Wednesday, January 31, 2007


This really isn't even my idea, my kids came up with it all on their own. I love it all the same.

I can't exactly remember when they started doing this or who came up with idea, but it's now something that my kids do every single night (if possible). Even when my girls were on a trip with their dad, they made sure to call at bedtime so they could say good night to their brothers and do this.

It's something the older girls do for their younger brothers and vice-versa. Once the guys are tucked into bed, the girls go in and as a part of saying good-night, they each have a turn telling the others something he/she likes about them. It might sound something like this: (and mind you, this is an exchange between a 14 year old and her 7 year old brother.)

Sweetanlo: "The thing I like about Joe Cool is that he's learning to be a good sport."
Joe Cool: "The thing I like about Sweetanlo is that she's really good at math."

It's really very sweet. I know it sounds simple and it is. But it's strengthening the bond between them (something I pray for), and it certainly helps bring the day to a close on a positive note. Works for me! (And it could work for you too - get your kids to try it!)

Drop by Rocks in My Dryer for more great Works-for-Me Wednesday ideas. Next week, it's a special Valentine's edition of WFMW. That should be fun!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Photo Hunters - Silver

Tough themes for The Hunt this year. I had to surf around last week to finally come up with something. (Thank you Photo Hunters for a little inspiration!) This week's theme, "silver" I also found challenging. All I could think of for most of the week was my daughter's silver iPod Nano. Luckily something else came to mind. The picture quality is lacking since I had to take a picture of a picture. (the original photo is over ten years old.)

The Hunt - Silver

Technically, he's the TIN Woodsman. But we had to cover him in silver to get him there, right down to spray painting his clothes, shoes, skull cap and funnel using cans and cans of silver spray paint and covering all exposed skin (even his eye lids!) with silver make-up.

I'm sure that the Photo Hunters have come up with lots of great "silver" pictures so check them out! And be sure to stop byTNChick who makes The Hunt possible each week.

Grab the Scavenger Hunt code.

Join the blogroll. Visit participants.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Love Thursday #21

Love is...

Hugging you while you were still in my tummy.

Holding you for the first time.

Enjoying what an incredibly easy baby you were (which considering the antics of your older brother was JUST what I needed.)

Watching you grow from a baby into a boy and trying hard to treasure every moment.

Holding your hand in mine, a perfect fit.

Getting lost in the depths of your stunning blue-green eyes.

Marveling at just how perfect the nape of your neck is.

Smothering you with kisses while you talk to me at bedtime.

You ignoring me while I do this and continuing your stories undeterred.

Reading you the same story night after night after night.

Listening to all the wonderful things you have to say.

Listening to all the not-so-understandable things you have to say.

Tucking you back into bed in the quiet of the night.

Being astounded at just how amazingly smart you are.

Sometimes giving you everything you want.

Sometimes NOT giving you everything you want.

Catching all the kisses you blow to me when I'm leaving.

Blowing kisses back.

Knowing that the time we have to together is precious and the time we've had is a treasure.

Pausing in the midst of the chaos of life to revel in the blessing that is you.

Happy birthday my baby, my boy.

Love Thursday & Love Is All Around.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Give Me Five! Well Okay, Six! by Shorty

Shorty is turning five years old today. Five years old!! As I did with his siblings, Sweetanlo, #1 Son, and Joe Cool I'm letting him have the blog to post a list of his own. (I helped a little bit.) Here's his list, one for each year and one to grow on.

Give Me Five! Well Okay, Six! by Shorty

Hi I'm Shorty and I'm five years old today. That means I'm a kindergartener now.

Here's my list.

  • I really like playing our Nintendo Wii and my Nintendo DS. I got Kirby Squeak Squad for Christmas and it's SO cool.

  • My favorite color is all the colors but if I had to choose just one (and it would be hard) it would be red.

  • I like building car tracks and driving mini-cars (I call them car-y cars) around them.

  • I like any kind of cookies as long as they have lots of icing and sprinkles. I like Bizcochitos too because they're covered with sugar. Yum.

  • We have a mattress that we get to jump on and I love it. I like making up all sorts of tricks and jumps.

  • I love my bed and I even love going to bed. My bed is so comfortable and I love my blankies. Sometimes I even lay on it during the day! (can you believe it? - during the day!)

Thanks for reading my list. See you next year when I get to list seven things because I'll be six and then when I'm eight, I'll get to list nine things and when I'm 99, I'll get to list 100 things! Wow.


Here's a product that works GREAT at getting out grease stains on clothes. Even stains that you didn't notice and therefore have been washed and dried.

Just rub a little of this thoroughly into the stain and then let it set for a few hours or over night. Then just launder the item as you usually would. For a really subborn stain, you can make a paste with a spoonful of this and a spoonful of your laundry detergent.

I've been using this stuff for years. You can pick it up at Walmart or Target and most grocery stores. It's inexpensive and a tub like this lasts a long time. I've had a lot of luck using it to get out pretty much any kind of stain my kids produce - around here that list is endless. Works for me!

Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more great Works-for-Me Wednesday ideas.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Photo Hunters - Wild

I found the theme this week to be a hard one. I had to surf around a few of the other Photo Hunters to get some ideas. I wasn't having any luck thinking of a picture for "wild."

Once I got a little inspiration, I looked back through my pictures and found that I did indeed have something for the theme.

The Hunt - Wild

Each afternoon, while we were on vacation this summer in Utah,
a little group of wild turkeys would walk through our backyard
and then a few minutes later they'd pass by again on their way back to whence they had come.
Maybe they were going for a drink. Although you can't see from the picture,
just down the grassy hill is the Virgin River.

I took this picture at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
The WILD flowers were beautiful. I wasn't the only one who thought so.
This little bee agreed with me.

Don't forget to check out the other Photo Hunters! TNChick works hard every week to make The Hunt successful. You should join us.

Grab the Scavenger Hunt code.

Join the blogroll. Visit participants.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Love Thursday #20

Love is...

He comes to me, usually when I have found the most comfortable warmest position in which to sleep.

He comes to me. I hear his feet on the floor before he's even in the room. "Mama?" he asks softly. I know what he needs. I follow him back to his room. He's curled up on his pillow as I reach his bed. I pull the sheets and covers up and tuck them tightly all around him.

"Say goodnight to blankies." he commands.
"Goodnight blankies, I love you." I reply, giving them all a pat.
I turn to go.
"Mama." His small voice floats to me through the darkness from a mound of blankets.
"See you in the morning.....Sweet Dweams."

My heart is full.

Love Thursday & Love Is All Around.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I TIRL-ed! I really did!

Way back in December Shalee posted this about her "Grown-up Christmas," which included wishing that everyone would switch to Verizon so that she could talk freely. I mentioned in my comment that I wouldn't need to switch for that to be the case. And what do you know? She emailed me her cell number.

Well I've been keeping that number trying to muster up the nerve to call her. To be honest, I was a little nervous. I've never done anything like that. I'm not exactly what you would call an out-going person. Friendly? Perhaps. Gregarious? Heavens no! What if I call at a bad time? What if she doesn''t like me? What if I say something dumb? What if I introduce myself and she says, "WHO?" What if, when she hangs up she thinks, "Whew! Glad that's over!" or "Note to self: Don't give out cell number wthout a background check first." I know these are silly thoughts. I'm silly like that sometimes. Shalee even teased me in a later post about getting up the gumption to call her.

So last Friday I determined that I was going to it. I was going to call Shalee. You see, I had gleened from her posts during the week that she might could use a little lift. It seemed like a good time.

I dialed her number and felt my face flush hot with nervousness. I stumbled through introducing myself. "Oh boy, here I go..." I thought. But I needn't have worried. Shalee is every bit of the wonderful mom, wife, friend, woman of God that her blog shows us. Even more, in fact! We chatted about a myriad of things. It was a lovely time and then Shalee mentioned very graciously that she had to get back to cooking dinner for her family and the 5 extra kids that they were having spend the weekend. See, I had called at a bad time and it didn't even matter!

So I TIRL-ed (Talked-In-Real-Life)! I really did! And it was wonderful. Thanks for being such a good friend Shalee, even before I had a chance to earn it.

Works-For-Me Wednesday

I'm late joining the Works-for-Me Wednesday crowd today. Last night I was feeling particularly uninspired.

Then my idea came to me as I was thinking about my boys going to the dentist this morning. In the past, before a doctor or dentist appointment, I was always stressing over where all our insurance cards and such where hiding. I don't like to keep all that stuff in my wallet because I like to carry the bare minimum with me and I just don't need those things on a daily basis. So, in order to keep all the insurance information together and ready, I bought this little wallet:I put all the kids' insurance cards and information inside. Now it hangs right by the front door with the keys on the keyrack, which also makes it hard to accidentally forget since I see it when I'm grabbing my keys. So in the event that we're rushing out the door like crazy people trying to be on time (Of course that never happens because we are always SO together and organized.), I can just grab it and go. One less thing to find. Works for me!

See you over at Rocks in My Dryer.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Mark Your Calendars

Tomorrow is an amazing day. BooMama and Susie of Bluebird Blogs are doing something special and you can be a part of it. You can read all about it here,
here and here.

So go by BooMama's tomorrow. You can help make the day unbelievable for Kelli. She could really use a good day.

See you tomorrow at BooMama's.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Photo Hunters - Technology

This week, the Photo Hunters are looking for a picture of "technology."

Around our house we have computers and laptops, cell phones and gameboys. We have iPod shuffles and nanos, digital cameras and hard drives and digital camcorders. So it was a hard narrowing down my choice.

I settled on a couple of pictures of me mopping my floor.

The Hunt - Technology

This is our little iRobot called a Scooba
(I got it for Christmas - I call him "Scooby.")

I just fill him with water and soap,
hit the "clean" button,
and he sweeps, mops and dries the floor for me.

Technology can be a wonderful thing!

Check out the other Photo Hunters! Thanks to TNChick we're over 200 strong. There's always room for more!

Grab the Scavenger Hunt code.

Join the blogroll. Visit participants.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Full o' Memes Friday & Delurk! Wouldya?

It's Friday of "De-Lurking Week."
(I thought it was ironic that it's De-Lurking Week and Blogger is having trouble with comments.) I debated about joining in, but decided to play along afterall. So go ahead and leave a comment, whether you're a lurker or not.
Say "hi!"

Today is the day that I'm answering the memes that I've been neglecting. I don't want to diss anyone who tags me for a meme. I'd hate for them to quit tagging me.

Meme #1: The Most Memorable Moment in My Life

Shaz over at Adventures in Motherhood tagged me a while back (a long while, sorry Shaz!) , asking about the most memorable moment in my life. This is a tough one; not because I don't have memorable moments but because I have too many to choose just one. My wedding day was an amazing day. The births of my children are kind of a blur in many ways but are definitely memorable. The day that I watched my mom lose her battle with cancer is certainly a day that I will never forget. So I'm settling on the day that Pastormac and I talked about getting married. I can remember it like is was yesterday. It was a beautiful April afternoon, a Sunday, and we sat on campus and talked about how we had both come to the conclusion that we would be spending the rest of our lives together. It was amazing. It was a relief. It was a comfort. It was exciting. I remember it and that almost 18 years ago. This is followed VERY closely by the Friday evening a week later that he bent down on one knee and, with ring in hand, asked me to be his wife. Then we shared our first kiss. Yes, very memorable. VERY!

Okay, now it's your turn, Beck, Michelle and Shalee.

Meme #2: 5 Things You Don't Know About Me and My Baby

Beck tagged me with this one way back before Christmas (sorry Beck!) and I've been writing my response in my mind but I just haven't written it out. So here goes:

Five things about me that you wouldn't know unless you lived here or were more than a Bloggy Friend.

1. I adore growing African Violets. Sometimes I talk to them, which gets me very funny looks from my daughter. I can't always get them to bloom so this little beauty gives my heart a thrill. (Grew this baby from one leaf!!)

2. I organize my groceries when I put them on the check-out belt at the store.

3. I organize my silverware as I load it into the dishwasher.

(I know, I know. But this little bit of over-organization helps me keep my sanity amidst the chaos.)

4. I was the first person in my family to get a Nintendo DS Lite. Then I had to get my kids their own because I never got a turn with mine.

5. I haven't changed my hair-style in a very very long time.

Five Mysterious Things about Shorty.

1. He listens to Rebecca St. James album If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something every.single.night. when he goes to bed. Every.Single.Night! Sometimes more than once because he asks us to turn it back on for him during the night if he wakes up.

2. He loves wearing shorts, even in the dead of winter. So if we're not leaving the house for any reason, you'll find him in shorts. Luckily we don't live in a place where winter brings extremely low temperatures or we'd have to actually put the shorts away until summer.

3. He will not wear a sweatshirt, even if his life depended on it. He hates.hates.hates them. He doesn't mind a coat as long as it has a zipper. No pull-overs of any kind.

4. He is not what you would call an easy-going guy. No sir! Much too serious and particular about things.

5. He's nuts about geography, US geography especially.

I'm tagging Overwhelmed, Michelle, Mama Duck, Mary & Shaz.

Meme #3: A Meme About Blogging.

And finally, both Beck & Michelle tagged me with this one. It was a tough one.

1. Do you like the look and the contents of your blog?
I LOVE the look of my blog. Susie over at Bluebird Blogs designed it for me. I can't recommend her enough. As for the content, I think I have a lot of room to grow. I haven't been blogging long and so I have a lot to learn. I want to post more but sometimes the job of getting my thoughts down is daunting. I love the way some bloggers can write about the daily happenings of life and have me hanging on every word or laughing or crying out loud. I would like to be better at word crafting. And I'd like to blog more about our upcoming adoption. And I will! I promise.

2. Does your family know about your blog?
I told them about it but I'm pretty sure they forgot about it a minute later.

3. Can you tell your friends about your blog?
Sure! But my friends aren't as geeky as me and so I'm pretty sure they don't stop by. A few do.

4. Do you just read the blogs of those who comment on your blog?
Wow no! Think of all the great blogs I'd be missing. I read a bunch of blogs.

5. Did your blog positively affect your mind?
Yes. I think writing well stretches the mind. "It's good for your brain." as I would tell my kids.

6. What does the number of visitors to your blog mean?
I like that folks stop by. But I can't get too worried about the numbers. If I think too hard about it, I get a little stressed about the people that are reading my blog and why they would be reading it and are they normal. etc. What a appreciate about my numbers is the friends that I've met through blogging.

7. Do you imagine what other bloggers look like?
Nope, not really.

8. Do you think blogging has any real benefit?
I suppose that depends on the blog and the blogger. I think there can be value in writing out thoughts and experiences.

9. Do you think that the blogosphere is a stand alone community separated from the real world?
I'm not sure how to answer this question. Doesn't it have to be part of the real world to be real? I don't really think that it's a "stand alone community." Afterall, wouldn't blogging cease to exist without the REAL people in their real lives writing about life?

10. Do some political blogs scare you? Do you avoid them?
Yes and I avoid them entirely. Everyone's entitled to write their opinions, but I don't have to read it.

11. Do you think that criticizing your blog is useful?
Depends on who's doing the criticizing and how they do it.

12. Have you ever thought about what would happen to your blog in case you died?
Not until I read this question.

13. Which blogger had the greatest impression on you?
A bunch of them. Check out my "Favorite Blogs" links. If pressed, I'd have to say Mary, Beck, Susanne & Shannon.

14. Which blogger do you think is the most similar to you?
I have no idea.

15. Name a song you want to listen to?
"On The Western Skyline" by Bruce Hornsby & the Range.

Whew! I'll tag She Lives, Jody & Caylynn.

Love Thursday #19

Love is...

A Dog and Her Bone

The person whom she loves above all else (Pastormac) brought her home this chew last night. After she chewed herself into exhaustion, she took it to bed with her and slept next to it. She loves it but not near as much as as she loves him.

Happy Love Thursday! Hopefully today someone you love will bring you home something special to make you smile. Love Is All Around.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Healthy Eating W.F.M.W. - Fettucine Alfredo Lite

I know what you’re thinking? ”Surely you jest?? Fettucine Alfredo Lite?! Oh puullleeeezzz!”

But directly from the helpful pages of Cooking Light magazine comes a figure friendly recipe for Fettucine Alfredo. To give you an idea of just how friendly it is, normal rich decadent Fettucine Alfredo has 910 calories per serving, including 63g of fat, 236mg Cholesterol, 1197mg Sodium and 56.2g total carbs. This trimmed down version only has 399 calories per serving with only 13.5g fat, 34mg cholesterol, 822mg sodium and 48.9 total carbs.

And may I suggest a subscription to Cooking Light magazine? It’s a magazine that has not only great healthy tasty recipes, but also tons of other useful non-cooking related ideas for living a healthier, thinner, happier, less-stressful, longer life. (And they didn’t even pay me to say that! Although I’d love for them to give me my next subscription for free.) Works for me!

Fettuccine Alfredo

1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
2 tablespoons 1/3 less-fat cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups hot cooked fettucine (8 ounces uncooked pasta)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cracked black pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in flour. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook 6 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, cream cheese, and salt, stirring with a whisk until cheeses melt. Toss sauce with hot pasta. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and chopped parsley. Garnish with black pepper, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 4 one cup servings.

Pair this with a nice salad and some whole wheat french bread that has been sliced, toasted and then rubbed with a peeled clove of garlic (leave out the butter). Yum!

OK, so it's not carrot sticks and rice cakes. But you can't eat that stuff all the time.

Feeling hungry? Me too. Meet you over at Rocks in My Dryer for more great recipes.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - Memory

It's 2007, time to look back and find a "memory" for the Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt this week! Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with for the posts today.

Since "Hanging Out with My Boys" is my theme of the week, I'm sticking with that for the hunt too.

S.P.S.H. - Memory

#1 Son and Joe Cool six years ago.
(They were so cute!)

Here they are today.
(Still pretty cute.)

Where does the time go!!??

Happy S.P.S.H.!

Go here to join the hunt! Come on, you know you want to.

Grab the Scavenger Hunt code.

Join the blogroll. Visit participants.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Love Thursday #18

Love is...

A lot of boys

Yup, it's just me and my guys this week. Pastormac and my girls are gone all week. A business trip for him and the girls where able to go along just for fun.

So my days are full up with boys. Long days but good days. There's a lot to love.

The first Love Thursday of the New Year. Glad I didn't miss it. You don't have to either - Love Is All Around..

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Works-For-Me Wednesday

Here's a quickWorks-for-Me Wednesday today because I am tired. tired. tired. Pastormac and my girls are gone to a conference. Here's the kicker - they'll be gone for six days. Just me and the guys and we're virtually house-bound due to residual snow from the ten inches we got last week. I made it though day one but I'm beat. I am a TOTAL wimp when Pastormac is gone. I miss him something terrible when he's gone overnight.

So here's my tip and then I'm going to bed.

Don't underestimate the power of the almighty buck. When we're all searching frantically for some lost item, something that just isn't turning up, I often offer a monetary reward for the person who finds said lost item. My searchers are all children so the reward offered doesn't have to be much. But it certainly ramps up the enthusiasm and determination in finding the lost item.

I know, I know. They should all just look for the lost thing, and they do. But sometimes they just need a little more motivation. Money motivates. Works for me.

First WFMW of 2007. Head over Rocks in My Dryer for more great ideas. .

Monday, January 01, 2007

A New Year's Prayer

A dear friend sent this to me today.

A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.

~Edgar Guest

May 2007 bring you abundant blessings. God loves you this much! (even more)