Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend in Pictures

Thanksgiving weekend is, hands down, my favorite weekend of the year!

It's pie bakin', 

(A little sugar sprinkled on the crust this time. A little bubbling over action too. Ooooo)

potato mashin', (Pioneer Woman's recipe. Just look at all that cream cheese! YUM!!!)

(FYI - DO NOT, under any circumstances, wrap your arms around your spouse, who is elbow deep in a hot pot mashing potatoes, and kiss her. She will likely forget what she is about, rest her arm on the side of the hot pot, and get a wicked burn! Just sayin')

Christmas light untanglin',

fresh air breathin',

game playin',

(Whoa! Where did the focus go??)

turkey wrapped in bacon cookin',

(Oh yeah!!)

Mom's Mandarin orange salad scarfin',

snow fallin', temperature droppin',

Christmas craftin', (look what I made!!)

Christmas tree gettin',

children watchin'!!!

(Hold those little hands folks!!)

wagon ridin',

Santa spyin', 

(There may have been a little mommy of big girls cryin'. My girls said they are too old for getting a photo taken with Santa. -waaaaaaah-

goofy actin', (But not apparently too old to do this. Go figure!)

tree decoratin',

junk food snackin',

Again with the focus. -snort-


Yep, favorite weekend of the year! -sigh-


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Plant 'em now

I usually plant Amaryllis bulbs too late.

I get beautiful blooms, but almost always a week or two after Christmas instead of during Christmas. I'm hoping I'll have better timing this year.

While you can purchase Amaryllis bulbs individually from your local garden center and plant them in your own pots with regular potting soil, I really like the convenience of a bulb kit. I purchased this kit at Target. It's by Smith & Hawken.

The kit includes everything you need to plant your Christmas Amaryllis, except perfect timing. -just sayin'-

A pretty pot, one Amaryllis bulb, and a hockey puck!!

Drop that hockey puck in a bucket. OK it's not really a hockey puck. It's a dirt puck. 

Add water according to the kit instructions.

Now watch that hockey dirt puck soak up all that water and VOILA! You now have the perfect amount of soil in which to plant your Amaryllis bulb. Easy Peasy!

Place 3/4 of the soil in the pretty pot. Set in the bulb. Add the rest of the soil. Be careful to leave the top 1/3 of the bulb above the soil.

Water the bulb well then don't water it again until you see that it has begun to grow and the soil is dry.

Boom! Done - in only 15 minutes! Thank you Smith & Hawken!! 

Now anywhere from 3 to 12 weeks I should get a beautiful bloom. I'm really hoping for 5 weeks!! Please please please!

Since I was in the planting mood...

I started Paperwhites too.

Now these I do purchase individually at my local garden center, Bachman's to be exact. At 89 cents each, you can't go wrong. They too will bloom in several weeks, usually 8 to 10. Perfect timing to enjoy some blooms in the winter months!

Paperwhites do not need soil. Simply fill a vase, pot, or even a jar with marbles or stones. I found this little planter at a garage sale. Cute isn't it? And perfect for Paperwhites!

Set the bulbs on top of the marbles.

Add water until the bottom only of the bulb is submerged. Set the bulbs in a cool dark place for about a week or until the roots begin to grow. 

Once the roots begin to grow into the stones, set the pot in a sunny room.

Paperwhites have lovely white flowers that have the most divine smell. Good for getting one through a long cold winter! Course with the temps in the 60s in Minnesota right now it's hard to believe we'll have a long cold winter, but it will come, when we least expect it, and it will be cold. -bah-

It's a nice idea to plant second set of Paperwhites in a couple of weeks, then you'll have more blooms when the first ones are spent.

This one already has some nice root growth!

Unfortunately Paperwhites can grow too tall sometimes and begin to tip over. Don't fret! Just clip the stems and place them in a vase with water. They'll last a good while and still smell A - MAZING!!

So if you haven't done it already, hop to it! You don't want your Christmas Amaryllis to be late!! Like mine, for the last 5 years. -sigh-


P.S. I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Nursery Rhyme...All Grown Up

One, Two, buckle my shoe today I turn 42. 

Three, Four, shut the front door!

Five, Six, whoa that's a lot of candle sticks!

Seven, Eight, more wrinkles when I smile now. Isn't that great?

Nine, Ten, whatever. I'm just going to lie and say I'm 30 again. 

OK 32.

FINE! I'll say 35. -sigh-


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Few Photos and A Bad Rhyme

I love a full moon

that's no lie

as well as corn stalks against the blue sky

I love a morning fog, I cannot deny

and trips to the orchard

so I can make apple pie!

Mmmmm apple pie.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Rather Lovely Weekend

I had intended to post yesterday about our weekend, but I spent the day shopping with my mom and I didn't get to it.

Yes, shopping with my mom won out over posting on the blog. I apologize. But we had such a good time. She bought a pair of earrings. I got a new scarf. We started the morning with Starbucks and later had lunch together and well, I didn't get around to blogging about the weekend. I shirked. I'm a shirker. 


We kicked off our weekend Friday evening with friends who came into town from South Dakota.

Our friends, Tom and Jean and their sons, who are so very grown up now, (why do kids insist on growing up so fast??)  arrived with beer and wine and dinner in hand! To be precise they arrived with beer and wine and the ingredients for dinner in hand. Jean, who is an amazing cook, then proceeded to make the most delicious butternut squash soup.

The Husband was skeptical at first, he's not a fan of squash, but when he learned it was made with thick cut bacon... Yep, Jean had him at bacon! It was excellent!

Dinner and games and laughing with very good friends, it was a lovely way to start the weekend. 

We then had a full Saturday with Miss Emma Bean's volleyball tournament.

She and her team started out playing the only team that beat them the whole season. They were so nervous.

They won! Whoop whoop!

It was a very exciting game. The girls could not have been happier!

Then they lost to the next team. -bummer-

Not so happy.

We had a little chat about being a good sport and continuing to have a positive attitude even in the face of disappointment.

Then they lost their third game. 

I was so proud of the whole team. They handled that second loss with much more grace than they had the first one. In fact in the midst of that third game they were laughing and continuing to encourage each other. Winning is great, but sometimes more is gained from a loss. 

And they still got these cool medals.

Sadly Miss Emma Bean's put her foot down and will no longer permit me to post any photo where she is making funny faces while hitting the volleyball. -sigh- Those are my favorite. -ho hum-

Tired from a late Friday night with friends, a full day of cheering and playing volleyball Saturday, we snuggled up with a toasty fire in the fireplace Sunday night and watched  Once Upon a Time, it's the family's favorite show. 

Anyway, it was a rather lovely weekend, but now it's Tuesday and we're into another week and I'm so excited for Thanksgiving, but annoyed that stores are already playing Christmas music! As that has nothing really to do with this blog post I think it's time to sign off now. 


Thursday, November 8, 2012

God is Faithful

In September I shared with you that we, the Husband and I, had been struggling with the loss of some income.

We've had to tightened up the budget and we've discussed and searched for other avenues to meet our financial needs. As a stay at home mom, my thoughts immediately turned to - I need to get a job! Like right now! Probably should have done it yesterday! 

The Husband did not feel the same way. His heart says our family still needs me here, at home. He asked me to wait. He believes my getting a job should be our last course of action. He asked me to be patient and allow him to do all he could to work this out first. How could I do anything other than honor such a request? A good man that one! Our prayer has been that God would bless our desire for me to continue to be at home for our family.

Please know, there are many women who decide to work outside of the home, out of preference or need, I'm making no judgement on their choice. The Husband and I decided, before we had our children, that our desire was for me to be at home with them. We knew it might not be easy financially to raise a family on one income, but that was our choice. 

Needless to say, the Husband and I have wrestled through this time with completely trusting God's plan for our finances. It's not easy is it, knowing how to manage through difficult times. It would be way easier if God just gave a quick heads up. He could say, "Hey, just so you know, hard times are coming. They'll last for this amount of time. You should handle the situation by doing... And then I'm going to solve it by..." He doesn't do that. Well not exactly anyway.

The Bible does however tell us that we will have tough times, (John 16:33) we just aren't given the specifics. I kind of like specifics. Then I can be ready! It doesn't work that way though does it?

What we can trust is that God is fully aware of what we need. (Matthew 6:25-34)

God is the giver of good gifts. ( Luke11:9-13) Sometimes He gives us gifts we didn't know we needed. Like an opportunity to deepen our faith and trust!

God will supply all our needs. (Philippians 4:19)

Oh does He ever! My friends, it's been a long time, but the Lord has indeed restored some of the work the Husband has been without for so long! We are deeply grateful! Along the way God has shown us that He is faithful. He hears the cry of His people and He does not leave us in our distress!

Times of trial can grow our faith and deepen our relationship with God if we will continue to rely on Him. I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I know that choosing to walk with the Lord day by day has given us great peace and we rejoice that He has answered our prayer and given the Husband this work!

My friend if you are in a place that is difficult. If you are struggling to trust. HOLD ON! Continue to give it to the Lord! He will show Himself faithful. He must. It is His character and His promise!


Monday, November 5, 2012

It's Not Easy Being Teen

I could see it in the way she held herself, all rigid and tense, her eyes flashed with her bottled up frustration. Clearly it had been a day.

I ventured to ask, "How was your day Miss Sofia?" That was all it took to open the flood gates.

The rant began. Its force seated me.

I shall briefly sum up for you.

Always so much homework! Her arms gestured in frustration.

So many tests today! And still more homework! Her face grimaced.

Some people are so mean! Her heart ached.

Some days it's so difficult to get to class on time. She feels rushed.

Boys are stupid! (the cute one, the one who flirts non stop, that one told her about a date he had with someone else. stupid boy!) She's upset.

I listened as my girl poured out the frustration. 

By the time she was finished she began to laugh and apologized. "Sorry about that."

I told her it was perfectly alright. That I will listen anytime. That I was sorry it was such a tough day. 

She was feeling like herself again.

Well, to the extent that teenagers can feel like themselves.

They go through a lot don't they?

They're constantly bombarded with expectations and demands. 

Be smarter. Be prettier. Be thinner. Be better at sports. Be happy. Be responsible. Just have fun. Have it all. Do it all. Be popular. Obey your parents. Follow your dreams. Fit in. Be your own person. Dress right. Talk right. Act cool!

It can be very confusing for a teen to sift through the list and know what is reasonable and what is unrealistic. Not to mention the struggle with their own inner thoughts and feelings.

Am I good enough? Am I smart enough? Do my friends really like me? Am I really lovable? Am I pretty enough? Thin enough? Am I enough? Am I cool? Did I say the wrong thing? What if I embarrass myself? Do I matter?

Then just to mix things up a bit their hormones are going insane, their brains are still developing, and they're hit with the reality that in just a few short years they'll be adults! Talk about minds blown!? It's a wonder they make it through the day.

For these reasons I will daily remind my girls that I love them. I will listen. I will be patient and encouraging. I will embrace and enjoy these teen years. Most importantly, I will do my best to fill them up with truth. 

I want them to know...

They are Fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14) Not only are they beautiful, but they are precious in God's eyes!

Even though they're still young, they can make a positive impact on the world by loving the Lord. Let no one despise your youth, but be an example, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity! (1 Timothy 4:12) And that is cool!

Even in the face of trials and struggles, through God they can still have peace as well as overcome. "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world!" (John 16:33) Yes, they can indeed do all things through Christ who gives them strength! (Philippians 4:13)  If God is for them, who can be against them! (Romans 8:31b) They do not take on life alone!

They do not have to worry or fear or wrestle with uncertainty, for the Lord will give them a spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind! (2 Timothy 1:7)

And above all, they will make mistakes and it will be alright. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy! (Psalm 103:8)

It's not easy being a teen, but being wrapped in love and armed with truth can make a world of difference!