Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Isn't that the truth. In the next couple days I plan to make a list of things I want to do better in 2009. A new year is a fresh start, a way to erase the bad and start over again. I know I have made some mistakes in 2008 and I know I will make some in 2009. I just hope I learned from them and can make some changes for the better. Once I get my list figured out I will post it and hopefully be held accountable for it. I know my list will be full of practical items as well as personal ones. I hope that you take a few moments to reflect on your 2008 as well and who you want to be in 2009.
May your 2009 be full of God's Blessings and please celebrate the New Year Safely!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Previously I posted about the company RIDEMAKERZ and their cars. So, after we customized our cars on the computer I posted about our experience here
We had the boys wait until Christmas to open them and actually put them together. They were very excited about their new cars. We did not get the remote control option so they could drive them around themselves. I would also suggest that you get a sound card different from the standard as the others have more options for sounds. But, the cars are WAY COOL! I think my husband was secretly wishing that he had one of his own. So, if you haven't checked out their website it is http://www.blogger.com/www.ridemakerz.com and for a few more days you can still use a coupon code to save $10 off a $30 purchase. Enter in 93474 in the checkout! This offer expires January 4, 2009.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I wish each of you a Very Merry Christmas and may you remember the magical gift we were all given...the birth of Jesus Christ. I pray that you know Him and will celebrate His birth.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
If you have run out of time and didn't get all your Christmas shopping done, the best gift you can give is yourself. Give someone a gift of your time, your attention, your ear, your heart, your shoulder, your hand. This will be a gift remembered long after they open that scarf or kitchen utensil. It is a gift of you. If you are creative...make a little certificate on paper and state what you are giving to that person. Does your friend need a day off, so you are going to give her a few hours of babysitting her children? Does your mom need some help cleaning out a closet? Does your sister need a night out for dinner? Does your neighbor need a meal delivered to her door? All of these ideas will cost you little more than your time and effort and what better a gift is that?
Monday, December 22, 2008
Last night we all snuggled up in front of the fireplace and the big screen tv and watch 'The Polar Express". This is an annual Christmas tradition for us as well as watching other Christmas movies. I store all of our Christmas movies and books away with all the other Christmas decorations so that we can only have them out at Christmas. I think that makes them more special when they are only out for 6 weeks at a time. Some of our favorite Christmas movies to watch are "Elf", The Wiggles "Yule Be Wiggling" and "Santa's Rockin", "Sponge Bob's Christmas", "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", and of course, "The Polar Express. Our daughter will be 4 in 3 weeks and last night, it was like she was watching "The Polar Express" for the first time. She became very emotional during the scenes where the boy is in danger, she was in awe of the North Pole and Santa, and ran over to her bell on the tree when the movie was over to make sure she could hear it ring! It was a joy to watch her experience it and know that she and her brothers feel that magic of Christmas.
This year we also added a new Christmas movie to our list, The Little House and the Prairie Christmas. This is one of my favorites. In the Christmas at Plum Creek, the children are all young and the family has very little to spend for Christmas. Everyone in the family is sacrificing in order to purchase a gift for someone else in the family. But, Laura makes the biggest sacrifice. It was a very good lesson for our kids and even my hubby got a little misty!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Yesterday we celebrated the day we purchased our house. I thought it was a fun way to remember the day we brought the kids out to see their new house and all the memories we have created here over the last 5 years. I still remember the boys running from empty room to empty room saying what each room would be. Then the next night we came out and put up our tree in the empty living rooom and decorated it. It was important to me to have that done since we were moving so close to Christmas. So, this year we had a special supper of tacos and then all of us made a gingerbread house. We shared some special memories that we have had in our home. I am so grateful we chose to move to this little community. We love the school system, we love and appreciate all of our neighbors, and we truly are grateful for our friends. It is hard to believe we have only been out here for 5 years, but the friends we have made I know will last a lifetime. This is the house that I expect to live in for the rest of my life. I can imagine our kids coming home here with their own families. Over the years it may look different, have different furniture (except the couch in the basement is stuck there forever), or new paint colors, but it will always be home to us and a place where they can feel safe and loved!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Jodi's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
2 C sugar
1/2 C milk
1 stick margarine
3-4 tsp cocoa
1/2 C peanut butter
3 C quick oatmeal
1-2 tsp vanilla
Bring the sugar, milk, margarine, and cocoa to a boil and boil for 1-1.5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter, oatmeal, and vanilla. Mix all together and drop onto waxed paper with a spoon. Let cool.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Here is a video of one of their Christmas songs talking about keeping the "Christ" in Christmas. Everywhere you go, people are saying "Happy Holidays", but keep in mind that Christmas is all about the birth of Christ, and make sure you are saying "Merry Christmas" to everyone you meet.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
11 or so mini marshmellows
I will be reading SNOW by Cynthia Rylant who is the author of the Henry and Mudge Book series and ALL YOU NEED FOR A SNOWMAN by Alice Schertle which is one of our kids favorites.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
RIDEMAKERZ was modeled after the Build-A-Bear stores with the owner collaborating to formulate the RIDEMAKERZ stores.
The boys had a blast picking out their very own cars. They are relatively inexpensive and can be made into a remote control car for an additional $25. We were able to purchase 2 cars for $72. You could do it for less or more depending on the options you choose.
Please check out the website www.ridemakerz.com and consider purchasing one of these cars for your son, nephew, grandson, or brother. For a limited time you can save $10 off a $30 purchase by entering the code 93474 at checkout. This offer will expire on January 4th, 2009.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I think it is time to get my Christmas CD's out of the storage box! How about you...What is your favorite Christmas song? Sing with your child.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
So, because I was going to be busy from 2:30-5:30 and my husband had a 6;30 meeting, I needed a supper that could be ready when we got home. So, I was searching through one of my favorite cook books, Fix It And Forget It when I found a recipe for Slow-Cooker Pizza. It was fabulous. All I had to do was add some garlic breadsticks to the oven when I got home and some salad and we had an awesome supper. I wanted to share the recipe with you because I know it is one that will be added to our menu. It is best if it is only in the crock-pot for 3 hours. So, if you work outside of the home it may be a better weekend option for you! But SO EASY and adaptable to your own personal likes and dislikes! Enjoy!
CROCK POT PIZZA
1 lb of ground beef or italian sausage
1 med. onion
1 green pepper
half a bag of rigatoni, cooked
7 oz jar of mushrooms
3 oz sliced pepperoni
2-15 oz cans of pizza sauce
10 oz mozzarella cheese
10 oz cheddar cheese
1. Brown ground beef and onions in sauce pan. Drain
2. Cook rigatoni
3. Layer half of each of the following in the order given into the crock pot:
ground beef/onion, green pepper, noodles, mishrooms, pepperoni, pizza sauce, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers.
4. Cover and cook on low 3 hours.
Note: Keep rigatoni covered with suace so they don't become dry and crunchy.
My note: I used sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms and cheese. You could certainly change the pepperoni for canadian bacon or ham, you could add olives, more onions, pineapple, etc. Make it your own with all your favorite toppings. The recipe only called for 1 can of pizza sauce, but I added 2 because it just wasn't enough to cover the pasta. I also used my 5 quart crockpot and everything fit perfectly. Let me know if you make it and how your family liked it!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
So, basically, I am just saying that I am remembering this day, five years ago. I am remembering a day that I lost a baby who was loved, even if only for a few days, a life that was saved, and all the people involved to save me physically and emotionally. I am grateful for the second chance of life and for the second chance to have another baby. (Not always easy when you only have one fallopian tube left.) On January 11, 2005, we were blessed with a baby girl that I never thought I would have.
Life is short, and family is precious. Make sure you let all those special to you know how much they are loved and appreciated today. You just never know what is ahead of you and if my last day would have been 5 years ago, I know that I hadn't said all that needed to be said to those I loved.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
For me, it is all about creating those traditions and memories for the kids. Very soon, they will be able to do the creating and cutting while we sit back and watch the creations come to life. Until then, we are having fun creating the "magic". This year we chose to support our favorite teams, The Cubs, The Iowa Hawkeyes, as well as doing our name with a bat and the typical halloween fare of a jack-o-lantern, RIP and pirate skull. Tomorrow the kids will continue with our tradition of trick-or-treating around town with cousins and I will stay home and hand out candy! Then everyone comes back here for food, candy trading, and great fellowship!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Things I Love!
My hubby, Pat
My 3 Kids, Patrick, Bennett, and Reagan
My extended family...too many to mention
Lindt Lindor White Chocolate Truffles
Time all to myself
My mom's cinnamon rolls
Lemon Meringue Pie
My friend, Tammy and all my other gal pals who each fill a need in my life
Having a bathroom all to myself
Flowers (especially from my hubby)
Who knows, I may have to keep adding to this, but for now, this is what comes to mind. Just writing these things down have brightened my spirits. What do you LOVE?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
On the morning of October 12, 1990, my twin brother Thomas entered the Three Rivers, Connecticut, public library, retreated to one of the rear study carrels, and prayed to God the sacrifice he was about to commit would be deemed acceptable...This is a story of alienation and connection, devastation, and renewal, at once joyous, heartbreaking, poignant, mystical, and powerfully, profoundly human.
This was definitely a difficult book to tackle. It was our book club choice for the month and I was eager to read it because, over the past 10 years since it was published, I have heard many things about it. It was also part of Oprah's Book Club, so it has gotten a lot of publicity, so I figured it must be a great read. The daunting part was that it was 900 pages! That was a huge commitment to read over the month, but it was definitely worth it!
The story was about Dominick and his identical twin, Thomas who was also schizophrenic. The book also takes you through the stories of Dominick and Thomas' childhood with their mother and abusive step-father. Then the story travels through the lives of their grandparents in a "manifesto" that their grandfather wrote to tell of his life. This story explores mental illness, abuse, anger, love, family secrets, power, and even grief. The character Dominick is someone you hate one minute, feel sorry for the next, and then are rooting for by the end. The book travels back and forth from their childhood to the present and eventually back in time to the life of their grandfather. With all the characters and time changes, it is not difficult to stay connected to who the characters are. The book was heavy (literally too...all 900 pages of it) and at times I had to take a break from reading it. I kept thinking, when is Dominick going to get a break? How can all this bad stuff keep happening to one person? I did at one point put it away for a week and read a completely different book, but I am glad I picked it back up. The story made me want to keep coming back to it and as I said, I wanted to root for Dominick. As he travels through therapy you struggle along with him as he deals with his anger, fear and grief. The last page was such a powerful ending to the story, it brought me to tears. I truly enjoyed watching Dominick grow and change in the story and was reminded about the power of forgiveness and moving forward and how that can impact the course of your life. This was a story that I was intimidated by, but am now grateful for the time I spent and for the effect it had on me.
To purchase I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE, click the photo below:
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
This summer I was in charge of our Vacation Bible School at our church. I didn't want to do the usual crafts that we do every year and spend the money on things that sit around and get thrown away after a few days. So, I combined our mission project into our craft project. I bought enough fleece for the kids to make 15 fleece blankets. I got them all trimmed and cut and ready to go, so all the kids had to do was tie them. I left 1 blanket undone for the older kids to do from start to finish. So, during our craft/mission time that week, the kids tied 15 blankets. The blankets were then to be given to our church members who were hospitalized, home bound, in a nursing home, or maybe just needed their spirit lifted. The preschool children who were too young to tie blankets, made cards to go with the blankets. So, after VBS, we have handed out 8-10 blankets to members of our church and all have been so appreciative of them. The children have been able to be a part of the delivery of the blankets and see the enjoyment of those who have received them. So, today, since we didn't have school, myself and another mom took our kids to deliver a blanket to a man who has been in ICU off an on for months following a stroke and is now in a nursing home. We took him the blanket and we were able to chat with him a bit. I hope it will lift his spirits and, of course, I hope we are instilling the giving spirit to our children!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
You could give money, your time, your expertise, a token of appreciation, or even a smile. It could be taking someone out to lunch, buying a coffee for the person behind you in the starbucks drive through, it could be babysitting for an overworked mom, it can be as simple as giving your precious time to your child, or an elderly neighbor. There are no rules, no judges, and no right or wrong ways of doing it. Will you join me and give whatever you can? It’s only for 10 days, and maybe it will become a habit.
So starting today, I am going to give something to a different person, each day until October 19th, 2008. It doesn’t matter what the gift is, how much it costs, who it is given to, or how it is given. The point is to just to give - on purpose. I hope you'll join me! I will try to let you know what I have been doing each day! Feel free to share with me what you are doing!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
This book is an unauthorized parody of Rachael Ray who is well known for her cooking and travel shows on the Food Network, and her daytime talk show, as well as her magazine "Every Day with Rachael Ray".
I recently won this book and since I am a subscriber to the real Every Day magazine and watch her shows once in awhile, I wanted to read it right away. I read this book in an hour, but it was an enjoyable hour. I was very impressed with the way Hilts was able to mimic so much of Rachael Ray's style in her magazine and put it into the book...with a twist. Some of my favorites from the book were: 1- The Big Deal Kitchen Fix. They showed before and after photos of a kitchen with basically dirty dishes, poor lighting, clutter and then an after photo with a new sparkling kitchen with all items put neatly away and a new rug on the floor!
2- The Burgers of the Month. She listed a breakfast burger with eggs, bacon, and a burger on 2 powdered donuts, or the Thanksgiving burger with ground turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and gravy on corn bread.
So, obviously Elizabeth Hilts has a great sense of humor and a creative flair. Hopefully the real Rachael Ray is laughing along as well. It was an enjoyable, humorous, quick and easy read. I plan to donate my copy to our local library so others can enjoy it as well! Thanks to http://www.myfriendamysblog.com for sending me this copy!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Booking Mama is giving away 3 signed copies of Hannah's Dream by Diane Hammond. You can read her review and a chat with the author herehttp://bookingmama.blogspot.com/. I really think this sounds like a fabulous book and thought you might too! If you fell in love with the elephant in the book Water for Elephants then this book is for you. Just leave a comment on her blog to be entered to win.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Check out all of William Kent Krueger's books, HERE.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Randy Pausch was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer when he gave his "Last Lecture" on childhood dreams. His lecture wasn't about dying, but the importance of overcoming obstacles, enabling the dreams of others, and seizing every moment. This book is about living and what we want to be our legacy. Randy Pausch as since passed away, but his dreams live on through his family and this book.