Showing posts from 2006

cinnamon roll update

Just so you know... cuz I know you're dying to know...

the cinnamon rolls were a huge success!

so much of a success, as a matter of fact, that they are all.... gone.

Christmas meme catch up

I just realized when I was going through the blogs I haven't read in a while, that Mel tagged me for this. Heck, I'll play... it's 7am and I've been up for hours...nothing else to do right?

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? paper.
2. Real tree or artificial? both...oh heck, three of each.
3. When do you put up the tree? the weekend after thanksgiving
4. When do you take the tree down? yesterday the real one, others, maybe after Valentine's Day... :)
5. Do you like eggnog? blech. does that answer your question?
6. Favorite gift received as a child? a tape recorder. my friend and I got one the same year.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? yes, one store bought, one kids made in school, and one girls made this year.... you're never too old for crafts!
8. Hardest person to buy for? father in law!!!!
9. Easiest person to buy for? emily - this year she had a list of 47 or more items.... now that's variety.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? a blanket when I was a kid.…

will this be success?

I couldn't sleep last night. When I can't sleep, I get up. I hate wasting my day tossing and turning when I have THINGS to do.

This morning, my THINGS was cinnamon rolls. I've tried it before. I've tried it many times. But for some reason, my cinnamon rolls always seem to bomb! I made them a couple of weeks ago, thinking that would be the time... but nope. bomb.

I can't figure it out. I can make lots of yeast breads and lots of french breads and lots of things that have to rise like a champ. I really can. But not cinnamon rolls. ugh!

This morning, at 4:3o, I tried again. Different recipe this time... one from a great aunt of Shawn's from the family cookbook. Maybe it's a tried and tested recipe that has survived these years because of it's success! Besides, it says "Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls".

So, I activated the yeast, mixed the ingredients, kneaded the dough, let it double, punch it down, let it rest, rolled it out, spread on the goodies, …

Wordless Wednesday - twas the night before....


I wonder...

As I was baking cookies this morning, I thought about Christmas. I was singing Christmas songs... Joy the the World... and my mind went to a time 2000 years ago when a baby was born in a manger in Bethlehem.

I wonder what it was like when Jesus was born.

Did the world feel a moment or two of extreme peace and joy as Jesus took his first breath of life?
Did those gathered round gasp as they witnessed the birth of God in flesh?
Did they realize that this baby would be the answer to the sins of the world?
What was it like?
I imagine that heaven and nature did sing. The rustling wind, the trees ripple, ... did it stop and sing?
Somewhere in the world, did someone forgive a brother? Did a husband and wife find reconciliation? Was someone's heart softened, even for a moment?

I've experienced four births of my own children. The miracle of birth alone is incredible. The first breath of life.... is beyond words.

To experience the time when the Lord of the Universe, the King of Israel... took …

the paw prints

I wish I had taken a photo of the paw prints that were on our front door the other morning when we woke up.... and on our back door... and our front window..... and all over the wood floor in the house.

I woke up in the morning and as we were getting the girls all ready for school and off, I noticed them. There was a trail of paw prints all over the house in a little trail like the "Family Circus" comic strip. At first I didn't realize what they were, and then I asked the girls...

One of our cats (the one that is afraid of the outside) had gotten out the night before and nobody noticed. In the morning when we got up, she was cold and meowing at the front door and when they let her in, her muddy paws (it was raining) left tracks all over.

It was two days before I had time to clean up the paw prints. But, I did it today. As I cleaned them up, I noticed there were paw prints all over the place. Every door, a couple of windows....

And I also noticed the neighbors dog prints …

a child of the 80's

Since you already know I am a prodigy of the 80's.... I thought I'd share some of my proof...

1. I know who Don Johnson is.
2. I heard all about it, but I never watched it...and never found out who shot JR.
3. I know the meaning of "WAX ON" and "WAX OFF".
4. I wore lace gloves with the fingers cut off.
5. I LOVED my parachute pants.
6. Clap on... Clap off.
7. I know what a Valley Girl is.
8. 8675309
9. I turned up the collar of my polo shirts.
10. Where's the beef? -- was the BEST ever.
11. Frosted blue eye shadow
12. Feathered bangs
13. oooooooh noooooooo Mr. Bill!
14. The cool people carried their boom box on their shoulder
15. I want to go where everybody knows your name!
16. I had so many colors of jelly shoes... will they ever come back?
17. Battlestar Galactica and Pac Man were the best!
18. I watched School house Rock
19. I actually saw music videos on MTV
20. Wonder Twin Powers... Activate!

a Christmas hot tub party

Okay, I know... I haven't posted in any consistent way for a LONG time. It really is inexcusable. What have we been up to?

Well, for one, we're on our fourth dance recital of the holiday season this coming weekend!

Secondly, we have been enjoying our super FUN advent calendar! Our family has an advent calendar made of fabric we hang on the wall with 24 pockets in it. Each pocket has a note inside that reads something fun we can do for the holiday season. Some are a lot of planning, some are spontaneous, and some are just "read a book"...

Last night??? Have a Christmas Hot Tub Party!

Okay, someone clearly wasn't thinking about that (hint: the mom!). It was a Sunday... not just any ordinary Sunday... but a Sunday in which we decided to sleep in and go to second service, I had to volunteer for 2 1/2 hours for a school function, and our entire family went to the school's madrigal dinner (all kids except 7 yr old involved), not to mention INSTE finals beginning…

I can't believe it!!!

What American accent do you have?Your Result: The West Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.The Midland Boston North Central The Inland North Philadelphia The South The Northeast What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Wordless Wednesdays Rock Star



I was finally taking a minute to catch up on my blogger friends and I realized that Mel had tagged me for wierdness....

Remember, you asked for it. WHY am I WEIRD? HOW and I WEIRD? It might take a while to generate this list.....

1. my ballet moves - they are really sweet.
2. I like Napoleon Dynamite
3. toothpaste makes me want to vomit. It's the frothiness --- blech!
4. an insane number of household appliances (rice cooker, food processor, blender, chopper, mixer, .....and the list goes on) -- hey! I don't have an electric can opener! (and I don't want one either!)
5. five words - I. Love. Love. Love. Lipstick.
6. I can smell natural gas when others can't - all. the. time. - I am constantly calling the gas company to fix leaks nobody else can smell.
7. I like corndogs!
8. I put salt on watermelon
9. I like to watch 2020, 60 minutes, Primetime, Dateline,.... even though I know they're twisted and one-sided, I get sucked into them.
10. I thought I ate weird foods... but check …
In honor of my husband's trip to Colorado, I give you this....

He's been gone now for nearly a week. The first few days I worried a lot. It was very cold and he is sleeping in a tent - in a sleeping bag - on a cot. I still can't believe it. I think he'll come home and confess that he had a sleep number bed or something.

But, after today, I am officially NOT going to worry any longer. And as a matter of fact, I'm downright ticked.


Well, here's why.... according to it is supposed to be a high of 73 there tomorrow!

What kind of a snowy cold mountain are they hunting on???? That's not roughing it even in a tent.

So, it's over. I officially don't feel bad anymore when I snuggle up with my kicking 7 year old in our nice cozy bed at night and wake up in the morning with her pushing me out of bed and stealing all the covers.

47 Days til Christmas..

I was in Home Depot today and saw a sign that said "47 DAYS TIL CHRISTMAS".

I panicked for a second... 47 DAYS???? oh my gosh... it's November and I didn't even know it! Where did the rest of October go? Did I fall asleep and miss the church harvest party? Who made the rockstar costume? How did the school musical go?

Ok.... a quick calculation in my head told me that it was wrong... but WHY did it say that?

For the record, there are


Days until Christmas.

Deliver Me O Jesus

I just posted this a month ago... but it needs to be repeated this month!

Deliver me O Jesus from the desire of being esteemed.
Deliver me, O Jesus from the desire of being loved
Deliver me, O Jesus from the desire of being extolled, honored, praised.
Deliver me O Jesus from the desire of being preferred to othersDeliver me O Jesus from the desire of being consulted and approved
Deliver me O Jesus from the fear of being humiliated
Deliver me O Jesus from the fear of being despised, and of suffering rebuke
Deliver me O Jesus from the fear of being slandered, of being forgotten, or being ridiculed.
Deliver me O Jesus from the fear of being wrongedand suspected.

That others may be loved more than I
That others may be esteemed more than I
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease,
That others may be chosen and I set aside
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed
That others may be preferred to me in everything
That others may become holier than I, provided
that I may …

the Proverbs woman

I was reading Proverbs today... Proverbs 31 to be exact. That woman is incredible. But, this verse stuck out today:

verse 21 "When it snows she has no fear for her household, for all of them are clothed in scarlet."

This woman is PREPARED for anything. Serious. A far cry from me.

It snowed one day last week. Boots didn't even cross my mind. I was lucky to get a coat let alone boots or mittens or hats.... No, I'm not the Proverbs 31 woman.

I don't even have groceries in the house - no milk - no eggs - no bread. Last night for supper we had leftover chinese, cheese, tomatoes, and thuringer. Nobody in their right mind could consider that a meal.

I was going to go to the grocery store and actually COOK tonight. Then I found out that everyone has something going on. So, we're going out to eat.

((( SIGH ))))

oh how i wish i could be the proverbs 31 woman....


After sitting at the computer for what seems like hours I resort to this... nothing. It isn't as if I'm not incredibly busy and yes for Goodness Sake VERY Exciting, but I can't imagine you would be interested in hearing all about my delicious beef sub at the Diner today and how some young waiter kept calling me - of all things -- MA'AM!

HELLO??? Does that KID NOT know that I'm FUN and YOUNG and!!!

Why? Why oh why does it bother me so??? Ma'am: a term used in addressing the Queen or royal princess in Britain. Also, "a woman of refinement" or a "Polite address for a woman". I should feel honored, respected, downright royal!

Yet somehow, for some reason.... it's old.

It's not miss. It's not Ms. - for some reason they seem so... you know, young.

I was having lunch with an old friend from High School and he kept saying "sorry ma'am" and "thank you ma'am" and "this…


It's incredible that I haven't posted in this for nearly two weeks!! If I were a reader of my blog, I'd be tempted to quit. not really. blogging is quite addicting actually. You never really give up on the regulars that you read, no matter how lazy they get. I, for instance, have a few that I frequent regularly, even though they haven't blogged in WEEKS or MONTHS. I just click away at my favorites and go down the line checking for anything new.

Yeah, this is going to be a random post I can tell already.

I woke up tired this morning. tired. tired. tired. Why is it that occassionally I will wake up tired? I don't get it. Same sleep, same bed, same everything. Just one day all of the sudden, I'm still tired. The truth is that I wanted to take the kids to school and then go back to bed. Not for long. Just five or six hours. Then I could pick them up from school and feel refreshed. But, NOOOOOOOOOOO, I had to come to work. And uh..... "work".



I always seem to get a little carried away when I pluck my eyebrows. I did it again tonight. I don't know why I don't just stop, but there is something strangely addicting to plucking your eyebrows.

After I completely harvested my impoverished eyebrows, I decided to read up on it. great timing I know. But, I found this little ditty. It's actually worth reading if you are an over-enthusiastic plucker like me!

If you're NOT -- and you prefer the natural look, your photo might show up here.

I'm serious

I found this on acronym attic.

the acronym BLOG means "Belonging to the LORD our God".

one year ago

One year ago today, we were doing this.
Things have changed a lot in one year for sure.
And then some things have stayed the same.

I'm still dreaming about buying furniture.
We're still packed.
Emily still shares a room with Abbie.
But she doesn't like it anymore. Because, they still fight.

One year ago I was actually faithful to blog everyday. Now, I just do it every other day or two or three...

We will be painting in the new house this weekend. If you aren't doing anything come on over. We don't have a lot to paint. Just a couple bedrooms. The rest was too big of a job so we hired someone to do it. They are working this week and we will do our part on the weekend. After that, we are hoping to get some flooring in there and some trim and cabinets and move one of these days...

By reading this you might think it has taken a year to get our house done. My poor husband would not like anyone thinking that. It has actually only been since the end of May. 4 months so …

Deliver me O Jesus

I shared this with my Bible Study group last week. I'm still praying it. I think I should probably do it every day for the rest of my life.

Deliver me O Jesus from the desire of being esteemed.
Deliver me, O Jesus from the desire of being loved
Deliver me, O Jesus from the desire of being extolled, honored, praised.
Deliver me O Jesus from the desire of being preferred to others
Deliver me O Jesus from the desire of being consulted and approved
Deliver me O Jesus from the fear of being humiliated
Deliver me O Jesus from the fear of being despised, and of suffering rebuke
Deliver me O Jesus from the fear of being slandered, of being forgotten, or being ridiculed.
Deliver me O Jesus from the fear of being wronged and suspected.

That others may be loved more than I
That others may be esteemed more than I
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease,
That others may be chosen and I set aside
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed
That others may be preferre…


I read this blog today and had to listen to the music over and over and over again. I guess it's just one of those weeks of prayer. I listened and dreamed and prayed and thought over and over wondering WHO it was that kept praying for me during my teenage years - was it a teacher? a relative? a neighbor? a stranger? I wish I could thank them for their prayers. I wish I could thank them for believing in a God who loves me. Who cares about me. Cares enough to remind someone to pray for me.

And I thought of all the people that I have prayed for this week. God has brought so many people to my path, to my heart, to my mind, to my remembrance. The woman who has been separated from her huband, the one who hasn't spoken to her sisters in years, the one who has been abused by a loved one, the one who has bipolar disorder, the one who is complacent in her faith, the one who misses her child, the one who has come out of the hurftul relationship, the one who is lonely, the one who i…

random thoughts

Every now and then I just have to blab my random thoughts. They might not make any sense, but this is how my brain works...

I poured my coffee into a carafe this morning when I left for work, and didn't drink it all. That is what is getting me through the day today because I am looking forward to drinking it when I get home.

I was so thankful this morning for feet. It was awesome to me that God thought of making feet. That He realized how much we really needed feet.

This week in INSTE we had to make a list of all the sins listed in the Bible. It was shocking to realize how wretched I really am.

I have been humming Go-Go's songs all day.. You know, Go Go music really makes us dance, do watusi just give us a chance that's when we fall in line, cuz we got the beat, we got the beat we got the beat.... and I wonder to myself. Besides CHRIS, is there ANYONE in the world that knows all the words to the Beauty and the Beat album??? Give me a shout out will ya?

What does it mean…

Thursday 13

13 Things I waste my TIME doing

(Okay, so I don’t have the official Thursday Thirteen Code, cuz I’m too lazy to figure out how to do it! If you want it, and you’re not lazy, go here)

1. It’s a four-letter word at times when I should be doing other things- BLOG
2. Watching LOST (Now I could argue that this isn’t a waste of time, and that it’s actually entertaining and therefore, therapeutic)
3. Eating sunflower seeds – it’s such an addicting thing to eat.
4. Reading Cookbooks – I know it’s a weird thing to read. But, we haven’t eaten the same meal in a month and a half because of my “reading”.
5. Making LISTS – It doesn’t matter what about, I just find myself constantly making lists. It just “feels” like I get more done if I write it down.
6. Thinking up 13 Things! Maybe it isn’t the blogging that wastes my time, it’s trying to think of something to say.
7. Google – need I say more?
8. Daydreaming – most of the time I daydream about my lists!
9. Cleaning my house – I sometimes wonder if mot…


Today, my calendar reads:

It can turn a LUMP of COAL into a Flawless Diamond,
Or an AVERAGE person into a Perfect Basketcase.

I too remember

I went to the "World Trade Center" movie at the theatre yesterday afternoon with my husband and daughter. Two minutes into the movie I began to cry. I didn't stop. seriously. The magnitude of the collateral damage caused on that day five years ago continues to echo through the hearts of all Americans.

Many bloggers today are remembering and posting tributes to those who died. I join them in saluting all the Americans who died at the World Trade Center, as well as those who continue even today to fight for the freedom we have in America. I don't take lightly the sacrifices many American men and women have made on my behalf, and for my family.

I also salute those firefighters, police, public servants, who do their jobs everyday for us in America. The people that put their lives on the line because they value life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

God Bless them all.

Evangelistic Dialogue between 7 year olds

I know that she has a great friend. My heart is heavy for the day they realize that their religious beliefs and backgrounds may have a severely profound effect on their friendship. I adore the beauty of their innocence and cringe at the thought of the world smacking them in the face one day.

T: Can you have a sleepover on Friday night?
E: No, we already have plans.
T: What plans?
E: I don’t know. How about Saturday?
T: I can’t. We have church right away in the morning.
E: So! You can go to second service.
T: what?
E: Second service.
T: Sacrament service?
E: second service.
T: sacrament service??
Mom: Maybe they don’t have two services at their church.
E: Do you have two services at your church?
T: (to her mom) Mom, do we have services at our church?
Mom: Yes.
T: yes, we have services at our church.
E: so you can go to second service.
T: sacrament service?
T: (to mom) Mom, what do we call service?
Mom: We call it sacrament service.
T: We have sacrament service.

they all look the same

All of our company trucks look the same. Seriously. the same. they do. I'm not kidding.

Okay, so yesterday, I went with Shera and Shawn in his truck to a jobsite. We were looking at the house, and we met another guy that works for us there. We kicked around looking at the house for a while, and then we decided we'd better get back to the office.

So, Shera and I jumped into the truck and waited for Shawn to get it while we were chatting away about colors and decorating, and exteriors of houses, etc... at one point, I remember thinking "I wish she would move over, she's taking up all the room".

The other guy opens the truck door and says "Are you girls going with me today?"

I thought "why? are you taking shawn's truck somewhere". For a brief second, I tried to remember if my husband had said he needed to trade vehicles with someone today for some reason... and then shera said "oh my gosh! We got in the wrong truck!".

When I looked ar…

Miles Per Dollar

Frugality anyone?

With the price of gas lately, check out this nifty website that calculates how many miles you can drive in your car per dollar.

Miles Per Dollar

be a leader

A boss creates fear, a leader confidence.
A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes.
A boss knows all, a leader asks questions.
A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting.
A boss is interested in himself or herself, a leader is interested in the group.

The Pizza Box Meme

Nothing like a good meme to think of something to blog about right?

Amy from the Flege Farm tagged me, so I thought I'd participate. Maybe get the creative mind thinking. (yeah, right, what creative mind)

The Pizza Box Meme
1. What was your favorite thing about being a kid?
You know those videos of Em I post now and then? Imagine me - with a tape recorder instead of a video camera.... yeah, that was so fun.

2. What was your favorite subject in school?
I had a lot of favorite subjects actually. Math with Mr. Flickenger! He was awesome. German with Herr Hoffert. Loved him. And music.... okay, that had to be my all time favorite.

3. Who was your best friend when you were 10?
10? I'm not sure about 10. Chris and I met when we were 11. Unlike some people who lose track of their best friend through the years, Chris and I remained friends all through high school. We were inseparable. And we are still really good friends. She lives 20 minutes away and we don't see each other very often no…

the sound

Do you hear it? Listen real closely... you don't hear it?

Okay... stop.... close your eyes.... and listen. Hear it now?

Yeah, I thought so. It's beautiful isn't it?

A slight whir of the air conditioner .... an ever so light click of the ceiling fan turning....

A little traffic in the distance far off....

Other than that........ silence.

And so the School Year Begins.

a time honored tradition

The year was 1989. My daughter was 2 years old. We were bored. Then, suddenly, I remembered what I did when I was a kid and bored.... and so it began. Passed on from generation to generation...

and now, 15 years later, the blanket fort continues.

our newest family photo


Random Thoughts

I can't think of a thing to write so I am going random today...

1. When am I ever going to get my desk completely cleaned off at work?
2. Why doesn't my coffee stay hot enough?
3. I hate insurance companies. They are so much work for me.
4. I'd really like to go home right now.
5. Wouldn't it be amazing if my kids just cleaned the whole house and made supper for me when I get home?
6. WHO in their right mind would want to live with four teenagers and a pre-adolescent? ME!
7. By the way, I LOVE my teenage girls. They are so much fun and they keep me young!
8. I told someone yesterday that I had 19-17-16-14-7 year old girls living in my house and they said "You don't look old enough".... I love that person a lot! :)
9. Tomorrow we are taking the day off and going to the WATER PARK. Whooo Hoooo!
10. I introduced Julia (our german exchange daughter) to Mountain Dew! :)

Friday Fun


Even when life is boring, Fridays are always refreshing!

Supper tonight.... Goulash! It's Haleigh's favorite meal ever. And I like it because it's easy to make.

We have a load of family here this weekend. My mom from Arizona, my sister and her husband from Washington, and with the exception of one nephew and one niece, it is quite possible that my entire family could be at the same place at the same time. My mom, her five kids, four spouses, 12 grandkids, and 2 great grandkids.

you saw an earlier photo of shawn's family reunion...

here's mine....


We might go down in the foreign exchange history books as the family who likes to shop. So far this week, we have made two trips to Wally, one shopping trip in a nearby city, and one major shopping mall. Actually, it hasn't even been a week.... only 5 days.



No update since July 25th.

Holy Calamity Scream Insanity!

We got our girl!

She came on Saturday, and we ALREADY LOVE her! She is so sweet. She is from Germany, and we have already taught her so many things about Germany that she didn't even know... like what is braunschweiger.

Her family is small - one older brother who lives in another city, so it's just her parents and her living in their home. Imagine what she must be thinking moving into this crazy insane home with all these GIRLS (six of us now with her!)!!!! ... uh...and then there's shawn. what a good sport.

We absolutly adore her and we're getting to know her quite well. She has a wonderful sense of humor. Shawn and I both feel like we just had another baby girl! She's a great addition to our family.

Tomorrow - we're off to the states largest amusement park! whoooo hooooo! And all the FRIED FOODS that American's are so well known for! mmmmmm mmmmm good!

the awesomest avocado hydrator recipe

This past weekend, we had a spa day for Abbie and her friend. All the things we did were homemade and all natural. It was super fun. This recipe is one for your hair and was my all time fav. It deeply conditions your hair and helps prevent breakage. The recipe was developed by a hair studio in Beverly Hills California. I could feel the difference in the girls hair as soon as I rinsed it out. You HAVE to try it!

1/2 ripe avocado
1 ripe banana
1 tsp plain yogurt
1 Tbsp wheat germ oil
1 tsp aloe vera gel
1 Tbsp water

Put the ingredients in a blender and blend until pasty. Once it's all combined, use your hands to spread the mask on your hair starting at the roots.

Sit back and relax for 45 minutes. Then, rinse away and lightly shampoo.

Let me know if you try it.

Oh... by the way... THIS little town we live in does not have wheat germ oil anywhere to be found, so I left it out. Also, we didn't have aloe vera gel so I skipped that. It still worked like a charm. The next time I g…

why o why?

I knew that I had too many. Why is it that sometimes when you can't remember if you have any while you are at the grocery store, you just go ahead and buy some anyway? Well, that's me and karo syrup.

I've known it for a long time. At one time, I had 6 bottles of karo syrup. When I first realized it, I just went cold turkey. Everytime I wanted to make something with karo syrup, I just wouldn't buy it. Because I knew I had it. One time, I couldn't remember how many I had gotten down to so I bought one, then found three more. So, I just decided NO MORE karo.

Well, tonight I decided to make Special K bars. I looked in every cupboard, every cabinet, every shelf, and I began to panic. Until I finally found it. My last bottle of karo syrup. Now the trick is going to be knowing how many times I have used it so that I don't go overboard again.

Last night Haleigh made my world famous chocolate eclair. You're supposed to drizzle chocolate ice cream topping ov…

the family reunion photos

This is our part of the family reunion. Shawn's grandma is one of 12 siblings and these are her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

So, we only represent 1/12th of the entire reunion. It was pretty cute. Every sibling picked their own color for tshirts for the family to wear, so there were 12 different color shirts running around and you could tell who belonged to who....

except for me... cuz I didn't really know many of them. :)

But, it was fun... and what a blast to belong to such a huge family!!!

Great memories!



For the past 72 hours, besides a massive marathon family reunion, my family has been trying to get caught up on the Lost episodes.  

We rented the entire first season so we could watch them and try to get caught up before this fall.  Then we realized there was a second season not yet out on dvd.

We watch them one after another, every night, until 1 or 2 in the morning.  Then we’re all crabby and tired the next day.  But, yet…. Something draws us to do it again and again and again.  

It’s official.  I’m addicted.

The last two episodes are tonight.  We MUST find a hook up for season 2.  If anyone has it, it would be worth an entire dessert to me.  

a heavy heart

for all the parents who have prayed diligently through broken hearts and many tears for their wayward children...

pause a moment and read this.

I am sending lots of prayers this week for strangers to me, Steve and Lynn Johnson, and the incredible amount of parents who know their pain.

my links

I am finally editing my links.
I've had this profile long enough that I decided to keep it.

I'm not done.... it's laborious to do!

So, if you don't want your link on there, let me know and I'll keep it off....
What is it about women?
By nature, women can be so nasty and mean. If left to their own devices, women can be such monsters. Competitive, backbiting, jealousy. It's insane what we are capable of. I know. I am one.

One of the hardest challenges in life is being a sister. Sisters are the best of friends and the worst of enemies all in one. Sisters can rival and fight and bite and kick and scratch. There is no worse fight than two sisters. I know. I am one.

I recently read an article about the ego of a musician. It talked about the struggle of a musican, a Christian musician in particular in keeping their focus on God and not themselves. When a musician constantly gets approval from others, they focus on gaining approval from others. We are all born with a need for approval and continue to look for praise and approval. It's a struggle for everyone. But, particularly a musician because so much of what they do is of themselves, and so much of their work is direct from the…

busy day

I feel like we've crammed 4 days into one today.
We went to church at the park.
Stayed for the potluck. We never like to miss out on a good church potluck.
Left the potluck.
Went to a host family orientation for our foreign exchange student. (they served ice cream sundaes... we like it already!)
Came home and planned our worship music for next Sunday's family service.
Took some family photos to send to Julia and her family. (She comes in a few weeks and we haven't sent any photos yet!)
Went grocery shopping.
Cooked a late supper.

Seriously, to list it all out is exhausting. I wanted a nap too! But, it didn't fit into the schedule. Well, except for that 15 minutes on the way home from the meeting....

Here are some photos from our family photo shoot! You should have heard all the grumbling trying to get these taken.

our new adventure

Call us crazy. Call ME crazy is more like it.

I'm notorious for doing things irrational when my husband is out of town. One time when he went on a mission trip for 10 days I tore all the carpet out of the house and thought I'd refinish the wood floor underneath. Only problem is - it was really bad, and I just ended up buying new carpeting. Another time, he was gone and I decided I'd try to fix a little tiny hole in the plaster of our old house. Except, it didn't work either, and he came home to half a wall knocked out.

But, hey, he loves me.

In my old age, I've tried to be less destructive. So, I resort to shopping. A little retail therapy often makes me feel better when I'm abandoned. This weekend, he was gone and it was ridiculous days sales downtown.

What could I do? I didn't want to get lonely and depressed. I had to take measures into my own hands.

There was a tent I had been eyeing in a sports shop downtown. It was on sale a month ago. Today, …

Neurotic Sparkler Woman

It has officially been eight - yes 8 - days since I have blogged. The biggest reason I haven't blogged is because I can't think of anything to say. You are completely amazed right now, I know... me not have anything to say?????!!!!

I think it would be good to blog about something semi-meaningful. But, my brain is not functioning that way. It isn't as if we don't have anything going on this week. Last night for example, one of my children was up most of the night ... sick. You don't want me to get descriptive here, trust me.

The fourth of July here was spent at the local fireworks display. Then, we went to the new house to show off our new sparklers. Can someone say disaster?

The "new" sparklers were quite a treat..... I think they were labeled wrong. They were not sparklers at all. They were bottle rockets/roman candles. Yes, give them to a 14 year old in a cast, a 43 year old pyromaniac, and a 7 year old with bushy long hair and have an anxiety at…

IC Caramel

Fill 16 ounce cup with ice.
Fill cup 1 inch from top with Half and Half
Pull 2 ounces of espresso onto about 4 pumps of caramel

I'm not sure of the exact quantity of caramel in oz.
Experiment if you don't have access to a pump style caramel.

Mix caramel and espresso thoroughly before pouring over ice and milk.

Blend thoroughly.

Decorate and top with whipped cream.

Panera Bread cheese soup copy cat recipe

In honor of Maja's birthday, and her favorite food.... I thought I'd share this...

COPY CAT RECIPE - Panera Bread Brocolli Cheese Soup

1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups chicken stock or bouillon
1/2 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup carrots, julienned
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar

Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender and puree. Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.


another day...another xray

We spent a few hours in the hospital today getting another xray of the broken arm bones.

Why, you ask? Well, Haleigh mopped the floor last night that's why.

And... it just so happens that a certain someone with a certain week old broken arm and cast came walking into the kitchen at a certain time, which happened to be the wrong certain time, and slipped on a certain floor twisting a certain arm behind her back to a certain uncomfortable position causing incredible and UNcertain pain.... we called the ortho surgeon again, who was on vacation, who referred us to another ortho who decided it should be xrayed again....

... so we waited in the waiting room .... got the xray... waited again... found out the xray wasn't done right... got another xray...waited again.... ate lunch... came back... waited some more...

the FireFly World Record

Lightning, Sparky, Allen, Jessica, Tom -

Those were the names of the fireflies Emily caught and put in a jar at Grammas house. It was a georgous night out... just the perfect night for fireflies. They were everywhere! One got out in the house, because he was too little. Allen. She let him go. Too small to be captive in the jar with nail-sized holes.

Goodbye Allen. We will miss you...

"Sparky, you sure are a big healthy guy. Such a great light you blink so quickly!"

"Grampa, do you think 15 lightning bugs is enough for a world record? Or how many do you think would be a world record?"

"I dunno, I think you might have it there... "

I flashed back for a moment to my childhood. I was a little more volatile with my lightning bug collection. I would always rip off the light and try to make beautiful glowing bracelets and neclaces and rings....

ew. bug guts all over me. yuk.

our little patient

It's officially been 48 hours since the big break.... we have had a rough 48 hours with sleepless nights and uncomfortable positions, unexpected reactions to medication. We go to the orthopedic dr. tomorrow AM to see what the next step is. The good side - I have to look at the bright side of this right?-- for Abbers, it's the great CANDY that people keep dropping off for her. For us, well, heck, it's the great CANDY!


How I spent my week of vacation - Day 1

We are officially on vacation.
It started Monday. We are off for a week or so and decided instead of going somewhere fun, we would take the time and get some things done around the house that we need to do, maybe do some fun things around here. We made a list: Things to do on our Vacation Week. Here are the things on the list.

Clean the Grill
Go Canoeing
Pack up the burgundy dishes we don't use right now
Make some decisions on the new house.
Sams Club Trip
Clean the Basement
Jet Skiing
Get the boat going for the year
Go to the Lake
Clean off my desk
Rotate the tires on the van
Deep clean the vehicles

Some fun, some work.... there's more work on the list. I just can't find it right now. (great working list that I can't find)

So, here we go... Day One... Yesterday... Monday.
We spent the day shopping at Lowe's Home Depot Menards trying to find light fixtures, medicine cabinets, etc... for our new house. Came home, made supper, hang out. Abbie had gone to a friends ho…

Moroccan Chicken Kebabs

If you decide to try this recipe... my suggestion is to omit the optional cayenne pepper.... we were all breathing fire. WHEW! Also, the 1 tsp cinnamon, to me, is a bit much. I think next time I'll cut it to a 1/2 tsp. Try them! You'll like them!

Moroccan Chicken Kebabs

Dry Rub:
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cardamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp brown sugar

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 small red onions, cut into 1 inch wide sections
2 bell peppers, cleaned and cut into 1 inch squares
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

In small bowl, combine the rub ingredients and mix well.
Cut the meat into 1 1/2 inch cubes and put them in a gallon size ziplock bag with the rub mix. Seal the bag and shake it vigorously until all chicken is well coated.
Place the onions and peppers in a gallon size bag, add the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. …

turkey wrap update

I made the smoked turkey wraps last night. I decided I needed to share this recipe with you all because they were WAY good. I have one recommendation. I think the smoked turkey with the garlicy pesto was a bit much for flavor. I think next time I will use regular turkey breast, because the pesto with it was awesome!

3/4 c. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup pesto with sun dried tomatoes (I made it with the dried mix from Tastefully Simple - it had basil and sun dried tomatoes in it)
6 (10 inch) burrito size flour tortillas, warmed
12 thin slices of smoked turkey breast
Romaine Lettuce
chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
alfalfa sprouts

Combine cream cheese and pesto in small bowl; stir well. Spread evenly over each tortilla. Place turkey slices, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and alfalfa sprouts over the bottom third of tortillas, making sure ingredients don't touch the edges.

FOLD the bottom edge of the tortilla toward the center and gently roll until tortilla is compl…

1000 wellls

Our church is doing the 1000 Wells Project -
Sunday when we went home from church, we talked about it. We all decided that we would go ahead and participate. ALL of us.

Here's the jist of it .... 2 weeks - drink nothing but water - whatever you would have normally drank, put that money in a cup, and give it to the 1000 wells project to dig a well in Africa for clean water. Simple. Right?

Okay, well, it has been three days. That's all. just three. I have messed up three times. Once was when I went to the Pizza Ranch and ... well, what could I do? The drink was included in the price you pay for buffet? I had to drink it.....

Second was when I had a meeting at work. They had donuts. I had no coffee for two days! I HAD TO DO IT!!! Get off my back people! I HAD NO CHOICE!

Lastly, it was the cookies that did it. It would have been no problem for me except that I baked those DARN cookies! And they were so good.... but not perfect... and it was only a HALF a glass of milk, not a whole one.…

I discovered a great tool at You should check it out. If you go to the "recipe" section... and look at their recipes, you can create an account and a "recipe box".

Then, you can print a grocery list. It prints out in an organized format, and you take it to the grocery store and get everything you need!

I have another one at - that's a pretty good site too, but the shopping list prints out for each meal, not as a whole compiled list, so it's a bit harder to find your way through it.

The menu this week:

Mon: Grilled Steaks and Salads
Tues: Beef Penne Pasta Casserole with breadsticks
Wed: Smoked Turkey Wraps and fresh fruit salad
Thurs: Morroccan Chicken Kebabs, Rice, and Jello Salad
Fri: Black Bean Chicken and Cheese Bake, Chips and Guacamole
Sat: Stuffed Pasta Shells and Tossed Salad

Missions Trip

Moe over at Motherhood asked me to expound a bit on our missions trip after I suggested she send her kids on one...

It was two years ago. My two oldest girls were 17 and 15. The church we attend had decided to go with a larger group of people on a trip to Chetumal, Mexico to help the Christians there with their efforts to learn how to evangelize the communities in which they live.

My girls are not spoiled rotten brats by any means. They are very loving and caring people. I wanted them to go on this trip more to see what God can do with them... their talents and abilities.... and to show them that they can give and care for others in ways they never thought they could.

So, we headed out for a ten day trip. A trip we all will never forget.

We spent 10 days in the 110 degree heat, going from village to village, inviting children to come to the park for a program we put on for them... to show them who Jesus is... we did dramas, puppet shows, played with them, music, stories.... all of the thi…

Two for togetherness...

Ang tagged me.... here we go....

2 things you compliment your husband on while in his presence.
1. His ability to fix virtually ANYTHING!
2. His incredibly underestimated ability to both stay awake longer than anyone I know and sleep longer than anyone I know.

2 compliments you make about your spouse to your friends.
1. His ability to fix virtually ANYTHING!
2. He understands that sex begins in the kitchen.

2 traits you married him/her for.
1. His positive attitude
2. His complete love for me

2 days you cherished the most with your husband being together.
1. Labor and Delivery. Okay, that is technically four days but I'm counting it as one.
2. The day I gave my life to Christ. I was 16. He was 21. He led me to the Lord.

2 things you would miss the most if she/he left for two weeks.
1. Killing my own bugs
2. Fixing my own stuff.

2 thoughts that crossed your mind when you first met/saw (or noticed in our case) your spouse.
1. He is hot
2. What could I do to get him to notice me?

2 favorite dates

sorry people

Sorry sorry sorry....

I am having some technical difficulties with blogger and it is a pain in the drain to post anything!

Ang said my blog is dying a slow death... I have lots of things to share, just can't quite do it.

Hopefully, I will get it corrected and have something exciting soon.

I miss you TOO!

she has returned

Haleigh is back!

She returned late last night after a thirty something hour travel.... you know, the planes, trains, and automobile thing.

I hope I can coax her to blog some about her trip on her blog. We talked all the way home from the meeting point about different things she did and saw.

She's gotten quite good at using chopsticks and developed a taste for green tea!

Next week, Lindsey leaves on a just as fun, but not as far away or quite as long a trip to Toronto. Some of you whom I know LIVE in Canada most likely don't think that is quite that exciting.... and certainly not as big a culture shock. But, she will have a great time.

On the return trip, they will stop at one of the world's wonders, Niagra Falls. I've always wanted to go to Niagra Falls.

Check out our house blog at
I know my posts have been of a very serious nature lately. I will try to lighten up but I felt compelled to share this. Kevin Carter was a photojournalist who won a Pulitzer Prize with this photo in 1994. He was in Sudan. The child was crawling toward a United Nations food camp, located a kilometer away. The vulture was standing by waiting for the child to die...

Three months after this trip, Kevin Carter took his life.

This was found in his diary , Dear God, I promise I will never waste my food no matter how bad it can taste and how full I may be. I pray that He will protect this little boy, guide and deliver him away from his misery. I pray that we will be more sensitive towards the world around us and not be blinded by our own selfish nature and interests. I hope this picture will always serve as a reminder to us that how fortunate we are and that we must never ever take things for granted.

It is my prayer today, that I too will be more sensitive towards the world around me, and…

prayers for Uganda

I had lunch with a friend today who is getting ready to go to Uganda, Africa for her fourth time. She asked for prayers for her trip.

I am amazed by what God is doing in her life.

Mother of two girls, and divorced only a year or two, my friend has felt a call on her life to minister to those beautiful people in Uganda. She started by going on a missions trip to Uganda by "accident" the first time. She had an incredible experience, and tells of the love of the people on the island she ministers. The first time she went, the entire island of people met her there, and greeted her with their chanting, dozens of children pulling on her fingers and saying hello to her..

She has ministered to sick and dying, as 80 to 90 percent of the people on the island are either infected with HIV or have full blown AIDS. She has spent her summers for the past four years, sometimes a month at a time, teaching the people on the island English, knitting, sewing, basic health care, and such.


China Update

I guess that's all I have to talk about. There is a lot more going on in our lives, really. Lots more!

I am so jealous as I search for photos on the internet to see where Haleigh is at. It is such a beautiful trip....

Right now it is around 6am Saturday in China. Haleigh is boarding a plane in Beijing and going to Hangzhou.
After lunch and checking in to the hotel, she is going to the West Lake.... doesn't it just look so incredibly beautiful?

We are getting ready to go to a wedding .... I know, it's a toss up who is going to have more fun...

After the West Lake, they are going to tour a Tea Plantation. DARN! Why didn't I tell her to buy me some tea???

They are staying in Hangzhou for 2 days, where on Sunday they get to tour a silk factory and the Gouzhuan. (Anyone know what that is?)

a word from China

My world traveller emailed today... sounds like she is having a blast.

Hello family! I am in CHINA! it has been sooo much fun here- I have soo many pictures to show you. It has been a huge culture shock! It is sooo different here. The people are everywhere! Yesterday I saw the pandas -- fun! and had a duck dinner. Oh yeah the FOOD. Um its definently different. It really hard to get use to- really weird nothing like chinese at HOME! Very foreign. And its hard to eat with chop stick all the time-- ! It kinda reminds me of mexico in a way here but totally different. There are rural slums in the middle of the city. OYhh our hotel is AMAZING! we have robes and slippers and really nice! i took picture- we have a phone in the bathroom and the shower is glass! so thats fun. Well i dont have much more time- Im paying per minute so i gotta go i love you all and miss you!! Cant wait to show you the pics


She is going tomorrow to to the Great Wall and to tour a jade factory.
I keep kicki…


Emily (age 7) borrowed my digital camera. Crack me up!!! She took over 150 pics... these are some of the best.... she said she's going to be a "tographer" when she grows up.


As I type and get ready to go to bed, my oldest daughter is eating lunch after touring the Imperial Palace in Beijing, China.....

After her lunch, she will go to Tian Anmen Square and the Beijing Zoo to see the Pandas...

After her trip to the zoo, she will finish the evening off with a Duck Dinner.
At that point, my guess is she'll resort to the saltines and peanut butter we packed in her suitcase two days ago... :)

Miss you Haleigh, have an incredible time!!!

Things that made me smile today

Somedays I go through life and don't really appreciate the things that make me smile... so today, I decided to take notice of them.

1. A hot shower. There is something wierd and messed up with our crazy water heater. So, it's like winning the lottery if you are the one who gets to take a hot shower. I won the lottery this morning!

2. My garage sale purchase. I bought four brown pillows at a garage sale today for a buck. They match my house great! I love a good buy at a garage sale.

3. coffee. Of course. But, I must say that I might be able to admit that I make pretty close to the best coffee in town. Since we have no starbucks in our city, I'm pretty sure I would win that. A good pot of coffee just makes me happy!

4. my new umbrella. It was raining today so I had to run to Wal-mart and buy an umbrella so I didn't get wet. My old one was broken and had to be trashed. My new one - $3.96. And it is awesome!

5. 3:00 - that's what time I get off work. 3:00 alw…