Sunday, January 31, 2010

Project 365: Week 4 (For Me)

Share your week with us!

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Day 23 (Saturday) - We went out to eat as a family to Macaroni Grill.

Day 24 - I won this candy at a baby shower. We were supposed to shout out what candy bar came to mind when a phrase/word was said re: pregnancy/motherhood. The word given was CONTRACTION, so of course, the candy was NOW and LATER! I haven't seen one of these since the 80's.

Day 25 - First workout of the new year and it only took me 25 days to get to it! Go Leslie Sansone! (You do see that it's still dark outside, right?!)

Day 25 - (pic # 2) My girls winning awards & earning badges at the American Heritage Girls Awards Ceremony. (Left - Katie, Right - Tara)

Day 26 - My lunch was gorgeous and it came from our church's cafeteria. Yes, we have a cafeteria. The special on Tuesday: Asian Chicken Salad with roll. It was as good as it looks. Yum!

Day 27 - Tara came and asked me to help her put on these Barbie shoes. I said, "These are pretty shoes!" She answered, "Yes they are! I wish they were mine cause then I'd be higher."

Day 28 - Tara had an eventful week. Wednesday night she ate/touched something that incurred a severe allergic reaction. Her left eye was completely swollen shut within 5 minutes of touching the unknown allergen. She has to undergo allergy testing next week. My boys suggested I take a picture of the eye, but I didn't. Instead her first top tooth came out on Thursday and we thought we'd celebrate with a photo memory!

Day 29 - Field trip downtown. We went to see the Terra Cotta Warriors, but couldn't take pictures. Then we went to the Library of Congress to get our library cards! Fun day! The LOC is such a breath-taking building.

Day 30 - We had a snowstorm! (Didn't everyone have bad weather this week?) Tara went out to play in the snow and ended up shoveling off the steps for her Daddy. So precious!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Allergies, Terra Cotta Warriors & Pirates

Anyone else fighting the blues...or lack of sleep?

I've just been dragging through the days lately wondering what is going on. I'm sure there is more than one contributing factor, but I'm ready get some energy back, folks! Enough already.

Wednesday night Tara had a severe allergic reaction to something she ate. She did not have an anaphylactic response, but just by touching her eye (I think with coconut oil that was on the chips) it completely swelled up. She took two different antihistamines (per Dr.'s phone orders) and I kept watch over her through the night, which meant I didn't get much sleep. The swelling was still there, but diminished on Thursday morning when we went into the Dr. office. Now she'll have to go through allergy testing next week.

After the Dr.'s office Tara and I went to CoOp and I taught handbells and band. After classes we stopped by the bakery to pick out a cake for Katie's birthday party on Saturday. We found out our favorite cake decorator, David, is no longer at the bakery. He got promoted to bigger and better things. :(

Today we head down to the National Geographic Museum in D.C. to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. We can't take a camera into the museum. I'm bummed 'cause I wanted to share our sights with you all. After our excursion, we'll come home clean the house and get ready for tomorrow's party.

Saturday afternoon Katie will have 8 friends join her for a pirate party! (My delicate flower!) I tried to not get too many skeleton things, but it's impossible to have a pirate party without them. Hopefully, we'll have moms who don't mind. I've still got to come up with a game or two and make some pirate headscarves tonight. It will be another busy couple of days.

Come back on Sunday and see the snapshots of our week. We had one BIG loss already, that we're looking forward to sharing with you!

See you in a couple of days.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Random Dozen - Can't Wait!

Every Wednesday
hosts a Random Questions Mime.
Join us, won't ya!

1. How good are you at delaying gratification?

If the delayed gratification includes spending money, then I have a good amount of self-control. If it's rewarding myself with time on the computer or watching a favorite tv show, then I might blow off the work I should be doing. It will be there tomorrow, right? We ALL have areas of self-control we can work on!

2. Maybe a marshmallow wouldn't be too difficult a temptation for you. What food (or anything else) would be most tempting?

3. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being saintly) how patient are you?

Wow, Lid...on any given day, I can practically top the scales AND mine the depths. My children would say I was patient everyday but Friday (when we clean the house!)

4. Have you ever waited for something in life only to be disappointed upon realization of the goal/object/etc.?

Just keepin it real, here - Marriage! I would say I had the "Disney Princess" idea of marriage, so what a shocker it was that marriage didn't look anything like "happily ever after." BUT I have been married 21 years to my BEST FRIEND and we have weathered many storms together. I would not be able to "do life" without him! So, although my expectation was askew, the partnership was a success.

5. Are you a person who takes shortcuts?

Don't know what those are! I struggle with perfectionism; shortcuts are not in my vocabulary. I wish they were sometimes.

6. Which line is hardest to wait in?

Ah, back to last week's driving! It's difficult to wait in rush hour traffic while cheaters are going around in the off ramp trying to get ahead. If I were a cartoon character you would see steam coming out of my ears!

BTW, my kids made me listen to a Phineas & Ferb music CD last night in rush hour. The songs were so lame and we were laughing so much that I didn't get cranked up about the other drivers. We may have to start a new tradition.

7. Did you wait to discover the gender of your unborn child until its birth?

# 1 - we waited (a girl), # 2 - we found out 3 weeks before HE was born, # 3 & # 4 - we found out early on (girls).

8. Are you more patient with children or the elderly?

I think I'm patient with both. It's the people my age that make me a little crazy.

9. Did you ever sneak a peek at a present?

I did once as a kid when the wrapping was ripped on a present under the tree. I disliked already knowing what the gift was when I opened it so I never peeked again.

10. What is the longest you've ever waited for anything?

Nothing jumps to mind, except my Kitchen Aid mixer. My husband surprised me by using our Amex reward points to get the mixer for me about 5 or 6 years ago. I had probably been married about 15 years at the time.

11. Who has more patience, you or your significant other?

I would say we have patience with different things/scenarios. I'd say we're mostly equal on the patience scale, but he may tip it his way, JUST A LITTLE, because of his calm personality.

12. Which of the following songs about waiting is your pick for the best?
(OK, you may substitute another, if you like.)
A) Anticipation by Carly Simon
B) The Waiting by Tom Petty
C) Right Here Waiting for You by Richard Marx
D) Wait for Me by Rebecca St. James

I only know ONE of the songs above. The "waiting" song that quickly jumped to mind was "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller. LOVE THAT SONG. It's on my inspiration playlist on my IPod. (CD on sale for $6.99 on Itunes right now!)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

365 - Pictures a Day: Week 3

Joining Sara for Project 365!

Day 17 (Sunday) - Our children's dept at church has made new signs of staff "poster people" advertising our children's church event. They make me smile!

Day 18 - The newest treat in our house - Golden Double Stuf Oreos. Since Monday was a holiday and we were all home, I heard the package rustle often throughout the day.

Day 19 - Katie workin' hard in Art Class at a friend's house. She'd rather have you notice the shirt that says, "I'm an Angel" that was purchased for her by her great-grandma the day before she died. It's the last Christmas present she received from her.

Day 20 - We sent a package to Ashley with a new textbook that came in the mail, clothes left behind, some cards and yummy treats. Hopefully, she won't read my blog before getting the box or it won't be a surprise.

Day 21 - Rhett and I have an addiction - Fringe! We record it on the DVR and then watch it an hour late so we don't have to wait through the commercials. I think I'd die of a heart attack if I had to wait 60 seconds. :) It was such an amazing episode Thursday night; I even cried (that's an embarrassing confession.)

Day 22 - Had a marathon shopping spree Friday night which ended at Walmart. This is about 1/5 of my purchases, but we're all set for a couple of weeks.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thanks, Not Cranks

Big Thanks to Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee for the bracelet shown above!

Linda wrote about the accessory in this post earlier in the month and I joined in the challenge.

While wearing the bracelet you're supposed to not complain, but give thanks instead. If you do complain, you're supposed to switch the bracelet to the other arm as a physical reminder to not grumble.

A few days ago I received my own THANKS, NOT CRANKS bracelet and immediately put it on. Within 60 seconds I had switched arms twice - first complaining about something and then saying, "That stinks!" about having just complained. Not the best start. :)

After wearing it now for a few days, I realize that I don't do a lot of complaining, but I do say A LOT of unkind things in my attempt at sarcastic humor. At the dinner table a couple of nights ago, I shared my observations to hearty agreement from the gang- followed by their own snarky comments! I suggested we get our own arm bands to remind us to BE KIND! That got a good laugh...which made me think they really do need one.

I remember the first Bible verse my mother ever had me learn: "And be ye kind, one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you." (Eph. 4:32) Obviously, she noticed I needed a little kindness early on!

(Why do I hear my family sayin' "Amen!" in my head!) Hmmm...

So I continue to wear my bracelet to remind me to not complain, but also to be kind. Not bad - a two-for-one-deal! Sounds like a winner to me!

Thanks, Lid!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday's Treasured Three

Other bloggers have their Friday's Fave Five, but since I like to be a little different, I decided to have a Thursday's Treasured Three. This way I only have to come up with three things; how smart am I?!

So here we go:

1) Betty Crocker's Hershey's Cookie Brownie Bar is the easiest/tastiest treat to whip up. When needing something to share with my volunteers on Sunday night at work, this has become my fallback dessert. Everyone loves it and I come home with an empty pan. Buy two boxes to make a 9 x 13 brownie.

2) I used up my Yankee Autumn Wreath candle this week and I am lamenting it's demise. I LOVE the smell of this candle; it is Autumn to me (and winter too.)

3) Speaking of using up this week...I used up the last drop of my Coconut Lime Verbena body wash from Bath & Body Works. I may have to find an excuse to hit the mall very soon!

Got any treasures you'd like to share?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Random Dozen - Enjoy!

Join us at Linda's 2nd Cup of Coffee for some Random Fun!

1. So I was thinking about how Jon Bon Jovi never seems to age much. His hair is smaller nowadays, but he still manages to look like a boy somehow. And then that made me think of the story of Dorian Gray. Question: If you physically lock in one age for yourself, which would you choose and why?

Physically - 22, right before I began having kids, but I'd never trade that if I had to go back to who I was at 22 yrs. old. Love the wisdom that comes with age!

2. What is the best dish that you cook or bake (your piece de resistance?)

My snickerdoodle is divine! When I first got married I couldn't cook AT ALL (not even a grilled cheese sandwich.) My husband taught me how to cook and now I have a large repertoire of great recipes. After first learning how to cook I wanted to make Mark his favorite cookie - the snickerdoodle. I borrowed a recipe, found a few in cookbooks and kept playing with it until I came up with my own combo. He thinks they're perfect and that's all that matters to me! Maybe I'll make a batch today...

3. When you feel blue, what is one strategy you use to help yourself back to normal?

Sleep or praise music - depends on what I need the most.

4. When was the last time you danced in public?

At a Lock-In with my girls last Friday night...chicken dance, Y-M-C-A, electric slide, the twist - all the classics!

5. Do you consider yourself a realist or dreamer?

98.5 % realist (dream a tiny bit!)

6. As a parent, what is one thing that you have done well?

We literally have one rule in our house, "Obey quickly and happily." We address whatever issue comes up quickly and realize the heart attitude is as important as the actual compliance. I have truly amazing children, but I believe it's by the grace of God. We are blessed!

7. Which is your favorite character on the Andy Griffith show?

Aunt Bee was my favorite character. She was just the cutest thing! I'd love to come home to her cooking any day. But my fave part of the show...the theme song. I'll probably be whistling it all day now.

8. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you know about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

5 - just enough.

9. Have you never been mellow? Have you never tried … to find a comfort from in side you? (Sorry, Jorge was singing that song just now, and it just seemed to be perfect timing as I was creating this week’s questions.) REAL question: What is your #1 driving pet peeve?

Driving, like on the road driving? If you have ever experienced the Capital Beltway around Washington DC you would know it's impossible to narrow it down to ONE pet peeve. How about arrogance - however someone demonstrates it! Why can't we just give a little grace to each other out there, people! Don't get me going...

Um...Linda, are we still not wearing the "Thanks, Not Cranks" bracelet? I've got to switch arms now.

10. Which color best represents your mood today? Care to elaborate?

Gray with a touch of cloudy. (switching arms) I didn't sleep that well and awoke with a headache. The to-do list is LONG today. That's why I'm here with you instead of working. :)

11. If your spouse were an animal, which would he/she be?

Wow! I really don't know how to answer this question. Thinking...thinking...

Ok, he's a Chameleon. I mean that in the kindest way! He can adapt to any situation and blend right in. It really is a gift.

12. What activity takes up the bulk of your time on an average day?

Generally, homeschooling, but laundry is not far behind!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

365 - Picture A Day: Week 2

Whew! What a busy week!
Here's a little of what we've been doing!

Day 8 - Friday night games with friends

Day 9 - Dig out the Desk
(Don't you love the Simplify My Space stacked on top!)

Day 10 - Brother helps learn Awana verses with hand motions

Day 12 - Mom teaches "How much is that Doggie in the Window?"
(barks and all!)

Day 13 - Hosted a brunch for dear friends

Day 14 - P.E. at CoOp

Day 15 - Doing the Chicken Dance at AHG Lock-In

Day 16 - Playing Lego Indiana Jones on XBox

Monday, January 11, 2010

Here's Lookin At You!

By the end of the year I might talk you into buying your own copy of The Maxwell Daily Reader. I recommend it for anyone in a leadership position (or anyone who just wants to work well with others).

A recent entry discussed how we view others. John says, "Who you are determines the way you see everything." He illustrates this point with a traveler who coming upon a new city asks an old man sitting alongside the road about the people in the city before him. The old man asks him about the people in the city from where he came. The traveler answers that they were mean, untrustworthy, etc. The old man tells him he will find the same in the city ahead.

Later a second traveler stops and asks the old man the same question. Again, the old man asks how he found the people to be in the city that he left. The second traveler answers that they were honest, industrious, etc. The old man tells him he will find the same in the city ahead.

Then John wraps up the daily entry with these words. "The way people see others is a reflection of themselves. If I am a trusting person, I will see others as trustworthy. If I am a critical person, I will see others as critical....If you change yourself and become the kind of person you desire to be, you will begin to view others in a whole new light. And that will change the way you interact in all of your relationships."

Wow! There are women in our scouting group that I find unfriendly and insensitive, but I had to stand back and look at myself and ask, "Would they think that of me?" I was afraid they would.

Tonight our scouting group met and I decided that I would treat others in a friendly manner and take interest in them. You guessed it; I wouldn't have described anyone tonight as unfriendly or insensitive.

Thanks, John, I needed that!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Children's Hour

The Children's Hour
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations,
That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O'er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, o blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Little Scouter's Prayer

I stopped by Catherine's blog and found this nugget. It was so apropos to what I had experienced that night and I shared it with her in a comment. I thought I'd share it with you also.

One of our darling girls was wrapping up the evening in American Heritage Girls and ended her prayer this way, "...and Lord, you don't want to hear all the blah, blah, and regular stuff. You just want to be our friend. Thanks. Amen."

Of course, that elicited a few chuckles and knowing nods, but like Anne Shirley's quote in Catherine's blog and the little scouter's prayer, He does want a relationship with us...not just prayers.

Thank goodness for that!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday 365

I've seen other bloggers doing 365 posts - where you take a picture every day and then post them to your blog. I am not linking up with any 365 group, but thought it would be a great way to chronicle my year. Every Friday I will post the week's worth of pictures. I hope you'll enjoy seeing little bits and pieces of my life and maybe give it a try too. If you do, let me know!

Day 1 - New leather journal for 2010

Day 2 - Skinny shirt - goal for new year

Day 3 - Watching the Chargers beat the Redskins - a lesson in football

Day 4 - Gift from Hubby - potential for organization

Day 5 - Katie's 8th Birthday; Grandma's too (but not 8th!)

Day 6 - Last Day for the Christmas Tree

Day 7 - Taking a stack home from the library

Hope your first week was a good one too!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Which magazine to chose?

I was doing a little light reading behind the only closed door a mother can find peace, if you know what I mean.

Before entering I had randomly picked up two magazines that were stacked together.

This was the first magazine:

Good Article Titles...dreams of "Best Body Ever" looming in my mind...very nice,

but then

I moved the top magazine aside to see what else I had snatched up and this is what I saw:

Oh, Southern Living, how could you in January! Pancakes, Cheese Grits, Chicken & Dumplings, Warm Cobbler, and Much More...

Waaaah!! (with a touch of giggle!)

It's all about balance, right?!

Happy Healthy Eating, Everyone!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Random Dozen 2010!

Join us for lighthearted fun this week with Linda's Random Dozen.
Just click here to find out what to do!

1. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being a cranky-baby-hissy-fitter, how much of a complainer are you?

Hmmm. I am a pessimist so I'm sure everything will be much worse than it turns out to be, but I can't stand whining/complaining. I guess I'm a 4; that's what my gut says I am, but it might be a 2 since I'm a pessimist! I doubt it.

2. When someone else is talking, do you listen, or are you thinking about what you're going to say in response?

When I was younger (20's) I was thinking about what I was going to say because I wanted to impress people. Now it takes all my concentration to listen. I like being in my 40's!

3. I just deleted 1062 messages from my email account. Do you have any plans for a clean sweep this month--of anything?

I always have brilliant PLANS for a clean sweep; it's the execution that kills me. I did clean out MY DOCUMENTS folder as prep for my husband working on my computer. I still have to go through other stuff and I'm procrastinating. (I hope he doesn't read this!)

And now, here are some brilliant questions from a gal named Angie at Angie's Ad Lib who graciously offered to let me borrow her brain. Please go over and see Angie because it was so nice of her to help me out. Thank you so much, Angie!

That's me!! Wow, thanks, Linda, for including my questions this week. I feel like I won something. :)

4. Tell us about your perfume. Was it a gift? What does it remind you of? Do you have a signature scent?

It's pretty bad when you submit a question so you can use one of your favorite old posts. If you have the time, please read scents and scents-ability. Otherwise, the short version - I love wearing Blue Grass by Elizabeth Arden.

5. What is your best organizing tip for the new year?

I used to write several goals each year and come back to look at them off and on. Recently I started just having a slogan for the year...something that encompasses all that I already know I want to work on. Last year's slogan was "Joyful Obedience." This year's is "A Sound Mind in a Sound Body!" So much easier to keep my priorities in mind.

6. What is your favorite comic strip?

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman/Jerry Scott

7. Do you sleep with a fluffy or flat pillow?

Just like Linda - fluffy - cold side only, please

8. What color is your kitchen? Why did you choose that color?

butter yellow with a red wainscoting back splash

9. What’s the most interesting bumper sticker you’ve seen?

10. Do you prefer an expensive writing tool or whatever is lying around? (Are you a Montblanc or a PaperMate?)

Yes! (Although Parker is not quite Montblanc.)

I write in pen with a Parker Gel and in pencil with a PaperMate PHD Ultra.

Love these!

11. What chore doesn’t feel like a chore – you just enjoy it (at least most of the time)?

I enjoy cleaning the bathrooms. Love the sparkling finish.

12. If your parents often repeated themselves, what is something one of them said more than once?

My brother and I had my Dad's speeches numbered. We used to tell him he could save time if he just said the number instead of the same old thing. (Smarties!) There was nothing profound: "stop horsing around", "put the phone cord back" (Dad had a fetish; sorry Dad!), "do you think money grows on trees", "be quiet I'm sleeping", "do you want to get up at 5am to do your chores"...the list is endless. I think we were in triple digits once we numbered them all. Great memories...really!