Saturday, January 31, 2009


The River of Life is flowing smooth, it is calm and peaceful ( 80%).
I am watching the children while Mom and Magdalyn are in town at the End of the Line for a girl's night out with the neighbors. I decided to take it easy and play an Odyssey on the surround system and set the four Rubbermaid tubs of Lego's out for the children. They're content to stay in the same room and all is calm and quiet.
This morning I had a chance to go to a Pampered Chef party near Karlstad. My main objective was to get out of the house (nice to do in January) and socialize, my other purpose was to purchase some rubber spatula's. The previous one's we owned mysteriously got scraped and chopped up, like it was jammed into the blender. Which is quite strange, since I am the only Pankratz in this household the uses sharp tools, other than Mom, whom I know would handle them properly.
I look forward to this Sunday with Potluck at church and a Revelation study later that evening.
I have realized how valued eating out of the house is, when your the main cook in the household.
The dishes may still need washing, but they are not so abhorring in another sink. :)
Getting together and reaping great conversations around a table with different people is pleasant, no matter how short.

God has BLESSED our food stock! On our monthly trip to Roseau, the local grocery store had chocolate milk expiring the next day, therefore making the price of the milk plummet to $1 a gallon! My mother purchased enough for us to have some in the fridge and a small(?) stock in the freezer. To have the chocolate milk, it is a voluptuous blessing indeed! We never make this beverage with the price of milk being extraordinary.

I have never had an interest to scan over recipes to just look, BEFORE.
Now, I am cooking and I LOVE to try new, good tasting meal ideas in recipes.
Is anyone out there reading this post have ideas that their family LOVES and is willing to share them? I would really appreciate anything!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Awana car & clay


Every year for AWANA the children get a block of wood, cut it (with adult help), paint it, and then race it at AWANA. There is quite a few leaders that still love to design cars so a leaders race is also part of this event. It gets our wheels turning

For my car I like to make something that will speaks a message. This one turned out really good. I saved four dollars on the car and used my old 'Larry mobile' ; took the wheels off, turned it over, sand papered it and made it into a bathtub! The edges, and faucet are made out of sculpey clay (found at craft stores). The clay that I owned was white and brown so with my left over brown clay I made gourmet looking chocolate. Yes, the chocolates are made out of clay!

Dad brought six of the boys sledding at Thief River Falls this afternoon. When they came back they showered Mom with early Valentine gifts. The most precious one that will be kept for many years was a love note. Almost 12 year old Rolaun wrote Mom a note telling her that he loved her and is SO glad that she is his mom. This is so touching and valuable coming from a boy who has had a tough beginning.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Czechoslovacia cabbage soup

Melt half a stick of margarine in a pot.
Add a shredded head of cabbage and one chopped onion.
Cook the cabbage until it has a transparent look to it.
Add enough water to cover the vegetables or
whatever the amount you would like for your family.
While you bring the water back to a boil, mix water and flour together to make a wet dough mixture, not as runny as muffin but not quite as thick as bread.
When the water is boiling drop the dough into the broth a small spoonful at a time to make dumplings.
Dash enough salt in the soup to your desired taste.
One alternative I did that makes the recipe MUCH better:
instead of mixing water and flour for the dumplings,
I used eggs and flour.
Not only enjoy, but open an encyclopedia on Czechoslovakia,
get a map on the location. And make yourself aware of somewhere new!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tea party

A couple days ago the suggestion of a tea party came up when my old tea set came out from storage. The original plan invited 3 people, but when the word got around, many more attended and on two conditions.
You must have a happy composition and good etiquette in order to stay at the party. They did! I haven't seen them with such good manners before! Quite amazing. The tea party had peach tea, real sugar cubes(a REALLY big treat!),milk, gingersnaps, and a candle in the middle of the table. I love dressing up and so does the rest of the crew :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Rolaun and Benjamin had OT appointments yesterday the 9th, starting at 11am and ending at 1pm. By the time the therapy is over, lunch is eaten in the little cafe area next to the grocery store and Karron has traveled miles going 'round and 'round in the waiting room.
We are so close to Grand Forks that it is already planned ahead of time to do our MAJOR shopping.
Think of it this way, what is your major shopping? Most likely you can double that (maybe even triple?), to get an idea of the sight our shopping carts looked like!
(Yum, I just had my favorite candy while typing this)
When we got home LATE last night, we were pretty tired, but with the tempeture SO cold most of our stuff could not stay in the van. So we shook up as much adrenaline as we could and put most of it away.
Long story short; this morning everyone put the rest of the stuff away. And Reuben just found my empty box of Turtles.
Due to the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act, I will not be able to offer children's clothing starting February 10th, 2009. In order to continue sewing for children, I would have to send each and every child's outfit to one of twelve approved laboratories in the US to be tested for traces of lead, costing hundreds of dollars per item. I am deeply disappointed about this and hope I will have the chance to sew for little girls again someday.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January 6

Epiphany is a holiday widely celebrated all over the world. It is a day set to remember the Magi who gave gifts to baby Jesus. In Mexico, this day is called, Dia de Reyes. Certain people are chosen to be 'the wise men' and they travel about giving gifts to the children. At Epiphany, gifts are exchanged and children wake up to presents set out on this day, not Christmas day.
It sounds like a good time to do our presents, we could hit all the Christmas sales!
By the way, I've read online that in Spain there is no Santa Clause, it's the Magi who send do all the giving.
Ok, so for the first time ever, our family celebrated Epiphany. During the afternoon, Mexican wedding cakes (also known as Russian tea cakes), gluten free cookies, and origami bowls were made to use as our gifts to give away.
After dinner time, we gathered around our pretty little island and packaged our cookies. One filling the bowls, one fetching the bags, another counting the twist ties, and a little one on his tippy toes to gather in all the excitement with those bright blue eyes. With the cookies wrapped up, ten older children bundled up with a list in hand and prepared ourselves to make a round in the neighborhood.
Representing the Wise Men, we gave out presents (with a short explanation of the holiday Epiphany) and sang, " We wish you a Merry Christmas" in our off key voices.
I hope we have given some people a smile to their face. I don't know if this will become an annual tradition for us, but it sure was fun!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

family get together

I don't think anyone didn't have a good time at our family gathering. Our original plan was to get together in Karlstad, but the snow didn't let us get to far! It became more convenient to go to Hallock at our Grandparents church. There was eating, coloring, board games, and gingerbread houses. The helicoptor in the picture was Tristan's christmas present that is quite entertaining. Since it is so little, it is difficult to control. So we just do our best on taking off and landing.
It was fun to lay back and have time for games. Ok, there was monopoly for some ( I think it's to slow), dutch blitz, scrambled states, and pictionary. Well, we had a Pankratz pictionary, the older generation wrote down familiar people, things, or places and we played boys against girls. It was a tie :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Now that Dad is at home, Mom and I are much more relaxed and I have more spare time. Quite unusual for me. So I sewed SuZenn and Karron (how cool it is to have another toddler in the home!) matching dresses. Very cute indeed.

I finally went outside for the first time this season to go out in the snow. OK, I didn't do much, just watch and take good pictures and cheer them on down our sledding hill.

I made chicken, potatoes, and stuffing for dinner today and I got a couple questions, "What is the occasion?". I just felt ambitious. That's all :)
Tomorrow our plans involve a family gathering at The Heritage school in Karlstad. I hope it goes well! Some of our ideas are games, gingerbread houses, and decorating bags that the moms will fill with treats.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years day

Karron is now one year old and she can walk and mumble a few words. In fact, today she signed the word beautiful! Right now almost all the children are playing legos and watching a video for a New years day celebration. Karron is really good at not putting any of the small pieces in her mouth but has somehow optained a plastic tube and found that it can be turned into a whistle.
At first she got attention from those around her but now that the entertainment is dull I was able to make the pipe "disappear":)


For Christmas, Vonn gave me a PURPLE tool kit(really good quality!)

and as for the box that the gift was in; Vonn made one out of wood. There was many nails and screws that needed to be pulled out in order to get it open. I had a blast! for a moment it was like I was in the past getting a wood crate in the mail of some sort.