Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Big hugs. Posted by Picasa

"Wook, Saa-eee, I put on ments!" Posted by Picasa

Running Out Of Time

Yikes. Tomorrow is December 1, my personal deadline for getting my Christmas cards in the mail. Guess what? Not going to happen. I'm switching my deadline to December 5.

House update: Bedroom is in shambles. New bed and dressers are up, but new mattress is being shipped, so old mattress is on new bed. (That would be a queen mattress on a king frame - NOT PRETTY.) Exterior of house is finished; landscaping is shambles. Room addition is being drywalled, primed, and painted by K (God bless him). Kitchen would make the FlyLady faint dead away. It's really that bad.

Kid update: Sally is fighting off a cold, but it's a pretty mild one that only really affects her in the morning and at night. I tried to keep her home from school, but she would have none of that. She's just like me in that way. Samuel keeps trying to use the hammer and powertools to help me, and he's been decorating and re-decorating the little tree with the "ments" (that's what he calls ornaments). He's driving me a little nutty, to tell you the truth.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Shoes & Prejudice

So I know that I owe you a post on the long version of the IKEA story, but have to share this first: I have broken a record. I went to two theater movies in one week! I have not done that in over six years! (Sally is six . . . you get the connection.)

I saw In Her Shoes on Friday, and loved it. The book is also very good, and the movie is good in different ways. For example, the book has parts that are not in the movie. (Book=1, Movie=0) But the guy in the movie, Mr. Perfect, is not written that perfect. (Book=1, Movie=1) Themes of sisterhood, love, and family are highlighted in both genres. (Book=2, Movie=2) Course, it is a chick flick - I won't kid you about that.

Monday night I saw Pride & Prejudice (thanks, J!). Now, I didn't like Keira Knightley as Elizabeth (although I did like her quite a bit in Love Actually), but Matthew MacFadyn was an excellent Mr. Darcy. (I like the BBC version, with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, but it is way too long.) This movie does have lovely shots of the country and a beautiful soundtrack (even if the speakers kept cracking and making funny noises) and it seems to stay close to Austen's original dialogue. I couldn't help myself - I was smiling the entire movie. It was just so lovely.

So, there's my two cents on two good movies. But why do the movies cost $10 these days? When did that happen? I feel old saying this, but I remember when we thought $5 was a rip off.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Quote for the Day

"I get my ya-yas from Ikea. You have to put them together yourself, but they cost a little less."
~ Chandler Bing on "Friends"

I love IKEA; I hate IKEA

I went to IKEA on Friday for the after-Thanksgiving sale, and bought a van-load of stuff. It's cool, it's packaged nicely, but getting it in the car is sure a bugger. Course, now I'm knee deep in little screws and wooden dowels. I'll fill you in on the whole story on why I ended up shopping on the craziest shopping day ever, and I'll put up a pic on the new stuff :)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

We had some work done on the house - new paint, new gates, removed some plants by the front door. I love our new look! Posted by Picasa

Before and after. As you can see, that yellow stained look just had to go. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Three Things Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving! In honor of the holiday, my three things are the three things I am most thankful for this year.

(1) I am thankful for God, the creator of the universe, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who pursued me at an early age and did not let me go, for God who sent his Son to be the Savior of mankind.

(2) I am thankful for my family, for my husband who is still my best friend and can always make me laugh, for my daughter who delights my heart, for my son who melts my heart. I am thankful for my extended family, who are too numerous to name, but you know who you are.

(3) I am thankful for my friends, who know me and love me, who have seen my house clean and dirty and still like to come over, who give me good advice, watch my kids, and love to make me laugh.

(And I'm also thankful for the two sweet potato pies I made yesterday, that look so yummy and I can't wait to eat them!) Blessings!

Note to the TTT Players: Well done, people! I can't believe almost all of you posted on the holiday! Excellent - gold stars around. Coming in 2006 - I'll have some theme TTT's on the first Thursday of the month. I'll list theme topics on the sidebar. I'm taking suggestions in the comments of this post.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Eve

For the first time in a long while, I am not packing on the day before Thanksgiving. We are not getting ready for a long drive anywhere. We have a large turkey in our refrigerator, and lots of other good stuff to eat. I am not doing laundry; I am cleaning. We are staying home for a restful, quiet Thanksgiving. We will be able to decorate the house for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving, something Sally and I are looking forward to. I'm even planning to get up early and make something great for breakfast. (Maybe my Mom's little donuts - if I make them, I'll post some pics with the recipe!)

I totally forgot to write about our church's potluck. I arrived in a bad mood - not anyone's fault, just a handful of things that went wrong at the same time to dampen my spirits - but was quickly cheered up by my family and friends and the large spread of food. Also, it was nice to hear how everyone loved my Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad (yes honey, it is called a SALAD) and it was gone by the time I went to claim the pan. It always makes me feel good when people like the food I make. I'll post the recipe below.

So I'm off to clean up the house. I have a pot of water boiling, with cloves, orange slices, and a cinamon stick. It makes the house smell great. I'm starting to really get into the holiday season.

Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad

3/4 cup butter
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 1/2 cups crushed pretzels (9 0z pkg)
Mix and bake in 9x13 pan at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool.

1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 (4 1/2 oz) tub cool whip
Cream and spread on pretzel layer.

1 large pkg strawberry jello
2 cups boiling water
1 lb frozen sliced strawberries (not thawed)
(or two 10 oz. cartons of frozen strawberries)
Mix and let set in refrig. for 5-10 minutes. Pour over cream cheese layer and refrigerate until jello is set. (It usually takes at least two hours)

I have started to pour the jello onto the cream cheese layer with the pan already in the refrigerator. It is much easier, as I have had several spills moving a full 9x13 pan. Also, I sometimes misjudge how much space you need for a pan like that. So my advice is put the pan in the frige, hold a towel under the strawberry jello bowl, and slowy pour it over the cream cheese layer. Let it set for at least 30 minutes, then cover with tin foil until you are ready to serve it. Enjoy!

Monday, November 21, 2005

A Tire Tale

My car got a flat tire on Saturday, and it was no normal flat. No, normal people get a nail in their tires. I got a bolt. And it made a hole that could not be patched. So after waiting in Costco Tire Purgatory, I was told that they couldn't fix it, and they couldn't sell me a new one since my membership expired, but they did give me a refund. Then I took myself over to Sam's Club, where I now hold a membership, and I got some new tires and the old ones re-arranged, because that's what you are supposed to do. So the good news is that it's all fixed, and I was not involved in any tire-blowing-out type of accident. And that it happened on the weekend, so Stuart could help me out with the spare, which is cleverly located on the underside of my car but is very difficult to actually remove to put it on the car.

Anyways, that ate up my Monday, and then we had dinner and life group (bible study) and now it's Tuesday afternoon. My my, the time does just fly by. I looked back at the title, and now I think I should change it to "A Tired Tale", because I'm really tired today. But I'm too tired to change it.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Goblet of Fire

Went and saw the latest Harry Potter movie tonight - loved it, laughed, gasped, cried - it was great. However, Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort is quite disturbing, very evil, exactly how you would picture him in your mind. I hope they paid you well, Mr. Fiennes, because children everywhere will hate you forever. (Oh come on - you know you were thinking that, too.)

Friday, November 18, 2005

That's My Girl

(Yesterday. Front of school.)
Sally: (to male classmate) "Move!"
Me: "Please be polite."
Sally: "But Mom, he screams like a girl. You heard him."
Me: (supressing laughter) "That is no reason for you to be rude."
Sally: "Fine."

(Earlier that same day.)
Me: "It says 'You light up my life.' Do you know what that means?"
Sally: "Yes."
Me: "What?"
Sally: "Ummmm . . ."
Me: "It means you make me happy, you make my life full of joy and peace, you make my life better."
Sally: "OH - you mean God."
Me: "Well, yes. . . . "
Sally: "Because I was like, God is the only person who could be a light. I was like, that's only God."
Me: (to myself) "Like, totally."

Praying For You

I had a dream last night that I couldn't deal with life. I was spiraling out of control, mad at everyone, and no one was trying to help me. In my dream, I remember thinking, I'm losing it, and I can't stop it. It was horrible. When I woke up, I was overwhelmed with despair. For my friends out there who wish it was a bad dream, for K and S and C, I'm lighting a candle and saying a prayer for you today. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 17, 2005

New Feature!

I've added yet another new feature on the sidebar. This one is for the bloggers out there - it's way down below my profile - called Blog Business. I've put some links that I've found very helpful for making my blog the spectacular page that you see today. The banner I put up (countdown to Christmas) is from Ticker Central, a very handy site. I refer to the HTML color code pages all the time. Bravenet is a very useful, free service - if you want to sign up, there is a handy link at the bottom of this page. If you find a site that is particularly useful, please let me know with a comment or email. (My profile now contains my email and my AIM name, but I'm rarely up on chat, so catch me if you can!) Enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Three Things Thursday

(1) I hate Zataran's rice & bean products. When I was pregnant with Sally, I was very very sick. I would throw up several times a day. I threw up in the toilet (mostly), in the kitchen sink, in the shower, on my front lawn, in the trash cans, on the floor of my bedroom . . . not a fun time. One night, I was watching tv, and the Zataran's commercial came on, and it made me throw up. Seriously. I had to run from the room. Even today, I was cutting coupons and I came across a Zataran's coupon, and I groaned out loud. It sickens me.

(2) I cannot eat hot dogs or sausage anymore. I know that the day is coming soon where I remove all beef and pork products from my diet. I don't know if it is age, my lack of a gall bladder, or some genetic thing. Probably all of the above.

(3) I should not eat garlic, because I love my husband. When I eat a very garlic-y meal, like the bread and olive oil infused with fresh chopped garlic that they serve at Renaissance Bistro, my skin emits a horrible garlic smell that even I find disgusting.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

80's skate party!

My cool 80's daughter - side pony tail with pink glitter spray, one black glove (she made that herself). She was a force on those skates, let me tell you! Posted by Picasa

I actually went out of the house looking like this - black fingerless gloves, tons of necklaces, hair teased & sprayed glitter-pink with a big black lace bow. I love the 80's. Posted by Picasa

Word Verification

Most of the blogs I comment on have the word verification turned on. This does not bother me - I understand the blog spam was building up - I even turned it on on my blog. Here's the thing - I keep failing the word verification. Why are those words so long? And why are some of the fonts so difficult to read? Are others out there experiencing this problem, or is it just me? Really - do the words have to be so long?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

To My Husband

You win. I'm hooked on the show NUMB3RS. You knew it was only a matter of time, didn't you?

Math is Fun!

Alright kids, get out your pencils and make a cup of coffee, because this one will keep you up at night.

Using the digits 1 through 9, with no repeats, find two numbers, where the larger one is exactly double the smaller one.

Thank my Dad for this one - he gave it to me last night, and I got the right answer at quarter to midnight. I know there is one solution, but is it unique? There may be more than one correct answer!

The first commenter with the correct answer will recieve the grand prize, which is the satisfaction of being the first one right, along with the dubious honor of being called a Math Geek like me. (And for those of you who don't want to play, I'll post my answer in the comments section later.) Ready? Set? GO!

Monday, November 14, 2005


So we were watching the Food channel, and the show Unwrapped was on. It was the "Stuffed" episode. They interviewed Carlene LeFevre, Competitive Eater. She's older than my mom and very thin. She's like a bird - regularly eats huge huge meals, and is moving moving moving all the time. I was in awe.

Summing Up

Good Morning, Blogland! (How are ya?) We had a fast fun weekend here. I started out Friday with a baking frenzy - I made 24 cupcakes, a pan of bars, de-stemmed, washed, and bagged 16 cups of grapes, and made a double batch of pumpkin muffins (24 regulars, 12 minis, and 6 xtralarge). I took the bars and some of the muffins to our church's boutique, which was really fun, and then took the grapes and the cupcakes to Sally's last soccer game. Stu's mom, Tina, came for the weekend, and she was able to watch Sally in action. Have I bragged enough about Sally? She is THE defensive player on the team, hanging back and guarding the goal. She also makes a "eeeyyaaa" noise when she kicks the ball, which just kills me. Stu's Auntie Cyn and Uncle Jeff also came to the game, and our friend Jaymarie (former blogger) and her two girls also came to check out those Pink Panthers. Sally had a great cheering section (thanks, everyone!) for her last game of the season. Grandma Tina took the kids to Chuck E Cheese while Stu and I went to a dinner party (thanks, M&K!) and I should host a guest writer, because she has lots of funny stories to tell about the kids. I'll tell you just one: Before they got into the car, Sally says, "Grandma Tina, do you know how to drive Mommy's car?" (If you know Tina, you know how funny this is. She can do anything!) Then, while in the car, my back-seat driver says, "Grandma, are we on a free street?" "You mean freeway?" "Yes, are we on a freeway?" "No; why?" "Because it seems like we are going very fast." People, she's six. Can you imagine how much worse this will get in the next ten years? Thanks for watching the kids, Mom. They love you so much. Thanks for flying out to see Sally play soccer - you know she'll never forget that.

And, before I go, a funny Samuel story. He's talking really well, and wants to make conversation, but he really doesn't have much to talk about. He's been waking up in the middle of the night crying, so we think he may be starting to dream. So the other night, he'd woken himself up and came into our room, reciting the magic words, "Mommy, me scared!" So he climbs up to our bed and lies there, wide awake. It's 4:00 am. It's dark. And he comes up with this conversation opener: "Mommy, what movie this?" Huh? "Baby, there is no movie on. It's the middle of the night. Go to sleep." After a pause, he says, "Oh." If I wasn't so tired, it would have been very very cute.

Friday, November 11, 2005


This is Sally (and her Uncle Luke's niece - cousins-in-law, or just cousin?) learning how to shoot an arrow during our trip to New Mexico. I don't know what MrsFish's SPF category is, since her blog is still MIA, so I made up my own category - favorite photo emailed to you in the last month :) Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Three Things Thursday

(1) I hate to iron.

(2) I love calendars. I have a family calendar that hangs by my bedroom door, with all the family appointments listed. I have a personal calendar that must fit in any purse I buy. (It has weekly pages and monthly pages and an address book.) I have a calendar in the kitchen with pictures of Sally and Samuel, and a new picture goes into each month. Each of my kids has a calendar in their rooms, so they can learn to be anal like me. Finally, I have two calendars by my computer - a yearly one on the left, and a monthly one on the right.

(3) Even though my favorite color is blue, and I'm very fond of pink right now, most things I buy are black. I have a black purse (and 80% of my old purses were black), all my luggage is black, my jacket is black, my new jeans are black, the ponytail holder I wear on my left wrist is black. (However, I cannot wear black mascara. It's too harsh for my coloring. I use dark brown or brownish black.) Some days, I like to wear black head to toe. The funny thing is, on those days, I am far from depressed.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Oh where is MrsFish's blog? Why did it go away? Oh the pain! Oh the agony! First KMJ's SFC went AWOL, then Jaymarie took a leave of absence, now no more This Side Of Paradise. I have comfort in Sherry - now she has DSL, PotAaaYM is updated almost daily. But I miss you, MrsFish! Come back!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Conversations with Samuel

In the car on the way to church, Sally went on and on about something (sorry, but I started to tune her out . . . she was giving multiple examples about something I understood the first time and using the word "like" way too much) and she started singing a made-up song about her day, and the word "football" was uttered . . .
Samuel: "I like football too."
Me: (seeing an end to the monologue) "Really, Samuel? What do you like about football?"
Samuel: "Me have football my house!"
Me: "Yes, but what do you LIKE about football?"
Samuel: "Frowing." (pause to think) "Frowing it."
Sally: "I like it when Daddy watches football, and when he takes me with him to B's house, and I can play with E and A, and like, we play in the backyard, and we like play games, and Daddy and B yell at the TV's, and like say GO GO GO and GET THAT and like . . . . . . . . "
Sorry son. Conversation time over.

Samuel's Favorite Expressions

"Yeah baby!" (from a line in The Incredibles)
"Oh man!" (from Dora the Explorer - Swiper the Fox says this)
"I making noise."
"Cool! . . . . awesome."
"Me have milk. Pweese!"
"Tank you mommy changing my diaper."
"Wuv you too!"

Feeling Better

I'm feeling so much better today. My head is clear; I can breathe; I can talk almost normally. See - those pringles work wonders. (The dayquill and nyquill help, too.)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Taking a Sick Hour

I'm sick today. I have a cold. It's been lurking in my head and chest for a few days now, making me really tired. Normally, I'm a trooper when I'm sick. I am! I nursed a baby while I had the flu, thank you very much. But today, I admit defeat. I went to the store and bought several cold medicines, orange juice, pringles (my grandma was a big supporter of the whole "feed a cold" school of thought, and she always said that potato chips were excellent - a little salty, and the crunch helps soothe the throat. now, i don't know about that, but pringles are homeopathic medicine for me), and the ingredients to make my chicken and veggie soup with dumplings - the best comfort food for any illness. (Sometime today, my husband will read this and think, "Ahhhhh, yum, chicken and dumplings. . . . ") So, I'm off to sit on the couch for a few hours and be sick. I'm sure my sick day will only last for a few hours, then it's back to work for me. Don't you know - motherhood offers no sick days.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


I've been thinking about Singspiration for awhile, and then something happened today in church and I had to try and put the experience into words. So hold on, because here I go.

When I attended Biola, there was a Sunday night worship time called, (yep) Singspiration. Now, being a group of good Christian college students, we were all expected to go to a local church on Sunday morning. However, that did not always happen. Lack of transportation, lack of sleep, excess of homework, excess of socialization Saturday nights, well, we were not always the most faithful church attendees. So Singspiration was an hour long, student led worship time. Singing. (you coulda guessed that, eh?) I'm pretty sure that this service was offered all the years I attended Biola, but there was one year that I went every week. In fact, everyone I knew went every week, because that year, something amazing and wonderful happened. God showed up each and every week. And it wasn't that the songs were so original, or that the leaders were so gifted (two guys, a guitar, and an overhead projector), or even that the chapel was spectacular. I frequently sat next to people who could not even sing that well. No matter. We all went because we all knew that He would be there, and that we needed Him, and that we would recieve Him to overflowing. It was a singular amazing experience. (We were discussing this in our bible study group, and I turned to Stuart, and said, "You remember that year. . . " and he finished with, " . . . the year that Singspiration was so great." It was really that good.)

I've attended many churches since that year, many Bible-preaching solid churches filled with people who love God and want to know Him more. The church I currently attend has some of the best worship leaders and songs that I've known. But I have not had a Singspiration experience in a long time. Until today. Why today? I'm not sure. Maybe because I needed it. Perhaps because many people at church today needed it and expected it. I don't know. If I could pinpoint the exact mix of prayer, need, circumstances, songs . . . I'd order it up every Sunday. But I felt it during this song:

Before there was time
There were visions in Your mind
There was death in the fall of mankind
But there was life in salvation's design

Before there were days
There were nights I could not see Your face
But the night could not keep me from grace
When You came and took my place

So I cry holy only begotten Son of God
Ancient of days
I cry holy only begotten Son of God
And sing the praises
Of the One who saved me
And the promises He made

Before there was time
You counted the hairs on my head
You knew all the words I've said
And You purchased me back from the dead

Before I was made
You searched me and knew my ways
You numbered all my days
And You set forth the steps I would take

You saved me; You raised me
You saved me; You pulled me from the grave

So I cry holy only begotten Son of God
Ancient of days
I cry Holy only begotten Son of God
And sing the praises
Of the one who saved me
And the promises He made
Before there was time
(Copyright Credits: Written By: Aaron Senseman Copyright: © 2001 Stuntman Music)

At the end, I had an incredible feeling of peace, and I thought to myself, if the only thing we do in heaven is sing that song over and over again, it will be fine by me. (Arrgh, that frustrates me, because "fine" is not the word, nor is "great" or "wonderful" or "acceptable". I can't find the word. A feeling of perfect peace, fleeting now but lasting when we get there, a knowledge that it is enough, that it is more than enough, that it will be joyful and amazing and restful all at the same time. What is the word for that? Anyone know?)

So, there it is. This is inadequate to describe what happened, but it's what I wanted to put into words.

Muffins & Frosting

Yep, I made more of the pumpkin cream cheese muffins today, and I'm glad I posted the recipe because I've been getting lots of requests for it. So, to make it easier to find, I've put a new category on the sidebar with all the recipes I've posted. (If you find one I missed, please leave me a comment!) There's lots of fun stuff over there on the sidebar, so go for a wander around and check stuff out. And, a preview: now that the holidays are coming up, I will be making - and posting the recipe - of my favorite cookie, the spritz cookie. It's a little almond butter cookie that you need a cookie press to make, and I LOVE THEM! But I won't leave you empty handed today. Today, my gift to you is my mom's recipe for Mocha Frosting. The nice thing about this is that you have to make a cup of coffee to make it (oh darn).

~Mom's Mocha Frosting~

1/4 cup butter
2-3 Tbsp cocoa powder
hot coffee - add a few teaspoons at a time and mix until smooth
1 tsp vanilla
(1 tsp Kahula, optional)
1 1/2 - 2 cups of powdered sugar

Add the powdered sugar a little at a time until the frosting is the right consistency. If you make a bundt cake, this is an excellent frosting - make it on the runny side, and drizzle it over the cake. It will dry with a nice sheen. For brownies, keep adding the powdered sugar until it's nice and thick.

Friday, November 04, 2005


"Something in your house that you made yourself." I like to cross-stitch. I am in the process of making theme verses for all of us in our family. I like having Bible verses posted in rooms throughout the house - makes it feel like home to me. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Vacation Photos

Enjoy! We had a great time.

Halloween, 2005. Posted by Picasa

Halloween, 2005. Posted by Picasa

For the photo buffs, I loved these colors. All the leaves on the trees were changing color - for this California girl, it was just lovely. Posted by Picasa

Sally and Samuel in front of the Georgia O'Keefe Museum. I loved that place. It was really interesting - lots of quotes on the wall, a documentary about her life. Good stuff. Posted by Picasa

Samuel and me in the Loretto Chapel. We are looking at a large statue of Jesus. OK, I am looking at the statue . . . Posted by Picasa

Some of us in Santa Fe, at the Plaza. (My camera took some blurry pics - I think the boy put his fingers on the lens.) Posted by Picasa

Sally and Samuel with TaiTai and Erwin. TaiTai is their great-grandma. Posted by Picasa

This is the hotel that we stayed at. I am standing outside our hallway. To the far left is a shallow, horseshoe-shaped pool. To the right is the big pool with the water slide. Beautiful. Posted by Picasa

Three Things Thursday - Vacation Edition!

(1) We got home last night from six days and five nights in New Mexico. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya (that's ta-ma-ya), which is north of Albuquerque.

(2) We went to Santa Fe, historic Albuquerque, went swimming, and went for long walks. Sally went horseback riding with her Grandma Tina, and had an archery class with her dad. We also saw an Indian tribal dance, ate authentic Tamaya bread, and heard Indian stories around a campfire. All that was fun, but the highlight of the week for me was an hour massage at the hotel spa. That, and an inside family joke about sopaipillas and honey and ribs.

(3) After sifting through my email, I have 138 messages in my trash folder. 121 of them are unread (translation: junk mail).

BONUS: Samuel really got homesick at the end of the trip. He would ask about something: "What's that?" "It's soda." "Oh. I have soda my house!" Or: "What this movie?" "I don't know." "Oh. I have movies my house!"