Saturday, January 29, 2011

I Love 2 Play With You

It has been a while since I've taken time in the middle of the afternoon to sit down and do a page. This morning we got the house picked up, and although I could still think of several things that I could have been doing around the house, I thought a day of relaxing sounded kind of nice. Here's the result:

Journaling: "Days when it's just you and me, you are always asking me to play with you. Truth is, I usually have a to-do list a mile long, and I have to make an intentional choice to stop for play time. But truly, what do I have to do that is more important than giving you time and attention? And I always enjoy myself when I stop and take time to play."

(Click here to view full credits)


What a Little Time Can Do

One year ago today, we were processing the information that the plant in Michigan would soon be closing. We had no idea what the future held, no idea what would happen with Lucas' job, and no idea where we would be in a month, let alone a year.

Now a year later, I am astounded as I look back on the past 12 months. Crazy what 12 little months can do.

The move from Michigan. The sale of our house. The (slow and determined) recovery from the sale of our house. The job at Corporate. The travel. The time being separated because of work. The adjustment to this community. The news of another relocation. The new job in Indiana. And now the approaching process of selling this house and buying yet another one. Wow.

While all of the facts and things that can be seen by others are amazing, what has been most valuable to me have been the changes that have happened on the inside. Our family has grown closer. Lucas and I have grown closer. The kids have begun to adjust and mature. We have seen beautiful changes in Isaac's behavior and responses. And my personal relationship with God has deepened and matured in immeasurable ways. These are the elements of the past year that I absolutely love and value above everything else. All the circumstances are just that - circumstantial, but the intangible changes are substantial. So worth all the mess and chaos that we've endured in the past year.

I'm amazed at what a little time can do. Or, what God can do with a little time.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Myth Busters

This post is to dispel the myth that has somehow taken shape that dares to imagine that, for even one moment, I live in some bizarre and perpetual state of perfection. This idea makes me laugh - like laugh out loud - but still I hear it often in comments and underlying tones of conversations.

No, my life is not perfect (although I do love my life very much... I have most definitely learned to love imperfection). No my house is not always clean. No my children are not always well-behaved. All myths.

And here's the evidence of the day. While flipped upside down and crawling around on the floor searching for one illusive Lego piece, I couldn't help but admire the current state of my kitchen floor in all its messy glory. And the funniest part of it is the sweeper that is sitting not ten feet away, propped up in the corner, going totally unnoticed (obviously).
I might be able to scrape up enough for tonights dinner if I really tried. That might save me from having to cook. :)


Through My Eyes

I woke up this morning (at 8:00, thank you very much 2-hour delay!) and lay in bed for a moment just thinking. I could hear my kids playing. The cat was sleeping on my legs. And I thought to myself...... "I feel like putting pictures on my blog." Yep, true story... that was really one of my very first thoughts this morning. I don't know what's wrong with me... I just go with it.

I was thinking of all of the pictures that I've taken in January, and how few of them have actually made their way to the blog. Well, as there are so many of them, I doubt I could even get half of them posted... but I could get quite a few if I would just take the time.

So this morning I sat down and went through my January pictures, and I picked out a few (yes, 'few') that I felt really give a sense of what life is like around here every day. So here you go.... life, as seen through my eyes...

Sebastian and Lilly.... he LOVES this cat. He loves it when she sits on his lap and when she lays by him at night. Since we've moved here, though, he is afraid that she doesn't like him as much any more. So he was super happy this day when she just came and sat on him while he was watching tv.

I like the cat too, although not as much as Sebastian... especially when she does dumb stuff like try to lay and sleep on the back of a chair (a brand new chair that was given to me as a gift and that I've been wanting and waiting for for a loooooonnnng time) that is all of 2 inches wide. Seriously cat, it's not working. Give up. I pray for the day that she gives up. She's nuts.

Meagan was super excited that her breakfast banana had a Donkey Kong sticker on it. What else is there to do but stick it on the palm of your hand where it is least likely to remain sticky. She is also a nut.
Part of every day is after-school pick-up. I go, and stand in the freezing cold snow and wait... and wait... until finally all three of my children have made their way out of the building.
I love this boy. But this year I am really noticing that he is much more aware of being watched... do you know what I mean by that? I mean, when kids are little, they'll do whatever they want to do, no matter who is watching. They don't care, as long as they're having fun. Well, Sebastian is aware of others watching now. He is much less willing to let go and be silly. He is usually super serious, like this:
He and Meagan got tired of waiting on Isaac, so they went off toward the playground.
Finally.... Isaac.

Days when Meagan stays home are always interesting... as in, full of invention... and usually mess. This day she used some crates to set up an office in my bedroom so she could play near me while I was cleaning.
Isaac and his Army guys he got for his birthday. He gets SO intricate and detailed when he sets this up to play. I love how much he puts into play time.
She's a super hero. She has a cape. And big muscles.
Sebastian and Isaac both love to watch Daddy play games. I have never figured out why they don't pull up a chair and sit. But they just stand there. For long periods of time. I don't get it. But apparently they do.
This picture cracks me up. Lucas playing PS3, and all three kids on the couch with their DS's. This is a typical Saturday morning for us.
She is Elizabeth Swan. They were watching Pirates. And you can't watch Pirates without a full-out costume, apparently. Isaac also felt inspired by the movie. Although I have yet to figure out WHAT his costume is... Looks a lot more like Star Wars than Pirates to me. But whatever makes him happy.
Maybe the blurriest picture ever, but I *love* it. I took this just before Lucas left to go back to Indiana. :(
Remember I just told you how Sebastian is always so serious these days? That's what makes these two pictures SO special! I love it when he lets go and just laughs (and lets me do his hair like this)!
One of his favorite shirts - Awesome ends with ME. Yes, this picture speaks volumes as to his awesomeness, don't you think?
Meagan the creator. She made a garden pinwheel out of tinker toys. And of course, left a tinker toy mess all over the basement. (Which she cleaned up later, with a bit of 'encouragement'.)

It was a no-electronics day. At first I thought maybe Isaac would die of sadness. But he seemed to recover, and they played Battleship. It was great!

Isaac has lost both of his front teeth this month. Finally his bruised/ brown tooth is gone. Time to start fresh.
Another messy day at home with Meagan. This time it was a blanket fort in the kitchen and Dinosaur Island in the walk way. Love it!
This just cracked me up! She dressed herself in one of the quirkiest outfits ever... her Christmas dress, some black stretch tights, orange socks and her pink snow boots. Then she proceeded to go to school without remembering to brush her hair or her teeth. Yuck. But it made for a pretty classic picture!
One of the things I have really liked about living here is that I have had time to be active in Isaac's class room. At the beginning of the year especially, he really really needed it. And it has become something I have come to really enjoy. It's time that I give just to him, and I think he likes that.
This was hanging on Isaac's locker. I just thought it was sweet. "I have a dream that someday I will make video games. I have a dream that my family will always be safe. I have a dream that my school will be bigger someday. I have a dream that my neighborhood will have more people." Just a little peek inside his brain.

This is what I call chaos at Meijer. Really. After school. Three kids. Pent up energy. All combined to make for a most lovely experience. (I do not like grocery shopping with kids. In case you were wondering.)

This is the cat inside the dinosaur rock. When I took this picture I just thought it was cute. Little did I know that after I took this picture, Meagan zipped up the front of the rock. We then proceeded to leave to pick the boys up and go to the grocery (see previous picture). When we came home, we found the cat in the rock in the middle of the living room, with her head poked out one of the small side holes. She was STUCK. I had to grab her head and PUSH to force her back through the hole so she could exit the rock. Drama.

I paint. She paints. It's much easier to get my painting done if she has something of her own to be doing.

Hexabits. Ever done them? They're creative and cute, but they are killer on the fingers. Meagan loves them. Currently there are hexabits all over my office floor.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's good...

It's good to sit down at the end of the day and be able to look back and say, 'Not bad.' I did okay today. It was a good day. Maybe not the BEST possible use of time, but good. I managed to get the house generally cleaned up. I got all but one load of laundry done. And I got the driveway cleared. (the snow blower is my friend. the snow blower is my friend.... only had to restart it once today... this, my friend, is what we call progress.)

Besides the 'doing' of the day, I found a lot of things about my day that were good... oddly enough a lot of those good things had to do with food... maybe I need to get out more. Good getting good news that lets me breathe a sigh of relief; good is knowing that God is my provider; good is fresh salsa with big chunks of onions and peppers; good is fresh veggies to snack on; good is salad topped with hard boiled eggs; good is dinner at home; good is miniature cupcakes for desert night; good is a sleepy kitty lounging on the back of the couch; good is taking time in the middle of the day to sit down, think, listen, and journal; good is talking to friends and family on the phone. Good is not setting alarms before bed tonight because the kids have a scheduled 2-hour delay tomorrow morning... that's REALLY good.

So I guess it's all good. Life. Life is good.


Focus... gotta get some

I have a lot to do.

I KNOW I should have a plan for today.

But I don't. I have a mushed up jumbled sort of list of what I probably should do. Sounds pretty precise, huh?

I think maybe laundry. Yes, that's a must, as I have nothing to get dressed in today, and the boys both wore their last pair of pants to school. So, LAUNDRY... put it on the list.

Um, I need to patch walls and paint. I guess I could do that?

Or maybe I'll clear my sidewalks and driveway (again) before the City feels compelled to send me a friendly reminder about our ordinances. Yes, maybe I should do this. CLEAR THE DRIVE... put it on the list too.

And as we are within days of being able to officially list our house, and as the house is slowly losing its 'clean house' look and is beginning to look a lot more like a 'three kids live here and the mommy can't keep up with everything' kind of house, well, maybe I should take advantage of having zero kids here today. Yes, maybe I should. So, STRAIGHTEN UP... that should go on the list as well.

I think I better stop there. I think my list just got full. If I run out of laundry and cleaning (*snort laugh*) I'll come back for more ramblings to gain additional focus. Yes, that's the plan.

I'm on it.


week 3: 2011

Another project 365 page complete! I am still doing pretty well keeping up with the picture taking. I don't think I've missed any days yet. In fact, I have TOO many pictures and I'm having trouble choosing just ONE photo per day. For those who know me well, I'm sure you are not surprised by this at all. *shrug* What's a girl to do?

15 - A lazy Saturday spent playing at home and enjoying our time with Lucas.

16 - After Lucas left for IN, we lightened the mood with laughter. The kids held onto my legs as I (tried) to drag them around the kitchen. Funny stuff!

17 - Isaac's friend Carrie came over to visit. Three hours of playing wii = fun for them

18 - A CLEAN house for our first BMA. Even my laundry room is clean & empty.

19 - A blanket fort at the breakfast table. This is life with Meagan.

20 - The boys played Battleship together since it was a no-electronics day.

21 - Meagan's sense of style always brings a smile to my face. Christmas dress & boots.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Saved by the Phone

The other day I posted a little bit of a light-hearted post about how much I am relying on my phone these days. Well, Monday it TOTALLY saved me! I was painting - working on some artwork to hang over our bed (I'll post more on that later). I was working away, when I heard my phone chime. ??? What's that about?, I thought.

It was only a reminder that I had 15 minutes to get to Isaac's class room. I had COMPLETELY forgotten that I had signed up to help in computer lab for the next several Monday's. Uggh! Thank you phone! I would have felt awful if I would have missed that.

As long as I keep my phone battery charged, it will do the thinking for me if my brain battery dies. I need a little bit of extra memory power in my life right now. Thank you Droid. *i heart you*


100 Things... 100 Days

Barring any more snow days, next Wednesday, February 2 will be Meagan's 100th day of school. To celebrate, everyone in her class was asked to bring in 100 things. Meagan didn't even have to give it a second thought. She went straight to the button jar and began sifting through E.V.E.R.Y. button, looking for the 100 best buttons in the bunch. Took a while. But she enjoyed it. And she practiced counting to 100. So it was good. I thought it would be fun to do a layout about her 100 buttons for her 100th day. Just a fun little ordinary-day kind of thing to remember.

(click here to view full credits)


Friday, January 21, 2011

My Phone is Earning its Keep

While I may have taken some jabs from dear sweet husband for needing a fancy phone just for the calendar feature, I must say that today I am feeling very thankful for my over-glorified calendar!

After waiting for a week and a half with no news, all of a sudden things with the relocation have picked up speed quickly. We have been in contact with realtors on both ends, and with the relocation company from various aspects. Documents are being signed and faxed and phone calls and emails are flying. Aaah! I had forgotten (a little) what a whirlwind of activity this whole process is.

All that being said, I am trying to manage appointments and to-do lists and classroom volunteering and kids' homework and tests and quizzes. Without my on-the-go, easy-to-update calendar, I would be in a world of hurt right now!

My phone is my friend. I like it. :)



I absolutely love to do layouts about every-day moments. These are really the things I want to remember most when I am 90 looking back. I mean, all the Christmas's and Easter's and whatever sort of run together, but they all have the same general feel to them, and therefore can be remembered to some degree. Every-day moments, however, if not documented in some way, are so easy to lose sight of. I don't want to forget how Lucas and Sebastian sat side by side on the couch - snuggling in a manly way *lol*. I don't want to forget how much we love to sit in front of the fire on a cold winter day. Those are great elements of life. They SHOULD be in an album full of memories.

Journaling: We love to spend time together. Today we watched Superman & Despicable Me in front of the fire.

(Click here to view full credits).


Monday, January 17, 2011


My house is clean. Yay!

Yes, I can still list off easily six cleaning/maintenance projects that need to be done. But for now, everything is dusted, vacuumed, wiped down, tidied up, and generally pleasant to look at.

And now I'm tired. I started at about 9:00 this morning, stopping for major meal times, and finished at about 9:30 tonight. Tomorrow the real estate agent who helped us find this home is coming over for a visit. And a chat.

I am hoping that SOON the relocation company will get their act together and get the ball rolling. If we're moving, let's get on with it. Don't they KNOW how hard it is to keep a house clean to prepare to list, and then keep it clean some more while it's listed and being shown... with three kids in the house!!! They should know these things. Really.

Tomorrow the kids go back to school after a LOOOOONNNGG weekend at home. I bet they are looking forward to it, if only it means they don't have to fold laundry or make beds or any other not-so-fun chore that I come up with for them to help me. They were rather helpful though. Except Meagan. She is hardly ever helpful... even when she is TRYING to be. A tornado cannot be helpful. And that's that.

Speaking of that, she does not go back to school tomorrow. She's home until Wednesday. So we are going to have to find things to do together to keep her occupied (translation: to keep her from pulling out every blanket and pillow and toy that we own). But since I've basically be cleaning and putting away and organizing and hanging pictures since Friday, I think I can stand to take a day off and just play with her. I'm ready for a play day.

Besides cleaning, Isaac had his friend Carrie over to play today. She was here for a few hours, and they had a great time together. I know he is really going to miss her when we go. So I'm glad they got to spend some time together outside of school.

Well, that about sums up my updates for you. I'll TRY to be more interesting in the next few days. For right now, I'm too tired and my back is quite uncomfortable to be sitting here at my desk. So I'm going to go elsewhere and lay down and be lazy. =)


Sunday, January 16, 2011

week 2: 2011

Forgive me for not blogging much these past few days (at least for not putting up many pictures). For now, this will have to do.

I must say I am super happy with the way my P365 attempt is going so far. It hasn't been even the slightest bit painful or overwhelming... at least not yet. I think my biggest challenge will be remembering to take pictures as we go through moving and settling in... although those might be the most important times to be taking pictures... hopefully I won't slack.

For now, here's my week 2 layout:

8 - A lazy Saturday filled with computer work, board games, and baked spaghetti.
9 - The kids tried to block the door to keep Lucas from leaving for Indiana.
10 - Web cam chats will be a regular part of our lives for a while.
11 - Good-bye pink wall. Hello white. Meagan loved helping me paint.
12 - Snow blowing. I am not a fan.
13 - Puzzle time with Meagan the super hero (see her cape?)
14 - A fresh take on the mantle, complete with LOR books out on display.
(click here to view full credits)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

About Today... 1/15/11

Today we slept in until 9:00. *sigh* I L.O.V.E. having someone beside me to wake up to. Although I had to scootch back over to my side of the bed rather than sleeping dead center. Oh well... small sacrifices. =)

Today I got up and made breakfast - bacon, eggs, and toast. Sebastian ate 4 eggs by himself. Plus bacon. How will I feed that child as he gets bigger? I don't know!

Today I spent a lot of time narrowing down houses for our house hunt. I went from 33 houses down to 12. I think that was a pretty productive round of eliminations. Plus, I made our family checklist for each of the houses, printed them out, and stapled them to the front of each house brochure. That way, whenever we go look at them, we can let the kids get involved finding certain aspects of the house and marking them off on the check list. They're super excited about this! I think we're all starting to feel a bit impatient. Patience, however, is a must. So we'll wait a bit longer... but at least we're prepared.

Today I went to the grocery. There are times when the grocery feels like a chore. And it takes forever. But I must admit, I love the possibilities that a grocery trip holds. A whole new week of menu items and good meals. I love to have a cart full of whole foods and healthy stuff. What I don't love is going out in the mucky snow. And I don't love putting the groceries away when I get home.

Today we had sliders, corn on the cob, and salad for dinner. Yum. Today was SUPPOSED to be desert day, but I totally ran out of time to make a desert. Tomorrow. Tomorrow will be desert day instead.

Today I did a bit more to get the house ready. Someone is coming this week to give us their initial assessment of the house. I don't want to still have the paint ladder in the hallway and baskets of laundry in the front room. That means I still have some work to do.

Now I'm going to finish some work on a few pictures and call it quits for the night. Tomorrow is another day.



My doorbell rang at 10:20 pm last night. I got up from my chair, and walked cautiously to the window... peeked outside to see a man all in black with a black hat standing on my front porch. I just stood there for a second. I had just decided to walk slowly and quietly away from the door when he turned his face... it was LUCAS!


He really likes freaking me out late at night doesn't he!

So excited to see him home for the weekend. The kids and I have been missing him SO much this week! So we get a few days with him before he heads back to work. Yay!!


Friday, January 14, 2011

Best of 2010

This week's Digi Dare is up, and the idea is to scrap your favorite 5 photos of 2010. That is a task much easier said than done - especially if you're like me and take a ridiculous number of pictures in the course of a year. I sat and looked through photo after photo, and narrowed it down to thirty-some. I decided that I was going to have to focus in on one child... no way could I pick just 5 and capture all three of my kids. And since I had a very pink and girly kit to work with, I decided to start with Meagan.

I love these five pictures of her for so many reasons, but mostly because they really convey different aspects of her personality. She is silly, care-free, fun, adventurous, creative, confident, beautiful, outdoorsy... and I think these photographs really display those characteristics of her perfectly. The trick was finding a way to put five random pictures on one page together and give them common ground. At first I wasn't sure I loved this layout, but the longer I look at it, the more it's growing on me. *shrug*
(click here to view full credits)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Try Try Again

This morning school was delayed for 2 hours due to snow covered roads... which also means snow covered driveways.

Yes, I had yet another opportunity to clear the driveway today. No shovel for me. I busted out the snow blower AGAIN. This time, it only died twice, and it only took me about fifteen or twenty minutes to get the driveway and sidewalks cleared. I even did the walkway up to the front porch. After I parked the snow blower back in the garage, I stood at the top of the driveway for a moment to admire my work. I felt so triumphant!

It didn't snow at all for the rest of the day. However, when I went out around lunch time, the roads were still pretty junky, especially in the neighborhoods and side roads. They were still pretty slushy and snow-covered when I left home to go pick the kids up from school.

When I got home from picking the kids up from school, I could not believe my eyes! Aaaarg! Apparently the snow plow had been by the house while I was away, and the bottom five feet of my driveway was covered in a good six inches of snow. So much so that I had to take a much more calculated angle to even pull in without getting stuck. *sigh* So much for triumph.

I was not in the mood to wield the snow blower for five feet of driveway. So I found a shovel... the dumbest shovel ever. The only thing it had going for it was that it was, in fact, a snow shovel rather than, say, a garden shovel. But it has a collapsible handle (dumb shovel feature), and a blade that is all of 18 inches wide. Even though I locked the handle in place, I found the length of the shovel seemed to vary with each scoop. So I would shovel a bit, and the handle would shrink or twist or collapse altogether. Nice. Again I found myself wondering if I was in the middle of being live entertainment for the neighbors. Seriously, if they would only just sit near their front windows while I'm out there, they could have a great laugh! I'm thinking I could have a DIY reality show career in my near future.


As the theme of this post is try again, I thought I would share a cool little story while I'm thinking of it.

Tonight Sebastian told me he didn't understand his math very well. He sat down to do his homework, worked on it for a while, then packed it back in his book bag. I assumed he was finished.

At 7:30 he came up to me and said he didn't know what to do. As it was almost bedtime, there wasn't much time to be making big plans really. I just happened to ask him if he wanted to go over his math to make sure he understood it. So he got it out of his book bag, and I saw that it was only about 1/2 done. He didn't know how to do parts of it, so he just didn't.

They are learning division of large numbers - long division type stuff. The method they are learning right now is called partial quotients. He had no idea what that meant. So we went over it together. At first I could tell he totally didn't get what I was saying, nor did he really seem to be in the mood to be doing division problems. But we stuck with it, tried different approaches, did a few examples, and then worked through his first homework problem. Once he got the hang of it, he did the rest of his homework in a flash. When he got done he quickly flipped the page over and said, "Aaaaw! I wanted there to be more on the back."

He WANTED to do more problems. He went from avoiding them because he didn't understand to wanting to do more of them because he was having so much fun working through them. True story. I thought it was pretty cool. I like that he started out thinking "I'm not good at math, it's hard" and ended up being able to say, "I understand, I can do this, and I enjoy it." Who knows. That little shift in attitude could be the difference between a school career of struggling with math or a school career of excelling at it. For tonight, at least he finished his homework. =)


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Do-It-Yourself Show

Manual labor and I are not the best of friends these days.

Well, it's not that I mind ALL manual labor. After all, I painted without incident. I'm good with that kind of work.

Mostly, it's the kind of manual labor that requires that I trail myself behind a large, heavy piece of equipment that I do not have the manpower to move on my own without the motor running, all while wearing horrible boots that have zero traction in the snow. Can you guess to what I am referring?

I snow blowed today. Again.

Remember the last time I cleared our driveway, I told you that I had not mastered the 'art' of it. Well, today I decided that it's not art. Not even close. It's sort of like a bad joke really. I kept thinking to myself, 'I could be the DIY channel's comic relief reality show.' Seriously.

I did smarten up a bit this time though. I figured out quickly which way the wind was blowing and adjusted my plan of attack so as to keep the snow from blowing right back into my face. So I managed to stay much dryer than the last time.

I did, however, manage to choke it do death. Basically I have zero understanding of the function of a choke on mechanical equipment. So, since I don't understand it, I don't think about it.... aka, I forget about it totally. So I was plugging along just fine, and then all of a sudden, the blower stopped blowing the snow, and it was more like plopping out at a very slow rate. And then the whole thing started to sputter. Then it died. Uggh! Not knowing WHAT was wrong with the thing (I thought I had run it out of oil or something... the only thing I knew for sure was that it wasn't out of gas because I could see that.) So.... here's the funny-to-watch-but-not-to-live-through part... I manually pushed (at least attempted) the snow blower from my neighbor's driveway back to our garage.... and my boots had zero traction... so I was sort of slipping and falling all over the place. I'm sure I looked plain crazy.

You know, I did have a brief sense of accomplishment when it was all done. And then I went outside around 7:00 to put the garbage out and the driveway was completely covered again. Grrr.

Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll get to do it all over again tomorrow. If so, I WILL be wearing different boots.


White Washed

This morning when I woke up, I set three goals for my day:
  1. Get all of the clean laundry hung up and put away.
  2. Get Meagan's room cleaned up (with her help, of course)
  3. Paint the pink wall.
Laundry is done.
Meagan's floor is clean.

...The wall is primed.

Given that I am covering hot pink with white, I knew it would take more than one coat. I used the primer we already had and went over it with a first coat. I think tomorrow I will try to get the second coat of the actual color (a slightly different shade of white *lol*) put on while everyone is at school.

As you can see, today I had help. I figured it was going to be easier to let her paint than to try to fight to keep her out of it the whole time. So I gave her a paint brush, some simple pointers (like don't get so much paint that it drips), and let her have at it. She painted the smiley face. And she rolled some of the bottom chunk of the wall. Ultimately we ran out of time before we had to go get the boys, but we got it well enough to call it a good first coat.

I've had several people aske me why I am painting over the pink... "It's so cute in her room!" is the general consensus. Answer: When we decided to paint the wall pink, we did it knowing full well that if the day came that we had to sell the house, we would paint over it with a neutral color. While we might think the pink is 'cute,' not everyone can appreciate the cuteness of one bright pink wall. In fact, some might actually NOT enjoy it so much. Our goal is, and always has been, to get the colors in our house as neutral as possible for selling purposes. Why? Well, let's just say it is the result of a lesson learned from our last go-round. And I will never again go through a relocation process with a colorful wall. It's just not worth it. So, while I ADORE color, I will have to find ways to bring color into the home with decorations, fabrics, and other such items. It will not be found on the walls. And that's that.


I think I should be able to knock the rest of it out tomorrow. That will be one major project checked off the to-do list. I like that!!

More Soup - Spinach Tortellini

This was SO yummy. Really. A bit spicier than I was expecting - in fact Isaac (my spicy food eater and king of black pepper) was the only one of my 3 kids who could get past the first mouth full and I ended up heating up a can of condensed chicken noodle for the other 2... it really was a bit spicy... Isaac went through 3 drinks). I found this recipe in a Betty Crocker Soups magazine, but it required a dutch oven (no, not the kind where you fart under blankets... ) which I do not have, and it sounded all a bit complicated. So I did what I usually do. I made something up. (Thus, the extra spice... sometimes working without a recipe does that to you!) Here's what I used: * A bit of olive oil * About 1/4 of a sweet onion, chopped * 6-ish cups of chicken broth * fresh baby spinach, washed and chopped * matchstick carrots - about a handful * 9 oz refrigerated package of cheese tortellini * some pepper (I used Hot Shots red & black pepper blend) * garlic powder (not sure how much - 1tsp +) * basil (again, not really sure how much... maybe about a tsp as well) * maybe some sea salt if you need a bit of extra seasoning

  • Add the olive oil to the bottom of a big soup pot & saute the onion for a few minutes

  • Then add the chicken broth, spinach, carrots and seasoning and bring to a boil

  • Once it's boiling, add the tortellini and boil until pasta is tender

Easy as that and super yummy. If you aren't one for spice, use just a bit of black pepper instead of red and black... or just skip it altogether.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

About Today... 1/9/11

This morning we went to church. They played Pink Floyd. It was unexpected. I had to smile a bit.

After church I made a grocery run. Why is it that I feel like I am ALWAYS at the grocery? I think it's because I never really plan very good and always seem to find something else that I'm running out of. Like today, I got home with my van full of groceries only to discover that we are almost out of detergent... which means another grocery trip in the next few days. *shrug* What's a girl to do?

Lunch was leftover baked spaghetti. Still yummy the 2nd time around... and this coming from the queen of "I don't eat left-over's." (Yes, that's really my title. Ask my husband. Or my mother.)
We watched Despicable Me and snacked on popcorn. The kids and Lucas plopped in front of the fire. I love that.

We had subs and cheesy waffle fries for dinner. I was feeling lazy and not particularly like cooking. So I made easy food.

Then.... Lucas loaded up his truck and headed off to face the start of our new adventure. He reports to the plant first thing tomorrow morning. Which means he is a loner for a while. And I am a single momma for a while. And we will have to do lots of video chats before bedtime so the kids can see their daddy.

Tonight as he was getting ready to leave, they all ganged up and worked together to block the door so he couldn't get out. It was sweet. They were really just playing around and having fun though. They took his departure with good spirits. I think they know - we all know - that on the other side of all of the unpleasantness of transition, there will be something great that God has planned for us. We just have to get through the junk to get there. We can do that. As a family.
This weekend Isaac had Puddles the class duck. It was his weekend to bring Puddles home to hang out. We took pictures & put a little photo collage together of all the things Puddles did during his visit. Part of getting to bring Puddles home is being highlighted in the classroom during the week. We had to find a few pictures for him to take in to hang up in the class. Wow! As I searched through all of our photos SO many memories came rushing back. I love that about pictures. Life is so good.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

A bit of randomness & some Baked Spaghetti

Just a note on today... my computer had to be reformatted (I am very happy to be married to a techy geek. I love that he can fix my computer. He's cool like that). I had no laptop for the entire afternoon / evening. I got a lot of cleaning done. Like, I did laundry, cleaned the oven, dusted the china hutch, swept & mopped the kitchen floor, did the dishes, and made dinner. Dinner.... baked spaghetti. Only I didn't have a recipe to work from... but how hard can baked spaghetti be to make up? So I made something up. It was good. Here's what I used: 3/4 of a box of spaghetti - prepared slightly undercooked 1 jar of spaghetti sauce 1 140z can of Italian style tomatoes, partially drained 1 lb of smoked sausage (it was the only meat I had available to work with.) 4 oz shredded mozzarella 1/4 cup shredded parmesan So I boiled the noodles & browned the sausage. Drained the noodles, and mixed the noodles, sausage, sauce & tomatoes together. Put it in a baking dish. Topped it with the cheese. Covered it with foil. Baked it at 375 for 30 minutes. Took the foil off & baked it a few more minutes to brown the cheese. Yum.


Today: Lilly found the clean basket of towels that just happened to be in the patch of sun that was shining through the window. A perfect spot for her to cuddle up for a cat nap.

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Creative Girl

"I've always thought of creativity as something to be applied to a specific project or circumstance. I know now that I have always been wrong. You have shown me that creativity can be embodied. You are the embodiment of all things creative. Thoughts, ideas, words & conversations, drawings, stories, artwork, outfits. You build and take apart and recreate again. You are amazingly creative, & I have no doubt you'll do and create great things."

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Love This Moment

"You came downstairs in one of your fashion creations with the extras of a princess gown (the blanket) and your pink fairy wings. This moment captures the essence of being a little girl... the imagination, the creation, the dreaming. I love that you are such a dreamer. I love that you see yourself as a beautiful princess. I love that you aren't afraid to put yourself out there, not looking to everyone else's opinion to tell you who you are or what you're worth. So, yes, in this moment I see you as a little girl all dressed up, but I see something more as well. I see the elements of inner strength that make you who you are."

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Best Chicken Noodle Soup Ever.

My husband is NOT a chicken fan. He is not a chicken noodle soup fan. But he said this to me yesterday after dinner... "That was the best chicken noodle soup I have personally ever had." Music to my ears! Especially considering it was SUPER easy and quick. I threw it together with random things I had laying around. Used up some inventory and had a yummy healthy dinner. Here's what I used: 2 12.5 oz cans of premium chunk chicken (I'm SURE that one can would work just fine). 1 tsp olive oil 8 cups of chicken broth (I used 8 cups of water and 8 tsp of chicken bouillon granules) Frozen Cali blend veggies. I used mostly the broccoli & carrots, but left some cauliflower in. About 1 1/2 cups of uncooked egg noodles 3 green onions thinly sliced (scallions only) 1 tsp dried basil 1/4 tsp pepper 1/4 tsp garlic powder sea salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp?)

  • Microwave the veggies for 4-5 minutes to get them mostly heated through

  • In a large soup pan, heat the olive oil

  • Add the chicken. Separate the larger chunks of chicken as the chicken warms.

  • When the chicken is warm, add the broth (or water & granules), scallions & seasonings. Heat over medium high heat until boiling

  • Add veggies & egg noodles. Bring to boil. (If you are not one to use the microwave for step 1, then add your veggies a few minutes before you add your noodles.)

  • Once the soup is boiling again, reduce to low heat and cook for 8ish minutes until the noodles & veggies are the desired tenderness.

  • We sprinkled some grated Parmesan over the soup once it was in the bowls. You don't have to do that, but it was yummy.

How did the kids weigh in on this? Isaac chowed it. Meagan was hesitant to eat it, but liked it once she took that first bite. Sebastian loved everything but the veggies. He's just not a veggie loving kind of kid.