Sunday, November 30, 2008
Pillars of the Earth and World Without End by Ken Follett (historical fiction)
Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (memoir)
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah (memoir)
Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen (fiction)
The Lady Elizabeth and Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir (historically accurate fiction)
The Shack by David Gregory (novel)
Escape by Carolyn Jessop (non-fiction about the FLDS)
Here's what we've been doing! We got the tree up...Cole did all the ornaments . He did a pretty good job, too! Except he missed one box, so I did that one later. It looks sweet and cozy! I want to get the boys ornaments in their stockings this year. I saw the musical ones at Hallmark...they sing Hippopotamus for Christmas and the Chicken Dance. I'd have to think of a third one for Cole though. They also have a Bad to the Bone...maybe that would work!
I made these Peanut Butter Cup Cookies tonight (recipe is from the current Taste of Home issue, I'll post it if anyone wants it). Why? I love chocolate and peanut butter. I'm anxious to get started on my holiday baking. Why not?! Haven't tasted them yet, but they look yummy!
Happy Holiday Season!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Attitude. It’s the thing that can make or break your day!
Beauty. Like Libby says, “finding it in the ordinary and the extraordinary”
Cory. Of course. I married the best guy on Earth.
Doughnuts. Shouldn’t probably admit that.
Ellen. Now that woman has good energy.
Forgiveness. Boy, I’m thankful I get a chance to redeem myself.
Gas prices. $1.59 at Holiday today! Can it sustain?
Holidays. I love the chaos.
Imperfection. Admitting you’re weak makes you stronger.
Jobs. Grateful for both Cory and I having work!
Kids. Cole, Matty and Jack…I love being a mom to boys.
Love. I know it seems overused, but it is the most important thing.
Mom. Both my mom and my mother-in-law are invaluable to me.
Newborns. For those who are waiting for one, my prayers are with you.
Others. Do to them as you’d have them do to you!
People. I am fascinated by people and am touched by so many.
Questions. What a better way to learn?
Rest. I’m thankful for quiet time and good nights’ sleeps.
Sunshine. Good ol’ Vitamin D.
Travel. I have so many places I want to visit!
Umbrellas. If you want to see a rainbow, you gotta stand a little rain!
Vacation. Praying we have one soon.
Water. It’s a luxury for some; important to not take it for granted.
eXcitement. I have much in my life.
Yesterday. May I take away many lessons.
Zealous. Be it in all things important!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I bought these curtains for the world's best mother-in-law, Sherry. I have lived in this house for three years and I never had window treatments on my front window. That window faces the cul-de-sac. None of our neighbors have a direct view into our house, and it has never bothered me to be 'exposed.' (Besides, I am very close with our neighbors and I could care less if they see us in here at night) It has, however, bothered Sherry! She grew up in a home where it was her job to shut the shades at night and she does the same in her own house. She's on a through-street though where there are lots of passerby's. Anyway, she emailed me last week that LNT had all window treatments 40% off since they're going out of business.
And I must say, I really love them. (Although we'll have to replace the curtain rod...this was the only one they had left big enough for my window and it's not strong enough). It makes the room cozier. But I suspect I'll never close them. Except when my mother-in-law is visiting.
What are your plans?
Friday, November 21, 2008
You can't be a beacon if your light don't shine
You can't be a beacon if your light don't shine
There's a little light in all of us by God's design
But you can't be a beacon if your light don't shine.
How can you ask for truth when you do not truthful live?
How can you ask forgiveness when you don't forgive?
Now I don't mean to bring you down or speak to you unkind
But you can't be a beacon if your light don't shine
How can you ask a child to be honest and true
When he can only judge what's right by what he sees in you?
How can you offer vision yet walk around blind...
No, you can't be a beacon if your light don't shine.
May God's love surround you
May you find a brighter day
May He grant you the peace you seek in every way
God's light burns in each life...yours and mine
And you can be a beacon if you'll just let it shine!
Click here to see a video of this song on Youtube. I did not put together this compliation, but I think it's lovely. Do yourself a favor and check it out!
Wishing you a great weekend!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I spent the last two hours figuring how to upload a video. I have 13 hours of video since Matthew was born, and this is the first one I've cared enough to figure out how to share. Hold that. There is another one I'm going to dig out from Cole's last birthday and upload that, too...it's hysterical. In the meantime, enjoy this one.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
YAY! Peg (Penny-no-e) took my advice and started her own blog. It promises to be great fun, because if you read my feature about her, I already said she's hysterical. Click below to check it out; welcome to the blog world, Penny!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Here is my Penney. She's pictured here with her darling girl Grace at our Easter Egg dying party last spring. Penney and I have a lot in common. We both grew up in large families (but I'm at the older end and she's the baby), our husbands are on the fire department together and we have three year olds (Grace and Matthew) and one year olds (Jack and Joey). We've spent a lot of time together the past four years because we have similar ideals and values and we started the parenthood journey together. It's a friendship of convenience (all those pregnant mornings at my house, huh, Penney?) and great love. Meet Penney.
This is my Penny. Not even sure why I call her that because her name is actually Peggy. Well, she calls me Lenny, so I'm sure it's some silly rhyming thing. She and I have known each other our whole lives, but became good friends after high school. We lived in Arizona together (she's pictured by "the ol' tercel" she drove so loyally for so many years) so we bonded then, and she's one of the most amazing people you'll ever meet. You will never be in a room with her and not laugh. We have a whole host of inside jokes and really stupid stories (I'm sorry for those that get published here). She has stood by me through everything in my life and I love her more than she probably even knows. Meet Penny.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Hot Artichoke Dip
1/2 c mayo
1/2 c sour cream
1 14oz can artichoke hearts, drained (small or quartered...oh, and in water, not oil)
1 c parmesan cheese
2 c mozz cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
Mix all together.
Bake at 400 for 20 mins (I usually keep it in a few minutes longer because I like when the edges get brown...)
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies (If you like oatmeal raisin cookies - Penney ;) - you must try this recipe!)
Let me know if you make them and what you think...
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
We had family pictures taken a couple weeks ago. My friend Jen is crazy talented and took these pictures. I realize you can't see them clearly, but hopefully you'll all find your way to my house to see them on the wall someday...
One time after I moved back to MN, I went down to AZ to visit her. Shannon worked nights so her room was dark as pitch. I'm pretty sure she filled those windows with something. (Oh, well, her security deposit.) I went to bed earlier than she did one night. When she came in the room, I woke up and guess I had to pee. But I couldn't even see my hand in front of my face. Anyway, I was pretty sure I knew where the bathroom was so I headed that direction. No lie, I was confident enough that I didn't even have my arms outstretched looking for the walls. THen BOOM! Crack full-figure into the wall. I remember my face even touching it. LOL! She asked me what I was doing through her giggles and I said, "I can't find the bathroom." No snicker, no smile. I was sleepy. Boy, I've been laughing about that all day again!
It was about midnight and Jack was crying. Cory heard him (I was ignorning him), but clearly wasn't very awake. Our conversation:
Cory: What's that?!
Cory: Where is he?!
Me: In his crib.
Cory: In HERE?!
Me: No, in his room.
Cory: Which is...?
Me: Across the hall.
He got up, put Jack back down and then came back to bed. Enroute he tripped on something at the end of the bed. It was really loud. Even though I know it hurt him, I couldn't help but laugh. Between that and the previous conversation, I was hysterical. And I think it's even funnier this morning.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
1. Read Audacity of Hope. Obama wrote it while he was in the US Senate, but before he announced he would run for president. I had to skip the first chapter, it was WAY over my head. He's a very intelligent man. The first chapter is about the history of politics, and I didn't understand most of it. The rest of it is brilliant. He talks about the challenges he sees in America and why we can still have hope.
2. Don't read email smears. Period. I usually defer to www.snopes.com and www.factcheck.org to debunk rumors. They are both non-partisan sites that break down what is said and reveal the truth.
3. Pick up a US News and World Report, TIME, or NEWSWEEK once a week. At first the information might seem overwhelming, but as you learn more about it, it will become more familiar. It's important to keep up on current events now more than ever. I am NO expert, but I have learned a lot since I balanced out my US Weekly subscription with my NEWSWEEK subscription (blush).
4. Check peoples' facts. How many of my friends have been annoyed with me when I've said, "Oh, yeah? Where did you hear that?" I'm a stickler for backing up your argument. If you hear something that sounds hokey, it probably is. And I likely won't make an argument with you, either, without being able to cite my source.
Any other good ideas, friends...a lot of intelligent people out there!
1. My faith in God as my Father and Jesus Christ as my Savior remains strong. I've learned more in my life when I'm challenged than any other time. To my anonymous poster, thank you (I guess) for that (but my rules still stands: anonymous posts will from here forward be removed!). I am proud to be serving my Lord, and will defend it whenever necessary. It's interesting. For about two hours yesterday afternoon I genuinely didn't know what to do. I was upset and angry. Cory and I took the boys for a walk - he thought I should just take the whole post down. I realized that I had two choices: back down (turn the other cheek) or stand up for what I believe in. I talked to my sister on the phone and as I breathed the cool fall air, I said a prayer to God that he'd send me an answer. Send me a friend. And I just knew truth would prevail. People rallied around me. You saw the posts. And I got emails. And I got phone calls. People who would never enter blogosphere came to check out the action (oh, and how many of you are out there lurking!?). I had such amazing peace by the end of the day. I quoted Obama from a few days ago last night when I told a friend I felt like I had "a righteous wind at my back." That is what the spirit feels like.
2. Call for action. We cannot sit and expect the world to change. Several of you ("What can I do? Can I start now?!") talked about DOING something to make the world better. Go out there and counsel people who are in unwanted pregnancies. Talk to people about the love of Jesus. Go and DO. It's so easy to sit around and talk about everything we want to see, but I think Katie posted Ghandi on her site earlier this week and said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." It's fun to say, but more important to do. Thanks to those posters who gave specific ideas of how to do that.
3. As you know, my mystery poster thought I shouldn't need anyone to back me up since I was so sure of myself. Here's the thing: we all need support. All the time. No one likes to feel like a lone soldier against an army of people. No one likes to feel like they're alone. So to those of you who commented, even (or especially) those with differing opinions, I thank you.
4. We are all very different people. We are going to have conflicting opinions, but I think that's okay. Better than okay, maybe. I hope we'll continue to learn from each other and challenge each other to think bigger. That post will remain open. Feel free to add to it as you see fit, but be nice.
Bits and pieces, right?
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I am FAR from perfect. Last year when I thought I might have to get a "real" job and the anxiety of the real estate market worried me so much, I literally had to stop myself every 15 minutes during the day to remind myself to be faithful. It was a very literal process. I'd stop mid-stride, take a deep prayer, ask God for faith, and then press on. 15 minutes later, I'd feel my blood pressure rise and start all over. I figured God was exasperated. "Seriously, already worried AGAIN?! I said I got it!" Overall, I had my best real estate year to date. In this market. God is good!
I just keep leaning to scripture for guidance on this issue and thought this quote was worth sharing. As I feel all of the worry and fear around me, I thought it might bring comfort. It has brought me immense solace in my life:
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" (Matthew 6:25-27)