Friday, June 30, 2006

Birthday in the House! (again)

Today we celebrate Sarah's 12th birthday. What a wonderful day! She woke up to balloons on her bed, streamers in the hallway and chocolate chip pancakes. We are going to meet daddy for lunch at her favorite restaurant (Moe's). For dinner, grilled pizza and fruit salad.
She is geting a new bike and some clothes.

In honor of sweet Sarah, 12 things about her:

1. She loves Jesus
2. She is amazingly athletic.
3. She has blonde hair (that is always worn in a ponytail these days)
4. She has huge dimples.
5. She has big blue eyes.
6. She is very petite for her age.
7. She has a very kind heart.
8. She has a great sense of fashion.
9. She loves vibrant colors.
10. She loves to paint.
11. She is funny.
12. She is a blessing to those around her.

Happy Birthday, sweetie. You rock our socks off!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Blueberries = healthy goodness

Blueberries are in season. This makes for one happy, Kim.
We are fortunate to live close to Michigan, home to many wonderful blueberry farms. Our grocery stores carry loads of berries at very fair prices. I also buy quite a few pints from a local Amish homestead and freeze them for later use.*

Cereals, pancakes, granola, desserts, waffles, salads and straight from the container = goodness.
Blueberries are packed with vital nutrients. A small handful of berries can offer healing and nutrition to your body.

Susan, aka The Foodie Farmgirl has a wonderful blueberry breakfast bar recipe on her blog, along with some super photographs. Check her out.

*To freeze blueberries, wash in cool water and spread on a cookie sheet. Pat dry with paper towels. Place cookie sheet in the freezer for several hours. When berries are frozen, pop into storage bags and place in freezer.

P.S. Thank you for Jeff's birthday wishes yesterday.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Birthday in the house!

My sweet, Jeff is having a birthday today! He turns 42. In honor of his special day --
42 things about Jeff.

1. He loves the Lord.
2. He adores his family.
3. He smiles. A lot.
4. He is humble.
5. His character is rock solid.
6. He is very intelligent.
7. He cherishes his mom, grandmother and sister.
8. He respects the men in his family.
9. He makes me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world.
10. He is the proud father of six children.
11. He tells each child, "You are my favorite" at bedtime.
12. He prays with the children before they go to sleep.
13. He is wrapped around their fingers, tightly.
14. He is honest.
15. He expects the same from others.
16. He is hard working.
17. He expects the same from others.
18. He gives great hugs.
19. He is tall.
20. He likes to dance.
21. He enoys music.
22. He has a nice, deep singing voice.
23. He was in the church choir in Idaho.
24. He reads the comics everyday. Always.
25. He prefers baseball to football.
26. He was born in San Diego, CA.
27. He did most of his growing up in Oregon.
28. He moved back to Southern CA after college.
29. We met on a blind date in Seal Beach, CA.
30. We were engaged 3 months later.
31. Married a year later.
32. He loves Mexican food.
33. He loves to BBQ.
34. He is a good cook.
35. He is a good painter.
36. He has pretty green eyes.
37. His teeth are near perfect (naturally!)
38. He is aging gracefully (his grey hair is adorable)
39. He enjoys 24 on TV.
40. He is a great friend.
41. He is protective of his family.
42. He is a blessing to me.

The girls have decorated the house with oodles of balloons and streamers. There is a big "It's Your Birthday" sign on the front door and more balloons on the mailbox. For dinner, steak tacos with homemade torillas and massive amounts of guacamole. Fresh mangoes and cilantro too!
For dessert, coconut cream pie.

Happy Birthday, baby. We love you.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Thanks for the memories

Have you seen this Life Poem template? If not, I urge you to take a few minutes and give youself time to write and reminisce.

For those that know me, you know my childhood was, at best, rocky. You name it, it probably happened. It is by God's grand grace that I sit here today with my heart and mind.

When I first read through the template and examples I thought, "Well. I can't do this. My 'this is where I am from' story isn't pretty. It is too messy."

But then I started thinking, "There were a lot of good times too!" I sat down and started to list them.

Memories of long summer days. Cousins. Oh, lots and lots of cousins. Lovingly prepared food from Nena. Homemade blankets and slippers. Sledding and tree climbing. Exploring streams, lakes and campgrounds. Horseback riding, tractor pulls and playing in the mud. Country fairs and dusty old antique markets. Long drives, lots of sights and many stories. Catching fireplies in mayo jars, making apple cider and chasing the dogs through the fields. Herding cows, feeding calves and gathering eggs. Playing hide and seek in the cornfields. Spending lazy days in my room, reading books from Grandma and listening to the radio.

That is some good stuff! I am both surprised and thrilled at how easily the thoughts flowed. I thank God for this progress. I don't know if I could have reached the same conclusion a few years ago.

I Am From
I am from a small town where the cows outnumber the people – where there are just as many bars as there are churches.

I am from old houses with wood banisters, great grandmother’s bed and kitchen tables covered with jars of strawberry jam.
I am from the blackberry bushes, concord grape vines and crabapple trees.

I am from stubborn women and defiant men.

I am from “Don’t come home until it is dark outside” and “Do as I say, not as I do.”

I am from the church my parents were married in.
I am from “Jesus loves you” and confused hearts.

I am from pastures, streams and trees – home to farmers, factory workers and tired dreams.
I am from Friday night fish frys and curly Q french fries.

I am from the World War II service of my grandparents.
I am from men who served in Vietnam.
I am from patriotic souls who understand the cost of freedom.

I am from heartache, turmoil and adversity.
I am from determination, laughter and strong work ethics.

I am from small wooden porches, picture lined hallways, dirt roads and crazy family gatherings.

Fifteen on Friday

Fifteen rambling thoughts for Friday

1. We had massive storm systems roll through here yesterday and Wednesday. Our next house *will* have a basement!

2. We had a "YAY! It is the beginning of summer" party in church on Wednesday. The kids played outside, slurped on juicy watermelon and munched on chocolate cookies. It has been 18 months since I took on this position and I have grown to love these children. I learn so much about His love through their smiles and words.

3. We are planning another trip to Viriginia next month. Our last visit was too short. A picture of the girl cousins. Beauties! We were there for Kate's (the tallest) high school graduation.

4. We haven't heard from Michigan. Today is the 4 week mark. I am left feeling relieved and anxious. Strange? God's will. God's will. (yes, I am talking to myself)

5. Our digital camera stopped working last week. It didn't even give us a warning.

6. My allergies are in hyper-drive right now. If I could take my eyeballs out and soak them in ice water, I would. The OTC medications don't seem to be helping all that much. I'm going to have to place a call to the doctor's office.

7. We started our lessons this week. Things appear to be running smoothly. E is feeling the extra workload but is handling it with grace (99% of the time).

8. S was bumped up another level in gymnastics.

9. I took everything off the den mantle yesterday. That did NOT help my allergies. I am pairing down decor around the house. Less is more.

10. Back to Michigan real quick -- last night I was watching House Hunters on HGTV. Guess what city was featured? Yes. Ann Arbor. It was freaky.

11. The boys are campainging (big time) to see Cars. I hear it is a fun family movie. Maybe next week?

12. Our cute cocker spaniel, Bailey, has lost most of his hearing. I suspected this for a while, but the vet confirmed it last week. Despite this ordeal, he is still a terrific family member. He is playful, cuddly and a constant companion. He will be 11 next month.

13. Our peach tree should produce fruit this season. I wasn't sure if it survived a big storm we had a few months ago. The wind knocked it over quite a bit, exposing some of the roots. It appears to be fine though.

14. I made Jeff a peach and rubarb pie for Father's Day. He was thrilled.

15. It is birthday week in our house next week. Jeff on Monday. Sarah on Friday.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Banging around inside my brain.. is always something. This is both a blessing and a curse. Just ask the kids. :: smile ::

We are still waiting to hear about Michigan. Jeff knows they have contacted his professional references (all 8 of them). Most of the references have called Jeff in return with the, "Hey. What is going on? So and So just called. They seem interested."

My thoughts? How interested?

In my coping ways, I have been scanning realtor sites for the Ann Arbor area. This leads me down numerous rabbits trails.

Do you like to design and decorate? Love looking at homes? Want inspiration, goals and laughter?

Grab a drink and start reading.
*disclaimer - I will not be held responsible for thoughts of remodeling and/or high end purchases. Read at your own risk.

Building Brows
Family of eight

Enon Hall
Tremendous Virginia home. Grab a drink and sit down to read...

Erwin House
Super cute baby bonus

Prairie Rose House
A fellow Hoosier shares her home

Raise the Ranch
Follow a young couple from a 4 room house to beautiful Colonial

One Woman's Life
Cute cottage living

In other news -- I'm an auntie again!
A BIG congrats to Jeff's brother, Brian, along with his wife, Joelena.
They welcomed their 3rd precious son into the family on Father's Day! Many blessings to all of you!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Wonderful words!

I love words.

I love reading them.
I love writing them.
I love teaching them.

Words are fun!

Have you seen this site?
Wall Words

Look at this great kicthen!
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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Just an FYI

I love comments. They make me smile. I post 99.9% of the comments I receive. Yes, even those that disagree with my viewpoints. It's all good.

However, if you get a mean buzz and decide to leave a comment that adds nothing but venom to the conversation, please know that I will reject it during moderation. This is especially true if you go after my kids and/or husband.

Also, the name "Anonymous" is never really "Anonymous."


Sunday, June 11, 2006

A peek into our world

Our Sunday ritual includes breakfast, church and relaxation. After church, we have a contest to see who can get into their jammies the quickest upon returning home.

From the boy's roomI hear the following....
*giggle* *giggle* *run* *bounce* *giggle* *stomp* and two small voices singing.....

"Play that funky music white boy. Play that funkkkkkkky music WHITE BOY!" over and over.

I peek in the room and find our twin boys dancing around the room in their tightie whities, singing at the top of their lungs. For the life of me I can't remember where or when they learned this particular song....but there ya have it.

Man. If our walls could talk!

Before I go -- have I told you about our mad passionate love affair with this fine product?
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A bowl of fruit and a jar of Nutella. What more do you need on a Sunday afternoon?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Book recommendations!

Loved these books! Loved them! Cure for the Common Life, by Max Lucado was inspirational, quick and meaningful. Jeff really enjoyed it.
Captivating is the companion piece to Wild at Heart, both by the same author. I would love to have a small group study on this book! I am going to ask a few ladies at church if they are interested.

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Cure for the Common Life

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Christianity = PG rating

June 9, 2006
MPAA Rates Film 'PG' for It's Christian Message
by Pete Winn, associate editor

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Why should parents be forewarned about a Christian film with no sex, violence or raw language?

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has placed a PG rating on
forthcoming film because it has a Christian message.

Randy Sharp, director of special projects at the American Family
Association, said the rating that reviewers gave Facing the Giants was for
"thematic elements." Not only was the rating unwarranted, Sharp said the
reasoning behind the rating was just as offensive. "The MPAA gives a warning
to parents about content that may be found offensive," Sharp told CitizenLink.
"Usually, a PG rating would include violence or sexual content or profanity.
There is none of that during this movie, so the MPAA has basically said, 'We're
going to warn parents that it has a Christian theme — and it may be offensive."

for the rest of the story......

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Quick check-in

Viriginia was fantastic!! What an amazing trip. The graduation was full of laughter, tears, memories and fun.

Now that we are back, I am taking a much needed vacation -- here in my own home!
No TV. No computer. No running around.
I am going to finish some projects around the house and get the kids ready for school next week.

Hugs to all.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

a,b,c,d,e, F....

Shannon, from Rocks in my Dryer has a fun game right now, using letters of the alphabet.
I was assigned 'F'

Let's see....

Family: it begins and ends with family.
Faith: where would I be without my faith in Jesus?
Fellowship: my life-line with fellow believers
Fun: make time to be foot loose and fancy free each day
Freedom: enjoy our freedoms, but never take them for granted
Friendship: a good friend is worth more than gold
Fifteen: Jeff and I will celebrate 15 years of marriage this fall
Forgiveness: may I always remember to forgive others, just like He has forgiven me
Forever: hearing a child say, "Momma, I love you now and forever" is fantastic

If you would like to play along, drop me an email. It may be a few days before I respond because we are taking a fast trip to Virginia (leaving tonight) for our niece's graduation. We will be back on Monday.

Be blessed.