Monday, March 30, 2009

A blast from the PAST!

Just a little ditty from the decade we call...
The Eighties!

Gotta love it!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Do you have a minute to see something COOL!?

One of little M's highlights while we spent time in Florida, was of course, 


Oh man. The greatest excitement of her two year old existence was watching the BABY DOLPHINS in their nursery or the dolphin and shamu shows :).


Which, of course, led to her three-year-old dolphin birthday party :).

So, you can imagine her thrill when we watched a dolphin video the other day! You'll notice a link to Sea World on the right side of the blog page - click to watch a super-neat video of the amazing ways these incredible animals play! Truly beautiful!

Fun surprises!

The other day one of my sistas sent over a very fun email....

Here is a toddler bed
In the shape of a house
FREE for the taking!!

WOW! We seized the opportunity and low and behold...

Little M and her brand new-to-us bed!

Ain't it grand :)!?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Once Upon a Time!

It seeems like a foggy long ago, but I actually started some projects that I wanted to finish! I start many projects, depending on the mood of the day, but few see those ta-daaa! moments of final completion. HOWEVER, with GARDENING on the horizon I thought it would be prudent to get a few off the stack. Oh, yeah, and I want to start K's scrapbook!

I blogged about this little ditty a while back...
~ a prayer shawl for a friend ~

And then there was this one....

~ darling baby bathrobes ~

And finally these...

~ new covers for those wooly blankies ~

Soooo ... TA DAAA!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

View of my backyard :)

This was yesterday.....

This is today...

Enough said.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Smells like SPRING!

Little M is old enough now to recognize one of the ... delightful! ... smells of spring time - "Pepe Le Pew" - aka - the common SKUNK! EW!

But it reminded me of some of the better perfume-y smells I LIKE too :). The smell of my mom's perfume (she has worn estee lauder for as long as I can remember!) or the Body Shop's Fuzzy Peach that conjures up images of junior high (but oh aren't we so glad we don't have to relive those days again!). Every so often I still wear Body Shop's White Musk just for fun, however, I've also been wearing Gap's Dream since it is delightfully springy! 

Do you change your scents with the seasons, stick with a favorite as a personal trademark or branch out and try new things every so often? If you wanna give something different a whirl, check this out and let me know how it goes! !!

And make sure to avoid those black-with-a-white-stripe critters that are out and about now that it's warming up!

Post sponsored by

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Great Expectations!

Yesterday I had the opportunity to share of the story of our lives as lived out in the last 20 months (a super-condensed version!!). The gal's response was so healing, so refreshing - she simply said - "Wow. That went different than you expected!"

I laughed! Yessssss. Yes it did!!

Sweet K's labor was less than an hour long, and consequently she was delivered at home, on the bathroom floor, with a midwife in attendance (she made it for the last 3 minutes - which is cutting it a wee bit close in my opinion, but I've never been so ecstatic to see anyone in my whole life!!). In our drive way sat 2 ambulances, 1 police car and 2 midwife vehicles. Needless to say, on our small town street, it was quite the spectacle!

However, everything went well, and before we knew it the flurry had passed, and we were settling in with our second baby.

On the 3rd day of her life, things went wonky. Her head circumference was measuring small, and our midwife immediately hooked us up with a super-great pediatrician. What followed was a year of tests, many appointments with specialists, some positive feedback, but an unshakeable diagnosis - primary microcephaly - which is a condition that impacts learning. One can expect development delays in the early years and learning disabilities down the line.

But the wisest doctors, in my opinion, never claim to have all the answers. We had many amazing care-givers, who have not only worked with children, but also their parents :). We had some experiences, also, where that was not the case. And I learned much from those people, even if it made hard things harder and I think they could have handled things differently.

Many many dark days and nights followed with all of this. However, with deep pain and intense searching comes some of the most fruitful, live-giving moments because God is present even in  these things.

"Hope is trusting that something will be fulfilled, but fulfilled according to the promises and not just according to our wishes." Henri Nouwen, A Spirituality Of Waiting.

Sweet K is doing great great great. There are things here and there that are -- different -- and even small differences can feel like very large differences sometimes. And it is not without work. Learning is always work but for some it is more so than others. 

However, even different expectations can become great expectations!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lookin' Great!

My sweet sis has taken craftivity to the next level :) - she is selling paintings online! If you need original watercolor or acrylic artwork for you home or office, check out her Creative Expressions store on etsy. Some really great stuff PLUS a few home-sewn (super-cute!) handbags.

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Maybe it's because I made it through a long day, and I'm still feeling sane at the end :). Maybe it's because I could start my morning the way I like it - coffee, quiet, reflective, prayer-filled. Maybe it's because I remember - every so often - to stop and soak in the millions of things I'm thankful for - the countless gifts I've been given, so many of which go unappreciated. But here, in no particular order, are merely ten things that I am thankful for today.

1. No crisis of the day.

2. A family - both under my roof and extended 
that love me (and I love back!!).

3. For personal growth. I am not the same person that I used to be 
(although some fiery spots remain!)

4. A God who redeems.

5. That our car is finally fixed and as of tomorrow
we will no longer have to coordinate Life with Carpool.

6. Life and health and safety.

7. Little ones who keep me laughing (and constantly learning!).

8. Signs of spring. (Although today the windchill was pretty cold :).)

9. My husband's support,
Little M's very witty (constantly running!) commentary throughout the day
and Sweet K's gentle love.

10. That today was a normal kinda day. I like those days.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Well ain't that great!

You know what's fun - getting a steal of a deal AND supporting a good cause in the process! This morning it was lovely enough for the troops and I to head out for a walk and enjoy the great outdoors a bit. HEY. We were gone for an hour and a half! Isn't that a grand way to spend the morning :)? We even found ourselves a few bargains at our local MCC Boutique :). Some disney books for the wee ones and finally FINALLY a pristine (no frills!) coffee maker that actually fits on my counter (under my low-hanging cabinetry!) - all this for the lovely price of $3.55. That's less than the cost of one of those hardcover books we just picked up!

But even better, as I was telling little M on our journey home (IN and AROUND the massive puddles!) that all the money raised goes to HELP PEOPLE! Click here to see the amazing things that MCC is doing AROUND THE WORLD! AND check out your local MCC! You never know what treasures you will find!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Out on a limb....

It's funny how ideas come to us - how they niggle away in our consciousness (often with us trying to shut them down because we feel we cannot possibly spend the time or energy or effort they would require!) - until we finally decide ... 

yes I WILL - or - no I WON'T. 

Really, there is no other option :P.

A while back, I got an idea - about throwing a "Waffle Party" (a what!? Yeah, I wondered about that too for a while!!) for the moms with young ones on our street. I counted the number of moms (that seemed doable) and estimated the number of young ones under 5 (that seemed more daunting!!), and thought about how - good - it would be if we could connect BEFORE the days on the play ground, BEFORE the warmth of spring sets in, BEFORE we all go completely cabin-fever NUTTY! (or maybe that's just me!!)

I tried to shut down this idea - I really did! - before I finally embraced it. Most of the moms I've at least chatted with once, so I wasn't a complete stranger, but one gal I didn't even remember her name!

So, with as much bravery as I could muster, I sent out the invitations (if you have not used this funky little program before it is SO FUN! Give it a whirl!!). I called and left a rather - quirky - voicemail with my new-found neighbor, and called again a few days later, once the fog of Sinutab and Screaming Children :) had past!

But you know what - something AMAZING happened! We ALL stepped out on a limb, got together and had a GREAT TIME! 

Oh, if you're wondering what is all included on a "Waffle Party" menu... it's pretty ... basic.

Waffles :) 

Oh, yeah, and some fresh fruit and syrup to round it out a bit! I had planned to serve yogurt too, but ran out at the last minute, AND had whipped together 6 DOZEN mini muffins to serve, but I forgot those on the counter and so I guess we'll be eating mini muffins till the cows come home (and in this cold weather, that could be a very long time!!).

But we went out on a limb, took a chance on this whole "community" thing - and discovered that it sure was worth it :).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More homemade fun!

Today we gave the homemade playdough thing a go.
Here's what came of it :)...

Oh yeah. Little M and Sweet K had fun too - although Sweet K is not yet sure about the squishy texture between her tiny little fingers :). But here's proof that I'm not the only one who played today!

I like it because it has a better texture than store-bought playdough, is safe in case the little ones decide it's fun to put in their mouth (though there is a fair amount of salt, so it probably won't stay there long!!) and apparently it does not dry out as fast, either (since this is my first crack at this, I'll let you know how long it is before we have little doughy crumbles all over the place!).

1 c. flour
1/2 c. salt
1 c. water
1 Tbsp. oil
2 tsp. cream of tartar
food coloring

Mix ingredients in a sauce pan, and stir constantly over medium heat until mush turns into the shape of a doughy ball. Add some food coloring at some point in the process. Once it is cool enough to touch (which is almost right away) knead until it is a playdough-ish consistency.

See - super easy.
That's MY kinda recipe!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A few handy tidbits...

I have a small little gardening book that I like to peruse - and snag a few helpful ideas here and there... these are a few that I have tried - or would like to give a whirl...

beets - to prevent them from becoming woody/tasteless, keep covering with dirt as they pop out of the ground

carrots - sprinkle row with sand before sowing seeds - the roots grow better and are easier to pull out! OR after placing seeds in rows, carefully pour boiling water over them - the carrots will grow straight 

celery - if you want your stalks extra thick, cut an inch off the top of the plant when it is about 4 inches high

cucumbers - pinch off runners for earlier and more abundant produce

peppers - place a layer of tin foil around the base of each plant - the reflected light adds more heat to the plants, keeps the roots cool AND fends off the b.u.g.s.

potatoes - plant deep to avoid hilling (and green potatoes!)

sunflowers - plant a seed at the beginning of every row for an attractive row marker :)

tomatoes - when transplanting, add compost and egg shells to the hole (and around the base once they are planted) - they love the nutrients and the calcium!

I'm already storing up eggshells to use in the garden. Weird, I know :). And, with the assorted tomato cages, eggshells, tin foil, and flowers interspersed, this garden is sure to be a sight :)!

Book: 700 Gardening Tips & Handy Hints, Practical Wisdom from McFayden's Gardening Enthusiasts

Monday, March 9, 2009

My friend Twiggy ... and the signs of life!

Perhaps I'll post a pic - maybe I won't. It's shameful, I tell ya!

I enjoy gardening, I love the planning and the scheming and, yes, even some of the grunt work involved.

But I have o.n.e. BIG weakness (well, waaaaaay more than one, in the grand scheme of things, but this one in particular is a biggy in the botanical world)...


There. I've said it. Maybe now that I've named it and claimed it my bad habits will change!!

It's true! I neglect to water my plants. Yet somehow, the hearty survive. They look a little like - conversation starters :) - but they continue to provide the color green during the monochrome days of the year.

I am getting somewhere with this :). You see, I have a mini-rose bush that I've "nurtured" since Mothers Day a while back. I can't very well throw it out, since it was for MOTHERS DAY, but, sigh, when you neglect to water it, it turns kinda brown, crusty and most of the leaves fall off. (really, the thing is screaming INTERVENTION!). But it's RESILIENT I tell ya! Still it marches on. Lately, I've moved it to a new spot where I see it every day, allowing God to use it as a daily reminder ...
 - to tend to those parts of myself that require attention
  - to nurture the gifts and passions He has so graciously set in me
  - that life persists, even during drought-ier times.

 And low and behold, the other day, I saw a bud.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

Life on purpose

In January (somewhere near the middle when I actually got around to it :)) I decided to fill out a goal-planning sheet that I found on Vision 2009. Every month, scheduled into my monthly calendar, I actually REVIEW my vision for the year. Where am I on? What am I missing? What are dreams and ideas that might require nixing? Or more energy to see into fruition? I've actually found it helpful for infusing intentionality into my days... some thing that I often neglect unless I'm - well - intentional - about it! Now, I don't often get to it the first day or two or even week of the month (but hey, if I'm consistent about getting around to things by the mid-way mark, at least it's consistent!!), but I try to set aside some quiet moments, a cup of tea and time to reflect on where I'm pouring the energy into my life. And whether or not it's well-directed. 

This is an experiment for this year :). If it goes well, we may well have Vision 2010! If not - well, you live and learn, I guess!

Some things I still need to practice (or need the reminder to practice!!) - 
 - encouraging my spouse by verbally expressing my gratitude
 - fostering and shaping Little M's unstoppable energy by providing more space and opportunity to (realistically and safely!!) explore her independence (she is now into helping me clear the supper dishes - which is actually very very helpful unless she tries to run with cutlery in her hand - a big no no!)
 - exercising laughter (and some pilates too, I guess) as often as possible.
 - what is skill that you would like to improve this year? Cooking

There is so much more, and to some it would seem overwhelming, but to me, well, I guess I need the extra motivation to keep me moving in the direction I WANT to go rather than where I usually WANDER OFF TO!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mary, Mary...

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row.

This afternoon, as we enjoyed a puddle-jumpin' walk to the post office and back, it occurred to me that buried underneath all this (somewhat melting) snow are the BULBS I planted last year! Oh Yeah! With one day blurring into another, it's sometimes a wonder I remember what I did YESTERDAY, let alone, last FALL!

But, soon and very soon, there will be a wondrous display of tulip and hyacinth lovely-ness throughout the front yard and back. And what a wondrous surprise it will be because - ha ha ha - I can't remember what I planted where! 

I love springtime surprises!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Making good ... GREAT!

The other morning, in a bleary-eyed stumble to the coffee maker first thing in the morning (having to get up 6 times in 3 hours will do that to a gal :) ...), I

 started to wonder - what makes good coffee ... GREAT!

Some would argue that the brand, roast, water used, type of coffee maker (are you a perk, press or drip fan :)?), bean, etc. would be the defining

 characteristics, separating the passable from the prestigious. 

I smile and gently nod in their direction :)

For me, a good cup of coffee is becomes GREAT when it is.....

 - out of my favorite mug.
 - in the company of lively friends or family, swapping stories and laughs. 
 - first thing in the morning, before the sun and the rest of my peeps are up, in the solitude of those brilliant moments of the day.
 - in a rinky-dinky, outta-the-way coffee shop, that is more about being worn-in than posh.
 - around a campfire. ESPECIALLY if someone else has made it :).
 - savored over a good book or journal entry.
 - at home, on my parents farm, with my mom doting on us :) and my dad bustling in and out between "farming missions." 
 - the first mug after having a baby!! Even in the hospital, that was one of my first requests!!

For me, it sure doesn't have to be fancy to be great. It has to be savored, shared, enjoyed. 
Kinda like life, I guess :).


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