Thursday, September 30, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
These are questions I've been thinking about for a couple months and it's disappointing to realize that my alleged priority list, the things I'd write on a list, is not the same as my actual priority list, the way I live my life. A handful of things have happened lately that really drove home the discrepancy between the life I want to live and the one I'm actually living. So, a few days ago I wrote down my ideal list, the priorities that I want my life to reflect. Then I wrote down my actual list, the priorities indicated by the way I've been living my life. Now I'm making changes.
It's only been a few days, yet I've faced the struggle of choosing the right thing over the easy thing, the responsible thing over the irresponsible, the wise over the foolish. We're all bombarded by those choices all day, every day. Sometimes the choice is over something seemingly trivial and other times it's life-changing.
Have I done well? Often. It hasn't always been fun or easy, but it's definitely been worth it. Experiencing the tangible benefits of having my priorities in line makes it easier to keep making the right choice, so I'm thankful that some of the changes I'm making have pretty immediate results. That will help me persevere with the things that are long-term or are just harder to put into practice.
Have I blown it? Yep, but that's life. At least I'm trying. That's more than I can say for my behavior for the last ... oh, for quite a while.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Buttons - Are any of you interested in old buttons? Have an antique button collector in your family or anything? I know someone who has some to get rid of, but they'd rather see them go to someone who collects buttons rather than into a button jar for kids to play with.
Zippers - I'm having a slipcover crisis. Truly. The zipper on a slipcover broke. The pull is gone and the other part, then slotted part that you slip the moving side into (oh, this makes no sense in writing, wish I'd have taken a picture), snapped in half. How this happened, I have no idea. Anyway, I can no longer zip the slipcover on a seat cushion and it's driving me nuts. I don't know if those parts can be replaced or if the whole zipper has to be redone. For that matter, I don't even know if zippers come in the length the cushion needs. Ack! So, anyone an expert in zipper repair? Cause I'd love to pay you to fix my slipcover.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
We were able to enjoy a warm and sunny evening with friends, pelting each other with little pillows of sugar. A perfect start to autumn!
The "token rookie" award goes to Mike, who also made blue guns. I love blue, so I'll give him the "my gun's better than yours" award too.
The "football coach" award goes to Michael, who hung out with two, then three, then four, then all the boys as they ditched the war for some tackling.
The "world's best parent" award goes to Brett, for managing to get a compliment on the behavior of one of his children, despite the fact that the behavior being praised was actually a consequence for a previous foolish decision.
Good times! You can click here to see all the photos from the evening. Thanks to everyone for coming out!!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I loved it and decided to just hold tight on the backpack. Well, Heidi sent me a message saying that her supplier had just come out with a bag she thought I'd like. She was right and I placed my order. Here's what arrived in the mail today.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Anyway, back to the food. I served a variety of raw veggies, three new dips, deviled eggs, a new bread recipe, a new dip for the bread, and a cookie/candy recipe I haven't made since middle or high school. The dip and bread recipes came from magazines I had. The cookie/candy recipe came from my paternal grandma (not the one whose pictures you see here occasionally). She always made them at Christmas. They're kinda funky, but it was fun to have them after so many years.
Without further ado, and with apologies for the horrible lighting for pictures in our dining room that makes everything look yellow-ish and a guarantee that the dips looked better in real life, here's what we ate. Recipes are linked in green, in case they intrigue you.
Dilly Cucumber Dip
Rosemary White Bean Dip
Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce
The whole spread.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Tim's a minority, dealt with some hard circumstances as a kid, struggled academically in high school, got kicked out of college because of his grades, and tried his hand at theft a few times as a minor. In other words, he has a lot in common with his students.
However, and this is the cool part, he also graduated from high school, got a B.A. in health promotions & fitness management (first college degree in his family), got his M.A.T., which is masters of arts in teaching (also a first in his family), gave himself a "three strikes, you're out" policy for stealing and chose to quit after the third time he got caught, and is doing well in life.
His past will help him relate to his students, while his present life can offer them some encouragement to get things turned around and make the best of their situations. I'm eager to see what this year brings for him and his students!
The cook - I wanted to try a recipe for funnel cakes that a friend had shared. Neither Tim nor I had ever had them, though we are big fans of their culinary cousin, elephant ears/doughboys. However, I don't like frying stuff. It never works and I get irritated. So, Tim took over.
The verdict? They look cool and taste ok, but they don't even come close to being as good as an elephant ear. Not by a long shot!
The dad - Tim has a lifetime pass to sporting events at the high school he went to, so he always takes the boys with him. This year Naomi got to join in for the first home game of the season.
Everyone bundled up (in our family that means you grabbed a sweatshirt) for a drizzly game.
Turns out Tim had read the schedule wrong and there was no home game. I, of course, had committed one hour to housework, then planned on spending the rest of the evening reading in a silent house. So, Tim took everyone to Wendy's for a frosty, then brought them back just in time to get them into bed.
The husband - As I mentioned yesterday, Tim showed his support of my participation in the Race for the Cure. By coming to watch, he also modeled family support to our kids - specifically husband for wife, kids for mom - two areas of support that are often lacking in families.
He also got down on his knee and gave me a gift after the kids went to bed on Friday night. A box.
Nope, it's not jewelry.
It's strawberry milkshake Whoppers!! He loves me.
And right now, on a Sunday night, while I'm post-dating a blog post for Monday, he's washing dishes with Naomi. She was wiped out from our day downtown and napped way too long. Oops. After listening to her sing in bed for an hour, he got her up to tag team dishes. Glad we don't have bedtime issues so that we can enjoy these rare times where a kid won't go to sleep.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
6:50 Pulled into the parking lot of the Wilsonville movie theatre. Immediately choked up when I saw the people waiting to load the free shuttle buses. Was fighting tears the entire time I was on the bus. Most emotional part of the day for me. Weird.
7:25 Arrived at Portland's Race for the Cure, the third largest race in the country in numbers and the biggest per capita. Browsed through some booths. Scored some freebies. Saw a full-sized poodle dyed pink for the occasion. Saw Beckie or her twin. Still have to find out which it was.
8:00 Met with some of my team. Technically we were a team, but we participated in three different events and weren't all able to connect at the same time. Took a group photo. Chatted a bit. Filled out my "in memory of" card.
8:40 Got in line for my walk. Waited.
9:00 Started walking. Saw a memory card on the back of a woman saying that her mom died six days ago. Saw lots of families walking together in celebration of the wife/mom. Saw some men walking in memory of their wives. Saw lots of people walking in memory of their moms.
9:20 Spotted the fam, who had driven on their own later in the morning. Stopped to hug Naomi . Got my picture taken. Kept walking.
10:20 Finished walking. Found the fam. Walked to the Portland Saturday Market, which also runs on Sunday, despite the name, and bought some food. Met up with Thea and her friend. Ate together and chatted for a while.
11:30 Headed back to the shuttle bus. Brought Devon along. Ended up being the only riders. Chatted with Devon about the race, Komen, breast cancer treatments, and his need to keep the safety pins holding my bib onto my shirt. Chatted with the bus driver about what Wilsonville was like when he lived here in 1991-1992.
12:15 Arrived at home for a bathroom break and to get Silas. Tim's car still wasn't home. Headed to the church to meet Tim, who was dropping Silas off there. Let the boys head in after service was out to say their memory verses to their teacher. Went home.
1:00 Crawled into bed. Slept two hours.
3:00 Woke. Blogged. Spent the rest of the day tackling a messy house.
Once again, I want to thank everyone who supported me financially. My goal, which was a huge stretch for me, was $300 and I ended up with $345 in donations. Awesome!
I also want to publicly thank my family for coming. I didn't realize this was happening on a Sunday when I signed up, just assumed it was a Saturday event. Not the case! Due to the time of my event, I wasn't able to go to either service at church. I don't think I've ever missed church for anything other than childbirth or illness (mine or the kids'). I'm not saying that pridefully or anything, just as a piece of trivia. Needless to say, I was really bummed to miss church and had no expectation that my family would do the same.
A couple days ago, however, Tim told me they were going. Wish I'd copied his exact words, but the gist of it was that I've supported him in his things and they were all going to support me in mine. As I told him, "aw, warm fuzzies". So, there were four Ws sitting on the curb at the corner of Broadway and Morrison as I walked by. That really meant a lot to me!
One last shocking bit of news. I wore pink today. It was just a small amount and it was on the race shirt, but still ... I wore pink.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I finally sent the cross to Linda and asked her to make me something with it. She's one of my artsy craftsy friends and makes awesome jewelry, so I knew I could give her free reign to surprise me something I liked. While I've bought her jewelry for other people, I've never had any of my own. Until today. Check out the beautiful necklace that arrived in our mailbox today!!!
Greens and browns. What's not to love?! I'm boycotting regular clothes today, but the necklace is staying on til bedtime. We'll just pretend that it goes well with the blue and white jammies I've been wearing since last night.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tam's granola (crockpot)
oat & almond breakfast bars (make the night before, didn't get made last rotation)
blueberry sour cream pancakes
easy cranberry granola
wheat germ whole wheat buttermilk pancakes (freezer)
new bean recipe (flop)/corn on the cob
grilled salmon/cracked wheat & rice pilaf/green beans with dill & feta
bbq chicken pizza/salad
finger foods - deviled eggs/scallion pancakes/soy ginger dipping sauce/crackers/raw veggies/dilly cucumber dip/rosemary white bean dip/carrot ginger dip
death by garlic/frozen veggies
Seattle cream cheese dogs/fruit
creamy white bean chicken chili/cornbread (double batch, freeze one)
fish tacos with chipotle dressing/beans (crockpot)
black bean tortilla pie/salad
black bean & couscous salad
Cajun sausage & beans (crockpot)/cornbread (freezer)
oatmeal cookies (double batch, send half to Tim's school)
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Well, this year I had two weeks of a mildly runny nose in May. That's it. Just a little snot, not tons. For two weeks, not an entire season. Even better? I had absolutely zero eye symptoms. None!! I had stocked up on bargain Benadryl in the spring, but never used a single one. Folks, this is nothing short of miraculous.
Needless to say, I've been totally perplexed by such a drastic change after decades of symptoms. Happy, but perplexed. I think I finally figured it out. A while back I remember seeing something about a link between allergies and vitamin D. I don't even remember where I saw it or exactly what I read, just that the two were connected. So, I did a little swagging and found some articles that confirmed what I remembered reading.
It just so happens that I started taking some vitamins & supplements toward the end of last summer. Guess what one of them is? Vitamin D!! That is the only thing this last spring and summer that was different from every other spring and summer of the last 20+ years of my life.
So, if you suffer from seasonal allergies, then start taking some vitamin D now and see how you do next year. You've got nothing to lose!
Monday, September 13, 2010
I thought it would be fun to get some French memory boards to hang in my hallway, then stick all the pictures in them. I looked online and at just about every store you could imagine. No luck. Well, I found some random, childish ones at thrift stores and an ivory one at a craft store, but I wanted a solid black or white one ... and I didn't want to make my own.
As I mentioned last week, I found some at my last stop one day. They were a black and white print, rather than solid, but they were cute. I was desperate and they end up covered by pictures anyway, so I bought them. Turns out they were on sale, an unadvertised BOGO special, and I was able to afford more than I thought I could. Awesome!
They've been sitting in the hallway for several days, so Tim and I hung them on Saturday, two on each wall. Then I pulled out the stash of pictures we got last Christmas and put them on the boards. This section of the hallway is right by our bedroom, so I walk past all these faces every day. I love it!!
If you've known me for any length of time, then you'll be impressed that the random arrangement of pictures and uneven edges don't bother me a lick. I can loosen my standards for bulletin board type of decorating. Proud of me?
What do you guys do with all the pictures you get at Christmas or throughout the year? Rachelle's family puts them all in a basket on the dining table, then pulls one out each night and prays for that family at dinner. I think that's a cool idea!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Next on the agenda was lunch. Now, you know we stick with cheap or free for our entertainment. Well, the hike was free and we had a BOGO coupon from our Entertainment Book for lunch. We went to a restaurant, ordered our food, and chatted away while eating. I was almost done with my fries & started to pick up a crispy on my plate. You know what I mean by "crispy"? Little pieces of fries or burgers that break off and get a little charred. Love those! Anyway, as I went to pick up the crispy I realized it had ... a wing!!! It was a dead fly.
What's a girl to do when there's a one-winged, fried fly on her plate? I hate confrontation & knew the employees would be mortified. Since I'd already eaten the fries anyway, I was tempted to just scoop up the fly in my napkin and keep eating. But they needed to know.
Tim scooped up my plate and took it to the waitress, who was, as we expected, embarrassed & grossed out. She apologized to us, but I assured her everything was ok. The restaurant was clean, so the fly was just one of those flukey things that can happen to anyone. Then the manager came over, apologized profusely, and asked if I wanted them to make my meal again. He probably thought I'd lost my appetite, but that's nearly impossible for me to do. I assured him that I was not mad, that it was just part of life, and I'd be happy with a fresh plate.
Well, the waitress & manager, who both told us they were completely embarrassed and had never had anything like this happen before, both went above and beyond reasonable customer service. Not only did they give me a fresh plate of food, which I considered totally fair, but they also gave us each a free refill on our drink, didn't charge us for either of our lunches, and sent us out with four coupons for free desserts.
So, the only cost for our three hour date was the tip. I realize some people wouldn't have tipped after being served "flied fries" (or maybe it's "fried flies"), but the waitress was awesome, both before and after the incident, and we're not going to rip her off for something beyond her control.
Anyway, I told Tim that the dead fly worked out so well for our budget that we should start smuggling dead bugs into all the restaurants we go to. Think anyone would get suspicious? Ok, ok, we're big fans of honesty and wouldn't try such a stunt, but the unexpected fly in today's meal certainly worked out really well for us!
Any random stuff like that happen on a date you were on? Do tell!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
A week ago we were eating at Quizno's with Granny and a woman asked if she could take pictures of the boys, who were sitting at their own table. She works for the Wilsonville Spokesman, was doing an article on the restaurant's re-opening, and said to check the next issue of the paper. I totally forgot it came out today, but a guy from church sent an e-mail saying he saw Devon in the paper & he gave us his copy of the paper at Bible study tonight. Devon is our first child to have their picture in the paper. Fun stuff!
There is a color photo on the top corner of the front page, but after I loaded it I realized it has the name and address of the people who gave us the paper. Don't want to share their info with the world and am not going to take the time to crop and reload it, so I'm not posting it.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
The best way to gauge whether or not you have the heart of a servant is how you respond when people treat you like one. ~ Brett Meador
Serving is easy when it's your own idea and/or the recipient is appreciative, but I definitely have some room for improvement in my response toward inconvenient requests for help and people who don't acknowledge my efforts. Good stuff.
I took a 2 1/2 hour nap in the afternoon, everyone cheerfully ate a new soup that I didn't think they'd like, we used a gift card at Cold Stone for dessert, then Tim and I watched Driving Miss Daisy after the kids went to bed.
Monday morning we all headed to Value Village for one of their 50% off days. The boys each got a pair of shorts, Tim got four pairs of cargo shorts, Devon got a virtually new pair of shoes, and we got a jump rope for a total of $24.00. Love those sales!
We all headed back home, then I took off a little later to run errands alone. There were a few specific things I was looking for at each place. I hit Old Navy (four pairs of flip flops for $7.50), Michael's, Value Village (went back for me, got a sweater for $2.50), Home Goods (returned some pillows that I loved until I realized one had circles on it and the other had ovals), TJ Maxx, Ross (two pillows for $12.00 & a cute curtain rod for $5), Goodwill, & Kohl's (finally found the memo boards I'd been looking for all day, bought three, discovered they were on an unadvertised BOGO sale & got a fourth, final price of $8.50 each). I love a day filled with good deals on things I've been looking for!!
After my errands were done I headed over to Rebecca's house for some girl time. We hiked in Forest Park (my first time there & I loved it), she made a yummy dinner, then we spent the rest of the evening just chatting about life while listening to Pandora & smelling yummy candles.
Such a nice couple days!!!
Tim had a couple training days two weeks ago, worked three days last week, and students started today. At our house, we hit the books today. We normally school year round, which I love, but somehow we only did one day of school all summer. It was a fun summer, but I'm dreading the lack of flexibility in the upcoming school year that going all year provides us with. Oh well. It is what it is.
Anyway, we've done some school today, gotten some household stuff taken care of, and will bust out some more school later. We'll take this week to get back in the groove we had before our move and should be completely in the swing of things next week.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
We keep an 8x11 sheet of paper on our fridge for our kids. I don't want to broadcast our address to the universe, so I made an imitation of it for this post.
I wanted our kids to know how to get help in an emergency and not have to rely on memory if they were panicking. Since we only have cell phones, I made sure to include the "talk" button with the "911".
We role play how to call 911 a couple times a year. I make up various situations, then have the kids pretend to call 911 while I play the role of dispatcher. The kids know to go to the fridge and read our address, with the house drawing as a prompt, over the phone when asked for our location. If they can't read words yet, then they just recite the letters and numbers, knowing the dispatcher will be able to figure it out.
In other emergency preparation, we also choose a place to meet in case of a fire as soon as we move somewhere. Having a specific meeting place assures that no one goes back into the house to find someone they think is still there, only to be hurt or killed looking for someone who was actually out of the house the whole time. In each home, we pick a place that's close enough the kids can get to it on their own, if need be, but also far enough away that they would be out of the way of the flames & emergency personnel.
I encourage you with kids, particularly young ones, to make sure they know how to call for help in an emergency and that your family has a meeting spot in case of a fire.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
I boot kids out of the shopping cart by three years old, but Naomi, thanks to a four month break from WinCo trips, is out of practice on walking in the store for the length of time a WinCo trip takes. So, she got to ride for part of it. Another couple trips and I'll have the seat of my cart empty. Yeah!
Anyway, Granny (she comes along and does her shopping at the same time), the kids, and I hit WinCo yesterday morning and the kitchen is stocked for the following meals.
Tam's granola (crockpot)
sausage balls (freezer)
pumpkin bread (freezer)
baked oatmeal (make night before)
cherry oatmeal muffins
banana crumb muffins
tacos x2 (freezer)
sweet & sour chicken/rice/broccoli
Silas' enchiladas/frozen veggies (Silas is cooking)
Italian sausage with bowties/Leslie's salad/garlic bread
dinner at a friend's house
rice cooker mac & cheese/frozen veggies (Devon is cooking)
new soup recipe (not a flop, but nothing spectacular)/garlic bread
Mexican casserole (freeze half)/cornbread/salad
Thai chicken & coconut rice/new veggie recipe
chicken soup & dumplings
grilled burgers/grilled Sicilian zucchini
chicken tortilla soup (crockpot)
creamy lemon pie (Silas is cooking)
apple cinnamon caramel crumble/vanilla ice cream
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Planetwalker: 22 Years of Walking. 17 Years of Silence. , by John Francis
The author has certainly led an interesting life, including earning bachelor and masters degrees without speaking. Committed to his cause, but not arrogant about it, he spends the book sharing about the things he learned, places he went, and people he met. Though the story became a bit monotonous after a while, he'd probably be a neat guy to just listen to, now that he speaks. I think I just get bored with autobiographies that just go on and on and on without anything particularly different happening. Long books are fine, monotonous ones aren't.
Caught, by Harlan Coben
Sharon recommended this one to me a while ago and I enjoyed it. It's a story of a missing girl, suspected predators, friendships, and working through difficult circumstances. I enjoy trying to solve a mystery as I read it and this one had a few surprises for me.
Cool quotes - p. 162 (On whether or not circumstances created problems or just made old ones more obvious) Did tragedy cause fissures, open them wider - or did tragedy merely turn on the light so you could see the fissure that had always been there? Maybe we live in a darkness, blinded by the smile and facade of goodness. Maybe tragedy just takes away the blinders.
p. 325 (On dealing with hurt) "You live in this world, you collide with others. That's the way it is. We collide and sometimes someone gets hurt.