Monday, February 28, 2011

Plea to spring

Winters can be long here in Minnesota, and this winter has been a doozie! I'm sure the official snow fall total is over 500 inches of snow since November—give or take a few inches! (Have I mentioned that I am prone to have occasional fits of exaggeration? Not now. On occasion. When I am extremely frustrated. Maybe. It could happen.) 

The landscape has been white for far too long and I am ready for a change of scenery!!! 

I need spring! 

I need roses!

I need lilies!

Give me daisies!

I want to see these again!(their name has escaped me right now, but I need to see em!)

Please spring! I miss you and NEED you to get here! Quickly!!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

I will let go

I have been raising my girls, with Jason's help of course, for nine and three quarters, and thirteen years respectively. Lately I have become painfully aware that there are more years of parenting behind me than there are ahead of me. I've begun to wonder, as the girls are moving at lightening speed toward they know how much they are I doing enough to prepare them for the challenges of being an I missing I living a good example...have they been listening to what I tell they there too much wax built up in their ears so that can't hear what I'm saying? Sigh. It's heavy stuff.

Now is the time while parenting, more than ever before, when my knees will meet the ground and my voice will rise to ask the Lord to watch over these precious girls. I pray that Jason and I will wisely teach the girls the way that they should go, so when they are old they will not depart from it.( Proverbs 22:6) We want them to experience joy, and God's blessings and have compassion for others! 

I pray that when the world tries to tell them they are not pretty enough, smart enough, fast enough or successful enough, and sadly the world will, they will KNOW the truth...they are fearfully and wonderfully made, and precious to God! (Psalm 139:14) Mom and Dad have never said "you are wonderful" because we are supposed to! It's truth!

And I pray the girls will learn to call on God in times of trouble, so that He may deliver them. (Psalm 50:15)

Although I may want to hide them away and keep them, all to myself, I will, with my left hand, pry away the fingers of my right hand and I will let go. If I don't, I will never get the joy of seeing all that God has planned for them. Plus I know, they will always be in His hands!

Thankfully I don't have to completely let go today! While they ARE growing up, they are not ready to leave us yet and there is still work to do. Lord help us!


Friday, February 25, 2011

My day in the sun

That's it! I've decided that I want to be Lilo today! I want to do all the things she usually does and she can do all the things I usually do!

So today I am going to lay in the sun like this. Lilo will get the groceries.

And when the sun moves I will move to lay in the sun like this. Lilo will do the laundry.

Then, when I get tired of that, I will move again and fall asleep in the sun like this. Lilo will dust and vacuum.

I began to reconsider being Lilo for the day when I remembered that it means going outside to...I don't think I need to explain further.

Then I remembered I'd get to come back inside and lay down in the sun like this, and I decided I could live with...outside! Lilo will help the girls with their homework.

If anyone needs me today, just look for the sunshine, that's where I'll be! Actually, don't look for me, Lilo will take care of it!!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chicken, chickpea, and pesto salad...yum

I enjoy finding new recipes in magazines and trying them out on my family. It's fun to try something new and when a recipe is a big hit, like the time I made Ratatouille and the whole family raved about it, I feel like a super hero!

Thank you to Jason's coworker for creating my super hero alter ego! This is exactly how I picture myself when I'm trying out a new recipe.

Recently I found a recipe for a chicken, chickpea, and pesto salad. The picture looked so tasty I had to try it. The rest of family are not big salad eaters, so I was going to make this recipe just for me! It seemed perfect for a weekday lunch.

For the first time I purchased a rotisserie chicken. I had learned from watching cooking segments on various TV shows that a rotisserie chicken saves precious time—already cooked to perfection for you—and that they are delicious. Of course I had to taste as I cut up the chicken...oh yes, delicious! I couldn't believe I'd never bought one before!! 

Per the recipe instructions I shredded some of the chicken breast and tossed it with some thinly sliced celery and sliced English cucumber.

Lookin good!

Then I drained and rinsed chickpeas and added a handful of them to the other ingredients.


The finishing touch was to add basil pesto, a squeeze of lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.

It was such an easy salad to make, and it looked just like the picture in my magazine!

I took my first bite and that's when my bubble burst! I didn't like it. I tried to like it. I really tried to like it! I ate half of it before I gave up and tossed the remainder into the garbage! It was a disappointment! But hey, rotisserie chicken is really good! 


Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Apparently I like bugs. I have discovered an inordinately large amount of photos of bugs in my archives. Frankly, once I got past the involuntary, creepy bug shiver from just thinking about bugs, I realized I actually find most of them fascinating! Hence the many photos.

I have a fondness for moths. This particular moth emerges from it's cocoon with a huge swollen body and wings that appear much too small. Within minutes the fluid that has the moth's body so enlarged is forced into the wings, causing them to expand to a more proportionate size. COOL! Unfortunately, I only have photos of the giant body, tiny wings stage.

I'm amazed by bees. Pollination, Flowers, Vegetables, Fruit, and HONEY!! Enough said.

I really like the praying mantis. It eats the bugs that eat my flower and vegetable gardens! I think it's safe to say that it is one of my favorite bugs! 

I welcome all dragonflies in my gardens!

Butterflies are simply beautiful! I am constantly in search of new plants that will attract them to my yard. 

I have no idea what this bug is. I didn't even take this photo. It must have been taken by one of the girls. This bug totally creeps me out!

Alright, so I don't like ALL bugs, but I do think most of them are incredibly interesting. 

Dang! I really hope that last photo doesn't give anyone bad dreams!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fair weather friend

It began Sunday. A blizzard that was expected to drop another 16 to 18 inches of snow on us. I was so excited! The girls didn't have school Monday and we were going to get to enjoy a cozy snow day at home and to top it off Jason had brought work home in anticipation of the snow storm so he would be home Monday as well! WooHoo

True to expectation Monday was a grand, winter day of playing in the snow with friends,

and warming up with cups of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and sprinkles—I am convinced that it's the sprinkles that make hot chocolate taste so good!

It was also a perfect day for all of us girls to polish our fingernails.

We wrapped up our grand, winter snow day snuggled by the fire watching a video. Sigh...winter, what a delight and yesterday was a pleasure!

Today however, my sentiments are not quite the same as yesterday. Roads are a mess and my garage floor is once again sloppy and wet. The piles of snow that had melted out of view last week are once again so high I can not see as I back out of my driveway. My entryway had finally dried out and was clutter free but once again it's an obstacle course of puddles and boots and soaked mittens and hats! Sigh...winter you are a nuisance and a pain!

Forgive me winter for my fickle attitude. It's me not you! Actually, it is you! Winter, you have overstayed your welcome!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Better than a mansion!

Ten years ago Jason and I decided it was time to move. We liked the house we were living in but it was a little small for our growing family.

We found this house and hoped it would be a good fit for us.

It has two stories (good), a yard that is big enough to accommodate both vegetable and flower gardens (very good), but it needed some work (not good)! We did not want to buy a house that was in need of remodeling. Having done that in our previous house we had had our fill. But, there was something about this house.

Once we moved in the house began to reveal that it had many more issues than we realized; the floor drain backed up, a tree that had had it's roots cut when the previous owner put in a patio fell over onto the roof of the garage, the paint that had been sprayed onto the siding—to give the house better curb appeal—was too thick and didn't dry properly and began to peel a year after we moved in, tiles came loose from the bathroom floor, sadly the list went on and on. 

We became very discouraged with the house a few years after we purchased it. All of the work the house needed and the updates we wanted to make overwhelmed us. It was bad news!

Now comes the good news. I know you are giving me that cockeyed, questioning look wondering if the house has caused me to lose my marbles! Rest assured I still have most of my marbles! A couple years after moving into the  house we became invested in our neighborhood church where we have built wonderful friendships and have been encouraged to grow in our faith in the Lord. We have also become involved in our local community as Jason has coached the girl's soccer teams and we have held small cookie sale fundraisers in our front yard. We have good neighbors and have made wonderful friends.

One of those friends is Amy. She and her husband and children live across the street from us and have become very dear to our family. 

Our kids have become the best of friends. They hang out, ride bikes and even on the rare occasion bicker like siblings. They are four peas in a pod. It is a joy to watch them grow close to each other.

Amy is funny, creative, kind and loves my children like her own. She helps me with carpooling and has been a wonderful encourager and friend. We get to walk our children to and from school each day and we get to pray for them with an incredibly faithful, God loving, group of women. We get to sit on the porch in the summertime with our husbands and sip Cable Cars while talking and laughing and watching the children play. Our families have even vacationed together and we still like each other!!!

If you had asked me eight or nine years ago what caused us to buy our sad, in need of so many repairs house, I would have said "I don't know what we were thinking." The big picture was not in focus at that time. If you ask me today why we bought our sad, in need of so many repairs house, I would tell you "God had better plans for us than we had imagined for ourselves." 

Our house is still in need of much work, slowly but surely we are making improvements, but because we live in this house, in this neighborhood, our lives have been richly blessed with good gifts. The big picture has begun to come into focus. We intended to find a house, God intended to give us the gift of a home where friendships, love and joy are abundant.

I still hope to be able to remodel our kitchen and bathrooms. It is an annoyance to put up plastic in the winter because our windows are so drafty I get that wind-blown hair look if I stand too close to one on a windy day. But I would not, if given the opportunity, trade the gifts I have been given because I live in this sad house, for the most beautiful mansion on earth!

Now when I become discouraged I remind myself of the many blessings God has given me because I live in my sad house. And I will no longer call it a sad house because when a family is as blessed as we have been because of living in the house they live in, it can only be called a happy home!

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above... James 1:17


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Finding a photo of me!

The other day Jason suggested that I add a photograph of myself to the blog. I agreed that this might be a good idea since it's friends and family who are currently the only people reading my blog (and I love them all for it!!!) and it's possible that they have forgotten what I look like since they saw me last. So, I went in search of a super cute photo of myself to post—for their sakes not mine. After all they're the ones who will have to look at it every time they check out my blog and I would really, really like them to return!! It would be a bummer if a bad photo of me chased anyone away!

During my search, I ran into a problem. I am typically on the wrong side of the camera. You see, I am the photographer in the family. 

Although I didn't find many photos of just me, I did find several that include me. It is traditional for us to take family portraits in which Jason holds the camera as far away from himself as possible and the rest of us squish in as close  to him as we can. Since it is Jason who takes these photos—his arms are the longest—I get to be in them! These are always my favorite photos of our family. 

They are fun because you never know what you'll get, or miss as the case may be. Sofia really does have a chin! I swear!!

OOOO this is a nice one. The only thing missing is Emma's tooth!

This is a good photo too! I like the composition! I really like that the hair color I payed for looks so much like the girls hair color that it looks like it must be my natural color!!

Well what do you know . . . a photo of just me . . . or that's all me . . . all of my face anyway.

This one is just silly and I thought it would be fun to share!

I guess I look acceptable enough in these photos to share with everyone. However, if any of these photos would cause you to never return to the blog let me know and I will immediately have it removed! Because as I said I would really, really like you to return!!! PLEASE!


Friday, February 18, 2011

And Lilo gets a bath!

This was the expression on Lilo's face when I told her she looked a bit unkempt and needed a bath. I avoided bringing up her increasing doggie odor!

This was the expression on Lilo's face when she realized I wasn't kidding about her need for a bath and I intended to give her one immediately.

This was Lilo bravely facing the music and hopping into the tub.

This was when bravery flew out the window!

Once free of the bath Lilo began her "you can't catch me" mad dash through the house. Thank goodness she doesn't realize that the "you can't catch me" mad dash should take place before the bath. Let's keep her in the dark shall we!!

She ran . . .

and she ran . . . 

Until it suddenly occurred to her that no one was chasing, and DANG she was already bathed!

That's when she finally settled in for a blow dry! 

I told her it wouldn't be that bad!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ho Hum Day!

Yesterday was a no good, very terribly, extremely unbearably ho hum day!

Some of you are nodding your heads with understanding while others are making that cockeyed, questioning face that says you have no idea what I'm talking about. I'll explain.

A no good, very terribly, extremely unbearably ho hum day is a day in which I feel like I CAN NOT bear to look at the same four walls another minute!  It happens mostly in the late winter when yucky weather keeps me cooped up in the house. Add in several days this month at home with a sick child, and a couple of days without a car because it was in the repair shop, and it becomes A LOT of being cooped up in the house! Ho hum!

I've learned that ho hum days are a common affliction suffered by stay-at-home Moms, of which I am one. I am blessed and glad to be at home for my family, but sometimes it becomes a little more "at home" than I'd like. There is only so much laundry, bathroom cleaning, dusting and vacuuming a person can take!

I acknowledge that ho hum days are not reserved for stay-at-home Moms alone. Others definitely suffer! Even Lilo is not immune. She has definitely felt the ho hums! Just look at that face.

That is a ho hum face if ever there was one.

Even Zonkey looked a bit forlorn yesterday.

Just look at that sad face. 

Oh please who am I kidding? His happy place is on Emma bean's bed and he could stay there forever and be absolutely content! Good Zonkey!

So, what did I do you may wonder. There is only one way to deal with a no good, very terribly, extremely unbearably ho hum day. You gotta blow the pop stand that's got you feeling cooped up!   (I mean leave it for awhile, not blow it up! Just to be clear!)

I called Jason (the husband) and invited myself to go to lunch with him.

We soaked up some sunshine as we walked from his office to a great Irish pub where we had the most wonderful fish and chips. I love good fish and chips!

We also ate some incredibly delicious, beer battered onion rings. Love those too!

Lunch was followed up with a bit of window shopping as we strolled back to Jason's office.

That is how I cured the no good, very terribly, extremely unbearably ho hum day!