Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Spring in the air?

Wow, today's just so amazingly beautiful, it makes me think (and hope) that Spring is on its way. It's so lovely to have the windows open, feeling the cool breezes, getting that whiff of fresh air, listening to the birds searching for their lunches, and just getting the winter musties out of the house. Even if we have to go through more cold spells, today just seems so much sweeter.

Peter pulled the plastic off the window in the office that overlooks the iris bed beside the house. He opened the window, and we are all enjoying the fresh air and the birds outside. The birds are singing, and we can hear them out there in the bushes as they walk around looking for a tasty morsel. It's so lovely!

Only drawback? The sight of two sapling trees that will have to be removed soon. There's already one fully grown tree in the iris bed, so the saplings have to go. We also need to dig up all the irises, clean out all the grass and weeds, then replant the irises this fall. It's so beautiful when all the irises are in bloom. The majority of them are a creamy white color, with a few purple ones here and there, and there's literally no space between the plants. The former owners planted them, and we absolutely love it.

The past couple of years, I couldn't really see them because my desk was in front of that window and I couldn't open it. This year, though - the only thing in front of the window is the toy bucket. I'm thinking that we may need to put a foot stool there so the girls can look out and watch the birds.

Anyway, just wanted to share my enthusiasm and excitement for the coming of Spring!! Woo hoo!!

Getting there

For the past few months (close to a year, rather), I've been going through some mental gymnastics and dealing with a bit of lethargy and lack of inspiration for anything. The other day while Peter and I were talking, I came to some conclusions that I wish I'd realized years and years ago. So after talking out things and recognizing why I felt the way I do about some things in my life, suddenly my mojo has come flooding back.

I'm inspired to do all sorts of things that I haven't had the desire to do for a long time, and together, we've made some changes. Let me just say - it feels SO good! Releasing all that baggage that has been dragging me down, letting go of THINGS, getting rid of all the excuses has given me such freedom. While all this sounds a bit vague, it's made a major difference.

I have been eating on a more regular basis, making better choices, doing more, eliminating the CHAOS that has surrounded us and kept us feeling bound and depressed. It's just stuff and there's more where that came from. It's not making me happy, so why not give it to someone who can use it and hopefully enjoy it more than we can?

Hopefully this newfound happiness and lightness will find its way into my creative life. I have scrapbooked one page in 2007, and I miss it. I miss the joy it brings me, and I'm ready to go back to doing the things that relax me and make me feel content.

But for now, I'm excited with the things I've gotten done the past couple of days that I'd been procrastinating about for months now. :) Feels good!

Monday, February 26, 2007

A special treat

This evening, after spending a few hours at class, my sweet husband came home and pulled some chicken out of the freezer and proceeded to make his "famous" fried chicken for our dinner. It's been a while since he made any for just us, so it was a really special treat. Of course, we had to have homemade cornbread and some turnip greens to go with. Yummy! In case I haven't told you lately, I REALLY LOVE THAT MAN OF MINE!! He totally rocks! :)

Sunday, February 25, 2007


There are a few drawbacks to living within yards of your next door neighbors. We haven't really gotten to know our neighbors, other than the girl across the street, but she's a totally different story... The past few days have caused me to contemplate the relative seclusion of buying a house in the country.

Anyway, we've got young folks living across the street and a sorta youngish couple who lives next door. Both of these houses have frequent visitors who like to torture everyone within a mile with their "music", which basically boils down to a thumping bass line that rattles my windows and vibrates my lovely wooden floors. It gives me a headache and the constant drone of the bass makes me actually get nauseated. Weird, I know, but it makes me physically ill if I have to listen to it for very long.

Anyway, I would like to know how many people agree with me about this subject. Do you feel like your privacy is being invaded if you're inside your house trying to do your thing and you're forced to listen to the constant thumping and bumping coming from some inconsiderate person's car stereo?? Not to mention the fact that if it were up to you in the first place, it's not the kind of music you'd listen to in a million years?

Well, that's how I feel. I have my windows closed, storm windows shut, doors closed, and yet, when I'm in the back rooms of my house, I can hear the thump-thump-thump and can just imagine (and hope) that the result of their inconsideration is that every bold, screw and nut in their vehicle will be shaken loose and their entire car will simply fall apart so they can't pull up in the street and torture me any more.

Today, I took a step to stop the madness. Well, to hopefully slow it to an every-once-in-a-while occurrence instead of a several-times-daily one. I put the HPD non-emergency number in my cell phone so I don't have to look it up each time they won't cease and desist. And I saved it on my SIM card. :)

Now, if the cop who lives 4 doors down would just speak up and ask them to please stop....

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Pleasant Surprise

Someone who means a lot to me called this morning, and asked if we'd like to meet up for lunch. We went to Rosie's and had a great time. It was so nice to see them all again. Only bad thing - I bit into something plastic in my quesadilla. Got a replacement meal to go at no cost, so that was nice of them. Anyway, it just made my day to get that call this morning. :)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A funny story

I read this and got so tickled. Thought you might get a good chuckle from it as well...

Eek!: Men flee after seeing 'giant rat'

Fri Feb 16, 9:58 PM ET

VIRGINIA, Minn. - A furry, uninvited guest had manly men at an Iron Range tire shop shrieking and hopping on desks. "It was pretty humorous," said conservation officer Dan Starr, who filed a report on the critter's break-in. "Here were these big, burly outdoors guys running around screaming." Taconite Tire employees arrived at work on Monday to find what they thought was a giant rat inside the store.

"I was the first one into work that morning and the first one out," said Shannon Bergman, an off-road tire salesman. "I walked in, and in the waiting area I saw this big rat, and I took off."

Mayhem ensued.

After scampering out the front door, Bergman called a buddy and told him to bring a rifle to dispatch the critter.

On edge, employees stalked the "rat," entering the office where it was hold up.

"We're looking around in the office and a box falls, and I must have jumped a foot," said Bob Dethloff, a brawny alignment specialist and stock car racer. "I thought it was going to attack me from behind."

Dethloff's son, Ryan, a mechanic at the shop, was armed with a broomstick.

All of a sudden, he spotted the "rat."

"Ryan comes out of the office screaming, and he says, 'It's huge!'" Bergman said. "It was the size of a cat."

"I guess he jumped on top of a desk and screamed like a girl who had seen a mouse," Starr said of Ryan Dethloff.

In the end, an employee shot and killed what turned out to be a muskrat.


Information from: Duluth News Tribune, http://www.duluthsuperior.com

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Turning the big O-N-E!

Wow, I can't believe a year has passed since she was born! The past ten months that we've been keeping her has flown by. There were rough moments, especially the first 4 months we had her. The many, many clothing changes both for her and us because her poor little tummy wouldn't behave. The crying jags, the teething, the fevers and colds.

But on the other hand, we got to be there for many of her "firsts" - first smile, first time rolling over, first time reaching out for a toy, first time sitting up, first time standing on her own, first tooth, first time puckering up and giving a kiss - they've all just happened in what seems like a blink of the eye.

We love our baby girl SO much, and are so thankful to be able to spend so much time with her, to teach her and share in all the fun stuff she's learning so quickly.

So from all of us - Hannah, Amber, MyPete & Nene, we just want to say....

Happy Birthday, Valerie!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

We did it!

We finally taught Mazie how to pucker up! This afternoon, I was holding her and I asked her for a kiss, and the little sweetheart puckered up her lips and kissed me!!! Normally, she puts her head against your lips or else comes at you with her mouth wide open and slobbers all over you, but somehow, during the day today, we got her to do it right. It's SO cute, and as much as I tried, I couldn't get a good pic of her giving Hannah a kiss. I'll keep trying, though. It's just too precious for words! She's such a joy to have with us. :)

20 Ways To Determine if you are a real Alabamian

I got this in an email this evening and thought I'd share for all of my 'Bama friends. :)

1. You can properly pronounce Arab, Cahaba, Opelika , Sylacauga, Oneonta, and Eufaula.

2. You think people who complain about the heat in their states are sissies.

3. A tornado warning siren is your signal to go out in the yard and look for a funnel.

4. You know that the true value of a parking space is not determined by the distance to the door, but by the availability of shade.

5. Stores don't have bags or shopping carts, they have sacks and buggies.

6. You've seen people wear bib overalls at funerals.

7. You think everyone from a bigger city has an accent.

8. You measure distance in minutes. (It's about 5 minutes down the road)

9. You go to the lake because you think it is like going to the ocean.

10. You listen to the weather forecast before picking out an outfit.

11. You know cowpies are not made of beef.

12. Someone you know has used a football schedule to plan their wedding date.

13. You have known someone who has a belt buckle bigger than your fist.

14. You aren't surprised to find movie rental, ammunition, beer, and bait all in the same store.

15. A Mercedes Benz isn't a status symbol. A Chevy Silverado Extended Bed Crew Cab is.

16. You know everything goes better with Ranch Dressing.

17. You learned how to shoot a gun before you learned how to multiply.

18. You actually get these jokes and are "fixin'" to send them to your friends.

19. You have used your heater and air-conditioner in the same day!

Finally: You are 100% Alabamian if you have ever had this conversation:

20. "You wanna coke?" "Yeah." "What kind?" "Dr Pepper."

Monday, February 12, 2007


About the days back when music was music, not the junk on the airwaves these days. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Aretha Franklin, Lenny Williams, classic Motown - where The Funk Brothers reigned supreme, Otis Redding, Al Green, Sam Cooke. The songs about love - real love. People who put all their heart and soul into a song and made you FEEL what they were singing about. The songs that made you think. The songs that made you cry.

John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Etta James - the jazz greats!

There's so much more, in many more genres, but this is the music I'm in the mood for at the moment. Maybe tomorrow, I'll be looking for some early rock-n-roll, vintage country, good old bluegrass or maybe even some rockabilly! But for tonight, this is what I'm longing for. I miss listening to this quality of music. Thank goodness for CD's!

I believe I'll go put my jammies on, pop in my favorite CD and read for a while before I drift off to sleep...

THE Wall

This is the divider wall that we installed on the end of my scrap desk so you can't see is the desk is messy when you walk by the room. :) It's simply a piece of MDF (medium density fiberboard - WONDERFUL stuff!!) painted with blackboard paint on one side, framed out with 1x6's to make a frame, and make it sturdier. The other side is painted with magnetic paint (waste of money, IMHO), covered with the wall color. I had a hard time explaining what it was going to look like, so for those of you who were befuddled by my poor explanations, now you can see for yourself. We think it's pretty cool!

Standing in the bathroom looking toward the office. The whole thing is the same size as a regular door.

The girls had a blast this morning, drawing all sorts of fun stuff. I already knew they liked chalk boards, because every time we go to Poppi's to visit, that's one of the first things they want to play with. I'm excited about Hannah learning to write using this "fun" tool. The whole idea was to help the girls with learning to write, while we can use the upper part for notes to each other.

So, that's the latest re-do update. Whatcha think??

ABC's of Homemaking Tag

I posted this on my Xanga blog, and thought I'd do the same here. :)

ABC's of Homemaking

Aprons - Y/N? if Y, what does your favorite look like? No, but I'd love to make some!

Baking - Favorite thing to bake? Cakes and casseroles

Clothesline - Y/N? No

Donuts - Have you ever made them? Never at home.

Every Day - One homemaking thing you do every day? Make my bed.

Freezer - Do you have a separate deep freeze? Yes

Garbage Disposal - Y/N? Yes

Handbook - What is your favorite homemaking resource? My Magnolia Mennonite cookbooks!

Ironing - Love it or hate it? Or hate it but love the results? I hate it, but my husband like it, so I definately love the results. :)

Junk drawer - Y/N? Where is it? Nope!

Kitchen - color and decorating scheme? We're in the middle of redecorating it. The walls are a lime green-y color, white cabinets and cobalt blue accents. We're going for country/antique with a modern twist. The colors sound weird, but it looks great in person.

Love - What is your favorite part of homemaking? Being able to stay home!

Mop - Y/N? Not physically able to, but DH does it. Hardwood floors throughout, vinyl in the kitchen and bath.

Nylons - Wash by hand or in the washing machine? I wear knee highs and just chuck 'em when they get a snag.

Oven - do you use the window or open the oven to check? Open the door.

Pizza - What do you put on yours? Everything except anchovies!

Quiet - What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? Get online

Recipe card box - Y/N? What does it look like? No. I print all my recipes out and put them in sheet protectors in a 3 ring binder.

Style of house - What style is your house? 3/4 brick ranch

Tablecloths and napkins - Y/N? Tablecloth, covered in a clear vinyl sheet. When our house is a little more straightened out, I would like to make a bunch of cloth napkins.

Under the kitchen sink - Organized or toxic wasteland? Organized!!

Vacuum - How many times per week? Our vacuum stays out permanently and we vacuum when it needs it, sometimes several times a day.

Wash - How many loads of laundry do you do per week? Again, a task I don't care for, but DH loves to do laundry, so he takes care of it, although I do help fold. :) I figure with the girls, probably about 4 loads a week.

X's - Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off? I try to keep a list, but with no more than five things on it, and not all of them hard things. As long as I keep the number under five, I do pretty well at getting them all crossed off by the end of the day. Any more than that, and I get overwhelmed and get a lot less accomplished. :(

Yard - Y/N? Who does what? Peter does all the yardwork

Zzzz's What is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed? Go through the office and kitchen, picking up anything that needs to go into the sink or into another room, then check all the doors, make sure they're locked.

I think I'll tag: Lori and Jeni


Here's a complete shot of the shelves Peter put up for my shoes.

I absolutely love the color of the wall. Amber came in this morning and looked at the wall and said "Chocolate" over and over. :D Funny girl!


I've got a new toy and I'm totally obsessed with it. I have used it for tons of stuff over the weekend, and I personally think it's the best thing since sliced bread and Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches!! It's so much fun and it's actually helped me get a lot accomplished the past few days.
Now, without further ado, I'd like you to meet my new friend....

Yes, it's a label maker. And it TOTALLY rocks!

Friday, February 09, 2007


Since you've all been subjected to some truly bad quality photos on my blog, I just wanted to let you know that hopefully, you won't have to see any more of them! We got a new camera, and we absolutely love it. Here, for your viewing pleasure are some great shots we got of the girls this morning. :)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

They're done!

Peter got my shelves up the other night, and we got all my shoes put up there. Here's a small shot of all the shoes I've collected over the years. I didn't realize that I had quite so many shoes, but almost all of them have a story attached to them, which makes them special. Since some of you have heard me talking about the shelves, I thought a pic of them was due. :)

Creative Geniuses

The girls have gotten into puzzles and lacing shapes lately. It is a good thing, since it fosters thinking, dexterity and creativity.

Hannah put together all the puzzles I had here for them, so I ended up going out and buying two more the other night for her, to present a bigger challenge for her. Needless to say, she loves them! And I love that she loves them!

Amber, on the other hand, has had a problem figuring out how to actually lace the shapes, instead of just pulling the laces through the holes. The other day, she finally "got it". She strung all the shapes together, and was SO proud of herself. Nene's proud of her too.

An unpleasant surprise

Ever have one of those days that begins fabulously? You know the type - you wake up early feeling rested and content, all the children are happy and cheerful, everything seems to be going just right. Yeah, that was my morning. It started out wonderful, until we hit a speed bump.

When I got the girls this morning, they were feeling froggy, so they were playing together. Mazie wasn't ready to go back down for her morning nap, so I put her in the exersaucer. About 8:45 or so, one of the other girls informed me that she smelled bad. I looked at her feet and saw some brown stuff smeared on the base of the exersaucer. Then I realized what had happened. Poor kiddo!!

While we were out yesterday, I hurt my knee somehow, so I knew I wasn't going to be able to get her into the tub, so I called Peter. He was on his way home, thankfully. He was sweet enough to clean her up and put baby girl into the tub. He gave her a bath while I cleaned everything else up. The exersaucer is no longer an exerSAUCER, but is an exerWALKER now! I'm thankful that the base comes off! It's outside to be washed with bleach.

Let me just say that I REALLY appreciate my sweet husband! He doesn't blink an eye at helping with things I'm not physically able to do. He loves helping with the girls, which is wonderful as well. He totally rocks, and I am so blessed to have him for my own. Thank you, sweetheart, for all you do for me, and for us. I love you.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Mmmmm, chocolate....

Since I've run out of anything worthy to read, we stopped by Books-A-Million tonight to get some goodies for me. At the register, I saw this:
Now, I've been looking at this stuff for the past couple of times I went in there, but always refrained. Tonight, I just couldn't resist. Folks, let me tell you, it's some SERIOUS chocolate!! It's not really sweet, but instead is really intense, lingering on the taste buds for ages afterwards. It's too intense to eat a lot of at one time, but instead, just a tiny nibble now and then should kill that craving.

It's relatively expensive (to me, anyway), at $3.99 a bar, but it is SO worth it! So if you're a serious chocoholic and want to eat something that's actually good for you, I totally recommend grabbing some of this good stuff. It's wonderful!

What kind of junk food are you?

Like chocolate cake, you are friendly, dependable and make a great friend. You're the perfect person to turn to in times of need!
Check it out here.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Finally got a chance to put a few pics on my blog, so just for your viewing pleasure, here they are!

I put Val (aka Mazie) in the floor to play with the other girls yesterday and when I turned around, she had crawled under a chair and was lying across Hannah's lap, and Hannah was patting her on the back. She didn't feel good - apparently she's trying to cut another tooth - and I guess Hannah was her comforter of choice. How stinkin' cute is that??

Yummmmm, chocolate! This is our "accent wall" in the office. Peter painted it today, and this shot was taken while still wet. It looks so yummy that I had him get a Butterfinger bar for me while he is out. Perhaps having this color on the walls will be dangerous??

You know your girls are growing up when you can put them both in the same spot to nap, and they actually go to sleep instead of aggravating each other!! Man, it's so nice around 2pm at our house! All the girls take a nap, and it's just MY time!

Apparently Miss Priss likes my new desk! She sat on the desk top for close to an hour, looking at her book and "talking" to me while I did things that had to be done on the computer. When I picked up the camera and pointed it at her, she immediately grinned. Looks like she's getting used to being around a scrapbooker! Yep, she's gonna be another little ham for the camera...

So that's what's going on around here. I've been up since the wee hours working, we've made a huge dent in the things that need to be done. Peter's gone to work and I'm exhausted. I think I'll go bag up my Avon orders, take a shower and call it a night. That sure does sound good right about now!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Becoming liberated

For as far back as I can remember, I've been a hoarder. It is just in my nature to save things "just in case". So we've spent money and time moving things from place to place, even though they were things that we've forgotten we had until we found them buried in a box or bag. Lately, I've become inspired to make a change, which has greatly helped me.

I've decided that all the paper clutter that I've been hanging onto is choking my creativity and my personality. Walking through my home seeing the disarray is overwhelming, and ultimately takes away the joy I should feel when I'm in my haven. A huge factor in the disarray is the fact we've been working on the house for months now. Our kitchen still isn't finished, yet we've been working on the office instead. But I digress...

I have a huge box for donations set up in the living room, and I've been purging ruthlessly. If it's something I don't absolutely love and use, out it goes. With each full bag that goes into the trash, I feel a little happier deep inside. I'm still far from done, but slow and steady wins the race. If we can do just a little each day, eventually our house will truly become a home, a thing of joy and comfort to us. No longer will we walk in and feel overwhelmed and depressed at the sight of clutter. We will persevere and we will eliminate everything that's not loved or used. And THAT is liberating.