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 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" 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