Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Mornings

I don't know about you, but I think it's really hard to take a two-year-old to church. (Well, an almost-two-year-old.) He yells for the sake of yelling, runs through the pews, won't sit on my lap or near me, comments (loudly) on everything he sees...sigh.

So there I am, near the front of the church, in the almost-same pew I've sat in for the past eight years. Sure, I could move towards the back, or outside the sanctuary. But I am, to a fault, a creature of habit. I like that pew. The same familiar faces surround me (see, they're creatures of habit too), and there I am comfortable. Except for my extremely loud two-year-old.

So, after Matty went to Sunday School and it was clear that Jack wasn't going to be quiet (how is it possible for him to yell with my hand over his mouth?!), we took to the benches just outside the santcuary. Which, in retrospect, would have been a good place to start too, were I not forced to the front by habit. And love of that pew. Outside of yelling at another two-year-old when she tried to touch his book (gasp!), he did fine there. Because he could talk and carry on. And I could still hear the sermon. Pastor Hal said during his sermon (and I'm paraphrasing), "I'm not sure what brought you to church this morning, but I hope, at least in part, it was to see Jesus." Yes, please.

During the last song, we went to collect our things. During that - what? three minutes - Jack managed to spill his goldfish, yell at me for taking them away, chase me around the pew, throw this books on the floor and leave the church...without me. Super de duper. I gathered up our stuff and followed him out with a quiet, "I guess he's done," to the friends behind me.

And then I saw Jesus. Because Pastor Tedd was watiting at the back of the church with this (and again I paraphrase):

Hi, Jack. I'm glad you were here. I'm glad you brought him, Leanne, and I'm glad you sat at the front of the church. It's important for him to be here.

And me, having broken a sweat, smiled and sighed. He's right indeed. Thank you, Pastor.

(And yes, Katie, the nursery probably makes more sense...'cause you are likely to suggest it. :))

Friday, March 27, 2009


Is anyone else as excited about this movie as I am?? I'm taking all three boys; I think even Jack will be able to sit through it!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Alvin and the Chipmunks

The boys were watching a video in the car this morning. Their conversation:

Jack: 'Sat, Mommy?

Me: It's Alvin and the Chipmunks, Jack. It's an Easter video.

Matthew: Say this, Jack: elephant

Jack: ewphant

Matthew: et

Jack: et

Matthew: the chickmunks

Jack: chickmunks

Matthew: Yeah, Jack! Elephant et the chickmunks. Mommy, Jack said it!

Yes, he did.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Workplace Humor

The first time I read this, I couldn't even breathe I was laughing so hard. Hope you enjoy:

How to keep a healthy level of insanity at work:

1. Page yourself over the intercom (don't disguise your voice).

2. Find out where your boss shops and buy exactly the same outfits. Always wear them one day after your boss does.

3. Make up nicknames for all your coworkers and refer to them only buy these names. "That's a good point, Sparky." "No, I'm sorry I have to disagree with you there, Chaichi."

4. Send an email to the rest of the company telling them exactly what you are doing. For example, "If anyone needs me, I will be in the bathroom."

5. "Hi-Lite" your shoes. Tell people that you haven't lost your shoes since you did this.

6. While you are sitting at your desk, soak your fingers in Palmolive.

7. Put up mosquito netting around your cubicle.

8. Put a chair facing your printer, sit there all day long and tell people you are waiting for your document.

9. Arrive at a meeting late, say you're sorry, but you didn't have time for lunch. During the meeting, nibble on raw potatoes.

10. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask them if they want fries with that.

11. Encourage your colleagues to join you in a little synchronized chair dancing.

12. Put your garbage can on your desk and label it "IN."

13. Determine how many cups of coffee is "too many."

14. Develop an unnatural fear of staplers.

15. Decorate your office with pictures of Cindy Brady and Danny Partridge. Try to pass them off as your children.

Double Dog Dare You.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Beautiful Boy

I am now recommending Beautiful Boy by David Scheff. One of the saddest, most eloquently books I've ever read. I learned a lot, and it made me extremely thankful for today.

For Laura

As many of you know, my sister Laura and her husband want to be parents, but God has not yet willed it. But today, I just want her to know that no matter what...always...she has us.
Laura is the world's best aunt. She listens to all the boring stories and is genuinely interested. She laughs with me, not just a polite laugh, she loves my kids so much. Davin is no different (although I don't call him with the kids' stories on a regular basis.) :)

I don't know if they realize how valuable it is as a parent to have someone care that much. Additionally, she is an amazing sister. She has always been there for me, and knows me so well. I will always be grateful for you!

Me and these guys love you!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Spiritual Series: Part I

(Note: a lot of people believe you shouldn't talk about politics or religion. Hmph. I already did the first, why not the second? ;) In all actuality, I think it's too important to *not* talk about. If this subject makes you uncomfortable, feel free to ignore it. But if it doesn't, please join in!)

I am, by nature, a spiritual person. I have been contemplating how to blog about some of my recent thoughts, because they seem to be so complicated and without a general theme. I'm going to do my best to share with you the most important part of me. Hopefully you will share your views...I do find that I grow the most from other peoples' opinions.

Part I: How does God answer your prayers?

I believe in the power of prayer. I had this conversation with some online friends recently, and one woman said that she actually hears God talk to her. Actual words. Lucky! I don't. But I feel His presence in response to my prayers.

Every time I have a decision of any consequence to make...where the outcome may shift the direction of my life...I pray. I make all decisions prayerfully, because I know that God will not mislead me. Then, when I am given answers through people I talk to, sermons I hear, suggestions in the things around me, I know that God provided these things to help me make a good decision, thereby answering my prayer.

How about you? How do you pray? How and when has God answered your prayers?

Friday, March 20, 2009

This week...

...has been about this guy. I love Jack-Jack. Especially with a heart sticker on his nose. Good placement, Son.

The Carwash

Do all little kids dislike carwashes? I hear stories of moms who let their kids wait outside of the wash when it's going through (with an older sibling, for example). I don't do that. It's not a form of torture, I promise. It's just that then they'll learn to push through their fear. Jack really really really doesn't like the carwash.

And here's Matthew: "It's okay, Jack. We have to go through the carwash because our car is not clean," in a perfect Big Brother voice.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

For Example:

I'm not kidding about this kid.

Additionally: This is my 201st post. How'd that happen?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


In the past week, my 23-month-old hit his Terrible Twos. For anyone who hasn't had a two-year-old boy, let me tell you: they'll wear you right out. Where Matthew was always calm, laid-back, and obedient...Jack is proving to be a spaz, sassy, and fairly unaffected by my discipline. Super.

It's a good thing he's an amazing hugger.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy St. Urho's Day

Someone gave me this years ago. I went and dug it up for the occasion...enjoy. (Pull out your best Finnglish; you're gonna need it. Never mind. I translated for those who need it.)

Ooksie Kooksi Koolam Vee,
(One, two three, four)
Sant Urho is ta poy for me.
(Saint Urho is the boy for me.)
He sase out ta hopperce as pik as pirts,
(He chased out those grasshoppers as big as birds)
Nefer pefore haf I hurd tose verts.
(Never before have I heard those words)
He really tolt tose puks of kreen -
(He really told those bugs of green)
Prafest Finn I effer seen.
(Bravest Finn I ever saw)
Some celebrate for Saint Pat unt his nakes,
(Some celebrate for Saint Pat and his snakes)
Put Urho poika cot fhat it takes.
(But Urho boy got what it takes.)
He cot tall unt trong from feelia sour,
(He got tall and strong from sour milk (I think))
And ate kalla moyakka effery hour.
(And ate fish stew every hour.)
Tats fhy that kuy could sase those peetles
(That's why that guy would chase those beetles)
Fhat crew as tick as chack pine neetles.
(That grew as thick as jack pine needles)
So let's gif a cheer in our pest way
(So let's give a cheer in our best way)
On ta sixteent of Mats, St. Urho's Tay!
(on the sixteenth of March, St. Urho's Day!)


Also, worth reading: this guys blog.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I'll take the mud. No problem.

My favorite things about this weekend:
1. Cory was home all weekend. We had a much-needed family weekend. (Honestly, I can't tell you the last time he was home a Fri/Sat/Sun...could be a year or more.)
2. We got to see some friends we haven't seen for five years that we reconnected with on facebook.
3. It smells weird, like Spring. ("weird" courtesy of Matthew)
4. We got lots of fresh air.
5. We know that it's only going to get warmer.

Friday, March 13, 2009

His Heart: A Poem

Hey, Mom, he says
Wanna hear my heart beep?
Nothing more in the world.
My head on his chest.
boom boom, boom boom.
His quick, healthy life.
Then, can I hear your heart beep?
His little ear
Pressed to my chest
Listening for the first time
in amazement that makes him giggle
boom-boom, boom-boom
The same sound in all of us -
Human beings
Mother and child.
The sound of Life.
boom-boom, boom-boom.

Our hearts beeping, mine and his.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I Love March

Matty made these at school. They make me so happy! I know - even though it's going to be ten degrees and snowy on Wednesday - that Spring is just around the corner. The days are getting longer and the sun is getting warmer. I LOVE Spring!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring Forward!

Don't forget to move your clocks forward an hour tonight! Yay for Daylight Savings!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Self Portrait

I got tagged for this by Mindi. Here I am, as I was when I read her post. Remember, she lives in New Mexico, hence the tanktop. You'll always find me bundled in a sweatshirt here in Minnesota. You know it was warm today, because I skipped the turtleneck. :)

This was a surprisingly difficult picture to take. Guess my arms aren't very long.

I now tag: Katie, Joanna, and Krista. You're supposed to take three pictures of yourself. Right now. As you are. Then post them for us to see!

Revisiting this New Year's Resolution

1. Lose 30 lbs (anyone NOT want to lose weight this year?!)

Okay, here are my notes on the above resolution:

1. It's up to me. I can do it if I want.
2. I don't need a gym membership. There's nothing wrong with my treadmill.
3. I have to stop using excuses.
4. I have exercised the past four days consecutively.
5. If you don't believe me, ask my sore abs.
6. Or my tired calves.
7. We booked our summer vacation.
8. I have a lot of cute summer clothes to bring with.
9. None of them fit me.
10. I can do it!

Just needed to talk about that for a minute. Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My Sweet Boy

"Hey, Mom! Know how to make a heart with your fingers?! "

Second Quote of the Day

Thanks to Elizabeth (Libby). I loved it enough to give it its own post.

"Fate used me meanly; but I looked at her and laughed,
That none might know how bitter was the cup I quaffed.
Along came Joy, and paused beside me where I sat,
Saying, 'I came to see what you were laughing at.'"

-- Ella Wheeler Wilcox --

Help for Homeowners

I told several of you I would provide the information when it became available on March 4, so here's what I have:

The federal government laid out its plan today to help homeowners who have been making their mortgage payments but due to financial hardships or a decline in market value, find themselves upside down on their mortgages. You can see some of the information here or call your mortgage consultant (keep in mind, they'll probably be flooded with requests for patient!).

Quote of the Day

"Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder."

- Thoreau

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

Aspiring Chef?

Cole helped me with dinner tonight. We made tostadas and it went really well! It's pretty hard to find things he's passionate about, so when I suggested a cooking class (thanks to Laura) he said, YES! I have to was pretty fun to do with him; I'll definitely be doing it more in the future.

I tried to tell him that real chefs wear an apron...he didn't buy it. Maybe if I buy him one of those coats. Yeah, he'd love that.
Rough recipe:
12 tostada shells
1 can refried beans
1 lb ground beef
Taco seasoning packet
Cheddar cheese
Toppings: salsa, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes
I brown the beef, and add taco seasoning according to the package.
Heat the refried beans.
Pop the tostadas on cookie sheets in the oven at 350 for 5 minutes to crisp them up.
Once they're cool enough to touch, top with refried beans, then meat, then sprinkle cheddar cheese.
Put back into the oven for five minutes or until cheese is melted.
Top with desired toppings...
(PS I served ours with Rice-A-Roni Mexican rice)


I am made up of bits and all know the story. Here's another one of mine:

She's a gem. And she started a blog. I bet you won't be sorry if you stop by and get to know her!

(Pictured with her sweet husband, Karl)