Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Room for improvement.

I used to avoid making New Year's Resolutions. Then for a few years I thought it was fun, although I am not too sure I stuck with many of the resolutions I had set for myself. Last year, I did quite a bit better. I wish I could remember where I put my list (organization, anyone?), but I do know that I had wished to start cooking more (check!), start exercising more (check, at least for a while), and start saying "no" to a few obligations to get less off my plate (check, kind of).

So what's on the table for 2009's resolutions? Here you go:

1. Treadmill every day. I know that "every day" is not going to happen, but when I set it this way, I'm a little less likely to fall off the wagon versus "3x a week" or something like that.

2. One other form of exercise new to me. Right now Jazzercise is looking fun, or tennis. Of course, tennis is not a solo operation, so maybe not. And I don't always have childcare available. Anyway, something new in addition to the treadmill would be good. (And no, laundry doesn't count, regardless of how many stinkin' times I have to go up and down the basement stairs carrying heavy loads each day.)

3. ALL doctors will be visited in 2009. Eyes, teeth, blessed woman parts, general, skin, you name it. I need to be better about visiting ALL of them every year and not just a few of them, especially now that I am over 30. (Ugh. Look at me, acting like an adult, haha.)

4. Traveling more, if it's financially feasible, of course. The year my son came home (2006-early 2007), we traveled at least once a month. Why? Because he was under two and FREE on the airlines! Since he turned two in 2007, we haven't traveled nearly as much, which is completely to be expected, but I would really enjoy it if there was a teeny bit more travel in 2009 than there was in 2008. Even if it is driving and not flying.

5. Finish up one project a month at least. My unfinished project list is embarrassingly long, so 12 items off the list really isn't knocking off a whole lot, but progress is progress.

6. Less sugar. My husband is diabetic (type II), so we don't need to have much in the house anyways. I eat WAY TOO MUCH sugar. Cutting it out completely won't work, but at least paying attention to how much I consume would be a start.

7. Organize and declutter. We started this a little this past year and got rid of a ton of stuff, but really, I could stand to go back through each and every room and give away MORE. The less I have, the less that has to be organized, and the easier it is to organize and keep it organized.

There you have it. 7 resolutions. The perfect number. Will I be able to keep them all? Probably not. But you can't reach your goals (or strive to reach them) if you don't have any in the first place. And any progress is good progress.

What are your goals for this new year?

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Child's Christmas in Wonderland

The latest nighttime prayer:

"Day doo, Gah, (Thank you, God) for Mama, cats, fire, Linny (the Guinea, from Wonder Pets), Papa, Tampah & Tamma (Grandpa and Grandma), candy canes, my game, and AMEN!" (The cats and fire bit came from the "Bolt" book we read just before bedtime, in which Bolt the Wonder Dog makes a cat friend and makes a fire rescue.) I get such a kick out of his little prayers every night. You never know what or who he will pray for!

We were kickin' it old school this evening. One of the little gifts my mom gave us for Christmas was one of those PacMan joysticks you can hook up to a TV.

So now this "video game-free" house owns a video game. It might not be a Wii or a Playstation, but we certainly are having fun with it. It reminds me of the Commodore 64 box my brother and I shared growing up. (Did anyone else out there own one? Or maybe a Vic-somethingorother?) We weren't cool enough to own an Atari, but we at least had the Commodore 64 to hook up to our TV and play a few games on, including Frogger. I just remember Frogger as these moving squares that represented cars and trucks on the road, and Frogger (a green moving blob) had to jump across them without getting hit. It's pretty hilarious (and amazing) to think how far graphics have come in the last 25 years or so.

In fact, it really was sort of an old school Christmas for my boy, at least toy-wise. He got his first set of Legos (not the big toddler chunky ones, but real Legos), Lincoln Logs, PacMan, some Little Golden Books, candy canes (of course, since that is the only thing he specifically asked for), a LiteBrite, some Dr. Seuss items, and a small Indian teepee (for play with the cowboys and Indians he already owns). He got a few more items than that, but those are all the old school gifts I can think of. My husband and I each received a small assortment of gifts from my mom and my brother and sister-in-law as well, my favorite items being the Anthropologie giftcard (of course) and a dishtowel with a sepia-toned photo of a Vespa scooter on it. My mom is pretty good at finding some pretty cool and quirky little items.

Our Christmas Day was nice and quiet. We had to wake up my son to start the present-opening festivities -- I thought for sure last year would be the last time he was somewhat clueless about Christmas, but nope, we squeaked by one more year of sleeping in a little! After the presents, we ate breakfast with my mom. I made blueberry upside-down pancakes, and they were so good. Then we trooped over to the movie theater to catch a movie at 10:15am -- I can honestly say I'm not sure when the last time was that I saw such an early movie! It paid off, though, because the movie theaters weren't busy yet, and we got out right at noon, just in time for lunch. We took the boy to see "The Tale of Despereaux".

So cute. I had read the book (yes, I sometimes read children's books for fun), and I had the opportunity to meet the author the summer before and get a few signed copies of her books, so it made me all the more excited to see this movie. I highly recommend it, especially because it had some really great life lessons about telling the truth, the importance of forgiveness, actions and consequences, and being yourself.

Then we had the afternoon to laze around and nap, followed by dinner at my cousin's house. We are very blessed to have my cousin and his wife live so close to us (same neighborhood, about 5 or 6 blocks south of us). They have five kids (9,7,5,3, and 1), so holidays are always a blast.

That's my Christmas in a nutshell. Nice and laidback and very enjoyable. How was yours?

Minne-SOH-ta, baby.

I sooooooo know where I am going to be January 30th. At the movie theater. Seeing this.

I feel I should get some royalties or something since someone out in Hollywood felt compelled to pen my life experience to paper. New girl in town, in Minnesota? That was ME. Totally me, just ask my husband. Of course, the fact that Harry Connick, Jr. plays the love interest, well, that just puts it over the top for me. Ha! But really, I felt like a fish out of water (putting it lightly) when my husband took a job transfer to the Great North a mere six months after we had gotten married. Frozen lakes? Never seen one. Ya sure, you betcha? I didn't know what in the heck ya'll were talkin' 'bout. Hot dishes? Oh honey, I think you mean a casserole. 30 below? I had no idea the temperatures really could get below zero unless you were in Siberia or something. Thank goodness my Minnesota experiences took a turn for the better, and after I halfway adapted, I am beyond thankful for the close friendships God gave me from there, and for the extended family on my husband's side that took me in and accepted this Southern gal. In fact, our annual (sometimes bi-annual) trip up to Minnesota is one of the things I look forward to most every year (since we're smart enough to avoid visiting in the middle of winter). All of that to say, I wouldn't change a darn thing about my time there, but man, if I can't relate to the gal in this movie!

I. can't. wait. to. see. this. You betcha'.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Feliz Navidad!

I want to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas! I hope that you get everything your little heart desires, that you slow down enough to enjoy the peace that comes this time of year, and that you remember the true reason for the season.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life. -- John 3:16

(Oh, and don't shoot your eye out!)

Monday, December 22, 2008

A whole big ball o'random.

Oh. my. stinkin'. heck.

The marketing brains behind this are brilliant. And by brains, I mean obviously women. I know you'll be laughing out loud. (It's a little long, but worth it.)

Now for some cuteness from that three-year-old son of mine, which must, of course, be typed down before I forget it:

1. I played a game of "memory" this evening with my son. "Memory" is the card game by Milton Bradley that has been around at least since my own childhood, but which now has various forms, one of which being the "Backyardigans" version that was gifted to my son today by a neighbor. When played with a three-year-old, this equals a rare and special form of Chinese water torture, for those of you who have yet to experience it. Despite my getting a little frustrated every two seconds from trying to keep all the cards straight on the floor, my kid from picking up more than two cards at a time, and my kid from taking more than one turn at a time, I do know that it really is an excellent educational game. We talked the entire game about making a "match", and by the end of the evening, my boy had it down what defines a "match". He even made several matches on his own out of 72 cards based straight on his little memory of what he had seen. I was impressed! My reward for the evening came at bedtime, when he looked up into my eyes and said, "We a match, Mama?". Oh my, son, we are SO VERY MUCH A MATCH. And I couldn't imagine it any other way. I'll take Chinese water torture for the rest of my life, thankyouverymuch, if it means I get to be matched with this crazy little guy.

2. For about a month now we have been asking him what he was planning on telling Santa he wanted for Christmas. I thought for sure this year he would finally "clue in" about Christmas and presents and how it's the season to hit paydirt, so to speak, in terms of getting every little thing his heart desires. I figured the "gimme's" would arrive this season, the impatience would kick in, and the begging for every single toy he could think of would start. But no. His steady and constant answer to our persistent question was this: "A candy cane, Mama". And sure enough, when the day actually came for him to sit upon Santa's knee, he stuck with his plan and asked for a candy cane. Love that. (And don't worry, he's getting more than just a candy cane this year!)

3. Top it all off with the fact that I ask him what Christmas is, and he flat out says, "Haha Barebay, Baby Jesus!" (Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus), and that makes for one grateful Mama.

4. Tonight's nightly prayer was a good one (they are usually quite entertaining) -- he thanked God for God, Jesus, toothpaste, and the sky. Oh, and my ratings must be up because I made his prayer list. ;)

Back at ya' tomorrow, maybe even with some pictures if you're lucky, haha.

What's one more day?

I know you'll forgive me just this once. Instead of working on a super-duper post, I spent my time wisely shopping on the Internet. Finally, some 75% off markdowns in the least expected places, and even before Christmas, something I never thought I would see at Anthropologie...

(See? After mentioning the "A" word, I knew you would understand. Now tomorrow should be clear for blog posting.)

In the meanwhile...

...enjoy these two songs on me. They are my favorites of this season, and I listen to them over and over and over and, you get the picture.

(Zee Avi -- No Christmas for Me)

(White Christmas -- Snow)

Dangling from the globe

I didn't mean to fall off the face of the earth.

Sometimes the crazy holidays will do that to you, though. Anyway, I'll be back tonight with a post of some sort, I promise. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Still here.

Sorry for going all MIA on you lately.

Life in a nutshell:
Dog had emergency surgery last week.
Come to find out he is a cancer survivor, bless his little doggone heart.
Vet called it "cancer in a sack" -- got the whole thing, expects normal lifespan for Romeo.
In-law's arrived for a visit, mere hours before the first big party at our house (30+ people).
Next night, another party, this time a formal dinner party, at our house.
Busy church day on Sunday.
Lots of marshmallow making (we're up to 5 batches so far, still 4 more to go, at least).
Google Reader tells me I am behind on blog-reading by 600+ posts. Haha. Yipes. I am sad.
Still have to finish my Christmas shopping.
At least I got started on my present wrapping.
Haven't even begun trekking to the post office to mail all the far-off packages. Hmm.
Love love love the holidays.
But might be ready for the peace and quiet and nothingness that comes in January.

I promise to return in another day or two (after the in-laws have gone back home) to do a real post. For now, there is lots of fun to be had with grandparents away from the laptop. :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Romeo, oh Romeo...

My husband took two of the dogs (remember we have five) to the vet today. One he was worried about, thinking she had lost weight and wasn't looking so good, and the other was due for his annual shots. Well, my husband just came home with one and not the other.

Before you think the worst, he had to leave one there for an emergency surgery. Not the one he was worried about mind you, but the other one. My little furry firstborn. My beloved, Romeo, who has been with me for almost 10 years now, through thick and thin, and who some of you prayed for back in August. He had a small tumor removed in August. At that same time, there was a tiny second lump on his stomach, but no big deal according to the vet. That little tumor now takes up the entire palm of my hand, and the vet decided it needs to go, and it needs to go now. Um, yeah, I wasn't exactly mentally prepared for my husband to not bring my baby back home.

So I'm asking for prayer again. Yes, for a dog. I don't care if you don't like dogs. I don't care if you don't usually pray. Now would be a great time to change your mind on those two things, though, because my baby goes under the knife first thing tomorrow morning, and we don't get to pick him up until Thursday, so I'm going to be a bit anxious the next two days, and I'm not too proud to ask for prayers for my dog.

As far as the dog my husband was worried about? It's a little bit funny what her problem is. Apparently the vet told my husband that occasionally, when a dog gets a haircut (like she did a month or so again when my husband gave her a short clip), they can actually get embarrassed (no joke) and become a bit down in the dumps over it. Ha! Who knew we had such a diva on our hands? Other than her embarrassment, her health is in tip-top condition.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Little Miss Busy

Busy. That's what this coming week is. Busy, busy, busy. We'll be having two holiday parties at our house, family coming from out of town to visit, and I'm working 12 hours this week instead of my usual 3-4 (and next week as well, actually). And believe me, 12 hours at a piano really feels like more than that -- sitting on a backless bench for more than 30 minutes at a time really doesn't do anything positive for this gal with chronic lower back pain. But the visions of extra green in my wallet from the next two weeks of extra work does, haha! And Bunko this week. Can't forget Bunko.

Plus, it just dawned on me that I need to start making nightly batches of my homemade marshmallows if I am to get them all done on time. This is both fun and frustrating. It's fun if it works. The first year I made them every single batch turned out beautifully. The next year it was 50/50, and when they don't turn out, the whole batch is ruined and not salvageable. Since the process is a 2-day process, you don't know until the 2nd day if the batch is going to be a good one or not. Hence, the frustrating part that can sometimes occur.

Oh, and I need to fully finish cleaning out the guest room this week, since it is going to actually be used (a rare occurance). And it would be nice to finish up the painting in the boy's room as well, although that is not likely to be done by week's end. The bed and surrounding woodwork is almost finished -- just one more coat on the inside of each berth and one more coat on one side of the bookshelves. Then we can paint the walls and the ceiling. And set up the long-anticipated train!

So how much of this list do I anticipate finishing by Friday? Unfortunately a lot of it really needs to be finished, but as far as if it can be finished, well, I don't know. So here goes...I'm just going to jump in and get started and do the very best that my little self can. Ready, set, here I go!

What all do you have to accomplish this week?

Ballet Shoes

I have been way too busy these last few weeks to watch hardly any TV or movies. My Netflix account has sat dormant, until last week when I finally watched Leatherheads after having had it for two months. When I went to the Netflix website to adjust my queue for the next movie, one of the "suggestions" was this movie. I'd never even heard of it, but as a child I had been a huge fan of the books upon which it was based. I had read every single one of the books by Noel Streatfeild -- Ballet Shoes, Circus Shoes, Dancing Shoes (just to name a few of them). And since they were written in the 1940's, as an adult, I still love the idea of them (since I firmly agree with my late grandmother who always said I was born in the wrong era -- I should have been born in the 1920's). I had no idea a movie had been made about these books, but I was very excited to see what it was about, so I requested it, and last night, although I had a zillion other things I should be doing, I climbed into bed with my laptop and watched this gem of a little movie.

So now I know exactly what I am going to be asking for Christmas -- Ballet Shoes on DVD, please. It is darling. Absolutely darling. The actresses are all fantastic -- it even has "Hermione" from Harry Potter, and "Lucy" (the youngest, I think her name is Lucy) from the Narnia series. The storyline is adorable, the music and the costumes are to die for (since I love all things from that era), and the ending is just too sweet.

If you're looking for a great movie for you (and possibly your daughter, as long as she is old enough for a PG rather than a G rating), you need to check it out. Movies like these are rare finds anymore.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Two thumbs (er, paws) up.

We took the boy to see Bolt at the movies tonight. In 3-D, no less.

Man, it was cute. I cannot lie. (Of course, I am a woman with five dogs, so I might be a tad biased, although for the record, everyone knows I am a cat lover as well. Yes, we are an equal-opportunity household.) There were many laugh-out-loud moments, especially thanks to the supporting cast of the alley cat and the hamster. (Props to whomever came up with the hamster character, especially his plastic ball that had me cracking up many a time.) I usually let my husband take the boy to the movies for most of the little kid flicks, not that I don't enjoy them, but mainly because I figure at some point, once they come out on DVD, there's a good chance I'll be subject to some mild form of torture in having to watch them over and over and over again. But Disney is smarter than that. Throw in a 3-D version for a couple of bucks more, and I am hooked. I'm a sucker for the 3-D glasses. (Ooh, especially for Harry Potter, at the IMAX. Sheer bliss.)

I'm no Roper or Ebert (those are their names, right?), but I thought it was a good little flick.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Whoops! Here it is Sunday night, and I forgot to tell you who won my little giveaway!

I did it the old-fashioned way, letting my three-year-old pick a slip of paper out of a cup with the name on it, and the big winner is............


And guess what?! After I clicked on her blog to find out who our new friend Chere' is, I found out her birthday was last week! So it's kind of like a little belated birthday gift. God is cool like that.

Anyway, Chere', I hope you enjoy the show (since you've never seen it, but have a willing heart, just like I specified in the rules, haha). It's a great lose-yourself-in-imagination-and-escape-reality-while-laughing-all-the-way type show -- I truly hope you'll love it!

Thanks for playing, everybody. I promise more giveaways in the future...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Always look on the briiiiiight si-ide of life!*

*Props to any of you who, off the top of your noggin', can name that Broadway show.

Ah yes, in life, it is mucho important to try and see the silver lining in all things. Take today, for instance.

The dog peed on the bathroom floor. -- Instead of screaming any number of expletives upon discovering such a situation, one might instead think, well, now is the perfect time to mop the floors since I was needing to do it anyway.

The boy bit one of his friends at school. -- Instead of thinking the fleeting thought of picking out a sweet little girl to take back home instead of said child, one might instead realize the value in the fact that said child can hold his own amongst his peers.

The boy peed on the newly washed sheets, blanket, and mattress pad in his bed. -- Instead of almost upchucking on one's self from the stench of the situation, one might instead find joy in the fact that now is the perfect opportunity to open up the new package of Christmas sheets one secretly might have purchased the other day (while on sale -- one must use one's common sense and practicality, of course).

The same boy then proceeded to poo in the tub (which surprisingly, never happens). -- While fishing poo out of the bathtub with one's hands, one might be a bit overwhelmed at this turn of events and feel the urgent desire to scream bloody murder. Instead, one might think, well, at least it was not while I myself was lounging in the bathtub.

Ah yes, no raining on this girl's parade today. It is a good day, indeed!

(Don't forget my little giveaway! It ends tomorrow!)

It's the season of giving.

Okay, so this giveaway totally puts my little giveaway to shame. But I soooooooo want to win. Which means you'd better not go over there and ruin my chances. Haha, just kidding. You'd be crazy not to! Who wouldn't want to win this AWESOME PRIZE????

And seriously, what's up with only 8 entries in my little giveaway so far? All I can say is that you folks that are pining to win my DVD set, your odds are pretty good right now! :) Yep, that's a silver lining for sure!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I dare you... watch this without getting a little bit misty-eyed.

Those darn animals. They get me every time.

Reason #462...

...that I should be awarded the "Mother of the Year" title:

Tonight it was just my son and I for dinner, as my husband was working late at the office. Seizing the opportunity to avoid having to make a home-cooked meal, I raided the freezer and found a TV dinner. It is very rare that I even purchase a TV dinner, but occasionally I allow myself the freedom to purchase the "Boston Market" ones. When we lived in Minnesota, we enjoyed eating at Boston Market now and again, but alas, here in Wonderland there is no Boston Market to be found, so I must turn to the freezer section of the grocery store to get my fix.

As I was waiting for my little meal to cook (the one I would be splitting with my three-year-old, mind you), my little eyes wandered down to that forbidden territory, the nutrition information section. (Here is where the "Mother of the Year" part comes in, for all of you out there who are a little slow.)

Calories: 860. Niiiiiiiiiice.
Calories from fat: 440. Even more niiiiiiiiice.
Total fat: 49g. Hmmmmmmmm...
Saturated fat: 19g (60% of the recommended Daily Value). I am such a good mom. A good, good mom.
Total cholesterol: 180mg. Keepin' it real, folks.

And that's how we roll here in Wonderland. So much for avoiding those extra holiday pounds...

On a totally unrelated note, don't forget to enter my little giveaway! Don't worry, it's full of zero calories and absolutely fat free!

Monday, December 1, 2008

One for me, and one for...

...ONE OF YOU out there in InternetLand!!!!

That's right, kids. My 200th post (200, ya' hear me?!) snuck up on me yesterday! Yes, I've been flapping my gums for 200 posts now. That's a lot. And a whole lotta posts means it's time for another GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!

I joined in on the CyberMonday fun today to knock some things off my holiday shopping list, and I decided I could run to my local Borders bookstore and reward myself as well, since I just so happened to have in my hot little hands a 40% off coupon. And while I was standing there in line, it dawned on me. My purchase would not only be an excellent gift to my hard-working self, but it would make a most excellent prize for a 200th post giveaway!

Yes, I'm not too proud to say it. I bought myself an early Christmas gift. A good one, of course. Want to know what it is?


Now, some of you out there might not yet be fans. And you might even be thinking, why possibly fall in love with a show that recently was doomed to the graveyard of forgotten TVLand? Tsk, tsk, tsk. Have you not learned anything from me? It is seriously one of the most wonderful little gems that has ever hit the Boob Tube, and even though it will be a short-lived series (I'm hoping they will go ahead and come out with Season Two on DVD after it ends), it is well worth the watch.

So, what are you waiting for? Leave me a comment telling me either your favorite Pushing Daisies character and why you love them so, or tell me why you would love to win the DVD set (and thereby promise me you will try to fall in love with it and not just recycle it as a Christmas gift for someone else -- don't think I can't read your mind). I will leave the giveaway open until this Friday, December 5th, at noon (Central Standard Time). Feel free to post it on your blog as well. If you do, leave me a comment telling me you did so and I will enter you another 2 times. (If I do it more than that the math might get too tricky in my head, haha.)


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sending up thanks.

Tonight's bedtime prayer, brought to you by my three-year-old, included the following:

"Day doo, Gah, por my: (Thank you, God, for my):
Papa, Mama, Roro (one of the dogs, Romeo), Mazi, Summer, Tess (Tex, again all of the dogs), Minnie, Ganpah (Grandpa), ReeRee, Rish, (Marie and Rich), Bant, Mehw, Baby Dihdee (Brant, Mel, and Baby Ginny), Baby Tag, Warren (Lauren), BJ, candy, cool (school), and the Bihbuh (Bible). Amen!"

Amen, indeed. If you found yourself lucky enough to be listed in that lengthy prayer, you are a very blessed person (or dog, there are quite a few dogs listed as we have five) indeed. This little guy prayed for each of these things all on his own. I love that.

I love three-year-old prayers.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Oh good gracious.

I saw the movie. (I shouldn't have to even say what movie, but, just in case any of you have been living under a rock, I will -- Twilight.)


So many things went wrong. And I'll have you know that I never compare books with their movie counterparts. The movies are never quite the same anyway, and isn't it really pretty unfair to expect any worthwhile book to be condensed into two hours on the big screen? At least that's my justification for never comparing the two.

Anyway, back to the ugh. Where shall I start? Not-so-fine on the acting, super cheesy (as in, can we say, the Kraft macaroni cheesiest) on any and all romantic scenes, terrible background music (the floaty piano pieces while they were getting to know each other were killing me and reminded me of bad elevator music or something you might hear in a grocery store), and just general ugh. The only character I really thought was exactly like what I had pictured in my mind was Charlie, her dad.

Save your $8.50, folks. And considering I am only partway through book #2, I'll probably take my time finishing up the series.

(Oh, but I must give a shout-out to my beloved Oregon for being the unsung hero of the movie. It's safe to say that this Oregon lover was very happy with all the beautiful scenery and even a couple of screenshots of Multnomah Falls.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

ABC is $@&%?^?#&%#*#&%^@.

That's me cussing on the blog. Pushing Daisies has been officially axed. And to top it all off, it ends on a cliffhanger.

ABC is $@#$(@#%&#@(%?^#@(%@#(%&?@#(%&#@(%&@#(&%@(#&%(#@&%(@#&%(#@&%(@&%!!!!!

Never a dull moment.

My mom, my son, and myself had just arrived in a neighboring city today to visit my new nephew (cute little Mr. No-Name that finally got his name, Ewan) when I got a phone call. One of those phone calls you never want to get.

Your husband has been in an accident.

Thank the good Lord above that he is alright. My whole body was shaking when I first heard the news. Here I was, almost 2 hours away, and unable to do anything, unable to be with him, unable to know all of the details. My husband was gone all week on a business trip and flew home early this morning. He was driving to our home from the airport, pulling off on an exit ramp, when he was struck from behind by a pick-up truck, going about double the speed he was. She hit him at an angle, which probably kept it from being worse. He hit his head on the steering wheel, and they took him to the hospital in an ambulance. But after x-rays and a good once-over, it ended up being a bad case of whiplash.

He's home already. We just arrived back home. And I've never been so grateful in my life to see him all in one healthy piece.

God is good.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Missing In Action. That's me, lately. That, and you could add "running around like a chicken with her head cut off" to my title as well. Right now is just one of those periods where I constantly feel like I'm clawing my way to the surface, but I just can't get enough of a grip to hold on up there. (Not emotionally, mind you, but just feeling behind on everything.) Thanksgiving is a WEEK away from tomorrow. What?! How did that happen?! I was planning on having my Christmas shopping done by then, and yet, haha, I haven't even started. And Thanksgiving is at my house this year. My currently very messy and completely unfinished house this year. And Christmas? A mere four weeks after that!!!

But anyway, back to my reasons for being MIA lately. I have been up to my eyeballs in painting. And sanding. And caulking. (Caulk is my new best friend. Forget diamonds. It's all about caulk for me, and how it makes everything look sooooooooooo nice.) And painting some more. After working on my son's room for 4 days now (give or take some hours of trying to keep up with the household chores as well), my mom and I are halfway through our first coat of real paint. It took almost 11 hours just to prime it all. Then another 4 or 5 hours to sand it all. Then caulking was at least another 2 hours. Then starting the first coat of paint took 4 hours so far. We still have to finish the first coat, lightly sand it all again, and then paint the last coat. Then the woodwork will be done, and we can start on painting the ceiling and all the walls.

Are you exhausted yet just from reading my long list from this room? I sure am.

But don't despair. I am very happy with the way it is all shaping up. And I've gotten just a teensy bit of satisfaction from the fact that my mom and I have done almost all of this process by ourselves, and it looks nice. Reeeeeeeeeeeal nice.

Here are some before pictures (before being after the carpenter left):

And here is what it looks like right now:

It's hard to tell, but the white on the woodwork is actually an off-white shade. The walls are going to be painted in a medium shade of greyish-taupe. Nice and neutral, folks. Enough work has gone into this little man's room that I have no plans whatsoever to go back in every few years and change the wall color. The train shelf is so cute. The carpenter added a little platform on each wall coming out from the shelf where I can put a building on -- we are buying a water tower, a church, a barn and silo, and a ranch house, one to go on each wall. We also still have to put up the curtain rods inside each bunk, which means I also need to make curtains. And I think I will be making a new Roman shade and panel for the window, although I have yet to figure that one out. My goal is to have all of the woodwork done by this weekend, except for some changes my husband needs to make that then must be primed and painted to get caught up with everything else. I hope by Sunday at the latest that I will be starting in on the ceiling and the walls.

So, what do you think?

Monday, November 17, 2008

The best way to start a Monday... with a good laugh. I mean, a gooooooooooooooooood laugh, and at someone else's expense, of course.

Go over to AnyMommy's blog and read for yourself. And thank your lucky stars you are done with potty training. Or haven't yet started. Or at least don't have it as bad as she does...;)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Q: How do you catch a squirrel?

A: Climb up a tree and act like a nut.
(Props go out to my cousin's second oldest boy for this classic joke, the only joke I can ever successfully remember.)

Only in my little world, which often seems like a mishmash of living with Raymond (from "Everybody Loves Raymond") and Tim (from "Home Improvement"), would the following scenario not only happen, but actually be accepted as a genuine, bonafide reason for one's spouse being well over an hour late arriving home:

(our phone call from five minutes ago)
Me: Where are you?

Him: Well, you'll never believe this, but...(if I had a dollar for every time I've heard that phrase come out of his mouth, I'd be a filthy rich woman.)

Me: But what?

Him: Well, on my way home I stopped at the park to get rid of the peanuts in the back of the car (first "strange for everyone else, completely normal for my husband" part of the explanation). I went to feed them to the squirrels (again, a very normal occurrance). And when I got back to the car, I realized I'd misplaced my car keys when sitting in the park.

*Insert long awkward silence here, during which I was trying to collect my thoughts, resist all of the screaming voices in my head, and keep from reaching through the phone to strangle him.

Him (continuing, as if he'd never even noticed the long, awkward silence): I went back to look for the keys and realized I'd sat in three different places while feeding the squirrels. And with all of the leaves on the ground...

Me (thinking, and not thankfully saying any of the following out loud): ...the five trillion leaves on the ground over who knows how many acres of the park where the car keys could have possibly dropped ALL THE WHILE you were actually supposed to have already come home to get the list of items needed from the paint store so we could actually start sanding the new built-in's in the boy's room that were supposed to be sanded THREE DAYS AGO...

Me (actually what came out of my mouth): Great. See you in ten minutes. Click.

I must give credit to the good Lord above who has granted me over six years of marriage with this husband of mine, six years filled with many a similar scenario, which over time stretched my patience into the significant amount you see that was exercised today. Thank you, Lord. Oh, and while we're at it, thank you, Lord, also for the rest of my family, including my dear brother and sister-in-law, who welcomed their third son into the world yesterday morning and HAVE YET TO NAME THE POOR LITTLE THING. ;) No, really, I know, naming babies is a hard thing, especially when it's your third boy. You don't want to brand the poor things. Hopefully soon...

Yes, Lord, thank you for all the nuts in my life.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

So much to say...

...and so little time to say it.

Just popping my head in to say I'm still alive (in case any of you were wondering). I've just been swamped by life. In the last two weeks so much has been happening:

*the carpenter finished my son's room -- I have been waiting over a year for this, so you can only imagined how elated I am. This happy news, of course, brings about the overwhelming news that I have a huge amount of painting to embark on -- the ceiling, the crown moulding, the baseboards, the bed, the drawers, the ladder, the bookshelves, the shelf all the way around the room, and the walls. That's all. Oh, and I need to have it done pronto since we are hosting a few Christmas hooplas at our house in about a month. No pressure.

*we enjoyed a fun and bittersweet roadtrip to see my husband's youngest sister and her husband. He is deploying soon for yet another year (he has served this country abroad many times already), and we wanted to get in some family time before he left, especially for my three-year-old, who absolutely adores his uncle.

*one of my beloved cousin's had her first baby yesterday, a gorgeous little girl

*my brother and sister-in-law welcomed their third son into the world today, about an hour ago, actually (we are still waiting patiently to find out his little name)

Needless to say, I have a whole lot I need to be posting about, wouldn't you agree? I will try my absolute best to get typing and uploading (pictures) just as soon as I get a spare moment, which, should be, oh, right about in November of 2009. Does that date work for you? Haha. Just kidding.

Back in a smidge...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Yes, please.

I'm sure I could find a cute little someone to wear this if I won it. Or save it for any potential cute little someone's in the future. (No, that's not a hint for any pregnancy/adoption news on my part.)

Tropical Tree Frog Costume GIVEAWAY!!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Or as my three-year-old says "Hahhee Haween!"

A quick funny story -- I got my son's Trick-or-Treat bag out of the side entry, and couldn't help but laugh when I opened it up to find it full of candy...from last year. Oops. Such good parents were we that we probably gave our (then) two-year-old a couple of choice pieces, waited until he had forgotten all about his huge loot, and put it away.

Have a fun and safe day! We'll be trick-or-treating at several stops and then on to a fun Fall Festival! Don't worry, we'll be sure and eat lots of candy for ya'.

Caffienated through other means

Recently my dear husband brought me home a surprise from Starbucks. Being that I am not a coffee afficianado myself, I was thrilled when it was a CD and not necessarily a drink (although I am a fan of Caramel Apple Cider). I must admit, however, that I was very skeptical. I am a music freak, and yes, this will sound strange, but I was worried that I would not like it and then be frustrated that my husband dropped 10 or 12 bucks on the CD for naught. Ever since the birth of iTunes, my own personal record store, I have been a big participant in the listen to a snippet before you buy it movement, so it is rare for me to purchase anything musical anymore without either already loving the musician or taking a "test drive" by listening to excerpts. Yes, I take my music purchases very very seriously, haha. So I popped the CD in, not knowing what to expect from the name "Fleet Foxes", but hello, sunshine, I think I am in love. (Not with the band personally, mind you, I'm not usually a big fan of the mountain man/Yeti look, but with their music? Yes, ma'am.) Their music is very easy to listen to, and I love the mellow tones to their voices. I highly recommend the CD.

Here they are on David Letterman recently, performing "Blue Ridge Mountains":

Here is a fun little claymation type video, "White Winter Hymnal":

And another, "He Doesn't Know Why":

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Yesterday I got a wild hair that maybe we should get a pumpkin for our son to help carve. He is three-and-a-half, and in years past, this is not something we'd tried with him. I had seen some $2 and $3 at my Walmart grocery store, but those suckers were heavy and down at the bottom of huge cardboard boxes, so I mentioned to my husband to run by there and pick one up on his way home.

Sure enough, my husband picked out a pumpkin alright. He waltzed (or actually stumbled) in the house with a giant behemoth of a pumpkin -- we think it weighs around 50 pounds. Linus would surely be proud. Seriously. Really, though, what did I expect from my anything-but-normal better half?

After a dinner of chili (with Fritos) and pumpkin bread laced with mini-chocolate chips, we got to work. Or rather, my husband got to work, grunting and groaning against the weight of the thing, wrestling with it to try and pull out the top he had carved. Once that was accomplished, it took us a good hour to pull out all the guts and dig out the seeds. In the end we went for a traditional Jack-o-Lantern face -- forget all those fancy carving kits.

Think he'll scare the ghosts and goblins away from our house?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Say it ain't so.

I read this article today on Yahoo. If it is true (it simply cannot be true), and if the worst comes to pass, I'm giving up on TV for good. Pushing Daisies is one of the only shows I still watch, and if the rest of America only wants to watch CSI: Wherever shows (sorry, but it seems like there are a zillion different types of crime dramas on TV now), I guess that's just how it'll be.

First it was my beloved Men in Trees. Now possibly this? It's more than my poor heart can bear.

Some days are harder than others.

There are two days every year that are not quite so rose-colored-glasses-sunny-side-of-the-street for me. They aren't horrible days, by any means, just a little bit harder than normal. One being today, October 27th, and the other being April 27th. October 27th, today, would have been my dad's 72nd birthday. (Wow, now that I'm typing that out, 72 sounds so old for me trying to picture my dad, but he was 40 when I was born, so that's about right!) And April 27th is the day he passed away, a mere three and a half years ago. Many of you already know the story, but for those of you that don't, here's the short version: my grandfather (step-dad to my mom, but the only grandfather I had known) passed away in March 10, 2005 -- somewhat expected since he was in his 90s and had recently had his health rapidly decline. My grandmother, who was not doing the greatest herself, but was much younger in her early 80s, passed away two weeks later March 25, 2005. The day after her funeral, my dad went to the doctor to get checked out (a big deal for my dad the doctor-phobic), and within days we found out he was in Stage 4 kidney cancer. Bam. Just like that. He passed away a month later on April 27, 2005. (He had hardly been sick his whole life, so I wasn't exactly planning on losing him so very quickly, not that anyone ever plans on these things.) A few days after his passing, we got a call from our adoption agency that the baby we were waiting to bring home had been reclaimed by his birthmother (a more rare occurrance in international adoptions). He was the baby we had shown pictures of to my dad before his passing. Sheesh. This would be where the ol' phrase "when it rains it pours" would be very appropriate. At that point I was starting to wonder if somehow a new chapter of Job in the Bible would be written with my name in there somewhere. (I kid, I kid, but it was starting to look a teensy bit comparable!)

Needless to say, 2005 was not the best year for us. But God is good, and He brought a new baby referral into our lives immediately, and a year later we brought our son home and named him after my dad. And I must admit, I am truly grateful that I did get that last month with my dad to say goodbye, rather than have him stolen away from me with no warning at all. Time has definitely worked to heal my wounds of losing so many so suddenly, and most days are easy. But there are days like today where I just wish I could sing Happy Birthday to my dad.

He was a great guy. Always laid-back, very easy-going, very satisfied with life, never one to want much more out of life than being with us, watching John Wayne, listening to big band music, and cheering on his favorite college football team. He was a very quiet man (except for yelling at the TV during football and basketball, the only times during my life I ever heard him raise his voice), although he could talk your ear off on occasion. Oh, and he loved ice cream and ate it almost every night (I think this is where my love of ice cream comes from).

Right before his funeral, one of the funeral directors came up to me with a small velvet bag in his hands, asking me who to give it to. Inside the bag was my dad's wedding band. This director obviously didn't know my mom had made the decision to leave it on his hands in the casket, but I had opposed her decision. I gratefully accepted the bag, opened it up, and stuck it immediately on my right ring finger, surprised when it actually fit! (My dad was a small guy.) His ring has remained on my finger ever since, and it has been such a comfort to me, feeling as if he is with me throughout the day and experiencing life with me still. Speaking of the ring, though, I must tell you what happened last year, about a year and a half ago. I went to the Walmart grocery store to pick up some groceries, and while I was in line paying (with cash), I thought I heard a coin drop. I was in a hurry and didn't care about losing some change, so I hurried out. Later that day, I realized his ring was not on my finger. And then I realized something even worse -- I had actually forgotten that day was the anniversary of his passing (which I attribute now to trying to actually mentally block it out because the loss was still so deep at that point), and on that day of all days I had lost his ring, in my mind, one of the only tangible things I had to remind me of him! Seriously, losing his ring on the actually anniversary of his death?! Oh, I was beside myself. When I retraced my steps that day, it finally occurred to me that it had probably been lost there, but when I called, they had not found anything like a gold ring. I cried buckets and buckets and buckets, knowing that more than likely someone had walked off with a free gold ring. The next day I decided to go in to the store and ask in person, just in case. Sure enough they too told me that nothing of the sort had been found, but I was free to look inside their lost and found drawer. Back in the corner, there was the ring. I started crying tears of joy right there in Walmart (and I am not normally an emotional gal) and told them the story. The Walmart ladies joined me with tears of their own. I have never loved Walmart so much. ;)

my dad, Sept. 2004, shortly after the birth of my nephew, his first and only grandson he would get to see (there are now 3 grandsons total, with one more arriving next month sometime)

Happy Birthday, Dad. I'll be sure to eat some ice cream in your honor. ;)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Conversational Spanglish.

As far as the title goes, this post doesn't have much Spanglish in it, but our everyday life does. You'll hear phrases like "put it in your boca" or "no mas right now", etc. Since I am not yet fluent in Spanish, for now, Spanglish it is. Regardless, my boy is starting to talk more and more, and a lot of it is pretty funny and cute. I just had to type some of it down in the fear that I might forget it if I don't.

"lie a tan-pah" -- like a grandpa, said while moving my glasses to the tip of my nose, in a grandpa fashion, I guess. I'm not sure where he got that one, since my dad passed away before he came home, and his other grandpa lives far away and they only see each other about once a year.

"Hey Bal!" -- Hey Val! Um, excuse me? Since when are we on a first-name basis? I didn't even know he knew my real name, I mean, other than Mama, of course.

"Tanh tatch meeeeeeee!" -- Can't catch me!, followed with loads of giggling and sprinting off.

"Wuh woo BabyMama" -- Love you BabyMama, in response to my nightly salutation of "I love you, Baby" before I turn the lights out in his room.

"Pincess! Pincess! PINCESS!!!!!!!" -- (princess) shrieked while cruising the tulle/satin aisle of fabric at JoAnn's fabric store.

"Wat a name?" -- What's your name, asked of every single person we come into contact with. Every. Single. Person. I think we have a little Will Rogers on our hands (he never met a person he didn't like). And he only gets louder and keeps asking if the poor stranger doesn't hear him, or gasp, tries to pretend they didn't hear the question.

"No tatching. No hidding. No pussing. No biding. No puh shir." -- His morning ritual in the car on the way to preschool, listing all of the offenses he can think of that he promises not to pull. (No scratching, no hitting, no pushing, no biting, no pulling shirts, and no, I have no idea where the pulling shirts rule came from, I just hope it is not girls who have been the victims on that one!)

"Day doo, Dah, por my poo. May-men!" -- Thank You, God, for my food. Amen! At every meal. And snacktime, don't forget the snacks.

"Mama, me pitty heh!" -- Mama, I have pretty hair. Pointing to his trademark fauxhawk.

"Essdeday" and "last nigh" -- Any reference to time, be it in the future, tomorrow, a week from now, is all referred to as yesterday or last night.

"I hode you." -- I hold you, meaning please pick me up and hold me, Mama. I always thought it was cute when other little kids phrased it that way, but man, talk about tugging on your heartstrings when it's your own child saying this...

"Fah fah way?" -- Far, far away?, used in reference to all of our beloved relatives scattered across the US.

"ee-yee" -- TV.

"Sossy, Mama." -- Sorry, Mama.

"boobehbehs, tawbehbehs" -- blueberries, strawberries

"puntin pie" -- pumpkin pie, but usually refers to anything Halloween in general and all pumpkins, regardless of if they are made into a pie or not

"may-oh-mah" for "ha-ween" -- telling everyone he will be a mailman for Halloween

"peez peez" -- how he says Please, almost always said in duplicate with his cheesiest grin ever

Counting to ten: "one, two, fee, eight, nine, ten!!!"

And the not so cutest little things...

"WhyMamawhy? WhyMamawhy? WhyMamaWhy? WhyMamaWhy? WhyMamaWhy? WhyMamaWhy?" -- to be repeated at least five hundred thousand two hundred and sixty two times a day. At least. My husband, with the mischievious streak that he has, thought he would turn the tables on our son to see if it annoyed him like it annoys us, but it only goes one way apparently. If you ask our boy "Why?", he always answers with a smiling face and a "yes" or a mimicking "Tus I seh so" (cause I said so) like he hears from his Mama.

"Wheh Papa doh? Wheh Papa doh? Mama, wheh Papa doh? Wheh Papa doh?" (Where'd Papa go?) Over and over, day in and day out, even though he already knows the answer that Papa went to work. I've given up on answering the question, although my silence doesn't seem to deter the numerous repetitive question.)

"Wha dat? Wha dat? Wha dat? Wha dat?" -- (What's that?), usually followed up with the dreaded Why?

"Who dat tar?" -- (Who's car is that?), never placated by my answer of "I don't know because I don't know that person." This is a constant question in the car as he points to every stinkin' car that passes by out the window and wants to know, no, more like needs to know.

Okay, and on a totally unrelated note, why do some churches call their Halloween festivals "Trunk or Treat"? I am confused at what the "trunk" part means or where it came from. Anyone?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Git 'er done.

Ugh. It's been one of those days. Not necessarily a bad day, mind you, I'm still quite happy regardless, but just one of those days that I don't feel very successful. And I feel extra tired -- a combo of not yet catching up from last weekend's crazy busy schedule mixed in with the very busy days from this week and topped off with not enough time being a homebody like I normally enjoy. Here it is almost 2pm, not one thing has been checked off my looooooooooong list of things needing to be tackled, and well, here I sit. And ponder.

After waiting around for the plumber most of the morning (long story) the boy and I got out of the house to traipse over to our local JoAnn's fabric store. After cruising the aisles (aimlessly, I might add), I still couldn't find exactly what I wanted, and when I had taken the time and effort to wheel all of the potential fabric choices back to their places and ended up with only one left in my cart to purchase, I turned around to find the list at the cutting table a mile long. And they are not fast at my JoAnn's. Not to mention you could make it all the way through that line only to have to stand in another mile-long line at the checkout counter, where they never seem to have enough cashiers. Add to that my son piping up "I nee doh potty", and that pretty much sealed the deal for me. We walked out empty-handed, drove all the way home, and here I've sat, lamenting the waste of time.

So, I suppose that would all add up to mean one thing:
it's time to get up off my derriere and shuffle off to start tackling that list. Ah yes, that's the spirit.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How low can it go?

How low can it go?

According to our local news, drivers around Wonderland were paying $2.32 a gallon for regular unleaded on Wednesday night. Prices are 30 cents lower than they were one week ago. The prices in Wonderland are 50 cents below the national average.

How low can it go?

A cold front came through last night, and today's high is supposed to hover around 50 degrees with a low around 40 tonight. Thank the good Lord above that cold fall air finally arrived!

How low can it go?
Lest you think everything around here is always sunshine and roses, it's my sad duty to report to you that our house is currently the scene of a crime. Yesterday's massive rains took a toll on our poor scarecrow. I feel like we should put yellow police tape up or something.

Talk about resourceful! I saw this on Pretty Ditty today. Really. Somewhere on this planet there is a girl who took all of her little selvedge strips from her fabric (the part I usually just chuck in the trash) and actually made an entire dress out of it. Excuse me, an entire very cute dress out of it. Don'tcha just love it?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

And the world spins madly on.*

*Bonus points to whoever can name the band who sings that song. No cheating via Google. Only answers off the top of your head welcome here.

Will I evah get caught up with life? Well, I don't know 'bout that, but I suppose I'll just have to try. Lord, have mercy, this past week has about done me in with how busy it was, and with the holidays approaching, I don't suspect it will slow down anytime soon. So from this point forward, I vow to put my best foot forward and accomplish what I can. Period.

One thing I would love to accomplish this weekend is to see this movie:

I read the book about five or six years ago, so I remember parts of it, but not how it ended, strangely enough. The mysterious ending will make me enjoy the movie even more, since my memory won't allow me to compare the book to the movie. It's amazing to think that it was Sue Monk Kidd's first novel. If I could crank out something that compelling, well, I'd be pretty pleased with myself!

So what has this prairie queen been up to lately? A little o' this, a touch of that. Here's the skinny over the last week or so: I played with my son during his Fall Break, I joined the little quilting ministry that just started at our church, I went on a road trip with my mom to Kansas City for my cousin's baby shower...

my beautiful cousin, C, myself, and the baby shower honoree, my other beautiful cousin, R (both of them are pregnant, but I only just found out that C is expecting her 3rd, the shower was actually for R)

...we "puppysat" another of my cousins' newest baby...

Lola, a beautiful 9-week-old Weimeraner, full of super-sharp little teeth!

...we took our boy to the circus (no one does it quite like those Ringling Bros.), we coordinated dinner for 50 or so hungry teenagers, and we all know what I was up to last night. All I can say about last night is, magic. I sure got some laughs from folks my age about going to see Neil Diamond, but I doubt anyone that was born in the 70's especially could deny their own ability to sing along with most of his songs. We were singing along at the top of our lungs to "Sweet Caroline", and I could hardly contain myself during "America". Way to go, Neil. I am forever a fan. (And it was that much sweeter that we scored our tickets for free. Take that, all you haters and teasers.)

Before all the craziness that was last week, I actually got some sewing accomplished! My quilts finally came back from the long-arm quilter (almost three months, people), and I did my best to hurry and get the bindings on them so I could actually start to enjoy them.

I used a vibrant Kaffe Fassett print for the binding -- purple with red polka dots. Thank you very much to my own personal Vanna White's -- Tex and Minnie Pearl, the naughty Italian greyhounds who will not stay off my red velvet sofa.

I used more polka dots from my stash on this quilt as well, this time brown on brown.

And how 'bout a treadmill update? To tell you the truth, I fell off the wagon towards the beginning of the summer. Yipes. That's a hard pill to swallow, and even harder to admit. I was a quitter. But the good news is that I got myself back on. After two and a half weeks back on, I have walked over 38 miles. Which also means I am getting back to my nightly viewing of Gilmore Girls, via the complete DVD collection in my basement. (I'm on Season Two now. Lorelai, oh Lorelai, how could you possibly let Max go?) Going back through the show from the beginning is fun, and it helps me to actually look forward to stepping on the treadmill every night. Speaking of, I didn't realize that it was weird to get on the treadmill every night instead of every morning. Somehow getting on every night just before bedtime doesn't affect my ability to fall asleep, thank goodness.

And so, with the treadmill on my mind, that is where I shall retire to...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Home Before Dark

Yipes. I didn't mean to let so many days lapse between postings, but man, if I couldn't use a little bit of clock-stopping around here. I have been busy, busy, busy. And then some.

Unfortunately, a lengthy post will have to wait until 'morrow because I have a hot date tonight with this man...

And yeah, it's okay, my husband knows all about it...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Time just for Mama

(image above from somewhere on etsy, but darn it all to heck if I can't find it right now)

Getting up so early today (see earlier post) has afforded some positive things already. Like having plenty o' time to surf the net before my mama duties kick in for the day. In fact, according to my weekly check of all things new at iTunes, it is a very good week indeed -- new music from two ladies I love, Ingrid Michaelson and Kristin Chenoweth!

There are numerous reasons to love Kristin, numero uno being her role in Pushing Daisies, numero dos being her role a couple of years back in the made for TV movie version of The Music Man, and numero tres being fact that she is a favorite here in Wonderland. It doesn't hurt that her new CD is a Christmas CD, has a duet with John Pizzarelli, and that she covers one of my mom's favorite songs, "Come On Ring Those Bells", a song I found corny growing up, but might secretly enjoy now. Bring on the holiday music! I'll be downloading this CD today.

1 Timothy 6:10

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Anyone else out there won the lottery lately? Apparently by now I should be filthy rich from winning the lottery, several times, too, by the amount of winning notification emails in my inbox and spam folder lately. Today alone I've already had five separate emails from the Irish letting me know I was a winner. And apparently my luck spans the globe as in the past week I have also been declared a winner in the United Kingdom and several countries across Africa.

I don't even open them. I just check the box, hit delete, and move on, for fear that if I even open them to try and somehow unsubscribe from whatever unlucky email list I got on, I will get some virus on my computer. Unfortunately for me, though, they seem to be coming more frequently.

Any advice on how to rid myself of these notices? I would prefer to live my simple life, free from the shackles of extreme wealth and the burdens that come with being so filthy rich. (And yes, this email is dripping with sarcasm, probably due to the fact that I got the worst night's sleep ever and am up and wide awake at 5am, hours earlier than what I am used to. Grrrrr.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More tea, please.

What a lovely evening. It was Bible study night for our group of girls from church, and we had the pleasure of a guest speaker. We listened to her tell of her experiences as a missionary in China. She moved there five years ago after her husband passed away, leaving her kids and grandkids here, a somewhat surprising decision since she was more of a homebody, always wanted to be close to her kids, and didn't like to fly. But she had a willing heart and a passion to teach English to students over there. She had so many beautiful pictures to share and stories to tell, many of which brought tears to my eyes, especially the stories about helping the kids in the orphanages. The hostess even had some customary tea for us to drink and fruit and cookies to snack on. We tried two types of teas, chrysanthemum and blooming flower, the second of which was our favorite. The chrysanthemum was bitter tasting, but the blooming flower, well, I don't know how else to describe it -- it really tasted just like what a beautiful flower smells like.

(This picture from Flickr is similar to what her blooming flower tea looked like.)

She also had a fun little game for us where we had to try our skills out with chopsticks by transferring caramels, cherry sours, and lemon drops from one cup to another. I've never been able to eat any meals with chopsticks, so I had to concentrate quite hard to grab those candies with just the chopsticks, which, of course, was still far easier than when I have attempted to eat rice with them. Of course I had no problems at all eating the candies...

It's nights like these that remind me of the importance of remembering that God can use us at any age, any stage of life, if only we are willing. We don't have to go overseas to be used as missionaries. We just need to be willing to plant the seeds and allow Him to do the rest.

Musings from your favorite random gal

How 'bout this for some randomness...I was catching up on my blog-reading the other day (always a fantastic way to spend my time, right, especially with a mile-long to-do list, but oh well) and came across this post on Ohdeedoh.

Is that not hilarious? A "poo-flinging monkey cake with spring-loaded arm which hurled Raisinets"??? What in the world?! (And how in the world, I might add.) Hmm, I guess it is just proof that there are other lovely folks out there even more quirky than me, ha! And you'd better send pics my way if any of you attempt this on your own, haha...

I think this might be my new favorite quote:

"Reality. It's so much more interesting than living happily ever after." -- Meredith, Grey's Anatomy.
True dat, Meredith, true dat.

Things I am thankful for today:

1. The plumber came to our house! We have had a drippy bathtub faucet in our hall bathroom for months now. (Yes, this is me admitting how lazy my husband and I can be, or maybe how unbelievably busy and preoccupied and forgetful we can be, depending on which way you want to look at it.) My husband finally called the plumber, and he came today and fixed it. Hallelujah! Funny thing about the plumber, he was a super nice man, but by golly, wouldn't you know that yes, he did indeed have a plumber's crack. Is that some sort of a requirement to being a plumber 'cause I'm guessing it obviously got it's name from plumbers for a reason???

2. My son was good today at school! (Yes, this is me admitting that my son has had some sort of a, um, naughty streak both at school and at church for the last few weeks, and when I say that there have been days where it just about did me in, I kid you not.) Hallelujah again! Funny thing about today -- when I picked my son up from preschool, his teacher was beaming when she told me that he was a good boy today. Immediately after she said it, another little boy across the table from my son immediately declared, "I wasn't!" It was pretty hilarious, or maybe it was more hilarious to me since it wasn't my kid for once. Ha!

And last, but not least...
3. The "best man" at our wedding was much better than this...

I saw this today over at Liz's blog. Lord, have mercy, it's pretty hilarious. My husband and I recently became directors for our church's Nearly/Newly Married Life Group (fancy new name for "Sunday School"), so things like this are especially funny to me now that I'm around newlyweds and couples in the thick of wedding planning. Of course, now that I'm an old married woman, going on 6+ years now, I can look back at this and know that, yes, although it is a pretty bad thing to have happen at a wedding, marriage is (thankfully) so much more than the wedding and all those crazy details that all of us once fretted and obsessed over as brides-to-be. This video makes me thankful for the 6 years under our belts already, thankful for having a partner who loves me even on my frumpiest, grumpiest days, and thankful for the years and adventures to come. (And okay, okay, very thankful that I didn't fall in a pool with my wedding dress on.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

I want to be a winner.

Well, more specifically, I want to be a winner of this.

Wouldn't you?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Can't we just live there?

Growing up I had a framed print in my room, above my bed, of the absolute most picturesque cottage you've ever laid eyes on. The title below the picture was just that, "Can't we just live there?". I find it an appropriate title for this next picture, one of the cutest houses I've laid eyes on around these parts in Wonderland. It's a bit of a jaunt from my house to this one as it lies on the outskirts, but oh, if I was going to change from City Mouse to Country Mouse, this would be my home of choice.

It's on just enough land, oh, probably 5-10 acres I would guess, to allow my husband to rescue as many dogs as his heart would desire, allow me to finally get a kitty for my own, and then for us to throw in a few chickens, a pony (dappled, of course), and a goat named Nan (from one of my absolute favorite movies of all time, Tammy and the Bachelor).

I'm sure glad that dreams don't cost a thing...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tribal love

Um, yeah, sorry about the lapse in blogging lately, or should I say, just not posting quite as often nor quite as much artsy-crafty goodness as all good and faithful blog followers deserve. I shall amend that at once. Er, tomorrow, at once. Er, probably more like tomorrow evening.

For now, I'll just give a fast synopsis of the last few days around here: sewing, bird-rescuing (a tale to be told), thrifting (a new venture for me that I think I will be doing more of in the future, fun fun fun!), dice-rolling (hence the lovely Halloween costume pictured above, necessary for the ultimate-in-fun Bunko evening), indie craft show attending, and just general mayhem on the prairie as usual. I promise to return tomorrow with stories. And more pictures.

And just so you know, the costume above should not be taken lightly. I am, in fact, a card-carrying tribal member, don't let the whiter-than-white skin and green eyes fool you. I even got Indian money when I turned 18, can you believe it?! My dad's mother was born in Indian Territory, and I am darn proud to be an Indian princess. And I do believe it might have been the Great Spirit who helped me in my Bunko wins last night, ha!

I'll leave you with an old Cherokee blessing:

May the warm winds of Heaven blow softly on your home,
And the Great Spirit bless all who enter there.
May your mocassins make happy tracks in many snows,
And may the rainbow always touch your shoulder.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Heaven help me.

I finally broke down and started reading Twilight.

Ugh - I could have told you this would happen. I am halfway through the first book in the series, and here I am, immersed up to my eyeballs, barely able to put the dumb book down and get anything else accomplished. The bright side to this is that I am actually looking forward to a movie premiere this winter. Only a few weeks ago I was still horribly bitter about Hollywood's stupid decision to push the next Harry Potter premiere from this coming November all the way to next summer. (Don't even get me started on how stupid that is, with November producing the absolute best chilly and gloomy weather, perfect for Harry-watching.) So now I will be looking forward to this movie instead.

If you'd have asked me anytime sooner, I would have never been interested in anything vampire related. (I know, I know, strange especially coming from a girl who is very much a Harry Potter fan, which isn't all that far off with its wizards, sorcery, etc.)