Tuesday, December 30, 2008

the conversation that ensued after a trip to the ER this afternoon (instead of going to marty's house)

Me: Hey, Marty! Sorry I didn't make it today.
Marty: Hey, Jenna. How are you?
Me: I have a sprained ankle. It was really more embarrassing than anything else. It was like, "Nice to meet you. Wait a minute while I biff on the ice with my baby on my hip and injure myself requiring your supervision over said baby and your fetching some ibuprofen for me and your in-home hospice care until my husband gets home from work."
Marty: [laughing and then remembering unwarranted guilty feelings] I went out on a fiber optic limb for you today. Made some calls to friends in your area. Just be expecting something to arrive tonight.
Me: [realizing that gifts = unwarranted guilty feelings] No, Marty. You don't need to feel badly. It's not your fault.
Marty: No, I had to (at the very least) order some pizzas for you as a guilt offering.
Me: Marty?! Did you order me some atonement pizza?
Marty: Yes. [very dryly] One extra-large atonement pizza.

and, scene!

So, yes, I slipped on that sneaky ice and sprained my ankle. I'll be on crutches when I'm up and on my computer when I'm down.
And, yes, I was just heading out the door to hang at the Button's house.
And, yes, I had just met someone five seconds before I went "thwack" on the ice. He is the father of the girl I was bringing to the Button's as a favor (oh, the irony!).
Oh. And if you were imagining my sons worried or slightly concerned about my welfare, I'll just leave you with this quote courtesy of Avery after our trip to the E.R.

"So, is it 100% that were not going to the Buttons?"


Monday, December 29, 2008

i didn't grow up listening to country...still don't, really

But, this genre holds the unofficial title for Best (or is it worst?) song titles. I had a little chuckle as I perused some titles on the web.

Here's my Top Ten:

"You're the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly"

"If You Don't Believe I Love You Just Ask My Wife"

"I've Been Roped and Throwed by Jesus in the Holy Ghost Corral"

"She Got The Gold Mine And I Got The Shaft She Got The Ring And I Got The Finger"

"I've Got The Hungries For Your Love And I'm Waiting In Your Welfare Line"

"If You Don't Leave Me Alone, I'll Go And Find Someone Else Who Will"

"If My Nose Were Full of Nickels, I'd Blow It All On You"

"I Keep Forgettin' I Forgot About You"

"I Would Have Wrote You A Letter, But I Couldn't Spell Yuck!"

and my personal favorite...

"Her Teeth Were Stained, But Her Heart Was Pure"

Saturday, December 27, 2008

while it's still fresh in my mind

Miles just shared with me a(nother) "Jet Father" story. It's been almost a year (if not more) since I've heard one. Here's the conversation, story included:

Miles: Three's when I started being afraid at night. Aaaand, three's when I started telling stories about my Jet Father.
Me: I haven't heard one of those in awhile. Got any Jet Father stories?
Miles: hm. (pause) yeah.

"There was an evil guy. And it was me, the evil guy and Avery. My Jet Father had a vegetable garden and it rained. So, it got really muddy. So. We took the mud and made a cannon and some mud balls. After a day, they dried and we blasted them at the bad guy. (He was a robber...that's what made him bad.) Also, we took the mud and wrote on his house: 'Bad boy, bad boy, whatchya gonna do 'cause they're after you.' We called the police. Then, the polices came and arrested him. After he was arrested, we made his house into our clubhouse. Oh! And I washed the mud off his house with a hose."

Me: Seriously?
Miles: Mommy, you know that my Jet Father isn't real, right?
Me: Yeah, I know.
Miles: Well, then, yes. In Jet Fatherland, 'seriously'.

Me: Good story, Mi. Thanks for telling me. Hey, Miles.
Miles: Yeah?
Me: I'm so glad you're not, like, my fifth child.
Miles: If I was your fifth child, I wouldn't even be born yet!
Me: I know. I'm so glad I've had you for six years already.

And then he hugs me.
The end.

Monday, December 22, 2008

a proposal for those who wish to remain anonymous

It totally doesn't bother me that people "lurk" on my blog. At all. It doesn't feel intrusive. I am a fellow "lurker" at heart. Actually, I'm an avid eavesdropper. I Love listening to conversations between strangers. I remember a time Brent and I were at an airport and he was talking to me and I shushed him. Remarkably, the noise he was making pierced the bulletproof prison glass which my mind had constructed in order to block out all noise but the repartee of strangers. In the end, the content wasn't memorable, but it captured my attention for a few minutes. I love listening in. So, lurkers, I feel you!

(But, here's where we're different.)

When it's appropriate, I love putting in my two cents. Anyone who's been out in public with me has seen it. I talk to strangers. There's always something to say, to ask, to comment on, etc. I've wondered if it seems obnoxious, but I recently witnessed a friend do this. It was quite amusing to watch Molly interact with this ageless pink-haired, black-clad emaciated emo fella. He was enthusiastically giving her the low down on Tamagachis. It was great. But, I think I've digressed. The point is that it's o.k. for strangers to talk. (At least, I think that's my point.)

So, you anonymous non-commenters have me curious.

As totally ironic as this is...I have a question for you:

How do you keep so quiet out there?

You don't have to tell me who you are or whether you know me. But, if you did leave a comment, what would you say? Or, why do you remain so silent?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

if i've said it once, i've said it a hundred times...

I am not a shopper. I'm lost when it comes to getting "just the right gift".

I've procrastinated Christmas shopping thus far, because...I've said this countless times...

One hour at the mall--or any shopping establishment--gives me the same feeling as if I've donated a pint of blood.

Can anyone relate???

Monday, December 15, 2008

every single morning i wake up thinking...

I'm going to get to bed earlier tonight.

almost never do I follow through with that

I really want to write a new post. Nobody wants to see a post about the Christmas Shoes song anymore.


I must go to sleep early...ish tonight, because...

"Potty mouth" is a known side effect of sleep deprivation.

That's right. If I stay up to write something, I'll go to sleep a zombie and wake up as a sailor.

We wouldn't want that to happen, would we?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

when it comes to modern christmas music, there's two kinds of people

I love Christmas music. The soundtrack of my childhood Christmas memories is as follows: Ray Coniff Jr., Amy Grant, the Nutcracker and George Winston's Winter album...and probably some other stuff like the Chipmunks album when it wasn't misfiled or lost somewhere.

I think you can see in that selection that I was raised to enjoy (if not merely tolerate) a little variety of music.

But, friends. I have found the limit. There is a song that absolutely makes me cringe when I hear the first measure. I turn it off immediately. (yeah...I listen to Christmas radio...) But, here's the thing...If I don't turn it off in time, I start to get teary eyed.

Do you know which song I'm talking about?

Which kind of person are you? Someone who likes this song? Or someone who truly despises this song despite the fact that it might you make cry like a baby...because it's so emotionally manipulative!!!

Two kinds, people...two kinds...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

confession # 19 - what's the word?

When titling the last post, I didn't want to use the word "activities".

But, I didn't know if it was "pass times" or "past times".

Which one is correct?

(This reminds me of the birthday card Sarah sent me a few years back. On the front two old ladies are sitting on a park bench and it one asks, "Is it buck naked or butt naked?")

one of my favorite winter activities might surprise you

Am I the only one who absolutely loves to kick the built-up snow behind my tires? Oh man. I love it when a big chunk of mushy snow gets kicked loose and goes splat.

Some people like ice-skating and others like cross-country skiing. But, kicking mud flap snow is for me!

(yes. i know i sound like a 10 year old boy named hezekiah who doesn't have a neighbor within a 20 mile radius. but, i just like me some snow-kickin'!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

pretty pretty fabric

Here's the easiest way for me to show my lovely customers some of the latest fabric options (for now). I registered with Etsy, but won't start listing until 2009. I don't think I could honestly add an Etsy store to my plate right now.

Also...back to fabrics...keep in mind the others I've shown are available, too.

I put a quarter on each fabric to help you see the size of the pattern.

I want to note that these patterns (below) are large. See that itty bitty quarter? Yeah. I'm learning. Next time, I'll make sure the quarter is the same size in each picture.

Friday, December 5, 2008

homemade gifts

A new commenter asked (half-joking) if anyone had any good homemade gift ideas. It's a great question. I'm curious. What the best homemade gift you've ever received? Or...ever given?

Or...if you can leave the comment discreetly...what's the worst homemade gift you've received?

I'll start with something wonderful from Allison! She's sent me so many great homemade things (such as my first nursing cover up!), but, these take the cake. She embroidered these buttons and told me to slap them on some flip flops. So great. I've worn these out pretty much. But the best part? They are secured with velcro! I can just transfer my beloved buttons to another pair of flip flops next summer! Brilliant!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

beware of the Kirby salesman

He's not bad. He's just really, really convincing.

The Kirby vacuum sucked up this dust cake in a matter of moments.

Of course, I now would like to be the proud owner of a Kirby vacuum. But, friends, these dust bustin' Cadillacs is fo' high roll-uhz!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

christmas shopping

I haven't gone. I haven't bought one thing yet. I haven't even assessed who's on the Christmas gift list.

Where are you with this? On top of your game? Half way there? Finished in October?

I'm just wondering if I am the only procrastinator....

By the way, thanks for the comments about caroling. I really thought caroling was dead...and that perhaps I'd fabricated the memories. It's still half-alive, huh? You carolers are all welcome at my doorstep!!! I'll even give you some apple cider if you give me a heads up!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

whatever happened to Christmas caroling??

Did I grow up in a bubble? Or, did Christmas caroling die in the early nineties? Or, do people still do this?

Did any of you go Christmas caroling as a child? Or, do you to this day????

Monday, December 1, 2008

sometimes backwards theology feels so true

Today, Jillian was so difficult. So into everything. So destructive. I sat down, picked her up, lifted her high above my head and said,
"Jillian, with you, all things are impossible."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

It's Thanksgiving Night...I'm thankful...

I think I'll just have to rattle off things I'm thankful for...they range from serious to silly (but I'm still very thankful for the silly things!)

1. My two nieces, Sarah and Melissa, who were placed in my sister and bro-in-law's family yesterday. (My sister Amanda, btw!) The girls aren't home yet, but we are so thankful to be welcoming them soon!

2. Hosting international students. We've only had two, but it's been so great. Having another person in our home motivates me to be a better homemaker. This will be its own post sometime, but I'll just say we have really loved having Youki and Makoto in our home.

3. The space heater I bought on clearance at Target at the end of last Winter. It was an impulse buy. It was originally $50 and I got it for $12.48. We use it a lot.

4. Brent.

5. Avery's sense of humor and love for reading.

6. Miles' conversation and smile.

7. Jillian's silly faces and stinky blankie.

8. My parents who spend hours driving back and forth from St. Louis to encourage us, hug grandchildren and bear gifts.

9. My sister who doesn't brag about being on t.v....doesn't even tell us most times.

10. Really good books. I didn't appreciate a great read until adulthood. Embarrassing, but true.

11. Fabric, sewing, etc. I need a creative outlet. This is doing it for now.

12. Reconnecting with my best friend from junior high, Michelle. I've been out of touch with her for nine years. I've really missed her and worried about her. Even more, her parents live 13 minutes from my home and I'll be seeing her at Christmas time when she comes to visit. I can hardly wait!!!

13. Facebook. For doing #12.

14. God. He has revealed everything we need to know about Him in his word. That was a generous thing to do.

15. People who ponder. People who share their hearts and their thoughts. I am lonely when people don't open up. Right now, I have people in my life who are very real, thoughtful and honest. I'm learning from them. I'm in community because of them.

16. Musicians. I can't make beautiful music. I am so grateful for people who can.

17. Coffee. I love, love, love the first sip of coffee in the morning. I almost can't wait until morning!!!

18. knee socks. They really do it for me.

19. Conviction and repentance and people knowing the bad stuff I've done or thought. It's pretty freeing.

20. Snow. My kids love to play in it. I love to look at it. We live in Minnesota. Either we embrace this or we are miserable. (C'mon, SNOW!!! We're ready!!!)

21. Getting older. I've just started to appreciate this. Not loving the aging body, but I'm glad I have the perspective that I could have only from racking up the years.

22. Our church. At first, I wrote "John Piper". But, it's really all of Bethlehem. This has been a great place for our family to grow for this season in our lives.

23. sleep. which is what i'm going to go do right now!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Givin' it Away...and selling it, too!

First of all, if you're interested in a giveaway, Molly is giving away a nursing cover-up (aka "Hooter Hider") made by yours truly!!! So, go there to enter for your chance to win!!! By the way, it is an exact replica of the one we designed for her. (If she hasn't already, she should be posting soon!)

Most likely, you've just come from Molly's giveaway post. So, Welcome!!! Here's some information about what I do.

I make two kinds of nursing cover-ups: single fabric and reversible.

Both have D-ring adjustment neck straps.

Both have the boning that creates the "window" for Mama to check on the babe.

Neither have terry cloth in the corner because I wouldn't want that myself. It seems it would need to go through the wash a lot more and I wouldn't want to give up my handi-dandy cover-up that frequently.

Like Molly's, these pictured below are reversible. They are so fun and are great for people like me who have a hard time committing to just one fabric. I love to have options!

I wanted these to have a more thrifty price tag, but realistically they must be $30. This is still really thrifty since you're getting two high quality fabrics.

These were commissioned by "SarahT". She chose these fabrics herself.
Well done!!!

This one was what I put together when told that the Mama (it was a gift) likes funky colors and stripes.

And this one could be yours if you WIN!!! I love this particular black and white fabric because it's really easy on the eyes. And the red pops! I love it!!!

I also make single fabric cover-ups. I like them because they are really lightweight. I would actually recommend it if Mama will be nursing much during the hot summer months. (Because, if you're going to take this public, take it to the public pool, right?!?)

These are really thrifty at 15 bucks a pop!

Here are a few I made recently. It was almost sad to ship them off. I don't know if you can tell by clicking on the pictures, but that orange one on the right is rockin'!!! It's a batik and even my husband gave it props! (He's no crafter!)

I do ship to anywhere in the continental U.S....maybe even beyond. I just haven't tried that yet!

The "hiders" aren't limited to the fabrics pictured. That's something we could discuss.

If you have any questions, or would like to place an order,
leave a comment or send me an email.

Friday, November 21, 2008

who needs a $15 yo-yo anyway????

They came home retelling the tale of the visitor from chapel. As the "visitor" (that's what they called him) told the story of NED walking the dog, and visiting the Eiffel Tower and eating spaghetti, he showed a yo-yo trick that corresponded to each vignette. The boys were awed at the things you could do with a yo-yo.

The visitor was actually a motivational speaker. His aim was to motivate the children to "Never give up", "Encourage others" and "Do your best". My children came home motivated to buy a yo-yo. Who could blame them, really? He was inspiring. He could do cool things.

Maybe the N.E.D. actually stands for:
Never give up on asking your parents for a yo-yo.
Encourage others to buy a yo-yo.
Do your best to get your parents to buy you the yo-yo.

You may be shocked to learn that the motivational speaker actually...SELLS YO-YOs...after his performance. So, Miles and Avery drooled as they watched their peers buy the Ned-yo ($6.50), the Boomerang ($10) and the Cosmic Spin ($15). The boys told me they be just fine with the cheap one.

They went to bed thinking about all the yo-yo tricks they so desperately wanted to do.

I went to bed remembering how Miles called me into the family room to show me his yo-yo trick that afternoon. "Watch Mommy!" And then he proceeded to take a super ball and raised his hand into the air and lowered it gently to the ground. He spun around and then gingerly picked up his ball again. "What do you think?"

"I think you need a yo-yo....maybe for Christmas."

Less than 24 hours later, I happened to be at the Mall of America. Really, this was a coincidence. I did not rush out to make all his yo-yo dreams come true. I approached a colorful store with kites, Frisbees, and you-know-whats. The memory of Miles twirling around his super ball/"yo-yo" flashed in my mind. I had to.

I went in and asked for a yo-yo that could enable a six-year-old to do tricks.

fifteen bucks? sold.

I go to pick them up in one hour. I can hardly wait.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Brain Dump

It's so cold in my house that I'm grateful to be sitting next to my dishwasher. It's in its last minutes of a washing cycle. Steam is wisping out. It's like a little sauna. A very tiny, little, bit of a sauna.

I love talking about and writing about my friends. I haven't done it as much as I'd like because the self-imposed pressure to make it just right and to honor them in a way recalling all my favorite memories is a tall order for this scatterbrain. I would love to tell all of you...about...all of you. All in good time, I suppose.

Sandra McCracken's new album is so good. It's a set and I listen to the first c.d. way too much. But, I haven't gotten sick of it. Promise. It's really beautiful.

Sewing. I've been making a lot of nursing cover-ups. Be on the lookout for a giveaway. But, not on my blog. I'll give you the link when it happens. I've had so much fun with all the different fabrics. This will be its own post soon.

Our church ladies put together a craft boutique annually. The first year I went almost as a courtesy...I don't think I was even carrying cash. I just figured it'd be a bunch of 1980s decor type stuff. I didn't know how cool crafts could be! The next year, I had my own table selling baby quilts. That was exhausting. I'm a people person, but sheesh. I thought I was going to pass out after only a few hours of smiling. I can't stop the smiling. It's my nature, but I am not that extroverted. And I hardly sold anything. That was humbling. So, this year I'm going with cash and I'm going to take my time perusing and complimenting and enjoying. Also, I'm taking Makoto.

Wha?? That's right. We've had another student living with us for a month and I haven't even told you!!! What kind of bloggy friend am I, right?! Well, Makoto is a wonderful art student from Japan who is living with us for two months while she studies English. She loves our kids and is such pleasant company. And get this? Jillian can't say "Miles" or "Avery", but she say, "Koto". It's so cute.

Brent just walked into the room. He looks so handsome.

My friend, Rachel, and I started a book club. I can hardly take any credit. Well, I can take no credit other than moral support and encouragement. She chose the novel and hosted. It was so incredibly delightful. It should be a post in itself, but I fear it might not be, so I'll tell you about it right here!
We put a small group together of ladies we knew really wanted to be in a book club, who really enjoy literature. We read A Thousand Splendid Suns. What a beautiful read. The story of two women who live through different political regimes in Afghanistan. I arrived at Rachel's home and was impressed from the moment I opened the door. I could hear middle eastern music as the scent of black tea lazily wafted towards me. We enjoyed cilantro chutney, mango chutney, flatbread, olives, samosas, pistacios, etc...As if the novel, yum-o-food spread and atmosphere weren't enough, the company of women--a mix of old friends and new--was absolute tops. I highly recommend this activity.

It's only 9pm. It feels like midnight.

Brent and I had an argument last night. When we were in college, our marital disputes were volatile and urgent and flippant and highly emotional. These days, I'm still pretty affected emotionally, but we're calm and we can take time--sometimes 24 hours or more--to gather our thoughts and try to work things out. (Oh. And, yes. We were married in college between Sophomore and Junior year.)

I have a lot of pictures to show you soon. Hopefully, I'll get those on tomorrow.

By the way, do NOT let me forget to get the French's Fried Onions for the traditional Green Bean Casserole. Seriously. scatterbrains, here, keeps forgetting...I need the blogging world to help me out.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Memories

This afternoon, Neely and I are attending a luncheon and auction to benefit a family, The Sheltons, who have three pending adoptions. Two children are from Haiti; they are brother and sister. They have also been in the process of adopting a daughter from China since I met them over three years ago. Visit their site, to get to know them if you'd like.

But, my point...

I'm really excited to spend some much needed time with my sis. Although we live a mile apart, we don't have nearly enough crossover. So, when we received the invitation for the luncheon, I thought "food" (ME!) and "supporting adoption" (NEELY!). Yippy! crossover!

As Neely and I discussed the logistics, childhood memories flashed through my mind of Sunday brunches at a local restaurant. I can picture the massive bowl of chocolate pudding, the large metal trays of baked white fish swimming in a buttery mixture, the breakfast, the lunch, the dinner...all displayed on one glorious table that extended for nearly two miles it seemed. mmm-m-mmm...

The irony never occurred to me that this post-church restaurant was called "The Flaming Pit".

That's right, folks. After prayer, songs and sermon, we headed straight to The Flaming Pit. scary.

Which begs a question to my parents. How did this NOT become a family joke?

By the way...is it now completely obvious that I didn't grow up Baptist?

Oh. And after we stopped going the The Flaming Pit, we started going to a cafeteria called Grones. We called it "Moans and Groans"....hm....a theme perhaps? Maybe we should have called it "Groans from the Gates of Hell".

(I've decided there is no good segue...)

Happy Sunday! And if you've got 25 buck-a-roos and want to support the Sheltons, meet us at Rudolph's in Minneapolis at 1:00pm!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Miles turned six...nearly a month ago

Look how old he's getting! And so handsome!!! Both sides of the family claim that he takes after them. My vote is for my Mom's side. But, I'm thinking Brent's Aunt Carol will have something to say about that.

The traditional balloon and sugar cereal. (Much better success than last year!) And since Nana and Pop Pop were in town, he also got a "big gift". My mom loves to have a big non-wrapped gift waiting. Lots of memories. I woke up one Christmas with a bird cage housing a canary hanging from the chandelier. Another time it was a 10-speed. Always something. So much fun.

Miles requested Texas Sheet Cake for his birthday a few months ago after having it at Keitha and Doug's.

Pop pop, Miles and Nana. Funny. Avery bonded to Nana immediately. Miles bonded to Pop pop. And Miles...oh Miles...he pretty much stiff-armed Nana for absolutely no reason for the first few years of his life. He's totally warmed up to her and loves everything about her now, but we still remember.

Thank you, school. I wasn't going to make him a crown, but he really loved it.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

jillian in pictures

she's changed a lot. here are some faces.

first burrito from chipotle. she loved it!

drinking from her "bah".



dressing up as a pirate frog with a knife.

very. bad. baby.

talking with nana.

on her favorite perch.

defender of all babies.

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's a long time coming, but here's a Jilleo (jillian video...)

I know there's a Sarah in PA, and a few grandparents out there who wanna see what Jillian is like. This is how she moves almost destroys our laptop. By the way, Avery is becoming a really fun brother for her, as you can see.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

they're finally coming out of the closet

I would be referring to yet another batch of clothes that I NEVER wear.

Here's one of my problems. I think you ladies can identify with having "fat days" and "skinny days", right? Some days, you feel more trim....more in the mood to buy some clothes, perhaps. I don't enjoy trying on clothes when I feel plump. So I end up buying clothes that fit mainly on "skinny days". It's a shame to get rid of them because they are in such good shape. (oh the irony...)

Am I alone here?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


(see update below)

I just googled "tuna for dinner".

Can you tell I'm desperate? I've been cooking more these days and I'm running out of ideas.

My google search offered this:

It's called "Tuna Dinner for Four"

1        Package   Skinners® Egg Noodles
1 Can Campbell's® Cream of
Mushroom Soup
1-7 oz Can Star Kist® Tuna, drained
2 Cups Potato Chips, crumbled
To Taste Salt
To Taste Black Pepper

Who eats like this??
I'm totally probably offending people.
But, I hope not. Potato chips? On tuna?
And condensed soup?

Update: So. In addition to the two pro-casserole
comments, I also received
an email from a good
friend who totally backed the potato chip tuna
I guess the obvious next step is for me
to make this recipe soon. I mean,
I often say,
"don't knock it 'til you try it", and so now I feel
a little bit
like a hypocrite.
If I accomplish this soon, I'll report back to you.

I think a major bonus is having a home for those
rejected potato chip

Lastly, the update was inspired by excited
anticipation of the Traditional Green Bean

Casserole made with cream of mushroom soup
and topped with
those fried onions from the can.
Mmm-mm-mmm. I love me some Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo! It scares me. A post for Halloween.

It's October 31st. Here are 31 things that scare me. Keep in mind, I don't live in fear. These are just 31 random things that occasionally freak me out.

1. opening biscuit cans
2. small talk with strangers...or anyone sometimes
3. how fast my skin is aging
4. my boys going through that phase when they get peach fuzz over their lips (i shudder)
5. anyone coming around the corner (i spook easily)
6. losing a child
7. the possibility of a spider in my shoe...or sleeve...or bed....
8. those FREAKY minnesota centipedes that i never saw until i moved here (more shuddering)
9. bats
10. getting in another car accident
11. being totally misunderstood
12. the possibility of having a face-eating cancer
13. forgetting that i owe someone money (and they won't remind me...just resent me)
14. my own hypocrisy
15. turning on the disposal
16. making final decisions that have to do with spending lots of money
17. toenail fungus
18. dealing with dementia
19. most freak accidents that I've heard of...you know, "Oh, he was just buying some milk and there was some staph infection on the jug handle. Three days later, he died."
20. buying a new kind of beer that i end up not liking
21. ticks
22. tapeworms
23. plot lines on Law & Order: SVU (no, i don't watch it, but i catch a scene every now and then and cannot believe somebody thinks it's a good idea to put this junk into the minds of the public!)
24. socialized medicine
25. feeding company undercooked meat
26. my kids growing up rejecting Jesus
27. pool drains
28. having a booger hanging from my nose, but no one is bold enough to tell me
29. waxing off an entire eyebrow...it's possible since i do my own
30. emerging church mentality
31. apathy

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

confession # 16 - i'm one part crunchy, two parts twinkie

To be honest, I love my refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup products. But, I try to keep it at a minimum (especially for my children!). In some areas, I tend to be earthy and natural. But, I'm glaringly not earthy two-thirds of the time.

I can't afford organic, but I love to make brown rice and bean salads for my family.

I took my boys to McDonalds...after their vaccines...which I delayed.

I alternate using the aluminum-free "deoderant" and the regular alzheimers-inducing crisco-like deoderant.

Recently, a thrifty and earthy lady in my small group, introduced us to the idea of NOT--I repeat NOT--using shampoo. I won't go into detail, but instead will direct you to this blog post I found in my fervent googling. I'm totally intrigued. (And by the way, we don't get together to discuss beauty tips. We're ladies and so we cover the gamut!)

So. I'm going to try it. I'll keep you posted. Currently, I'm on day three of no shampoo. That's not a huge deal, because I usually only wash every other day.

So, I'm curious. Are you crunchy? Or, do you like to taste the kool-aid? literally???

Monday, October 27, 2008

i think he's letting it go

I read every encouraging comment about Avery's video to him. And he stopped nagging me to take it off. So. I left it. On behalf of my bashful eight-year-old, thank you!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

confession # 15 - i like to strut

Yep. I do. Just like George Jefferson. I'm not kidding. Try it. It feels good.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

he said, "close your eyes and hold out your hand..."

My parents are in town. My gracious, super generous parents. But, when my Dad told me to close my eyes and hold out my hands, I wasn't expecting the thing that made this possible.

It brought tears to my eyes. They bought the same camera for me all over again!!! I didn't deserve it the first time!!!

Avery also surprised me. He made this scattin' video featuring Jillian when I wasn't around. He didn't intend this for the general audience, but gave permission for me to post it. I Love him!!!

UPDATE: Avery has totally reneged and wants me to take the video off. I'll do that...in 24 hours. Hopefully, I'll have a good replacement by then.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

desperate times call for desperate measures...

Avery has finally been losing his baby teeth. Between the tooth fairy and Aunt Carol's birthday money, Avery is "so rich" according to Miles.

Just for fun...

I said, "Boys, Daddy and I are in a financial crisis. I think I'm gonna pull a few of my teeth and put 'em under my pillow."

They both stopped suddenly and looked at me earnestly. Avery had a look of is-that-possible??? While Miles shot the you-cannot-be-serious look. Miles blurted out, "Do NOT do that." Avery followed up with, "They don't accept second set teeth...only baby teeth."

So much fun...for me.

This leads me to ask, how have you messed with your kids???

test of integrity

So...I was eating some chips, totally jonesing for some soda...

Me: Avery, go to our neighbor's house and steal some soda.

Avery: (after a longish pause) Then, you're going to have to give me something.

WHAT???? is what I felt, though I didn't let on.

I turned to Miles...

Me: Miles, go to our neighbor's house and steal some soda.

Miles: No. Soda is bad for you. And stealing is wrong.

Me: (high fiving Miles) Good answer.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I've blogged somewhat frequently for two months, yet, I don't think I've given you much information. Random thoughts, yes. But, this blog has felt like that long lost friend that you almost call, but realize, "Where would we pick up?" So, I've kind of stayed on the fringe.

And where I start doesn't really matter, I just gotta get some of these thoughts out. I'm going to try out High points/Low points. That's how I've been blogging in my head.

Today, the subject is....

The boys started and I never ever showed you First Day of School Pictures. So, here the boys are on their first day.
Here they are with the principal. Avery says she gives the best hugs. You wouldn't know it by the looks of him here. He was worried he was going to be late...as he's hugging the principal...on the first day of school.

Aunt Nee Nee and Uncle Steve are ever supportive!

whoa. check out that self portrait on the bottom row, fourth from the left.
what a looker!!

High points:
It's close. I can run up there with a moment's notice if I need to bring a forgotten lunch or if someone is sick.
It's Christian. When one of the kindergarten teachers gave birth to twins at 24 weeks, Miles brought home a letter with the news. I read it with tears welling in my eyes and let out an audible, "oh no," and explained that the babies were born very early. Miles chirped in with, "Mommy, it's good that the babies were born, because that's what God wanted." That's good theology. It's good to have right theology before you feel the weight of personal grief when the storm rolls in. I'm thankful for that.
It's education. I really can't imagine educating my boys right now. Avery is writing poetry, learning Spanish, loving Phys Ed, and actually enjoying art. And that's just four things I couldn't be doing right now. Miles comes home, his mind overflowing with facts about Bats, Japan and Christopher Columbus. He complains that he doesn't like school, but when I ask him for a specific reason he says, "Well....I kind of like it." hm.

Low points:
Homework. Man alive. They're gone all day. And then they come home and we have to do more school! The weather has been absolutely beautiful. After they've been inside most of the day, the last thing I want to do is have them sit down and work on math problems or a book report in the house. Poor kids.
Papers, newsletters, crap for sale. Holy Moley. I cannot handle the load of papers comin' in through the door. There's the abstract-tell-me-about-this-"artwork", the this-week-we-learned-all-about-such-and-such-and-next-week-blah-blah-blah, the hey-it's-October-but-are-you-ready-to-buy-a-wreath-sale???, the countless "great opportunity" sign-ups for skating lessons, chess club, junior great books, science fair, space camp after school program...seriously...I canNOT breathe just thinking about all the paper.
TEACHER APPRECIATION. I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the boys' teachers. But, whatever happened to short notes and little emails and verbal affirmation. I simply don't have the time, money or energy required for appreciating my teachers. By the way, I have well-behaved, curious, team-playing, class-participating, reading, helpful boys. Thank me once in awhile. I did something, too. And I'm not making any money off this gig. I know I sound embittered. I'm not. I'm just easily overwhelmed.

Those are the highs and lows of today. Have a blessed Tuesday!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

where that smell is coming from

We don't need a bottle of circa 1998 CK One in our home. We really don't. I found it while cleaning out old make up and expired medication. But, then we opened it and freshman year wafted past our nostrils. Ahhhh...the year we became friends has a scent and it is CK One.

It felt sad to throw it away. It felt silly to keep it. (Nobody in our home has worn it for 10 years.)

The compromise? Brent poured it down the kitchen sink so we could experience a lingering long good-bye.

stage fright

It seems every time I come to this blog to write lately, I feel like someone has handed me a microphone and announced that it's my turn to give a speech. I don't know what my deal is, but I keep forgetting everything I have to say.

I think I'm turning a corner, but if you're tired of checking and seeing the same old post, consider subscribing to the blog by using the little window at the right. It's pretty easy.

Hope you all are well. I'm missing St. Louis especially these days. If you've lived there and we were buddies, I've probably been thinking about you a lot.

(Especially you, Mom and Dad! I'm so excited that you're visiting so soon!!!!)

Friday, October 17, 2008

my new favorite recipe

I got this from Marty (this link is to an "essential marty post"). She got this from a magazine, which is popular, but I can't remember it...not Real Simple...something with "Living" in the title maybe. Anyway, I'm digging it and I'll share it with you now. It's really easy, pretty healthy and super yummy. Oh. I have NO idea about measurements. Seriously. You can't go wrong. It's like a salad. You don't measure when you make a salad, do you? It's like that. Just go for it!

Basmati with Black Beans and Feta

Cooked Basmati rice (or any white rice, I guess...heck, try it with brown and let me know!)
1 can black beans
1 can italian diced tomatoes
1 cup (or so) or Feta
baby spinach chopped or torn (as much as you like)
fresh tomatoes diced (if you have them)

And, while the rice is still hot, stir up all that deliciousness in one big bowl and VOILA! Watch your family devour it. Seriously, all three of my kids ate the spinach with no hesitation. And Brent happily took the leftovers to work the next day.

If you'd like more crowd pleasing recipes that you can make over and over, hop over to Jenny's blog. And, Jenny, I miss you, too!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

what Jesus wouldn't wear

I saw a woman walking her dogs the other day. She was wearing a pair of those sweats that have words on the bum. I think it said "HOCKEY". No big deal. But I couldn't help but imagine someone donning a pair of sweats with "WWJD" on the backside. Oh, the irony.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kindergarten Fall Project? check.


"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the one who loved me and gave himself for me."
Galatians 2:20

What is a dead person entitled to on this earth?
What is the Christian entitled to?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Soup's On!!!

Every Friday Jenny hosts Foody Friday. The theme for this week is SOUP! I love soup. Do you? If so, here's one to try.

It comes from my Uncle Wayne. When he cooks, everyone wants seconds! I chose this recipe because it's tasty, easy and most ingredients are staples (for our family anyway). Oh. And it's very kid-friendly.

Cheddar Ham Chowder

2 c. water
2 c. cubed, peeled potatoes
1/2 c. carrots, sliced
1/2 c. celery, diced or sliced
1/4 c. onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. butter (half stick)
1/4 c. flour
2 c. milk
2 c. sharp cheddar, shredded
16 oz. can kernel corn (or throw in some frozen)
1 1/2. cubed ham, fully cooked, of course

In large saucepan bring water, potatioes carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes (until veggies are JUST tender). Remove from heat; DO NOT DRAIN. Meanwhile, in amedium saucepan, melt butter. Blend in flour. Add milk, all at once; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add cheese and stir until melted. Stir into undrained vegetables and heat. Add corn and ham; heat through, stirring occasionally.

You might want to double this recipe if you're making it for a family of five or more...or if you want leftovers. If you have any questions, let me know.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

i saw what i saw

This is a video that was shown at the Art*Music*Justice Tour. The first line of this song is, "I saw what I saw and I can't forget it..."

Coincidentally, I can't forget this video or these beautiful people of Rwanda.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

chasing jillian

The boys had several of those little sponges that come from a dissolving capsule. Recently, I wondered how I could justify throwing them out. I mean, we have more than enough bath toys. Jillian really helped me out with that problem. Thanks, Jilly. Playing with them in the toilet was plenty motivation to throw them away.

just in case you didn't get a close enough look!!

And here she is "unloading" the dishwasher.

And, of course, she loves to climb on the toilet to get to the beloved toothpaste.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I was going through pictures on our old camera and I saw this one. It's been there almost 15 months. It was taken the day Jillian was born while I was waiting for the pitocin and water-breaking to do their magic.

I was rather hefty when this picture was taken and yet, I love this picture.

The hospital gown was a gift from my sister. Isn't it adorable? I think I'd like to learn how to make these.

(un)loved and (dis)respected

It's hardly remarkable, but these sinful reactions have been on my mind.

Brent's response to "I don't feel loved" is to be annoyed and cold.

My response to "I don't feel respected" is to think he's an idiot.

Friday, October 3, 2008

it's been a busy week. this was a highlight.

The Art Music Justice tour came through town Tuesday night. I am fortunate enough to know one of the artists, Sandra McCracken. (By the way, kids, don't resist church camp! You might meet Jesus, have fun doing popsicle stick crafts and make life long friends...who can comp your tickets for really good shows!) No, really. Sandra is one of the few friends the only friend I have left from pre-junior high. And she happens to be one of my favorite musicians, too. Great voice. Beautiful song-writing. Seriously, if you haven't heard her music, you are missing out. Actually, she's on the playlist on the sidebar if you want to listen to her right now.

I love memory lane. Here are some old, old Jenna/Sandra memories:

-Watching Steel Magnolias in the theater and sobbing over Shelby

-Dancing to Debbie Gibson's "Electric Youth" and singing "Silence Speaks a Thousand Words" into a ballpoint pen. I have to admit that I think I still like that song.

-Flooding her bathroom because I put the curtain on the outside of the tub when I showered. I was so dang embarrassed. Have you ever done that?

-Gulping down orange Gatorade and eating Oreos (a near delicacy!) at her house.

-Sandra headlining our cabin's talent show offering by singing Amy Grant's "Fat Baby" (the rest of us were chorus singing "fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fat" or something like that)

-Going to her church youth group (Covenant Pres.) and feeling really out of place as if I'd never been to church before...the affect of public school on me, I think...

There are more. Sometimes the memories flood in as she's performing, and I get a little choked up. I'm sentimental and my heart is full. And it's a beautiful thing to watch someone doing their dream.

Major bonus? She comp'd a ticket for Molly, too! I can't express how much of an oasis this evening was for me in a week of sheer chaos. Thank you, Molly and Sandra!!!

Here we are. The three of us after the show on the tour bus. By the way, I highly recommend catching a show on the Art Music Justice tour and also Sandra's latest album, Red Balloon. Really, really good!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

post something already!

How about an update?

On my diaper bag (pictured in the previous post).


My brother-in-law spotted it while he and my sis were on their way to church Saturday night. Neely hopped out, wearing her Sunday best (on Saturday, of course), and picked up my stolen diaper bag and returned it (sans camera, of course). It had been abandoned less than a mile away.


So, now you can rest your weary eyes. I know you've cried big tears over that diaper bag.

I love you all (I think?) and hope to post new stuff shortly. I have approximately 15 draft posts. Surely, I can get something tweaked and ready to post soon.

Friday, September 26, 2008

story problem


Was in this:

Which was in this:

Which two items were stolen last night between 7am and 7pm?

It was the diaper bag I made (I take pictures of all my sewing projects) and the camera (stock photo, Kim! You're right!). It could have been worse. And even if it was, I still have a sovereign God who has purpose in every trial.