Monday, May 31, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

519. my clothesline
520. our big van
521. the sound of laughter
522. life-long friends
523. my bed!
524. people who have no obligation to love my kids . . . but do anyway
525. my wonderful mom . . . happy birthday {again}!
526. an especially yummy watermelon
527. a clean house {albeit, temporarily!}
528. the countdown to summer
529. the opening of the outdoor pool at the Y
530. sleeping in
531. kids in swimsuits working together to wash the van
532. time to relax
533. a funny 2-year-old
534. square dancing
535. the flicker of a campfire
536. sharing
537. getting the mail
538. motivation!
539. my extra-great, way-better-than-I-deserve, blessing of a husband

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience

Friday, May 28, 2010

flashback friday

18 years ago this month::
yikes! apart from that, I really have no words!

And just for fun, check out this flashback friday from last year

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for the mail. I love to get mail, especially personal mail. It totally makes my day! Getting the mail is something I look forward to each day . . . the hope that there might be something unexpected and fun in the black plastic box at the end of my driveway. A hand addressed envelope . . . or dare we even hope for a package?

I also love to send mail. Mail trucks, stamps and blue boxes on street corners make me happy!

Yesterday I got 3 pieces of personal mail when I made my daily trip out to the end of the driveway. How fun is that! 1 is a treat {and doesn't happen often enough} . . . 3 is nearly unheard of!

How about you . . . does something hand-addressed in your mailbox completely make your day too? Do you send much mail these days?

I know it's a little outdated, but I just think an e-card or an email or a facebook wall post isn't at all the same as getting your well-wishes through the mail! It just doesn't cut it in my book. Generally speaking I'm a pretty "green" person and don't like unnecessary use of resources -- for example I can't stand junk mail! and I use cloth diapers, for crying out loud! -- but I don't find sending personal mail to fit in that category. I think cards, notes, letters and packages are necessary for one's emotional health! And when did the majority of the world decide it was ok to stop sending thank you notes? {Sorry, that's just a personal beef that I struggle with, I'll stop now.} So, call me old-fashioned but I'm going to keep using my hand, a pen and some cute paper to do a good share of my correspondence and then hand-write an address on the front of an envelope, stick on a stamp {I am thankful for the technology that has saved us from the yucky task of stamp-licking!} and enjoy the feeling of placing it in the big blue box in our neighborhood. Then I will imagine how my note might be just the bright spot someone needs in their day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

2::an update

Well, 2 o'clock in the afternoon came and went and I hardly noticed. Must be because I didn't even have time to sit down or breathe or even pee yesterday during the day . . . it was quite a busy one! And then, wouldn't you know it, 2 a.m. came and went unnoticed as well and I slept right through {thanks to your prayers . . . and some Tylenol PM to makes the odds better!}. I did wake up a little before 5, but went, pretty much, right back to sleep! How great. Hopefully today will go just as well! Thanks for all your sweet comments, commiserations, suggestions and prayers!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

what's up with 2?

Lately, I've been waking up in the early morning . . . sometime in the 2 o'clock hour, and can't seem to get back to sleep. I'm tired. Really tired. I want to be sleeping again. But instead I just lay there flopping around, trying to get comfortable. Hoping to fall back to sleep. Usually, there's nothing in particular that woke me up. No crying baby, no kiddo scared from a bad dream, no snoring husband {well, usually that's not the problem}. I just wake up. And stay that way. Sometimes if I lay there long enough I'll fall asleep again. Unfortunately, I'm not a patient person and just laying there is not easy! Sometimes I get up and try to sleep again on the couch so my flip-flopping all over the bed doesn't wake Kirb up. Sometimes I just give up all together and read a book or pay some bills or make some cards or just get some general stuff done around the house {as long as it's not noisy stuff}. But even if I get lots of unexpected word done or finish a really good book, I'd still much rather be sleeping!

Fast forward 12 hours; a full revolution of the clock::without fail lately, at 2 o'clock in the afternoon I completely hit a wall. I can't do another thing. I'm completely worn out. I need a nap! Sometimes it passes rather quickly; I can lay down for a few minutes {hopefully with my eyes shut, but that can be dangerous if a certain smallish girl does not also have her eyes shut with sleep!} and feel better. Sometimes I got to bed and am still in my gross fog of yuck.

So, I wonder . . . what is it about 2 o'clock? I'm not really big on "lucky numbers" or such things, but for some reason I've always been partial to multiples of 3. I just like them, what can I say. Maybe 2 is just getting even for the years and years of preferential treatment I gave to her {or is it his?} neighbor #3. I kind of doubt it, but it's a thought!

Anyway, I guess until it passes I'll just have to push through that 2 o'clock hour for a while. Hopefully it won't last much longer!

To cheer up this post, here's a current picture of my favorite 2-year-old in the world! I have no complaints about her {well, I suppose I do. It involves markers . . . but that's not the point at the moment!} Isn't she a doll?

{For you really observant people who noticed that this blog entry was posted at 2:07 in the morning . . . good for you, that's impressive! But, nope, I didn't really write it at 2 in the morning. It was actually 7. But you can schedule blog entries to post whenever you want them to, so I thought it would be fun to have it be time stamped at that time.}

Monday, May 24, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

505. a fresh new baby {6 days old} at church
506. game night
507. laughter
508. girl talk
509. running errands alone
510. a lazy weekend
511. bravery and standing up for myself
512. tiny little kicks
513. a package of new undies is a size 2T
514. another great book . . .
515. and yet another {don't read this one in public!}
516. friends
517. my bella band
518. a fun-filled week ahead

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Here are a few random things from our life lately::
  • I was at a consignment store with Rebekah a while back and the racks of clothes were labeled. You know: "outerwear", "dresses", "men's pants", etc. Well, when we came across the one labeled "boys and girls bottoms" {right next to boys and girls tops} she busted out laughing. She was completely hysterical and told me that was really funny, but maybe they should write something else instead. What a silly, funny girl!
  • Joe only has 2 more days of preschool before he "graduates". Yikes! How can that be?
  • I saw a turtle pee the other day. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I guess I would have to be aware that turtles need to pee too, but I had never really given it any thought at all and, definitely, hadn't ever had the chance to witness it. Now, I have! Enough said.
  • I won a game of croquet at Kirb's office BBQ the other night . . . after being WAY behind. Yeah for me!
  • Kirb was given the "opportunity" to perform at our school's staff appreciation breakfast. It was a hoot. He wore this: The picture does not do the outfit justice . . . you can't see the shiny white dress shoes {thanks Todd} or get a good view of how plunging the neckline of his shirt was, and the pants . . . you can't even tell how bad perfect they are! Finding them was quite the undertaking, {our goal was solid white dress pants like Frankie Valli wears to sing "Beauty School Dropout" in "Grease" -- since Kirb was performing "Falcon Heights Dropout" at the "Grease"-themed staff appreciation breakfast -- but that wasn't meant to be} but we finally found these {after multiple Goodwill trips} and they were great. A friend of mine asked, "Has Kirby lost more weight or are those pants just, um . . . really flattering?" It's a cut they don't use so much for pants anymore. I assure you they were the right size, but the overall fit of most pants has just evolved a bit in the past 50-or-so years! If you ask really nice, maybe I'll let you see the video of the song too!
  • It's nearly Memorial Day . . . what in the world?
  • I'm getting used to the van. I'm not nearly as scared as I once was. But, admittedly, it's still a beast to park and that's just a fact!
  • Jacob had his final band concert the other day. It was all the 5th grade band kiddos from the district {about 160 of them}. They did a great job and Joe was thrilled when they did this number: {when the camera zooms in you can just barely see the top of Jacob's head . . . behind lots of other kids and his music stand -- about half way back -- directly in front of the blonde girl and to the right of the boy in the front with the glasses. Be on the lookout for a little dark hair toward the top left of the screen}

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thankful Thursday

What glorious weather!

After last week's constant cold rain and me complaining about being cold and the kids not being able to go outside and finally giving in and turning the heat back on about 12 hours before the return of summer and the 30 degree swing in temperatures, I'm thrilled to have the amazing sunshine and warmth we've been blessed with this week!

We've walked to school most days this week and it's already downright hot-ish by that time of the morning. I've been sitting outside watching the kiddos play and get dirty while I sip lemonade and read a book . . . in reality it's not quite as ideal as it sounds, but it really is quite wonderful, regardless! I've dried many of load of laundry in the sunshine and breeze . . . and even "bleached" a nasty, stubborn stain out of a white sundress of Anna's that I thought was doomed to be there forever. I could get used to this! Welcome summer, we're so glad to have you!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

like {grand}father, like {grand}daughters

Each spring the Roseville school district holds their annual Art Show at Har Mar mall. Art teachers from each school select great pieces of work their students have done throughout the year and display them in the show. This year both girls had pieces selected to be in the show {it's Rebekah's 3rd year having one of her pieces chosen}.

We went to the opening of the art show on Friday night. It's always a fun time -- all the district art teachers are there, lots of families come out and there are plenty of proud kiddos around. This year they even had treats to make it even more art-show-opening-ish. It was quite a nice reception and I was amazed by some of the pieces and the talent that they kids have . . . especially the middle schoolers. To think that works of such great quality came of out 13- and 14-year-old bodies was pretty impressive, I thought!

The show will be up until the end of the month if you get a chance to check it out.

Here is Rebekah and her "Mix it Up" book. She cut a bunch of pictures she had illustrated into thirds so you could swap them out and have a ladies head on the body of a robot, for example, and so on . . . I'm sure you get the idea. In the picture with Rebekah is Mrs. Eiswald, Falcon's fabulous art teacher.
Here is Lydia next to her artwork. It is a spring-time piece with a poem about spring written in between sections of her accompanying picture, which had been ripped in thirds.
Great job girls!

In case you weren't aware, my dad is an artist {thus the title of the post} and we're thankful that each of the kids seems to have inherited some of his talent as well. If you want to see some of his work you can check out his online gallery right here. Most of his work is based on his travels {mostly to Ethiopia, but also Israel, the East Coast and Italy -- as well as some local stuff}. He is having an art show of his work at Trotter's Cafe in St. Paul {on Cleveland Ave. just south of Marshall} during the month of June. Stop in a check it out and enjoy a yummy treat as well.

Monday, May 17, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

489. a glorious Sunday
490. kids worshiping God with their whole heart
491. a 5-year-old who says "I would miss you if I was born in a different family."
492. witnessing the exchange of sincere, heart-felt wedding vows . . . it gets me every time!
493. french fries
494. the return of the sunshine
495. a kiddo who jumps off the swing, comes over for a hug and wordless returns to play
493. fellowship
494. a spontaneous "field trip"
495. brave friends who are willing to be authentic for the potential benefit of others
496. a good book
497. creating things
498. an almond latte
499. music
500. the "traffic jam" on our block when the church down the road lets out . . . knowing fellow Christ-followers have also been worshiping Him
501. chicken on the grill
502. witnessing my children's love for each other {rather infrequently, I might add, but I'll take what I can get!}
503. hugs
504. my clothesline {and ideal weather for drying the clothes outside!}

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience

Friday, May 14, 2010

flashback friday

people tell me at least a couple times a week how much anna reminds them of lydia. i guess there's just no denying it!
mother's day 2006

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I love the art of Timothy Botts. I have for quite a while. We have probably half a dozen of his prints in our house. I also love the printed word and fonts and letters, I think that's why I resonate so much with his work . . . we have a few passions in common.

I also love this song {we had it at our wedding} and think he did a great job illustrating it:
And this one is a favorite of my kids:
I am thankful for art that has personal meaning and for how this artist, in particular, can bring words to life for me. We have the entire Bible illustrated by him sitting on our coffee table {it has over 350 color illustration of different passages of Scripture alongside the full text of the Bible, I love it!} . . . I need to open it up again for a new perspective.

Monday, May 10, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

470. ALL the women who have loved and influenced me in my lifetime
471. an 11-year-old who snuggles in bed with me on Mother's Day morning {and promises he will even when he's 12. and 13. and 14!}
472. freshly mowed lawn
473. Costco
474. childhood memories
475. a little motivation and incentive
476. family
477. magic eraser!
478. laughter
479. a little fist plopping onto my pillow when I roll over disturbing it position snuggled tightly against momma
480. an energy bill that is less than half of what it was last month!
481. inspiration
482. my kiddos handing out flowers to all the women after church on Mother's Day
483. pigtails
484. our new van
485. a fresh haircut
486. encouragement
487. good news
488. crossing things off my list

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience

Friday, May 7, 2010

flashback friday

his love for Superman {and Pop Tarts} is nothing new

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thankful Thursday

It seems to have been an especially rough couple weeks in the world . . . my little world anyway. It seems like every day or two lately I've heard of a tragic death. None of them have been someone close to me, but someone close to someone I'm close to::a co-worker of Kirby's, a young woman who seems to have had a connection to most everyone I know, the unborn baby of my friend's sister-in-law, a local police officer . . . all just in the past week or two. Plus there have been other less-tragic, but still big, world-rocking sadness and tough times in the lives of those around me as well::job loss, chemo, awaiting results of tests {waiting is always so hard!}, unwelcome diagnosis, unanswered questions, seemingly futile job hunts, people with jobs that are a bad fit and make them miserable, major financial troubles . . . so many people are struggling.

It opens your eyes afresh to the fact that we can't take anyone, any day, anything at all for granted. I want to learn from this to love those around me more. Better. To make sure they know how much I love them. Hug the kiddos a little tighter. Re-evaluate how I spend my time, my energy . . . where I choose to be "happy Shana" and where I am a grump . . . and why on earth I let the most important people see the yuckiest me!

I have so very much to be thankful for::a way-better-than-average husband who loves me, 6 amazing kiddos {can't wait to meet that 6th one!}, great parents, an extended family that I love, wonderful friends and a fabulous community of people around me. I am thankful for the chance to remember once again how blessed I am and how very much I have to be thankful for in my life!

With Mother's Day this weekend, I am extra thankful for my mom. She is simply wonderful::kind, thoughtful, generous, a great friend {to me and others}, talented, patient, adorable. She hasn't had it too easy for much of her life, but you wouldn't know it. She sure is a trooper . . . I'm so glad she's mine. I love you, Mom!

I know Mother's Day is a tough one for lots of people::those with a rocky relationship with their mom, those who would like to be a mom {or a mom again} but aren't, mom's who have strained or broken relationships with one {or more} of their kids, those who have lost their mom {recently or years and years ago . . . I imagine that one never gets much easier}. What is a happy day of celebration for many brings pain and sadness to others. That just makes me sad! If you are one of those people, know that I'll be thinking of you this weekend and that I am thankful for you too!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

our newest {and biggest!} addition to the family

We are the slightly embarrassed, scared, Jon & Kate plus 8-ish looking proud owners of a new vehicle.
a 12-passenger Chevy Express 3500 -- pretty cool, huh? I bet you wish you had one too!

Since we are due to outgrow our mini-van as soon as #6 arrives on the scene, we upgraded to what I like to think of as the "maxi pad". You know :: mini van . . . maxi pad. Plus, won't that nickname make great roll-the-eyes, embarrassing childhood, weird parent stories when the kids are older? Yup, I thought so! Great for the sibling bonding, I tell you.

The kids {Superman included} are really excited!

They never have to share a row with more than 1 other kid. No more 3-kids-across backseats with lots of "He/she touched me" and fighting. Oh, I'm not naive enough to think their won't still be fighting, but at least they won't be pressed up against one of their siblings.

I, on the other had, am a little intimidated. I passed the "Chuck Sorlie School of Church Van Driving" long about the early 90's, but haven't driven anything this large and beastly for quite some time. YIKES! Watch out Roseville, here I come {for your safety, you'll be able to spot me from a mile away}! So far I've driven it down the block {to pick up Joe from preschool} and back. I did successfully park it . . . although there were no cars on either side of my chosen spot, nor was anyone parked in the spot in front of me or on either side of that spot. So really, it's not at all impressive! Not impressive at all, in fact.

Well, there's no turning back now. By about a week from now our "little" mini van will be gone and the "maxi pad" will be my only choice. I'm excited, don't get me wrong. It's just going to take a little getting used to is all. The lady that sold it to us said that I'll be used to it in no time and it really isn't all that hard to drive {but, sweet as she was, she obviously had something at stake and wanted for us to buy it from her . . . although she was one of 11 kids and her dad owned the dealership we bought it from and has for years, and a couple of the other family members work there too, so that made her quite a bit more endearing and I kind of believed her even}. Speaking of the dealer where we bought the van. They were fabulous to work with and if you ever need a car {or monstrous van!}, I'd recommend them in a second.

Alrighty, that's all! I hope you all appreciate your smallish, easy-to-drive vehicles. I sure am thankful for my super-huge one . . . even considering my trepidation.

inquiring minds want to know . . .

Ok, after my engagement post last week, I got lots of questions:
  • How long after your engagement was your wedding?
  • How did you get THE moment captured on film?
  • Where are you?
  • Was I surprised or did I see it coming?
  • What did we do the rest of the day?
So, here are a few answers for the inquiring minds::

We got engaged on 4.29.95 {remember?} and our wedding was on 9.21.96, so that's nearly a year and a half . . . now I'd say that's too long to be engaged, but it is what it is. We wanted to wait until after I graduated to get married, but wanted to get engaged before Kirby did. So, that's that.

Kirby's fabulous roommate, Kevin, was following us {unbeknownst to me} and took the picture {and lots of others -- but these were the days of pre-digital, so when I say "lots", I mean a dozen or so, not 378 or something obscene like that} with a mega-zoom lens from the catwalk above -- we were at Lock & Dam #1 on the Mississippi {near the Ford Plant in Highland}. We were just trying to remember "why there?" and couldn't exactly remember. We like the river. We like Highland. It was pretty a unique location for an engagement? Rather private and not too crowded. At the Lock and Dam you walk down this walkway then up and over the river {and the lock} on a catwalk, then down some steps {where you feel like you are walking right INTO the river} and on another walkway right along the river. You can see the swiftly-moving water from the dam behind us.

Just curious, did anyone know that's where we were? I mean, anyone who didn't "know" before the post even started.

Not surprised at all! My super-romantic boyfriend {that's what he was at the time, remember?} gave me a little gift each day all week and then earlier in the day on Saturday {4.29} sent me for a manicure. Nope, no polish {are you surprised by that?} just prettier hands than usual and some shiny top coat! A little pampering for the hands that were sure to get more attention than they had ever before {or since, for that matter!}

Before "the big moment" we had a private, catered dinner at "The St. Anthony" {the fancy name for my parents house -- on St. Anthony Avenue -- also known as 2118 -- their house number. My grandma has always referred to past homes by their house number, as in, "remember that time at 6321 when we had that terrible snowstorm and your grandpa needed to go to the hospital?" -- true story about the Halloween Blizzard of '91 and if you were ever a victim of the driveway at 6321 and/or ever met my maternal grandfather, you know this would add up to a big deal!!} Ok, ok, back to 4.29.95 . . . my mom made the dinner {all the favorites of this super-picky girl -- she's an amazing cook, in case you didn't know!} and her best friend, Mimi, was our server {dressed in fancy, formal white and black!}. After our dinner we left and headed to the river. When that part was done, we headed back to "The St. Anthony" where some quick work had happened and the private, romantic restaurant for 2 had transformed into the venue for a big surprise party. Kirb's parents came down from Warroad. My Grandma and Grandpa {who died later that year . . . before the wedding -- the grandpa from the 6321 incident} were there. Kirb's aunt and uncle {and a couple kiddos} were there. Lots of our friends {but not some of them . . . one in particular who had just given birth to her sweet little "baby" Noah, who is now -- obviously -- a 15-year-old}. Anyway, the party was lots of fun and a big surprise and the first chance for my hands {actually just one of my fingers -- and it's new "outfit"-- if we're being honest} to get shown off. Then we went back to my dorm where we made lots of phone calls {no cell phones, mind you. You had to actually be in a physical place with a phone -- that even was attached to the wall with a cord (gasp!) -- to make calls to people} to all our friends who weren't at the party due to distance, and saw friends on campus. If I remember right, when I got home NONE of my roommates were there {there were 5 of them for pete's sake!} which was a little bit of a let-down, but they came home eventually and were very excited {although not a bit surprised!} for us! Alrighty, I think that about covers the day.

I think that should do it. Any other questions?

Monday, May 3, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

455. date night
456. dinner at Ama & BopBop's
457. finishing a big project
458. weekends
459. early morning quiet
460. almond chai from the Tea Garden {yum!}
461. creativity
462. saying "no"
463. catching up
464. a beautiful walk
465. "stuff" winding down for the year
466. farmer's market {first trip of the year}
467. the ease of getting to church with only 2 kids!
468. thoughtful friends
469. freshly brushed teeth

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience