Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Funny

Wasn't planning on anything today, but then our son came home from school with a little goodie bag. Every now and then I get a vivid reminder of the different culture we are in now... and I couldn't help but crack up at the "Salt & Lemon Hot Powder" that's considered a treat :) He was very excited to try it, but I made him wait so I could get a picture first - and of course had the camera ready when he actually ate it. Sometimes a picture is truly worth a thousand words!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Just in case you live under a rock and aren't already soaking up the wisdom of the Nester, you really should check it out. This month she has a whole series about a less messy nest. LOVE the way she hides her hubby's tchotchkes, and today's post about reasons really resonated with me, too. I've moaned (and groaned and analyzed and whined...) about what a struggle maintaining order is for me. I have too much stuff, and have a hard time parting with it. I cannot imagine what a joy it would be to simply invite someone over without an hour of crazed pick-up-and-stash-time. That's sad. And I hate seeing my children following in my footsteps. Anyway, good information as well as encouragement to be had over there.

Oh, and it's all HER fault that this is now hanging on my wall. I've been wanting to make that photo into a canvas (because really, how goofy would a frame look when they're already holding one?!) and the link over to Canvas People convinced me to just do it. I'm satisfied with the results, now just need to rearrange the other stuff on my wall to group it in a better way. In the meantime, though, it's going to hang there while I focus on clearing my kitchen counter.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Finding Little Pleasures

My friend Amy posted some fun "Top Tens" and I decided to play along. In my quest toward health, I've become aware that many of my pleasures revolve around food. On one hand, that's fine - our bodies require fuel, and there's no reason the refueling process can't be enjoyable. On the other hand, constantly indulging is bad. Duh. Anyway, here are some things I've been savoring the past weeks that don't involve food:

  1. Backyard wildlife. We have such an amazing variety of birds and insects down here! I particularly love watching all the dragonflies. And little lizards climbing around on flowers are cool, too.
  2. Family games. Our kids love games - and now that they're getting older, it's really fun to see them thinking about strategy. Also a nice way to sneak in lessons about winning and losing. Aggravation is a current fave, and I recently picked up a Lego game that I think we'll be trying out this weekend.
  3. Quiet. With both kids in school now, I have the amazing luxury of HOURS all to myself. No squabbles, no requests for help, no TV noise. And while I often do have music playing, I find that I'm loving the silence, too.
  4. Happy noises. The quiet makes me appreciate these even more! Hearing the giggles of anticipation as the kids plot an attack on Daddy. Laughing uproariously at goofy jokes (or shows like America's Funniest Home videos, which our son dubbed "Fall Down" when he was about 3). Even hearing my hubby complete a simple home task with the help of our son. Priceless.
  5. Reading material. Whether a good novel (just finished the third Camel Club book by David Baldacci, and am wondering when he'll be writing another) or a magazine with beautiful photographs, I so enjoy holding these in my hands and getting lost in the pages, even if it's just for 3 minutes. Don't think I could ever be converted to an e-reader (but if anyone would like to buy me a Kindle I'd be willing to give it a go ;)
  6. Open windows. The nights are just now getting cool enough that I can open our windows around 8 PM or so. As much as I love air conditioning, nothing can beat a breeze blowing through a window. And I would also like to add that I'm thankful for screens that keep the pests out!
  7. Exercise. This is definitely a work in progress. I cannot say that I just love the sense of exhilaration when I completed the marathon (HA!) but I am learning to appreciate the invigoration, the feeling of "aliveness" as I move. Maybe that endorphin rush that those experts talk about really does exist...
  8. A completed task. I have been making a conscious effort to stop for a moment when something is done (i.e. the laundry is all folded) and relish the sense of accomplishment. There is a neverending list of things to be done, but I'm trying not to constantly focus on (and whine about) those tasks - a bit of positivity is muy bueno!
  9. Friendship. It's taken some time to establish bonds down here, and it's just made me realize just what a blessing friends truly are. I am thankful to say that I'm married to my best friend and we can talk about anything... he also realizes that I need girlfriends, and encourages me to stay connected, whether we're talking on the phone or meeting up for a bowl of soup somewhere.
  10. My relationship with Christ. I'm just so humbled by and grateful for my Savior. He died for miserable, pathetic me and wants to be part of my day-to-day life. As I delve into the Word and spend time in prayer, I can feel the relationship deepening and I'm so thankful for His presence. In some ways it's disheartening because as the layers of my life are peeled back, I see just how sinful I am -- but I know that He is there to strengthen and comfort me as those issues are addressed. I pray that I can reflect just a bit more of His glory each day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

An unusual birthday

We'd purchased Webkinz for both kids this summer - they each picked out a "native" animal when we were out in Montana. The idea was that it would be a fun reminder of the trip, plus we could use online Webkinz time as an incentive for them. It's proven to work pretty well overall, but our son has had an especially tough couple weeks, and while he can still earn time, he has to wait until the weekend to redeem those minutes. Well, his bear's birthday happens to be October 4, and so we told him we'd have a party for him if he reached certain behavior goals. Goals met, which meant I prepared the a meal based on an imaginary critter's request :) Anyway, last night we dined on spaghetti, and had pumpkin bars for dessert (hooray for me - he'd originally requested chocolate cupcakes and somehow I was able to convince him these would be better!) I added the "A" (for Andy, of course!) with some nasty Betty Crocker icing, and the evening was deemed a success. The things we do for our kids...

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Taste of Fall

I baked some scrumptious carrot pumpkin bars yesterday afternoon. This is the original that I based it on, and here's my modified version if you're interested. They really are delicious - moist and sweet enough that you feel like you're getting a treat, but a high "good for you factor," too :)

I've eaten two today already. Tonight I'll be packaging up the rest in ziplocs and banishing them to the freezer...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Funny

Seriously, there are no words.