Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Three Special Things

1.  Carla brought flowers to me at the bank yesterday.  A big, beautiful mixed bouquet.  She thought I might need them since Jim was out of town, and it was a little dreary yesterday.  They certainly brightened my day.

2.  Mikayla's mom sent dinner to our house tonight.  It was a "thank you" for having Mikayla join us for dinner several times.  So nice not to have to fix dinner tonight.

3.  My friends at Big Sky Bakery brought Lemon Cupcakes to our retreat planning meeting tonight for me to taste-test.  There were six different samples.  I tasted three.  I love having friends in the baking business.

Concert Fare

 It has been our family tradition to go out for an Ice Cream Run after concerts.  Since Grace had a concert last night, ice cream at McDonald's was definitely on our evening agenda.  After the concert, we drove (in 3 cars!) to the Golden Arches.  I had already decided on a delicious cup of ice water.  David, a Quarter Pounder w/cheese meal (his first ever).  Emily, cheeseburger and fries.  Grace, a Quarter Pounder w/cheese (also her first QP). 

As we left, I realized no one had gotten ice cream.  I don't know.  A Hamburger Run after concerts just doesn't sound as sweet.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day Three Envelope

This morning it was a bit rocky getting David out the door.  Who am I kidding?  Every morning is a bit rocky getting David out the door.  But this morning, as Grace waited in the car, honking in the driveway, I resorted to griping at him, in a lovely high-pitched whine.  Grrr!  At times I have unending patience, but not so much this morning.  He finally got out the door and I started to breathe again.  I signed on the computer hoping to catch Jim for a quick chat.  Somehow he makes things all better.  But he wasn't online.

Then I remembered our envelopes he left for us.  I opened Day 3's envelope and found a sweet note to Grace attached to a new CD.

I love you and your heart for worship.
Have a great concert!

I was delighted to see that Jim had...
1. ...bought a CD for Grace
2.  ...affirmed her heart
3.  ...remembered she has a concert tonight.

It kind of turned my morning around. What a great dad!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Excuse Me, What Did You Say?

While reading blogs this evening, I came across the following 3 statements.

I can still feel girly even when looking shlummy, right?

Finding my favorite bottle of (expensive) baby soap tipped (or tumped, as some might say) over in the cabinet.

Bailey does like to announce to anyone who makes eye contact that she has an "ear inception"

I love new words, especially newly created ones!

Day Two Envelope


Delightful Deliciousness

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day One Envelope

A very beautiful "You're out of sight, but never out of mind" card.
Reese's Easter Eggs
A CD burned with Carol King's "You're So Far Away"
The song made me almost cry.  My love affair with Carol King began when I won a Tapestry album from WINX in High School.  I had the album memorized in days.  There were some very special songs on that album.  Songs that to this day almost make me cry.  Well, they certainly make me smile!

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Up at 6:00am to take Jim to the airport.
Back home to three loads of laundry.
Cleaned kitchen.
Changed sheets on bed.
Gathered tax papers.
Organized Coat Closet.
Filed bills and school work.
30 minutes on bike at the Ridge.
Attended Baby Shower for Rachel...won a game, won a prize!
Returned items to two stores for refunds.
Shopped Target, Ross and Michael's with zero purchases.
Home for dinner, homemade veggie soup.
To church at 6:00pm.
Home by 7:30.
Exchanged 60 texts with Jim before he left the country.
Grace came to get the Toyota because the Honda is making weird noises.
I told David "no" he could not play soccer because he needs to focus on schoolwork.
Heading to the bathtub to soak in my rose-fragranced bath confetti.
There's a book on my bedside table just waiting to be read tonight.
Good Night.

Do You Know the Way?

Jim is on his way to San Jose this morning.  San Jose, Costa Rica.  

He'll be teaching next week, twice each day.  He'll also get to visit a family from our church that is in language school there.  It will be a great week.  This is what Jim loves to do.  I'll be keeping the home fires burning.  That's what I love to do.

Don't get me wrong, I love to travel.  In fact, I'm already looking forward to a trip to Chicago in April.  Bethany and I have a date at Maggiano's on April 14th.   Jim will be home then, tending the home fires.  
Someone's gotta keep stoking those things along.  

Friday, February 24, 2012

More "Less"

You may remember that last year my word for the year was "strength" and that I bought a ring with "strength" engraved around the band. 
Well, when I decided on the word "less" for 2012, I set out to get a piece of jewelry to wear that said "less".  Easier said than done.  Several vendors offered "fearless" jewelry, and one even suggested I just wear the "less" charm.  Purchasing a piece of jewelry for full price, and wearing only half of it lacks a certain appeal in my book.  So I thought about commissioning a jeweler to make me a "less" piece, but it was quite expensive to do that, and that kind of defeated the purpose of "less".  Until I thought of Christa.  She had made me some darling charms for mom's day and I wondered if she had any more supplies to make me a "less" charm.  She did.

 I re-purposed an old bangle bracelet and pendant hardware, and I attached the "less" charm.  I love it.  I wear it nearly every day.  It's a constant reminder of my goal for this year. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Valentine's Day

Everyone got new red t-shirts to wear.
Brownie Bites to share at work.

Brownies for packed lunches.

Nick and Grace's Valentine's Dinner

Sunday, February 19, 2012

CRU Ladies Retreat Report

Scenery on the Trip to Gardiner, MT

Cooking Report
16 Costco-Size Bags of Chicken Pasta, 72 Hamburgers and 8 Pans of French Fries, 4 Gallons of Soup, 200 Pancakes, 73 Grilled-Cheese Sandwiches, 10 Gallons of Orange Juice all prepared in a church kitchen by Grace and I.

Funniest Things I Heard This Weekend
"Oh, my gosh, how embarrassing.
The curtain just got stuck in my butt crack!"
Me:  "Hi. Lotus!"
Grace (under her breath): "Lotus?  Like the bug?"
Me:  "Not locust, lotus is a flower."
Grace:  "Oh!  I wondered who in the world would name their daughter after a plague."
Me:  "She said she would come if we were showing Dancing With Wolves...Dances With Wolves, what is the name of that movie?"
From the Back Seat:  "Twilight."

"Roughing It"

Scariest Thing That Happened This Weekend
The necklace that Bethany gave me for Christmas fell into the sink and disappeared down the drain quickly, until I caught it by the last inch of chain.

Our R and R

Closest We Got to A Wild Animal This Weekend
As we were preparing breakfast on Saturday morning, an elk walked right by our kitchen window.

Our Drive Home

Things I Learned This Weekend
Grace rocks in the kitchen.
When you stay at a hotel near Yellowstone's gate, there is no fitness room.
A true hot tub turns my skin a brilliant shade of red.
The drive from Livingston to Bozeman is not long enough for me to drink a small McDonald's coffee.
Grace and I sometimes laugh at the same things, especially Sinbad.
I need Jim on trips to pack the hair brush.
Grace did not know who Whitney Houston really was.
I am a confident icy-road driver.  Slow, careful, but confident.
I like being told "Thank You" 37 times for meals prepared.
There is joy in serving others, still.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Weekend Prep

Tonight we are all preparing for our weekend away.  Jim is already away.  Far, far away.  David leaves at 9:30am for an overnight basketball trip to Great Falls.  And Grace and I are packing for a weekend in Gardiner, MT, cooking for 70 college women at the CRU Ladies Retreat!  My packing list includes sharp knives, rubber gloves, a mandolin and my bathing suit.  What more could I need, right? 

Andrew will be holding down the fort while we're all away.
"Par-tee!" he blurted.
I only asked that he not burn down the house.
Or stain the carpet.
Or aggravate the neighbors.
Yep, a nice quiet weekend cleaning his gun should do it for him!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day

Love is that deep unity...maintained by the will, and deliberately strengthened by habit.
C.S. Lewis

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Less" Report: Part One

Since we're nearly half way through February, I thought I would give a word-of-the-year report.  "Less" has been a good experience for me.  I met my financial goal in January; pay $XXX on our credit card, and take whatever $$$ is left in our checking accounts at the end of the month and deposit it in a "Summer" fund.  There was also not a lot of borrowing from Paul to pay Peter in January.  When Paul ran out, he ran out! 

Of course, being financially responsible takes most of the fun out of shopping, but meeting goals is more of a thrill than a good bargain!  I don't know how many times I talked myself out of something in my cart, because I was working on "Less".  I mean, do I really need a personal air freshener at my desk?  Do I really need another pair of black pants when I already own two?  Do I really need a new comforter?  Do I really need another pair of shoes?  In fact, I did succumb to a great deal for a pair of gray shoes (doesn't everyone need gray shoes?!) at Kohl's only to be disappointed that I bought them.  They are my trophy to giving in.  I hate them now for that.

So, the spending less has definitely come to fruition.  I am all about my goals and less about the steals!  And I am content with that.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage

Mark Gungor
Jim and I attended a marriage conference this weekend.  Another marriage conference. 
I was snuffly sick Friday night, but we went anyway, because I thought it would be light and funny.
The speaker, Mark Gungor, had lots of interesting things to say about marriage, men's brains, women's brains, the Song of Solomon, a nothing box, being nice to the girl, men being men, and eyes.  Yep, eyes.  His explanation of the difference between men's and women's eyes was definitely one of my take-aways.
See if you don't agree.
Men's eyes are designed to see one thing at a time.  So when a man looks for the shaker of salt in a kitchen cabinet, his eyes are overwhelmed at all of the things in the cabinet, and can't find the salt.  When he calls to his wife that he can't find the salt, she shleps over to the cabinet, pulls the salt off the shelf, and says "It's right in front of your face".
Being the good normal wife that I am, I have done this dozens of times.
Being the normal inconsiderate wife that I am, I have even belittled the salt seeker.
This was a real eye-opener for me! 
He just can't see it.  His eyes are not designed to see the salt shaker in the vast sea of cabinetness.
Who knew?  I still have so much to learn about this man of mine.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Random Thoughts

*Jim is feeling better; I am feeling worse.

*David's heart monitor comes off every time he plays ball.

*Jim leaves Sunday for a conference.

*Andrew bought a Mac book.

*I miss Emily.

*Bethany signed up for the Chicago Marathon.

*Doug bought a dirt bike.

*Christa is hosting a sushi party tonight.

*Grace is selling chocolate.

*Jim and I are celebrating Valentine's Day tonight at The Porter House in Gallatin Gateway.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Green Dixie Cups

Remember this photo from a wedding reception we attended in January?  Look carefully at the veggie cups?  I have not been able to get these little darlin's out of my mind, how cute they were, how easy they were to serve, and what a perfect little snack of fresh-cut vegetables they provided.  So when it came time for me to provide some goodies for two different events, I bought some green plastic Dixie cups at Target and began to create.

For our Women's Soup Supper I served Pot de Creme in them. (also known as the most amazing chocolate pudding in the world)  Since Pot de Creme is so incredibly rich it was the perfect size.  Just a couple bites.  Magnifique!

Then, yesterday I hosted a Baby Shower and tried my own veggie cups.  Again, impressive, simple, delicious, perfect!

I still have some cups left.  I wonder what else I can do with them.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sundays and the Cats

We are so blessed to have some very special MSU students in our lives.  We have become acquainted with many students that attend our church, and have invited several of the athletes for Sunday Dinners. 

This is not the first time in our lives that college athletes have eaten at our table (Shout out to Pat, Ty and Brandon!)  These particular young men are a long way from their home in Texas, so it's our hope to bring a little "home" to them. We even let them eat in front of the TV!

Their significant others are a joy to visit with, and you can bet they LOVE to watch football, too.

And I am always fascinated by the size of shoes they kick off at our door!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Be Still My Heart

This boy loves his mama.
He has a great heart.
Sometimes it beats too wildly.
He passes all the heart tests.
Nothing structurally abnormal.
Nothing life-threatening.
But a curiosity.
So now he wears a heart monitor.
Hoping to record an "episode".
Hopefully we'll find answers.
My heart will rest when we do.