Sunday, November 30, 2008
Anyway, as I was shopping for someone else's Christmas gifts to the little Ws I spotted fleece jammy pants. For adults. Like me. I showed tremendous maturity and kept walking. Well, there was some immaturity, as I kept glancing back at the $10 sale price they had marked on the rack. Suddenly, I had a vision. It was God speaking to me, I'm sure of it. I could see very clearly in my mind's eye a gift card someone had given me for my birthday back in June. A gift card that I had with me. A gift card that still had $10 on it. So, in an attempt to follow God's clear direction, I snagged a stinkin' cute and very warm pair of fleece jammy pants for myself. In blue, of course. Aren't they cute?
Friday, November 28, 2008
Here's some non-magical info that may interest you. He's only about 5 inches tall, too big to get lost, too small to be in the way. We discover him when we unpack our Christmas decorations and he stays around until the decorations are taken down. We can only assume that he lives in the Christmas boxes during the rest of the year. We've seen snowmen that seem to be related to him at Dollar Tree. And that, my friends, is your introduction to the Sneaky Snowman.
And I'll wrap this up by sending you to see my Dad share a little Christmas spirit with you. He has a reputation for taking songs and tweaking them for the sake of amusing us. I wanted to embed the video into this post, but I'm not smart enough to figure out how to do that. Evidently using the "embed" option at the video doesn't work. Go figure. If anyone feels like telling me how to do it, then you'd be my best friend for the day. Meanwhile, just click on the link to see the video.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I'm thankful for our landlord doing a bunch of upgrades and repairs over the last week or so.
What is one thing you're thankful for?
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Oh man, I want one of those kids. I'll do some work toward adopting another W in the next few months, but won't go hardcore until the spring. Basketball has started and I'd be setting myself up for a nervous breakdown if I started a big project right now.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 c. chopped green pepper
2 T. plus 1c. all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 t. dried basil
1/2 t. fennel seed, crushed
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
2 c. (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 c. milk
1 T. vegetable oil
1/2 t. salt
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese, (optional)
In a saucepan, cook the sausage, onion and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour, basil and fennel; mix well. Add tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Transfer to an ungreased 13x9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Place the remaining flour in a mixing bowl. Beat in the eggs, milk, oil and salt until smooth; stir in Parmesan cheese if desired. Pour over casserole. Bake uncovered at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until browned.
Notes: I always use way more that ½ t. of basil and I often replace it with Italian seasoning. I never use fennel, as there is already some in the sausage. I frequently use whole wheat flour because it’s healthier and people who aren’t crazy about it can’t really taste a difference due to the strong flavor of everything else in the dish. I think the Parmesan is a must, and more than 2 T. You can never have too much cheese! I always make a double batch of the base and then freeze the extra in quart-sized freezer bags. You can pre-grate and freeze the cheese too.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I'm also thankful that my grandmother lives just around the corner. And that she brought me flowers when I was wiped out yesterday. And that she has let me use her computer two days in a row.
Next week will be better, right? It has to be. It's Thanksgiving week!!
Monday, November 17, 2008
So I took a shower and crawled into bed with a book around 6:30. I turned out the lights at 7:20. Everyone else was still up and playing, so I didn't fall asleep right away. It was still nice to rest though. The kids went down at 8:00 and I was asleep within minutes. I woke at 9:15, then fell back asleep. I woke at 11:15, then fell back asleep. I woke at 12:30 and am still awake. I stayed in bed for a while. Then I got up to read my Bible, type out a bunch of stuff that's on my mind, and send off an e-mail I normally do in the mornings. I tried going back to bed, but couldn't sleep. So, I've just been reading my Bible.
Monday is going to be a long day. I hope I can take a nap.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Traditions - I love, love, love traditions! I mean, I really love them. Seems that the holidays bring out many, so I thought it would be fun to share them. Here are some of ours. I'll try to stick to ones that aren't necessarily traditional (like Easter egg hunts).
Birthdays - It's "Doughnut Date with Daddy" for the birthday kid's breakfast. We cancel school (we school year-round) on each family member's birthday. The kids pick a birthday cake that I bake and decorate. Take a picture of the birthday kid in a pair of jeans and white t-shirt that belong to the same gender parent. It's the same outfit every year, so we can see how they grow.
Valentine's Day - We do a homemade valentine swap with people from the SL forums. We save all the valentines we receive in a basket until 2/14 . Then we spend the morning decorating heart-shaped sugar cookies, which we eat while opening all the valentines. We also map the places the valentines came from.
Christmas - We have a Sneaky Snowman that arrives around Christmas. I'll tell you more about him another day. The kids open one gift, jammies from Tim & I, on Christmas Eve. We drive around to look at Christmas lights. We go to Zoo Lights. Decorate the tree as a family while listening to Christmas music. We read tons of Christmas books. Listen to lots of Christmas music of our own, from the library, and on Pandora. Tim and I watch White Christmas (I love it, he loves me) while I eat pumpkin bread and apple butter (I love it, he doesn't). We do stockings first thing on Christmas morning. We watch the Christmas Ships. Tape all the cards, newsletters and pics that we get to the wall. Decorate tree shaped sugar cookies. Have dessert and crockpot cider on Christmas Eve after reading the story of Jesus' birth in the Bible. One ornament per kid per year, which they'll get to take when they move out. We go to an awesome concert for free.
Random - Tim does "four corners" with the kids, particularly when they're babies and toddlers. He kisses their forehead, each cheek, then their chin. The boys have carried on the tradition and do it with Naomi. I tell the kids "you're my favorite __ year old/baby" all the time. Sometimes that morphs into ...
Me: Guess what?
Them: I'm your favorite __ year old?
Me: How did you know?
Them: Because you tell me all. the. time.
I'll include some of my dad's, simply because they involve our kids. He has traditions of taking the kids to "Old McDonald's" and Chuck E. Cheese when he visits, taking us to a pumpkin patch, and doing magic tricks. He and Debra have a tradition of getting each of our kids a teddy bear when they're born.
I'm sure I'll think of more later, but that's the bulk of them. I'd encourage you to start (and keep!) traditions in your family. They don't have to be spendy, time consuming, or super exciting. They're just the things that make your family a special group to be part of, that give a sense of belonging and comfort, that provide something to look forward to and depend on.
So, tell me some of your traditions!
Turkey - I got a turkey for 22 cents/lb at WinCo last night. If you spend $50, then you can get a Butterball for 58/lb or a generic one for 22/lb. That's 17 lbs of meat for less than $4.00! I know Safeway has a similar deal going on. So go snag some cheap meat for your family! If anyone else has the opportunity to score a cheap turkey that they don't want, then let me know. I'd love to pay you back for 22/lb meat!
Friday, November 14, 2008
I must say that there have been bright spots - my grandma taking the kids and I to McDonald's after Devon's post-op appointment, having friends for dinner on Monday, IMing my sister, and some super cute pics taken of the fam at Penney's. But it's still been a hard week. I'm discouraged, overwhelmed, and tired. Blah.
Hope next week is better.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Today is only the second time I've logged on and I'm just thinking it's cluttered and confusing. Like the News Feed. What's the point? So I can know what each of my friends is doing right now? And whose sites they've all commented on? I don't care whose sites they've commented on! Status updates? Just a less cluttered view of the news feed? And live feed is the same info all over again?
What am I missing here? What's the big draw? I'll stay if I can be convinced it's worth my time. So, if you like using Facebook, then tell me why. If you don't, then I guess you can tell me that too, but I'm mostly interested in the reason for doing it.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Sleepless - When I turned the computer on Wednesday morning I realized it hadn't been shut down properly the last time it was used. Weird. Even weirder was that there were kid games on the screen. I knew for a fact that I hadn't been playing kid games before going to bed the previous night. A bit later Silas woke up. The first thing he said was "I woke up and played games while everyone was sleeping. It was 1:01 on the microwave clock when I woke up. I played for a while, then I went back to bed. It was all in the middle of the night." Fabulous. Another insomniac in the family.
Song - I have a friend, Susan, on the SL forums whose husband is in the music business. Just after Silas drowned she told me that his drowning was the inspiration for some lyrics that she and her husband had composed. Well, they were finally able to share the song. Before I link you to the song, let me share what Susan posted a couple days ago. For those unfamiliar with internet shorthand, "dh" means "dear husband". And "The Big Bison" is Susan's online nickname for her husband.
Here's the song the Big Bison and I wrote for Bethany! Well, OK, we didn't actually write it for Bethany. But something that happened to her inspired it.
Here's the back story. Dh asked me to help him write 4 songs he was commissioned to write for a music house in town. The way this works is that periodically, the music house puts out CDs of music that radio and TV stations and advertisers can license music from. You might here it as background music for a commercial on TV. They commissioned him to write 4 "modern folk songs" (whatever those might be) on any subject he desired.
So, he started bugging me to give him some ideas, and I turned to YOU ladies, because on these forums you certainly find a sampling of life in all its aspects: hopes, dreams, tragedies - topics ranging anywhere from the mundane to the glorious. (And may I say, that very often, the glorious is found in the midst of the mundane. Which sounds like an idea for another song.)
So, at about the time that he was bugging me to come up with some ideas, Bethany's son Silas almost drowned. What a shocking thing that was!!! One moment they were in the midst of a relaxed family get-together, and the next, the unthinkable had happened.
It took my breath away to read about it, and I prayed earnestly for Bethany and Silas and all the W's. And it got me to thinking about the concept of "life". How fleeting, how fragile, yet how tenacious and determined is our very breath, our very heartbeat. So, I jotted down some phrases for the Big Bison, and he did the rest.
And here is the song. It is just audio, no visual, and is about two minutes long. Enjoy!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I'm thankful that Tim and I get to go on a free date tonight.
What is one thing that you are thankful for?
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Today things are so much better. Obviously there are moments I'm fried on motherhood, but most of the time I'm happy with how things are. I've spent more time praying for them, hanging out with them, and smiling when I speak to them. I've made a conscious effort to not complain about them, whether in serious frustration or lightheartedly. I've also spent more time reading my Bible and praying, reprioritizing the way I spend my time (housework, school, computer, etc) and taking time to relax by myself.
I don't want to be one of those women who only talks about motherhood in a negative light, so I just wanted to make sure I told you all how much fun I'm having as a mom to the little Ws these days.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Just thought I'd share some pics of the adventure. Some were taken by me when I took Silas, Naomi, and my grandma up to see Devon before surgery on Friday. Some of them were taken by Devon. I told him we'd do a blog about his hospital stay like we did with Silas, so he took a bunch of pics of his room to share with all of you. One picture is the "photo shoot" taken during his surgery. I'll save it for last and give you a warning, in case pics of internal stuff gross you out.
* Devon thoroughly enjoyed having the ability to control the lights, TV, and bed movement from his own nifty remote control.
* Nurse Kelly, who I'm sure would love this picture.
* The smoke alarm, track for the privacy curtain, and sprinkler ... all in one picture!
* Cool pictures and design bordering the wall.
* The super cool, glow-in-the-dark moon and stars above Devon's bed.
* Devon was being a little bit solemn and grumpy. It had nothing to do with medical problems and everything to do with copping an attitude. So, while everyone else went to hunt down the cafeteria, Devon and I did a photo shoot. He absolutely loves getting kissed by me. Loves it! Can you tell? The fact that I have him in lockdown is coincidental. I assure you that he was not trying to escape. And his hand by my chin? That's a stroke of affection and not a defensive push.
* Little case of the giggles.
* I specifically told Devon to be serious. He's so defiant.
* Abs of Shrek, which is way cooler than abs of steel for any boy. The top one is for the belly button entry, the other two are the hernia sites. In case you missed it, when they pushed the incarcerated hernia back they discovered a mild hernia on the other side. So, he had both repaired. Did you notice how nicely his iodine skin matches his orange sheets?
* The next pic is of his insides, so feel free to be done reading if you have a wimpy tummy. The pics are small and aren't particularly gross or anything, but I know some people can't handle seeing anything internal under any circumstances. So, I'm just trying to be thoughtful. Nice of me, isn't it?
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction , by David Sheff
The thing that I loved most about this book was that it was just real. There wasn't the doom and gloom that says addicts will never recover. There wasn't false hope given to people by saying "if you just choose the right program, then the addict will live happily ever after". I recommended it to a friend whose son is in rehab right now and she confirmed how great the book was. The author really draws you in and you feel like you're riding the emotional roller coaster with him. Excellent book for those who love someone, particularly a child, who's battling drugs. Also a good read for any parent, as drugs know no boundary. They reach kids in public, private and home school, those raised in families that are devout Christians and those who are atheist, kids who are athletic, artistic, or intellectual, the loners and the popular kids, those who are rich, poor, and middle class, living in inner cities and tiny towns.
Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs, by Emerson Eggerichs
Judy Slaughter gave me this book a couple years ago when I told her how much I struggle with having a critical spirit. I read it then, so this was a re-read. It's broken into three parts - one for the husband, one for the wife, and the rest for the couple. When Judy gave it to me she forbid me from reading the husband part, as my critical attitude would have me thinking "see, I knew he should be doing that!". Though my attitude has improved since then, I chose to skip that part again. It's a great book and I recommend it for all wives who struggle with being critical of people, particularly their husbands.
Mountain Rescue Doctor: Wilderness Medicine In The Extremes Of Nature, by Christopher Van Tilburg
The author of this book is a doctor and a Crag Rat, part of a volunteer search and rescue team in Hood River county. His book tells about several of the calls he's gone out on, both on Mount Hood and in other locations. There are happy endings and sad endings, high profile calls that made nationwide news and small ones that no one ever heard about. He also includes a lot of history, information about the outdoors, and views on legislation concerning outdoor recreation.
The Bagpipe (World - Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Galicia, Canada) - Sounded pretty much like bagpipe music.
El Gran Combo De Puerto Rico - Arroz Con Habichuela (World - Puerto Rico) - This was fun music and Naomi's favorite dancing album of the month.
Jolie Holland - Catalpa (Folk) - This was the most unpleasant music I've ever heard, as if someone randomly woke one day and decided to record an album.
Toby Mac - Portable Sounds (Christian) - A favorite of everyone in the fam, listened to it a lot!
Taj Mahal - World Blues (Blues) - Liked the music, wasn't always listening carefully to the lyrics
Kid Ramos - West Coast House Party (Blues) - Fun music, kids did lots of dancing to it.