Thursday, October 28, 2010

Random Friday List (and some 5QF!)

1.  Yesterday I was wearing Valentine's Day socks.

2.  I decided it was time to fold the overflowing basket of clean socks.

3.  I spent 1 hour folding 135 pairs of socks.

4.  Then went to the dryer to find my pajamas.

5.  No pajamas.

6.  But I found more socks.

7.  Lots of them.

8.  I wanted to cry.

9.  I have done an entire Random Friday post on my bad housekeeping habits.

10.  I have no life.

Ok...5QF!  Want to join?  Head on over to M's blog and join in!  Even us once-every-2-month-sock-folders can do this!

1. If you could be a fly on any wall, which would you choose?

Jillian Michaels.  I'd love to see what she's like behind closed doors. I bet she has a chocolate stash.

2. Do you budget your Christmas shopping or just get it done without budgeting?

Budget, baby!  Each gift recepient has an allotted amount of money saved for them.  I'm a great gift giver (one of my dominant love languages), and I have an entire year to shop, so I do pretty good on the budget.  I keep remindng myself that if I overspend on one person, I have to take from someone else.  It also helps that we keep it very simple (immediate family only).

3. What is the craziest fad diet you have ever done?

Oh, I don't know.  There was one when I was a kid (seventh grade, if I recall correctly)- there was this meal replacement shake that you could drink, refrigerate (for pudding) or freeze (for ice cream), but it tasted like dookie, and gave me an upset stomach. Yes, my body image issues began at an early age.

4. Is there a TV show that you have seen every episode/season of?

Yes, and I hate to admit it.  Gilmore Girls.  I've never seen an episode air on TV.  I've only seen them via Netflix.  When I was first pregnant with C, we (A and I) were quarantined to the house because I was exposed to meningitis. That was during our free trial to Neflix.  I watched a LOT of Gilmore Girls.  I got hooked.  The sarcasm just speaks to me.  Oh, how I love sarcasm.  Oh, what a sad existance I lead.
5. What one song always pulls at your heart?

I always go back to the old-school hymns.  "Beautiful Savior" always gives me goose bumps.

Contemporary songs?  "You're in the arms of the angels" by Sarah MacLaughlin.  I will always remember this song.  My best friend's daughter passed away from a freak accident on Halloween night twelve years ago.  She was 2 1/2 years old.  This was the first song I heard on my car radio as I left the hospital that night.  Everytime I hear it, I think of sweet little Natalie in her pink bunny suit.  What a sweet little angel.

The post in which I enlist your help...

If you've been here before, you know I have a 101 list.

If you haven't seen it before, it's on my right side bar. 

Feel free to scroll down to view the item of which I write.

It's ok...go now.  I'll wait.

Ok, now that you're familiar with it, you'll notice that there are a few in bold type.

These are outdated or no-longer-applicable points.

I'm no longer wedding coordinator at church (hoorah!), and D has asked me not to do a blog for his business (privacy issues, and he already had an extensive photo album and reference know, for the high-maintenance customers).  In addition to that, our gubernatorial election is Tuesday.  Other than a sign in our yard and some chit chats with friends, I haven't been that involved.

So, here's where I enlist your help.

I need ideas.

What else can I put on that list?

They don't have to fit into the category that they are currently in.  I can move that around.

But I need ideas.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A tripod, a timer, and a prayer...

Our family loves fall.

We have an awesome church behind our house where we can take some family pictures on some neatly manicured lawns.

Each year, we've had a friend or family member take the picture.

This year, it was last minute, and no one was available.

So, out comes the tripod.

Thank goodness C is old enough to explain "smile at the camera!"

It was windy, and sometimes overcast, but we made it work.
Cause that's just how we roll.

So, without further adieu, here's the best of 'em:

And on the bridge:
(a little overcast here...I'll lighten it later)

For only taking 5 timer pics, I thought having 2 good ones was pretty good odds.

Pics of my boys:
(no timer, of course)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Failure, redemption....and *perhaps* a little bit of over compensation

Remember my epic fail post?

First of all, thank you for the encouragement!  Y'all are great.

Normally, I can hold my own in the kitchen.

I can cook complicated dinners, but baked goods is usually were I shine.

Like my mother, baking is therapeutic to me.

So, when this showed up:
Ugh...I got frustrated!  I'm not used to failure in the kitchen!

So, I realized I made a few mistakes.

First, FREEZE the cake balls for at least 12 hours before covering.  It makes a huge difference.
Second, get the colored candy melts.  I skimped and purchased the white (less money for more ounces), and tried to add the color...which is what made it harden up.

So, since I still had 2 sets of cake balls in the freezer, I thought I'd give it another go.

And this is what I came up with:


While they're not the prettiest, they got the job done, and I am no longer a cake-ball flunkie.

 So, then I had left over melted candy melts, so I dug out our pretzel bag and made a batch of these:

And the night my bundt cake failed, I decided that cupcakes would be a safe bet.

So, I whipped up a batch of these:

And, while I'm not really a competitive person, I'm happy to say that A's class was the one that won the money for the most cake walk donations!!!    I'm so proud of all the mom's (and dad's) that helped out!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This is the verse keeps popping up this year...

I will praise you,

O God,

For I am

fearfully and wonderfully made.

Your works are wonderful. 

 I know




Psalm 139:14

Friday, October 22, 2010

Random Friday List (and some 5QF!)

1.  My last wedding coordinator gig is this weekend.

2.  It feels SO good to unload something from my overstuffed plate.

3.  I told my husband today that it is an utmost priority that I get a nap on Sunday afternoon.

4.  He laughed.

5.  I'm not sure if that's a good sign, but I think not?

6.  I got a totally cute headband at Target a few weeks ago.

7.  I didn't have the courage to wear it until yesterday.

8.  I considered it "trendy."

9.  I don't consider myself a "trendy" person.

10.  I received a lot of compliments, so that made me feel a tad better.  :)

OK!  5QF!!!  If you'd like to play along, head on over to my friend's blog and join on in!  Seriously, it's totally easy.  Even a monkey's uncle could to this.

1. Who is the better cook, you or your spouse?

Me.  D could be good, if he put his mind to it...and didn't multi task so much.  When I just had A, Dave was cooking me dinners for the first week.  I asked him for a grilled cheese sandwich.  When it came, it was charred on one side and totally raw bread on the other.  (sigh).  Points for effort, though.
2. How often do you talk to your mom?
Um, once, twice, three times a week...depends on what's going on in our lives and if we need to talk something out.  Fortunately, she lives close enough that the boys and I get out to see her 3-4 times a month on Saturdays.  Love that.
3. Are you adventurous in the kitchen or stick to the recipe?
If its the first time I'm doing a recipe, I will stick to it.  Then I'll tweek a spice or something here...estimate something else there...My ultimate goal is to cook like Rachael Ray.  She measures things in "splashes" "palm fulls" and "dashes."  I think that's so awesome!
4. Is your second toe longer than your big toe?
No.  And I didn't even know until my friend had a baby that the "mortimer toe" is a dominate gene.  Things you learn....
5. Do you dress up for Halloween? (Bonus question: What will you be this year?)
I dress up as a mom.  :)  And for kicks this year, I'm going to dress up as a mom-who-has-it-all-together.  Instead of the frazzled-crazy-mom that I've been dressing up as for the past 364 days.  :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Epic fail

There a fall festival at A's school this weekend.

One of the games is a Cake Walk.

First, I must praise whomever thought of this game.

My husband is forever grateful.

Anyway, there's a contest between the classrooms to see who can donate the most to this cake walk.

While I'm not competitive, I do love to bake.
emphasis: love

So, Tuesday night I had a rough night, I pulled out the Kitchen Aid.

I wanted to make a fun spice cake recipe in the shape of my pretty rose bundt cake pan.

Only, when I went to invert the cake, 1/3 came out and the other 2/3 stuck in the pan.

Then the remaining 2/3 started to come out in chunks.


So, I tried to make some lemonade from lemons.

I remembered seeing some jack-o-lantern cake balls:

So, I crumbled, mixed, rolled and let them sit in the fridge overnight.

Today, the time came to make my adorable cake balls.

This is what I came up with.


Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm a horrible, opportunistic, dishonest wife.

But I'm filing this under "it was for his own good."

Let me preface this by saying I love my husband.  I love almost everything about him. 

I love the fact that he's dutch. 
And being dutch makes him extra frugal. 
He uses things until they are unusable. 
 Socks are worn paper thin. 
Work shirts have holes and worn seams.

Sometimes people think I'm dressing a raggamuffin.
Except I have nothing to do with how my husband dresses on any day.

Except Sunday.  I help him with that.

Ok, onto my terrible wifedom.

You see, my husband has this...this....well, I guess you can call it a pillow.

It's been his pillow since he was in 5th grade.

Which makes that pillow...well, very very old.
Old enough to drive, vote, and enjoy an adult beverage.

It grossed me out.
I've been known to make a crinkled nose or two during sheet change day.

Over the past 9 years I've threatened to change it out.

"you wouldn't dare." he'd say.

Well, one night I managed to find my spine, and switched his pillow out with an extra one we had in our room.
He came to bed.
I laid there waiting for an eruption of "WHERE'S MY PILLOW?!?!"

He fell asleep.

So, I left Nasty on the ground where I threw her during the switch.
I pushed her under the bed with a brush of my foot.


"Is this my pillow?  Do you know where my pillow is?  Is this my pillow?"

Me:  (pretending to be mostly asleep, except my heart was beating so hard since I'd just been caught) "I don't know, honey.  Go to sleep."

That was two weeks ago.

For two weeks, I've been sleeping with Nasty under my bed.

So, today:

I threw her away.

That's right.  I pulled her from under my bed, and bid Nasty a final farewell.

Said the horrible, opportunistic wife who now has a very clean bed.  :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Random Friday List (and some 5QF!)

1.  I'm a big bloggy slacker this week.

2.  But I hit my new audit goal for the second week in a row.

3.  I have "pumpkin pie" flavored creamer in my coffee.

4.  This last week has been dubbed "apple orchard week."

5.  Pictures to come.

6.  C. is home sick from school today.

7.  A. is off school today.

8.  Today I'm praying for patience.

9.  I'm hoping for sanity too. 

10.Never hurts to have lofty goals, right?

Check out Mama M's blog to play along.  Really....its the easiest one out there!!!

1. What is your favorite Halloween candy?

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  Gluten free gluttony.  Yum.
2. Do you fold your socks?

I do.  And yes, Kate....I'll be updating the list with my sock drawer clean out soon.  :)  I'm kind of afraid to go there.  You'll see why when the post goes up.

3. What is something that you wish you had been warned about?

How everything you eat does something to your body.  Minerals, protein, additives, etc.  But I'm headstrong, and even if I had been warned I'm not sure if I would have heeded the warnings.  I'm the type of person that has to learn the hard way.  (Hmmmmm, and I was just wondering last night where C. gets that personality trait from....ugh).

4. What is the most significant difference between you and your significant other?

He is type A.  I (most definately) am not.  He's a little OCD.  I'm not.  He follows rules.  I break them.  He respects authority.  I challenge it.  He's quiet and reserved.  I'm "out there."  He's firm, I'm fluffy. 

5. What are three words you would use to describe yourself? (And, just for fun...if your significant other is around, ask him/her what 3 words they would use to describe you!!)
Fun, Crafty, impulsive.
the Mr. said, " this for a blog thing?"
And then he said, "giving, loving, loyal"

Monday, October 11, 2010

Be still my heart

A few weeks ago, I was sitting at the dinner table talking to D about some upcoming expenses and planning in the budget for them.

They're insurance premiums, property taxes, homeowners insurance, quarterly taxes, etc.

I started to have a little pity party for myself in my head.

Wondering if I'd ever have a day in my life when I didn't worry about money.

Toward the end of the meal, I said outloud, "Wouldn't it be nice to just have more money?"

Without skipping a beat, my husband said, "Yes, but our lifestyle wouldn't change.  It would be nice to be able to give more away to people who need it."

This, my friends, is the man I love.

His servant's heart, his simple living, his love for charity.

Be still my heart.

I'm so grateful for him.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Can you guess....

.........who we're rooting for today?


Friday, October 8, 2010

Random Friday List (and some 5QF!)

1.  I have been working my tukus off all week.

2.  I'm praying about balance....and (hopefully) achieving it.

3.  Today is "special person's" day at C's preschool.

4.  He chose me.

5.  I'd be lying if I said it didn't score some lovin' points with me.

6.  I've made some interesting observations about people over the past few weeks.

7.  I'm still processing them, but I'll share when I'm on the other side of it.

8.  Tonight is family/pizza movie night.

9.  I have no movie for them to watch.

10.  Apparently, a trip to the library is in my near future (free movies there!).

Ok....onto M's 5QF.
1. What do you listen to while driving?

A bit of everything.  Radio,ipod,  kids fighting, kids reading, kid (A) getting sick, the loudness of my know, all the fun mommy things.  :)

2. What is your least favorite thing about Fall?

Nothing is my least favorite.  I love it all.  Really, I do.

3. What does your dream house look like, inside and out?

Ummmm, ask me in about 5 years, and I'll send you a picture of where I'm living.  :)

4. Would you ever own a minivan?

Yes.  I laugh at people who say, "I'll never own a minivan."  It's just a vehicle, not an identity.  Pish.
5. Do you wash new clothes before wearing them?

Not for me....unless the store smelled whonky....or I got them at a garage sale or something.  From the store?  Not usually.  For the boys?  Yes, almost always.  I'm not sure why the double standard...but it is what it is.  :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

34 Years/ 34 Blessings

Today is my birthday. 

And since I didn't get to living 34 years by myself, I thought I'd do a blessing post.

The 34 things I'm most thankful today are:

1.  Dave.  Can't live without him.  Actually, I could (if you want to get all technial about it)....but thankfully, I don't have to.

2.  A.  Awesome kid.  Kind, loving, cuddler, eager.

3.  C.  Keeps me on my toes.  Total blessing to our family.

4.  Molly.  Crazy dog.  Smelly farts, but she's a mommy's girl.

5.  Fall.  I love crispy weather.

6.  Honey Crisp Apples.  If you haven't had one yet, I highly recommend one.  If you need to go to the store (right now) to get one, that's fine...I can wait.  Go, go'll thank me for it.  Yum.

7.  My mom and dad.  I'd be lost without them.  (Happy Birthday tomorrow, dad!)

8.  My in-laws.  For making life fun, and raising an awesome husband.

9.  For the lack of beer in my house.  Totally not my decision, but I'm grateful it is the way it is.  Prayers answered.

10.  For the addition.  (this includes breathable air, room to move and door handles)

11.  Door handles.  This really deserves its own number.  I've spent 5 years in a house with one door handle- the exterior back door.  Every other door had a knob or handle.  Yes, a knob or in NO moving parts....or locks.

12.  Being Lutheran.  Grace abounds.

13.  The school my son is at.  We love it.  Best decision ever.

14.  Car pools.  Making the school decision a little more bareable in January at 7am.

15.  D&J.  This is my husband's construction company.  Going strong through the recession.

16.  My bestest bestie, Gina.  She knows me better than I know myself sometimes.  We go back to 9th grade.

17.  New friends I've made over the course of the past year or so.

18.  Melody.  She has the sweetest heart.  I'm glad God put her in my life.

19.  Kristen.  An awesome friend.  A great accountability person.  Great faith walk.

20.  MOPS.  Awesome mommy-God filled-outlet.  Some of the women in this group have touch my heart and made life long marks.

21.  Jeanie.  For nights of drinking and talking.  For low-maintenance high-loving friendship.  Love it.

22.  My alternative doctor.  So glad I found them (him and his nurse who is also his wife).  They found answers to the causes of my ailments, not just treating my symptoms.  I'm not a fan of medical band-aids.

23.  Being almost done Christmas shopping.  A little each month doesn't hurt as bad as a big hit in November.

24.  My Cricut machine.  Making Christmas crafts (and any other crafts) so much more fun.

25.  Kathy.  For a great honest fun filled friendship.  Our family circles overlap a tad.  Love her.

26.  Reading time.  Quality time spent with both boys on my lap.  My most favorite time of the day.

27.  Great neighbors.  It's fun to feel part of a neighborhood.

28.  Our small group.  Close knit.  Family.

29.  Settlers of Catan.  Most fun board game ever.  It's a must play.  Cross between Monopoly and Risk.

30.  Our garden.  I love tilling the ground and watching nutrients grow.

31.  My job.  It's wonderful to have an extra way to make money.  Although, it does have a fair share of headaches and turmoil learning how to balance....its also a challenge worth overcoming.

32.  Massages.  Great chance to unwind.  Wish they were free.

33.  Prayer.  This year my prayers have changed a bit.  My relationship with God is changing...growing deeper.  So are the prayers.  It's awesome and interesting at the same time.

34.  Contentment.  Getting older has given me a new contentment in my life.  Caring less about what others think.  Not caring much about status symbols, etc.  It's very peaceful and freeing to be focused on other things in life than the pursuit of "stuff.".

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Picture story: defined. Part 5.

Back to the picture story!

See this picture?

Well, it's my desk phone.

It's the phone on my soon-to-be-old desk.

What do I do?

Well, I work with numbers.

And I work from home.

Really, being able to work from home has been a blessing and a curse all at the same time.

I'm working constantly on finding balance.

Kids, work, house, spouse, God, me...

There's just not enough time.

There's not enough of me to keep everyone happy.

When I work hard, the kids and the house falter.

When I act like the mom and wife I think I should be, well, I really get yelled at from work.

Hearing often that "you're best isn't good enough" is really hard to hear all.the.time.

Is it my Internet connection?

I don't know.

I seem to be putting in tons of hours and tons of stress, with small returns.

I only get one chance to mother these boys.  Am I doing it right?

I'm already farming them out to others...

But I did it.

I got a definitive (minimum) amount of things I needed to turn in every week.

I got them done.

6 weeks in a row, actually.

I've hardly talked to my kids, and I'm stressed to the max,

but I did it.

Let's hope that I can find balance, happiness, and still have enough left over for my family.

Picture story: defined. Part 4.

Part 4 of our picture story definiation is a longer one.

The night before our 9th anniversary, we had a pretty heavy storm come through.

The rain wasn't so bad, but the wind...oh, the wind.

We lost power at 10pm, and didn't get it on until the next day at 5pm.

That morning, we woke up to this:

Which, incidentally, is a close up of this:

Yep, part (read: half) of our lovely shade tree had fallen onto the branch below it.

Which also sits right over our play set.

This is our wedding anniversary, mind you.

The day without power.

So, I didn't want to cook. 

The boys had free kid meal coupons from the summer reading program, and I had a coupon, and I had left over scrip certificates, so I loaded up the boys and left D. home with a chainsaw.

We came home with dinner. ( I spent a total of $4.17 for four people...had to interject that in there!)
And dined on the picnic table that D. made for me for our 5th anniversary (the symbol for the 5th anniversary is he made me a table).

We gave the boys a bath and put them to bed.

Just in time for the lights to go off again.


So, we hauled out the flashlights and candles....again.

I worked on an upcoming MOPS craft:

(yes, by candlelight)

Then, I was bored, so I pulled the candles into the addition and put together the second chair by candlelight.

Once completed, D. joined me in the addition where we sat for a few hours. 
In our new chairs
In the empty addition.
Talking by candlelight.

It was the perfect anniversary night.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Picture story: defined. Part 3.

Ahhh, yes...Part 3 of our picture story is simple.

This kid:

Keeps me very busy.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Picture story: defined. Part 2.

Where did we leave off in defining our picture story?

Oh yeah, the chairs...

See this kid?

My eldest.

He's in first grade.

And when school starts, so do the fundraisers.

And if your the president of PTL, and no one else volunteers to chair said fundraiser...

...well, it kind of falls in your (read: my) lap.

All I have to say is thank goodness for awesome friends who are also Administrative Assistants at the school who are willing to throw a little mercy my way and help me out.  Thanks, Pati!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Random Friday List

1.  I stayed in my pajamas until 1:30 yesterday.

2.  I'd love to say it was because I had a fantastically slothful day.

3.  Nope.

4.  The window treament referenced in my previous post is coming together nicely, actually.

5.  I took last night off to sleep, though.

6.  Tonight's not looking good as we have social plans.

7.  Perhaps by the weekend, the boys will be moved into their new room!

8.  I'm going "craftista crazy" getting wall hangings ready to go on the addition walls.

9.  How many pictures of your kids is too much on a wall?

10.  Because I don't want my living room to become a spooky shrine to my off-spring.