Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner

On Thanksgiving afternoon we braved the roads (which were covered in compact snow & ice, but were manageable for cautious drivers) and headed to my parents’ house for dinner with them, my grandma, and my aunt & uncle. Normally the trip takes 12 minutes, but this time it took 30. We got dinner started a bit late, but it was delicious and just as Thanksgiving Dinner should be!

We played games in the afternoon, watched some football, and had just good old-fashioned family time, complete with political arguments. Remind me to never voice my opinion about politics ever again. It’s just not worth it!

Still, it was a good day and we give God thanks for our family and our many blessings.


Little girls showing Grandma their dolls


My dad let Bethany use the electric knife to carve the turkey roast. That was a little scary for the mother, but she did just fine!


Becca demonstrated her new musical abilities for my uncle.


Elise is teaching my aunt how to use an iPhone.


Becca’s turn!

Somehow everyone else managed to avoid my camera this time…I won’t let THAT happen again!

Friday, November 26, 2010

White Thanksgiving

We woke up to an absolutely beautiful snowfall on Thanksgiving morning! I will just let the pictures of our relaxing and fun morning speak for themselves…














Yay for the neighbors who came over to play, too!


It was my birthday

this past Sunday. I had a good day. I was spoiled. The girls bought me gifts at the craft shows we went to the day before.


Cute little pinky ring from Bethany


Christmas music wall-hanging from Sarah & Becca

Ed spoiled me, too. He always gives me exactly what I ask for.


That is my new external flash. I don’t quite have it completely figured out yet, but it is very cool. The flash part swivels so you can bounce the light off the ceiling or the wall. There’s a diffuser and a reflector tucked up in there. It communicates with my camera. I’m loving the shadowless indoor pictures I can now take! I’m super excited to use it over Christmas with my nephews!!

I was taken out for lunch with my family, parents, and grandma; I got to do crafts with my girls all afternoon; and anytime anyone said, “MoooooawM!” in that whiny voice, Ed was all over that person to leave me alone. That was a gift.

Thanks for all the birthday messages, cards, and wishes!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey Day

From the title of this post, you might think it’s going to be about Thanksgiving.

You would be wrong.

This post is about a plate. A plate inspired by my friend Dee’s recent shopping trip to the thrift store. 

When I took Becca to the painting pottery place for her birthday party with a couple cute little friends, I made a plate. It looks like this:


No, it doesn’t have a turkey on it like Dee’s, but the sentiment is there.

This week, I finally had the opportunity to serve someone their dinner on it. Someone who was a turkey. All. Day.

Any guesses on who it was?

















Uh huh.

And then next afternoon she said, with a twinkle in her eye and a little grin, “Am I being a turkey again today?”

Uh huh.

Basketball has begun!

Just one short week after Sarah finished XC, basketball practice started. Early morning and late afternoon practices have made her a very busy 7th grader and Ed & I very busy chauffeurs! Games started a couple weeks ago and it is fun to watch her play with her friends from school. She is playing on both the 7th grade team and the “C” team, which means she is getting a lot of playing time, which is awesome. When she plays “C” team she gets to play a lot, and when she plays 7th grade she has the opportunity to play with some quite talented ball-playing girls, so both experiences are really good for her. She doesn’t score a lot, but she’s a team player and she’s very supportive to her teammates. She hustles and works hard to make the plays happen.

If you’ve ever tried to take action shots inside a school gym, well, you know my frustrations…but here are a couple pictures anyway.



She’s a great defender – definitely one of her strengths of the game. It’s super fun to go watch her play and interact with the coaches (who are awesome) and her teammates.

My proudest moment was when another teacher told me that the parents of a new girl said their daughter came home and said that she made a new friend at basketball practice and that girl has been so nice to her and that her name was Sarah. Way to go, sweet Sarah!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Back to the thankfulness

I took a little break there from my thanksgiving posts, but it's not because I haven't been thankful. I'm going to be completely unoriginal and echo the sentiments of so many people around here and say that I am SO thankful for our warm home. It has been bitter, bitter cold here - like zero degrees with the wind chill (60 mph northeasterly winds) and every second I've spent out in that wind makes me so grateful for the fact that I was able to go home each night to my warm home, the fire, and my family. I am truly blessed.

Tomorrow I plan to buy up winter coats, gloves, hats, and scarves at the thrift store to bring for the Hope Office for them to distribute to those in need. Care to join me?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

PureNRG Day 3

On our last vacation day, we let the kids sleep in a bit and then Ed took them swimming while I packed. After swimming, we finished up packing and headed for home. Our trip home was NOT leisurely and we took the fast Interstate. It was however, quite possibly the best road trip we’ve ever had. We played the ABC game, no one whined (much), we made good time and didn’t have any silly stops. I don’t count on that happening again for another 15 years or so.

Children’s Museum pictures

Saturday, November 20, 2010

PureNRG Day 2

Finally. It was the day of the concert! Our morning began with a swim in the pool with our friends and their friends, who are now our new friends. In all, there were 20 of us in the group, so we made kind of a commotion everywhere we went; breakfast in the hotel, the pool, Gonzaga, lunch at the mall, the Children’s Museum, the barbeque, and the ice cream shop. But it sure was fun!

To read more about our day and view the pictures, click here and enjoy!

I believe there are some Children’s Museum photos to add here, but they’re on a different camera, so that’ll have to wait for another day…

Friday, November 19, 2010

PureNRG Day 1

So, I’m finally caught up on pictures and blogging and can now share about the little jaunt we took to the other side of the state last weekend.

Our girls love PureNRG (a Christian pop singing group) and one of their last concerts was scheduled for November 13 in Spokane, which is about 6 hours from us. The girls had a long weekend from school, so it seemed like a fun opportunity for a little va-cay. We talked to some friends whose kids also love the band and we decided to take our families together, along with a couple other families who are friends of our friends. Ed & I decided to surprise our girls with the trip (since it was the majority of their Christmas present) and didn’t tell them until the night before. Talk about ShRIeKiNG!

We left on Friday morning and decided to take the s-l-o-w route of Highway 2 so that we could stop in Snohomish and Leavenworth and have a few little adventures. I wanted to stop in Snohomish because I knew the girls would think it’s cute and I have plans to go there with a friend eventually and wanted to scope it out. Our trip started out awesome, with sunshine and music and happy girls and everyone was still happy when we arrived in Snohomish for our first stop!


We walked, stretched our legs, went in a few little shops, and had lunch at a dive called Jake’s that served waaaaay too much greasy food. And then we were off to Leavenworth!


We had some fun, bought a few souvenirs and some goodies and were on our way. Bethany chose this picture location because of the street sign, “Edelweiss Weg.” She loves the song Edelweiss.

The rest of the trip was pretty long. Highway 2 is slow and desolate. And it got dark soon after we left Leavenworth, so the last 4 hours were in the dark. It was a little eerie, to say the least.

Finally we arrived at our hotel, checked in, had some terrible dinner, (our little iPhone food apps proved unreliable the entire day!) and then went swimming!!


Always the favorite part of any hotel stay.


The pictures are pretty awful – it was SO dark in that swimming area! Even with the flash I was having a hard time.


But I was having a GREAT time watching them all have so much fun together!



Like I said, the pictures are awful. But we were having fun!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What would I do

without this little girl at home?


I love to watch her play. And to snuggle with her. She gives the best hugs and makes me laugh every. day.

Favorite People

I have a lot of favorite people. Trust me, I love A  LOT of people. Recently I got to take some pictures of some of those favorite people.


Look at that. Even The Destroyer in the middle is cooperating and smiling. That boy in the red sweater is one of few boys that I am considering being allowed into my family someday. He’s saving for a house for the girl, after all.


First I must inform you, my faithful blog readers, that my home is once again a safe haven. We caught a mouse and there have since been no indications that any of the mouse’s family has come back looking for revenge against the mouse-killers. We have also taken some preventative measures in our home. The final step will be to inspect underneath the house, but when my husband goes to work in the dark and comes home in the dark, it’s a bit difficult to get that accomplished. Excuses, excuses. I know.

There’s been some changes happening around these parts. Big changes.


A number of Saturdays ago, Ed opened this big heavy box in the little girls’ room and went to work!


They love their new bunkbed! What’s even better is that we managed to sell both Becca’s other twin bed and Elise’s toddler bed to somebody at Ed’s work!


It took a few nights before Becca slept through the night up there, but now she’s doing great!

We also changed the way we “live” in this house…we needed an additional space for movie-watching and hanging-out, especially when the girls have friends over. So, we sold the old blue couch, moved the futon into the living room, bought a new chair and futon cover, moved the rocking chair and the corner cabinet into the office, bought a TV and TV stand, put up blinds for privacy at night, rearranged computers, and viola! It happened! Make sense? Maybe the pictures will clear it up….


Love my fun chair that I got at a HUGE discount!



Still working on cleaning up this space a little – need some baskets for cords and such, but it’s a convenient little TV stand and we’ve got my old laptop in there, with a keyboard, which turns this TV also into a computer. Which is good since there’s not actually any cable in there so you can’t watch TV. Only DVD’s and online streaming shows.


This desk actually needs the real coat of paint – just has primer so far. But I needed it out of the garage and needed to try it in the room, so it’s sitting here for now until I someday have time to paint. Which might be in 2012.

The print was shared by a friend and you can download it and print it yourself here. Love it!

The little “Family” Scrabble tiles were inspired by my friend Tamara, who actually bought 1000’s of tiles on ebay and made a TON of these to sell at her craft shows. I just threw this one together from our Scrabble board, but Ed says I have to put them back so we can play Scrabble. Which we haven’t done since before Sarah was born. I refuse to play Scrabble with him because he always uses words that no normal people know. Seriously!

Anyhoo, I get to pick up the ones Tamara made for me tomorrow and then I can put those Scrabble tiles back in the box, in case someday Ed wants to play and promises only to use words I know.

I’m really glad we kept the futon because then anyone who spends the night still has a place to sleep on a bed and off the floor! We splurged on the expensive futon when we bought it years ago so it’s a pretty comfortable bed.


Doesn’t Ed’s office look SO much bigger?


The space is this house is functioning much better now. Come on over and see it for yourself!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Up and Down

We just came home from a really fun weekend with our girls and some friends. We drove to Spokane on Friday, with some stops along the way, for the purpose of attending the PureNRG concert on Saturday evening. We had a lot of fun swimming, hanging out, relaxing, AND of course, going to the concert. We drove home today and all went smoothly. I am very thankful for this weekend respite and all our safe travels! I am sure I will blog and post pictures sometime in the near future.

However, we came home to a kitchen counter displaying evidences of a little visitor (who was not invited).


After cleaning up and setting traps, Ed & I watched a little TV. Then Ed saw a little visitor (who was not invited) head peek out from under the entertainment center.

I’m quite sure I cannot go to bed now.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

A list

Today I am thankful for:




Positive medical reports

Fun surprises

Good friends


Our girls

My loving husband

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Days, that is.

Until the next big thing.

Today I am thankful that in 43 days, mass chaos will descend upon my parents’ home. Three nephews, two brothers, two SIL’s, not to mention my 4 girls, myself, and the rowdiest of them all, Ed, will park themselves at my parents’ for approximately 7 days for a ton of Christmas celebrating. There will be chocolate, of that I am sure. There will be way too much food, way too many presents, pictures, laughter, games of Catan, pictures, commotion, train whistles, pictures, and more chocolate.

I love it. It’s my favorite 7 days of the year. I can’t wait.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My new coffee

As I write today, I am drinking a homemade white chocolate mocha. Yes, that’s right. Homemade. Not from Starbucks or Woods or anywhere else.

Did you go buy one of those fancy schmancy espresso machines? you ask.


I bought a $10 Toddy Maker off Craigslist.


My domestic friend, Lea, introduced me to Toddy Coffee. It’s a slow, cold brew, which removes most of the acidity from the coffee. You put six CUPS of ground coffee in the top and add 9 cups of water. Then you let it sit. The first time, I only let it sit about 12 hours, but that made kind of weak coffee. So, this second time it was about 18-20 hours and it’s perfect. After this contraption sits on your counter for about 18-20 hours with the coffee and the water up in that plastic part, you remove the plug on the bottom. There’s a filter inside and all the coffee drains out into the glass carafe. You then have some seriously delicious coffee concentrate! You can use it to make regular hot coffee, hot mochas and lattes, or iced coffees, mochas, or whatever!


Keep this carafe in your fridge and use about 2 ounces for every 8 ounces of water or milk, depending on what kind of drink you’re making. Use more or less coffee depending on how strong you like your coffee. The longer you let it brew before draining, the stronger your concentrate will be, and therefore, the less concentrate you will use in your drinks. And of course, that equals saving money.

Today’s thankfulness prompt is “I’m thankful….for a convenience.” Today, I’m going with my Toddy Maker coffee. I’m thankful for all those other conveniences, too, like hot running water, toilets, electricity, and my bed. But in truth, I think of those as requirements rather than conveniences. I’m still kind of a city girl who doesn’t like to go camping. 

I tell ya, if I ever make it to Africa, which I do honestly hope will happen at some point in my life, it is not gonna be fun.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I’ve missed a few Thanksgiving prompts, after having been rather consumed for the last few days with Faithgirlz. I still can’t believe that’s over and that my brain doesn’t have to think about tasks associated with Faithgirlz anymore. Well, except that I have to still work through the money issues. As usual, I’ve left that to the end and have also coerced a CFF into helping me. Tomorrow.

So, today’s thankful prompt happens to be “I’m thankful for…a special friend.”  I can’t even begin to choose just one special friend! Gracious. Not only is that an impossible task, but it’s a bit rude. Our speaker at Faithgirlz talked about having BFF’s and also CFF’s – Close Friends Forever – which is basically your group of BFF’s. I have so many CFF’s! Let me just say to my CFF’s, you know who you are. I love you and I consider you to be family.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Now what?

That's the first question my family asked me when I got home from the amazing Faithgirlz event on Saturday. Now what are we working on? My answer is "Well, pretty much everything else I've been ignoring for the past six months or so!"

Anyway, I was humbled and amazed by the outcome of the Faithgirlz event on Saturday. Over 750 girls and women came to the event, which exceeded our expectations and made for a few tense moments of setting up chairs and buying more snacks! We know God brought those mini-women and their moms there and that He wanted each one of them to be there for a reason. We give all the glory to God for the day and I am especially grateful to all the many people who worked behind the scenes, taking orders from me, to make this happen. In.Cred.I.Ble. It was a privilege and a blessing to serve the community in this way and I'm happy to do it again. In four or five years. (Because that's when Becca & Elise will be old enough to go!)

View pictures here

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jen!

Today I want to wish my SIL Jen a very happy birthday and I will do the same for her as I did for my SIL Susanne when it was her birthday and write an acrostic using the letters in her name to describe her.

J is for genuine (yes, I know it doesn’t start with a ‘j’, but the only adjective I could think of that started with a ‘j’ is used to describe Old St. Nicholas, and I didn’t think that was appropriate for my SIL! Plus, “GENuine starts the same as “JENnifer!” Clever, right? Right?)

E is for extraordinary musician

N is for nephew Elias, to whom she is an awesome and amazing mother

N is for nurturing

I is for intuitive

F is for funny

E is for erudite (If you don’t know, look it up, but I bet Jen knows…)

R is for loving Randy

We hope you have a great birthday, Jen!! We love you and miss you lots and can’t wait until we see you next!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Still heard the creature once last night (thankfully only before we fell asleep and not after). Did not catch any creatures in the traps. New theories include: the creature is under the house; the creature is ON the duct work, not IN the duct work; the creature is not a mouse and therefore not interested in the peanut butter in the mouse trap; and the creature is in actuality the gray neighborhood cat who likes to torment me.

It has been suggested that SOMEONE, not me, should go under the house to look for creatures, signs of creatures, and/or broken duct work. I’m sure I could send the other adult who lives in this house, but I can almost guarantee that he’d go down there, look around, come back up, and say, “It looks OK to me, but I don’t know what I’m looking for.” Therefore, I need someone else. Someone like…a Merry Maid…for under houses. Like the Happy Handyman or something. Recommendations?

The thankfulness prompt for today is “What are you thankful for that might not be perceived as a blessing at first?” That’s a really hard one. It reminds me of I Thessalonians 5:18 “Be thankful in all circumstances.” You know, like even when life is hard and there’s really awful things happening, your attitude should be one of gratitude. Not that you’re thankful FOR the bad stuff, but IN the bad stuff. Being thankful that no matter what is happening, God is walking beside you all the way. I don’t really have something like that in my life at the moment, for which I am also thankful. But it’s a good reminder to continually be in an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I am STILL a City Girl

Remember this?

And this?

On Monday night, when Ed was gone overnight at work, I thought I woke up to some sort of noise coming from the other side of my  nightstand. It was a flapping, scrambling, weird sort of noise. I laid there and laid there and laid there, with my heart pounding out of my chest, but didn’t hear anything. I decided I must have dreamt it and amazingly went back to sleep. When Ed got home, I told him about it and he just rolled his eyes at me because he knows I don’t like sleeping home alone without him.

Then last night, we were both asleep and I HEARD THE NOISE AGAIN! I was completely freaked out! I woke up Ed, of course, because, as you know, when there are creatures around, the man of the house must be awakened.

He thought I was nuts and then suddenly, he heard it, too. We decided it sounded like it was coming from the vent or the duct work. We turned on the lights and looked around, saw nothing, so went back to bed. Of course, it’s hard to fall immediately back to sleep after such a traumatic event, and lo and behold, we heard the noise again, only this time, it was coming from Ed’s side of the bed!

I, being the city girl I am, wouldn’t get out of bed, but my brave husband did, after I threatened him and stole his covers. He got the second mouse trap we had saved from last winter, and put some cheese in it. Then he tried to put it down the vent, but he said, “This is crazy. I’ll never be able to get it out if I drop it down there!” So, being the city girl I am, I came up with the brilliant idea of using some duct tape and twine in order to be able to pull the trap back up. Ed, being the sensible guy he is, and wanting desperately to go back to sleep, obliged. He put the trap in the vent on his side of the bed and we tried to go to sleep. Then of course my brain is going a mile a minute and I thought, “what if that mouse (if that’s what it is) gets ON TOP of the trap, inside of going inside it, and uses the twine to climb out of the vent and gets into my bedroom? So, I had to make Ed get up again and close the vents so that the mouse wouldn’t be able to get out. So much for my brilliant idea of using twine…


(Sorry for the poor quality picture. I took it with my phone.)

Well, about two hours later, after we had just barely gotten back to sleep, I heard the sound again, coming from MY side of the bed. Being rather sleep-deprived at this time, I tried to wake Ed up by tapping on his chest. That was not a good idea. I think I might have given him a heart attack and FOR SURE we scared that creature half to death!

We ended up hearing that little creature for the next two hours until it was time to get up. Ugh. Neither of us have had any sleep. And no, the creature did not get inside that trap. Ed decided maybe the creature is in the wall and not in the duct work, so he put peanut butter in the trap (again, my idea, as that’s what caught the mouse last time, I think) and put it in the wall via the fire place, even though that’s not the wall in which we heard the mouse and I really think it’s in the duct work. If we don’t catch anything in the wall all day today, we’ll put it back in the duct work in our room tonight, with peanut butter and hopefully catch something. Either that or it’ll get back out however it got in there (which we totally can’t figure out) or it’ll die in there, which wouldn’t be pleasant either.

What’s really crazy, is that this is not the first time this has happened! When we first moved into this house, our first winter here, before I had my blog, we had a very similar experience, only the sound was coming from the vent underneath our bathroom sink. We never found out what it was, so we assume that the creature found its way out. But we still have no idea what it was or how it got in or what happened to it!!

We’re willing to listen to theories about how creatures get in our duct work, how to keep them out, and how to get rid of all such yucky creatures in general.

And now, the prompt for today’s thankfulness is: “I’m thankful for (a guilty pleasure).” And while today it won’t be a guilty pleasure because of how little sleep I got last night, rather, it is a necessity to be able to stay awake through Bible Study, I will have to say, “I’m thankful for Starbucks.”

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The return of Gratituesday?

Yesterday a FB friend posted a challenge - why not be grateful for something every day for the month of November, instead of waiting until Thanksgiving Day? I thought that was a great challenge, and reminded me of my old post series, Gratituesday, which fell by the wayside, oh, months ago. I often forgot it was Tuesday and thus needed to post, or I was busy, or I had other things to blog about. So, while I’m not entirely sure how this will look, whether I will post something I am grateful for every day or what, I’m going to give the challenge a go. Plus, there’s a blog I read occasionally and the author is posting a daily prompt of things to be thankful for and I rather like those ideas. So…I will start today with “I am thankful for (something I see every day)” and “I am thankful for (a favorite memory)”

*I am thankful that today is election day and that the phone calls and mail will stop. Aren’t you all? Okay, so that’s more like I’m grateful that something I see every day is going to disappear, but it’s honest.

*I am thankful for the memories (& pictures!) of our girls as babies. Sure, it makes me crave those chubby cheeks, wet kisses, belly laughs, and watching Ed turn the babies upside down in the air right after they ate when they were only a couple weeks old. (And yes, you may have guessed correctly that he paid dearly for those few fun moments in the way of projectile vomiting from the baby onto him). We’re really loving the stage of life we’re in, with mostly self-sufficient children, whom we can enjoy spending time with and don’t long for time away from; but I can’t get enough of those little drooling, toothless smiles in my memory and my pictures.