Friday, February 29, 2008


Can you spot a faker? I found the link to this fun quiz on How about Orange today. Thw quiz is put out by the BBC. I wanted to see how I would do. I feel like I have a pretty quick read on people, but man, you have to be really quick here! By the end of the test I was doubting myself, but surprise! I got 17 out of 20 correct! I missed the first 3. I think it took me a little time to catch on as quickly as the smile is over...and you only get one chance to see it play. :) Anyway, it is pretty fun! How good are you?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Blessed by Service

God has presented me with an opportunity to serve. That, I think, will be a good thing for me. It is nice to feel needed while filling a need.

I accepted a Nursery Coordinator position for our church's addiction recovery program on Friday nights. I decided to take the position for a variety of reasons, and the more I think about it, the more excited I am.

I have that latent teacher part of me that wants to express itself in a productive way, and there are a few elementary schoolers that come to the program. I am thinking of some fun activities to plan for different times of the year. All of the things you want to do when you are teaching, but important things, like curriculum, get in the way. The things that let kids create and be children. And I am glad that it doesn't come with a ton of expectation except for consistency, because then there isn't the stress and pressure of having to be creative and prepared. There is no set program per se. So I can do it when I have time and the desire, otherwise, we can have a popcorn and movie night. :)

I like hanging out with kids, and since Nehemiah can be with me, I think it will be a good deal. :) Wish me luck, and if you find any cool kid's projects that aren't too involved, pass them my way!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ben's Birthday

Yesterday was Ben's GOLDEN birthday. We had a great time going out to eat with some friends. The night before was good too.

We celebrated with Ben's parents.

Ben made a kickin' turkey--he is quite the roasting pro these days. My tasks were to clean the house, make the cornbread, and then the stuffing out of it, and to take care of the cake.

The same guy who wanted to roast his own turkey for his birthday wanted a Funfetti Cake. From a mix. With Rainbow Chip frosting. From a jar.

I thought that was pretty funny since I've been on a bit of a baking kick lately. But it was easy enough. I didn't want to just make the mix, so I made some cream cheese filling. It was a good surprise! I'm glad it turned out, because I just kind of winged it (is that proper phraseology?).

Then, we all got gifts. :) Ben got the birthday gifts, Nehemiah got a sweater and pair of forest green cords for next fall, and I got 2 sets of these cute
little cupcake holders called Silly feet (they are made by Wilton). It was a nice treat.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Obsession of the day

So, I have a confession...I think I am developing an obsession with felt food! I was tooling around the blogosphere a few weeks ago and ran into this awesome, crafty blog called: homemade by jill
She has the neatest craft ideas and sometimes tutorials or links to such things. Anyway, she likes to make felt food, and I LOVE it! It is so cute! And I think I could probably figure it out. The creative possibilities are practically endless!

Image from:

So I went in search of fun pictures for ideas and information that I could find on the topic. If you are interested, here is what I have found.

Two adorable sites that sell the food for those of us who don't know what we're doing quite yet:
Lily Bean Market
Mahar Drygoods

A site that sells patterns/tutorials for all kinds of yummy creations.

One lady's amazing directions on what she has crafted

A tutorial for some adorable fortune cookies!!!

More tutorials

Felt cupcakes, donuts and more.

And if you really think you might like to tackle this project, here are some beginner's basics:

This first one shows how to hand stitch felt.

and, though this one is how to make a little ladybug, it shows how to use a technique called needle felting--which I think is used in making little raspberries and other fun food.

Tell me what you think, and if you have any experience making such morsels I'd love to hear about it! :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The One

Yep...I found it. I know you are all excited for me! (For those of you who missed the post, I was searching for one last and vital box in the midst of my school stuff.) I have some really great teaching resources! It is exciting to rediscover all of my fun things--especially with teaching my own child (ren? someday) in mind. :)


And, I have finished the project, a day early, which is good, because my in-laws are coming tomorrow night for dinner. We are celebrating Ben's GOLDEN birthday a day early. Ben wanted to celebrate by roasting his own turkey. I offered to make him anything he wanted, but he likes to roast things, and when it's your big day, then you ought to do whatever puts a smile on your face.

It is great to have my project finished--if I hadn't stacked all the boxes up while it was dark, there would be a victory photo in this post. It's so pretty!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sparks fly

Tonight was Nehemiah's first time around the fire circle. It was a balmy 30*, so why not dig out the ole' pit and start a rip roarin' fire? Thanks to our friends the Pleins who got quite the fire going. :)

He enjoyed watching the sparks drift into the air when extra logs were put on. It makes me think that he will enjoy fireflies this summer.

Oh the fun of firsts.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I could get used to that title!

We went to visit with Callie, Sarah and the rest of their fam this evening. I brought a little gift for the big was the new Handy Manny DVD that I won on a blog I read daily called Sarah's Dandelions. I haven't watched it, but I bet it is good...Wilmar Valderrama, or Fez, from That 70's Show voices Manny.

I can't remember how I found Sarah (the one that writes the blog--not the one with the new baby), but her blog is a great read for me. She is honest, humorous and full of grace, and she lives in the same neck of the woods as I do--not close enough to get together, but close enough to have experiences that I relate to. :)

Anyway, it was a blessing to win the DVD to share, and as we were leaving, Hunter said, "Baby Miah's Mommy?" Yes. "We get to keep this over the whole night, right?" You see, we have lent our friend's our Wii game of Pixar's Cars before, and it is always a tough one for Hunter to give back. When I told him that it was his and Tate's to keep forever, he looked up at me with the biggest eyes and cutest grin and said, "Oh thank you Baby Miah's Mommy!" It warmed my heart and made me realize that Baby Miah's Mommy is a name to wear with pride! :)

It was so good to see Sarah--she really went through it to have that precious little one! The things mamas do for their babies! I am really happy that they are all safe and sound now, and I am looking forward to helping out when I can. Nehemiah really loves Hunter and Tate, and I can't resist Callie. I always enjoy hanging out with Sarah, so it will be more fun than work to be with them.

Sorry I have not been blogging as frequently as normal...all is well, I have just been sorting like a mad woman! I have found that I have a mother lode of office supplies, labels, and crafty things from my teaching days-woohoo! I am down to the last boxes that I can find, and have been slightly disappointed, because some of my favorite teaching books have not produced themselves yet. I have scoured the garage for a missed box and haven't found THE ONE. Hopefully when we do the big garage clean out in the Spring, it will magically appear.

There's an update on our life, what about yours?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tater Triumph!

I have been trying different foods off and on with Nehemiah 1 or 2 times a week to see if he is ready to eat solids yet. There was nothing last week, but today, man! He hit it! He had a full serving of sweet potatoes and two-thirds of a serving of Acorn Squash. It was amazing! Yay!

Thanks for the encouragement and the tips...I hope it continues.

Success in a picture!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'm a sucker

For itty-bitty babies! I went to the Family Birthplace today to see my friends and their brand new baby girl--she is too adorable!!! Unfortunately my buddy had a really rough delivery and lost a lot of blood, so she was sleeping deeply to recover, and we didn't get to chat. I may make it back up there before she is discharged...we'll see.

We did, however, get to talk to the proud daddy, and he was, shall we say, in deep smit! Their daughter is beautiful, expressive, and attentive (at least through the nursery window). She seems like she is doing so well for being nearly a month early. What a blessing!

It was fun to be back where Nehemiah was born. One of our favorite nurses recognized us right away--pretty impressive 7 and 1/2 months later. I think I'll see if I can put in a request for her, Mary, next time. I'm not sure if that is possible, but if it is, then we're going to give it a shot. She is amazing!

Then we went out for a quick and cheap meal with our friends Dan and Megan.

It seemed like a good night for a Wal*Mart mullet hunt--since we both had our cameras along, but we were sadly mistaken. Apparently the mulleted were wiser than we who were at Wal*Mart in sub zero temperatures. We saw nary a one--save the green Irish Mullet wig for $4.96. Tempting? You bet! But not quite tempting enough-sad to say. :)

And with that lovely vision...I leave you.

Monday, February 18, 2008

It's going to get worse before it gets better...

Currently describes the state of my living room. Why? You might ask. Because I am FINALLY going through my classroom. Yes, after a year and a half away from it, I have pulled down some of the boxes in the garage in a massive effort to organize what I had previously packed in a hurry!

I bought 10-18 gallon Christmas totes on clearance last week, and I hope much of it fits. I am going to put them on the bottom of the appropriately labeled stacks against our garage wall. This is because the cardboard boxes that currently occupy the space are getting soaked through when the snow melts off of my car in the garage. Something I haven't had the pleasure of experiencing before since I lived in warmer climates when I actually had a stall for my car and storage. :)

Anyway, I am praying that not much is ruined and trying to get it all organized in a week. About the time Ben can stand to have the house in ruins. His words, "finished or not, it's all back to the garage in a week." Well, I'm hoping for finished! Wish me luck!

...Now if I can only get to that other New Year's and fitness. ;)

Sunday, February 17, 2008


The bib tells all:

Here's the wild man who thwarted Valentine's Evening! ;) He's doing much better, happier, and sleepier now by the way--yay!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Change in the blog

Just an f.y.i. to let those of you who read but haven't been able to comment on my blog because you don't have a google account...I changed the settings so that anyone can comment. I moderate the comments, meaning I see them before they post now. That way I can change back to the way it was before if I am getting creepy, unsolicited feedback. :) And, if you are wondering how to comment, then you go to the bottom of the post you want to comment on, and click on the word comments. Easy peasy!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Craigslist conquest

Ben and I bid on an entertainment armoire on craigslist last weekend. I thought we would have heard back about it pretty quickly, because things on craigslist tend to move fast. Anyway, the people selling it did call us back, but on Tuesday night. It was such a fabulous deal for exactly what we needed. Something to fit in a prescribed place in our house aka: the right size and with fold back doors so that they wouldn't take any more space up when opened. We needed to get something to house all of our electronics for Nehemiah's pending crawling stage. :)

Anyway, the only time that the lady of the house was going to be available for us to pick it up was going to be Wednesday morning or this weekend. Well, Ben had the morning of Wednesday off, but not this weekend. So, at 7:30pm he left for the 4 hour trek to borrow a van from work, withdraw cash, and head out on the drive to the Really Big City. ;) Thankfully, he was able to stay with our friends Aaron and Susan (while Susan's parents are in from Australia), and Aaron went with Ben early in the morning to load the armoire into the van for the trip back north.

It turned into quite the production. My understanding is that they had to remove some bolts from the van's back doors just to get the thing in. Aaron and Ben were both late for work because it took so much more time than anticipated.

It was worth it though. Ben and his dad brought it in, and it is gorgeous. The photo on craigslist was blurry and didn't do it justice! It is fine furniture. Which is pretty funny in the house that IKEA built! Ha! I was telling my mom that it looks a little like King David came down to Mephibosheth's house and bestowed an entertainment center upon him. And that was it, just the entertainment center. Ever feel blessed? It is just what we needed and would have picked out brand new for about 8 times the cost. *grins*

Perhaps I'll post a picture in the future.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Look what we made!

My friend Megan and her daughter Elena came over today, and we made these cute Valentine cupcakes to take to MAC tomorrow morning! I got the idea, and recipe, if you can call it that, from Parents magazine. They pretty much had a supply list, but no real directions on how to form the tongues and ears and get collars to stick. :( Anyway, we did our best, and I think they're pretty great! Have a HAPPY V-DAY!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bureau of Communication

In my efforts to share light-hearted, useful, and free internet resources with my vast readership *giggles*, I have chosen to bestow upon you some privileged information.

You have got to check out these hilarious fill-in-the blank forms. They look rather official, but really they could be treated as the old standby, MadLibs, or just used for quick and fun e-mails. Whether you want to insult or invite, these are the things for you. There are even love notes for those Valentines! Just had to share.

Check out:

The Bureau of Communication- Fill-in-the blank correspondence

Monday, February 11, 2008


Good news: Nehemiah slept through the night really well last night!

In other news...the dog, did not. It wasn't really his fault, though it took us awhile to figure out what had him so riled up. Sometime after 1am, Maltby woke us up growling and barking. This is, thankfully, where Ben comes in. I may get up for the baby, but Ben makes Maltby his business. :) It took Ben some time to settle him down, and when he came back to bed, we realized that there was a pack of coyotes somewhere in the vicinity of the house. We could hear them yipping away.

About an hour and a half later, Maltby was at it again, and this time it was obvious that the coyotes had gotten considerably closer to our abode. I was holding my breath and praying that Nehemiah would sleep through it, which *yay* he did! Ben was back out with Maltby and I was completely awake! Those darn dawggies were loud!

I guess I can't say I was completely awake, because I started having those, I think I'm really awake and lucid, but I'm having really bizarre realizations moments. By the time Ben came back to bed from soothing the dog, I had cooked up a tale of our caucusing coyotes. I could see and hear it now...One caucus choosing either Bark Obama or Howllary; the other going for McCote or Scruffabee. It must have been a heavy debate because the noise continued for another hour easily. And there was not a full moon.

The best outcome? Ben turned the heat up to 68* in the house so that the heater would run without interruption and drown out the noise for Maltby, because he sleeps snuggled up next to it. It worked to keep him quiet, and I woke up to a toasty house!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I am a chocolate lover. 3:00pm is like the chocolate witching hour for me. I will scrounge all around my house looking for vestiges of the stuff. Which, I might add, is getting more and more difficult as I purge my house of all things chocolate except for Nesquick (I will NOT give up my chocolate milk--good calcium and all) and Dutch Cocoa for baking. I am on this chocolate purge for my New Year's resolution of living healthier, BUT every once in awhile it is really nice to cheat! Especially as Valentine's approaches. So, Ben took me to our favorite local purveyor of fine chocolates today (up here they are only open on Sunday for shoppers from the BIG city), AND they were having a sale! 1 lb. for the price of 1/2 lb.!

I chose my goods, carefully selecting what I thought was a half a pound each of my two favorite types of malted milk balls--sadly, my favorites, the truffles were not a part of the sale. Anyway, there were other things to be purchased for some cupcakes I am making this week, and a baby to care for, so I wasn't watching very carefully. When we got in the car, I thought I'd sneak an early taste of my yummies, and that's when I discovered that the "diet gods" are against me! The clerk misunderstood me and only bagged up a half pound total! Ah well, it's probably for the best--half a pound is better than no pounds at all! ;)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

So Easy!!!

Wow! I think I just made the World's Easiest cookies!!! I was looking through a cookbook I have from the church I went to when I was a kid. I got it as a wedding gift, and there are all kinds of tried and true recipes. And I was CRAVING something sweet!

So, I found this recipe for Easy Peanut Butter Cookies that was really good! Here you go:

  • 1 C. peanut butter
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • (No flour needed)!
Mix all ingredients. Roll into small balls. Bake 8 to 10 minutes on greased cookie sheet at 350*F.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cloth Diapering

Oh the joys! :)


Nehemiah is becoming much more expressive! He has the goofiest faces these days. It is like he is experimenting with his facial muscles continuously. This is one of my current favorites--I wish I had a better picture, but this one was hard enough to capture! ;)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

MI Stupid?

I love this new site (or at least new to me) that I found! It is called and it has all kinds of great tutorials on it. I don't know about you, but I learn things once and then tend to forget them later. :) I love, love, love easy references so that I can figure them out again. Most recently I have decided to enter my address book into Excel so that I can use it to create Mail Merge documents and print address labels etc. Anyway, they (of course) have an awesome tutorial to get you going on such a project.

I guess this is a part of my getting organized resolution. That and the going through our bookshelf, which I did today. Trimming the fat in the house by just a little. Hopefully I will continue to be motivated enough to look elsewhere as well. It isn't really in my nature, but I was watching Oprah today, and she had on the organization guru from Clean Sweep. Turns out he has a new book out called something like *Does This Mess Make my Butt Look Big?* His theory is that when you have a bunch of extra junk in your house and life, that you also carry extra junk around with you on your body. Something about a progression from "house, head, heart, hips". A little out there, maybe, but then again, maybe not. We have a pretty teeny house, so I could use to follow some of his advice. And if it helps in the quest for the slim down too, then I'm all for it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ham and Vegetables with Mastaccioli

A few weeks ago I spent some time cooking freezable meals for our friends who had just had a baby so that we could stock their freezer for them. We were really blessed by SO many friends who did the same for us that I wanted to return the favor. Here is one of the yummy recipes I made, courtesy of our family friend Diana. I hope it froze well! ;)

  • 4 oz. mastaccioli
  • 2 C sliced zucchini or peas
  • 1/2 C sliced green onion
  • 4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. dried basil, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. marjoram
  • 1 13 oz. can evaporated skim milk
  • 5 oz. cooked ham, cut into strips
  1. Cook pasta re: pasta instructions
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine veggies, onions, and 1/4 C water. Boil and reduce heat. Simmer 4-5 minutes; drain and return to saucepan.
  3. Meanwhile, for sauce, combine cornstarch, basil, marjoram, and a little milk, 1/8 tsp. pepper. Stir in rest of milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir ham, pasta, and sauce into veggies. Heat through.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Today was a MUCH better day. I was thinking clearly and was productive. I had time to relax and play with my boy, and we got to go out to dinner too! We went to Grizzley's, and they had this great deal (which I wish I could say we planned) where you got 2 1/2 lb. burgers and 2 sides for just under $8--it was fortuitous. :) I kinda' hope that is their special every Tuesday night, because we may have to take them up on it more often. We hit up Target and Walmart really quickly also. We are home kind of late, so I'll just wrap up tonight, letting you know that I am encouraged. Happy Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras! Someday I'll make it to New Orleans to the Orpheus parade (Harry Connick Jr's) and to see my brother-in-law and his band!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Those days

Do you ever have one of those days? One where many things go right, and yet somehow at the end of the day, you still feel, I don't know how to put it...well, I guess defeated is the best word for it. Or maybe inadequate. Exhausted, and like you gave it your best shot, and yet failed somehow. Not a nice feeling. There is not one thing in particular that I can point to, which tells me that I need to reground, reconnect with my Lord and listen for the voice of truth. That is what tomorrows are for--there is hope in them. Todays end, thank God, and then we are blessed with tomorrow. Pray that tomorrow I will be encouraged and go to bed content.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl?

How 'bout Super Plate?! We had some friends over to watch the Giants whoop the Patriots--woohoo! And while they were here, we ate like royalty. :) We had tacos, chips with various dips, "Erin is Great" cake (or so they tell me), really yummy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chile Sour Cream Dip, and the yummy things the Normans brought; pickle roll-ups (the quintessential salty treat for football watching), and an amazingly decadent Chocolate Chip Cheesecake--the recipe for which Sarah has posted on her cooking blog. All in all, it was awesome. I love having people over, and the Normans are the best sort of people to enjoy an evening with--for all of us!

You should have seen their youngest Tate and Nehemiah at it. They were looking at each other and cracking up--with squeals intermixed for nearly 5 minutes. SO cute!

Anyway, it was a great time, AND the right team won!

I think the phrase Cheaters Never Prosper kind of sums up the outcome of this one folks!

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Ben asked for help with his homework...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Feelin' the Love

Well, what started out as a good night's sleep quickly dissipated into a series 1 of comfort sessions at 2:30, 3:15, and 4:00 am . I think Nehemiah may be getting ready to witness his two honkin', huge front teeth busting through his gums!

Anyway, we went out to breakfast when we got up, and my mother-in-law brought many little crafty things to me; which is fun. Then, when we came back, Nehemiah and I were both ready for a solid morning nap! And, we got one! Nearing the end of my slumber, Ben came in to tell me the exciting my sleep, I had missed Marty, our mail lady's daily visit, and she had left me not one, but two packages!

The first one I opened was from Pete and Andrea, Ben's brother and my sister-in-law. They desired to send some warmth my way, after hearing of the deep freeze. They sent me an amazing pair of wool socks, rated to 40 Below Zero (I didn't even know they made socks that warm!)! Yay! There was also a package of Spicy Dark Drinking Chocolate and a reusable hand warmer. We were excited to try the Drinking Chocolate, and Ben whipped some for us. It takes 5 tablespoons per 4 oz. I didn't know this when he asked if he should make us 1 cup to share. And I asked for my own cup-hee hee. Turns out 4 oz. is probably the perfect size! It is so rich and chocolaty! You take a sip and it warms you up and delights you, and then a few seconds later, you begin to feel a bit of a tingling--burning sensation at the very back of your throat as the spice hits. It's really different, because you don't taste the spice per se, you just feel it. Anyway, I like it a lot, but 4 oz. would be plenty at a time. And perhaps I'll save the hand warmer for another blog. ;)

The second package was from one of Ben and my mutual friends (though she was Ben's friend first, in high school). Her name is April, and she is also a teacher; so, she shares my love of children's literature. She sent us 2 brand new books to read with Nehemiah, which I did promptly. The first was Bad Dog, Marley! by John Grogan and the second, I Love You Sleepyhead by Claire Freedman. They are both really great and fun to add to our collection. There was also an ADORABLE button-up shirt and faux suede and sherpa jacket that says Ranger on it. It is 18 months size, but I am sure Nehemiah will fit into it soon, and we'll be able to post cute pictures for your viewing pleasure. :)

What a way to wake up from a snooze! Thanks guys for making my day! :)