Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We interrupt this broadcast...

Golly gee, you guys. You sure know how to make a gal feel good, sending all those well wishes my way. My body is so much better, and now I'm just working on my spirits...

since my poo-poo iPhoto program has decided to stop working all of a sudden

and I can't import any photos

although it tells me that it just imported all 54 of them (hurray)

but it is a big fat liar

because they are nowhere to be found

except on my camera

where I don't need them anymore

which means my blog posts are all boring

and I have so much fun stuff to blog about

like the two quilts I entered in the State Fair

that OPENS TOMORROW, people

(what if there is a ribbon on either of them?!)

or my two crazy kitties

or the fact that I just stuffed 20 envelopes to mail out my quilt block requests

for the online quilting bee (whew, so much work!)

or the other OLIVE DOLL I made (I know, I can't stop, it's a sickness)

all of which means this normally unusually super-happy gal

is a bit frustrated

and might have contemplated throwing her laptop out the window

but not really

because who has that kind of money

to just replace things like that.

Here's hoping in the next week or so I can get some computer guru to fix this little problemo for me, and I'll be back to posting in no time...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Who needs the Hollywood Diet?

Want a sure-fire way to lose a few pounds and get a flatter stomach?

Food poisoning.

Good times, people, good times. It hit me yesterday morning and by yesterday evening, I was for sure the Grim Reaper was going to ring the doorbell. I have never EVER felt so sick in my entire life.

Want to double your pleasure?

My husband and I both had it. We were both so unbelievably sick yesterday afternoon that I couldn't tell you what my four-year-old was up to for a few hours in his bedroom and the playroom. All I know is I am one very blessed Mama to have a boy that follows directions, knows how to entertain himself (safely) for a few hours, and is not much of a complainer. Bless his little heart, I would think it would have been pretty scary to see both of your parents looking so poorly, but he is a champ and was brave.

Thankfully my mom came early yesterday evening and took our boy home with her for the night. It made me a little bit sad because he's never spent a night away from both of us, but since I was feeling like crap, I got over it real quick. I honestly didn't know whether or not we were going to make it through the night without calling an ambulance, but here we are today, feeling much better and on the mend. We're both still very weak and exhausted, but thankfully, the worst seems to be over. And we can now eat Saltines!

Oh, the joy.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Just what I needed

I have a confession.

I am in a Bible study that I didn't want to be in.

Personally, I just wanted to drop my kid off in the Pre-K choir and go down to the lobby and read a book for an hour every week. That boy loves to sing, I love to read, and there you have it. The perfect little plan.

Um, yeah, I think that would have been frowned upon.

But hey, I'm nothing if not honest.

So, Bible study it was. Me, the Bible, my Bible study guide, and one reluctant heart. Check.

Thank goodness for God.

(Should I put that on a t-shirt?)

He knows what we need when we need it even if we don't think we need it.

Two weeks into this, and my mind is filling up with all sorts of wisdom.

That Beth Moore sure can tell it like it is. She has a knack of knockin' you upside the head without you even knowing she knocked you upside the head and ending up making you love her all the more for knockin' you upside the head!

We are going through this book:

A journey through the Psalms of Ascent -- and let me tell you something, I am loving the Psalms. Beth is teaching little ol' me, the gal with the reluctant heart, to take these Psalms and use them to voice my own petitions and praises to God. What's the most amazing thing to me is that something that was written thousands of years ago is just as applicable to my life today in the 21st century as it was back then. (And to think we think we've come so far, and we're all such smartypants in today's day and age. Ha.) Not that this is anything new to me necessarily -- I'm what you'd call a "cradle roll" baby, raised from diapers to adulthood in the church -- but rediscovering this truth is very refreshing.

Yep. Thank goodness for God. Thank goodness He has some better tricks up his sleeve than my harebrained ideas.

Since this YouTube video embedding was disabled, you'll have to click on the link to watch this short, beautiful video with one of the Psalms we are studying (and memorizing):

Psalm 121

Friday, September 25, 2009

In my head. In my head. In my head...

I woke up this morning with this song in my head stuck on repeat. Enjoy.

Check out The Bird and the Bee for more quirky, catchy tunes that won't get out of your head.

Friday, September 18, 2009

And while we're on the subject of random...

My favorite little boy word ever just might be:

MARSHMAMA's. (As in marshmallows.)

I might actually cry real tears the day he says the word correctly.

Speaking of marshmama's, I must wax poetic about my newest guilty pleasure.


Oh yeah, those nasty little sugary marshmama's in unfortunate shapes. As I child, I was not a fan. I found them disgusting, and it did not make my day if and when they showed up in my Easter basket. My family was not a family of Peeps connoisseurs, so the only way they snuck their way into my childhood was via some neighbor or long-lost family member trying to buy my love.

However, those Peeps peeps (get it?) must be marketing geniuses because they hid those gross little things in cute Halloween packaging, shaped like cute little kitties, and changed the flavoring to chocolate mousse.


Did someone say chocolate?

Chocolate mousse??

Now we're talking. Sad looking little kitties literally the color of poo that taste like chocolate mousse? Yes, please.

But those nasty white ghosts and orange pumpkins?

Blech. You can keep those to yourselves.

However, after peeping around on the website, I might be looking forward to some peppermint star Peeps at Christmas (in hot chocolate, oh yeah), chocolate mousse bears and strawberry creme hearts for Valentine's Day, and some more chocolate mousse bunnies at Easter.

Baby steps, peeps, baby steps. I'm proud to admit I was a good mother by overcoming my disdain for the other Peeps and bought the ghosts for my boy anyway, who gobbled them up like they were manna from heaven. I guess I have a new Peeps enthusiast in the house. But don't look for us to be joining the Fan Club anytime soon (oh yeah, there is one) or making the suggested Peeps arts and crafts and recipes (seriously?). Baby steps.


Seven random things about me...

which are not very hard to come up with...

considering I am so...



all. the. time.

Here you go, Emily!

1. I love love love cool, cloudy, rainy days. They don't make me depressed, not in the least. They usually boost my mood.

2. I am almost always the chauffeur in our family. My husband can drive, but his driving makes me really nervous, and since he doesn't enjoy my comments or tendency to backseat-drive when he is behind the wheel, he's learned not to fight that battle. (Oh marriage, the longer we enjoy it, the sooner we learn to pick our battles, thank goodness for that. Myself included.) And I LOVE to drive. I usually have no problem pushing through the 12-hour annual drive to Minnesota. And one of the highlights of my 32 years on this earth was driving that big beast of an RV.

3. I studied German from middle school through college. I didn't pick German -- I was supposed to take Japanese like my older brother did, but the Japanese teacher didn't show, and the school stuck our class with the German teacher for a semester. Being the over-achiever that I was, I stuck with it because I didn't want that semester to go to waste and have to start all over (oh, the drama) with another language. It's not the most beautiful language, but at least a lot of it has stuck with me and my comprehension level is still relatively high. I'm looking forward to testing it out when I visit my in-laws that are relocating to Europe. Other than that, it has come in no use to me whatsoever, especially now that I am the parent of a Hispanic child. Why in the world didn't I study Spanish like everyone else?

4. My hair is not naturally auburn. But it's the color I should have been born with. Trust me. Haha. (Some of you already knew that.)

5. I rinse my dishes completely before I load them in the dishwasher. And it might drive me a teensy bit crazy when people load the dishwasher differently than I do.

6. My brother can ride a unicycle, but after years and years and years of trying, I still can't go more than a couple of pedals before crashing.

7. I can turn a styrofoam cup inside out.

If you just read this without rolling your eyes or falling asleep, consider yourself tagged.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Shouldn't there been some sort of a support group for sewing junkies?

Hello. My name is Valerie. And I love making Olive dolls.

And all of the other weirdos like me would nod their heads in support, and say, "Hi, Valerie".

Here's our latest cutie. I can't tell you how excited I was to churn this gal out, especially since she would be going to a very special baby girl.

As most of you know, my son is from Guatemala. It seemed like the longest journey to bringing him home, especially since our adoption process hit some nasty snags, and there were so many points throughout that we wondered if he would ever truly be ours. As difficult as our journey was, it was nothing compared to my friend, Stacy's journey. Not even close.

In the adoption process you find a lot of your support comes from people you've never seen or never met and may never meet in person -- people from the Internet also going through the process. Stacy was one of the gals I "met" over the web, and it just so happened that we would be down in Guatemala at the same time. She was in process to adopt an older child, a beautiful little girl. And she was doing it all by herself, as a single mom-to-be. Talk about strong.

That was back in 2006, when we first met. My son came home with us that spring, but Stacy never got to bring her daughter home. She fought that battle bravely for the next few years. That's the part of international adoption that I loathe -- the greed and the corruption that can creep in.

Fast-forward to now, 2009, four years since she started her first adoption process -- and Stacy got word that she gets to travel very soon to pick up her gorgeous baby girl from Ethiopia. (And I do mean GORGEOUS.) I couldn't be happier for her!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Funny business

More cuteness from the boy (so I won't forget):

He was hiding from me in the bathroom (behind the door). When I "found" him, he asked me, "How you know I back 'dere? I sissappeared!" Love it. Love how he pronounces "disappeared". Almost as much as I love hearing the word "skong" (strong).


One day last week we were driving in the car when he randomly announced:

"Cindewella's heart is full of happiness!"

Oh really? Apparently he's really been enjoying those Disney stories I've put on CD for him. Maybe it's time to pick out another story like Tarzan or The Rocketeer. You know, just to mix things up...


This week I took him for a haircut. Quite the little gentleman, he automatically struck up a conversation with the stylist while she cut his hair.

"What you name?"
"You got kids?"
"What you kids' names?"
"I wike your pitty scissors."
"I wike your pitty hair. It red and bown!" (Indeed, the stylist had some very bright red streaks running through her brunette mane. Obviously, the girls at the shop had been having some fun with each other's hair...)
"Thank you cut my hair. It look reeeeeeeeeel good."

Seriously, they were all just dying over his bubbly little personality. It was pretty funny, I have to admit. He even had the other two clients in stitches.

At the end of his haircut, he got to pick a prize from the treasure box for his good behavior. It was stuffed full of tiny prizes for boys and girls. He immediately picked out a bracelet.


Before I could hardly ask him what compelled him to pick out a bracelet, he handed it to me and asked me to put it in my purse for "Sophie".

How cute is that?! He gave up his chance for a prize for himself and picked something out for his best gal. Now, my boy has got some strong Latin blood coursing through his veins and has already proven himself to be quite the little Don Juan, so this wasn't really a surprise.

The next day, he marched right up to her in preschool, handed over the bauble, and she stuck it right on her wrist where it apparently stayed the rest of the day. Word on the street is that they are quite the item.

Oh, Lordy. I think I'd better start praying now for all those poor girlfriends he's sure to schmooze throughout his life...

We remember.

I wasn't going to post about the 9/11 tragedy.

But tonight I had a little reminder, and that changes things.

We like to go on walks a lot in the evenings, and my boy is getting pretty good on his little bike (with helmet and training wheels). With all the cars that pass through our neighborhood, I usually keep a tight reign on him until we get to the school parking lot a couple of blocks away. Then he's free to ride like the wind. He likes to have "races" with me and sometimes we go over to the chapel on the grounds and smell the beautiful roses, each picking out a "favorite" to show the other one. We look for bats swooping out at dusk. He always enjoys striking up a conversation with anyone else out for a stroll or a bike ride. And then we usually come home for an ice cream cone, a bubble bath, stories, and bedtime. I love these evenings.

Tonight, we had just crossed the street over to the school when we noticed something different. There was a banner hung between two trees with something about "we remember" and "2,997 lives lost", and below the banner, there were 2,997 American flags in the ground. (Well, actually we didn't count, being that my son can only count up to about 12 or 13 before making up all sorts of numbers, but I'm pretty sure there were that many little flags in the ground. It was beautiful.) We both stood there silently for a few moments before the questions started pouring out of him.

I've never told him the story of 9/11. It's too much for his little heart at this age. But with this symbolic display, it was time to tell it to him in the short, four-year-old version. I told him some bad guys took planes full of people and flew them into two big tall buildings and killed lots of people. He asked me if God made the bad guys. I told him that God makes everybody, and everybody has a choice to make good decisions or bad decisions. I told him how it made the whole world very sad, and that many people lost their family. I told him that every year we remember what happened.

While we were standing there and after I tried explaining it to him, two cars drove slowly by looking at the flags. My little guy yelled out, "Hi! We need pway for people killed by bad duys, killed in airplanes and towers!", yelled it over and over again, making sure those drivers heard him. I was proud. He got it, even if it was only on a four-year-old level. Then tonight, during his little bedtime prayer, he asked Jesus to take care of the people killed in the airplanes and big buildings. I was proud.

So yes. We remember. And we will never forget.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The sweetest prayer

If you are my Facebook friend, you'll have already read this, but I just had to share. Tonight I was putting my four-year-old son to bed, and just like we normally do every night, I read him a book. (Two, actually.) I let him pick the second book out, and he picked one of his Bible story books, from a collection of thin little reads that my mom saved from my brother and I's childhood. They are written in a sing-songy poetry style, and the illustrations are great, as long as you can get past the 1970's vibe they have going on, haha. He specifically picked the one about the man chosen from the crowd to carry the cross for Jesus. We read the book, I tucked him in bed, and I asked him to say his little nighttime prayer. I fully expected him to carry on, thanking Jesus for all the things throughout his day, or all the dogs, or family members, etc. But instead I got this:

"Thank you, God, sending Jesus die on the coss (cross). Thank you carry coss for Jesus. Thank you Jesus take my sins. A-men!"

I tell you what, I thought I was going to melt into a puddle of mush right there on his bed. Tears welled up in my eyes, and I couldn't have been prouder. Those little four-year-old ears really do pick up on a lot, and he apparently has been paying attention to all of the Bible stories, even when I thought he wasn't.

It's my prayer as he grows that all of these stories and Bible verses will stick with him, and that he will learn to depend on God and yearn for a relationship with Jesus.

Be still my heart. :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

You are cordially invited...

I love blogs.

Love love love 'em.

All types. About all different topics. By all different people.

Among the blogs I read, there are quite a few photography ones. I love capturing life through my camera lens, and I am always hoping to glean tricks and ideas from the photography posts, some of which are quite amazing. One of my favorite such blogs is written by a gal who is about to get married. She put up a post about her wedding invitations, and my jaw literally dropped to the floor.

I've been married over seven years now, and if I were to be able to plan our wedding again (hey, here is a good excuse for some vow renewals, that's what I'm thinking), this is EXACTLY what I would want to do. In my wildest imagination I'm not sure I could have come up with something half as cool as this.

You must check the post out for yourself --

Jessica's Unbelievably Fabulous Invitations

Friday, September 4, 2009

Vintage Photo Friday

Gotta love that granny of mine for all her fun photos I keep discovering! (As always, click on the photos for a closer peek.) The first two were probably somewhere around 1918-1920 (my guess) and the last was probably earlier, maybe 1910-1915 (again, my best guess).

Check out her outfit -- I'm thinking somebody could've easily inspired my beloved Anthropologie all on her own...

I would've loved to have been invited to this picnic! Don't they look like a swell group of girls?

This picture made me laugh simply because of the caption handwritten at the top (you might not be able to read it because of the flash from my camera). It's labeled "Atlantic Ocean". Oh, that granny of mine and her funny little sense of humor! This was more than likely taken at a good ol' watering hole smack dab in the country in Oklahoma.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Life is just a bowl of cherries... live and laugh at it all!

Little funnies from the little funny man...

(Talking about his stuffed comrade, Buddy the dog, who apparently needed a doctor)
"He boke him favwit weg, Mama. I fix it, he my sisser!" -- He broke his favorite leg, Mama. I fix it, he my sister!

(Leaving a quilt store, bidding adieu to the employees)
"Fank you, wadies! Call me!" -- Thank you, ladies! Call me!
I have no idea where he got the "call me" line, but I was cracking up for days over that one. Oh dear.

(Heard at least once a day)
"You my favwit Mama I ever seen!" -- You're my favorite Mama I ever seen!
I'll take it.

(Said this morning while playing with his doctor's kit)
"Good morning. I Doctor Pickle." Doctor Pickle?!
"Mama, Horsey not feel well. Horsey got heggake. Horsey drink too much beer." Horsey got (a) headache.
Before you think awful thoughts of us, we don't demonstrate the art of drinking too much beer at our house. Going out to restaurants and such, the boy has noticed what looks like apple juice to him, and we have explained it as beer which is for grown-ups, and which gives people headaches. Ha.

And lately, whenever he gets a lollipop, he tells me the flavor is "Cherry Poppins". It does not matter the color of the lollipop -- they are all "Cherry Poppins" to him.

Oh, the things they say...