Saturday, October 30, 2010


This doesn't happen often, but today I took a look at some photos I'd taken today and got to this one and did a double take... It's my mini-me!!  Sometimes I call her phone and I hear her speaking with my voice!  Today I look at this photo and see me all over again... ah, didn't I look pretty back in the day??  Ha ha. 


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Holly Hobby Time!

This week I am introducing a topic that I will enjoy SO much... hobbies! I particularly like crafts. I usually have several planned at once and have a hard time picking what to work on.

And with that introduction, I would like to say “Do NOT laugh at the first picture that I post!” Really, that's an order!! My wonderful husband is entirely, completely and absolutely supportive of me doing things that I love. (He might secretly wish that I loved cooking... but the dear man accepts that I do not and would never tell me if he ever did wish differently!) He will pay attention to little things that I say about needing this or that or just wanting something and one afternoon we'll be out and about and he takes me to get just what I mentioned. He will patiently stand with me in fabric stores and walk the aisles of Michael's with me (that was for my birthday!) when I have some new, grand scheme to work on in the house. I have many projects to share with you, but here is my hero. He is at the table marking a wood frame that I painted for the wall clock that he gifted me on last year's birthday. He then attached the clock, fastened the hook/hanger thing to the back and had it on the wall for me last week.

I've been posting a bit about tackling tasks around the house, wanting to get it clean and organized before the holidays hit. And in that I shared that this year I painted my bedroom. For months I have been planning and dreaming of how to pull it all together. I'll let each project have it's turn in the spotlight, but for today I want to share the finished project.

Having a lovely bedroom is very special to me. Those words don't do justice to the strength of my feelings on this subject! To walk into the room... my own room... to have my space... to breathe in a bit of beauty... is life to me. To sit on my bed reading my Bible. To ponder lessons on God's sovereignty. To write endless articles and books in my head as I try to drift off to sleep. To wrap and stack presents on the floor at the end of my bed. To dust the shelves and look at each figurine, knowing where they came from and what they mean. To slowly dress, looking at pictures of Scott and I on the dresser. To cuddle my 3 year old grandson and read Max Lucado picture books, watching his eyes dance. To dream of days to come where I can snuggle future grandchildren. To pace the floor, thinking through tough choices. To pray. And pray. And pray some more. To rummage through drawers that I've stuck a little of this and a little of that in to... fingering through piles of photos, re-reading cards and notes, finding a school craft brought home by one of the boys, holding the doll that I played with endlessly years ago, finding treasures sent to me by my mom when she knew I was down. Yes, my room is very special to me.

And a few days ago after looking at a store, looking online and not wanting to continue the search in multiple other stores, Scott took me to purchase the fabric to make the curtains that I cannot find to buy. Would you believe that they are pale purple? Yes, my husband who reels in 6 foot sturgeons in the middle of the night (his idea of a hobby!), who climbs I forget how high to the tops of cranes that he has built himself, would not care if the curtains I pick were pink, flowered or polka dots... if they made me happy. One very special thing about Scott is that he delights in seeing me happy. So, when I planned out decorating our bedroom... when I picked out a quilted bedspread with embroidered rings of purple/lavender flowers... when I really quite adored the pink-ish clock... when I decided to hot glue purple flowers, ribbons and wood stick forms to make decorations... when I thought that the best curtains would be light and flowy and pale purple/lavender... he smiled and said, “Sure! If that is what you want and it makes you happy!” Now, that might sound cheesy, but he is quite sincere. I am spoiled by him. Like a daddy's girl gets spoiled when she is young.

Today I made up the curtains. I have fallen in love with sticky tape... double sided... the kind that fuses the edges of lightweight, sheer fabric! While I could envision the results of my purchase hanging at my windows, I was stuck on the thought of running the sheer material through my sewing machine and messing it up. A dear sales lady came to my rescue and talked me through the steps of simply ironing this stuff at the edges, folding them under and not having to sew at all. And it worked like a dream. Today I did all of the drapes in the photos and each of the edges turned out beautifully.

Stay tuned... I am eager to share close up photos of the projects around the room and then some! For now, I think I will head to my lovely oasis... my very own dreamland. Looking around the room I will see my mom's imprints... her crocheted doilies... and know that she passed on the love of making things to me. I will slip into bed and remember being my daddy's little girl and I will thank God for such a good dad. Then I will look around and reflect and thank God for my indulging husband. I will see his smile, knowing that it's because I have my smile.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tackle a Task !! Before and After pics... and this week's goals!

I started to doubt about my target date for getting each room, garage and trailer clean and organized.  I worked several days and wasn't very motivated.  But then I had two days in a row home and just got to it. 

Here is how it went, in pictures!

First, my desk... as clean as it gets!

Next, my dressers and night stands, before and afters:

I forgot to get a "before" on this, but the dresser top was cluttered with notebooks, papers, pens...

I got insides of drawers sorted, minimized and tidied.  The closet, too.  I started to put off doing the hall closet, but when the holidays are here the last thing I want is to open that closet and see coats fallen off hangers and the wrapping paper box all messed up and game pieces on the floor!  So, I got that cleaned up, but didn't take photos...

Two more weeks to go and I'll have hit my target date!

This week's tasks include:

Maintaining areas previously cleaned (dust once, keep up on the kitchen!)
Wash all doors, frames, knobs and wall touch ups
Clean inside of trailer... two days...
Front and back yard... handle any clutter, sweep patios, etc.

And that will take me to next week... the final week.

What have you been up to?  

Friday, October 22, 2010

Time for Fitness Friday!

This week's update promises to be fun!  And that's what exercise should be... in my life, anyway.  Because if I am not feeling a bit happy and it is painful or boring... well, if I am going to have my heart rate soaring and sweat dripping from my brow, I'd better have some fun to go along with it!

Last weekend my Julie Girl was here and she had been hearing me talk about working out.  She gets more excited about the whole exercise thing than I do.  She was super encouraging, too!  We took time in our weekend together to work out to the dvd I am using.  I can now get through levels 1 and 2 fairly well... I still take little "walk in place" breaks.  So, we had my playlist blaring, the dvd in and were going to it and Nathan took a few videos...

Let me say, this is a bit... umm... humbling.  I guess that's the right word.  I don't like people seeing my "chubby", but, here it is!  Because I can't cover it up and work out, too!  So,  maybe... hopefully... this will make me a bit more real to some of you.  Maybe you will be encouraged.  I am learning so much about myself right now... and embracing who I am.  It's very healing.  It's very freeing.  That's what I wish for every lady out there... to know who you are, to take care of yourself, to love yourself and others, no matter what your height, weight, size.  We are here on purpose.  Our lives matter to others and someone out there has counted on you and been blessed because you are here.

So, now that I've had my contemplative, mushy moment... here are the videos!!

This one makes me laugh... I knew he was videotaping and he tells me to "go".  But, I didn't want him to keep the film rolling... especially when I have to take momentary "breaks"... Sometimes to get back on track, because coordination isn't always my best trait...

And when you see this one... you will totally back me in my statement regarding coordination... lol.

And this one really makes me laugh!!  

Yes, it was fun to have someone to exercise with.  It was a lot more fun than being in my living room doing this alone. 

I love my family so much.  I started this whole exercise thing primarily because I was much less flexible than I used to be and kept feeling stiff and "old".  Heart health is a great motivation, too, since heart disease runs in my family.  But, the highest motivation is for my family.  I want to share life to the fullest with them.  If we are out at a park, I want to run with them!  If we are at waterslides, count me in!  The day will come when I do less of that, but today is not that day!  I believe that a sovereign God orders our purposes and the days that we live... and I want to embrace those days with energy and liveliness.  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Today is Julie's "Sweet 16"!

And it makes me giggle...  All these years I've been trying to sweeten her up!  I love her so much... for all of who she is.  She was born with her mind made up.  She would not let her older brother learn ANYTHING without her.  They were my "dynamic duo"!  She had to test me during toddlerhood.  She watched us... studied us... she knew what buttons to push.  She was 1-1/2 and could have her 3 older siblings in tears!!!  I'm laughing now, but, sometimes it wasn't fun and I wasn't laughing during those moments.  But, the girl's got spirit.

From an early age she had an eye for "fashion".  She would walk through Gottschalks and glance at the shoes, pass through the purses and then tell me what would go with each outfit.  And I'd stand there, amazed.  Because I have just about no fashion sense myself.  I love it when we are out together now and she points out what would look good on me!

We had some rough times and stood toe to toe many days.  I can actually find things to be thankful for even in that!  Her determination can drive me batty or I can let it inspire me... And to mothers of daughters out there... you know when they hit about 12?  They wake up and take you on!  It's like, they realize they are a woman and for some crazy reason think that they know what's what and criticize you.  I have been picked apart now by 3 different daughters...  But, there's a beautiful end to it.  I realize not all daughters go through this with their mothers, I just happened to have 3 that did... each in her own way.  And I am okay with it.  I had lessons to learn with each one... and Lord knows they had some lessons to learn, too! LOL.  All that to say that here, on this day, her sweet 16, she IS sweetness in my life.  We can hug!!  We can sit close together and chat away.  We can get all excited over some song.  And laugh.  Oh, yeah, bring on the laughter!!

I had a beautiful weekend with her and here are our special birthday celebration photos...

It all began Friday... Scott took off work early and called me up to go out shopping.  He wanted to get a special gift from him to Julie.  He found just the thing... (in the little girl's section... which is where we have to shop for Juile and Rebekah because they are size 12-14 in girls for things like pj's and shoes and socks, etc. God made me a couple of little girls...).

We decided that Julie could open one gift Friday night.  Her good friend was over for a while, too.  It was high excitement when the box was opened and the contents revealed... talk about squeeling!  And a very loud, high pitched, "Yippeeeee!"

The next evening, Shasta came over and we opened more presents...

First... the card... she's a smart one, she is!

Then some gifts...

Then the premier gift from mom... ha ha...

Followed by the cake!!  It was a lot of fun to make.

Then the little thing needed to go night-night... lol


The girl loves her Frodo dog.


The next day (after all, you only turn 16 once... the celebration should never end.. right?)  Back to what I was saying... the next day we got Julie's eyebrows waxed.  She and Rebekah talked me into getting my upper lip waxed, too.  Oh, wow!  OUCH!  After screaming, I asked, "Is there blood?"  And when we went through the salon, a lady asked me, "Oh, was that you I heard scream?"  To console myself, I bought toe rings for us girls.  And Julie scored on an outfit.

 (We certainly don't have the prettiest toes... but the toe rings are lovely!!! lol)



Happy Birthday, Julie.  I love you bunches!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Time for some tasks!! Anyone? Anyone at all??

I will just list all the tasks that need to be done from this Monday until next.  If anyone joins in or just wants to leave a comment and share what you've been doing around your home to tidy or organize, please, knock yourself out! I'd LOVE to hear from you!

Here are pictures from last weeks tasks:

I can't find my "after" picture for my desk... I took one, but I also took a gazillion pics of my daughter's 16th birthday (tomorrow's blog!).

Let's see... I currently have 19 tasks that need to be done and  19 days until my target finish date of November 5th.  The goal here, if you didn't know, is to get the house really cleaned up and maintain it, one or two tasks at a time in order to prepare for the holidays.  So far I have cleaned out all kitchen cupboards and appliances, two desks and 3 sets of shelves.  I have maintained the kitchen!!  No small feat.  I need to dust again at the desks and shelves... I need to wash the mantle.

So, this week:

To maintain:  dust two desks and tops of shelves and wash the mantle.

New tasks (and a couple that I didn't get to last week!):

Couches!  In, under, behind!!
Mirrors and writing board
Tidy kids bathroom cupboards
Clean my personal dresser - 3 drawers and dust the shelves
Clean night stands
Clean big dresser... a few more drawers...
Clean out my closet
Clean out hallway closet
Clean under my bed
Vacuum bedroom
"handle" bedroom clutter
Make sure bedroom is dusted/polished

And as a reward, I hope to get new curtains purchased and post pictures of my "new" room!  (I painted it this summer, made some decorations and now just need the curtains)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hey - Have I said lately that I am just crazy about my kids???

Sometimes I sit here and look at each one of the pictures of them and each one of these people is so very special to me.  Thanks, God, for creating each child of mine!

Fitness Friday! Have you been getting any exercise?

Fitness Friday

What level? What week?  I don't do "details" very well... but I think I am on week 4 and I think I'll be at level 2 for a few more weeks.... I am still using The Biggest Loser's Cardio Max "6 week" plan.

It's been a very good exercise week! I got in 4 workouts... two of which were intense and left me dripping with sweat. The first one of the week I was excited! Really! That was nice because last week I really did not want to exercise. Today's workout was a bit lazy, though I did work up a sweat. I have been doing level 2, but a bit toned down because I am just not full on yet with it... have a way to go.

I have experienced the energy level with these workouts... After showering and dressing for the day I feel like I can take on life and really don't get sleepy during the day anymore. I wish I could say that I was sleeping great at night, but that's a whole other issue!

The best part of working out right now is listening to my music playlist! That makes all the difference to me. Enjoying the music, letting my brain go other places rather than being stuck in the living room bending, stretching, jumping, lunging, doing squats.... Yep, my brain needs that music outlet or I'd be bored and would not stick with it.

How about you? Have you been doing anything physical for your health?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday? Try Speechless!

***I cannot bear to post a new post and interrupt this sweet little girl showing up when my blog is clicked, so I am announcing my next tackle-a-task jobs: clean in, under and behind couches, clean hanging lights and clean bathroom cupboards.  For the weekend, clean kids bathroom cupboards and all mirrors I can find!***

Chris and Sonia invited me to join them at the NICU today, where I was able to gaze upon this tiny, beautiful life.  Chloe was 14 inches as birth.  I am not sure what she is now, but mom and dad say she looks longer!  Not only that, but her tiny face and tummy have filled out a bit.  I am ever so thankful to be included in these times with Chris and Sonia.  And since you would rather look at pictures than read my words... I'll get them put up now!


These preemie diapers are actually huge on her!





And here is a brief video clip of this precious little girl!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What's More Important?

Sometimes that's the question begging to be asked.

There are seasons that come and go during which my husband travels... a lot...

They are balanced with the weeks that go by during which he works somewhat locally and is around often!

We are currently in a “traveling” season. With his current employer, he doesn't always get much notice... usually that means he finds out within 24 hours of his next flight out of town! Sometimes he is sent for one or two days and when he arrives on location, discovers that he is needed for two weeks!

That makes it difficult to plan dates!! Sometimes the children miss out... he is out of town for a planned party or athletic event. Other times I just want to plan something important that he will “BE” at.

So, this past week he'd been out of town for several days, the second week in a row, and called to say he was flying home! I excitedly rattled off the menu for that evening's dinner then not so excitedly and with much lower tones reminded him that it was choir night for me. He was instantly disappointed. You see, he knew that after flying in, it would be a matter of a few days and he'd be flying back out and that he would have some “things” to tend to while he was in town and he really, really, really wanted to get off the plane, drive home and see me for the night.

There were several times in the past two weeks when we thought we were going to connect... for a dinner out or a lunch date or something... and the plan fell by the wayside because one of us had something else that pulled us away.

Getting off the phone, I asked myself, “What is more important?” And I knew. Tonight belonged to my husband. I grabbed a son and my purse and headed to the store for some fresh bread and Scott's favorite drink. I had taken a few minutes to pop in at a favorite forum to plead, “Quick! Someone tell me what that dipping stuff is for the fresh bread in nice restaurants!” Then I added balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and garlic to my shopping list! Back at home I prepared a dish from many years ago... Mandarin Turkey.

Thankfully, it did not require extensive kitchen labor! Cody worked diligently beside me, tossing the salad with our garden fresh tomatoes, setting the table (complete with candles!) and making sure the dishes were washed, dried and put away.

That was also the evening I picked up some fashion magazine for my daughter-in-law who was in the hospital having a baby and I glanced through it and saw that straight bangs with curly hair was a fall trend... so, I cut some bangs and got a fresh look... complete with skirt and top and my favorite black heels!

Scott came in looking weary. And saw me. And he smiled SO big and we hugged! He noticed all the effort put into his homecoming dinner and we had such a beautiful evening together!

Monday, October 11, 2010

This week's Tackle a Task! Just what you've been waiting for!

Tackle A Task Fall 2010

It is Monday and once again, my tasks slid down on the priority list over the weekend! That's okay, though, because I kept up with the kitchen and it still looks nice and tidy and clean.

For detail people, I have 27 household tasks left and how many days? 26 Yikes! That puts it in perspective for me... I will have to do more than one task a day each week to hit my target day of November 5th.

Here's my list for this week, Monday through Wednesday:

clean mini blinds in each room
clean my desk (includes 3 piles of papers and sorting through my filing drawer)
clean out the cubbies above the fireplace... set up the xbox 360 there for family time...

and my extra task to keep on track for the target date:
clean the bookshelves (2 of them), taking off books and dusting, too, sorting and organizing.

Now, honestly, this does not sound fun at all. And these tasks are going to take up a good bit of time. Sigh. But once they are finished, it will look grand, I tell you! The only fun part of this whole process is before and after pictures... and putting on some fun music... I think it'll be the Go-Go's this week...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Baby Chloe - 1 day old

Here she is!  It's absolutely amazing to see such a tiny baby.  To give you perspective, she is laying sideways at one end of the bassinet/isolette.  She is as healthy as can be at this time.  I will send out alerts if there are any changes or concerns.  Right now it's important for her to grow and continue to develop.  Thank you, so many of you, who are praying regularly for Chloe, her parents and our family.



Friday, October 8, 2010

Baby Chloe has been born!

She was born today at 12:18 at 1 pound, 14 ounces. Sonia is in recovery from the c-section. Chloe breathed on her own just fine and when they were wiping her down and getting her "needs" taken care of (oxygen and iv) she kept fighting them with her arms, hands and legs, so they had to strap her down a while! So, she's a fighter. We're looking forward to updates... Dr. says the first 2-4 hours are really important...

Thank you for the continued prayers!