Sunday, August 30, 2009

40 Years

40 years is a long time. I am so proud of my inlaws as they celebrate their 40th today. I've been thinking about the things that will bring Cory and me to the same milestone (by the grace of God). I have said it before, but I have the best husband in the world. These are the things that work for us:

1. Commitment. We both take our vows very seriously.

2. Respect. We recognize that each of us has different roles in the relationship and we are both appreciative of the work the other one does. And we tell each other that all the time.

3. Communication. Not only do we not go to bed angry, we usually talk through our issues in the evening. We frequently have to wait until the rugrats are in bed so that we can hear each other, but we're both good about talking. And listening.

I know we're a long way to our 40th anniversary, and I realize that life will be full of changes and challenges, but if we can keep those three up, we'll get there. I'm sure of it.

I wish the same happiness for each of you! Happy Monday!
(PS How cool is this photo!? As I dug through photos for the party, I came across this beauty. My new fave. I think it's groovy.)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Current Events

I've been thinking about the following today. There are other important things to discuss besides health care reform, right? Here are some things that sparked my interest this week and my reactions/responses:

1. Jaycee Dugard. Amazing. I can't wait to hear the rest of this story. As a parent, there could be no greater horror than losing your child. And never hearing what happened to them. I do not think I could survive. I am praising God for her reunion with her mother and pray that they find the resources to heal from this incredible tragedy.

2. Michael Vick. I am really torn emotionally on this one. On one hand, his crime was horrendous. On the other hand, he did his time under the law. Should he not get a second chance? What do you think? Are there crimes that are unforgivable? Which, of course, would lead to a really good discussion about True Forgiveness. I'd love your thoughts.

3. Mike Perham. How about this kid?! Rock on, dude. How do you inspire your children to be all they can be? I had a facebook friend saying that her neighbor - 18-year-old football player - always stops and buys lemonade from the kids when they sell it. How to I get that kid? Honestly. I feel like my greatest goal is to raise honorable men. Heaven help me. Literally.

I'd love your thoughts!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sister's Blog

My sister is doing a really cool giveaway. It ends tonight (I think) so please enter right away if you're interested. (My apologies to Laura for being so slow on the draw...)

Click here for details.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Scent of a Woman

Jack just walked in the living room.

With a wrinkled nose, he asked, "Whassat smell?"

Me: "I'm not sure Jack. Does it smell stinky or good?"

Jack, nose still wrinkled, "Smells like Mommy. Yeah. Smells like Mommy."

And promptly walked away before I could determine if I should be flattered or very worried. I'll refresh the deoderant. Just in case.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


When I got pregnant with Matthew, I found an online group of women on a website called ivillage, an expecting club. We were all due June of 2005. I can't remember now if I stumbled across it or if I went looking for it. All I know is that they were my first online friends and they have been through so much with me. I adore them. (What does Jen say? "Real feelings, real friends.") I refer to them as JJG, which is short for June Jungle Gym, the name we gave ourselves a long time ago. We are now mothers to four year olds and continue to be friends, both on our board and on facebook. And, in a few lucky cases, real life friends*.

Over the years, some talented people have made me signatures (siggy's) that I use on the board. I'm going to share this one with you today, and will share some more as I find them. Cute, huh?
*to be continued...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Trying Again

Disclaimer: This post has been building for a few days. Worth noting: I'm hormonal. And emotional. And it's 8:00 a.m.

I've written three posts recently under the subject "Current Events." Each of them I've deleted. Because while I want to tell you how I feel, I already know that many of you don't agree. And I'm not really up for defending my thoughts and beliefs. And while I think it's an important discussion to have, I haven't had a strong enough day to post it here. Maybe later in the week.

Sometimes I want to go back five years. I want to be unaware and unaffected by politics. I want my relationships to be unchanged by our different viewpoints. I want to not care who you support and how much you dislike the president. I suppose, then, I would be less interesting. I would be less truthful to myself and the path I've chosen. But I can't help but think that sometimes I would be at greater peace.

I realize that I don't respond well to anger. I think it's a destructive emotion, and yet all around me, there is anger. Loud anger. Hard-to-ignore anger. Because it's in the news (ie Town Halls*), it's on my friends' facebook statuses, it comes up in conversations. And I feel like it'll be waiting for me as soon as I open my mouth with any kind of political statement.

I have a good friend who hates to argue with me. She says, "You always think you're right!!" And I do. I wouldn't argue a point I didn't believe it, although I will be the first one to admit when I'm wrong. I am very passionate about things and my personality doesn't allow me to bury that. I have walked away from several conversations in the past week or two. On one of those occasions, I was called out. Someone was trying to upset me. On another occasion, I started in before I could remember that I had vowed to stay away from those conversations**. Oops. In any case, it makes me agitated and sometimes, I want to revert back to an apathetic state.

I won't though. I can't. I care about the future of this country and the welfare of the people in it. But I will continue to find that middle ground. A way to talk about the things I belive in, keep the discussion going, and be able to separate my emotions from current events.***

*I had a whole post about this. In short, be angry if you like. Just be respectful. Please.

**Frequently it's my own fault. I don't have to respond to every thought that I don't agree with. I'll work on that. But won't promise not to fall!

***I had another blog post about this. I am built the way I'm built. For me, either fortunately or unfortunately (undetermined at this point), politics IS personal. Because the things in question will affect us for the rest of our lives. Doesn't get more personal than that.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Someday I'll have my own garden. Then we won't have to mooch off of grandma and grandpa. It's something I'd like to do, I just never feel like I have the time necessary to tend it. Nothing like a fresh cucumber, though. Or the bag of green beans we took home today...they'll be part of tomorrow night's dinner for sure!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hometown Heartstrings

Today I went to Cokato for an Open House and Mary's 1oth Birthday Party (yes, Marilyn, Peg!). My mom was kind enough to watch the rugrats from 1:00 - 3:00 for the Open. I dropped them off, and headed to town. As I was waiting to turn from 100 to Hwy 12, a car was turning north on 100. The driver rolled through the turn and then rolled down his window. I was SO HAPPY to see Glenn. We had a short (as you can imagine) conversation, during which we expressed happiness to see each other, and I wished him well with all the good things he has going on. I drove away tickled that we all grew up. That we all, regarldess of past, wish each other well and that sense of humanity was really welcome and refreshing.

Later, on my way back to pick up the kids, I drove by the neighbors and they were all outside playing ball. Ben gave me a wave. Whether or not he knew it was me, I was filled with that "hometown" feeling. A feeling you can only get from being raised in a small town. The kind where you wave at every passing car, because more than likely, you know them.

As the Corn Carnival opens tomorrow, I hope to have many more of these moments!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Postre, por favor!

I'm trying to come up with ideas for Spanish or Mexican desserts. We're hosting an anniversary party later this month. We landed on a Mexican menu...taco bar, Mexican appetizers, drinks, etc. I have a Mexican Fiesta cookbook, and from there, I intend to try Sopapilla Cheesecake, Mexican Macaroons, and the pictured Mexican Sugar cookies I tried tonight (Which, by the way, are those melt-in-your-mouth cookies. I detest that texture.).

Do you have any good suggestions that I can make for a large group, preferably ahead of time...? I'd LOVE some more ideas!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sassy Jack-Jack: Take 311

One more for today. Justbecause. This is why I'm tired at night:

I love this one.

My mother in law face painted Jack's initials on his cheeks. Only the "J" was painted over a mosquito bite, so he promptly scratched that one off. I got a photo first, though!

No title necessary.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Surefire No-Fight Bedtime Routine

When it's time (oh, around 7:30 p.m.), we race to bed around here. Literally. As you'll see from the first photo, Matty gets to do the starting, "On your marks-get set-go!" Jack usually starts on all fours because it's still a little confusing to him. And no matter who gets to the bedroom first, Jack always exclaims, "YAY! I WON!" Yes, you did little man. And so did I, because now I get silence.

Scavenger Hunt

Sure, I'll play!

Something I love. (I wish it turned better though. Metal pinwheels aren't that efficient.)

Something yellow. Huh. I don't have very much yellow in my house. I did when I was single! (Cole's school supply list!)

Something from Above. This guy. And his brothers. And summer, since it's also in this photograph!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My parenting style...

I am, primarily, a laid-back parent. I assume that my kids will get hurt from time to time. I will, at some point, bring someone to the ER. I don't hover, although I think I'm fairly attentive. But once in awhile, I hear God's voice. Reminding me that I have to be careful. That life is fragile and it's by His grace that we've remained unscathed thus far.

This is a photo of Matthew fishing on the dock.
At four years old.
Without a life jacket.

Obviously, I was close. Near enough to take a photo. But I didn't see him the one time he cast a little too fervently; I heard the splash. "Matty's in the water!" I yelled. Cory dashed down and pulled a panicking child out of the seaweed. We don't know if it's over his head there, but his feet were out from under him, so it wouldn't have really mattered if we didn't notice him go in.

I'm actually having a hard time writing about this. Not because of his fear, or the incident itself. But because I CAN'T STAND thinking about the what if's. It was a reminder to me to not be passive. Because the dangers are always there. And while I refuse to give into any kind of fear and trust that we are in good hands, I was nudged to remember that life is a gift. Which, even at that expense, is valuable. So are life vests!

Fix it.

Probably the most played-with toys in this house are the tools. Especially when Poppa is home on vacation for a week tackling the "to do" list.