Friday, November 27, 2009

Flashback Friday

3 years ago
oh my, how they've grown!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday -- Thanksgiving Edition

I'm already feeling a little overwhelmed this morning with all that I have to be thankful for. It's just after 8 and I've had my eyes well up with tears at least twice already {and I got to sleep in until almost 7:30, amazingly!}. My life is so filled with blessings!

Today I am thankful for my husband, my kids, salvation, sunshine, friends, Caribou, family, good conversation, a godly heritage for our kids, life, laughter, clean water, music, haribo gummi bears, hot showers, our dishwasher, love, leaves, grace, my home, the world, health, meaningful work, my mom, health insurance, books, massages, hope, our church, my favorite blanket, struggles, friendship, our van, online shopping, food, wooly socks, creativity, teachers, nice weather, pizza, God's love for me, autumn, joy, MOPS, my community, each new day, home, good examples, babies, beautiful weather, the Y, blessings, hobbies, antibiotics, my power sander, a cut up 2x10, projects, my bed, abilities, my kids love for each other, my washing machine, my life and so, so, so much more. This is only a hint of all that I have to be thankful for.

O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever {Psalm 30.12b}
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. {Psalm 136.1}
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. {Psalm 100. 4-5}
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! {II Corinthians 9.15}

There is a great post on thanks here if you've got a minute.
This video on the spirit of thankfulness was a blessing to me this morning {even though it's put out by the Mormon church and I'm not the least bit Mormon, it's quite wonderful and worth the less than 5 minutes invested in watching it}

So, what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Never fear . . . bigger toilet paper is here! {If you haven't read the previous post, stop and do that now so that you can understand this update!!}

Anna is sick, so I brought her to the doctor . . . ear infection and croup. So, I had to go to Target to get her some drugs. While I was waiting for them to mix up her meds I thought I might as well get new toilet paper. I had 20 minutes to kill and no other shopping to do, so I took my time in the toilet paper isle comparing. Almost all toilet papers rolls, regardless of brand, have 10.8x10.1 cm squares . . . except, it turns out, for my {previously} regular brand which must have recently changed to perfect squares for their toilet paper. Yup, that's right. 10.1x10.1 cm. Just enough to not fit on my roll. Anyhow, new toilet paper was purchased and the crisis has been averted . . . except for the crisis of a miserable 19-month-0ld that is!

Happy Thanksgiving all of you!

Are you kiddin' me?

I think of myself as a pretty optimistic person, for the most part. I try to be an "attitude of gratitude" person and focus on all that I have to be thankful for. But, since it's not quite Thanksgiving yet I need to take a moment to vent, complain, have a little fit about something that I am NOT thankful for today.

7 people live in this house. That's kind of a lot of people . . . a lot of butts. We go through lots of toilet paper. The other day we had, literally, less than one whole roll of TP when you combined the 3 nearly empty rolls of toilet paper in each of our bathrooms. It was nearly a crisis and it needed a solution. I had some other things on my list too {always do!} so off I went to the store. I went mainly for toilet paper, but ended up spending over $400 . . . and that's not even why I'm complaining! That's a whole other story, but let's just say I did some Christmas shopping!

Anyhoo, back to the toilet paper . . . I picked up the package of 24 double rolls {like I always do} of the same brand that I always buy and tossed it in my already overflowing cart. I thought nothing of it. Finished shopping, checked out, went home, put away my $400+ worth of stuff {groceries, diapers, Christmas gifts, a couple self-contained wardrobe things so Kirb can move his clothes to the basement -- since our new bedroom is quite skimpy on the closet space -- and the fateful toilet paper} and wrapped up my day.

Fast forward to the next day and I happen to be the one who uses the last of the toilet paper in our main floor bathroom. I throw away the old cardboard roll {I know I should make something out of them, but in all honesty I just toss 'em} and put the new roll on the holder. It. won't. fit! We have a weird toilet paper holder in our main floor bathroom. I don't know when it was put in, I don't know who picked it out and I don't think they probably even make them like this anymore, but it's what we've got:
It doesn't have a removable post that the roll of toilet paper rests on like most normal ones, it has these two retractable stubby things that just hold onto the ends of the toilet paper . . . UNLESS YOUR ROLL IS TOO NARROW!! Then it just won't stay on there at all. Nice!
So, tomorrow I plan to focus on all the things that I have in my life to be thankful for . . . and there are SO many that I can't even begin to list them, but today . . . for this little moment, I'm focusing on this smallish thing for which I am NOT thankful. I guess I'll be running back to the store and checking the dimensions of my toilet paper before buying. But in the mean time I've got 24 rolls of stuff that don't fit . . . maybe some of you will be receiving them as Christmas gifts. Toilet paper is on the top of your wish list, right? I know, I know, we do have 3 toilets in the house and the other 2 toilet paper holders are the normal kind that will hold these 24 rolls, but I'd say 97% of our potty-ing takes place on the main floor, so I have a feeling we'll have these same 24 rolls around for years before we use them up in the basement and upstairs bathrooms . . . especially since the upstairs toilet is acting up . . . but don't get me started. Once complaint a day is enough!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Big Girl

My big girl this morning {it's in the 50's . . . on November 23rd . . . in Minnesota . . . how crazy is that!}

Anna got her first haircut last week and looks like such a big girl to me now:
Before: her hair has gotten so long lately it often hung in front of her eyes and drove me crazy. She wouldn't keep anything in it {so much for cute little pigtails} so it just hung there.
The back was pretty long and uneven too after nearly 20 months of unaltered growth:
So, we decided it was finally time:
What do you think? Doesn't she look bigger? Older?
Thankfully, though, the curls are still there. I was afraid they might get cut off and never return. It is humid today, but I think they'll be sticking around even when it finally turns winter and the air is dry.
That's my new and improved, bigger Anna Grace:
Alrighty, gotta run!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

better late than never . . .

Friendship. How wonderful! I am so thankful for my friends. Last weekend I got away for "the weekend" {Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon} with 6 girlfriends. We do it once a year. I think this was our 5th year. It is wonderful!

I have been blessed with some amazing friends: ones who I can call and just vent, ones who call me for a last-minute favor, ones who know my kiddos well and are willing to call them on being naughty when it's necessary, ones I can laugh with, ones I can cry with, ones I can share frustrations and joys with, ones who love me for me, ones who I can be honest and transparent with and trust they will not think I'm a terrible person, friends who are kind and good and funny and a blast to be around . . . plus, my friends are super cute and look great in pictures! {at least I think so!}

I also have an amazing husband, who is truly the best friend I could ever ask for. But, he's not a girl {although we do joke that he's "part girl"}. There's just no substitute for girlfriends. I can't imagine life without them.

One of my favorite friends is Sara Groves {ok, she's not really my friend. I HAVE met her . . . twice, but I'm sure she doesn't remember. However, I do believe that we could be buds if given the chance.} Sara has a new album with a wonderful song about friendship. Take a listen here! So, to my friends: life with you is half as hard and twice as good! I love you!

What are you thankful for today? What is your favorite thing about friendship? Who is your best friend? What's your favorite song these days?

I made a few fun little things yesterday and would love to give you one. Leave a comment answering one of the questions above {or all of them in separate comments for more chances} and I'll randomly pick someone to get a little prize . . . plus, it's a prize in itself to stop for a second and think about the things for which you are thankful and how great it is to have friends! Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


A couple years back, {man, time sure does fly!} I bought a fun set of vinyl letters in hopes of spelling some encouraging words on the walls around my house. Well, come to find out that vinyl letter won't stick to 1920's plaster walls. Shoot! So, I've had these letters around for a long time and really wanted to do something with them. I've also been on a mission to spruce up our "new" bedroom, ever since we moved downstairs in August. So, last week I went on a serious crafting frenzy and did up a few things. First I stuck the word "wash" to the bathroom door. Then, liking how that turned out, I put "dream" on our bedroom door. Then, I had a vision that this narrow little section of wall in our room should be a "letter wall". So, I took 2 leftover pieces of beadboard from when we did some work in the basement, distressed them a little and then went to town with the letters. I stuck them this way and that and "hid" a couple words in there, but mostly just randomly stuck them on. Then I propped it up against the wall and called it good. I would like to actually hang it on the wall at some point, rather than just propping it up, but for now, this is what we've got.
While I was on my letter/crafting rampage, I also etched an old window, that I found in our garage, with our initials {in the same font as the vinyl letters}. Well, first I painted it black {surprising, I'm sure} and then I sanded it a little for a more distressed look {also surprising . . . or not!}. Some day that will get hung on the wall too, but for now it is also propped up against the wall on our nightstand longing for it's permanent home {a little spiritual undertone, huh?}
So, what do you think?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

verse 22

So, verse #22: Psalm 19.14::
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. {Psalm 19.14 NIV}
If you don't know about my "resolution" to memorize 24 scriptures in 2009 and you want to know what in the world I'm talkin' about, you can check it out here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Flashback Friday

Here's a post originally written just about a year ago. Since so many people got such a big kick out of it, I thought I'd give you all a little chuckle again {or possibly for the first time if you didn't see it last year!} Enjoy:


warning: parental advisory on this post. slightly inappropriate use of humor . . . just don't say i didn't warn you:

joey loves hats! he loves this hat. he's had it since he was a baby. i thought maybe this year anna could wear it, but joe doesn't seem to want to give it up. he wore it ALL DAY on friday . . . inside and out! and over and over, all day while he had it on, he kept saying:
"when i jump my balls jiggle!"

he's talking about THE HAT, you see it has little balls on top . . . ok, enough said! have a great week!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

After a really wet, really cold October, November has been amazing and such a blessing! It's been sunny and warm {my ideal weather!}. The temps have been in the 60's {sometimes even UPPER-60's} for days and days now. We've been outside SO much. I am so thankful. The boys {and occasionally the girls too} play football outside almost every day lately. The kids are having fun, I'm having fun and we're all getting plenty of Vitamin D and exercise. I am so thankful! Plus all the raking {and we've got more than our share, I promise you that} is done and now we can just enjoy this extended time of amazing weather while it lasts . . . anyone from Minnesota {or who knows anything about Minnesota at all} knows that we can't count on it for much longer. {In fact already today it's significantly cooler with a brisk little wind}. But, yet, I am so thankful!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kitchen facelift take 2, 3, whatever we're on by now:

So, the year is 1998. We move into our new house. Our first house. We are thrilled! It's not perfect, but it's ours. Fast forward 11+ years. We've done quite a bit of work here. Lots that was pretty minor and a few things that were more major too.

Our kitchen is pretty tiny, especially for a family of 7. It had mustard colored floral wallpaper and dark stained cabinets when we moved in. During the summer of 2000 I painted the cupboards a mossy green color, but didn't know what I was doing and didn't do a very good job. It chipped and just got pretty ugly rather quick, but we lived with it. At that time we also took down the yucky wallpaper and painted the walls white.

Here's a "before" picture taken during "facelift: phase 3" in January of 2009. If only I had a before before picture. Then you could see how far we'd really come, oh well!

Last winter {with LOTS of help from my dad} we got a little facelift by painting them again. Black this time. Plus we updated the walls to the khaki color that's in almost our entire main floor. BIG improvement! Then earlier this fall I replaced our old kitchen light fixture with one that had belonged to my grandma {I also got her cute kitchen clock}. Another improvement. Ever since painting the cupboards black I've meant to distress them some. Well, nearly a year later I finally got around to it! So, here is the final {at least for a while} phase in the kitchen makeover.

I just love how it turned out!

Now maybe I'll move on to counter de-cluttering . . . maybe!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I don't like the sound of grinding teeth . . . just in case you wanted to know. I can't sleep if there is someone laying right next to me grinding their {little} teeth! It drives me crazy! I don't mind little visitors in bed at night, but when they decide to sleep sideways and grind their teeth, that's when they get promptly returned to their own bed!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Flasback Friday

2 beauties on a beautiful fall day "once upon a time"::
guess who? guess when? guess where?
if by chance you can get all that right, i'll be impressed!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for an "attitude of gratitude" and how it is such a boost to my days. I try to look for little blessings in each day {a great parking spot, a funny thing one of the kids said, a beautiful fall tree filled with colorful leaves} and then stop for a second and think about them, be thankful for them, thank the Lord for bringing them into my day and making me aware enough to notice them. I still get crabby and there are definitely plenty of things in my day that I do not consider to be blessing and do not feel gratitude for, but overall if you try to look for blessings in each day {big and small} and live your life feeling grateful for all you have around you, it can really make a difference! So today I'm thankful for being thankful! There is so much in my life that I have to be thankful for, how could I not be?

Walking to preschool

. . . and back home again::

Sibling Rivalry

We've had excessive sibling issues lately. Hitting. Kicking. Scratching. Fighting. Teasing. Just general meanness. I'm sick of it! But this morning it was nearly comical when this conversation took place in the kitchen:

Joe (coming in from outside): "Rebekah took my lightsaber."
Mom: "Really, 'cause you're holding it? Did she give it back?"
Joe: "Well, yah, but she tooked it from me."
Mom: "But you've got it back now, Buddy, so it's ok. Go back out and play."
Joe: "But I want Rebekah to get in trouble."


Monday, November 2, 2009


Halloween 2009::

Batman and all his bat toys:
Ben {Franklin, that is}:
A ballerina and a chicken {really, they were. You just can't tell from this picture. Most of LJ's costume was not visible and Haddon had taken off his super-hot hooded chicken suit}:
Grumpy bat:
The whole spooky gang::
{uncooperative} Batman, Nancy Drew {after LOTS of time with a flat iron on that hair!}, monkey {or "monk monk" as we call her}, ballerina, $100 bill:

Momma & her little monkey:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

verse 21

Verse 21. The home stretch. Wow, has this year ever gone fast and I have focused on some great verses this year. Only 4 more to go! This time I'm going with Psalm 103.1-2:
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, priase his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits -- {Psalm 103.1-2 NIV}
If you don't know about my "resolution" to memorize 24 scriptures in 2009 and you want to know what in the world I'm talkin' about, you can check it out here.