Friday, October 31, 2008

Older crowd

Our neighborhood is a mix of kids but this year we saw a lot of older kids (junior high and high school) for trick-or-treat.
Some of the costumes were clever, like our next door neighbor who dressed as one of the characters from I Spy, the comic from the Mad Magazine. Or there were a couple guys dressed as hockey referees, which was fitting since C wore a hockey jersey and had his broken goalie stick with him (a souvenir from a Carolina Hurricanes practice.)
But there were some that were just scary or something lame they threw together.
One note: we saw a lot of cross dressing boys (one as Miss America and another a bride and a couple others as girls at a sleep-over.)
So a lot of the older crowd. We gave them candy; one piece each. But it would have been nice to see more of the younger crowd.
The neighbor-boy across the street dressed up as Elmo. So it was cute to hear M say "Hi, Elmo" as he walked up the driveway.

Tender heart

For as much as we think M can be a brute (she can take a fall like no other child I know and has been known to hit her sister these days), she does have a tender, sensitive side.
Today was a little rough for her with the variety of scary masks we saw as we trick-or-treated down our street.
Actually, some costumes in general would set her off. She'd stop walking and cling to my legs, wanting to be picked up. I'd try to reassure her or encourage her to laugh at the scary faces but she'd want nothing to do with them. In my arms, she felt safe, though.
At our church Fall Festival she freaked out a couple times over a man who was getting splashed with broken water balloons. Basically it was a dunk tank without the dunk tank. There was a man sitting under some kind of apparatus with a water balloon inside. Someone would throw a ball and, if it hit the target, the guy would get a shower of water. The guy underneath exaggerated his movements with big shivers and cries and blowing out water.
M freaked! C had to take her outside to help her calm down. We stayed clear of that game for the rest of the evening!

Just like dad

M totally looks like Daddy. Her features mirror his. And her latest smile is proof positive that she has his family genes.

That half-smile/sneer is something I see in C and the other males in his family.

Poor girl. (Just kidding!)

Beautiful cake

A couple months ago, S said she wanted a birthday cake in the shape of a butterfly. Knowing I would not be able to tackle such a cake, I turned to an expert. A woman we know (our husbands work together) has made cakes for several friends so I decided she would be the best at making the cake of S's dreams.
In addition to the butterfly shape, S wanted a cake with pink and purple colors (her favorites) and vanilla flavor cake and frosting.

Our friend Cat took the idea and flew! The cake is truly beautiful (and very tasty too!) Beyond what we expected! And very tasty too! Yum! (We are still enjoying the leftovers.)

If you want to know more about her cakes, contact Cat Buttron of Cat's Confections at or 920-205-5262 .

Thank you, Cat! We look forward to your creation for M's party in December. How are you at a cartoon character, like Blue's Clues? Maybe a cake shaped like the clue paw print??

Special Day

My mom asked that we do something special for S on her birthday. As if the day would be anything but special!
I think for a 4-year-old, it was a pretty awesome day and did not lack specialness.

The day started off with flowers, balloons, presents, cards and a chocolate chip muffin with a birthday candle.

Then S and Daddy (who took the day off) walked to the bus stop to take a ride on the city bus. A real treat for her! She loves to point out the city bus whenever we see one.
After their ride, they walked to The Mom and Pop Place, our favorite place. M and I met them there and the girls enjoyed a snack and story time.

We had lunch at S's favorite spot. The meal included a scoop of custard with sprinkles.

After nap time, the girls and I went trick-or-treating. Then we went to our church for its Fall Festival. The girls played lots of games and got lots of candy.
Both were pretty tuckered out by the end of the day. S said her favorite part was trick-or-treating. But for her birthday part of the day, she enjoyed opening her presents.

Tomorrow will bring more fun with a birthday party with some of her friends.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Four years ago

Four years ago, probably at about this time of the evening, our life changed.
I was 9 months pregnant and woke up in bed. I hadn't been asleep for too long but something woke me up. I waddled over to the bathroom and gush! Wetness all over! I was certain I wet myself but, after a call to the doctor's office, we were on the way to the hospital.

After a sleepless night of nothing major, I was induced in the morning and labor began.

C and a dear friend were with me every step of the way. Labor picked up about mid-morning and, for some reason, I decided to see how things would go without drugs. Oooooh! It was tough at some parts and even meds to take the edge off were not helpful.

Finally I asked for the epidural. Once I had it, the baby dropped and it was time to push.

S was born after 3 p.m. We were overcome with joy at the tiny bundle in our arms.

Fast forward four years. She has blossomed into a beautiful butterfly. She is smart. She is fun. She is silly. She is creative. She is such a joy. She is a wonderful and caring big sister.

We are excited to see what the coming years bring. Will she be a ballerina at center stage? Will she be an artist? Will she be a teacher or a doctor?

Whatever comes, we pray she always keeps God in her heart, that she follows in His ways always. And that she never forgets to smile and dance like no one is watching.

Happy birthday, pumpkin pie!

I did it!!

Tonight I opened one of those Pillsbury pastry tubes all by myself!!
I HATE pastry tubes because they pop open as you peel the label away. And if it doesn't pop on its own, you have to do it yourself.
I hate the anticipation of when it will pop. I hate having to make it pop. I hate the feeling and, most especially, the noise of it popping.
I am not fond of loud noises, to put it lightly. They freak me out. I'm a wimp, I know.
Anytime I want to make one of those Pillsbury tube products, I have C, my good and faithful hubby, open it for me. My hero!
But tonight, the damsel was on her own. And I needed the Pillsbury crescent rolls for our dinner recipe. What was I to do?? I took a deep breath and grabbed the corner of the label. I started to peel it away, slowly, slowly, and then pop! Agh!!! Agh!! Agh!!
Thankfully I didn't drop the thing!
Will I open the next one on my own?? No! C better be home, especially if I want to make cinnamon rolls!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's Wednesday

I'm pretty tired right now and am considering a nap. Maybe I'll nap on the mountain of clothes I have to fold.
I just don't have the energy. But that's because it's Wednesday. Of the days of the week, that one really hits me hard. Not sure why this happens. I've noticed this pattern over the last couple months. The week could be going along fine and then bam! On Wednesday this tired, irritable, blahness comes over me. Sometimes I just want to crawl under the covers and sleep. On these days I have very little patience with the girls and C. I feel snappy, drained, pulled in all directions and so forth.
Today has been OK, patience-wise. Although I should hold my tongue because we still have to make it to the grocery store tonight!
Overall, I am just tired right now. This couch is looking pretty inviting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jump for joy!

Here's a picture of S's picture from Picture People. It is such a great shot! We were back there this morning and the manager asked if they could use one of the poses taken yesterday for a display they want to make of the new Christmas cards. Cool! Now if only we could get a free picture or framed something or some kind of incentive for that.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Model for the morning

Today I took S to the mall to get her birthday pictures taken. She turns 4 on Friday!!
It was a busy morning with running back and forth from Sears Portraits to Picture People.
We went to Sears first. It was a 9:30 appointment but we waited nearly 20 minutes before someone could take her pictures! Crazy but there was only one other photographer available. Another one was with a customer going over their order. And there were two trainees, clearly reading their training manual, and another lady but I wasn't sure what she was doing the whole time!
I felt a little crunched for time because I had made an appointment for 10:30 at Picture People. If only I knew!
So after the Sears woman took S's pictures, we booked it out the store to PP, which, thankfully, is next door. We had to wait there as well but it was worth it because the photographer was AWESOME and we got some great pictures.
But right after that session, we didn't wait. It was right back to Sears so I could pick out our poses before the photographer's 11:30 appointment. Then it was back to Picture People to pick our photos from that session!
S did great the whole time. She listened to both photographers directions, smiled like a pro and was patient during all the waiting. It helped to have a snack on hand and that Sears played Strawberry Shortcake videos and Picture People had blocks for her to spell out her name and build really tall towers.
M, on the other hand, was with Daddy at home. And a good thing too because I don't know if she would have lasted through all this. Well, maybe she would have. But she had a bit of a high fever Sunday night and, although she felt fine this morning, we thought it best she stay home. C was able to work from home, thanks to his work laptop. (M, by the way, has been fever free all day so she might have had a little bug of something.)
All in all, we got some great pictures of S from both places. But it was so hard to choose!
At PP I picked three sheets: an 8x10, a sheet of 4x6's and a sheet of 5x7's. And with the coupon I had and my Smile Saver card, I got them all for almost $6.
The picture I absolutely love from PP is of S jumping in the air. It is so cute and fun and so different from traditional poses.
At Sears I stuck to my guns....and the coupon I had for 35 prints for $4.99...and choose one pose. Then S chose a special birthday collage for her bedroom.
We will be back at Sears on Friday for our family picture. I also hope to get a picture of the two girls together and one of C and I; both of which will be for the mantle in our family room.
We'll be doing this kind of a photo trip in December for M's 2 year pictures. I just hope and pray that the wait times are not as bad. I may just consider doing Sears and PP on different days, although it would be nice to get both done in one shot. We'll see. I think for pictures in December, though, it is best to spread them out.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I know completing 52 scrapbook pages seems like an amazing feat so here is my secret: K.I.S.S.
I don't use a lot of embellishments. I have seen so many beautiful albums but there is a lot of work involved in one page alone. Again, amazing books, but just not for me. I want to get the pictures on the pages in a way where they tell the story.
If I do use embellishments, it is a paper boarder along the page or trim around a picture. But mostly I use stickers. I love stickers! Just adding a few to a page really make a difference.
In the last year or so, I have been using papers with designs and such on them. But it does take a little time to find the right paper to go with the pictures. So I only go that route when I am inspired.
But I like my tried and true K.I.S.S. method. It makes life a lot easier, especially when my goal is to get pictures on the pages!
By the way, sometimes sticker titles, journaling and stickers don't come until much later. You know, for one of those "one day" projects. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

52 pages

No, that's not how many pages I've read in one of my many books. Although I wish! But I'll get through those in time.
Just like I will complete yet another scrapbook all in due time. Today was Croptoberfest, an event sponsored by my Creative Memories friends.
During the 12-hour!! event, I completed a total of 52 pages for S's current scrapbook.
That's a lot of pages! Basically, I've complete last November through this May.
I love all day scrabooking events. (Although I can honestly say my back, backside, legs, caves and feet are very sore from sitting and standing, alternately, all day!)
All day scrapbooking is a perfect time to get a lot done. In addition, I can socialize with my friends and enjoy some yummy goodies!
I also like it because I can bounce ideas off friends and take a trip down memory lane.
My goal was to complete through this August. But we did have to stop for meals, which were provided. And I got a 15 minute chair massage, which would have been nice to have again toward the end of the night.
I really liked the pages I did in this book, especially the ones of S at ballet. Oh, and the cover page. And the zoo pages. And the page of her and C. And....well, they are all good. I love it! I think she will love it too. Today, before I went to the event, we stopped at Hobby Lobby to choose out paper and stickers for her book. I was able to use many of them.
I am eager for next month's regular crop (only 6 hours long), during which I hope to finish S's book. Then in December or January I hope to finish M's current book.
Which means I could be caught up come Memoranza, which is in the spring. Well, I could be caught up with the girls' books. So I could potentially work on our honeymoon: our trip to Walt Disney World in 2004!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

What I'm reading

Over the summer I got bit hard by the reading bug. Probably because we were (and still are) going to the library once a week for the summer reading program Sylvia was in. That and we love going to the library.
But I think it happened mostly because I wanted to read more than children's books. I really love to read. I have since I was a child. I have a lot of fond memories of going to the library and getting lost in the books and stories. One of my favorite reading spots was up in the tree in our front yard.
Over the years, my reading has been off and on. So this summer I happened upon a book by Karen Kingsbury. I'd never heard of her but I was hooked by the description. I was ready to read the book, only to discover it was part of a series. So, of course, I had to start from the beginning. Only I wound up discovering another of Kingsbury's series. And there it started. The one series led to a spin-off, which led to another spin-off. I was hooked and really into reading it. Probably more so that C would have liked because I was reading A LOT.
Since the end of summer, my book reading has slowed down. Not sure why, since I feel our schedule has tapered off since summer. But there are other life factors, etc. involved.
But now I've got three books piled up. I had four but I had to cut one. I was reading Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb's Remember When. I really liked the concept that Nora Roberts was combining her two writing personalities into one book. But, given the three other books that need my attention, I only finished the first half of the book. I'll get to it another day
Now on my list is the last book in Kingsbury's Sunrise series. Because it recently came out, I was on the hold list until this week. Now I have to read it before the due date because chances are I can't renew it right away.
I am also going to read The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. It was chosen by the Mom and Pop Place book club, which starts mid-November. I had never heard of the book and did not realize until recently that it is coming out as a movie.
The last book is The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. Again, not something I'd heard about before. A friend was reading it and shared a few passages with me. It sounds like a powerful and moving book. After that, another friend, who wanted to start up a book club, e-mailed to say she thought we should read the book. So I am borrowing her copy.
I am eager to read each book. They cover so many different areas so I will have a lot to chew on.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sick Day

C and I are both sick. I don't think we've even been sick at the same exact time.
Yesterday was weird because he came home early from work with some symptoms. Later that night, I had the same ones.
It's been an experience, trying to get better with two little ones around. It's been a bit of a tag-team effort as far as caring for and being with the girls go. Obviously we don't want to get them sick again. (They are both getting over colds, although M still has a cough but it's not the croup like stuff she had over the weekend.)
Last night I rested on the couch after dinner while C tried to play with the girls. We tried to get them to bed quickly so we could rest. Thankfully the girls slept through the night. Or at least I did because I didn't hear anything!
This morning C let me sleep in. He's been napping on and off today. He says he is getting better, although he looks like the dead now that he is up.
I seem to be OK, with the exception of the sore throat and cough.
A wonderful dear friend is making a meal for us tonight. She called last night to ask a question and when she heard we were both sick she wanted to do something to help. So sweet. We are blessed with the local family we have here.
With any luck this will end quickly and we can get our life (and house...the play room looks like it exploded) back in order. And hopefully before we all go stir crazy.

Honest Input

I am doing some research for a potential show a friend and I are pitching.
We want to do a show geared primarily toward women but a male audience is welcome!
It will cover topics that go all over the board but be relevant to our daily lifestyles.
Would you be interested in such a show? What kind of topics would you want to be covered?
Do you watch The View? What do you think of it? Like, dislike, would like to change, etc?
Any honest feedback on the above questions would really help our research efforts.
And please keep this venture in your prayers!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

They got me!

I got the e-mail from Omaha Steaks that says I am not getting the free item.
Oh well.

Communication break down

The great meat deal I've posted about seems to have blown up in the faces of the parties involved. For all the updated and responses, check here.
Apparently, Omaha has gotten so many orders that they've had to back track and get down to the bottom if this with Geico. The gift card terms has since changed and Omaha is changing it's terms, leaving us customers in the middle.
Some people have tried to get the meat deal, which I've blogged about, only to learn that the gift card/conditions have changed. Some customers are also reporting that their orders are being cancelled or the free item is not being included.
I checked my order, which I placed this morning, and according to the e-mail I received, it as been shipped and should be here by Friday. However, on the Omaha Web site, it is saying the order is "in progress," whatever that means.
Some of the people who made the order are saying they've since received an e-mail from the company basically saying that the order will still ship but without the free item.
So we'll see what happens. It was a great deal and obviously a lot of people wanted to get in on it.

It worked!

I just spent $1.98 at Omaha Steaks for 5.5 pounds of steak burger!
Read my blog posted last night, which contained this link.
Now I know how couponers feel when they get a great deal. I was shocked that it all worked out and the price I got!!
A couple points: you do have to be patient for the e-mails to come in. In the blog that started it all, some people were saying it took six hours to get the e-mail with the gft card code.
And I would recommend opening the links in separate tabs or windows, just so you can refer back and forth to them as you go through the process.
Another thing, I didn't see my free 12 burgers at check-out initially. Turns out I needed to click on the Redeem button from an Omaha Steaks e-mail, which then credited my account and brought me to the shopping site, where I was able to apply my gift card. I tried the shopping site first and then was about to enter my gift card number but didn't see the free burgers so I back-tracked, which is why it helped to have separate tabs for stuff.
Hope you are able to get in on this fantastic offer. I also read in the blog that started it all that people bought things like steaks and such, again utilizing the gift card and free burger option. Not a bad idea all around but I chose steak burgers because we make a lot of recipes that call for ground beef. I read you can just brown up and break up the patties to use in regular recipes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Get Ground Steak for 36 cents a pound!

A friend sent me a link to a blog, which contains instructions on how to gt ground steak for 36 cents a pound.
I am attempting to get in on the deal as I blog. But the deal is that you register on Geico's site (you don't have to change insurance or anything, just register) and you get a gift card. Register on Omaha Steaks, get free burgers with first purchase, apply the Geico gift card and there you have it...about 5.5 pounds of steak burgers.
I pray this works because that would be a truly awesome deal! If you want, read the responses on that blog. Some people ran into some issues but sounds like most were able to get through and get in on the deal.
Good luck!

Prayer request

Please pray for me at 10 a.m. Wednesday Oct. 22.
A friend and I are pursuing a new media venture. I will go in to more details if things come to pass but, at this time, just please pray for open minds and hearts; that God's hand is in this new direction.

Let's grab some free coffee!

Let's take advantage of this Barnes and Noble coupon and get together at the Barnes and Noble in Appleton!
Who's in? I am thinking an evening, without kids, would be ideal.
If you are interested, let me know by the end of the week and perhaps we can get together next Wednesday or Thursday night.
(If you don't know about the coupon, see my blog from Sunday, I think.)

Sore all over

Aerobics kicked my butt last night. Last week I resumed the class and I was doing fine until mid-week.
But last night, I really got in to it and pushed myself. I am paying for it now! I am sore when I walk and it hurts to sneeze.
I tell myself the pain is worth it though. I think this means I am working on the areas that need it!
So don't laugh if you see me hobbling around this week. Instead, give me a little encouragement for doing it. Or, better yet, offer a massage!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Free Cappuccino!

Duh! I almost forgot to pass on this great deal for a free cappuccino (or other hot drink) from Barnes and Noble!! (Click on the word free to get to the coupon.) Offer expires Oct. 31 so take advantage of it soon! Perfect for a cool Autumn night.
Thanks, Freebies 4 Mom! I love that blog!!

She likes it, she really likes it!

Today during home-schooling S said "It's such nice when you home-school."
"I like it when we home-school."
I got a warm-fuzzy feeling. I know she has fun doing the home-schooling. She loves to do stuff, even requests it on the weekends!
And I like it too. I like figuring out the curriculum, book lists, projects and more.
I will admit, home-schooling is not completely out of the question. I am interested in exploring the option and researching it more.
My friend A even recommended an inspiring article.
We'll see what the next couple years bring.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Big Idea here she comes!

I think S is ready to be an artist for Big Idea Productions, the makers of Veggie Tales.
For daddy's Sweetest Day gift, she drew him a picture of a Rock Monster, one of the characters from the Veggie Tales movie "The Pirates Who Don't do Anything."

She really "wowed" us with her drawing! I love her Rock Monster! She even drew Larry the Cucumber's Elliot character (with the thing that goes over his eye) about to get squished by the Rock Monster!

It's great!

Bring on the crafts and bake sales!

Now I truly feel like a mom! I now own a glue gun and a cupcake/cake carrier.
I am sure not all moms own those things but having them makes me feel like I've reached another level of motherhood. I know many moms from growing up and even today who have those items.
I bought the glue gun for a couple reasons. At Moms Inc. we made magnetic clips for the memory verses related to each meeting. Unfortunately two of the stones on my clip fell off that first day. I had intended to use Crazy Glue to re-adhere them but forgot. Then, this weekend, M took the pumpkin decoration off our kitchen hand-towel. We just so happened to go to a craft store so I decided to pick up a glue gun. It's a cool little thing so I am glad I have it. Now what to do next? Crafts? Repairs? Closing up open wounds? Just kidding!
As for the cupcake thing, again, felt like one of those things every house needs. Although, now I wish I had gotten the one I saw on TV, where you can do two layers of cupcakes. But it was one of those no returns, all sales final sort of deals so, oh well. It can also hold 24 mini cupcakes so if I really needed a lot of cupcakes I could just resort to those. But that would mean purchasing a mini-cupcake baking pan. :)

New room

We rearranged S's room today, mostly because we wanted to get her bed away from in front of the window for the winter.
The new set up is nice. Her bed is closer to the door, which opened up one end of her room considerably. Now she has a reading corner and an art corner with a desk.
Next we may end up moving our bedroom around. We'll see. And C thinks we will need to remove the changing table from M's room. The toddler bed is something we may consider next spring. I just pray she doesn't learn to get out of her crib before then!

No excuses now

One of our projects on Sunday was to bring the elliptical we purchased earlier this year up from the basement. We ended up putting it in the family room, where we spend our time in the evenings after the girls go to bed.
C is on it now. Our hope is we'll start using it regularly. It was pretty much untouched in the basement this summer. Chris was biking to work and I, well, no excuses for me, I guess. We thought the basement was a good location but....out of sight, out of mind.
We hope this new arrangement will be better for us. We had to move furniture around but I think the new set-up is fine.
So hopefully we'll get off our butts and exercise more often.

Beautiful Birthday

This weekend was perfect all around. What a perfect birthday weekend!
We spent Saturday morning at a fall festival where the girls got to decorate a cookie, play some games (although M was kind of scared of them) and then the girls got to trick-or-treat around the Farmer's Market and downtown. S was a love bug and M was a teddy bear.

The morning was a lot of fun until M took a backwards flop off a picnic bench and hit her head on the table leg. She had a nice bump on her head (and bruise on her tailbone) but was totally herself shortly after the fall. It scared me though so I am praying that she is indeed fine. She's been herself all weekend so I am sure she is. But head injuries always make me nervous.

I got some wonderful birthday gifts. C got me two DVD's: Season One of Pushing Daises and the 20th Anniversary edition of Princess Bride. My mom and step-dad got me some wonderful Vanilla Cupcake scented bath and body produces from Sephora. And, hopefully by next week, I will be receiving the complete DVD set of Scarecrow and Mrs. King, a show I absolutely loved as a teen.

The girls got me wonderful gifts as well. And they picked them out on their own! S picked out a pretty angel figurine and some stickers for my scrapbooking. M picked out vanilla scented potpourri and a box of chocolate chip cookie mix. :)

Later on Saturday we went to Red Lobster for some yummy seafood. It was a hopping place with Sweetest Day and local homecoming events.

Unfortunately by the end of the night I was not ready to dig in to my birthday French Silk pie. But that was OK because it became breakfast on Sunday morning!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Home-School Update

Earlier this summer I joined forces with a few other moms who wanted to home-school their preschoolers.
I chose to home-school for a couple reasons: finances (crazy expensive for preschool, especially on one income) and it's preschool so how hard could it be?
Some people might say it's good for the socialization aspect. And I would agree. However, the girls get socialization with other kids (without me around) at least a couple times a week through two groups I am involved with. So, knowing that area is covered, I felt comfortable home-schooling S until kindergarten.
A friend of mine created the awesome curriculum. And I got to help out with a couple letters. It was a cool process because the Internet is chock-full of resources!!! I love it! I always find something new!
We've been at it 6 weeks now. The curriculum our co-op uses calls for teaching two days a week. However, S is a little sponge and wants to do something every day.
So I've had to tap into the on-line resources and come up with more things. It's pretty easy since I just use the core curriculum as a model.
Also, thanks to the idea from a friend, I created a preschool box full of activities like patterns, matching, card games, cutting practice and more.
I love to use workbooks as well. Those are handy because I can give them to S while I put M down for a nap. She can easily do them on her own. And then, after M is down, we spend about another hour one-on-one.
In addition to the core curriculum, I have added Biblical lessons, including a Biblical ABC, verse (although we are not doing memorization right now) and coloring page. Sometimes I find an activity to go with it.
I plan to incorporate Spanish into our curriculum as well. My mom bought us a Spanish Bingo game, which teaches colors, food, seasons, vehicles, clothing and more. S loves it. My mom is also talking about getting the Muzzy series, which I've only heard about.
Our preschool co-op has also included field trips in the curriculum. So far we've been bowling, to the pet store and the apple orchard. I get a blast out of the field trips too!
All in all, this is a great experience for S and I. I am amazed at how much she is learning. She can write her name. She even started spelling it out-loud this week! Her coloring-in is spot on; all in the lines and everything. This week was grapes and giraffe's. She colored in a picture of a giraffe and carefully colored in yellow around all the spots. It was very cool!
I've had people ask if I plan to home-school beyond preschool. Honestly, I can say at this point, no. I doubt my abilities and so forth. But who knows what will happen in the next couple years....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just the lift I need

I have become a Steven Curtis Chapman fan. I LOVE his new CD, This Moment.

Not only does it have his heart-touching song, Cinderella (which he wrote with his daughters in mind), but it also has a song called One Heartbeat At A Time. It is just the encouragement I need to be a mom on a day-to-day basis.

I just found this acoustic sampling of One Heartbeat At A Time, with Chapman explaining why he wrote this song. Please, moms and friends, listen!!

And for the full lyrics, go here.

I highly recommend getting his CD, This Moment. The picture posted with this blog is of C dancing with his Cinderella's.

I hope, in the future, to build my Steven Curtis Chapman collection. (Hint for those needing gift ideas!)

I really do enjoy his music and the messages within them. I love music a a form of worship. Music really speaks to me.

The girls also like his songs. We love to get crazy along with Something Crazy and we love to praise God along with Children of God, both on This Moment.

One another note, Chapman recently returned to posting blogs, five months after the tragic loss of his daughter, Maria. To view his blog, check out his Web site. I was able to watch the family's interview that ran in August on Good Morning America. My heart goes out to them for all they are going through. Like anyone else, they have questions. They long to have Maria back. But through it all, they have shown a deep faith, even when they don't know why this happened. But as they take a journey along a new road, they remain faithful and await the day they can be reunited with Maria, who is with her heavenly Father and dancing with His angels.

Birthday countdown

Two more days until my birthday!
C took the girls shopping for my gifts. S was so cute yesterday when she got back from the store. I could tell she was bursting at the seams! A couple times she nearly spille the beans. It was cute.
C took to the store tonight. He said M picked out her gift to me all on her own. I can't wait to see what treasures await!
We will also spend the weekend with my family. who are coming here. We will go to a local fall festival for the morning, enjoying games, crafts, treats and more. My family is also bringing my favorite pie, since the pie shop here closed recently. I may even suggest my favorite seafood place for a birthday dinner.....although I don't want any wait-staff singing for me!
It's going to be a great weekend! I thank God for blessing me with all these years and look forward to what may come.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Yet another article subject has inspired me to find ways to save money and help the environment. I recently wrote about conserving energy. I learned so much, outside of just changing traditional light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFL's.
Some ideas we have applied here at the house:
Unplug appliances and devices that you don't use often. These are those sources of phantom energy drains. I recently unplugged the coffee maker (it only gets used once a week), toaster, charger for the Swiffer Vac, phone charger and extra television in the basement.
We also put the television, satelite receiver and DVD player on a power strip, which we turn off when we go to bed. We also unplug the laptop and turn off the power strip for the computer and wireless service.
I recently lowered the thermostat in the house. One expert told me that for every degree you lower on the thermostat, you save 3 percent on your energy bill.
Other ideas I gathered in writing the article: Check the insulation in your attic. Get kits where you can put some foam padding under the switch plates along outside walls to prevent cool air from entering. Check the weather stripping in doors. Open the blinds to let in the natural warmth from the sun.
I really enjoyed reading an article in Consumer Reports. My favorite ideas from that publication that I have tried to apply here at home:
  • Skip prerinsing dishes. Our tests have found that it's unnecessary, and you'll save up to 6,500 gallons of water per year.
  • Opt for the cold-water wash cycle and save about $60 a year.
  • Dust off the slow cooker. You'll use a lot less energy than cooking a meal across several burners and in the oven.
  • Don't overload the dryer. Clothes will take longer to dry, and they'll come out wrinkled. When the weather is warm, line dry.

When all is said and done, a little goes a long way to reducing your energy bills and helping the environment.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Who am I?

As a parent, especially a stay-at-home parent, you can lose your identity pretty quickly.
"Mommy, is it OK if the girls have a lollipop," asked the lady at the pharmacy, briefly flashing the orange and red treats for me to see.
Rarely do I hear anyone call me by my real name. Most of the time I get a greeting "Hi" or "How are you" or I am called "Mommy" or S and M's Mommy. Even my husband calls me Mommy.
Hearing "Mommy" all the time can be draining. Don't get me wrong. I do love being a mother and I love being blessed with the opportunity to stay at home with my girls.
But I also love my name. It's pretty, literally. And it is who I am, besides mommy and wife.
Tonight "Mommy's" tank was pretty low and Mommy" didn't want to be "Mommy" for just a little bit.
Evenings can be rough in general. I am usually tired by the end of the day. (Sitting around eating bon-bons and blogging can be exhausting!) But there is still dinner to fix, dramas to direct or redirect, cleaning to do and the assortment of household stuff. C does help around the house and he generally knows when I need a break. But I know he, too, is pretty wiped out and can be low on the patience after work.
Tonight the girls were, well, the same as they are every night, but, like I said, my tank was low and so was my patience. It took everything I had in me to stay at the table at dinner when all I really wanted to do was run into the bathroom, lock the door and take a very long hot shower. But I sat through dinner, trying to eat it with M calling "Mommy" all the time because she wanted me to spoon up every bite for her and S finding some reason yet again to not eat dinner.
C helped out and afterwards took M to the hardware store with him. I needed the break, a bit of peace and a little one-on-one time with S.
Tonight Chris led the bedtime prayer we do with the girls. In it, he asked for God to give us patience as parents. At least that's what I took from it. I hate being impatient with the girls. I love them to pieces. Generally, I can handle the drama, being the Drama Coach and all. But I hate the cringe I can get sometimes when I hear "Mommy" for the millionth time in a day.
I wonder how God does it. You would think He must be impatient with us all the time for all the dumb things we do. We don't listen to Him. We don't follow Him. We have a general lack of faith in Him. And yet, He is always there to love us, to forgive us and to welcome us back when we do stupid things. He is such an awesome father, so patient and loving, strong and firm.
I pray to be a parent like He is. And that's the way to do it, to pray and ask for His guidance so we have the patience to deal with the hundreds of things we face as parents.
God give me strength, again and again!

Little builder

M loves blocks! She has taken to playing with them nearly every day. At first she loved to knock down sister's towers.
But lately she has been building her own. She opens up the bag on her own, spills them out and then creates her own masterpiece!
We are very proud of her!

Fall fun

Autumn weather is back in the forecast!

This past weekend we had temps near 80, which, in my opinion, is crazy!
Autumn should be crisp temperatures, yet with the sun shining in a clear, bright blue sky.

It was weird to have an October weekend with warm, shorts-wearing weather.

But we took advantage of the weather to be outside, raking leaves in the front yard. The girls helped Daddy put together a bug pile, which of course, was made for jumping! It was fun to see them play int eh leaves, throwing them in the air and getting covered with leaves.

Our tree has lost much of its leaves since the weekend so the girls are anxious to make another pile.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sparkling clean

I tried a natural cleaner on the windows in front outside. I started with a recipe with a basic vinegar and water recipe. But then I decided to add some soap. Turns out the soap was not such a hot addition.
So I ended up using the natural window cleaner I already had in the house. It worked great! Now the windows are sparkling clean!
I just need to get around the rest of the house....A maid would be a nice birthday gift!
One another natural cleaners note: check out Money Saving Mom (look at my list of blogs on the right hand side.) The guest columnist wrote on natural cleaners and even recommended a book.

Feel the burn

Today I resumed a low impact aerobics class at a local church.
My legs are really feeling it right now! I might have to take some Tylenol before bed.
I really enjoy the class though. The instructor is a personal trainer so she really works us! No pain, no gain!
But I really need it. I am hoping this time around I will be encouraged to do more than just a once a week aerobics class. I have some at-home exercise videos and an exercise ball, not to mention the elliptical we purchased last year!

Natrual cleaning products

I've got a bit of a green thumb going.....but not in the garden!
Over the summer, I wrote an article about families using natural cleaning products. I was inspired. What a great way to make something relatively inexpensive and good for the environment...and your home and family!
I found some recipes on-line that call for using simple, basic ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, lemons, borax and more.
I have made an all-purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner and window cleaner. I also use a recipe for cleaning the floors.
It's fun to use something you've made and I don't worry about the family being exposed to harsh chemicals. The girls like to help me clean the windows with the window cleaner.
Now, I will admit, it's not always easy being green. It does call for changing your mind-set. Sometimes, for quick cleans, I think it's easier to pull out the handy name brand cleaning wipes....but really it isn't. I am toying with the idea of making my own cleaning wipes, using the natural ingredient recipes I've found. We'll see. Like I said, it's a thought.
Most of the recipes call for simple ingredients you might already have in the pantry: vinegar and baking soda. A couple I have also call for a special soap. I found Seventh Generation dish soap works. And I see that brand in some of the big chain stores, not just the natural food stores.
Some people, like me, might be turned off by the smell of vinegar. But a friend recommended using a few drops of essential oils. I found a couple, inexpensive scents at a local vitamin store. They help help to mask the vinegar smell a little and some oils, like tea tree, can be used as disinfectants. I like to use lemon grass and grapefruit oils for a nice smell in the house.
Again, I am not always good but I try. So maybe you might be inspired. I can sen you some recipes or you can Google "natural cleaning products" and find a TON of stuff.
Use the cleaning products with some re-usable cloth wipes and you are taking one small step to help the environment and your wallet!
Now, off to try the window recipe on our outside windows!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Our little Klingon

M has a few words up her sleeve. Mommy, Daddy, mine, no, shoes and some variation of kitty, to name a few off the top of my head.
But what really cracks us up is her hard "K" on words like milk, snack and book. It sounds very Klingon-ish. It probably wasn't meant to be that way except that I noticed it and Klingon came to mind. So then we started doing the hard "K" and she picked up on it.
We should try to pronounce the words correctly or people will think she is Klingon. Mix that with the brute force she sometimes has and people could think she has some Klingon ancestry. :)
Or, as they say at the Klingon Language Institute: Don't be silly.


I've never seen Alfred Hitchcock's movie "The Birds" but I sure felt like I was in it today. Not that birds were attacking me or anything but throughout the afternoon I kept seeking flocks of birds just flying around in the sky.
I first noticed them around a park we went to this afternoon. Then, as we drove around the lake. It really got my attention when I saw a swarm above our house. They were just flying around, probably eating bugs, but they weren't in a formation or squawking or anything. Then I saw them later as I made a run to the gas station near by.
It was weird. I kept looking for the movie crew and cameras.

Anniversary message

If you are in the area, listen to Q90 FM because we have an anniversary message airing today.

I don't remember if we did a full day or half day sponsorship though. But I heard it this morning so chances are you can still hear it this morning.

We wrote out the message but I think the radio station added some wording so it sounds very beautiful.

If you don't live in our area, listen to Q90 on-line:

Wedding Chapel

I should clarify that today is our anniversary. I did the "Five Years Ago" post last night because I did not think I'd have time to post anything today.

Five years ago today I woke up in the wee hours, unable to sleep because I was filled with the excitement of my pending wedding day.

Today, in the wee hours, I woke up in the wee hours, only this time to the cry of "Mommy." M must have had a bad dream. She went back to sleep easily but I could not. :)

I wonder if the chapel will be in use today? Surely it must because it is a weekend and a perfect time to get married. I wish many blessings on the couples all over who are getting married today or celebrating their anniversary.

It's supposed to be a gorgeous day. If we have time today, I will suggest we ride out to the chapel. It is such a gorgeous place. An old church in the middle of the country. I remember in our early years, we would drive by the chapel on the way to visit C's folks. I loved looking at it and thinking about its history. I never imagined it would be the place where we would get married.

When we were planning the wedding we knew we were going to get married in WI, since our families are here. But where, we were not sure. We were in NC when we were planning everything. I happened to talk to a woman from the visitors and convention bureau here and she recommended a few possible locations. Later, almost as an after-thought, she called about the chapel. It wasn't until later, looking at the chapel's Web site, that we realized it was that same chapel! We knew it was meant to be. So much of our planning clicked into place. Especially my dress, which I got for $100!! We picked local, small-town type places for the reception, flowers and DJ. We did small things to make the ceremony and reception personal. We found a wonderful photographer, who lived minutes from the chapel and, we later discovered, attends our church!

God's hand was truly on everything. We praise Him for the memories of a truly wonderful day.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Five years ago

On a beautiful Autumn day, Chris and I vowed to be husband and wife.
I remember that day as if it were yesterday. The fall colors, the wonderful weather, the happiness that filled me, the future so bright and open before us.
It was a day truly blessed by God. We were surrounded by His love and the love of our family and friends.
Five years have passed and life has given us much joy. We have two beautiful daughters and we finally found a home.
And our love for each other continues to grow, especially with God in our marriage. He is always there and I am so thankful for it. He has given me a wonderful husband, life mate and friend.
It just so happened this week at Moms In Christ, a group that meets at our church, that the topic was on marriage.
A few things I took away from the talk:
Our spouses are not perfect, nor are we.
Avoid the crazy cycle that can easily spin a marriage out of control.
We must fix our eyes on God in marriages. The enemy wants to destroy marriage and will do whatever it takes. But, by fixing our eyes on God, obeying Him and His word, we can save our marriages.
Trust and obey God, even if it doesn’t make sense.
Only God can meet our needs. We must not rely on our spouses to fill our needs.
We must always love our spouses, as if we were loving God, because God first loved us.
Grace is the main ingredient in marriage.
Show respect for your husband.
Things are not going to be perfect in a marriage but that is OK. With God in the picture, He will meet our needs and help our marriages grow and thrive.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


The Web site for the Carolina Hurricanes shows that there are two day left before the first game of the season!

Two days! That would be an awesome anniversary gift! Maybe next year, now that we survived a weekend away without the kiddies! Then again, that would be something I think they would enjoy. No, we'll do that later with them, when they are a little older to sit through a game.

I miss having a local hockey team. I remember when the Canes announced that Raleigh would be their new home. People shook their heads, saying what was a hockey team doing in the South? Well, there are other teams in the South but hockey was foreign to an area dominated by college basketball and NASCAR. Hockey? Don't be crazy.

But the team moved in the area and for a little while played in Greensboro, which was about an hour and a half away from where we lived. Still, we bought tickets and tried to make it to as many games as we could manage.

Then they built the Entertainment and Sports Arena, which later became the RBC Center in Raleigh, right by the State Fair Grounds and where NC State played football. It was great to have the team closer to home and we bought more tickets, not really being season ticket holders.

We loved going to games. It was so much fun! I even got bonked on the head by a puck while we watched the team practice! I was sitting by the glass and the puck went up and over. I believe this was before the NHL put up nets to protect fans.

Anyway, those early days of the team were so much fun. The team was awesome. Was? Still is, given that they won a STANLEY CUP!!!! Unfortunately we were not there for those glory days but watched somewhat from afar. Still, had we still been there, you can bet your britches we would have been there for all the games! We had tasted some play-off games in person so I knew the team was destined to win the Cup.

I miss the excitement of the crowd. It's was cool, too, that at one point we were the loudest fans/arena in the NHL. It's amazing.

And it's amazing that the team is still in Raleigh and has a huge following of Caniacs!

I can't wait to get back one day.

Go Canes!

Little one

OK. All the talk about S, you say, but what about M?

M is......a blessing. She is so different from S in so many ways, just as she should be.

We took a parenting class a few weeks ago and were asked to pick a food that best describes our child. We described M as a sweet tart. Sweet as can be but then you bite in that tartness that makes your eyes cross and your mouth pucker. It takes your breath away, that combination.

That's M. She is smart, independent, funny, a little copycat, a thinker, has quite the spirit and a lo of energy and is sweet and sassy. She makes us laugh. She amazes us with how much she knows and does at this age. She makes us crazy.

It's hard to believe she will be 2 soon. I remember when I was pregnant with her, she had so much energy, always moving around, even the morning she was born. Part of me thought she was going to be a boy. And then she was born and so fast, I might add! She was ready to come out. And she was suddenly M. And it felt like we had her forever! It still does. At times I think she is going on 15 or something. Other times, when I hold her in my arms at bedtime, she is my sweet, precious baby.

Little artist

S continues to amaze us as her artistic skills blossom. OK. It's just coloring in and drawing but it is amazing how much it changes with every passing day! A year ago she drew people as little circles with a small line. We liked to call them lollipop people.

Her coloring in then was all over the page, as should be for a two year old. But she has advanced so much to staying in the lines and even using flesh color for the skin.

A few weeks ago, she began to wake up early. In order to get a little extra sleep :) I suggested she read quietly in her room. But she discovered some coloring pages and crayons in her art desk and thus began her morning artistic ritual. She would color a couple pages in a coloring book each morning before getting out of bed.

Then she asked for plain paper to draw on. I found a sketch pad and she's taken to it like a fish in water. She draws stick figures yet but now she colors shirts and pants on the figures. She recently started adding realistic hair and eyeballs.

It is so amazing to see the changes. Our local parks and recreation department will be offering a preschool drawing class in February so we plan to enroll her.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Blessed to be a pumpkin

Being a human being is like being a pumpkin. God lifts you up, takes you
in, and washes all the dirt off of you. He opens you up, touches you deep
inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff-- including the seeds of doubt,
hate, greed, etc. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His
light inside you to shine for all the world to see.

I've received this description a couple times in the past two weeks. I really like it because it speaks to me as to how God can come into your life, no matter what you've been through.

Before I accepted Christ, I felt like I was the bad, bruised pumpkin in the patch. Why would He want me?

But this reminds me that He loves us no matter what. He will lovingly pick you up and bring you home. With His love, you will be the most beautiful pumpkin ever.

So let your light shine for Him.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Going to town

C just pointed out that I am going to town on this whole blogging thing. As I might have mentioned earlier, I tried blogging but felt like I didn't have time, etc. for it. Besides, with so many blogs out there, who is going to want to read mine.
Then, after talking with my friend, I realized that really this blog is for my friends and family. So it is to you I am writing.
And now I feel like a gate has been opened and stories and blogs are pouring out. Right now. I can't guarantee that I will have something every day, which I know is not an expectation. But I hope to not let weeks or months go by between posts. I will try to post something as often as I can....or as I am inspired.
Enjoy reading and please provide feedback.

Home School

Over the summer I joined up with a friend (and it later turned into a co-op) to teach our children preschool. My friend wrote a majority of the curriculum and I was able to help out with a few parts. For me, it was an amazing experience! I found so much on-line and there is more I could do, if I so desire.

Well, good thing there is a lot out there because S is a little sponge! We're been working on it for six weeks now and she is so eager to learn! She loves her home school time, which takes plave after I put M down for a nap.

We spend about an hour on home schooling, when S does workbooks, worksheets, activities, crafts and more.

S wants to do something every day so I've had to expand our curriculum, which is a letter of the alphabet each week. We have themes like, for this week, frog and fish. I focus on the core curriculum themes on Mondays and Wednesdays. On the other days of the week, I might expand on the topic or find other themes, like numbers, colors and shapes. I've also been able to incorporate Biblical lessons, thanks to a variety of Web sites where I can get Bible verses, coloring pages, activities and more, again with the focus on the letter of the alphabet we are working on.

We've also been on field trips with our co-op group. So far we've been bowling, to the pet store and the apple orchard. It's a fun time for the kids, and us moms too!

People have asked me if I plan to go beyond preschool. Right now, I say no. Preschool might be enough for me and then I will send her on to school. But I can't say for sure. She won't be in kindergarten until she is nearly 6 so we've got some more time to home school. So we'll see what is in store down the road. Right now I am having fun. S is growing and learning and is amazing us with how much she picks up on things.

Best of both worlds

When I was a teenager, I never imagined myself being a stay at home mother. I had a family member who was and I imagined it being a lazy thing to do: watching soaps and staying home. No way, I thought. I wanted to be a career woman.
I sought my education with that in mind. When I got out into the workforce, I wanted to be a reporter.
I enjoyed the job, with the exception of city/town meetings and police beats.
Then I became pregnant with S and my world changed. Before she was born, we were faced with the decision of where to put her when I returned to work. Then it dawned on me. Someone else was going to raise her, see her smile, crawl, etc? The thought ate away at me. And although we checked out a highly recommended day care, and applied for it, I still felt something in the pit of my stomach.
I suddenly realized that even though I enjoyed my job, as frustrating as it was many times, I wasn't sure I wanted to give up being with my child.
I thought to try it both ways: be home part-time and work part-time. But the only way for that to work was to work in the evenings, which meant missing out on time with my husband and newborn.
The deciding factor came when S rolled over while I was covering a town meeting. I was crushed! Here I had been spending my mornings and afternoons with her but that milestone moment happened while I was at work.
Still, I wrestled with the decision of to stay or continue my career. I felt God's prompting but still I worried about giving up all I workd for (education and career). I also felt like I was going to be giving up a part of who I was.
Turns out it is so worth it! I don't always get time to myself, or make time for myself. My children are always with me. Sometimes the word "Mommy" drives me crazy. Sometimes it would be nice to sit and read a book in peace. A SAHM's life is not all bon-bons and soap operas!
But the rest of the time, it is worth all that to see them grow and thrive and blossom under the love of both parents.
And I still get to write as a freelance writer, which I do while the girls nap.
It's truly a blessing! I thank God for His prompting. He made my path known and I am so glad I gave it all to Him and listened to Him. I am thankful to my husband as well, who fully supported the decision.
The road has not always been easy as we have made some sacrifices. But it is so worth it.
I know many moms are not as fortunate or have the desire to be a SAHM. And in no way do I judge them. Being a mom is tough all around, be it as a SAHM or a career mother.
I am just thankful for this blessing given to me and cherish every moment.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Tactical Manual

One of the things I put together before our weekend get-away was an information book for my family.
Inside it contained contact information for us, doctors, local friends; maps to local places, etc.; a medical consent form; information about routines for each girl; a list of activities to do; a list of meal likes, etc.; and a few other things.
My family, the people we were entrusting to watch our girls; laughed over the books. LAUGHED!

Yes, to some it may seem like something extreme. But my family does not see the girls that often so I wanted them to be prepared, to know little things like M needs Tigger and Pooh at bedtime, that S loves to play dolls and make believe; that M can’t have bananas for breakfast because it stops her up….all that sort of stuff.

I wasn’t expecting them to follow it word for word but I wanted to be aware of routines, behaviors and who to call locally if they had a need.
Thankfully, even though they laughed, they each read it. Reading it was not a requirement to spending the weekend with the girls. But I was relieved they each did, even if they thought it was for my benefit.
And, yes! I’d still leave a tactical manual or other book of information the next time we go away.

Different but still the same

As S would say “That’s different.”
C and I spent the weekend at the place where we met: college.
I was excited to be on campus again. It is a small campus, where I felt at home from day one. I especially love it in the fall. The weather was perfect for a weekend exploring the old stomping grounds, but it lacked the colors. Still, it was a beautiful autumn weekend.
We arrived after a three and a half hour drive through country and rolling hills. After seeing the college's infamous landmark, we were greeted by a whole new side of town. New development was all around us. A large supercenter and a large hardware store. New fast food options and shops. Even a new multiplex cinema.
“That’s different,” we said.
As we ventured more into town, we started to see more familiar sights. But still, everything looked different.
We decided to drive through downtown and in to campus. Again, familiar yet different sights greeted us. Campus felt familiar and even the green space surrounded by our residence hall and other halls looked familiar with guys playing volleyball and students walking to and from campus.
Going through another side of town felt a little more familiar but there were signs of updates. The hotel we stayed in, where C worked 14 years ago, was, sadly, exactly the same, according to him.
We enjoyed dinner at an old stomping ground with old and new friends. The student housing reunion itself was OK and we saw only a couple other familiar faces….all in a new, renovated building that was once the Student Center that housed dining options, book store, a bowling alley and the student newspaper office, among other things. We left early to take a walk through campus (yes, late at night, but it was a nice, clear, crisp night for a walk back to our hotel.)
The next day we woke up to sunny skies, perfect for a homecoming parade! We met up with an alum from Neenah who graduated in 1972, the year before C was born! It was fun to talk to him and learn how he once worked at P in Neenah and even lived in Raleigh for a few years!
The parade itself was nice. The homecoming theme was Vegas style so we saw some interesting floats designed by college students.
We enjoyed the rest of the day fully exploring the campus that was once our home: me for 3 years and C for 6. The engineering building, truly C's home, especially late into the night, was in sad shape; definitely showing its age. Thankfully a new building is being constructed.

Our residence hall, even the front desk where we worked, looked exactly the same, except a little gloomier. I’d say it’s from a poor choice in painting treatment but it probably is just the age of the building showing through.

The dining hall is being renovated and now has a convenience center, which is nice because of it’s location to the residence halls.
We walked along a new trail leading to a newer, bigger residence hall, complete with suites. It was huge!
We later hung out in the new student center, which was more modern and comfortable. We rejoined our friends for more reminiscing and catching up and then dined at a popular downtown eatery.

Our last stop on the way out was to the famous land marker, which again, the same but, with the addition of a real stairway, made it different.
It was an enjoyable visit, that’s for sure. Some parts were sad or bittersweet but it was also exciting to see changes and what is to come.

I look forward to visiting again. It was a place that was home to us and where our paths met.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Where it all began....

This weekend, C and I are going away together for the first time in five years. We love our girls but we've never taken an extended time away. An opportunity came up this summer. An invitation to our Student Housing Reunion, as well as my 10-year college reunion. Sure, we decided, that sounds like fun. If anything, we were glad for a reason to go back to campus. And it's so pretty there in the fall.
Then we realized it would be an opportunity to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, which is next weekend.
I am excited for the whole weekend. Our family is going to watch the girls so I know they will be in good hands.
My hope is that we can focus on being together, without kids. I am prayingthe Enemy does not ruin our weekend in anyway. I am anxious to spend some alone time with my husband. And it's a perk that we are going back to our college, where it all began.
C has quite the sense of humor but sometimes people don't get it, and may feel offended by it; like he's being sarcastic. That was how I met C. I was new to the campus, even though I'd been in college two years already. I was moving into my first residence hall. Who should be there at check in? C. He took one look at my student ID and made some comment questioning my age. Wht a piece of work, I thought.
Later, I applied for a job at the front desk. Who should be the desk manager but C! I got the job and we became friends and then more. Our first "kiss" was meantto be a joke, I think. I was working at the front desk, talking to a resident and C came along to check on things. He was on one side of the desk and I was on the other. Something was said by the resident. C laughed. And the next thing I knew, he leaned over and kissed me. It was the briefest of kisses but had enough zip to change my life forever! As you can see, I don't recall the events leading up to it. Must have been that zap.
Shortly after, we started dating and, after many ups and downs, we married in 2003.
Life with C has been a huge blessing. God has revealed so much in these past 12 years. I see now he had a hand on everything even when I did not believe fully in him.
I am eternally grateful for His guidance and pray he continues to guide our marriage.

Autumn is here

The girls and I had a wonderful time at the apple orchard yesterday. It was for a preschoolhoe-school field trip. The weather was PERFECT! The air was crisp and the sky so blue, when it poked out from behind the clouds.
The kids had fun picking apples. Marie got to eat an apple all by herself, even! And we got to learn about how they store and bag the apples. I found it to be educational.
Today, I turned the fruit of our labor into a yummy apple crumble. Yum! Unfortunately we did not have vanilla ice cream. But we've plenty of apples so this recipe will be back on the table.
The house today was warm and inviting with the smell of the apple baking and the pot roast I had going in the crock pot. I felt so domestic!

Welcome back!


Well, here goes! My second attempt at blogging. I have my friend, Amber, to thank for planting the seed. I guess I'd always considered doing this again but time has gotten away from me.

So, I can't guarantee the success of this. Keep checking. I also need to figure this whole blogging thing out. :)