee delicious & comforting...the down side?? No firewood. Yes, you read that correctly. We camped at the Leonard State Park right on the rim & being good little campers, we followed the rules & brought no wood, prepared instead to purchase their wood due to nasty bugs that would kill all their trees...upon arrival, we were told by the park ranger, that they were cleaned out, so we could scour the woods for anything that we could find to burn...catch to this fantastic had DOWNPOURED allllllll week & every blessed piece of wood was soaking wet. Meaning...lots of lighter fluid, little fire, light dinner & breakfast the next day! oi, not good w/4 hungry kids & a freezing cold mommy who NEEDS her coffee in the am!!!

we took a side trip to Watkins Glen, NY on the south end of Seneca Lake (one of the finger lakes) on Sunday. Look for the next post on that one...I will just say it was our saving grace for the whole weekend!!

We did stop later at the rim for one last look to "see if we could see"...

All in all, the area IS spectacularly beautiful. Maybe we will venture up at a warmer time of the year to explore. Camping will be out of the question at anything below 50 though. Sorry. I'm ALL for adventure, but I do draw the line at some things, and this folks, is one of them!

Fall Arrives at the Roth household

Fall is finally here in all its true & lovely was a long wait, but she arrived in all her colorful & rainy glory this past week. Our family is notoriously busier in the fall then any other time of the year...and this one has proved to be exceptional difficult for me. To add one item to the mix of camping, pumpkin picking, fall pictures, haircuts, start of school process, canning, etc...can be that final card that brings the house down. This year, we added not one, but two such items to the, Len is out of town working more then not, and two, Hunter is playing football which means tues-thurs 5:45pm - 8:20pm rain or shine.
Fun times, fun times.

It has only taken me 14 years, but I have finally made those purchases & decisions, and have the house decorated for FALL. Apparently having 4 little kids sucks the $$ out of the door before such items are even looked at...the only reason they are here this time is due to Stauffer's fabulous fall sale of 75% off all decorative items, giving me a grand savings of over $47.00 yesterday! Love you Stauffers!!!

We have had a second interesting change in plans around here...our youngest broke her wrist falling out of a hand stand! Did you know it can be broken with no swelling or bruising, and the child can still use their hand w/some pain?? Yeah, I didn't. We happened to be in the doctor's office for two others to get yearly check ups & mentioned it to him...Did you know younger children (she is almost 6) can get what are called "buckle fractures"??? Nope, I didn't know that either. Apparently a "buckle fracture" is when a bone overlaps the other, and it ripples as it bends without actually cracking or breaking. These particular fractures are supposed to heal fantastic and in 4 weeks. We shall this juncture, a week after the above mentioned fracture, she still isn't feeling well and requires tylenol through the night so she can sleep.

Ahhhh...the joys of fall...check back for some fun adventures as I finally get my butt in gear after being showed up in GRAND form by my little sister!! She can hold me to it...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Football hits the Fan

Its fall...the cool temps have claimed the air & we are reveling in FOOTBALL...we have always enjoyed watching PSU & ND but this year we have officially turned a page with no returning...when Dawson played midget ball a few years ago down in Virginia, we knew 10 min. into it this was NOT his thing, despite his size & love of throwing the ball. He just simply does not like hitting people, he's much more a "fixer". I blame it on his being a first born & needing to help take care of me & the twins so much as a young toddler. Life is so unfair.

We signed up Hunter, our second son, for midget ball this past June, took him to a couple flag football games on sunday nights, then started practice for "real" the last week of July. Yeah, like Dawson, we had our answer w/in the first 10 min. This boy SHONE in pure joy & love...pray I do not see that about a girl till he's at least 25!!! Anyways, after 4 day a week practices for 2 1/2 - 3 hrs each day, we passed through August & at the beginning of Sept, Labor Day weekend, we began what we know now will be a lifetime, parking our rears on those hard bleachers, and jumping up & down cheering on our son.

I realize I am biased, I'm his mom for pete's sake, but my boy ROCKS!!!!!!!!! The coach told hubby Thurs. night after practice that Hunter is an amazing "all around" player, and while they don't want to overwhelm him with positions, they are going to push him to learn & play well anywhere & everywhere on the field. This is fine by us, except we really prefer he actually touches the ball at some point during the week if he will be playing any of the 3 running back positions in the game...I know, crazy mom...

So, as I sit here watching Penn State take on "temple" (hate early season crap games, no offense to all you temple fans), I am anxiously waiting for 2pm to roll around so I can pack up our crew of loud, screaming, yelling, cheering big mouths (MUST get that from their daddy!) and one nervous Hunter for a great game against E-town this aft.
If you haven't been able to tell, I am one insanely PROUD mom...

Sunday, August 30, 2009


out of a love for our kids & the deep routed desire to share the boardwalk & beach in the summer fun with them...we bit the bullet & took them down last thursday. We got them up & out the door before 9am...pretty good right? yeah, not when it takes 2 1/2 hours to get there & we have to leave by 2:30pm to make sure we get home in time for Hunter to shower BEFORE going to 3 hours of football by 5:45pm...yeah, you're adding THAT one up & thinking we've really lost it. No, we lost it many many moons ago.
We get there, its 86 & sunny. Perfect beach weather! You are wondering now, why we went on Thursday instead of Friday when there was no football aren't you? well, a major hurricane is headed that way with a projected arrival date of friday. Me, the overwhelming beach zealot, is thinking it will be wonderful, good waves, lots of shells before the next big storm...oh the FUN!
After fighting with Hunter that a double thick fleece sweatshirt is NOT appropriate summer beach attire, we get to the boardwalk, pay for the beach tags & hit the sand. The beach looks oddly short & rather crowded for not being 11am yet. We go down toward the water, get a spot in the "second row" and spread out. Now, we are minimalists, or shall I say, I am the minimalist, so its just a small cooler, two boogie board I argues against & lost, a bag of towels, and 3 beach mats we picked up for a fantastic buck a piece. Not bad for 6 people huh? Yeah....

Everything was great...I was laying in the sun, enjoying the lovely beach sounds, smells & music while len & the kids frolicked in the ever increasing in size waves over at the lifeguards...slowly dozing off, almost there....the scream escaped before I had a chance to remember I was ON A CROWDED BEACH...water, icy when your nice & hot in the sun, was submerging my legs & feet that were as always, off the mat & towels enjoying the sand! Yikes, that water came up fast! I jumped after regaining my composure & quickly hauled up our meager supplies a good 10' up the beach till I was locked into the people who were in the what used to be "fourth row". I dug us a good trench (being left alone to do all this as the kids & len were oblivious to my near disaster & enjoying the water too far off for me to yell to them). I was halfway through when Len noticed I had moved & was desperately flinging sand...NOT a normal behavior for mom at this stage of the game I assure you! He came over with peach who joined in as Len shook his head & said "its not going to work you know" yeah yeah, what does HE know anyways?? we dug, the next big wave came & washed up to the "outer wall" of my fantastic trench design, and was held off...triumphantly Jazmine & I said "SEE???" the glory was short lived as I laid back down, sure it wouldn't really get us, just a freak wave I was sure...ahhh, sweet peace & sun, sleep is calling my name....then the tsunami hit!!!! I was suddenly submerged in a blast of cold rushing water, not just my toes mind you, no.....EVERYTHING was underwater by several inches & I was once again, the squealing was just as loud & then I looked up at len & just couldn't help myself...we laughed & laughed...then started to clean up....

I can honestly say this has never happened in my 35 years of hitting the beach many times a summer...but I learned again...never underestimate the power of those incoming waves!

By the time we left, the beach had shrunk considerably & there were only 5 packed tight rows of tourists before they hit the fencing...for those of you who have been to the beaches on the east coast in jersey, you know just how huge those beaches usually are! It was truly an adventure, and yes, Hunter slept the whole way home & did awesome at his practice while his mother, who forgot to sunscreen herself after doing up the other 5 members of the family, sat in her sun kissed glory & FROZE as one does when they had just a touch too much sun :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

where does the time go?

one day they are babies & you are swimming in diapers, nukies & blink and they are now all in school, busy little bodies who know not what sleep is, laundry piled up high full of grass stains, dirt, & stinky sweat...i'm a bit scared to blink again!

we are settled into a fabulous farmhouse now, school for the year put behind us, summer stretched out in all its glory before us. The kids have already enjoyed dance at the library, two weeks of swimming lessons & tennis lessons, camping at the beach, and riding camp @ the barn. This weekend is a pretty big deal as it is not only the 4th of july, but it is also Aunt Kristi's birthday & for once, she has not fled the country and we are throwing her a party! I am particularly excited as it has been 15 years since I have been able to honor her on her bday in person.

i have been struggling with not feeling well a lot lately. part of it i think is my heart & not having the correct pacer in...but no insurance & still waiting for the letter of acceptance or refusal from the state is draining. Iknow that God is asking me to trust Him, to be patient & to let Him have all my fears & frustrations. Just because I know this doesn't always make the days easier as it needs to get from my head to the rest of me! But each minute of each day is new & I just have to keep trying to let Him have the whole miserable mess.

I posted a few recipes to the FB page, but I will work on transferring them over to here. We have changed our diet a lot in the last several weeks to mostly all raw, so the recipes won't be as appealing to some...on a side note, i did make 3 kinds of jam for the first time ever & was shocked at how easy it was! Our shelves are stocked with Spicy Plum, Blueberry, & Seedless Black Raspberry Jams. We are hopeful to try canning Salsa & Tomato Sauce, Pickles & possibly some peas later this fall. Our garden is turning out delicious amounts of food & we are very excited to get to eat the organic fresh veggies for a change!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Year...Old News

It's a new year...2009...with our pictures tossed up on the site, facebook in high gear, I have finally bit the bullet and gotten a blog for the crew. Mostly for those who love to hear of our wild tales, see recipes posted that we have attempted, and just get to "see" in grand form how incredibly "normal" we are!
Yes, I homeschool all four kids...ok, I has turned in we lately, but you get the picture! It's a lot, honestly. Our oldest is extremely independent and gifted in areas, so while it is nice that he runs off with his work and blows through everything I can get into his hands, that is also a frustration for me as his teacher. I feel like I can barely keep up with him most of the time. Maybe if he was the only one I had, I could then really soak it up and enjoy it with him, but he is far from the only one. Our twins, b/g, are quite normal in all sense of the word. They may be in third grade, math in fourth, but they require great amounts of my time and attention. Our son struggles with itchies and gets overwhelmed just from the sight of a page of work if there is too much on it. He starts twitching when the word read or book enters a sentence and has panic attacks in his eyes when I say big project. His sister on the other hand, does quite well and enjoys school, though she requires help a bit more then I am used to with the oldest. The youngest is a peach. She is just like her big brother and at the freshly turned age of 5, she is reading with help, doing first grade math and phonics and systematically blowing through all I put in front of her with a fierceness that I fear will overtake her older siblings and leave them in her dust. Oh the joy that will be...but we will go there when the day comes and definitely try hard not to focus on it. Overall, school is wonderful and we have really enjoyed working together, traveling and sightseeing together and just learning about how God has created and designed this amazing world we live in.
Who are the Roth's? Well....we're a is a hard working carpentry king who can and does build anything you can possibly live in! He has progressed into building what are called "live/works" They have 3 or more levels, the bottom being a store front, the top two or more being the home...very creative but very old in design, but a nice new touch to the world of new construction. We have lived in Arizona, Pennsylvania & Virginia courtesy of work...and visited Indiana, New Jersey, Maryland and New York. We go where the work is right now. That part is hard, the constant moving/traveling, but we are incredibly thankful for the work that God give us, the provisions the work allows us and the chance to get to see and do so many neat things because we move/traveling so much. We have four amazing children. Our oldest is 10, the boy/girl twins are soon to be 9, our youngest peach is 5. All love being outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing, playing soccer, swimming, riding horses and playing games together. We are truely blessed that they play so well together, love each other so much and generally get along. The boys are strong military supporters. They live to get to go to the Marine Museum in Virginia, or any post we can get on. The girls love painting their nails, wearing beautiful dresses and playing barbies together. That leaves me...I'm the nut that my sweet love claims keeps us all together and going strong...I think he needs the clarity you get from a pot of coffee, but I do love him so!! We have been married for 13 1/2 years and each day is a true blessing to me. Ican not begin to imagine how horrible my life would be if I didn't have this truly amazing and wonderful man as my husband!! He sticks with me through thick and and misery...just over 7 years ago they needed to put a pacemaker in and its been a rough ride ever since...but never once has he faltered in how deep his love and acceptance is of me regardless of how frustrated I have been with the lows I have had to go through in adjusting and dealing with the illness' that have followed.
So there you have it! Our grand introduction and the beginning of a new year of fun and insight into the wild and sometimes crazy roth family!
I look forward to sharing our experiences with you, the joys and frustrations of being mom to four kids with so many opinions, our trips, travels and moves. It's never dull around here, that is one thing you most certainly can take to the bank!
Good night and we'll see ya in dawns early light tomorrow when breakfast is hot on the griddle, coffee is brewing and the books are being cracked open!