Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A New Minnesota Baby!



It's a Boy!!

Tracy's Pinewood Castle just welcomed their 'Little Prince' on Palm Sunday!

Go Congratulate Tracy and family on their new little addition here.













Monday, March 29, 2010

If Your Husband Is Turning 40...

Part II

...You will want to throw him a party.

But he's declared numerous times over the last few years that a surprise party would NOT be welcome, so instead it is agreed that an invitation to supper just for family only, is more than sufficient.

And, because he's your elder and all, you'll decide that what HE wants is what HE shall get.

Simple and Sweet. But still Fun.

If you're throwing your husband a party, it would hardly be fun without one of your closest friends. And when that friend is a priest and offers to celebrate Mass in your home, you call and invite the guests to arrive early.

It is Palm Sunday Mass that will be at your home after all. How wonderful is that?



Afterward, you will eat, drink and be merry as you join together in celebrating a pretty amazing man.

If you are all gathered for a party, there should be at least one party game. Why not test how well everyone knows the Birthday Boy? (You may even be amazed at what you did not know about your beloved hubby)



A cake will be needed and while you settle for just store-bought, you'll be glad when it turns out just right.



And it looks like the Birthday Boy agrees.



Of course there will be candles for every year, which creates an awfully bright cake.



Because you were having such a good time chatting and enjoying yourself, you will forget to take photos of most of the evening. And, well, not everyone will want to be featured on your blog any way. So that's okay.

When all is said and done, everyone will have had a good time including the 40 year old most of all.



In the end the wife will realize that 40 is just another number and not one to be afraid of. Yes, the hair is thinner and a few more wrinkles are visible, but that sweet 40 year old man is still one of the best darn guys there are around.

And you'll be glad that he's yours. And even more excited that you still have most of your thirties left to enjoy with your much older husband. Hehe...

*sigh*



















Friday, March 26, 2010

If Your Husband Is Turning 40...

Part I

You'll want to make it the best birthday day EVER and insist on doing something really FUN, but he'll tell you a million times that it really doesn't matter what he does on his birthday.

He'll take the day off from work and tell his beloved wife that he just wants a quiet day at home with his family.

So that is what he will get...

You'll start the day with a yummy, freshly baked coffee cake and scramble up some eggs.

And then the kids will insist that gifts need to be opened right away.



If you give the daddy his gifts, he'll enjoy them but will display even more enthusiasm over the one you created and didn't buy.



And you'll be happy that you have a creative, blogging friend who helped you out with this idea in the first place. Not to mention, the divinely inspired scripture verse that you chose for the project.


At mid-morning when a trip to town is required, the birthday husband will suggest that a trip to the coffee shop would be a fun treat. Of course, you'll agree because it is HIS birthday after all and if he REALLY wants to go to the coffee shop well then I guess we'll have to go.

While everyone enjoys their fruit smoothies, the wife will revel in her iced frappe and the ambiance of a coffee shop that she enjoys so much. Good thing husband had that 40th birthday!



When day is almost done, you will prepare a simple but delicious birthday meal and even serve it on your 'best' dishes. And if you serve it on your 'fancy' dishes, you probably should take a photo.


(You can find the recipe here)

If you're really going all out for the celebration, why not add some sparkling apple cider and a toast to one of the greatest 40 year olds you know.



And of course we can't forget the cake!



Finally, at the end of the day your husband will sit your little family down and thank them for his perfect day. It is then that you will be reminded why you love him and your family so much, because it was worth the perfect memory for a momentous birthday.


To Be Continued...


















Tuesday, March 23, 2010

MissingYou!


There are some great and wonderful ladies out there in Blogville who gave up blog commenting for their Lenten sacrifice. And, because they know who they are and I'm sure they wouldn't want attention drawn to them I won't list their names here.

I applaud their efforts, especially being that I felt that I could not follow suit. I know, so much for the sacrifice on my end huh?

But, as lent comes to a close here shortly I just had to let my dear friends know that they have been missed. Their lack of comments and their presence have made me realize just how much I treasure their encouragement and support. What would I do without them?

God bless the rest of your Lenten journey ladies! I cannot wait to 'see' you again after the Resurrection!!













Monday, March 22, 2010

Looking For A Treat?



I know we are still well into the season of Lent, but I made these bars last week that were too yummy not to pass along. In feeling generous and in the spirit of Good Deeds for the season, I even stopped by Reed's office and shared a plate with his co-workers. It was agreed, they were scrumptious!


Soft Peanut Butter Bars

2/3 cup Butter
1 1/3 cup Peanut Butter
2 cups Brown Sugar
4 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
2 cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
2 1/2 cups uncooked, quick Oatmeal


Beat together first 5 ingredients. Add dry ingredients; mix well. Stir in oatmeal. Spread into greased 10x17 baking sheet. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top if desired. Bake 20-22 minutes at 350 degrees.














Friday, March 19, 2010

Hi Lo: March 19th


HI's:

1. The weather has been quite nice and therefore: a) the snow is almost all gone b) we've resumed our evening family walk c) all of our moods are much brighter. Happy Days!

2. Late last week we spent an overnight at a local hotel with a water park. There's nothing quite like time in the pool, eating out at a restaurant and watching a movie in your room while eating popcorn that unites a family closer. (Of course, all of that time watching your blossoming family will get a mama to thinking about her children growing up too fast)

3. Since I missed out on Hi Lo last week, I've got to add this one: We had our monthly Little Flowers meeting and everyone was in attendance again! We've been on a good roll with happy, healthy girls at every meeting for the last few months. Little Flowers always makes our highs for the week since Lily and I both really enjoy the meetings.



4. Yesterday Lily finished her very last Little Angel Reader test after working our way through it since the beginning of Kindergarten! We've loved this program so much and I hate to see it end. There will be some other reading/language arts/phonics curriculum we'll learn to enjoy, but this one helped Lily progress quite nicely in many areas and we'll miss it.


LO's:

1. Apparently Lily had some type of allergic reaction or something unknown happened the morning we were to leave for the hotel. It took a bit for the swelling to go down and the corner of her right eye and bridge of her nose took a few days to look normal again. I'm hoping something like this doesn't happen again. Yikes. Here's a photo of it, but this is well after a good amount of the puffiness had gone down:



2. I have less than a week now to come up with Reed's "perfect" birthday gift. I still have got NOTHING. I thought I wanted to give him something significant/thought out/special for his monumental 40th birthday, but for lack of a plan I guess I'm gonna end up getting him something less meaningful. *sigh*


How has your week been? What were your High's and Low's? Have a wonderful Friday!





Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Corn Bread Kitchen




After my Daybook post this morning, I had several comments asking for the Corn Bread Turkey Casserole recipe. I did some searching and found it online for you.

Click here for the link to Taste of Home's Corn Bread Turkey Casserole!

It's a freezer-pleaser meal and can make up to three batches at a time. Another note, contrary to its name, it does not include actual corn bread but instead corn bread stuffing.

If you are looking for an excellent recipe including corn bread, I've made this Corn Bread Chicken Bake before and it's excellent!

Here are the alterations to the Corn Bread Turkey Casserole I made for a single 9x13 pan:

*1 pkg. corn bread stuffing mix
*3-4 c. cooked turkey
*1 c. cheddar cheese
*1 can cream of chicken soup
*1/2 can cream of mushroom soup
(because I had some leftover in the fridge, however, the one can is probably sufficient)
*1/2 soup can of milk
*Substituted 1/2 c. cheddar cheese for the Swiss on top.



ENJOY!!












Mid-March Daybook

For Today...3.16.2010

Outside My Window...more steady temperatures in the 40's and hopefully more sun. After well over a week of dreary, foggy, rainy days, any peak at the sun is a welcome sight!

I Am Thinking...about ways to make the last weeks of Lent more fruitful.

I Am Thankful For...a husband who is willing to wake up very early on a Sunday morning in order to travel an hour to speak to 45 couples at a Marriage Prep Course on the topic of Sexuality.

I Am Praying...for whatever is about to come along my path; for Hazel's Mommy and Daddy.

I Am Creating...a meal plan for Reed's big birthday. Seriously, this man is too easy to please. And yet, difficult to plan a party for since he has no strong preferences.

I Am Hoping...that just because March came in like a lamb, that it will not feel the need to go out like a lion. But I live in MN and therefore it's silly to hope such a thing.

Around The House...a few changes in seasonal decor. A few spring things are out, but no Easter or bunnies around here just yet.

From The Kitchen...Corn Bread Turkey Casserole.

From The Learning Room...some spring crafts and art projects with lots of bright colors.

Lyrics In My Head...'Every blessing you pour out..I'll turn back to praise...When the darkness closes in, Lord..still I will say..Blessed be the name of the Lord'

One Of My Favorite Things...the promise of green grass and beautiful flowers, even if that means more work for me. I'm looking forward to it all again.

Picture Thought I Am Sharing...



Check out more Daybooks here.














Monday, March 15, 2010

Growth Spurt


Ever wake up one morning and wonder how in the world your children grew up so fast? Recently, that has become more relevant in Jonah. Perhaps it's due to the fact that birthday discussions are had on a daily basis and he reminds me that he'll be FIVE next month. Maybe it has to do with the shorter pants that seem to be filling his dresser drawer.

Almost out of all that toddler clothing and on to the styles that are less of trucks and fun, cute little characters and right into all of the skateboarder, pirate, rock star laden apparel. (Seriously, why can't a 5 year old wear a shirt with a dump truck on it any more?) Somewhere, there in the Boys section, I sensed the new season of change. And I almost think I was okay with it. For a moment.

Just the other day I looked at my dear little boy with a new pair of eyes and saw him as the little man he is, almost for the first time. Oh sure, he does still need me, just not so much. I turn around and take a glance in the back seat, he grins and hides, still shy of too much lovin' and attention from mommy. I know he sees me watching every day now, catching those last glimpses of toddlerhood. I give him one more kiss on the cheek and as he wipes it away I know that these kisses he'll remember one day. I think he'll miss them at some point when he's older, but of course I will miss them more.

We might have moved on from onesies and diapers, perfectly darling little matched outfits and trikes, kissing scrapes and needing a hand to constantly hold, but he's still forever my baby in my eyes. Sometimes, we all just need a little wiggle room to grow into the new season that awaits us.

And Springtime seems like just the right time to make that transition.









Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Second Week Of March Daybook

For Today...3.9.10

Outside My Window...we're still enjoying the warmer temps. with melting snow. Looks like this week will mostly be dreary and rainy.

I Am Thinking...about how blessed I have been by a treasured, blossoming friendship with this sweet woman. Has it really hardly been a year since we first met here in Blogville?

I Am Thankful For...the return of routines and Reed's normal work hours. I'm looking forward to the better start to our days during the week.

I Am Praying...a silent, unspoken prayer intention; for a dear blogging friend; for Mommy Monkey's and Tracy's sweet babes due to arrive next month.

I Am Creating...plans for Reed's 40th birthday party. I'm trying to keep it simple (his request), but still want it to be memorable.

I Am Reading...my long overdue Catholic Company book review book, which I hope to finish soon; 'The Good Nearby' by Nancy Moser.

I Am Hoping...to keep relying on my hopeful heart and waiting on what God's time will reveal.

Around The House...our Sacrifice/Good Deeds jar is making progress, but then I've become quite generous with the beans too!

From The Kitchen...whole-grain muffins using the recipe on the package of Bob's 7 grain cereal; a number of simple, delicious meals still to be decided.

From The Learning Room...we're making good progress in plugging away in these last months of school. Can't believe it's already week 26!

Lyrics In My Head...Glory, glory....thank you for the cross...glory, glory....Christ has paid the cost...

One Of My Favorite Things...whole wheat pita pockets! These have been a wonderful addition to our lunch menus and we fill 'em with just about everything.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week..piano lesson today; Little Flowers meeting tomorrow; family overnight, annual winter getaway at a local hotel with a water park; more sheetrock taping with hubby in the basement over the weekend.

Picture Thought I Am Sharing...days gone by. This was taken just before Lily's first birthday.




Join Peggy for more Daybooks here.















Friday, March 5, 2010

Hi-Lo: March 5th



HI's:

1. Our family took a late evening walk over the weekend in the bright full moonlight. It was a bit cold, but beautiful and still enough for a precious family memory.

2. The weather has been perfect with warm enough temperatures to get us outside and the sheet of ice is completely melted off of our driveway. New mud boots have been bought for the children and they are already puddle jumping and splashing wherever they find water!




3. Tuesday was our afternoon out, complete with Lily's piano lesson, a trip to the library, a couple of errands and going out for pizza after Reed was off of work. Best part, with Lily's Book It certificate and a gift certificate our family received, we ate out for free!

4. Lily's past weeks of awful bedtime habits have decreased and she is again falling asleep with ease and in her own room. Our house is a happy house at bedtime again!

5. Jonah is reading!! Well, it's just the BOB books that I did with Lily, but he has now read two of them on his own! This is a major accomplishment since I tried them with him a few weeks ago and he wasn't even trying to sound out the words and could not have cared less. Randomly, this week he asked to try reading and made the effort and succeeded. Pretty exciting!

6. Biggest Loser and The Office returned this week!


Lo's:

1. Dancing With The Stars announced their new 'stars' and their partners for the upcoming season. Among them was Kate Gosselin. I love the show, but don't know that I will be able to watch as long as she is on there. Kate and I have some unresolved issues between us.



I guess it wasn't too bad of a week here, huh? How about you? How did your week go? I hope your Lent is fruitful. Happy Friday!


Check out Colleen's Highs & Lows this week over here.
















Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Passage Of Time



The days and weeks seem to zoom past at lightning speed. But sometimes, when we are in the dead of winter, not so much. Seriously, a few weeks ago I felt stifled by the season and thought I was on my way to Crazy-Town. Thankfully, Old Man Winter has begun to make way for spring and the weather has been more bearable. Minnesota is crazy like that.

But, just as my days fly by with barely a moment to take the day in, time lingers on for the younger ones in my household. On a daily basis I feel like I am being taunted and asked almost a hundred times some type of time related question. I guess they are still grasping the concept, whereas I'm just trying to grasp every moment and conquer all the tasks of a fleeting day.

Jonah's birthday is the end of April, so you can guess what's on his mind these days. He also knows that daddy's birthday comes in March, so in order to get closer to his big day we've got to get beyond daddy's first. I get questions like this one numerous times in the same day:

"How many more days until dad's birthday?......That's not bad.....And then how many more days until my birthday after that?.....Why does it have to take so long? Why can't my birthday be today?"

And then there's Lily who understands time to a greater extent, but focuses every little detail around time and numbers. This seems to especially come up around practice time on the piano:

"How many times do I need to do this exercise?...How many minutes has it been?...Do I have to do this one again?...How many minutes do I have left?"...



Time marches on, but apparently from my children's vantage point still not fast enough.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Beginning Of March Daybook

For Today...3.2.2010

Outside My Window...beautiful days ahead, with temps. in the upper 30's!

I Am Thinking...that we might need to break out the short sleeve shirts with the gorgeous weather on tap for this week. Perhaps spring won't be too far away!

I Am Thankful For...our perfect Sunday with a visit from my parents.

I Am Praying...for a number of friends and family who have special needs that could use some intercession.

I Am Reading...'A Place To Belong', book four in the Sister Circle series by Vonette Bright and Nancy Moser. I.am.so.hooked on these books

I Am Hoping...to enjoy a lot of time outside with the kids this week. Of course, with all of the melting snow that may require the purchase of new water boots for the kids to be splashing around in.

Around The House...steady days, with very few places to be this week.

One Of My Favorite Things...how fresh and new I can feel after getting my hair cut and colored.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...looking forward to the return of The Biggest Loser and The Office. Woo-hoo!

Picture Thought I Am Sharing...for Mommy Monkey, who I know can appreciate the fine art of organizing and decluttering.


More Daybooks can be read here.






Monday, March 1, 2010

Letting Go



This BIG box is sitting in my basement awaiting a springtime garage sale. This box is filled with baby and toddler clothing and the box on top holds several pair of toddler shoes. This box and those clothes have been a personal hurdle I have not been able to get over for at least two years. Until last weekend, I couldn't. I tried numerous times, but believe me, it just could not be done.

The overflowing bins of baby/toddler clothing in my storage room have been a source of pain and trauma for a long time. Although in my heart of hearts I knew that I would not ever need ALL of those clothes, even should we be blessed with a bounteous brood any time soon, I could not get myself to sort through them. If you've followed here for any length of time, you understand and you know how debilitating my heartache can be for me at times over my secondary infertility. The bins full of memories and tiny pink and blue outfits brought up such raw emotion each time I tried to tackle them, so in time I just put aside the job completely.

I did not get rid of every shred of infant reminders or every precious overall set, after all I still hold on to the hope that I will use them again. But there was excess and there are realities. Someone else really may be in greater need for these cute-as-a-button onesies and outfits. Who am I to hoard them and hold on to them? And no, I did not part with any pretty-in-pink or boy-in-blue that sparked any fond memories. For now, I still need those. I cannot completely let go. I am just one woman, after all.

This box, these clothes, are a reminder of grace. Suddenly, one day I finally held the emotion and the God-given grace to muddle through the bins. The place that I had avoided. Alone, I sorted and decluttered, shedding not even a tear. I was able to let go and I was able to look ahead, without fear of the unknown and without anxiety. How refreshing.


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