Wednesday, December 28, 2005

she loves her horse

Em got a horse for Christmas.
She named her Chloe.
It was the perfect gift.
She adores it.

A year in review

When I view this I am reminded of this verse.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.

A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak.

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


If only it could stay this way.

The week between Christmas and New Year's is somewhat of a pause in life. It's a somewhat surreal, long punctuation as we hang in the balance waiting for the next holiday.

The hustle and bustle of shopping is over, instead we flock together with kin folk, and test all our new toys.

In our home, we have played cards, drank smoothies, amused ourselves with battleship, assembled puzzles, scrutinized cds, inspected dvds, and devoured cuisine.

We have no homework, no concerts, no evening schedules, no appointments, no deadlines. ahhhh... this is the life.

I'd like to figure out a way to filibuster this recess.

While I work on that, I think I'll eat some more Russell Stovers and ruthlessly whip my husband and children in Risk.

Enjoy your intermission friends!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas Festivities

One of the many Christmas festivities this year was making gingerbread houses at Great Gramma Jensen's house!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Twas the night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house....

Not a creature was stirring..... not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney (cough cough) ... uh TV... with care.....

In hopes that Saint Nicolaus soon would be there....

The girls with their new robes ...

And even the cats... had just settled down for a long winters nats.

christmas eve

We have a family tradition with Shawn’s folks. We get together every year on Christmas Eve and have a great time! We eat waffles and ham, read a Christmas story, take family pics, eat, eat, eat, and open presents for hours. Then we play with all the presents we bought each other. It takes about 6 hours.

We’ve had variations of this tradition because sometimes we have church to go to, so we have to start early. That wasn’t the case this year. We arrived our usual 45 minutes late, ate our waffles, opened our presents, then spent the rest of the night playing karaoke on ps2 and making smoothies and mochas with my new Magic Bullet.

It’s great crazy family fun!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Chad #2

I talked to Chad's dad today. He said that the doctors in Iowa City have ruled out meningitis finally. They have figured out that the subdermal hemotoma in his vertebrae was caused by it being crushed somehow. He ruptured an artery in his vertebrae and it is bleeding into his spinal fluid. The blood apparently travels up the spinal cord and into his head, causing the severe headaches. When they check his blood, no infection shows up. But, when they test his spinal fluid, it is full of infection.

Originally they were going to try to get the infection under control, but they have now decided that the headaches will continue if they don't stop the bleeding. So, they are going to try to fix the crushed vertebrae.

The neurologist will visit him today and from there, they will determine when the surgery will occur.

Chad update

We got a call last night. They did a full body scan in Iowa City and they found a bulging disk between his 11th and 12th vertebrae. They think that it is the cause of the blood found in his spinal fluid, but they are still unsure why he has such horrible head pain and they are still unsure why he is so full of infection. They are not ruling out meningitis, and are treating him for that until confirmed he doesn't have it. He will have surgery on his back for sure, when he is stabilized. They finally drugged him enough to let him get some sleep as he hadn't slept since Saturday. We are continuing to pray for him. His three children are spending Christmas with their mom (divorced), and hoping to get to see him sometime as well.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


My husband’s cousin Chad works for us.  He has worked for us for many years, and is very talented in the area of construction.  If it can be done, Chad can do it!

He’s not been feeling well lately, struggling with a lot of headaches, etc.  He’s been going to the chiropractor and taking too much Tylenol and ibuprofen hoping it will go away.  

On Saturday, he went hunting.  His back started hurting him terribly and by Saturday night or Sunday morning, he was in the emergency room at the hospital.  They thought he had some muscle spasms or something.  They gave him some medicine and sent him home.

On Monday, he was no better.  He talked to Shawn and said he wasn’t coming in to work.  We’ve all been really worried about him.  On Tuesday, I called to talk to him and he said he still had a headache, back pain, neck pain, etc.  I tried to get him to go to the Emergency Room or at least Urgent Care that day.  What is it with MEN not wanting to GO????

By Wednesday morning, his dad picked him up and took him to the hospital.  They did some tests and thought they might be dealing with either an aneurism or spinal meningitis. They airlifted him to Iowa City.

As of today, we don’t know anything more.  They haven’t ruled out bacterial meningitis but it takes 48 hours to get the results back.  They are exploring other options as well.
Please keep him in your prayers today.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Emily is learning about the different parts of words and how to spell. Things are starting to make sense to her.

Last night, I was impressing her with my ability to sing the "I AM A C.. I AM A C.H.... I AM A C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N" song. When it got to the "L-I-V-E-E-T-E-R-N-A-L-L-Y" I decided to go especially fast to show her how smart I am. It worked.

"WoW! That's hard!.. .What does it mean?"
"Let me go slower"
I repeated it slower.... she sounded it out.
"Oh! Cool! What's the rest?"
I spelled the Christ in my heart as she sounded it out.
"Christ in my heart. Awesome! I never knew that!"
Now we got to the next part and she figured that all out too.
I was impressed she figured it out, AND I also knew that I could still sing it faster. :)
"Emily, do you know why we're called Christians?"
"Because we believe in Jesus"
"Yeah, but do you know what Christian means?"
"Believe in Jesus"
She's smart. But, I'm talkin about the WORD.
"Okay, take the word apart. What does C-H-R-I-S-T mean?"
"That's his name"
..... I decided to skip the whole Messiah thing for now.... maybe later.... keep it simple.
"Right.. and do you know what I-A-N means?"
I could have gone into the whole dictionary thing you all know I WANTED TO.
"It means 'like'"
"Oh, so we're LIKE CHRIST"

Why was that so simple for her to put together? It took me years... to realize that I am supposed to be LIKE Christ.

Blogger family --- be like Christ today. Do something He would do.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


As Christmas draws near, I am reminded that we haven't spent NEARLY enough time discussing the REAL meaning of Christmas. I admit, regretfully, that I get caught up in the snow, and the tree, and the sentimental times of having our Rompin Rudolph Slush at our Trim the Tree Party, shopping, etc....

When Haleigh came home, she talked to Emily about Christmas. Emily had just watched Prancer. So, she was clearly defending that Santa is real. Haleigh asked her what Christmas is about, and she said "Jesus". I was glad to at least hear that as I had really felt like we had been completely neglecting Jesus this Christmas...

So, last week, we went to the Narnia movie. It was so good! Emily sat by me, and I wanted to make sure she was "getting" it. During the part when Aslan made the long, slow walk to the white witch, where he was giving his life for his people, she asked me where he was going. I explained that since Edmond had been a traitor, the law required that he die for his actions... and the witch wanted his blood. But, instead, Aslan, gave himself instead of Edmond's blood. For Edmond's wrong, he would take his punishment.

We watched as the white witch carried out her execution. Those that stood by began beating and whipping Aslan, they shaved him and humiliated him.

At her next words, I started to cry. She will most likely not remember saying it, nor will she know the impact on me. She said "But he's a KING."

I almost could not contain myself as my heart lept and my eyes filled with tears. The emotion overtook me as I struggled to maintain my composure from her comment.

"Yes, Em, he doesn't deserve to die. He is a King......"

Later that evening, I asked her what the story of Narnia reminded her of. She said, "It's just like Jesus mom. He died for US, even though He was a King."

Merry Christmas... may you be touched by His Love and His sacrifice this season.

"As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!"
In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God.' " In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi,
lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
When some of those standing there heard this, they said, "He's calling Elijah."
Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to save him."
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son
of God!"

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

snow art?

This kid has quite an imagination!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Let it snow

It is supposed to snow 7 inches between tonight and tomorrow night. WHOOO HOOO!
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Monday, December 12, 2005


What does the word "creep" mean?
Lindsey and I had this conversation:
btw, we were talking about the WOTD Gimcrack blog entry from yesterday.

Me: Lindsey, did you read my blog today?
L: No
Me: Here, read it.
L (as she reads): oh wow, you're such aaaaaaaaa creep.
Me: I'm a creep? What does that mean?
L (stammering): Uh, it means...... like, dork.
Me (sarcastically): Is it a new word?
L: Oh yeah, it's basically a new slang word.
Me: really?
L: Well, that's basically what that word means in that sentence.
Me: Oh cool, so words can mean different things in different sentences?
L: yeah, pretty much.
Me: Oh, okay. Then, I'm going to give you a hundred dollars.
Me: You know, because in THAT sentence that means I'm going to give you a spanking.
L: duh.

I love being the mom of a teenage daughter. Oh wait, I mean three teenage daughters (and a 6 year old goin on 13)

Sunday, December 11, 2005


yeah, well, since I only have a couple weeks for the 2005 Word of The Day, I thought I'd better at least share with you the best ones.

Here we go.... this is a good one today. It's "gimcrack".
Now honestly, have you EVER heard that word before? Be honest...

It's a noun. : a showy object of little use or value. And used in a sentence....

Why is there so much gimcrack on my desk?

Why do I post about gimcrack on my blog?

Why do I always get gimcrack for gifts? (except for my new and improved word of the day

Why do our mothers have more gimcrack than we do?

A little history about gimcrack..... Did you know?...
The exact origin of this word is not entirely known. It established itself in the 17th Century. It was most likely borrowed from the Yiddish.

Need to get rid of some gimcrack? Visit the flylady.

special treatment

I got some special treatment yesterday at Sears when we were shopping for Christmas. I was quite proud of myself. I was with my friend Chris... and whenever we are together, nothing is very serious.

When we started shopping, I suffered from my normal case of what I call "Shopping ADHD". Because it isn't my favorite thing to do, I spend time wandering around aimlessly, forgetting my purpose for being there, bouncing from one thought to another, not able to make a decision on where I'm going and what I'm doing, wanting to buy stuff for myself and not really having any reasonable direction.

After a few of her reminders to "get with the program, we have a job to do here", I decided to conquer one person at a time. I had a thing I wanted to buy for someone (who might read my blog so I have to be vague). So, Chris and I went into Sears, after going in the wrong door and forgetting where we were, being disoriented, and getting back on track, we arrived in the right department, laughing at our obvious nonchalont way of shopping. We got focused for a MOMENT, and decided we didn't want to spend any more time in this department than we had to. So, we did what no man would do... looked for someone to ASK if they had what we wanted.

We spotted one employee, a female, and decided she wouldn't do. She couldn't know any more about this thing than we did. So, we spotted a male worker, looking like he had no questions to answer yet. I started walking toward him, and as I approached closer (he didn't see me), he turned and started going another direction. I didn't give up, and Chris was right behind me. We proceeded to chase this guy through the store.... three aisles over and two aisles up, laughing hysterically.

As we finally reached him, we were laughing so hard, and I had to explain to him that we were laughing because we had been chasing him for 7 aisles. He smiled politely, and had fun with it. So, we said: "Well, we're looking for a thing. It is black and rectangle shape" .. .and we told him all the things it was supposed to do. Did they have one?

Poor guy... he thought... and then asked us to clarify what it was we were looking for... and thought some more. After we continued rambling for a while about some more things we remembered it was supposed to do, a light bulb finally clicked in his head and he realized he might have one.

So, he took us to the section it was at, and said "Is this it?"

VICTORY!!!!! SCORE!!!!!!

We rejoiced and clapped, and told him that was all we needed. He walked away.

We looked at the loooooooooong line. He saw us discussing the line, and looking at the door.... and discussing the line, and looking at the "thing".

He finally walked over and said "Did you say this is ALL you needed?"
"Yes, this is all."
"Follow me"
Three aisles over , six aisles up, behind a big unit of something, and around a corner, in a cubby, there was a little checkstand. No lines.
Checked us out and we were on our way.

See --- special treatment. :)

Friday, December 09, 2005

My First Christmas Gift

I got my first Christmas gift already!
It couldn’t be MORE me!
I love gifts that just say “ME” all over them, because it means that person really listens to who I am and what I do and like.
I always WANT to give gifts like that, but I admit I am guilty of giving what I WANT, and not always what others might want.  Partly because one of my least favorite things to do is shop.  I know, some would question my womanhood on that one.  But, it’s true.  Shopping is not something I enjoy much.  Wandering through stores aimlessly and people watching is sometimes fun for me, but looking at things I have no intention of buying and researching and checking out things I MIGHT buy someday, is not anything I enjoy.  

Are you ready to hear my gift??  I know that if you read my blog at all, you will agree that this gift is ME.

Here it is: I got…….. ready? Are you sure?  Ready?  Here we go….

It is…….drumroll….. da da da ….

The American Heritage dic-tion-ar-y of the English Language fourth Edition Word-a-Day 2006 Calendar!!!!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Yesterday was Kizzy's birthday. She is 38. Most likely you don't know her. But, I do.
Of all the people in my life, I could say I probably know her the best. Mostly because we grew up together. We have known each other for 27 years. We were together - joined at the hip - from the time we were 11 to 19. Everyday. Everything. Then she went to college, and I had babies and got married, we didn't see each other every day any longer. But, when we did, it was as if no time had passed.

I experienced so much life with Christine (oh yeah, that's her real name). Every season that passes in my life brings so many memories shared with her. Right now it is snowing outside. I can remember the times when we drove around town in snowstorms. (I would never let my kids do that by the way...) I remember one time we were with Michelle and Michelle was driving and she had this little tiny car. She was driving way too fast. When our city plows the streets after a big snow storm, they pile it in the middle of the roads, then remove it later. So, there was an enormous pile of snow in the middle of the street, and Michelle turned a corner too fast, and drove UP (not INTO, mind you) but UP, the pile of snow. The car ended up tilted at the TOP of a snow pile. I'd never seen it happen before, and I can't even believe myself that it could be done again. But, there we were, sitting in this tiny car at the top of the snowpile, a few blocks from Chris's house, dying laughing. Oh--- Michelle wasn't. And I think she was quite upset with us for laughing if I remember right. We laughed so hard we couldn't breathe. Then we walked home and got help.

Christmas time reminds me of shopping for our families. We never had any money. Chris always bought her brothers those huge massive candy canes for 50 cents. They were the size of a police nightstick. We always got so excited because it was such a VALUE. Looking back, of course, I think, "Who in the world would even WANT that?".

Homework, family fights, drama, boyfriends.... we were together through it all. She was there for me when I kissed my first boyfriend. She was there with me when I went through the "wear way to much makeup" stage in life. We were cheerleaders together. After school practices. We both worked at Bartel's as nurse's aides in high school. We used to joke about how we wanted to be roomies there when we get old, just so we can re-live our teen years. She was there when my aunt died of cancer. We promised each other we would do each other's makeup when we died, because nobody else could do it right. She was there.

When she went to college, and our friendship changed somewhat, she made me come and visit her in Iowa City one time, to watch a movie about 2 best friends. She had seen it and wanted me to watch it. So, we sat there, watching this movie about our lives, bawling our eyes out. Part of us didn't want to move on with our lives and grow up without each other, but we both knew that was impossible.

Every now and then, we call each other. She only lives 20 miles away, but our lives are so busy with her three and my four children, our marriages, jobs, lives. When we talk on the phone, it's usually the same desperate, panic stricken "Is everything okay, is everyone healthy?" from both of us. We still share our love and friendship. We still cry at the thought of the depth of our friendship. We usually end our conversations with a promise to call if ANYTHING happens out of the ordinary. We HAVE to be there for each other.

I hope Chris had a great birthday. I hope she got to eat hamburgers and pork and beans, tostitoes with picante sauce, and german chocolate cake!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

ramblings and things

Sometimes I wonder if there is any month any BUSIER than December?!?
We officially have something to do EVERY night from Dec. 4 thru December 12. We have a night free on the 13th. Well, kind of. Linds actually has to cheer at a bball game, but it's in Independence, and we're vetoing it. Too far. Then, we have Thursday the 15th off too. But, then we're busy again EVERY night until December 22. CRAZY.

Whatever happened to chestnuts roasting on an open fire... ? Who in the world has time to roast chestnuts in this day and age? Who has even really ever HAD Chestnuts?

I did a little research on chestnuts.... did you know that they are the only nut that contains vitamin C?

Did you know that chestnuts are mentioned in the Bible? Jacob put peeled chestnut twigs into his water troughs to promote healthy offspring of his livestock.

I don't know why I even looked any of that up. It doesn't matter, and nobody really cares now do they?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

finally updating!

I can't believe i haven't updated this blog in 5 days! ME.... the EVERYDAY blogger! ME... the sometimes two or three times a day blogger! I apologize for my insensitivity to blog addicts everywhere. It is so frustrating to go to a DAILY BLOG that isn't updated!

So, I'm back! I guess I've just been incredibly busy lately. I don't know what in the WORLD I've been doing.... but, I know it isn't BLOGGING.

Today, we actually did some domestic BAKING and DECORATING. I baked so many things... I baked spritz cookies, peanut butter cookies, thumbprint cookies, carmelita bars, cream cheese danish... and my all time FAV.... Outrageous Brownies. These are heavenly. With an entire POUND of butter, OVER TWO POUNDS of CHOCOLATE, THREE CUPS of walnuts, and only a cup of flour. OHMYGOSH, they melt in your mouth. I absolutely love Ina Garten. She makes the greatest food.

Something to be totally proud of is that this recipe is rated - not easy, not medium, not difficult, but EXPERT. And I DID IT, with the help of my great man, who melted chocolate in a homemade double boiler like a charm!

Together Babe, we are EXPERTS! :)

So, if you guys want one of these great bites of heaven, you better come quick, cuz they won't last long!