Thursday, January 28, 2010

Here Comes the Meat Wagon

Today is my Love's birthday!

Tommy Boy is hands down his favorite movie....the crazy thing is that whenever we go away for a little weekend trip, this movie is ALWAYS playing on a cable channel!

Happy Birthday Babe....hope you enjoy the meat wagon scene!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Love Is...Wall Art

I've been mulling over this picture for awhile...I've had the "Love Is" part on this canvas since before New Years. I just couldn't get the words to fit right.

So, I decided to just do it and see what would happen....not too shabby!

I'm linking this to Kimba's DIY Day.


Busy Again

I've got tons of projects in the works:I saw the cutest little girl skirt over at Ruffles & Stuff. She used an old pair of her daughter's tights. But since I don't have a daughter or "old tights" , I improvised at Walmart with a little pair of sparkly heart pants.

I found this HUGE picture at Goodwill. The boys thought I got us a painting from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers! I don't know which is scarier...that it actually does look like that farm...or that my 3 young boys know that movie! (Jamie loved that movie as a wee one..he called it the Cowboy Movie. One day he came limping up to me, holding his leg, "Mommmm, I think I need some little mints"....OK?'s a scene from the movie where the brother says he needs some liniment! Only in my house!)
Here's a close up of the frame..pretty cool huh?!?

As much as it will pain me, I'm priming over the picture, painting the frame cream and distressing it...and then it's gonna get a good ol' coat of chalkboard paint.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Go Hogs

One of our local tv stations gave away free hockey tickets. We had never been, but Jamie's been dying to go see a game....well....the price was right so why not!
The Ice Hogs came flying through this inflated pig head, while everyone cheered and rang their cow bells (I've gotta fever..and the only perscription is..MORE Cowbell!). It was a bit loud for Corey, but he made it. Because of the promo, it was a sold out crowd so the best seats we could get were 3 in front and 2 in back. Here's my view of "family time".

I sat directly behind Jim.....the Metro Center has lovely seats that rock and move for your comfort...well..his knees were smashed the entire night!!!
They ended up winning 3 to 2. As far as I can tell, hockey is a lot like soccer...except it's on ice...and they have sticks....and no ball.....well..maybe not so much!


When Jamie was little (I can't remember if he was 4 or 5)...he found some kittens in the hull of our old boat. Jim was working on the prop or something and J was playing in the boat. He kept sneaking into the hull with all the life jackets...Jim would get after him, but he kept going back. Finally Jim asked him what he was doing. "Playing with Kittens.", as he came out with his arms full of kitties. Needless to say, the mom never came back. By the time I had gotten home that night, Jamie had named them all. Jim thought it would be best to leave them outside. This upset Jamie...Jim told him that God would take care of them. "But he already did...He let meeee find them!". What do you say to that?!?

We ended up bottle feeding 5 little kittens and found all of them homes...all except one...Snickers. We personally are not cat people. We have dogs, big dogs. But, the boys adored Snickers (aka Mickers). They carried that poor cat around from the time they woke up till they went to bed! Its a wonder that he ever walked! The following Christmas we discovered that Snickers had been spraying our real Christmas tree...ruined the carpet and that was all she wrote! We decided it was best that Snickers go and live at Jim's parents' house...sprawling farm, the boys could come visit their precious kitty. He met us at the garage whenever we visited!

This morning, Jim's dad called. Snickers had died in the middle of the night. This is the first animal that the boys loved that passed away. So, we have a very sad bunch of boys right now. Jamie has such a tender heart...he's taking it the worst. Lots of hugs and snuggles, but what else can a mom do? It stinks big time...I know it will get better, just hard to see your kids broken hearted.

If you have any suggestions, they'd be much appreciated.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I LOVE Weekends!

Sometimes, momma just needs a break, ya know?

Last Friday I was able to return some library books, get the new one I was after....and go to my favorite little cafe for a coffee! I started reading A Long Way Gone, Memoirs of a Child Soldier on Friday and finished it Sunday. It was heartbreaking and I still don't feel like I have words to do it justice, but everyone should read this book!
I LOVE latte art! (thank you Lauren!) I've tried my hand at it, but the only thing I can come close to is it looking like a bloppy poo :(
Later that afternoon I got to finally get together for lunch with my bestie Amber....and of course do some thrifting (but more on that in a later post).
Jim and his partner at work decided we needed to head into Chicago's boat show on Saturday. Beth and Jeremy are our boating buddies so I said sure....but we get to pit stop at ikea. (well, we ran out of time....but under penalty of death, Jim WILL be taking me back to ikea very soon!)
It's dangerous taking me on an all day trip with such a cutie pie baby...only makes me want a little girl all the more! This little boat moved, talked and it's eyes rolled (there was a total cheese ball guy behind us with a mic and a radio control). Baby A's expression pretty much sums it up....Ohhhh Boy!

There must have been fine print on the bottom of the tickets cause EVERY guy in the entire arena had on the same thing..Jeans and a Black Shirt....too funny! Must be the Boat Geek Club's official uniform :) This it pretty much how I saw my hubby the entire day~ arms over a boat and drooling! The boat in the picture was both of our favorites. But unless someone gifts him with 30k, he'll have to keep on drooling!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


(Laugh your butt off Wednesday)

Jamie just "learned" how to move his he can't stop shakin' that money maker!

I seriously just caught him in the kitchen, microwaving hot dogs for lunch...saying "Hot, Hot, Dogs...Hot, Hot, Dogs" while bumpin it to the beat!

Lord help us--he's got his Daddy's flare for the dance! ;)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Heart Wreath


I saw this adorable wreath over at The Idea Room.
You start out with a styrofoam wreath form, felt (I bought 1 yd, but had plenty left over for another smaller project), and a box of round head pins. While getting the felt cut, I noticed a bolt of red glittery tulle on the table....I had to get it of course!
Cut out a million and a half 3" circles....I think it was more like 250, but still a TON. Then you just fold the circle in half, and then again so that it's a quarter circle. Every so often I'd lay a glitter circle on top of a felt circle before I folded it. Next you stick a pin in the felt and push it into the wreath.

Keep going around forever and a day. I personally liked it better with the circles a bit more "fluffy"....but you can do whatever you like :)

Next up is redecorating my glass hutch doors from the pretty winter scene to one with this new wreath...hoping to find lots of good ideas over at Kimba's DIY Day

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Today, everything is enveloped in a thick fog....anything that was still last night holds a thick frost.

Fog is an outward expression of an unseen battle between winter's icy grip and a warm sun. The frost is a last ditch effort to keep everything under a frozen glaze.

It amazes me how often nature presents the perfect comparison to my heart. I've felt disconnected lately, foggy...not able to wrap my brain around anything or adequately express the turmoil raging inside. Just like the weather, there is a battle for me between this cold world and a Son whose warmth I can only imagine. Dense thick air clouds my vision and makes me feel alone....despair creeps in, shadows lurk. But, the Son is out there. He is so near that the battle wages fierce causing steam to cloud the view. The strangle hold is loosening, winter can't fight forever. One day soon, the clouds will lift. The path made clear and the Son shines bright over me.

I long for that day, but until then I will take hope in the fact that I am not alone....I am always being held in His hands~stretching, molding, shaping me into a vessel for HIS perfect plan.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Listening To Smiles

I'm laying upstairs, soaking in the moment:
No fighting, crying, or pushing...just 3 boys and a Daddy laying on the couch watching an old Scooby Doo dvd (all are giggling, all are happy).

The boys got in some super big trouble this morning...EaRlY this morning! A dog barked to be let out in the wee hours, only for Jim to discover that the garage door had been left open all night. (the boys must have snuck in the side door while playing yesterday). Not a huge travesty right? Nothing got swiped....BUT...we had garbage in the garage waiting for pick up day....and our town has a bazillion ferrel cats...getting the picture?!?
Jim came upstairs in a huff, throwing on more substantial clothes than flannel pants and an old t-shirt....mumble, grumble, stomp. When he explained what happened, I told him to wake their little tushies up (of course I said tushies...what kind of a mom do you think I am?!? Ha!) and make them help clean it up. Nothing like picking up a weeks worth of stinky garbage to bring home a point! (It also helps that even though it is supposed to warm up, its still pretty cold!)

So anyway, they all trecked outside...picked up the mess...washed up...and are all snuggled together on the couch like nothing bad happened. (Why oh why does this never happen to me?!?). I guess that I should be over joyed that I get a nice quiet morning! Who knew cats in garbage could bring such blessings :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hey Pizza Man!

Jim's the pizza man in the family. I can do it, but I get easily annoyed trying to spread the dough in the patience for that I tell you...NONE!
He's got quiet the knack for tossing the dough up in the air ....and for some reason, his always tastes better than mine!After this picture he said "Could you please stop trying to take pictures, you're making me nervous!"
So, I stopped...why?
a) because I am such an obedient submissive wifey (ha!)
b) because I hate to annoy the love of my life
c) because I was STARVING and the thought of him trying over and over to get just the right consistency of dough was driving ME nuts!!!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Birthday Part 2

On New Year's Day we celebrated Corey's birthday with all of the fam.

This is the crazy big Sonic cake that I made (4 cake mixes....what the heck was I thinking!?!)

My Uncle Shane and Aunt Amy and their son Ethan were up so it was really neat to be able to spend some extra time with them!The birthday crazyiness...why is it that you can spend weeks shopping and it only takes seconds to tear into everything?!?

Crystal always finds the coolest stuff...check out this hoodie: perfect for a video game obsessed 8 year old!All in all, it was a good day, we got the bathroom finished just in the nick of time (well...not exactly finished, but drywall that counts right?)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pop 400 And Somethin'

I just finished reading my first "Adult" book in who knows how long. My friend Kathy, who I've known since we were little squirts in Sunday school and is now living an awesome big city life in Madison (love ya cheese!), recommended the book Population: 485 by Michael Perry.

Its eerie how similar a town some 4 hours away could be to our little Hamlet. Jim's been on our volunteer department for 7 years now. We weren't born in this town, we don't have family roots...honestly, most days I long for a change of address. But, Jim has found good friendships here, its the birth place of most of our kids and of his dream. The fire department has been good for him. I can remember the exact day when he went from regular Joe volunteer to fireman geek (its an affectionate term between us). The boy eats, sleeps and breathes fire and ambulance. He's all but quit construction and now works full time on an ambulance in the he runs calls for work and then comes home on his days off and...runs calls!

The book painted such a good picture of small town life. I never really thought about the diversity of people who volunteer in our vastly different they are (businessmen, educated, not so much educated, farmers, wives, truckers, students), yet on a call they are one, working toward a common goal. Its different working for a private service. There's an anonymity, no one knows you and usually you don't know them. But when there's a call in a small town, everyone knows're not just saving a house or a life, you're saving a neighbor. I remember the one time we had to call 911. Riley was around 2 and hit his head on the coffee table. I have my own medical when he was screaming his head off, I told Jim that was a good sign (the wee ones with brain injuries don't cry most of the time). No sooner had the words escaped my mouth, his little eyes glassed over and he stopped crying! In a matter of minutes we had pretty much every firefighter in town in our living room. (Me holding back our Rotti and wishing I had folded the mountain of laundry hiding our couch!). In the end Riley was just fine, but its nice to know that if our address comes up again we've got a whole herd of people who have us covered!

I've always respected Jim for his dedication to the department (not always liked it, but always respected!). Until this book I never really put a lot of things together as to why he has this devotion. I can't wait for him to get home from his shift so that I can put my arms around his neck and tell him how much I love him.

I'm not sure how much of a literary masterpiece this book was, but it was a good read (did it in a couple days)...entertaining and used "big" words that I don't often see on an everyday basis with the kids' books! I'd definitely recommend it (I hope that Jim will sit still long enough to work through it). This year I'm going to try and get back into the habit of reading. Pre-mom was filled with wonderful books...then I hit the stage of diapers and sippy cups, where the most intelligent thing I could wrap my frazzled brain around was a People magazine! Who knows, maybe this is a turning point...maybe this year I'll find more of who I am not just "mom".

If you have any great books that you love, let me know!

Late New Years Recipes...

....well, maybe you can use them for a football game or something? :)

Mexican Lasagna:
1 lb taco meat (however you prepare it)
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 container of cottage cheese (if you're a purist, use ricotta...but if you're cheap and have a million hungry mouths to feed, use cottage cheese!)
2 jars salsa
2 packages tortillas, cut into strips to mimic lasagna noodles
1 package colby jack cheese

Mix the first 4 ingredients. Spoon in a bit of salsa onto the bottom of a 9x14 pan. Layer just like lasagna (no way is a wrong way!)...meat mixture, salsa, cheese, tortillas...repeat ending with a meat mixture topped with salsa and cheese. Bake 350 for like 45 min. (everything is cooked, just until it's melty and bubbling)

Accidental Taco Dip:
Originally I was going to make PW's artichoke dip from her cookbook (DELISH!!!!), but I forgot the artichokes...then I was going to make jalapeno popper dip, but I had forgotten the can of green chiles. Soooo, in desperation I went to the pantry and found a can of tomatoes with chiles and a can of refried beans. The basic recipe for both of the forgotten ingredient recipes have the same just to here we flubbed version:
1 block cream cheese (softened)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 can diced tomatoes with chiles
1 cup parm cheese (the real stuff)
1 can refried beans
a handful of bread crumbs and more parm cheese
Combine the cream cheese and mayonnaise (it's a bear to do this by hand..I just throw it in the stand mixer and away we go!). Add in the tomatoes and cheese. In a glass baking dish (mine was a 12" round pyrex) spread the
refried beans. Top with the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and parm cheese. Bake 350 until bubbling. (about 25 min.)
Chocolate Eclair Cake:
Super easy recipe when you don't feel like making 1200 birthday cakes!
2 small pkgs vanilla pudding, prepared
1 box graham crackers
1 small tub cool whip
chocolate frosting
Prepare vanilla pudding as directed, fold in cool whip. Lay down a layer of grahams in a 9x13 pan. Top with half of the pudding mixture. Layer another set of grahams. Top with the rest of the pudding. Make a batch of chocolate frosting (or...microwave a container of the store bought stuff)...should be the consistency of the pudding. (spreadable) Put this in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight. The longer you let this set, the better (the grahams get all cakey as they soak in the pudding).
There you have it birthday feast part one!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Is It Me...or...

....could it be January
....or these faaarrreeeeezing temps
....or maybe it's just pure exhaustion from Christmas and birthdays

I've got tons of pictures, a couple of cool new recipes and a quickie craft project...and no motivation to post it....ugh! The opportunity has come up where I can sell a couple of paintings that I made for Christmas in a local coffee shop, but when I go to paint them...nothing...just a block. Is it because I can't find inspiration or is it that I'm afraid of putting myself out there..what if no one likes it?!? (what a terrifying thought for a people pleaser!)

It feels like I have so much going on in my heart, but no words to adequately express those feelings. 2010?!? Can you believe it? It was just yesterday when we went through all of that y2k garbage! Yet, as I look back it doesn't seem like I am where I thought we would be....or are we ever really where we expected to be?

I don't really do resolutions, but this year I'm making it a goal to really be serious about getting better in tuned with God and his plans for our lives. Who am I and why was I created are on my top be used in an extraordinary way...that's my resolution!

This morning I got a little quiet time in, which hasn't happened in ForEver! I flipped open my Bible to Psalm just spoke to my heart! The theme of this Psalm is that God's living presence is our greatest joy. His radiant presence helps us grow in strength, grace, and glory...sounds like exactly where I want to be!

Psalm 84

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young-
a place near your altar,
O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
they are ever praising you.

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs,
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, O Lord God Almighty;
listen to me, O God of Jacob.
Look upon our shield, O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.

Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

O Lord Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you.

This is my verse for the year. To spend more time in His courts, finding my strength in him as I walk through my valleys of Baca (baca is Hebrew for weeping....God will give us the strength we need to move from one valley to another as we journey to Him!)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Birthday Part 1

The whole world celebrated Corey's birthday by staying up till midnight, banging pots and pans, lighting fireworks, drinking lovely drinks and possibly stealing a kiss or two.....but we played it cool that night:

Dinner of Mexican Lasagna Chocolate Eclaire Cake ...and lots and lots of Sonic the Hedgehog!!! Normally I would have edited those lovely red eyes, but Flickr was being a hater so it is what it is :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bathroom Inspiration

All of these images are from BHG

Oh, what I wouldn't give to have a tub like that!!!!! Jim could make that vanity without much problem...I don't know if I'd use real beadboard or the wallpaper (depends on what is the cheapest)

But then again, I really like the rustic look of this vanity....I could probably whip this out (especially with a plan from Knock Off Wood!)

We have a really awkward area where the medicine cabinet is. I really want to get rid of that cabinet, but the light switch and an outlet is right there....maybe a long mirror like the one below would work better. In another picture they had the mirror not just centered over the sink, but along the length of the wall above both the vanity and the toilet.

This wouldn't necessarily fit in the decor, but I love it's bright colors.

I like this built in....we have a closet without the door right now because of little boys who "picked" off the wooden slats....this would mean we'd never have to worry about wooden slats!