Thursday, December 22, 2011


Hair in bun...check!

 "Rev" coffee on board...check!

Dark Chocolate...the breakfast of champions! Check!
Ready to Wrap! Those! Gifts!
Let's do this thing! we have any tape?
Where are the scissors?
I forgot to buy tags.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stolen Briefcase Found

Wow!  God has been gracious to us.  Your prayers (see previous post) were answered quickly!  Tim just received a call from the owner of a gas station about a mile away.  His briefcase, MINUS the computer sadly, was found dumped there!  We are so thankful that all our personal papers are (supposedly) still there.  THANK for the prayers.  It's barely nine in the morning, and I'm ready for a nap (with the doors locked! with my purse under my pillow! with my dog....oh never mind.)

Merry Christmas.

Fierce Defender Fails

Here is our fierce and ferocious watchdog.
She will bite  your hand right off! (if you're holding bacon....)
She slept soundly last night while someone broke into our garage, into my husband's car and stole his work briefcase.

They left my purse in the suburban undisturbed.

Clearly a professional hit job.

Please pray that the briefcase with his computer and a lot of personal papers would be returned.

(For those who need more details,
I went out to the garage this morning at 6:45 to 
take out recycling and noticed that the garage
door was open and that my husband's
back car door was ajar.
I knew we were in trouble.
Tim was the last one home last night and always closes the garage door, so we have no explanation.)

We are thankful that nothing else is missing.

As for Molly...she is well rested and without concern this morning
except for being in trouble for eating the garbage while
we were having a heart attack about the briefcase.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Guess Who! Ho Ho HO

Guess who came to our house tonight to make an early delivery?
 At first she didn't know what to think!
Santa....right there in her living room!
 Of course the wheels were turning!
It's not Papa......
 Santa was kind and thoughtful and asked her many  questions...
 She didn't always know the answer..
Meanwhile, Zach was standing behind Santa,
waving his arms and mouthing

"It's SANTA!" I kept saying.

Pretty soon he ran and got Andrew.

And Timmy got home from basketball
in the "Nick" of time!
 Zach is still not sure.
Andrew knows.
Katie knows.
Timmy...who knows....

 The whole family.
Thanks Santa!
(Look at Zach's face...he's still thinking...)
 "Can you believe it!?"

They watched out the BACK to try to see
the sled but...
Wait!  What's that glowing light in the window?
My flash....or.....

Moms of the World...This One's for YOU

This is for all the harried, stressed, TIRED moms (or dads) out there
this busy Monday before Christmas....take my advice.  
Stop what you are doing (well, after you are done reading this of course....)

Stop what you are going to do NEXT before you do it, 
before  you start in on that laundry mountain,
before you begin the frenzied list of errands that is clearly going to stretch
into next Thursday, 
before you lose your mind in this Christ-mas season.

Do this.

Go somewhere private.  This CAN be done in front of others,
but if it's your first time or you're really stressed or 
not particularly "out there," it's best to be alone.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.

Raise your hands up to the heavens.  You can do the straight up 
style or the menorrah style, but get those hands up.

Focus on the God who loves you, 
who gives us this season to remember His Gift of His Son
who came to bring us forgiveness and mercy through 
His birth in a manger and His death on a cross.

Then, feel your own emptiness and tiredness and sing this
simple children's song.

(Although not a traditional Christmas song, it is
a traditional "week before Christmas song" for me!)

Give me oil in my lamp; keep me burning.
Give me oil in my lamp I pray. (Hallelulia)
Give me oil in my lamp; keep me burning.
Keep me burning 'til the break of day.
(now praise:)
Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna,
Sing Hosanna to the King of Kings
Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna
Sing Hosanna to the King.

Repeat as needed.  Your lamp and the whole holiday are empty without Him.  Admit that and everything falls into perspective. 

I just did this, and it has made all the difference.

A New Niece!

The adoption of a new cousin has happened!  The kids are so excited to meet her in a few days, but if you want to see how things are progressing in China, here's the link:

Walking in the Truth

We rejoice!  Welcome Elsa and Thank you Father.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dry Skin or Cat Litter

Thoughts to myself:

My face is so dry.  I've been using lotion but what are all these crinkles and flakes?  It's never been THIS dry before.  Is the house dry?  Wait!  Did I ever turn on the humidifier this Fall in the basement?  No!  I'm sure I didn't...I just turned the furnace on upstairs and I never went down.  Well!  THAT explains the crepe paper skin on my face! It's not that I'm old.  Whew!  So....I suppose I should go down to the furnace room and turn that humidifier on....No!  I can't!  If I go to the furnace room, I'll walk by the cat litter box, and if I walk by the cat litter box, I will most surely SEE that the cat litter box is full to overflowing. Then I will be morally obliged to change it and it's SO DISGUSTING!  THINK.  Is there any way I can get by it without NOTICING??? have to step over it to get to the humidifier switch.  Ya know, maybe I could just live with the crypt-keeper skin.   Yes!  I could buy a hydrating mask or something!  But then I'd break out; I know I'd break out.  (Sigh) Dry skin....or cat litter....dry litter.  Maybe I'll have a cup of coffee and chocolate and think about it awhile.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Getting Worse

It's getting worse.  Lily ab-so-lutely REFUSED to go out the door this morning with gloves that didn't match.  Now mind you....I'm not talking about one glove on one hand not matching the glove on the other hand....I'm talking about the matching pair of gloves being BLACK and NOT matching her PINK hat, scarf, coat, snow pants and boots.  I decided to be tough.  "Lily, you are JUST going to have to wear the black gloves today...we'll find some pink ones later."  The bus was coming in one minute.  "NOOOooooooooo Mom!  Wait...I have another pair somewhere!"  At this point she dumped out her backpack and sure enough there was a pair of little pink stretchy gloves....not very warm BUT the requisite color.  After checking to make sure I wasn't secretly being filmed by "Toddlers and Tiaras," I caved in and let her wear the lightweight pink's 10 degrees out...but she knows how to stick her hands in her pockets...

Dear World,  is there a desensitizing therapy for this?  Should I force her to wear unmatching clothes?  Would she survive?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Let's Pretend

Let's pretend, for a post or two...
that it is early November 
and I, along with every other mother,
am sharing my recently taken photos 
of my adorable children.

Work with me.

I've had a busy Fall.

Katie and I bummed around Savers (consignment shop) 
for an hour with no inspiration and a $20 budget.

Finally when we were about to give up...
we found the AQUA BLUE WIG.

Aqua is "so her color!"

Lily also honed in on a wig.
She passed up the fairy costumes and queen costumes for this,
a non-specific Indian girl.
"Do NOT call me Pocahontas!"

The rest of the stuff we had...

And I must say...she looked pretty authentic...
except for the pink inflatable guitar...

Even rock stars need sustenance.... she fueled up for the big evening of...
wait...isn't 15 too old to go around and get candy?


You have a cute adorable little sister who is too young to go around the neighborhood alone....
and your mother hates the cold....

"Oh YEAH...."

"Works for me, MOM!  Let's go Katie!"

"Love ya Zach!  Maybe next time!"

And the sorting begins....

Gloves are OFF...this is serious.

Oh by the way...Timmy was around too.
But he didn't hang around much.  
I'm laughing because in real life you can tell that the flesh material across his torso makes a pirate FACE...
but in the photographs it looks....
not quite like a face......

I don't know Timmy.
But it did the job.
Then he came back, stripped off the questionable costume,
threw on a stockingcap,
and went back AGAIN!

Before you judge me...I give away a LOT of candy.
I figure it all comes out even...
we needed enough to share...

with those truly too big to get it for themselves.
(Look!  I never noticed that they have the same chins!)

OK...end of let's pretend.
Thank you for working with me.
Back to December 8.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mayhem in Denim

I mentioned a couple of days ago, what a delightful trip we had back October
 with our nephew Gus wedged into our already full suburban.

I sang his praises here.

He was a "peaceful and calming influence" in the car...
which I'm pretty sure...
...let me think about it...
...yep which I'm pretty sure he's never been called before.

Don't believe me?

Well let me introduce you to the usual scene...
and this was on my BIRTHDAY!

Yeah.  You see what I mean.

On this particular evening, after we poured out of our suburban and got over the trauma of being together in a vehicle...

...there was a little business to attend to!

Look at how the roles are reversed in this picture.  I'm the kid and Katie is the supervising 
and proud parent...
"Don't get your hair in the fire sweetie."


"Mom the boys hurt my shoulder..."
Well...all was back to normal.
Except for that big poof of hair on the back of my head.
You would think somebody would have told me...
but they are used to my pouffy hair, so..
the pouffier the better.

Speaking of how your family views you..
get a load of the JEANS my BRAVE husband bought for me.
I didn't know what to think!
Still don't know what to think....

Husbands of the world...
buy jewelry not jeans.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ya Get What Ya Pay For

Hello all.

Confession:  I wrote down all the funny quotes from our trip to Wheaton, and now I can't find the paper.

I had promised you I'd share them.

But I can't find them.

There's an above average chance that the paper is in the big monster pile of paper accumulating on my kitchen desk.

Problem is, I don't deal with that big monster pile of paper except at the end of the month when I have to pay the bills....or else get the electricity turned off....or the satellite tv!

And it's November 19, or something like that, which means the big monster pile is ...well... getting towards the point where you don't want to dig into it or you'll have an avalanche and get depressed at all the bills and things you need to take care of....

ALL that was to'll have to hang on a bit for those quotes from our trip.

In other news, Tim and I went to a fancy "gala" (that's redundant because anything called "gala" has to be fancy...sorry).

He was in a tuxedo.
I was in a floor length velvet.

We asked a kid to take our picture in all of our finery and this is what we got:

Don't you just LOVE my dress?
There were hired photographers which we walked past....why pay when you can get a picture at home free?!

Always check the camera folks, always check the camera.

Oh well.
Maybe next year.
Probably wouldn't have liked something about the way the dress looked anyway....
(Eeyore moment)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Eating, Driving, Hugging, Playing: A Two-and-a-half Day Road Trip to Wheaton!

Ages in back in October...
which seems more like 6 months ago instead of one month ago...
our family of 7 went on a road trip,
and as a testament to just HOW MUCH we LOVE him,
we were willing to take an already maxed out suburban,
and add one more person.
Our nephew Gus came along!
It was a bit crowded,
...and illegal....
but Gus's sense of humor was enough to carry us through!
Plus nobody except Lily was willing to have a meltdown with Gus in the car.

Tim and I also had to forego our traditional "road trip meltdown" in which
 we spend the first ten minutes addressing all the "getting on the road" shortcomings of our crew
 and the next ten minutes apologizing for being such frustrated and crabby parents!

Tim and I typically scrape it together by the time we get to
 the St. Croix River at the Wisconsin border.
What stress-outs happen in Minnesota
stay in Minnesota!

But it didn't happen this time!
Gus....are you available in December?
We have an 11 hour drive ahead of us in December and....

Because we had Gus along, and needed to establish ourselves as "fun"...
we agreed to stop for pie at "The Norse Nook"
...about an hour and a half into the 6 hour trip.

Nobody will ever understand what this mentally cost my dear husband.
Except me.
But it was good for him.

Adjustments were made by all!
Have I mentioned that it was a bit tight in the suburban?

All these folks, plus me.
And their luggage.
Good Times!

After some pie (TO GO)...
Come on....Tim is still....Tim.
...and four or so more hours of driving.....

It was Dinna Time.....

And after some good-natured wrangling
 (thank you again Gus for your mediating presence in our vehicle)
...we decided FINALLY on Red Robin.
(no explanation available at this time) we were following the Garmin's pink path 
to the Red Robin,
we came across THIS:


In the end....Texas won.
Being that it was Halloween, there were some unappetizing 
decorations which I question...

...Wisconsin humor in a Texas Wisconsin...
must be different than Minnesota humor.
We doubted our choice for a minute.

But the AMAZING dinner rolls and peanuts made everything better.

When you are the youngest child...
you approach all food with caution I guess.
"What is this?  This looks like a roll...but what I just saw in the
 entryway has made me nervous!"

No caution here!

The battered onion was just fine!

But the mosts memorable part of the dinner was...

Timmy and the Chicken Fried Steak....
(This sounds like the title to a children's story book....hmmm)

It was the size of frisbee....
a large frisbee....

...and fried all over....

This wasn't the chicken fried steak that his mama makes...
but he didn't complain.
He just ate.
And ate.

Katie's triumph was this....I so regretted my low carb choices
 when I saw this.
Then she was too full to eat it!!!

So while everybody else headed to the car because Tim was cracking
  the whip....I hurriedly filled styrofoam boxes with Timmy's
 remaining acre of steak and Katie's sweet potato.

Suddenly I looked up and they were all gone...

They had left the parking space and were poised on the edge
 of the parking lot.
I was a little miffed that they make me walk FURTHER 
just because I was gathering THEIR leftovers but...
Gus was in the car.
So I didn't say anything.

I just quietly ate the topping off
Katie's sweet potato.
....and felt that justice had been served.

Nonetheless, we were late and needed to hurry.
And hurry we did because we had family waiting!

Cousins seeing each other again is always fun!

It was a hug fest!

I wish these moments could be bottled!
Alas...they can only be blogged.

Everyone was excited to see each other again, hang out and...

Oldest cousin with youngest cousin.
So sweet!

Eating AGAIN!

Who could pass up these delicious pumpkin cookies!

"Please can we have some more?"

Continuing with the eating theme....we had lunch the next day
in Wheaton College's amazing cafeteria.

Katie looked like just another college student!
Well, except that two elementary kids kept trailing her.
She enjoyed hanging out and observing all the fun.

Lily on the other hand was bored....
she didn't find the collegiate scene to her liking...

"Where's Gus?"
"He's fun."

Hey Lily!  Timmy can be fun too.

We lost him for awhile.

Then we found him in the student center basement 
playing a ping pong 
tournament with a bunch of unknown college guys.

"Stranger?  What's a stranger?  We were just playing ping pong, Mom....and I was winning!"

We tore him away mid-victory and finished a lovely 
visit with games in the park.
That's Zach and Katie on the right.

When did they get so grownup?

It was a great family visit, college visit, dining adventure
 and overall fun road trip.

Gus, you are welcome to join us any ol' time!
We'll even give you the middle seat!

Coming tomorrow:  top quotes from our time together in the car.  
You won't want to miss that!