Tuesday, July 25, 2006


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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 get to the big city, I'm going to search for wheat germ oil to do the real deal.

Monday, July 24, 2006

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 over it to make it even more scrumptious than it already is. She couldn't find any chocolate topping so she had to skip that part.

While I was searching for the karo syrup, I found three containers of chocolate ice cream topping... and four bottles of vinegar scattered throughout the kitchen.

Just thought I'd share that. I know - it doesn't matter to you. But, maybe I could use my blog as my personal grocery checklist since nobody reads it anymore.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

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!

Monday, July 17, 2006

LOST

LOST

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.  

Friday, July 14, 2006

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.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

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....

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

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 them. There is a profound difference between a healthy ego and an arrogant attitude. The Christian musician is always struggling to maintain this healthy ego and confidence without being arrogant. The goal is to be intoxicated with Christ, not intoxicated with praise from others and desiring self-gratification. It's a clear line. But, Christian musicians who desire to glorify God are always checking their attitude and spirit to be sure that they are right with God staying focused on God - and not on their own ability and gifts and talents. I know. I am one.

This Sunday, our family is doing worship at our family reunion church service.
6 musicians.
5 of them female.
4 of them sisters.

Practicing has been a challenge to say the least. a swarm of bees comes to mind.
I raised a bunch of leaders. And for leaders to ALL lead at the same time, well, lets just say we can go in too many directions.

And yet, as I think about it, I know that if we can all focus on WHO we are representing and if we can lay aside our own egos, and allow God to mold us, what a powerful witness it can be.

As I sat behind the controls of the sound system and watched them practice to lead worship for the One True God, I was humbled by His love for us. He has given our girls such incredible gifts and talents. To be used for Him.

Faithful Father I surrended
All to you
All my love and my devotion
All to you.

Tears streamed down my face as I recognized the beauty of what the Lord is doing and working in each one of my girls. Some of the songs were challenging and difficult. But, when they pulled it together and worked together. Amazing.

I pray earnestly that God would step in and make it all worth it. That He would take us, each as a vital part of this family, and each as a vital part of the Body of Christ, and mold us into one unit with one purpose. To see Christ Glorified.

Why do I worry?
Why do I worry about tomorrow?
You are the One who
Holds the Future
In Your hands.

We are learning so much.

Yes, I have a family of leaders. Yet, to become a great leader, God is beginning to show them how to be a great follower.

It is my prayer that we would be led by the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

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.
Blogged.

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.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

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, it was a super duper sale.

I don't camp. I never have. I know... what does a woman who doesn't camp want a tent for? Well, HELLO, how can I camp if I don't even have a tent????

So, we got supplies to go camping.

1 tent
2 pots
4 MREs (yeah, that was just a fun thing... not nearly enough to feed this family of 6!)
1 pie iron
and most importantly...
1 java press -- cuz I am convinced I can do ANYTHING as long as I have coffee.

yes, even camp.

Next weekend is the big family reunion.
40th anniversary of Shawn's great grandparents reunion.
Family from all over. We're talking major plans.... family talent show, bonfire, breakfast, even a family church service. They've been making plans for a long long long time.

And we --- are going to --- camp. (gulp!)

So, the girls and I resorted to retail therapy

Friday, July 07, 2006

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 attack as you watch.

I'm somewhat of a safe freak. I admit it. If there were a twelve step program for women who are nuts about being safe, I could join. "Normally" --- I write that in quotes because I really don't think we have a normal in our family --- we do the sparklers with my safety equipment. Give the rules about where to hold the sparklers (OUT and AWAY), ONE at a time, sometimes TWO if you show you are worthy, bucket of WATER near to put ALL extinquished sparklers in as soon as finished, and only those over 12 can dance and sparkle at the same time.

This year, I threw caution to the wind. I didn't take a bucket of water. I was tired. And lazy. And stupid. I momentarily lapsed on any thinking through. Besides, we have these new unknown sparklers that we've never used before. We should be fine.

insane.

So, we are at our new house (yes, it's insured). We gave a sparkler to the girls and lit them up. Good grief. The thing didn't act like a normal sparkler. It wasn't wire, it was WOOD, so the whole thing flamed up. Then, about 10 seconds into the "sparkling", the thing stopped and turned into a temporary torch, then it started spitting in all different directions, and broke off midway while the embers were still glowing. WHAT THE?????

So, smart pyroman had a great idea. Let's do 4 or 5 at a time. You guys can watch. From behind me. And just when it changes from a sparkle to the wood and flames up, you know, when the embers start flying on my arm because I have 5 of them, I will swing them back at fling them toward you.

14 year old in cast panics and dances around. She thinks there is an ember in her cast. I have no water. My mind says no you can't put water on the cast anyway. Yeah, but if it's burning you can. But, you have no water anyway.

A few minutes later,... she realizes it's okay. It either burned out or didn't really happen I guess. I want to go home, and forget the neurotic sparklers. They want to do them. So, deciding that I'm on the verge of a sparkler breakdown, I retreat to the van to wait so if they burn up everything and themselves, I don't have to watch.

I look over at them, and see Emily with her long bushy hair dancing around with sparklers spitting all over the place and I envision them landing on her hair and starting a fire. So, I decided I was the only safe one here, and I walked over toward them so I could extinguish the fire with dirt if it happened. I found a ponytail tie in the van and put it on her long hair, and sat back with dirt in hand.

I'm not buying sparklers next year. I'm too old. and neurotic.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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.

serves/makes 4