November 29, 2012

early merry christmas

I recently found my favorite arrow servers on CLEARANCE at Target. So naturally, I thought of ya'll.

They could be yours.

Apparently this lil creeper wants to snatch them up...

Just leave a comment below if you want them too!

Winner will be selected at random. Winner announced Monday morning.

Early Merry Christmas!

This giveaway in now closed. Winner has been selected. 

November 27, 2012

Brace yourself for some randomness

I think Kleenex has come a long way. Don't you?

Too bad about Hostess though. RIP orange cupcakes, RIP. I didn't even get to say goodbye.
At the reading program, one of the volunteers was doing a devotional and asked the kids what they wanted for Christmas. Finn blurted out "A BB gun!". To which I shot him down with, "YOU ARE NEVER GETTING A BB GUN KID. YOU'LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT". Poor kid. His crazy mother was raging.

So we improvise. This is a plastic toy gun, lovingly wrapped in camo duct tape.

He rigged this camo gun to shoot out some used BBs that he collected off our neighbor's lawn.

At least the kid is resourceful. I'll give him that.

From the safety of my couch I embroidered my favorite deer.

Have you ever wondered what I look like embroidering? Not me. No thanks.

Sewing some fabric paper by machine. I got this nifty idea from Loriloo a while back.

Painted the tops of some mason lids a yummy shade of aqua. 

They were used as prizes for a baby shower for one of my dearest friends, Megan.  Mmmm...Dewars peanut butter chews. My fav.

I think I'm gonna make something similar for Christmas presents for the kids' teachers. Except I'll do something Christmasy on the tag.

Megan's baby shower theme was nests and birds and I got to help with the centerpieces.

Calvin came home from church with some drawings on a Chinese box. It's Achan, stealing some of the "devoted things".

And I think here, Achan is getting stoned.

A major highlight was having sister Lindsay, twinsies + mom come up for a visit!

Lindsay walked in the door holding Savannah out like a hot potato. She had completely blown out her diaper on the drive up. And it was in that moment, it hit me: I am truly out of the baby phase. I did not know if I should be happy or sad. Because I do not miss the poop! I think it helps having little twinsies to smooch.

Auntie Lindsay is a kid magnet.

Lindsay made the most amazing paninis known to mankind, while I snuggled babies.

I did help with one part: I hand sliced a big ole hunk of fresh bread, from trader joes. And it had some meat, which I had trouble pronouncing...pros-key-yoot-oh. Or "Prosciutto". Same diff. And melted mozzarella, with fresh tomatoes and sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil.

They were gobbled.

Remember how I am practicing the music box this month?
I tried playing for my little neighbor Libby but I was too s-l-o-w to make the song recognizable. So I asked John to play it, so she could hear it played proper-like. And after playing Music Box, John busted into Eminem. And I danced and threw some gangsta signs, just for Lindsey (of Lyrics of Life). John and I shall perform a Slim Shady Music Box medley, so stay tuned, k?
Getting ready to trap mama cat, to get her spayed.  As I mentioned on fb, I would not survive the hunger games.
Mama kitty was too smart and so our first attempt failed. The canons shot into the night air, as tribute davi crashed and burned.
And mama cat laughed at my haulogram in the night sky...according to a fb friend.
And henceforth, sister Lindsay named the mama cat, "Katniss" because she is so elusive.

Then, at 2 a.m. that same night, we caught a raccoon. John heard the crying from the cage, as I dozed away. I dreamt in and out of real life that John's finger was bleeding from a rabid raccoon bite. But not to fear. John is in one piece and has no need for a parachute gift of healing cream from his sponsor.
We have been practicing feeding mama cat in the cage with the trap part tied up. So that when she's fully accustomed to freely roaming in and out, then BAM! We can catch Katniss by surprise! The games continue...

November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

We went to my parent's house for Thanksgiving and to my shock they painted the shed door. From red to creamy yellow. I can't believe they didn't consult me.

My papa set up an archery range for the kids, much to their thrill.

Calvin is still lamenting this stick he left at my mom's house(Mom, could you save it for him?).


This face. Who me?

Yes YOU Tweeds. Can you believe this face poked a bunch of fat holes into my vintage vinyl desk chair with a pencil on Thanksgiving morning?

Mama was not happy and he got in big trouble. At least he fessed up immediately and did not tell any tall tales. That was appreciated. He immediately raised his hand with a smile and happily admitted "I did it!" Seriously I do not know what to do with a wild destructive child. It must get under control before he does any serious damage. Tips welcome!

Last fall when I found out that my little sister was pregnant, I dreamed of the THIS Thanksgiving, where she would have plumpalicious 5 month olds.

They are too precious for words and my joy was made complete. Happy sigh.

My crew is pretty much unphotographical these days, but here are a few we managed to sneak for this Thanksgiving of 2012.

So thankful for these little boys.

And for my honey bunny.

Unfortunately, I got sidetracked by a wayward toilet and forgot to take pictures of anyone else that day. It had to be plunged, peeps, and it was done most enthusiastically by yours truly. Those 200+ toilets I plunged at Hume Lake summer of 2005 weren't for naught.

SO extremely thankful for God's love, family, friends and toilet plungers. 

November 20, 2012

do you play?

Neighbor Jordan came over to practice his piano lessons. I was so inspired that I almost busted out my old piano books.

 I took lessons as a kid. But in the words of Elizabeth Bennett:

And then Libby was over a few days later and started practicing one of my favorite minuets on our piano. And I felt so nostalgic.

That's it!

I'm determined to start practicing this month: a minuet and some Christmas songs. And I was also thinking of buying sheet music for the Music Box. It's my favorite song on the piano. I always BEG John to play it for me. 

Today, by some sheer luck, I actually found the sheet music for the Music Box in our piano bench, of all places! I mean, who put it there...with all the other sheet music...

So I started pecking away at the keys. The trills are, by far, my favorite part of this song. Aren't they cute?

However. I'm playing the song at a snails pace, so it's barely recognizable.

It reminds me of the time I was in the hand bell choir, in college. We were doing a recital in front of chapel, playing the famous song called Trepak, from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. Believe, me, if you heard it, you would immediately recognize it. Go listen.

So there we stood, poised for action, in our black outfits and little white handbell gloves.

The percussion band ahead of us was coincidentally going to play the SAME song. And when they started playing, we were like "noooooooooooooo!" You see, they were playing it fast(well, proper speed) and so it sounded just like the famous Trepak. But when we played it on hand bells, it was in such slow motion that you had no idea it was even the same song. And we had no clue until we heard it performed correctly.  I think my face it still red just thinking about that day.

Well, I'm not gonna let that happen again. I'm gonna practice Music Box till I can do it fast. And then I shall perform a recital, ha.

As a kid, I wasn't very good at recitals. I curtsied once and flashed my underwear.

Another time I forgot my song and just kind of slammed my hands down on the piano and sat down. Mom. Did I really do that? I think I've blocked it from my memory.

Anyhow. I am very excited to practice again. Use it or loose it.

And I used to play the recorder too! I think I could play 'Happy Birthday' and 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen'. I lost my recorder a while back and I fear it will talk me years to re-learn my two songs.

And yes, I did design my very own ee cards this post, thankyouverymuch. Hey. It's harder than it looks. So no mocking.

Did you even know you could make your own? Because you can.

Ok, now get back to that instrument that you've ignored that past few years! Or waste invest your time making ee cards.

November 17, 2012

things above

I never met Caleb but enjoyed hearing stories about him around our dinner table.

Caleb was one of John's students last year. He had Aspergers. And since Ollie has a disorder, spd, I felt a special little connection to Caleb.

A few days ago during PE, Caleb's heart stopped beating.

His aid who follows him around administered CPR, to no avail.

Caleb died. Right there in PE class.

When we heard the news, we were devastated. He had a pre-existing heart condition, but this news was still sudden and shocking. Grief counselors came to the school the next day to help the students cope with the news.

You see, Caleb was very well loved. He had a best friend. A sister. Christian parents. He was also part of our youth group at church and was often found sitting in the back writing "worship the Lord" on his notepad or DS.

Honestly, I didn't quite know how to process this awful news.

I immediately called my mama.

And then I cried.

And could not stop hugging Ollie.

And in that moment, all of my worries about Ollie's spd and his future education just...dissipated. All my concerns about whether or not he would have trouble learning to read or write...or whether he could handle all-day kindergarten next year...just felt insignificant in light of the devastating loss of a 15 year old boy, who had trouble in school too. 

Caleb may have had trouble focusing in class, but he got the important things right. Like loving life and God and people.

And now all these lives that he touched are just reeling in that great loss.

What I'm trying to say here is that super smarts and education and excelling in school pale in comparison to love. People matter. Big, small, weak, strong, ALL PEOPLE have great value and worth. No one person is more important than another.

And in all honesty, I also asked, "Why God, why Caleb?"

And just then, I heard on our radio in our bedroom, the song playing,

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

In my gut I knew this to be true. Lord, blessed by Your name.  But I was still sad which I think is appropriate, considering the loss of a sweet 15 year old boy. When Jesus heard of the widow's son dying, "his heart went out and he said 'don't cry'. In the words of my Pastor, "It wasn't supposed to be this way!" We live in a fallen world.

A few days ago I was driving Ollie to preschool, on the open road with fields around us. I was pondering a difficult situation and once again asking "Why God, why?" Or maybe it's wasn't so much of a "why" question but more of "How do I process this? What am I supposed to think?"

The radio was on and the following lyrics were playing.

You open up my eyes to the things unseen...
...As I walk from earth into eternity

Back at home I was still singing "open up my eyes to the things unseen"...and then started my 'desert discipline'. And kinda did a double take when I read the following verses:

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal    (Colossians 3:2, 2 Corinthians 4:18, emphasis by Kay Arthur)

And I feel like this was God's gracious answer to my dubious question "why?"

And now I have even more questions. Like what EXACTLY are the things above, that I am to set my mind on? I have a few ideas. Like dwelling on God's word and serving people. Because people and God's word are the only things{here on earth} that are eternal. But how this thought pattern plays out in my head day-to-day is still to be determined.

And just so ya know? I have great peace knowing that Caleb is flying with Jesus.

November 15, 2012

quick 'n easy

Now that the holidays are upon us, I decided to resurrect the good ole' cherry crisp recipe.

In my opinion, it's as easy as making brownies from a box. It requires barely any effort and yet its warm ooey gooey goodness will make people think you put in all this effort.

Just 4 ingredients required.

Pour two cans of cherries into pyrex.

Look how festive the red cherries look! Perfect for a Christmas dessert.

Sprinkle evenly 1 tsp of cinnamon.

Heap a mountain of cake mix on top.

Make little indents.

Drizzle melted butter into indents. I had some red goo left in the cans that I poured on too. Don't want to waste;)

At this point the kids came running in from outdoors and starting hovering. "Ooohh, this looks so yummy!" they exclaimed.

"It's yucky", I told them. "It has {canned} cherries. It's not for you guys. It's for bible study tonight".

"Oh but we love canned cherries", they insisted. Whatevs. As a kid, I would not have been a fan.

Little Blue had to make her inspections. This is the funniest, most entertaining kitty ever. She's our little Lynx. She loves to bat and chase legos all over the floor like a wild leaping mashugana.

And after being cooked for 45 minutes.

All in a days work.
I served it tonight with ice cream at small group. Everyone loved it and kept thanking me. And it was so easy!