Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"The Rules"

1* No todeen (tooting)
2* No Fording (farting) 
3* No bi the eges (no by the edges. I don't remember what this was about) 
4* No kisingn (kissing)
5* No blrding (blurting)
6* No singn (singing)

7* No lafing (laughing)
8* No lafing yin im mad (no laughing when I'm mad)
9* No kapingn (I think this was "no clapping")
10* No skrimingn (screaming)
11* No tlikling (tickling)
12* No slap on the bodam (I think this speaks for itself ;))
13* Dnot wak mee (do not wake me (and she is very serious about this!))
14* Plees do not jop on mi bede (please do not jump on my bed)
15* Plees do no skree me (scare me)
16* I u od lvoe u to not skreem (I would love you to not scream)
17* No been noveey (no being noisy (I think))
18* No takeen mi tos (no taking my toys)
19* No askee qestjis (no asking questions)

Doesn't it sound like fun to be in her room?!?


I love snow! Which is good since I live in Wisconsin. And we have snow for like 7 months a year. It usually starts sometime in November, sometimes even October if we are lucky, and we can have snow until April. It is always exciting to get snow. Well, almost always (by April it can be a bit tiresome). This year we probably should have brought our patio furniture in before our first snow (at least the cushions!). 

 Our whole family enjoys snow!

The puppy...

The kittens... 


the kids...

and mom...

Our snow is gone for now, but it will be back soon...and I will enjoy it when it comes!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

There's a new girl in town!

There's a new girl in town!
She is very stylish
She has all the new moves
She is so easy to get along with
but is still really strong and does her job well!

The old girl?
She isn't too bad
but isn't quite as stylish
and shows her "wear" a bit.
She is more high-maintenance.
A few parts don't work as well as they used to
(who can't relate to that??)

The new "girl"

The old "girl"
who is now relegated to being the basement "girl".

Monday, November 28, 2011


Mckmama- Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This week I certainly did NOT take advantage of my family being gone for the whole weekend and stay in bed until 11 on Friday! I am always productive and make the most of my time (I would argue that time resting was time well spent, but maybe not until 11...)

I also did NOT eat a WHOLE bag of chocolate covered potato chips. I have way more self-control than that!
(They were way too delicious!!)

While my family was gone, I certainly did NOT go through my kids things and "organize". (Don't ask my kids about certain toys/projects/"treasures" okay?!?)

and finally, this morning I did NOT give my 6-year-old the choice of going to school and having me come for lunch (she was anxious/sad about going today) or being bored in my office while I worked all day (I don't teach on Mondays this semester). She of course did NOT choose to come to my office for the day. Ugh...lesson learned!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Giving Thanks!

This was a bit of an atypical Thanksgiving for me. I wasn't able to be with my husband and kids for the weekend. Well, I was ABLE, but chose to stay home to be closer to my grandma while she is recuperating.

Each year we are either at my parents or my in-laws for Thanksgiving, and then at the other for Christmas. The next year we switch. This was our year to be at my in-laws for Thanksgiving. So, my husband and kids still went while I stayed home.

It was hard being away from them (and I am STILL away from them--they come home tomorrow). It was hard to not get to spend time with Mike's family. We don't get to see them often enough.

It was good being with my family. It was good to spend time with my grandma. It was good to have some time alone at home (it is much easier to clean the house when there is no one else around but the dog!).

So, my different Thanksgiving holiday?

I went to the Thanksgiving service at my church on Wednesday night (my birthday!). There is a long-standing tradition at the end of the service for people to be able to stand up and share what they are thankful for. My dad has been part of this tradition now for 39 years! My sister and I were born on Thanksgiving 39 years ago, and every year my dad gives thanks for us (how great is that??). And we give thanks for him (though not standing up in front of the whole church!).

I spent Thanksgiving morning in a quiet house, enjoying the time to get some things done.

I realized that one of our kittens was missing (and still is).

Went to my parents' for Thanksgiving dinner with many of my family (mom and dad, sister, brother-in-law, 3 nephews, 2 nieces, aunt, uncle, 2 cousins and their families).

Went with my cousin David's dear wife Cara to visit Grandma in the hospital. Spent some good time loving her.

Went home hoping to find 2 kittens (still only one) and let the puppy run for awhile.

Went to my sister's house to celebrate the "late November" birthdays: my sister and I, 2 of my nephews and my brother-in-law (there are also the "early November" birthdays which include my dad, husband and nephew).

I was remiss and didn't get any pictures of our actual Thanksgiving meal, but here are a few of the birthday party.
The guys watching football

Enjoying each others' company

Max the dog and "his" ottoman

One of the birthday boys (with his great new Angry Birds hat!)

The other birthday boy

The rest of my weekend "alone"? I did this, and searched for our missing kitty, and loved on the lonely kitty who is still here, and did a lot of cleaning and organizing (don't encourage my kids to ask where certain things are...), and watched movies at home with a friend, and did lots of laundry, and blogged about my family that I am missing, and slept in very late. As for the rest of my time, we'll just have to see what happens. It might include some cheesecake...

In spite of my "different" Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks for so many things: my family, my home, my pets, my friends, my joys, my struggles, and certainly not least, my Savior.

What are you thankful for this year?

Monkey Bread

One of our family's favorite weekend treats is "Monkey Bread"
How do you make it?
Here you go, in just a few easy steps:

Take 3-4 tubes of refrigerator biscuits, and separate all the biscuits
(It helps to have a cute helper for these first steps!)
Shake them in a bag with some sugar and cinnamon
and put them in a greased bundt pan (or any baking pan)
Bring 1/2 cup each of vanilla ice cream, butter, white sugar and brown sugar just to a boil
(you could use less butter, this is just what the recipe actually calls for)
 pour the sauce over the biscuits

 Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (until golden brown)
 turn pan upside down onto serving plate or large bowl
 We sure did!
(Credit has to go to my wonderful sister who shared this recipe with me in the first place!)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday impulse shopping...

I am not a true Black Friday shopper. I don't get up at the crack of dawn, or in more recent years, stay up all night, but I do enjoy going out at some point on Black Friday. There are still good deals even in the afternoon! I also love to just browse and people-watch. There are many different styles of Black Friday shoppers, even by the time that I get out (today around noon). There are the cart pilers (their carts are bulging with everything imaginable), the deal finders (frantically scanning the store flyer to see what they NEED to find), the random shoppers (seriously, the lady behind me in line at one store had a few cans of cat food, and some other random groceries and seemed a bit perturbed at the lines...SHOP ON A DIFFERENT DAY!), the tired moms (I saw a lady with a young child who was whining for another mint. She sighed and commented that he would have very fresh breath today), and me (out partly because my husband and kids are out of town so I could actually leisurely shop without worrying about the amount of time I was spending, partly to watch the people, partly to find some deals, and then there were the impulse buys...)

Creme Brulee Almonds!

Yummy nut clusters

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake (should this even be legal??)

Cheesecake Trio (Godiva double chocolate, Raspberry White Chocolate and Dulce de Leche)

and "House"...6 seasons...
Oh, there were some other purchases: some gifts, some groceries, some other necessities, but these purchases are what make me smile today. I know what I am doing the rest of the day! Who wants to join me. I'll even share some cheesecake! (maybe)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Forks, a nap and snow

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I most certainly wasn't so excited about a purchase I made this weekend that I took a picture of it...

and then another picture showing the difference between a regular fork and the forks in my purchase.
seriously, have you seen cuter forks than that?
(My computer was being crabby and I couldn't get this pic to rotate correctly)

I also did not take a 2 hour nap on Sunday while my kids fended for themselves. I am way more responsible than that, and never would sleep while they were awake (remember...they are 6 and 11!)

I also did not go out in my red pj's to get pictures of our puppy and kittens in the snow we got recently. That would be waaayyy too embarassing. (post coming sometime in the next few days...of the snow, not the red pj's!)

So, what have you NOT been up to this week?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Request...

UPDATE: My grandma made it through surgery beautifully! Praise God! Now I ask for continued prayers for her healing and recovery. Her goal is to get back to her home, so that is what we are praying for.

Original post:
Can I ask you all for something?


My heart is sad today

My dear Grandma fell at home today and broke her hip

She is nearly 95, so this is not a small issue

She will need to have surgery to stabilize her hip
or she will have very limited mobility for the rest of her life

The problem:
Surgery at 95 is a big deal

The solution:
We have a GREAT God!

Would you please pray for my grandma?
Would you please pray for her doctors?
Would you please pray for our family?

We love her dearly, and hate to see her struggling

How many 94 (almost 95-year-olds) do you know that have great grandchildren
ranging in age from 5 to 21 who LOVE to see them because they just radiate love?
She is our prayer warrior.
Now we are hers.
Would you please join us?
My heart is sad
but as one of my grandma's favorite verses says:

He will cover you with His feathers,
and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Psalm 91:4

I trust in that promise today.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

a day

Today has been "a day"

Not bad, not great

Some really good parts, some parts that are just "fine"

I would have rather stayed in bed than go to work today,
but ended up having a great time with my students and some guests we got to work with.

(I promise, I will still write a post about me sometime soon for those of you who don't know me yet!)

I had a couple of meetings, nothing stressful, but just things to do.

I didn't have enough time to get all the things on my list done,
but got some of my list done.

I picked up our family Christmas card

I think it turned out really nice

I'll have to see if I can figure out how to post it here.

I am looking forward to going to the gym with friends tonight,
but I am also struggling to want to go to the gym with friends tonight

I am excited to pick my kids up from school in a little while,
but wish I had a bit of time to myself.

Today was just...a day

Have you ever had one?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Health conscious...ALWAYS

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This week I did NOT go to an exercise class mostly because I knew it would mean a quiet hour to myself while my kids splashed and played in the (supervised) pool! I am always health conscious and always exercise purely for the health benefits!

This week I also did NOT make chili for a gathering of friends and as I was creating...decided to throw in the leftover fajita fixings...and spanish rice...and a taco meat/bean mixture...because I hated to think of them going to waste in my fridge. I ALWAYS cook from recipes, and NEVER would use leftovers when making food to share with others! (The chili was good, by the way!)

What about you??

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The utility sink

I cleaned my utility sink today. It really needed it. It has been used and abused from the various projects at our house over the past few years. It is just a cheap plastic sink, but it has had quite a road with us.
It's story began at our first house. It was an old house (read "built in 1896" old!). It had had a laundry area built on off the kitchen, but it didn't have a utility sink. We really wanted a place for Mike to be able to clean up from the many (read "unending") projects on that house. We had NO extra money, and really no place to put a formal utility sink, so we bought the cheapest of cheap sinks that could be bought. We hoped to work some way to have it in the round basement of the house (yes, the original basement of the house was a round brick area with a dirt floor. Turns out that was pretty common in the era the house was built. What wasn't so common was that this particular round basement ended up having a river run through it in the Spring because it was at the base of a large hill).
Anyway, I digress...we never did work out a way to have it hooked up in that fantastic basement before we bought our current house and moved. The utility sink sat in a shed at our current house for many years (why we moved a cheap plastic utility sink neither Mike or I really know at this point, but for whatever reason, we did).
Our new house did have a utility sink in the laundry room, but it was pretty old and yucky. At some point, my dear husband decided to take out the yucky sink and put in the cheap plastic sink that had been neglected for many years. It was still an improvement! Cheap or not, I now had a nice "new" clean sink to use in the laundry room.
Problem: we use our utility sinks really hard. We have done LOTS of destruction, construction, painting, landscaping, and who knows what else, that have involved the sink being used pretty harshly. The sink had gotten to the point that just a regular scrub  wasn't going to clean it anymore.
So this weekend I cleaned it.
Get ready to ooh and ahh!!

What? Oh, maybe I should have included a "before" picture. It is just a cheap plastic utility sink after all!