Showing posts from 2009

New Years Resolutions I Will Not Keep

I have spent most of the morning attempting to think of some profound thing to say to end the year. Something deep and meaningful.... so I looked back at the blog entries from the year... all 81 of them.

I wondered if I should make some New Years Resolutions that I won't keep. I know I won't. I have no intention of keeping them. But, I can at least state some things I would definitely LIKE to do... and some things that I am definitely interested in starting.

1. Blog more often. 81 entries (wait...this makes 82) ends up averaging not even 2 a week. Downright shameful.

2. Take more photos. I have a great camera that I need to use. I thought about attempting to take a photo a day for an entire year, but I'm pretty sure I would fail... so I'll just say I'd LIKE to do it, but have no intention of following through.

3. Do my devotions every. single. day. I started the spring of 2009 very intentional... spending quality time with God every single day. But, for some …


December has been a busy month for us. Here it is 2 days before Christmas and I realized I haven't blogged since November 18. Lots of bloggers take blogging breaks.... this one wasn't on purpose by any means. We've just been busy.

Today, as I write this, my heart is heavy. Shawn's mom is in the hospital in pretty fragile condition. She had a pacemaker put in today as her heart doesn't want to cooperate with her at all. She's been in the hospital for a little over a week and they are still working on figuring out exactly the best treatment for her. She had a spinal tap today as well, as the neurologist saw something and wants to figure out what it is. So, my sisters in law and my brother in law are staying with us as my dad in law hangs out in the hospital this Christmas with Marge.

Our second oldest daughter, Lindsey, moved back home. We've enjoyed having her home... cooking supper, cleaning while we're at work, running the kids around to places…


I started a new job about a month ago. I really like it. Mostly because I love the people I work with. I find myself wondering sometimes if I would like the job if it weren't for my co-workers. I might. But isn't it funny how working with people you LOVE makes anything seem better? I could do some horrible horrible things... as long as it was with great people.

Anyway, part of my job is hiring "temps" from a temp agency to complete a project we have going on. I call them all "Ryan" from the beginning until I learn their name. Not out loud. Just in my head. (If you have seen the Office, you understand that... if not, I'm not going to explain. sorry.)

Temps are a funny breed actually. They have some advantages over permanent employees.
For one, they won't be around to clean up their messes.
I also often wonder if they try on new and different personalities at each new job site.
They only really get involved in "temp" issues.

In the pa…

Second post of the month

Aren't you impressed? I am actually managing to post two times in one month.

My last post was about the random thoughts that I think when I think. (yes, that sentence does too make sense! Reread it.)

I read that last post and the comments and decided to talk some more about my dreams when I am awake. I know... some people call them daydreams. But, I think they are night dreams because I usually do it at night... to make myself fall asleep. My version of counting sheep.

I'm really not a very imaginative person. I think I have to really be focused to dream up stories to tell.... that's why dreaming up things when I'm trying to go to sleep is the perfect time for me. I can be fully focused on the day dream at night. Plus, I have this theory that if I start a scenario while I am awake... I am thinking about it when I fall asleep... and I can continue the fun journey into my real sleep... and hence, control my own dreams. ;) No, I'm not a control freak.

Some of the …


Considering the fact that I haven't posted on this blog since the middle of October, I realize this may very well be the only post I write in November. So, I feel like it should be super meaningful and utterly profound.

However, that is rarely the case with me lately. I can think of nothing profound and nothing meaningful. Oh, yes, I heard a great sermon, I've had some fantastic discussions, I've listened to some amazing podcasts lately. But, when I stop... and breathe... and actually THINK. It's usually about the following things... don't judge me.

1. The last time I got my hair colored, I couldn't even tell. I'm wondering how bold a 41 year old can go without looking foolish....
2. To get to sleep at night, I often make up "dreams" in my mind. Sometimes it's how I would spend a million dollars in the lottery.... lately, I've been taking trips to France and then riding the train around to all the beautiful places in Europe that I'…

it's over

This week, as the temperatures plummeted to freezing, I realized it's over (the growing season). The night before our first frost I ventured to the garden to attempt to get anything and everything I possibly could (not much).

I did manage to salvage about two dozen tomatoes, not ripe yet. So, I put them in the window and let them ripen off the vine.

Today, I decided I'd better do something with them and it is going to be tomato juice! My mom visited last week from sunny Arizona and brought her tomato juice recipe for me, so that's what I'm doing.

Unfortunately, 20 tomatoes doesn't get me a lot of juice. So, instead of canning it, I decided I'd just make chili or goulash for supper tonight. Seems like a lot of work... but I refuse to let anything from my garden go to waste.

This was a good year for some things: spinach, swiss chard, potatoes, lettuce - cool season crops did so well.

Bad year for: tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins - it was just too cold.

Next week it i…


Fortune cookies from two weeks ago:

Tina's: Traveling to the south will bring you unexpected happiness.

Shawn's: Modify your thinking to handle new situations.

This week, I started a new job and I drive 25 minutes (yes you guessed it south) each morning. My man is having a difficult time with this new schedule... maybe he just needs to modify his thinking. ;)


Chrysanthemama is having a fun contest and I hope I win! I love Starbucks coffee... you should check it out on her site here.

I commented about how much I love fall on her site.... so I thought I'd say a bit more.

I love fall.

Love it.

Love Love Love it.

I love the sights of fall: one of the things I am most excited about this year is my awesome pumpkins from our garden. We have about a dozen of them all over the place.. and they are so. cute.

I also love fall food: I can't wait for my first opportunity to settle in for a cool evening with hot soup and some hard crusted bread, followed up by a pan of pumpkin bars oozing with cream cheese frosting and hot coffee with vanilla caramel creamer. mmm mmm good.

And the smell... the cool crisp breeze and fresh air in fall. I love it.

Looking forward to a couple months of my favorite season of all.

all day drive

Shawn and I took the day off today from everything and went for a drive. The seasons are changing and the midwest landscape is starting to show it.
It was a beautiful day. A great time with a great guy.

Random Dozen Meme

Linda, over at 2nd Cup of Coffee, made up a meme. Good job Linda! Here are my answers:

1. Which is worse: a long, boring meeting or standing in a return/exchange line after Christmas?
I have to go with the line. A long boring meeting can always be made fun, especially if the long, boring meeting allows you to "take notes" on your laptop. ;)
2. Except for maybe Rosie O'Donnell or Ann Coulter, nobody likes confrontation, yet we all have to deal with it. When you feel cornered and defensive, do you "bite back" or become passive aggressive?
It depends on who is doing the confronting. Some people I will "bite back". Others, I will become passive agressive. I deal with friction from various sources differently. However, on all matters of things I love (like coffee, sunflower seeds, my kids,... I will most likely rip you to shreds in defensiveness).
3. Do you know anything about your genealogical background? (What country, culture, ties to prominent historical fi…


"Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory"


No, silly, we're not moving.  That would require loads and loads of work.  And I'm not doing that.It's crazy.  This week, 3 of my friends are moving. Yes, 3. All at one time.  We committed to helping the first one that announced so we're on for that one.  The others get our sympathy and support... but not our physical presence. Mary and Paul are moving into a new home.  They've rented for a long long time and we're super excited for them to be homeowners.  This week we've spent some long hours getting the new place ready for tomorrows moving day.  Bill and Natalie are moving to Arkansas.  There is something about Arkansas that keeps drawing our friends there. God is doing great things in their lives and we're excited for them to move to their next steps with Christ.Tom and Patti are moving to Kentucky. They can't believe it either.  And when I sang "We're going to Kentucky we're going to the fair..." song to her yesterday at coffee…

free smoothie

Last night, we went to church and before we went home we hit Taco Bell for a free one of these.

I know... it says "Valid only in the Greater Phoenix Area". Now.

But, yesterday, it didn't. And yesterday was the day I printed mine!

So, we got them. mmmmm hmmmmm. we did.

If you really want to get in on some good deals, I highly recommend subscribing to on your bloglines. You'll get the daily updates for all the great deals. It's worth it.

strange dreams

Been having some strange dreams lately.

Last night, I dreamt that all my tomatoes were ripe, so I picked them until the plants were bare. Then, in my dream, I experienced a strange sadness... because I didn't have any tomatoes to look forward to any longer.

I was thinking this morning maybe I should go out and check those tomatoes just to make sure they are not ripe yet.

Instead, I sat and watched the cat play with a strange caterpillar that had found its way into the house ... for about a half hour.

Just enjoying the simple things in life. It really doesn't get any less complicated than this.

September in the Garden

Today is September 1. I just can hardly believe it. It doesn't seem like it should be September already.
I thought I'd better make a list of things I have to get done in the garden before September gives way to October.

1. weed. - yes, I'm still doing that.
2. cut back all the perennials that are finished blooming - not many here yet. We're starting though!
3. get those tomatoes to ripen! Do you suppose I could do a cheer for them? Soon enough I will resort to ripening inside.
4. turn the compost
5. plant spring bulbs
6. plant garlic (this can actually wait until next month)
7. begin saving and drying zinnia and marigold seeds
8. watch for frost! BRR!! I just can't bear to think of it!

Best CD in the world

Just thought I'd put a plug in for my daughter's worship band who just released their first CD.
Check it out at and buy the CD! It's only 10 bucks! What a deal!

corn, carrots, and crazy

First... Garden update:
Today is Tuesday, August 25 and this is what the garden is doing...
1. Overload on carrots. I discovered even though I THOUGHT I was thinning them out, I still didn't do it enough. I have a BUNCH of itty bitty carrots.... some big ones. But, all in all, they are just small due to the overcrowdedness.

2. Broccoli got some worms - luckily this was after we harvested the main heads and while I was COOKING the side shoots I had taken off, I discovered the littley measly creeps.... ew. That was gross.

3. Cauliflower - very interesting purple stuff. I may try this another year, but probably not next. Just too wierd and not as flavorful as I want....'s a lot of maintenance, which I am not about.

4. Beans are done. Beans Beans Beans. I like them...but will def not plant more than one package next year.

5. Green Peppers - TONS! Love em! Froze em! Ate em! Now we're waiting for the little ones to get big again... I should have about 15 or so more be…

First Day of School 2009 - Senior Year and 5th Grade

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vacation and the "wedding"

I can NOT believe it is August.  NOT.  Where has the summer gone?School starts in a mere 2 days.  And I don't know what happened to July.  So, I went through my photos and discovered a few things...We took a vacation... and this was the navigator....Where did we go? We went on some walks... to some really cool places...caught some bugs...some wild swimming....visited a very unique church....what do you do with 7 kids in a unique church visit?  play "wedding"!the nervous groom....the blushing bride... the ceremony...the Reverend is in the center... the Ring... ;)I know pronounce you... uh... you can hug the bride....

this week

The countdown is on... three more days of summer vacation. School starts on Thursday. I have Wednesday off and want to spend one day doing something fun with the girls... even if it's just hanging out at home playing games.

Every year about school time, the weeks begin to pile and pile and pile with things. So, I'm bracing myself for the schedule.

Monday - I have to get into the garden tonight... I haven't stepped foot in there for days and it is surely time to harvest something! Nephew's 17th birthday. Note to self: get a card.

Tuesday - Natalie's Birthday (Happy Birthday Natalie!) - good excuse to go out for lunch eh?

Wednesday - open house to tour the school and church kids music night - Em's first performance with the worship team. - this is the day to do something - anything - fun

Thursday - school starts (I do love my kids, but it is almost as if there are little fireworks that will explode at 8:25am on this day)

Then, next week... it's choir parent …

the weekend

I'm really looking forward to our weekend.

We are going to a wedding of a friend of the family... a sweet young man who is marrying his sweetheart.

All of the girls have made it home and we're all going, which is something that never happens except for maybe Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Then, we're heading to a hotel and a little shopping on Sunday.... just a short weekend getaway with lovely friends.

I am so excited for Gabriel and Naomi.... my greatest memories of Gabe are of him doing a Julia Childs video in my kitchen... a little Brittney Spears dance.... some awesome Napoleon Dynomite moves... oh I SO hope he does his Napoleon dance at the wedding reception. I might have to make a special request!!

Congratulations Gabe and Naomi! August is a fabulous month to get married! We can't wait to celebrate with you!

21 years

Dear Shawn,
I still do.


Just stopping in to say that I need a Napoleon Dynamite day soon. very very soon.

A day that I can do "whatever I feel like I wanna do! Gosh!!"


My Mother in Law is recovering from her surgery in the hospital. It's a slow recovery. She has MS and it seems that nothing is normal with MS patients.... so please continue to pray for her.

Today, I spent the stormy day at home trying to catch up on some overdue things...

1. froze 16 quarts of super sweet corn.
2. baked 6 loaves of chocolate zuchini bread. See recipe below... This is the best invention since hocolate cake. I'll never make regular zuchini bread again. ever.
3. made homemade salsa with the peppers, tomatoes, and cilantro from the garden.
4. harvested 3 heads of cauliflower - they were starting to get overripe... not good.
5. cleaned the bag of carrots I pulled a few days ago - have I mentioned that carrots are a pain to clean? If I have, it really deserves repeating.
6. tried my hand at homemade pablos chicken quesadillas... this local restaurant closed down and I LOVED the way they made their quesadillas with veggies... so I tried my hand at it.. and I think the…


Today I am meditating on this:

Proverbs 20:4 The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?


It's been a quiet week. My mother in law is in the hospital under some pretty serious health concerns. I would appreciate your prayers. She needs surgery... but has pneumonia in her lung. The pneumonia needs to clear up before she can have the surgery.

We're all concerned for her and praying for her health.
I've been feeling a bit under the weather lately... it started with a small, teensy tiny scratchy throat... and exploded in a couple of days to a full on headache, plugged ears, stuffy nose, itchy eyes, deathly sore throat, coughing, aching, fever, so you can't sleep virus.

But, I'm happy to announce...that today, I'm starting to feel better. After two nights of mucinex, tylenol PM, advil liquigels, and Vitamin C - its beginning to subside.

Now about the house and garden that has been neglected all week.... I'll get to that eventually this weekend.

This morning, I looked out my window from the kitchen table and I think - think - think - eyes please do not deceive me - that I see some red things around the tomato plants. See here's the deal.... Earlier this week, I went out to the garden and saw that the tomato plants had a few green tomatoes on them... green green green. But, the lower section of the plants were buried with dying leaves from blight and septoria…


This morning as I was reading my Bible, I was thinking about what Jesus said in John 12:24 that " I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives".

So many many things went through my mind as I read and pondered about what the Lord said here. It started, of course, with my garden. The many seeds that I planted a few months ago... dead things really... now a plentiful harvest... or soon to be. It's a miracle really how a seed can produce such incredible things.

I thought about Jesus' death.... and how His death produced an amazing harvest of souls who will never have to taste spiritual death should they choose to walk with Him.

Then, I thought about all the friends of mine - myself included - who have gone through some wild and crazy changes in life this past year. The seeds of yesterday dried up before them... and planted in a new world, a n…

We're back...

We're back from vacation and it was a great time.

1. I washed my hair after just 3 days. Couldn't take it. But, you'll be proud to know that I haven't combed or brushed it yet. I really did quit that.

2. We visited a waterfall and a glass church. It was all pretty cool. But, the best part was spending time with the friends we adore. Miss you guys already!!

3. When I got back, the Japanese beetles moved in to the garden and munched on my plants! I decided to wage war with pesticide. I'm gaining ground.

4. Having a bra party next week and you're all ---- should I clarify women only --- invited. (not you Nate)

5. Returned from vacation at 90 degree weather to 60 degrees! In the evening it's even been below 50!!! Happy to report that this week should be in the 70s most of the week.

6. Harvested tons of green beans and my very FIRST RED TOMATO of the season!! We ate it faster than my camera or I'd have a photo to share with you!

That's all for now.


Summer of 2009 will forever be known as the year she began to learn to play the clarinet. She's the fourth daughter to fall in line with band the summer before 5th grade. The oldest played percussion for 2 years. The second one played flute for 5 years. The third played saxophone for 1 year.

the day I quit washing and combing my hair

Today is the day.  It is so rainy and yukky out that I give up.  My entire life I have wanted to NOT have curly hair.  So, I attempt to straighten it and make it look decent and manageable most days.  If I try to wash and/or comb my hair on any type of humid wet or otherwise somewhat unfavorable day, it does what it wants.  So, today, I quit.As of today, I will not wash my hair.... we're headed south for a week of vacation and I am determined to come back with dreadlocks.  By the way, I wore green for this picture in honor of the first cucumbers I picked from my garden today!!! WHOO HOO!Technorati Tags:

Now this is summer!



I harvested peas. All of them. Yep. Every. single. one. And here they are. 1 cup.


Although I do think it would make a beautiful girls name, Septoria is not my friend. I do not like her. July is the month to watch for pests and diseases in the garden and our first culprit is Septoria Leaf Spot on my tomatoes.

Septoria is one of the common fungal diseases in tomatoes. The other being blight. They usually become more severe after blossom set and develop on the older leaves or the ones near the ground first. Although the rainy weather we have been enjoying is great for watering the garden, it is also great for these kinds of diseases. Although they can... they don't usually kill the plants. But, disease significantly decreases the production of fruit.
My method of control: Daconil. Although pesticides are controversial among gardeners, I guess I prefer the prescriptive route rather than taking my chances. So, today begins the Daconil treatments. Every week for a month, I will apply Daconil to my tomato plants to get rid of good old Septoria. As a side note, Daconil a…


Nearly two months ago, Shawn & I went away for a week on a business trip. While we were gone, something happened to our tv and it doesn't work anymore. It might be an easy fix or a simple antenna adjustment, but we haven't tried.

It dawned on me this morning that it has been nearly two months since I've heard the babbling of a television set... and I don't miss it. This isn't the first time we have gone without a tv, and each time we do this, I realize how much of our lives are missed as we sit in a trance in front of the little square box in the living room. How many robins songs are drowned out by the news in the morning. How many chickadees I miss as I wait for the today show. How many shaped clouds are unseen as my eyes are glued to the obama whitehouse news.

This morning I wondered what must God think of me? The time and effort He pours into His Creation... the beauty and majesty of the God of the Universe... the amazing intricate designs of the Almigh…

Father's Day

I have a feeling I might have some girls mad about me posting this breakfast-early-morning-I'm-Not-Ready-For-The-Day-picture on my blog.  Hat: compliments of 10 year old and made especially for the dayTie: Made multiple years ago by the three older ones... the official Father's
Day tieHomemade gifts, memories, 4 beautiful daughters, some mean steaks, and a new cart = I great weekend for a great dad.Technorati Tags: ,

this weekend

This weekend we ...

* mowed 2 acres of grass
* weeded the garden (minus the corn and pumpkins, we're not talking about them)
* attended church outdoors in the blustery wind (but it was a great service about Joseph)
* found a new home for the screens in our garage (a rack built by shawn)
* washed and waxed the car inside and out (then promptly went out and drove on a gravel road)
* took the mound of recycling to the recycle center
* layed in the sun
* sat in the hot tub
* grilled pork chops twice
* finished the laundry
* put up some string for the peas to climb on
* built a couple fences to control the pumpkins (I don't think there is any controlling to them)
* harvested the last of the spinach.
* harvested cilantro, basil, thyme, onions, lettuce
* decided the iceberg lettuce is just decoration and not edible.
* took a nap
* read a book

We need a few more productive weekends like this one.


I am truly amazed at gardens.... that it can go from this...(note: please ignore the weeds.... )to just a few weeks.TomatoescarrotsbeansBrassicasOn the days it hasn't rained, I've been pretty faithful to water.I heard a seasoned vegetable gardener say "it's going to be a great year for potatoes!"  I can't wait.  Even though this is my first year of a big garden, I already know a few of my mistakes.18 pumpkin seeds = 18 pumpkin plants = 1 big mess of pumpkin vines.  Why didn't I read a little more on this before I planted?Not NEARLY enough onions.  We could eat these things every day. And we do.  Therefore, I am not sure how many of them are going to make it to maturity.  So, a couple days ago, I planted more... just in case.Corn takes up a bit of space.  And 1 stalk = 1 ear of corn.  We might get enough for 3 meals if we're lucky.  AND... when large winds come, this is what happens to corn.The plants on the left are some sunflowers badly in…