Friday, December 31, 2010


I gave up on New Year’s Resolutions a long time ago.
Nothing ever seemed quite right.
Too hard.
Too easy.
Too perfect.
Too ridiculous.
I decided I didn’t want to try to come up with a “perfect” plan just because it was a new day, a new month, a new year– besides, in two weeks I would break my resolution and feel lousy
That’s the thing about me. I don’t want to fail, so I don’t want to try. I want to control the
outcome of my life. I want to be master and commander of my universe. It tends to get in the way of a little thing called FAITH.
Looking back on my life so far, the times that have brought me the greatest joy and have been the most fulfilling, though, have been the times that I have listened to God say, “Go.” and I went. Not the times when I asked where– not the times I asked why– not the times I asked for how long.
The times that I have gone simply because the Lord led me have been the most rewarding
because God accomplished great things in me and through me.
It’s a new Year. Listen. Go. Do.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

CSN Stores- This Time, For YOU

Remember the clock I showed you in my last post? The one I got for free doing a web review? Well, CSN is at it again. CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find anything you need whether it be a chic handbag, corner tv stands or even cute cookware!
This time I am offering you a chance to win a $45 dollar coupon code from CSN. (This cannot be applied to international fees.)
Leave me a comment with link or an address showing me what you would get from any CSN store, and I will choose a random winner on Thursday, December 23rd.
I can't wait to see what you would pick!

Very scientifically, without telling her why, I had my daughter pick a number. She picked 2. Kathi, that is you! Congratulations, you have won the $45 "gift certificate" to CSN stores. Happy shopping.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Jonah's Room

Ten years ago I painted this room periwinkle for the baby I was going to have.
I thought the baby might be a girl so I went with periwinkle. But just to be safe I added touches of lime green and navy blue. When she was born I added in pink and purple. I loved that room.
A few years later, I updated the room for a girl and her sister. I added a cute fairy wall paper border and took out all the lime green and navy. I loved this room, too.
Last summer, I rearranged all the rooms. This one became Jonah's room. It is the smallest room in the house and since he is so much younger than his brothers, I put him here alone.
He is happy to have his own space, and everyone else is happy that he is not bugging them at night. He doesn't kick the wall to wiggle the bunk bed. No one cares if he sleeps with the door open. Nobody wakes him up at 6 am when they get ready for school.
You can't see it, but the walls are yellow on yellow stripes. The walls were painted satin and then I painted the stripes with semi-gloss. Even though you can't see the stripes, if you look closely, you can see the clock.
I love this room.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Rains Came Down, And The Floods Came Up

And the house in the 100 year flood plain stands firm.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Candy Land, Part 3

The Craft
The kids made little "candy machines" to take home.
I had the kids sit and paint the little pots and a small, wooden wheel red as they came in.
I had a parent add a "door" and "coin slot" once the red paint was dry.
After cake, and before parents came to pick the kids up, I had the kids pull the top off a clear, plastic ornament and fill it with Skittles. Then we put the top back on th ornament and glued it upside down into the pot, adding the wheel to the top.

This is what we ended up with as a tke home from the party.

I took my inspiration from this post that I found through my bloggy friend, Merideth.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Candy Land, Part 2

The Cake

With cupcakes sprayed all different colors to represent the spaces on the game board.
There was a chocolate fountain to represent Gloppy's Chocolate Swamp,
peanuts and peanut brittle to represent Gramma Nutt at Peanut Acres,
Licorice for the Licorice Forest, and the dastardly Lord Licorice,
and gingerbread for the Gingerbread Forest.
Also, if you look closely you will see lollypops for Lollypop Woods, candy canes and starlight mints for the Peppermint Forest, Gumdrop Pass, and gumballs and other candies for King Kandy's Castle.
At the end of the party I loaded treat bags FULL of all this candy for the kids to take home.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Candy Land, Part 1

Last week I left you with shots of what would become the main decorations for my son's 6th birthday party.
Clearly, the theme was Candy Land. Well, here they all are in their panted glory along with some of the other decorations I put out.
You gotta love friends. I mentioned to one friend what I was doing and she volunteered her stash of candy themed Christmas decorations.
The tablescapes are made from a mix of things I owned and her borrowed goods.
She even loaned me candy garland that looked like Life Savers, which I hung in the doorways.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

CSN Stores

Recently I was contacted by CSN Stores to do a promotion on my blog for their website.
The incentive?
$20 to spend for my time.
Well, okay....
Seriously, if you do much online browsing or shopping, this would be the place to do it. CSN Stores sells EVERYTHING from contemporary coffee tables to projector screens to wheel chairs.

So, what am I going to get?

It will look GREAT in Jonah's newly painted room.
You know, when I finish painting it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don't Forget:

Take Out The Trash!


Politicians are like diapers, They need to be changed often and for the same reason.

-Mark Twain

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Think About This As You Fill Out Your Ballot

Government never gives. It only takes.

1 Samuel 8 - Passage Lookup - New International Version - "11 He said, 'This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle [b] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.'"

Friday, October 8, 2010


Caleb turned 11 today.
I tried, and tried, and tried to get him to engage in planning a party.
He resisted, and resisted, and resisted.
Finally, Caleb asked me, "Mom, couldn't we just have my family over?
You know, Grandma and Papa, and my aunts and uncles?"
Well, duh.
I am all about a high energy party. Caleb is all about low key.
He had a great night.
He chose chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, pizza, pop, chips,
veggies and ranch dip, and orange slices for his dinner.

Happy Birthday, Man.
You are you, and I love you just like that.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just Do The Next Thing

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the big picture. I get bogged down in all the things that need done. I use my busyness as an excuse not to do the things I might actually want to do. Sometimes, it is an excuse to not do the things I don't want to do.

There is an anual, one way camping trip that I have never been on. It started about three years ago. Sebastian and the kids have been walking down the Washington Coast. The first year was from Shi Shi beach to lake Ozette. The next year they didn't get to go. The year after that was lake Ozette to LaPush. This year was LaPush to Oil City. I have not gone because I had a baby that I needed to take care of. I needed to move the car.

This year I had no baby. Friends were going to meet us and they would leave their car at one end for pick up. I had no excuse so I went along for the hike.
You know the saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger?" It's true. We did a lot of strolling along the beach. It was, well, a walk on the beach. But then there was also this:

One going up, and a few miles later, one going down.

I used to be all adventure all the time. Then I had kids. Now the thoughts that go through my mind are thoughts such as, "If I die, who will take care of my kids?" "If I don't manage to die, who will take care of me?"
Sometimes, though, you just have no choice. You have to move, or you have to stop living. There are no other options.
Sometimes the obstacle is not as simple as a ladder up or down a wall face. But the rules are the same. Move or die there.
All the way down the ladder I just kept telling myself, "Just look at what you are doing, and then only do the next thing."
It's good advice. I should listen to myself more often.
I'm glad I went. If I hadn't I would have missed all of this:

Thursday, September 16, 2010


School has started.
My kids are there.
The house is quiet.
Sounds like a dream, right?
Feels like a nightmare.
I have been struggling lately.
I think I need to winter in Arizona.
It started about a month ago.
The days were still warm.
The nights were coming sooner.
Each day there was more left undone.
Then, about two weeks ago, I stopped going to bed at a normal time.
I starting finding non-productive things to putter with.
I started waking up on the couch and dragging myself to bed- kicking myself for all the things I didn't get done.
Two weeks ago, the rain started moving in.
Inside of me, too.
I started walking around in zombie mode.
I still have stretches when things are happy and productive, but I feel like the veil of mist that clings to the air is clinging to my heart, too.
I am struggling.
Those are the thoughts I wrestle with.
I know they are lies.
And don't worry, I have an appointment with my doctor.
It's a yearly discussion of pharmacology and other methods to combat the grey in my head.
It goes away when the skies turn blue again.
Just thought I would let you know.
I am struggling.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Some Things Can Only Be Learned The Hard Way

Things like life lessons about mortality.

We live a couple of blocks inside the city limits. That means that just a couple of blocks away, our road turns into a two lane highway with a speed limit of 50 mph. Sometimes, cars are still going 50 mph when they pass my house.

Spike, naughty Spike, liked to run away. He never listened when he was called back, so I don't know what was different about that sunny Sunday afternoon in late August- but he decided to turn around and come back when he was called. Unfortunately, he decided to come back just as a 3/4 ton truck was barreling past our house. The driver of the truck hit Spike. He never even stopped or slowed down. Fortunately for Spike he was dead on impact and did not suffer. Unfortunately, all of my kids were either on the corner or in the yard and saw their dog die.

Sebastian gathered Spike out of the road and had the children say goodbye to him. We put him in a box and took him out to the woods to bury him. Afterward, we took the kids out to ice cream and we told funny Spike stories.

Here are the ones the kids told us:

When Dad said roll over, Spike spun around.
I like how little Spike was when we gave him a bath.

When we gave Spike a bath he rubbed himself all over the carpet and couches!
(This was hilarious to see. Spike would either put one side of his head down and run in circles, rubbing his head on the floor, or he would lay on his side and "run" so that he scooted across the floor or couch oh his side. He continued to do this until he felt he was sufficiently dry.)

One time Spike was running to Dad and Dad told him to sit, so he did. He slid the rest of the way to Dad.

It was funny when we went camping with Spike and we put him in the lake. He was swimming so hard to get back to land.
(Spike tolerated baths fairly well, but he HATED cold water!)

Jesse was in Washington DC with my mom, so we decided to wait until he got home to tell him that Spike died. In a wry, dry, sarcastic tone, he told me, "There's nothing worse than coming home from vacation to be told that your dog died."

We learned some hard lessons from Spike:

We learned from Spike that sometimes, we can love something and have to say goodbye.
We learned (especially the two youngest) a healthy respect for the road.
We learned that we can be sad. We can miss Spike. And we have to get up and keep living our lives.
We learned that memories are fun things when we are missing Spike.
I learned to Thank God for constantly protecting my children from unforeseen dangers.
We learned, by giving Spike's things away to the animal shelter, that even though Spike died, we could help out some other animals. We turned our sadness into actions.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm Not That Old!

I am certainly not old enough to be the parent of a teenager.
But apparently, he didn't get that memo and turned 13 in August, anyway.

Which is pretty much impossible since I am only old enough to be his big sister. *ahem*

Happy birthday, Son.
I pray you grow into the man of integrity and compassion, just as God intends for you.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

He Calls Me Mama

Yesterday I was fired. In a fit of five year old rage he fired me. Stomped his foot and fired me.
"Fine." I said. "I have some things to do in town anyway, and I didn't want to have to take you with me."
"No, Mama! The police will come and you will go to jail if you leave me here!"
"Well, I guess you can't fire me then."
He looked at his toes scuffing the tiled floor. "Well, you're still fired. Just don't leave, Mama."
So I went to read a book. I was bring a little selfish, too. A whole book. While the sink sat full of dirty dishes and the dish washer was full and un-run.
"Mama?" Chapter 12. "Can I have some applesauce?"
"I don't know. You fired me."
"Then you won't care."
And I didn't.
"Mama?" Chapter 25. "Can I sit on your lap?"
"Am I still fired?"
"I guess not."
"Sure, climb up here. But try not to wiggle. I'm reading."
He slipped his thumb into his mouth and toyed with a wisp of my hair. His breathing slowed and deepened, and the wet thumb slipped from between his lips. Chapter 31.
I sighed and shifted his weight. Only 3 more chapters to go. Never mind that my left arm was asleep from the elbow down from the weight of his sweaty head. I was almost done.
I closed the back cover of my book and hefted us off the couch. I carried my boy to his bed and tucked him in.
"Night, Mama," he mumbled as I kissed his mop of hair.
"Night, Love," I replied.

*While not entirely true, this story is inspired by actual events, and he does call me Mama. He's the only one.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Parade 2010

What? Doesn't every one keep a stack of 5 gallon buckets on their porch?
Well, after the stack sat there for about a week, my husband started getting a little cranky with "the mess in the way," so I knew I had to move forward with my bucket stack.
I added support posts which gave me the right shape and something to staple my chicken wire to. I wrapped the top in some cardboard that a friend had on hand for various projects, and papier mached the bottom portion (Boy, if my husband hadn't liked the mess before, he sure hated it now!) to create...
a giant sized beaker! Actually, it's an Erlenmeyer Flask, but when you say that, people scratch their heads and say, "Huh?" If you say beaker, they know just what you are talking about.
This became the float for the parade in our small town. As the publicity coordinator for our MOPs group, it was my job to see to the parade float. MOPs International has given us the theme "Momology: The Art and Science of Mothering" which, frankly, I don't love, but I wanted to work with the theme.
Here we are all lined up for our parade on a grey and foggy Saturday morning.
We walked as a group with all the other MOPs groups in our area. There are now actually 4 groups in our town and neighboring areas. The newest group is MOMSNext, for moms whose kids have gone into elementary school.
We didn't have quite the turn out I wanted. The parade is always the first weekend in August, but a funny thing happened this year with Sunday being August 1st. I think people assumed the parade was going to be on the 31st of July, but it was actually on the first Saturday of August. Sadly, a lot of people already had other plans by the time they figured that out.
Any way, we got rained on, so I am sure a lot of people were glad to not be there.
And then my camera batteries died....