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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Favorite Things! 2008 Product Review :)

Each year I stumble across such wonderful products that I begin to wonder how I've managed to live my whole life without them. This year was no exception. The only difference is, this year, I actually remember these fantastical (good fake-word huh?) products and figured if Oprah can share her favorite things, I can too. So, with no further ado, here are my favorite things of 2008!
Just Bunches honey roasted oat clusters. I'm SURE it's healthy. Just in case it's not though, I toss in a handful of blueberries. It's now a staple in our house. I buy 2 boxes at a time!
Cory gave me this Vera Bradley overnight bag for our anniversary. I've collected numerous pieces this year, but this is quite possibly my favorite!
My Dyson vacuum definitely lives up to it's advertising. It never loses suction. I have managed to suck up some incredibly odd items because it's just so powerful they're gone before I realize it!
Wipeout became an instant family favorite. The girls looked forward to watching it, quite possibly more than we did. We laughed until we cried and cannot wait for the next season.
Yeah, we just got these Mac laptops for Christmas, but they're already members of the family, so it won't be long before our desktop pc will go the way of the wind and get replaced with a Mac desktop. We even think Bill Gates has a Mac. Just a hunch!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Manic Monday!

Do you ever have those days where you have numerous things to accomplish and don't quite know where to start? That's today! I have spent the past month diligently working on our new church website and I finally launched it! However, working on the website meant I was not working on VBS, and as the director most of my job is early prep. I did manage to get a few 'issues' under control and now I feel a little more on top of my game. I am also co-teaching a class for our co-op next quarter, starting in January, and I need to meet with my team teacher and get some things organized for class. In addition to that, I'm in charge of co-op birthday's and we have had quite a few over the winter months, so I need to get postcards and prizes together! All in all it's well within my comfort zone, but there are times, like today, where my head begins to swim just thinking about it. Now I'm off to finish the laundry, clear the snow off the satellite dish and check on the cake that the girls insisted we bake! Hey, I think that counts as home-ec so HOORAY! We've schooled today :) Happy Monday Everybody! Give me a call. We're snowed in, so I'm not going anywhere!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

From my family to yours...
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Still Snowing!

I was out again this morning shoveling snow, and yep, it's still snowing. And I don't mean a few inches, we're talking feet. Feet! as in 12 inches on top of 12 inches on top of 12 inches. I wanted to clear a path for the mailman, since we're expecting a few packages this week. Oh, and I need to give kudos to Under Armour (UA) athletic wear and Sorel boots. I had on a UA beanie-cap and my pink and black Sorels (man are they cute) and I was sweating. I ended up removing my heavy coat and shoveling in my sweatshirt! Did I mention the temperature is a whopping 8 degrees? As I do every year when it snows, I'm reminded that each and every snowflake is different. Every time it snows, in every place on earth, every year, there are no two flakes alike. This is absolutely astounding to me. How can people question intelligent design armed with this kind of information?! "God........does great things which we cannot comprehend. For He says to the snow, "Fall on the earth'; Likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength." Job 37: 5b-6

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow much fun!

Wednesday the girls were so disappointed because I wouldn't let them play outside. But with temperatures in the single digits I was concerned that their little noses and fingers might not fare well, so I did the next best thing. I brought the outdoors.....in! You'd be surprised how much fun two little girls can have with a bowl of snow......actually 4 bowls to be exact! This morning I spent a couple hours shoveling snow and I took
some pictures so you can see how buried we are. This is the girls' play yard, and another picture of our back yard and garage. The news is saying we've broken our old record for most snowfall in a 24 hour period.

Draw a little Christmas

The girls are quite excited for Christmas, so yesterday I asked them to draw pictures for me conveying their excitement. Behold:
Cayla incorporated a little nature into her drawing by adding polar bears. You knew those were polar bears didn't you?!
Autumn, the purist, stayed with the traditional tree and presents.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Proving Faith!

Sunday night I was trying diligently to watch the Discovery channel's special on the Exodus. Some of the information was incredibly intriguing so I really wanted to watch it, but I absolutely could not sit through it and I had to change channels. In short, the show "revealed" how the waters of the Red Sea parted due to a natural phenomenon that occurs when the winds blow so rapidly that they separate the water. (editor's (that's me) note: oh yeah, and the winds blow so hard that it just 'happens' to dry the ground under the water, and then the water just 'happens' to close in when the Egyptians are trying to recapture the Israelites. That kind of stuff is always just happening.) This drives me crazy! I realize the goal of science is to prove things, but why do they have to go and 'ruin' it by trying to prove it? I mean, it's a miracle. If you can prove a miracle then it is, by definition, not a miracle anymore. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you can prove it it's not faith, it's fact. Faith is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1. Our entire belief is based on faith. Why must scientists and 'religious scholars' always try to prove everything? I don't mind them proving the existence of Biblical events, places and items, but it gets really frustrating when they try to 'explain away' miracles and other acts that can only happen under God's direction. Why can't they just have the simple, child-like faith that has worked so well for the rest of us? Trying to understand complex concepts? That's hard. Accepting it because God orchestrated it? That's easy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Snow Day!

The girls had a blast celebrating our first snow of the season. It wasn't a lot, but enough to cover the ground and make the world white! The summer sand buckets came in handy for filling with snow and dumping on each other! Autumn has already told me that as the winter progresses and we get more snow she wants me to help her build an igloo. Who does she think I am? Frank Lloyd Wright? More like Frank Lloyd Wrong because I wouldn't even know where to begin building an igloo! Maybe just getting out there and playing in the snow with her will suffice!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Aging

There are certain things in life that really make it clear to me that I'm getting older. The calendar indicating my birthday each year, my walnut sized bladder, the fact that I have to hold papers at arms length to read them, and who could forget my arthritic thumb? But the final blow, the official Coup de grace arrived in the mail last week.
Yes, you're reading that correctly! My 7 year old is getting romanced by AARP! Not only can she receive incredible savings on car rentals, health insurance, eye care and dentures, but she'll get a year's worth of 'AARP The Magazine' for only $12.50 a year! Never thought I'd live to see the day.
Somebody hand me my cane!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

On My Soapbox

It turns out my dad's heart attack would/could have been a lot worse than we were originally led to believe if he hadn't gotten in when he did. He had a 95% blockage in the artery that supplies blood to half the heart. After arresting the heart attack in progress, having a blood clot dissolved and a stint placed, his ticker is keeping time as it should. He'll still have to be extra careful for several weeks, but PRAISE THE LORD he was with Rob (the doctor) who knew the symptoms and got him right in. ------- If somebody has better information on this, please share because I'm open to opinions, but for now I have some serious reservations about this government bailout. Since when is the government (aka the taxpayers....US) expected to be responsible for every one's financial mishandling? ------- An employee getting trampled to death at a Wal-Mart on Black Friday is a complete travesty. This man was over 6 foot and 250+, you don't 'accidentally' step on a person, and you certainly don't do it to someone of this size. I simply don't get it. What is wrong with people that they would kill someone in an effort to obtain a TV? ------- In relation to the above story.....stores need to stop this hype over a 'steal of a deal' when they only have 2 in stock. If they have minimal stock they certainly don't need to advertise as if they have thousands. If it's really the deal of the century, a couple of savvy shoppers will find it!!! OK, off my soapbox!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Turkey Day Musings

What a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend we had. Proof is in the pictures; move your mouse over the photos posted below to read the captions! Here's my rundown: Best of the best: Being with family, watching the kids play together, Robyn's cooking (WOW! - tried to hire her as my personal chef, but no go!), Shopping (we got some great deals), Clare's baby Carson (he's my new gold standard for babies; that boy NEVER cries), Trivial Pursuit (my team won). Worst of the worst: Dad's heart attack on Saturday....that man will do anything to get out of shopping :). It was a small heart attack (the cardiologist said they don't use the word 'minor' since all heart attacks are serious), and he's scheduled for an angiogram on Monday. He's doing well, cracking jokes and being a great sport, but prayers are requested and deeply appreciated. "I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised." Psalm 18:3a

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Scattergories!

The rules: use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. All places, names and things must be real - nothing made up. You can't use your own name for the boy/girl name question.

What's your name…Rachel A four letter word…Rest A boy's name…Ryan A girl's name…Renee An occupation…Reporter A color…Red Something you wear…Reebok's A beverage…RC Cola A food…Raisins Something found in a bathroom…Renuzit A place…Rhode Island A reason to be late…Reactive Angioendotheliomatosis Don't ask me to explain that last thing.....just google it :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Travel Pillows!

All right I know I'm driving some of you crazy with all my sewing posts, but you have to understand where this is coming from. Growing up I had friends who could sew quite well and I was always enamored with their projects. I secretly wished I knew how, but I didn't grow up with a mother who sewed, so the chances of me learning were slim. Fortunately, my mother in law is quite the accomplished seamstress, and having only sons, she's delighted to have a 'daughter' to whom she can pass on some domesticity! It's a new hobby for me and those of you who know me well know that when I start something new I get pretty enthusiastic about it. So here's my latest project.....travel pillows. I've wanted to purchase them for over a year now, but they can be spendy so I've put it off. I did however find a pattern online, quite by accident, and figured I'd give it a shot. Sure the edges aren't perfectly rounded, but they should live up to their purpose for our Thanksgiving trek across the mountain to my sister's!
I began last week by making a prototype (white with blue snowflakes), and then this evening I finished a couple more to give to the girls. They were thrilled, but Autumn did say, "You only have three. We need another one for Daddy." To which I queried, "Do you really want Daddy to have a pillow while he's driving?" She sheepishly shrugged, "Nah." And that was the end of that!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Why of course I have a tissue"

It's a well known fact that mom's carry tissues (stupid word, I prefer Kleenex, even if it is a name brand) in their purse. And while I wish I was the type of mom who bought little packages of Kleenex in copious quantities, unfortunately I tend to buy them only a pack or two at a time, and usually it's when I'm standing at the check out line and see them on the rack next to me. More often than not I am without the nifty little packages and I end up grabbing a handful from the box beside my bed, folding them in a haphazard way and shoving them next to my wallet. This works well for a day or two but after reaching into my purse for various items the Kleenex morph into quite the unattractive blob that has managed to pick up gum, lint and an assortment of other 'lovelies' from being used by my children and myself, then re stuffed into my bag. In an effort to solve the Kleenex debacle I have, like so many others out there, made a tissue pack to carry in my purse. The pack can be used to carry pre-packaged tissues, but I kind of see that as redundant. I mean if they're already in a plastic package why put them in another package, right?! It will require an extra minute of politely folding my Kleenex before putting them into the fabric pack, but it will certainly keep them neat and tidy and will easily help me identify the 'used' from the 'unused.'

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Diaper Days!

The girls are always begging me to make doll clothes for their babies, but my sewing skills are not that advanced. I did however manage to make a cloth diaper that I personally think turned out very cute. A bit of flannel and some Velcro and voila! It was super easy and went very quickly. It's not like it was rocket science or anything, but for someone my age who is just learning to sew, I am admittedly pretty pleased with myself. The girls are elated and want dozens more, so I'm happy to oblige them. At least the days of real diapers are behind me.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Weekend News!

What a busy weekend we've had. I attended a Women's Retreat with my mom' s church. Her pastor's wife facilitated the Bible study and she is an extremely gifted, knowledgeable and wise teacher. I always walk away from that retreat feeling renewed and refreshed, with a deeper understanding of the subject at hand. This year's topic was on dealing with crisis and it was incredible. While I certainly don't look forward to a crisis, hopefully I am now better equipped to handle one, if and when it shows up. --------------- The girls were invited to a friend's swim party at a nearby hotel and they had an absolute blast. Two hours chock full of pizza, a pinata, birthday cake, swimming, and party favors proved to be the highlight of my girls' weekend. The pictures below show them beaming with excitement. It's given me some great ideas for Cayla and Autumn's birthday parties next year. --------------- It's official! I'm the new VBS director for "Boomerang Express" VBS 2009. I'm sure it will be exciting and challenging as I take on a responsibility that I've never encountered. I'm a little tentative, feeling as if I need to have every decision approved, but I know it will be an opportunity for growth and I'm up to the challenge. If you think of it, pray for me and for our church. Yes, it's a long ways off, but it's never too early to offer up prayers for the children who will be meeting Jesus at Vacation Bible School this summer. --------------- In 'house' news....Cory and my dad worked this weekend and got our new electric furnace up and running and I must say it's fabulous. THANKS dad and Cory!!! Now every room is efficiently heated and equipped to deal with traditional winter weather in our parts. So, bring on the cold! Also, Cory just finished up his parents bathroom remodel (I wish I had pictures because it's gorgeous - you'll just have to trust me) and now he's busily working away getting his garage put together. It's hard to believe all of that 'stuff' was in our old, one car garage because it seems to be filling every square foot of our new garage. He's insulating the walls and has built a loft to store wood for all of his projects. I mention this because he's a phenomenal wood worker and having adequate, organized wood working space in his garage means more custom furniture and wood work for me to enjoy in my house. I hope you all had as wonderful a weekend as we did, and that you have a very blessed week!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I've Been Inspired!

While not typically a poetry fan, I did quote a beautiful poem, author unknown, a couple posts below on Saturday, November 8th. If you didn't get to read it, I hope you'll go back and take a look, it's quite fitting for this Thanksgiving season. Today, after borrowing (ok, stealing) a package of candy from Autumn's Fall Festival loot I was inspired to write my own poem and if you have ever eaten Dots candies I think you will appreciate, or at least relate to it. Love DOTS! Fruity Sweet Delicious... Hate DOTS! Stick to my teeth Not very nutritious You know you're either smiling or rolling your eyes. Just trying to keep it light :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Perfect Sunday?

Sunday started out as a perfect day. Our clothes had been ironed and laid out the night before, the house was picked up, my bed was made and breakfast was eaten. Perfect lasted about 30 minutes before it went into meltdown. It started with the girls getting a s-l-o-w start. Sunday's are never a good day for them to be in slow mode, but they were. Why can't they be in slow motion on Monday or Tuesday or any day where we don't have to be some place? Don't answer that, it was rhetorical. After getting their breakfast on the table I told them to eat quickly because we needed to get dressed and get our hair done. I might as well have been talking to a wall. The same children who can eat at supersonic speed when the promise of dessert hangs in the balance, ate at a snail's pace. It's not like they were having a Denny's Grand Slam breakfast either, we're talking mini bagels and milk. Seriously, how long can that take? Well, this morning it was about 35 minutes. After corraling them into my room and wrestling with the church clothes Cayla announces that her tights have a hole. Great! I go find some more tights. Hmmmm, the second pair has a hole too, but at least it's up high enough so as not to show. I race to the kitchen, add 'black tights' to my shopping list, and head back to my bathroom. I'm ready to start on their hair when I notice Autumn. With her tights halfway pulled up, she's laughing hysterically and trying out her new dance on my perfectly made bed. Arrrggghhh! I yell at her to quit clowning around and get dressed. This sends her into more hysterical laughter as she repeatedly snorts "clowning around" as if it were the funniest phrase I had ever uttered! She manages to contain herself for a full minute while I help her get dressed. Finally we're onto hair. I'm quickly putting a few curls in Cayla's hair when I feel something funny. It not only feels funny it SMELLS funny. It's butter.....from her mini bagel. Are you kidding me? The same butter which is heavenly on baked potatoes and toast, and makes chocolate chip cookies melt in your mouth, is repulsive in hair. Ewww! With no time to rewash her hair, I remember an old trick my mom taught me. To remove oil from hair, add baby powder. I glance around the bathroom and the only thing that even remotely resembles baby powder is Cory's Odor Eater powder for his work boots. The really sad part here is that I honestly contemplated it for about 10 seconds, but finally rejected it as being too nasty. Realizing no one is going to really know, I throw it in a french braid and stick a bow in it. Done! I won't bore you with the girls' final details but they included a panic attack over misplaced offering money, a fight about which coat to wear and a frantic search to locate Autumn's Bible. I truly wasn't angry about the morning, but I was incredibly frazzled. I'm relieved I had asked Cory before heading out to early prayer, to stop at the grocery store and pick up Sunday school snacks because I'm sure I would have been a basket case if I'd arrived at Safeway to find what he found...NO DOUGHNUTS! And they call themselves a bakery. Pshaw! He's fantastic at improvising so he found a collection of donut holes and cookies that $15.00 later I hope everyone thoroughly enjoyed! It's always frustrating when Sunday mornings don't go well, but after offering up a quick prayer for God to "create in me a clean heart....and renew a right spirit within me" I was openly receptive to the time of worship that lay before me, and once again it was a perfect Sunday.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Between Halloween & Christmas

I found this poem online and thought it was so fitting: Thanksgiving The year has turned its circle, The seasons come and go. The harvest all is gathered in And chilly north winds blow. Orchards have shared their treasures, The fields, their yellow grain, So open wide the doorway Thanksgiving comes again! -Anonymous When I was a little girl I didn't have an affinity for Thanksgiving. It was pretty much just a giftless holiday that took up space in between Halloween and Christmas. There was nothing fun to do because all the women were busy in the kitchen and ridiculous football games were occupying all the televisions in the house. As I've gotten older, and hopefully wiser, I have learned to love Thanksgiving. Although it is a holiday that's nearly overlooked, what with all the hoopla of Halloween and the commercialism of Christmas, the industry doesn't have time to focus on a holiday that doesn't generate much income, save a few plastic turkeys and cornucopias for centerpieces. I adore getting together with family, even if it is a bit chaotic with so many hands in the kitchen. I love watching my children play with their cousins while I get to visit with family I haven't seen in a while. Then of course there's something relaxing about sitting down to a meal that's both simple and elaborate at the same time. My favorite part is going around the table and mentioning things we're thankful for. No one has to stop and think about it; it's not a question that stumps anyone. We are truly blessed.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thoughts on the Election

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 16) Rejoice always, 17) pray without ceasing, 18) in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I'm very sad that John McCain did not win the presidency. I fear for our nation because I feel 'we' will get what we deserve. As much as I want to dig a hole and climb in until the Lord comes, I know that's not what we as born again believers are called to do. We're called to bear fruit (John 15:8) we're called to spread the gospel (Matthew 28:19-20) and we're called to imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). In 1 Thess. 5:18 (quoted above) we're told to give thanks. The selfish part of me does not want to give thanks. I'm torn between anger and sadness. I don't want to be consoled, but I know my consolation will come. When we're abiding in God's will and we do it His way it always works out for the best. "For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 Any thoughts on the election? Because after this I really want to focus on Thanksgiving. No, not the turkey part, but the part where I'm thankful to God that I still live in a free country, have the privilege of His Word, and have family and good friends. I am blessed!

The God Movie?

http://www.thegodmovie.com/index.php Have I been living in a cave? Because I have never heard of this movie. Below is a blurb taken from the website above: The movie that has been astounding audiences in theaters around the world is now available on a high-quality, feature-packed DVD. Own the taboo-shattering documentary that Newsweek says "irreverently lays out the case that Jesus Christ never existed." In response to this film 2 Timothy 4:1-5 sums it up best: "I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." Am I the only one who wasn't aware of this film?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fall Festival and Slideshow Below!

The girls had a blast celebrating with their friends (pics of their friends are cropped since I wasn't sure their mom would want them on the internet :) The Fall Festival was extremely well organized and there were just enough people there to make it fun, but not so many that it was crowded. They laughed their way through the cake walk, fishing for candy, the bounce house, the string maze, and a variety of other games, all the while collecting handfulls of candy. They came home and went to bed completely exhausted. All in all, I'd say it was a success!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin Carving Party with pics above!

Two posts in one day. What is this blog coming to?! :) Well, the pumpkins from the pumpkin patch are officially carved. We draped the table with painter's plastic and proceeded to heap pumpkin guts into the middle of the table. It was disgusting...but so much fun! I even stuck my arm, sans gloves, all the way into my pumpkin. Admit it, you know you're proud of me!!! The girls picked their designs, drew them on their pumpkins with a Sharpie and then Cory and I carved them. Autumn chose shapes, Cayla made a ladybug, Cory designed a traditional spider and I went for a gigantic daisy. Every year we take the pumpkins to my in-laws to greet the candy seeking visitors. And this year that's where we'll be after we enjoy a Fall Festival at our friends' church. I love holidays. Well, really I love any chance to break from the norm, get together with friends, and eat delicious foods that only come around once a year. If only I could figure out a way to make Arbor Day a holiday!!!

Little Boxes of Chocolate Joy

You know one of the things I love about this time of year? Little boxes of candy. They're the perfect size to indulge in without wrecking your caloric intake for the week (well, they are if you only eat one or two boxes). It's also the only time of year when you can find such small sizes in many of the candies. My favorites are Junior Mints and Milky Ways, but pretty much if it's made of chocolate I'm willing to try it.
So if you're celebrating tomorrow evening by going around collecting candy, attending a party, or sharing a meal with friends, enjoy your fabulous mini-sized candies. If you're kicking back at home because you don't celebrate Halloween, at least indulge in a few pieces of candy so the rest of us don't have to get fat all by ourselves :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Stitch in Time

So, the patterns have been measured, cut, fitted and pinned. Now all I have to do is sew them together. The girls Halloween costumes that is! Don't get too excited. They're not going as anything too complicated, and providing they turn out halfway normal (the costumes, not the girls), maybe I'll post some pictures. The girls are going to a Fall Festival with some friends at their church. I know they're going to have a great time. I remember getting excited to go trick-or-treating, or to attend a party on Halloween, but it's even better being the mom and getting my kids all dressed up, and watching them have a blast. OK so that's it. Tomorrow I'll be sewing the costumes, so wish me luck. I'm gonna need it!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Shocked!

On Saturday evening a group of us from church were having a discussion when the subject of politics came up (imagine that!). Being a constant wearer of my McCain-Palin 2008 button, someone commented that if everyone came into the church sporting buttons, we'd see a fair amount of the 'other' button as well. I was shocked. Although I personally know of a couple people who are undecided in this election, I figured they were the rare exceptions. I guess I just sort of assumed that Christians were naturally going to vote Republican in this election. I just can't understand how people can be torn when one of the candidates is clearly pro-choice and the other is clearly pro-life. Of course I'm concerned about health care and the economy among other things, but the pro-life issues are generally the deal maker or breaker for me. So this morning in Sunday school while taking prayer requests, a man raised his hand and said that he and his wife would like prayer concerning their votes in the election. Again I was shocked. I guess for me it's a no-brainer and I sort of expected that it would be for others as well. So color me all kinds of surprised!!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pray the Vote

With the future of this nation being decided in only 10 short days, I have decided to change the layout of my blog to represent my feelings. The verse at the top has changed as well as the colors and theme. This election has gotten me on my soap box more times than I can count. I've never had such a vested interest in politics as I have this year. Is it because I'm getting older? I don't think so. I see this as a pivotal election year. I am passionate about this election. I am passionate about my vote, and I am passionate about praying that God will receive the glory in this election no matter the outcome. If celebrities can 'Rock the Vote' then Christians need to 'Pray the Vote'. Are you praying about the election? The country? The future?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Here's the thing....

My niece Clare knows I love a quiz, questionnaire, or opportunity to blab on and on about myself, good or bad! So, she 'tagged' me with the task of telling 6 interesting things about myself, so here goes, although I'm not sure how interesting they are! 1) A normal thing: I hate sad movies. I refuse to watch a movie that has a sad ending, and will make me cry. Sometimes these movies sneak up on me, like "Steel Magnolias" which was touted as a comedy, but really wasn't. If I know beforehand that they're sad, I avoid them like the plague. 2) A reminiscent thing: When I was a kid I loved it when we went to the gas station because I secretly enjoyed the smell of gasoline. Mmmmm, petrol! Maybe that explains the loss of brain cells?! 3) A silly thing: I am the only person I know who can fold their tongue in half like a taco, and flip it over from side to side. Most people can do one, but not the other. I know, it's amazing! Don't hate me because I'm talented. I'd post pictures, but um....No! 4) A crazy thing: I have an unnatural obsession with acquiring bits of knowledge on every subject that I come across. I've even dubbed myself "the queen of useless trivia" because I always tend to know weird facts that most people could care less about. I have always admired people who speak with intelligence on any and every subject and I really want to be counted among their ranks. 5) A serious thing: Every night I pray with the girls, and many nights I audibly give praise to God for qualities like their beautiful spirits, sweet personalities, and the blessing I receive by being their mom and it ALWAYS makes my eyes sting with tears; everytime, without fail! 6) A sweet thing: I love it when Cory, the girls and I play dog pile on the living room floor. It usually results in me yelling that I can't breathe, or need to go to the bathroom....any ploy I can use to break free. I just seriously enjoy family time that gets us all together and lets us act silly. So, for those of you with a blog, 'tag' you're it, tell me about yourselves, and for those who don't blog, I'd love an e-mail filling me in all the details.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Candy Corn

In keeping with my love of Halloween I created a big candy corn pillow. I made the small one last year, so this year I gave him a big brother! I don't know what it is about candy corns, but I really think they're fantastic. Maybe it's because they're overtly symbolic of Halloween without being evil like witches and ghosts. In fact, I think I'll go upstairs and have some. I can.......I walked on the treadmill today. That makes it justifiable right?!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Priceless

Tonight was one of those low key, family oriented evenings that I love so much. Cory wanted some chocolate chip cookies so the girls and I baked some. But instead of using chocolate chips, we had a bag of these teeny tiny Hershey bars, so we made chocolate chunk cookies. They were delicious! If you stop by I'll give you some, with milk :)
Afterwards we lit the orange candles on the table for ambiance, pulled out the construction paper, scissors and glue and made Halloween crafts 'til our hearts content. We've all got our own paper chains, smiley spiders, pumpkins, and Pac-Man ghosts. The photo is a sampling of our work. We're pretty talented aren't we?!
The best part of course was just being together spending quality time with each other. I love a homemade evening!
Construction Paper: $2.00 at Wal-Mart
Glue Sticks: $.49 cents at Target
Safety Scissors: $.96 cents at Wal-Mart
An evening with my family: PRICELESS

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Perfect Pumpkin Patch!

Each year we excitedly await a favorite family tradition of visiting the pumpkin patch. We pick a beautiful day in October and head up to Walter's to take in everything the farm has to offer. This year the girls rode the Tractorpillar, slid down the huge slide, fed the baby goats, petted the overgrown farm dogs roaming the grounds, laughed at the chickens as they clucked their way to to the pond for a drink, and then road in the cart to go pick out their pumpkins. We found a big one for each of us to carve, and I had to have one of the little sugar pumpkins because well, they're cute! The owner was really sweet too because Autumn was holding the baby pumpkin while we stood in line to pay and he told her she could have it for free! We shared a big dish of huckleberry ice cream and purchased some flavored honey sticks before heading home. It was the perfect day and we can't wait to do it again next year!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Debate This.....

Once again, I couldn't catch the debate live, so I TiVo'd it. It wasn't nearly as fun as the VP debate, but that's because Sarah wasn't there and as you know, I am just so enamored with Sarah Palin. Anyhow, it occurred to me that while McCain may not do great things if elected, he's not going to bring us down. Obama is going to bring us down, and frankly, the ventriloquist's dummy (seriously, he looks like a ventriloquist's dummy) scares me. Did you ever notice when you were in school receiving letter grades that a bad grade hurt you more than a good grade helped you? Obama is the bad grade. That's it. No political tirade tonight.....I slipped off my soapbox!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Short! The post, not me

I'm only posting because it's been a week and I feel I need to say something, anything! I've had a lot on my mind. Besides my day to day responsibilities, I'm obsessed with the election and that's kind of been sucking up any leftover space in my brain. So, that's it! Say something witty in the comments section - I could use a laugh!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Last Summer

I didn't really mean to post the slideshow of the girls this past summer at the park. I was just playing around in photobucket, trying to figure out how to get my photos onto my blog and voila! Here's the problem with that. The next time I WANT to post pictures, I won't for the life of me be able to figure out what I did. Anyhow, I think I'll leave it because the girls with the bumper boats are just so dang cute!

Monday, October 6, 2008

This 'n That

Yes, I've been playing around with backgrounds again. I think this one is nice because you can read the text. I liked several other options, but the text was difficult to see. OK the colors are a bit odd for autumn, but it's pretty cute none the less! ----------------------------- Be sure to check out my new poll. Pretty much everyone knows I am terrified of leaving the country, but I was curious to see where other people might go if they had a chance to travel. It's on most people's list of things to do before they die. ----------------------------- Unlike my niece, I feel no need to limit my posts to once a day. I do well to post once a day, but don't be surprised if one day I feel wordy and I write multiple posts. ----------------------------- You know what I love? Pictures like this one. I want to be on that road. It looks peaceful and inviting. It's the stereotypical photo of a road in the fall. Beautiful! It's the type of road that invites a lengthy walk after a morning cup of coffee. Afterward I'm sure I'd want to go home and bake something. Yeah, it's that kind of road. ----------------------------- My right thumb has always popped out of place but it's never bothered me until now. Lately it's been very stiff and sore, so I asked the family Doc what the deal was with it and after explaining something really gross, he told me that I probably damaged it as a child, and now it's arthritic. As if I didn't feel old enough, now I find out I have arthritis! If there's any way I can milk this for all it's worth, I'm going to.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Politics as Usual

It's official! I'm old! I couldn't wait to see the VP debate, but knew I wouldn't be able to catch it live, so I Tivo'd it! It was delicious! Did you see it? There is just so much I'd like to say, but I will refrain because it's no secret what political party I align myself with. I will say this though....In MY experience Republicans are quite loyal to the party, while Democrats tend to be fickle. So I'm wondering, if heaven forbid, Obama becomes president, how long will it take before all of his supporters start to turn on him?! --------------------- Sarah Palin really does bear an uncanny resemblance to Tina Fey :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Busy = Lazy :)

First things first.....I added a new poll to the blog, but this time I only allowed 3 days to vote. The last one seemed to drag on and on. We didn't go to the fair this year, but we typically go and have a pretty good time. I love the way it smells! Sometimes when we're out and about in town I'll catch that smell in the air and I'll announce, "it smells like the fair." Of course I mean the food court not the cow barn :) You've probably noticed that I did not change my background. Well, I've got a good excuse. I've been uh, ah, well, I've been busy.....yeah, that's it, busy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ugly Blog!

Ok I know, the background is totally ugly, but after trying 900 of them I was ready to go to bed so I just picked this one. Expect changes SOON! My favorite one has a pumpkin and says 'happy haunting' on the side. I love it, except for that phrase. Grrrrr!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes!

This afternoon the girls and I were out running some errands when they noticed all the political signs lining the yards as we drove past. I figured it was a great opportunity to educate them a little about the upcoming election. I began by explaining the reason behind the signs, who the names were on them, and when the election would be held. I then proceeded to tell them about Republicans and Democrats. As soon as I mentioned the name 'Democrats', in unison the girls began giggling and said, "Democrats! That's a stupid name." Girls, I couldn't agree with you more!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Paperless Dream

I hate paperwork. Oops, hate is a bad word, I strongly dislike paperwork. No, I hate it! I am one of those people who abhors dealing with paperwork. I can remember watching Star Trek and dreaming of the day when our lives were completely paperless like they were on The Enterprise! So far it hasn't happened, but I have done my fair share to move the process along. I pay as many bills as possible online and anytime I have an opportunity to opt out of paper statements I do. In fact, just today I signed up for e-statement through my credit union. It will be heavenly.....no more gazillion page bank statements going unread (because I bank online) and sitting in a basket on my counter until I find time to stuff them into the file cabinet. I've also saved a website that should get me to the correct place to opt out of receiving unwanted phone books, credit card offers and a whole host of other junk mail that I'd just as soon not receive. I wish I could be a true northwesterner and say I'm doing it in an effort to 'go green'. But in reality, I don't care so much about that, I just don't want to have to deal with it. I'm sick of opening, filing, shredding and the like. If the mail doesn't exist then I don't have to worry about it. Just thinking about how many forests will be saved by not wasting so much paper makes me positively giddy. In fact, I think I can see myself turning green right now. Yeah right!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just for fun...

I've added a poll to my blog - it may move around on the page, but I'll try to keep it near the top/sides so it can be viewed quickly - Thanks Robyn for the suggestion! I can change the question and answers whenever I like, so some may be serious while others might be corny (like candy corny). I love polls and participate in them as often as I can. So the next time you're watching the news and they have a segment on how many Americans actually eat candy corns? Chances are, I participated in that poll to bring the numbers up :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Foot in Mouth!

It's a well known human foible, to open the mouth and insert the foot. It can happen faster than lightning can strike, at the most inopportune times, and even if it's been censored by forethought, much forethought. Fortunately it doesn't happen to me very often, but when it does, it's usually a doozy! Like the time I was at church camp in the 7th grade and I saw one of the older girls without make-up on and I said to her, "wow, you really NEED make-up." What I meant was that she looked beautiful with make-up on. Of course what came out was that she looked terrible without it! There are also those times when I carefully contemplate my next phrase. I think on it heavily, debate with myself, and over analyze my upcoming comment, only to open my mouth and have words begin flying out like a parabolic trajectory. Now I've done it! And once it's done it cannot be undone! Of course I can't un-say something I've already said! It's like the Running of the Bulls at Pamplona, or the space shuttle launch, or a moving train. It happened so fast it can't be stopped. So I try to back paddle...."what I MEANT was.....", or "it didn't come out quite like I intended." Either way, I'm figuratively sitting there with my head tilted back, jaw opened like a flip-top cap, and a size 7 Havaiana shoved halfway down my throat. It's really a beautiful picture! I wish it didn't happen, but it does. I'm only human, and if you're one of the hapless victims who has been, or will be, around me when I've experienced a bout of 'foot in mouth' disease, or 'word salad' as I've heard it expressed, don't worry, it's not contagious, and I just hope you'll have it in your heart to forgive me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Funny Little Petunia

Tonight the girls were getting ready for bed, and they had just finished brushing their teeth when I looked in the sink and saw several large toothpaste blobs. Here's what ensued next: -------- Me: "One of you needs to clean the toothpaste blobs out of the sink." Autumn: "OK Mom." (She then picks up the toothbrush and proceeds to clean the sink with the toothbrush when Cayla walks in) Cayla: "Eewwww, Autumn that's gross. You're cleaning the sink with your toothbrush?!" Autumn: "No I'm not, it's YOUR toothbrush." -------- I literally laughed out loud. Autumn is hilarious and always has us cracking up about something. It was just what I needed and was the perfect ending to my Monday!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday's News

On Sunday afternoon everyone within the sound of my voice knew that I was stuck between distraught and disgust over the recent news about Contemporary Christian Artist Ray Boltz coming out of the closet. I wasn't distraught or disgusted that he was homosexual as much as I was distraught and disgusted that he gave the secular world another reason to think Christianity is stupid and foolish. I'm really heartbroken because this news tarnished his testimony. His music was so captivating and his songs always told a story. I imagine his lyrics touched thousands of people too, but as my sister said, "that just shows the grace of God, that even in the midst of Ray's personal turmoil, He used his music to touch lives." ----------------------- In other news, after visiting my in-laws so Cory could troubleshoot their computer, we heard this obnoxious hissing sound as we stepped out of the car. At first I thought a neighbor might be using a pneumatic tool, but as it turns out, air was rapidly pouring from a slash in my tire where we had apparently run over a box knife blade. Oh goody! Now I get to spend a fun filled Monday sitting at Les Schwab awaiting the dreaded, 'sorry ma'am, we checked it out and your tire is beyond repair. We're gonna have to sell you a new one, but it's against our policy to sell one tire, so we're gonna need you to purchase all four.' Aaarrrrgggghhh!!! There's a silver lining in this cloud though......1) Chances are good we can get away with buying two tires because the other two are in good shape, 2) at least we were at home when it happened so Cory had access to his good tools instead of using the cheesy tire iron and jack the car comes with, and 3) fortunately it happened Sunday night instead of Monday because Cory's leaving Monday at 6am for a week long job out of town. I'm glad tomorrow's a new day. I know things are going to look sunny, even if it is still raining :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cold Season

Warning! Explicit content! Due to the graphic nature of this post, personal discretion is advised. Disclaimer: If you are currently engaged in meal consumption it is strongly advised that you completely finish before reading. I have a cold! It's not just any cold either. It's the Queen Mother of all colds. The head honcho! The Big Kahuna! It laughs in the face of other colds. If this cold were a truck it would have a Hemi in it! This disgusting crud has settled into my nose, head, chest, throat and pretty much everywhere except my feet, but who really knows?! My head is spinning and I'm having to hang onto counters and door knobs to prevent falling over. I keep having visions of those little phlegm blobs from the Mucinex commercials. You know the ones....those little cartoon phlegm-dudes that move their entire extended family into a person's chest and setup housekeeping. Currently one side of my nose is clear and open and I can breathe. The other side though, is so stopped up I can't even tell it's running until I feel something slimy trickle down my nostril onto my upper lip. Disgusting! So far my day has been amazingly similar to an infant. I woke up this morning, ate breakfast, then settled onto the couch to take a nap, although it was under the guise of watching a movie. I woke up from napping, ate lunch, contemplated another nap, but decided to blog instead because at least that somehow feels productive. I feel terrible. I can't even take care of my girls. They asked me to make them lunch and my response went something like this, "whatever you can make for yourselves, have at it. I'm not cooking." They probably ate Ding Dong's and chocolate milk, but I can't be sure and I hesitate to ask! I need a maid, and some NyQuil, and then I'm off to take a nap!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Slow Motion Monday

I had a horrible dream last night. If you talk to me long enough, you'll eventually learn that I tend to have very vivid, traumatic dreams. Last night I dreamed that America had gone through a total natural devastation (I think it was a flood) and there were a few safe spots provided by the French (go figure). I had the girls with me and we were trying to get to Cory. We finally made it to the very dark, underground French compound where we were issued a paper that gave us the right to get bread and water and a pillow to sleep on. I finally found Cory and I was just so relieved that the four of us were together again that I didn't even mind that we had all of our rights stripped from us and were no longer in a free country. What does it mean? I'm missing my family and we need to spend more time together? Or is it something deeper? So this morning we're moving in what feels like, slow motion. I left my bed unmade and immediately went to hug my children. I didn't care that they had left the caps off the markers they were using, or that they had wasted a ream (or so it seemed) of paper. I was just so relieved that they were happy, and safe, in our own home, and most of all.....FREE. I think today we're going to fore go all of our regular school work in favor of a history lesson where they learn the blessings of living in a free country. Even if it doesn't make a deep and profound impact on them at this age, I am going to start planting the seed!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Country Living

My mother in law invited me to a Barn Sale outside of town. It's a yearly sale at this fabulous farmhouse out in the country. There's numerous vendors selling everything from antiques, knick-knacks, homemade country crafts, to kettle corn and lattes. We didn't stay very long, but we did get a few ideas for some crafts we could make, like homemade aprons and totes, and I bought a really cute Halloween decoration, which is pictured at left. Isn't it adorable? Since I love candy corn I couldn't resist.
It was a little warmer than a typical fall day, but the air felt crisp and the sun was gorgeous. We had such a good time perusing the crafts, and it reminded me of the type of event that might be featured in Country Living magazine as a "don't miss" event for September. It really made me want to go home and sew or bake, or something else that I don't have a talent for, but thoroughly enjoy. It was a perfect way to spend a sunny, September afternoon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Coffee!

I'm sitting in my living room watching one of my favorite programs, "Unwrapped". If you've seen it, you know how wonderful it is, and if you haven't, it's a program on the food network that describes in detail how a product is made. Tonight they're talking about caffeine, and they're going into great lengths to tell the viewer about wonderful, caffeinated drinks. They started with chai tea which makes me gag, but now they're onto......coffee (or foffee as Autumn used to call it), wonderful, dark, rich, invigorating, coffee. So now I want a latte. There's just something fabulous about sitting in the warm sun, steaming cup of coffee in hand, and contemplating the rest of my day. Ahhhh. Is it morning yet?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Autumn...the season, not my daughter!

Yes, I am one of those conoxious (to borrow an old term from my cute-as-a-button nephew) people who loves to change templates. You're sure to see more in the following months, so please don't get upset when you show up and things are all switched around. Since fall is my favorite season, I figured it was only natural that I find some leaves and post them to my blog. There is not one single thing about fall that I don't like. In fact, I love pumpkins, crisp air, new sweaters, changing leaves, sunny mornings, cloudy mornings, apple cider, hot chocolate, the fall LL Bean and Lands' End catalogs, the start of the school year, candy corn, my mother-in-laws homemade chicken noodle soup that she makes during hunting season, harvest festivals (or Halloween parties if they're not held at church :) ...... I could go on but I've got work to do..... Happy Autumn!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Make Mine Chocolate

Well, since I can't serve my family chocolate for every meal, I decided to give this menu planning thing a try, so after perusing my kitchen for just the right combination of foods, I prepared the following ideas:
Monday
Roasted Turkey
Stuffing
Mixed greens salad
Rolls
Tuesday
Three cheese baked Rotini
Diced red peppers
Baby peas
Homemade country bread
Wednesday
Cheesy hamburger biscuit cups
Green beans
Thursday
Marinated, grilled flank steak
Steamed vegetables over seasoned rice
Friday
(Heavy appetizers - it's game night with friends)
Teriyaki pork tenderloin bites
Jalapeno cheese dip with fresh bread and veggies for dipping
Shredded beef taquitos
Orange chicken skewers
Saturday
Settle up the bets you won because I didn't follow through with a single item on this menu :)

Organized Schmorganized!

I love organization. I firmly believe that there should be a place for everything and everything in its place, and my main floor looks pretty good if I do say so myself, but my basement is another story. While adoring the "Pottery Barn" look, I am entirely too cheap to go out and buy a plethora of beautifully matched bins or containers, where everything can be perfectly placed and stacked neatly together. And even if I wasn't so cheap, there's always the odd shaped item that doesn't fit neatly in the containers, thereby sticking out like a sore thumb and ruining an otherwise aesthetically pleasing living space.
Today I tackled the girls' play room. A couple of years ago I did buy a dozen or so shoe box sized, see-through Sterilite containers with matching lids. They worked pretty well for a while, and even though I'm still using them, they're not exactly in the same shape they were when I bought them. It's tough to get my children to understand that the boxes are not chairs, step stools, or weapons. Needless to say, the boxes are cracked, but still functional! So once again I put toys of like items in the boxes, labeled them with my trusty label maker and set them together on the shelves.
There's still the peculiar little items like the Rubik's cube from a yard sale last summer, badminton rackets, the ever endearing, fast-food meal toy, and the boxes of games with MOST of the pieces, that don't quite fit neatly into an organizational plan, but at least they're stored in an orderly manner.
So, one room down and a couple more to go. My storage room is next on the agenda, but Martha Stewart I'm not, so as long as it's fairly tidy and I can actually find things, I figure I'm one step ahead of the game!

Friday, September 5, 2008

You Know What I Love?

Just a few things that are near and dear to me: 1) Baby animals. I love them in pictures, I love them in person. I'd really love to have a baby penguin, but somehow I don't think it would fare too well in our climate. 2) Granola! I always wanted to take a granola bar, crunch it up, pour milk over it and eat it like cereal. Now, thanks to Honey Bunches of Oats "Just Bunches", I can do just that. Yummy! 3) Unlimited long distance! Gone are the days of paying $.15 or $.20 cents a minute for a long distance call. Now, for a measly $15.00 a month, I can spend as much time as I like staying current on all the events going on in my friends and families lives. It's glorious! 4) Longaberger Baskets! Not only are they beautiful, they're incredibly functional, and with a collection in excess of 100, I have one for every need or occasion!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Political Take....

Is anybody else loving the Palin family as much as I am? Sarah Palin is not only beautiful, but she's got a good head on her shoulders and really is a breath of fresh air in this overly stuffy election year. I have had a great time visiting her official website, reading her bio and learning what she believes in. I think a vice presidential family that is SO down to earth would be such an asset to our country. It's perfect that they're not professional politicians. They're 'regular' people like you and me who pay taxes, raise children and live in the real world. McCain really made a smart move in choosing her for his running mate.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day

What a great Labor Day weekend. As opposed to sitting at home wishing we were doing something more fun, we decided to take a final summer vacation. We went over to the Seattle area to visit my sister and instead of doing our normal mall-shopping, we thought it would be fun to do 'touristy' type things. So we headed to Packwood for the world's largest yard sale (well, it's actually a flea market) on Friday, then on Saturday we visited Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, and on Sunday after church we went to Northwest Trek where we got the chance to get up close and personal with animals native to the northwest. Bison, moose and elk are really HUGE when they're just a few feet away!
The girls had a blast getting together with their cousins. It's always amazing to me how close they all are, and how well they get along. They're just as content to stay home and play with Legos as they are to visit the zoo and attend the same Sunday school class. As long as they're together, they're good! Here's a few snapshots of our crew over the weekend:
We're typically home bodies, but I'm glad we took the opportunity to branch out, take some fun photos and make some lasting memories. Now, if I only I had time to scrapbook :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Snap Out of It!

I really have a lot I NEED to be doing, but I'm procrastinating. School hasn't even started and already I'm in lazy mode! I need to snap out of it. Swimming lessons end on Thursday, then we're off to Silverwood. Monday's attempt at Silverwood got rained out and everything that could go wrong did, so we're going to try again on Thursday. Friday we leave for my sister's for our last summer hoorah-vacation before we get back into the swing of things. I need to get organized and figure out a daily school schedule because we're starting up on Tuesday the 2nd! Group class begins on the 18th and even though I'm teaching a class that I need to prepare for, I'd like to go into co-op announcing that we're on schedule and making progress! So my personal To Do list includes: 1) Planning a year long schedule for the girls' schooling 2) Preparing my teacher's lessons for co-op group class 3) Organizing and studying my TeamKid lessons for Wednesday nights at church. ------------------------------- I've been reading other blogs and feeling a tad guilty that I'm about the only person who doesn't plan meals for the week. The problem is, (it's not an excuse, it's a problem) that I can decide on meals, but by the time the evening rolls around and it's time to start cooking, I may not be in the mood to prepare the meal I've got planned. And I don't see this happening once or twice a month, I see it happening every other day, so it almost seems impossible for me to put it into action. There's also another problem.......I don't love to cook. In fact, most of the time I see cooking as a chore. I'd seriously rather clean the bathroom. There are people in my extended family who love to spend time in the kitchen whipping up elaborate menus, and trying new recipes, but I have a family of fairly plain eaters, and time consuming, exotic things probably wouldn't impress them anyhow. So how does one go about developing a love of cooking? If you have any thoughts or suggestions, I'm completely open!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to Basics

I love fall. It's by far my favorite season. It's not only about the changing colors of the leaves and the crisp afternoon air, it's the kick off for the holiday season. It starts just before Halloween and goes straight through Easter, and while I love fall, I REALLY love holidays. All of them! Anyhow, I digress. Even though I home school my children, I still get excited for the start of the school year. I love to go shopping for pencils, crayons, notebooks and brightly colored, washable markers! I also love to go shopping for new school clothes. (Basically, I just love to shop). So this brings me to the point of this whole post, that I recently began filtering through my kids' drawers and closets preparing them for the changing of the seasons. I discovered they have a ton of items that sit in their drawers and never get worn, as well as items they have outgrown. I used to be a minimalist. The girls would have several of each item they needed, and once it was ruined, faded or outgrown, I'd buy more. But lately I've gotten into this shopping habit where I can't pass up a good buy. Even if the girls have a dozen pink shirts, if I see one for a steal, I buy it. But not anymore. It's time to get back to basics. Drawers, closets and shoe organizers are going to be thoroughly scoured for items that do not meet my criteria. Anything worth saving will get put in the Goodwill box and anything else will get round filed! I'm tired of washing all the laundry and then being aggravated that it won't fit in the drawers. Yes, I'm grateful for plenty of clothing, but it's ridiculous to try to cram in the few items they DO wear with the dozens of items they won't touch! So, let the cleaning commence........right after we get back from Silverwood!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Antique Shopping

One of my favorite things to do is go antique shopping. Well, any type of shopping works, but I especially love to peruse items that others no longer have a need for. It's true one man's junk is another man's treasure. I especially love vintage linens. I don't own many, but I thoroughly enjoy pouring over hand stitched initials, delicate lacework and intricate details that have long since been replaced by simplicity, and straight tailored lines. I am going to make such a great old lady. My house will be filled with lacy linens and doilies, bowls of hard candies on my wicker coffee table, faded, framed collages of my great grand children lining my walls and a year's supply of Aspercreme safely ensconced in my medicine cabinet. I'll sip decaf coffee from pretty little tea cups and talk with my other blue-haired friends about the 'good old days' when gas was only $4.00 a gallon. And just in case anybody needs it, I'll still be sprightly enough to reach into my 'pocketbook' and produce a 'hankie'. Probably one with sombody else's initials that I found at an antique shop when I was still in my 30's, that I've been carrying around since the War on Iraq! Just off the Garland District here in Spokane there's an old, run down shopping area on Monroe that's filled with antiques and second hand shops. It's been a long time since I've been there, but I drive past it every day on the way to the YMCA where the girls are having a blast taking swimming lessons. Maybe one day next week I can convince them to let me stop and look around, even if it's just for a minute!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Revival?

As with most churches, there's always some growing pains, or just pains that must be endured. Right now I think we're suffering from apathy. People are not worshipping through tithes and offerings, they're not allowing themselves to grow spiritually and be blessed by leading sessions, teaching classes and just plain getting involved! It's so very sad to watch talent swirl the drain and get sucked down because we're just 'too busy' to serve God. I'll be the first to admit that teaching classes is a lot of work. Having just finished two years teaching Sunday school, and joining the leaders for "Team Kid" on Wednesday nights, I'll attest to the fact that it's not difficult, but it's work. Especially mental work. I don't love the idea of going in and dealing with behavior problems, or discipline issues, but I DO love the idea of getting to share Christ with the children. And that's why I do it. Sure I'd rather warm a nice metal chair in a cushy, adult Sunday school class while sipping coffee and taking random notes, but I honestly think I would be missing out on blessings that God has for me. In the last two years I know I have grown spiritually and it's not something I would trade for anything. God has really laid it on my heart that I may be the only opportunity some children have to hear about Him, and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the lights come on in a child's eyes when they truly grasp what Jesus did for him/her. He came to die, be buried and rise again that we may have new life in Him! When I get to see that light come on, it makes it all very worth it. Here's the lyrics to my new favorite song. Wouldn't it be amazing if it actually happened? "Revival" by Robin mark As sure as gold is precious and the honey sweet, So you love this city and you love these streets. Every child out playing by their own front door Every baby laying on their bedroom floor. Every dreamer dreaming in her dead end job Every driver driving through the rush hour mob I feel it in my spirit, feel it in my bones You're going to send revival, bring them all back home. Chorus: I can hear that thunder in the distance Like a train on the edge of town I can feel the brooding of your Spirit "Lay your burdens down, Lay your burdens down." From the preacher preaching when the well is dry, To the lost soul reaching for a higher high From the young man working through his hopes and fears To the widow walking through the veil of tears Every man and woman, every old and young Every father's daughter, every mother's son. I feel it in my spirit, feel it in my bones You're going to send revival, bring them all back home. Chorus Revive us, revive us Revive us with Your fire! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDQ1bfG2SWo You can watch the video here, with pictures of downtown Spokane!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Acid Reflux

For the past several months I've really been suffering from acid reflux. I think it started when we were in the process of buying our house (March '08), and it mostly happens when I get stressed out, or if I eat sugary foods on an empty stomach. I have to eat sugar with meals. I guess I could omit it from my diet entirely, but that's absurd. I mean, if you know me at all you know that simply is not going to happen. So last night we were at my in-laws playing baseball with them and the girls and it was like a million degrees, so they came up with this idea to have sundaes. And not just any sundae either. These were served in authentic, old-fashioned ice cream parlor, glass dishes (yes, it makes them taste better). Blissful Dreyer's vanilla bean ice cream was laden with homemade chocolate syrup and caramel sauce, then smothered in whip cream. And since I hadn't eaten ice cream yet that day (because you know I eat it every day) I decided to have one. I totally didn't think about my reflux, until nearly 15 minutes after it was devoured! OUCH! If you've ever suffered from reflux you completely know what I'm talking about when I say it's like you swallowed a golf ball and it's stuck at the bottom of your esophagus, with little flames shooting up around it. If you're one of the fortunate ones who's never dealt with it, let me assure you, it's that bad. I mean it doesn't rank up there with gall bladder disease (which I've also had), but it's pretty miserable. I have to practically live on Prilosec to combat it. I took one last night, and another one tonight. You'd think I'd just give up sugar, but it's not always sugar that causes it, remember I mentioned stress too?! I'd love to give up stress, but with two rambunctious kids and a mortgage, it's pretty much here to stay! Alas, tonight the golf ball has shrunk to a modest gum ball and the flames have subsided, but hopefully tomorrow I won't have to deal with it at all. I need to remind myself of Philippians 2:14 "Do ALL things without complaining or disputing."

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Barn

So, my husband woke up this morning at 7am (that's really sleeping in for him) and masked off the windows and got busy spraying the house with 'barn red' paint and it looks great (at least I think it does). On a side note here, I was telling my sister how I wasn't sure about the red/white combination because I didn't want it to look like a barn. So she said, "well, your last house was the latte stand, so this can be the barn." I decided I actually like it, so, behold "The Barn". This picture is the front of the house and while we still have to paint the trim (white) and get the shutters on (they'll be black), I just can't get over how much it improved the overall look of the house! Also, when we get the back deck put together we'll snap a few pictures of the back of the house. For those of you who have seen it, you'll probably agree it makes a huge difference. If you notice in the mustard-colored 'before' picture, we've done a lot of additional work like removing sloping rain gutters, tearing out rotted wrought iron, and removing that hideous carpet from the stairs. Whoever came up with the idea to put carpet outdoors should have their head examined!
Tomorrow he's painting the garage, and then we'll be able to start on the trim work. I can't wait for the whole thing to be finished, complete with my American flag and new house numbers. It's going to look soooo country. See, I told you he was amazing!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Loving Summer

Today was one of those great days that makes summer quite possibly the best season of all. Oh who am I kidding, fall is still my favorite. Anyhow, our neighbor and her two girls invited us to go to the movies with them. They had tickets so it didn't cost us a thing! We saw "Speed Racer" which was actually a pretty cute flick with a good moral. A few unnecessary words for a kids movie, but all in all it was fun and FREE!!! The girls of course had to have popcorn and soda, but the theater has these kids packs with a small soda and just the right amount of popcorn and they're only $2.50. Can't beat that, so I bought them each one!
After our movie we ate lunch at Wendy's before running some errands. My favorite part about Wendy's is the Frosty!!! I basically go there and choke down a semi tolerable hamburger just so I can have the ice cream. They've added a new Frosty too.....vanilla. I don't get into all those other new Frosty's with the mix-ins, I prefer the traditional flavor, and the new vanilla. I bought the girls one and while Cayla ate all of hers, chocolate of course, Autumn only had a few bites. I'm always trying to convince her that she and I should share since we both love the vanilla but she can be pretty indignant when she wants to be. I posted a couple pics of the girls enjoying their ice cream. Are they not the cutest little things?? After coming home I talked to my mother in law who wanted to pick up the girls after work and take them home for dinner, while Cory and I had a few hours together. I readily agreed! Now most people would love an evening with their spouse, sans kids, but we're so practical that it's hard to come up with something inventive. So our dinner consisted of leftovers from two different meals this week (romantic, I know), and then we headed out the door to buy exterior paint! Ah, paint! I cannot wait to transform our house from mustard yellow, to well, anything else really, but we picked a great color called 'barn red'. It's a nice country/brick red (we hope) and it's so popular they sell it in 5 gallon buckets for a GREAT price! Hopefully in the next few days or so I can post some pics of the house with it's new paint! My grandmother used to say, "any old barn looks better with a new coat of paint" and while she was talking about women who should wear make-up, I figure it aptly applies to our new house!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

About That 'To Do List'

Today is one of those days where I literally have a list with a dozen things on it that I need to accomplish ASAP! And they're not even fun things, they're little ridiculous things like calling the Dr. to confirm an appointment, setting up church related meetings, paying a bill, etc. etc. In fact, there's so many little things that it's hard to get my normal housework done. So I think, 'I'll just fluff these clothes in the dryer one more time while I sort the mail, and then I'll fold them' But while sorting mail the phone rings three times with people adding things to my 'to do' list, the kids need lunch, I pass the kitchen and decide to quickly tidy up, the dryer buzzes so I re-set the timer AGAIN for more fluffing, one of the girls needs a band-aid, the dog needs to be let out (and we don't even HAVE a dog :) Anyhow, the saga continues... In fact, the only reason I'm adding to my blog is because I was already sitting down here at the computer getting my bill straightened out with the dentists office, so I figured 'might as well kill two birds with one stone. Add to my blog and pay the bill.' Did you see what I did there? I'm so capable of multi tasking (no, not really). Anyhow, the basket of clean laundry that has been fluffed a million times is beckoning me to be folded. Off I go......... p.s.....did I mention the bills I was sorting are still sitting on the kitchen counter, half sorted? But of course I don't have time for that now, I have to fold laundry!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Vacation?

I'm not sure I would call VBS a vacation, but we did have to go out of town to attend it, so I guess it's a semi vacation. Anyhow, do you ever need a vacation after vacation? I have just been so tired, but have precious little time to get things done. There's still laundry to do, errands to run, a trip to Silverwood to plan, swimming lessons for the girls, Dr.'s appointments, not to mention church activities we're involved in. Did I mention I STILL have not unpacked from our trip? Basically it's just clean clothes to put away because I did laundry at my mom's before we left, but they won't put themselves away! I also really need to get together with my group class teaching partner and get our class prepared for September when home school co-op starts up again! This has honestly been the busiest (and most rewarding) summer of my life. It's really been a relief to have a million other activities to occupy my mind besides how I look or how clean my house is (or isn't :) ------------- In other news, I am sick of all the election coverage. Specifically, the Obama coverage! I'm already 'done' with him, and I think it's only the beginning. I've never seen a candidate get so much celebrity hype! Also, what's with the press on the John Edward's related scandal? Can you say "WHO CARES?" I knew you could! I have GOT to stop watching FoxNews! I love it, but it does have a lot of election news (who knew?!) ------------ One final rant here.... I told you I like to blab! Has anybody been keeping up with that lady in the news that had her DOG cloned? Apparently her dog Booger (nice name) died and she was so distraught she shelled out $50,000 to have him cloned. If you watch the live feed it's hilarious because she says while holding one of 5 cloned puppies, "God has sent me 5 more mini Boogers."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Home Renovations


For those of you who have seen my new house and know what the 'before' pics looked like, I thought I'd post the 'after' pics of the pantry, master bathroom, and laundry room. It's exciting to watch our house transform from an ugly duckling into a swan!
It's been so fun for me because I've never had a home with a dedicated laundry room or a walk-in pantry. Not to mention, we've never had a private bathroom in our bedroom. This has been such a fun house. Sure it needed a lot of work, but the potential was just amazing, and exactly what we were looking for! I'm so grateful for Cory's carpentry skills (the bathroom was the down to the studs, and the laundry room had concrete floors/walls).

Painted Nails

This is the type of afternoon I love. The weather is mild. A bit overcast, but only in the low 70's. We enjoyed a long nap, and then got a few things done around the house.
I decided it was the perfect time to paint my toenails (gotta look pretty for summer ya know?!). And don't mock me, that does count as getting things done around the house :) As soon as the girls saw me heading to the table with my basket of pedicure supplies they immediately wanted their toenails painted. As we scanned through the perfect shades of rosy brown and pale pink, the girls decided on their colors......bright orang-y red for Autumn and an illustrious purple for Cayla (that color was given to me, I did NOT buy it). Not being in the mood to argue, I set about painting their itty bitty toenails. It wasn't an easy task as some of their nails are smaller than the tip of the brush. As it turns out, kids don't stay still while you paint. They wiggled around so much it kind of looks like I had an epileptic attack while painting. Ultimately I was able to camouflage it with a clear top coat, but it took a long time (oh like 10 minutes), which might as well be 10 hours in the world of kid dom!
Anyhow, check it out above. Should we be foot models or what?!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I just got in from the Tri-Cities about an hour ago. It is so good to be home. I'm kind of a home body as anybody who knows me can attest. I spent an hour and a half on the phone with Juli and we had a great chat. That's one of the things I love about her. No matter how long we go between conversations, we can always pick up as if we've been chatting every day! Cory surprised me by having my pantry re-shelved, and my laundry room walled in, complete with linoleum, new shelves and an updated electrical panel (yea - no more blown circuits). I should go away more often because each time I come home he's done so much to the house that it's not even recognizable. Too bad we're not rich because at the rate he's going he'd have this whole house re done from top to bottom in less than a year! Well, I'm off to pick up some items for Autumn's 5th birthday party. It's 1:30, the party's at 5:00 and I have not done a single thing to get ready. No gifts are wrapped, and I haven't even unpacked my car from my trip!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Bittersweet

Well, today was the last day of VBS at my mom's church in Richland. It was a wonderful week and I loved getting to catch up with old friends, and see familiar faces that I haven't seen in years. It's so amazing to see everyone's spouses and children and take note of how much all the kids have grown. When VBS is over it's always a little bittersweet for me. I'm relieved that it's over, yet at the same time I'm a little sad that half a year's worth of effort, collecting decor, thinking over the theme and planning have come to an end. We put a lot of work into the week and it's incredibly tiring but also very rewarding.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

S L O W

Ummmm.....still learning exactly how this works!

New!!!

OK so I just created this new blog and while I have no idea who may or may not read it that's not the point. I love to write, so this will be a great venue for me to get my thoughts out of my head and onto paper, well sort of like paper!