Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I don't think I've been this busy at Christmas EVER. I haven't had one free moment between Thanksgiving and Christmas when I haven't been cooking, taking care of kids, shopping or sick. What a frantic season. I'm ready to settle down today and enjoy Christmas Day with my family. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and remembers that it is about more than just presents and Santa. The creator of the world came down to earth and chose to be born as an infant so that he could save us from our sins. Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace and goodwill toward men.

Have a Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So Thankful!

I am so very thankful this Thanksgiving Day for all the wonderful blessings in my life. I have a husband that loves me very much, two great kids and my sweet pets. I have good friends, wonderful extended family and a home I love. My life truly is very blessed.

This Thanksgiving we are going to stay home and hang out...just the four of us. We decided this when we thought Jim's family was all going to be gone for Thanksgiving and decided to just keep it that way when their plans changed. I am making the whole Thanksgiving shebang even though it's just us four.

So we are having turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, two kinds of cranberries, homemade rolls, green bean casserole, noodles and pumpkin pie. Lots of times we have even more side dishes but as a nod to Mom (me) my sweeties decided they could "make do" with just a few. Ha!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope each one of you has something wonderful to be thankful about.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What I've Been Up To

I have been so busy that I haven't even had a chance to look at my blog let alone update it.
If you came to my house today you would celebrate Jim (the wonderful hubby's) birthday with us. He always gets the short end of the stick because tomorrow is my darling daughter's birthday and it is her 18TH BIRTHDAY! Yes....she is all grown up!
So this weekend is one massive push through birthday celebrations and alot of CAKE.
Sweet Baby M is having her BIG party next weekend with her friends and family so it will be another big fiesta!
Got to run...she just got home from a slumber party!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Faithful Friend

This fine looking automobile has been mine since 2000. That's right, we have been together for almost 10 years! We bought her new from the dealership, first and last time we will ever do that. This isn't her actual picture, just a representation because I'm too lazy to go out and take her picture. She's actually much more beautiful to me and she wears a racy black bra on her hood. Got to keep everything contained.

We have been through so much together and even though she now has over 105,000 miles that she has adventured with me, I love her as much as the first day she came home. She has been through most of Sweet Baby M's grade school, middle school and high school years. She taught Sweet Baby to drive and spent some time sitting in the lot at the high school. She thought she was so COOL then! She has held carseats and kindergarteners. She has made more trips to the pumpkin patch then she cares to count and has carpooled to museums, zoos, state fairs, lakes, mountains, and other interesting destinations.

This dear van and I have been all over Wichita. She has hauled home more bags of groceries than I can calculate. She's moved plants, furniture and mulch. She has been to many other states too. She's driven to Minnesota more times than I can count, to Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri and Colorado. She loves the open road and is careful to keep us all safe when we are cruising along.

When I think of all the things we've experienced together it makes me very melancholy. She has practically driven herself when I've cried so hard I couldn't see the road after dropping my kids off for their first days of school, sped to the emergency room, hauled 4-wheelers and boats, driven all the way up to the Continental Divide and back down with nary a groan.

This wonderful machine always seems to hold just what we need. Need a pen, we've got it. Need a straw, yep we got it. Need a kleenex, a safety pin, a needle and thread, a tampon, a drink, a snack, a blanket or a hoodie, a coloring it. It truly is a wonder van!

My van is candy apple red with the most luscious deep gray interior. It's been barfed in, had every sort of fluid spilled in it including an entire Route 44 Diet Limeade with extra lime, and has contained more crumbs than you would ever believe. Jim just takes a power washer and hoses it out and it comes back as good as new. She's just like Nanny McPhee, that great movie where Nanny McPhee gets more beautiful the longer she's around.

That's just the way I feel about my sweet van. We've shared so many experiences together that I can't imagine life without her. Hopefully she will go on for a while longer with me and see the Big D through high school too. With her big blinky headlights and her huge smiling grill, I imagine she will be the proudest van in the lot when we visit Sweet Baby at college. And when my dear van and I drive away, I know my faithful friend will whisk me home just as she has for the last 10 years, pull into the garage and wait patiently...ready for the next adventure.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What I've Been Up To

Sweet Baby M recently celebrated her Senior Night for volleyball! What a fun event that was. The Juniors on the team make each girl a collage board filled with pictures from their lives and quotes they love. They are very cute. During the half-time, each girl and her parents are announced and walk in and are presented with flowers by a player on their team. The announcer talks about their future plans. We made it through without any emotional breakdowns (on my part) and all in all it was a success.

My sweet Great Niece, Annabelle, came to celebrate the night and sat in a big desk at her Mimi's alma mater. Everyone in Jim's family graduated from the same highschool, as did I. We think that's pretty neat. And now our children will graduate from that school. She looked very small sitting in the desk.

During the half time the girls ran up to an empty classroom with family and friends to cut their DARLING cake. I think this is such a cute group of girls.

Maggie had such a nice group of family come to see her. From left it's Grandma, Cousin Missy, Uncle Mike, Auntie Beth and Annabelle.

The cake really was a masterpiece with their picture scanned on it.

What a fun night! Just one of many in this journey through Sweet Baby M's Senior Year!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Volleyball and Sweet Baby M

Never before has volleyball ramped up to such a fevered pitch. We've always been involved in volleyball but with practice everyday, games twice a week and tournaments all day's a bit overwhelming. Throw in the fact that our almost 18 year old Sweet Baby M has numerous college coaches calling to recruit her and you have a glimpse at our lives.

So far she's heard from about 8 colleges. We've narrowed it down to 5 but it's still a lot to manage. I don't know how kids that don't have an EXTREMELY involved parent do it. I suppose they don't. They must miss out on alot of great opportunities. We want Sweet Baby M to choose a good fit for her but we would LOVE it if it was close to home. We like being involved in her life and sports and would be pretty sad to see her end up far from home.

Friday, October 2, 2009


I am so glad that it is Friday! I don't really know's just the same old thing...volleyball and more volleyball but I am ready for a nice Fall weekend.
One thing I love EVERY morning (and some afternoons) of my life is this

Oh how I love coffee with cream. I like it made in my very own kitchen and drank in my big brown leather chair. Sometimes I like drinking it out of a mug that I bought from a potter in Minnesota and sometimes I like drinking it from a cup with a saucer. Just depends on my mood. I hate drinking it from a plastic travel cup or a foam cup. Yuk. It just doesn't taste as good.I love plain coffee with raw sugar and plain cream but I adore this

I drink this in coffee almost every morning of my life. It's pretty neutral tasting and if I add it to coffee, I don't need sugar. I love it and not the powdered stuff either. Only the liquid. In the winter months, Coffeemate comes out with this flavor

which I usually stockpile while it is in stores. It lasts a LONG time. The best thing about coffee and mornings is that while you are drinking it you can read this

I have read this book so many times I can't even count. Most of my original book is underlined, highlited, written in...suffice it to say, it is WELL used! I have worked my way through 4 workbooks and am getting ready to start it again with my BFF, Tia. I am so excited. I have always learned so much about myself and my relationship to God through it. I love reading back through the journals and seeing how I've either changed or stayed the same. LOVE IT! I think John Eldredge is sheer genius and such a wonderful interpreter of both the bible and feelings. Two things that usually don't really get talked about in the same breath. John is all about breaking out of the mold of the life you've created and living the life GOD created YOU for. I love that! When I've gone through the exercise that lists what your life would look like if it was your heart's desire...I've been so befuddled. Obviously some of it is perhaps unattainable (not really for me though because I'm pretty simplistic) but why don't we strive to obtain what we really want. It's like we just live in defeat instead of in victory. I don't ever want to come to the end of life on earth and think that I lived it all in defeat. That's my ode to John Eldredge and here he is. Doesn't he look like someone you'd want to hang out with?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Two Things

Alas, I will never return to this establishment again. After too many chances...El Patio has let Tia and I down yet once more. So...suffice it to say...we won't be returning. It's just too stressful to be faced with bad Mexican food time and again. El Patio has become like a roulette wheel...we never know when our luck is going to turn.

On a happier note..a new Baskin Robbins has opened up near our house. It is DELIGHTFUL! The Big D and I are committed to trying all 31 flavors. I mean..who can resist this fun looking character?

Doesn't this make you want to run out and grab a Lemon Custard on a Sugar cone or a Chocolate on a waffle cone or a Very Berry Strawberry on a regular cone? Or even better..a bubblegum ice cream cone! A blast from the past.

I'll keep you updated on our quest through the 31 flavors.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Some Randomness

This is a picture of my Great-grandparents, Christian and Stella Hauck. Aren't they cute? I suppose they had their share of troubles but somehow I don't think they were as overscheduled as my sweet little family seems to be right now! This college athletics recruiting thing is KILLING me. It's all so complicated and the logistics of managing all the paperwork is daunting, to say the least. That combined with Sweet Baby M's schedule and volleyball makes for busy days and then throw the Big D and his activities on top of all that. My poor husband gets lost in the shuffle.

This makes me smile and lightens the load. Sweet Shadow thoroughly enjoyed licking the spatula for the cake I was making. I love how his eyeballs look as if they could pop right out! I think he was amazed at his good luck.

And finally, why oh why can NO ONE in this household reload the toilet paper roller? It is beyond me why they can't just move a roll from the back of the toilet (I always stack LOTS of extras there) to the roller. Usually it's carefully balanced on top of the roller but not loaded on ready for the next potty-er. Annoying.

Monday, September 28, 2009


I'm here...I'm just too busy and tired to post anything. We were busy all weekend with Cross Country meets (in the VERY rain soaked park) and Volleyball tournaments. Then my wonderful husband wanted to go see a movie (Love Happens...very cute!) and out to dinner. Today was a major catch-up day and "pull the house back together after the weekend" day. I'm just exhausted...more later.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Celebration Time, Come On!

Is that the CORNIEST title or what! Today we are celebrating this lovely woman's 70th birthday! She is my wonderful Mother-In-Law, Susie. I love this picture of her taken just about a week ago with my sweet Sister-In-Law. They are both so sweet and I can't imagine any better family. My Mother-In-Law put herself through college after the sudden death of my husband's dad to become a paralegal and then went to work for a prominent immigration attorney. She was truly MORE than the right hand man for the office. She was the driving force for so many people in their quest for citizenship. When she retired she moved out to the country to run a tree farm with my husband's stepdad.

This year she treated her whole family (5 kids and their spouses and grandkids) to a three day adventure in Bennett Spring, MO. We had so much fun being together and relaxing away from home. Since the untimely death of her only sister, she has become a surrogate Mom to her nieces and their families. They are always included in everything our family does and it makes it all so fun. She is the glue that holds it all together. Susie is a hard worker. She loves yoga, reading, cooking, gardening and her dogs and cats. She adores her family.

I love this picture of Susie and her hubby looking out over the waters at Bennett Spring. This place holds special memories for her family and it was so fun to experience it this year with her. She loved watching her "boys" fly fishing together....they are a true Band of Brothers and watching the grandkids and great-grandkid and great-nieces and nephews scamper through the shallow water gave them so much pleasure.

Susie, or Mom as she is known to all, is one in a million. She is a lionness when protecting one of her family, has the tenderest heart when faced with any problem and is one of the most intelligent people I know. If you have a problem....she will find a solution.

Mom, I love you! I hope your birthday today is everything you thought it would be. We have been so blessed to have you as the Matriarch of our family.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Heights Falcons Thump the Competition

Heights volleyball team is doing so well this year! They have only had one defeat and that was from their bitterest rival, Bishop Carroll. Because they had such a strong Senior team last year, they were not slated to do well this year but they have rocked the court! Just look how high these two can jump!

That's Sweet Baby M on the right with her good friend Perri in the middle! What an awesome block!

Of course, it helps when you have cute little fans like Annabelle to come and cheer you on!

These girls are a great team and good friends and that's exactly what we want to see this year!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Little Dog...Strange Ways

This little brat is Sweet Baby M's pet. She is not my pet, no matter that she sleeps in my bed, I feed her and hold her and her fur is usually covering every bit of my clothing. Even though I LIVE in a house with 5 pets...none of them are TECHNICALLY mine! Tiki (the chihuahua)is my husband's dog, Shadow (the wicked lab) is the Big D's dog, Leo (the gecko) again...Big D's. Zippy the Cat is Sweet Baby's and this naughty Pommy is Sweet Baby's. If I had pets, they would be only good, trained to behave and they wouldn't rip and chew everything up. So HA!
For some reason this little twerp (who is named Pup Pup but is also called Baby Butters) likes to pick up one piece of dog food in her mouth and carry it all the way across the kitchen to eat on the family room rug. She does it at least 15 times...back and forth, back and forth. I think it's kind of weird.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I have really mixed feelings about this post because I don't want it to be misinterpreted as weird and I certainly don't want anyone who's on the fence about Christianity to be put off. Please don't use my thoughts as your barometer. But I wanted to document it so I don't forget it.
The morning the planes changed my generation's idea of safety forever, I had just dropped off my Kindergartener and 4th grader at school. My Dad called me on my cell and said, "Don't turn on the radio...something has happened and the kids don't need to hear it." Since I always obey my Daddy...I didn't turn it on or think anything of it. You see, I was on my way to First Evangelical Free Church to lead 50+ women in a Beth Moore Bible Study, "Jesus, The One and Only". That is why I will NEVER forget that it was Tuesday..because it was Bible Study day.
When I walked in the church, the t.v.'s were on in the foyer and the pastoral staff was gathered around them. In one second, my joyful, carefree morning changed. I had 50+ women congregating in the church basement, some who were just hearing the news for the first time. At that moment, before we started the welcome time...I felt absolutely stunned and brain-dead.
After a time spent processing what had happened and dismissing anyone who felt they needed to get home, we decided to carry on and start our time together with worship and prayer. Everyone stayed. I decided we would open with prayer and felt very compelled that I should lead but I didn't even know what I would pray. I stood up in front of this group of ladies, some who were sobbing...and I FELT the Spirit of the Lord fall on me. Now...................
I don't want this to sound creepy or weird. However, for one of the few times in my life...I felt absolutely loved, absolutely at peace and I had the right words. I prayed naturally and from the heart. The words were right and true. When I opened my eyes, our lead Pastor...Tom Macy...was standing beside me. I really barely knew him personally but he squeezed me and proceeded to reassure the ladies.
We went on to study "Jesus, The One and Only" and it will always be one of my favorite studies. Who else but Jesus could heal the heart of our broken nation? Who else but Jesus gave the tragedy perspective and who else but our sweet Jesus would step in and meet some Midwestern ladies in the basement of their church and make them feel as crucial to his work as the most respected evangelist? He became something more than just "God" to me that day. Although I know I received Jesus in my heart when I was a little girl in Awana's, that day I felt like I really "got it". It was all about feeling him meet us in that place. He came down and dwelt amongst us that moment and I really truly believe that.

Later, someone told me that Pastor Macy said that when he walked in the room as I was praying, he truly felt the spirit of the Lord amongst us too. I felt that was just a validating gift that God graced me with. :)

When Bible Study was over, I actually had the presence of mind and peaceful spirit to see each dear lady out the door and then RAN to my car and SPED to the school to grab my babies. I wanted them physically in my arms and with me. Then I broke down.

That day changed alot in our household. My husband works in the aircraft industry and it had a HUGE effect on business since planes were grounded. We have financial holdings in aircraft so we definitely were financially affected. That said, I hope I never, ever forget that feeling of God drawing near. Although I loved Him made me adore Him.

Okay...there's nothing more I have to say.
That's it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ten Things I am Loving this September!

1. The State Fair. I am not even sure we are going to get a chance to go (it starts on the 11th...) but the idea of it is worth pondering. I love the fair but it just always falls at a horrible time for us right in the middle of Fall sports and bad weather. However, the Kansas State Fair and all it's wonderful taste tempations and freebies is #1. The pronto pup is worth the admission and drive alone.

2. Cheese and apples. I love apples! Right now the store is getting a new shipment of good apples and they are crisp and yummy, especially with cheese (my fave combo).

3. Haagen Daz Coffee Ice Cream. It really is the best. I don't know why I ever deviate into any other brand or flavor.

4. The Cleaning Authority. This is a total spoiled indulgence but I love having cleaning people. Mine are two of the most wonderful ladies that you would ever meet and they clean like whirling dervishes. I always go down in the laundry room and talk on the phone and do laundry and babysit the little dogs while they are here and when they yell down the stairs "See you next time", I venture up to an immaculately clean house. Heavenly!

5. Walking Shadow. Even though we have three dogs, Shadow is the most ill-behaved and hardest to control. The last few weeks he has really come around and is behaving much better on the leash. I attribute this to my compulsive following of "It's Me Or The Dog" on Animal Planet. I am a big fan of Victoria Stillwell!

6. Touched By An Angel. Where was I when this first showed on TV? It's in re-runs on the Hallmark Channel and I love it! And the Hallmark Channel should be it's own number anyway! It is one of my all time favorite channels.

7. Estate Sales. I adore them. There is nothing that gives me such a thrill as digging through someone else's old junk. More often than not, I walk away with nothing but I adore finding a bargain and it's always very heartwarming to see that other people have more junk than me. :)

8. "Ladies of the Lake" by Haywood Smith. Just started this book but I am LOVING it. I adore the library (which could have also been #8). Every time I ever go and leave with a bag of books it amazes me that they are just letting me TAKE them. I can not understand why everyone doesn't utilize the library. The VERY best part is that if you HATE the book, you can fling it down...unread...and then return it without feeling the least bit guilty that you wasted the money buying it.

9. John Eldredge's "Walking with God". I have read this book before and started the workbook but for some reason this time it's really clicking with what's going on in my life.

10. Fall Sports. I love volleyball season, cross country meets and Friday night Heights High School football. I like packing the cooler, making sure people have cold gatorade and clean sports uniforms. I LOVE packing the sports duffels and organizing the snacks. It's all fun! This year we want to tailgate before one of the Heights home games for the Seniors. Fun!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ravioli Lasagna

I'm not quite sure what to call this stuff but it is YUMMY! Here's a loose adaptation of the recipe which I made up.

1 bag frozen cheese ravioli, unthawed and uncooked
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
1 package fresh spinach, sauteed (could also use frozen, defrosted and drained)
5 links Mild Italian Sausage, squeezed out of casing and browned and drained
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 cup parmesan cheese

This is not for the faint of heart calorie and fat wise.

1.Brown sausage and drain.
2.Saute' spinach in a tiny bit of olive oil with a clove of chopped garlic and -set aside (you probably could get away with just throwing it in unsauteed and it would work).
3.Make the parmesan white sauce by melting the butter and whisking in the flour to make a roux. Then slowly add about 1/2 cup of the milk stirring continually. When it is thick and incorporated, add the rest of the milk and then bring it to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add 3/4 cup of the parmesan cheese. Stir to make the cheese sauce.
4.In a 13 x 9 pan lay the 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of spaghetti sauce (kind of depends on how wide your pan is) and then lay a layer of the cheese ravioli nice and evenly on top. Top with the sausage and spinach. Layer on 1/2 the cheese sauce. Lay the rest of the ravioli on top and then top with the other 1/2 of the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the 1/4 cup of parmesan and bake covered with foil for 1 hour on 350* then remove foil and cook for another 15 minutes to brown parmesan on top.

YOU DON'T NEED to thaw the ravioli or cook them prior to using them.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I Love Fall!

It's not even that Fall-like here but I sure am anticipating it! Next to summer, fall is my favorite season. Mostly because I am always so cold everywhere in summer. Too much air conditioning. All summer long I wear long sleeves or three quarter sleeves and finally in fall I can wear them and not look like a freak! Ha!
Today just seems like a fall day so I made chili for my gang. Chili with crushed up saltines and cheese just sounded very fall like and yummy. Plus it was what I was going to make last night for dinner before we decided to go to Carraba's and I already had the hamburger thawed and the onions diced.

This chili powder makes such good chili. I love Penzey's spices and if you have never tried them YOU MUST! Just go to and order away. We love almost every single one. I just placed a big order for vanilla, cumin, chili powder, Chesapeake bay seasoning (for shrimp) and Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle (for garlic bread). It's too die for.

Doesn't that look yummy! Okay...I just looked at my PREVIEW and it doesn't look so yummy but trust me, when it's all stirred together and simmered for a bit, it will.

I think I will whip up a batch of these too! I made some of my Mom's famous Marie Callender's Cornbread but pumpkin muffins sound so good. Plus my Grandma Baker used to always say that pumpkin was one of the very best things to feed children. It's just so good for them. That and molasses were her tricks to raising healthy kids.

Pretty soon it will be time to go and pick up a few bushels of apples and create one of these beauties!

I can't wait! I love apples and everything apple related. Apple pie, apple crisp, apple turnover, apples with cheese, applesauce. Yummy!
I think this looks like the perfect combo for apples though. Two of my favorite things...apples and cheese. Now I just need a fondue pot.

Buttons and Yo-Yo's

I am addicted to these.
I am not a good sewer. I have NEVER been able to master a sewing machine. My last attempt ended in a thread ball that was as big as a jawbreaker. Suffice it to say, it didn't go well.
Yo-yo's require no true sewing skills. You just have to be able to cut a circle of fabric, thread a needle and sew a running stitch and then gather the thread. Tie a knot and you have a yo-yo. Super simple. You can use the yo-yo's to make a coverlet which is something I'm working on (it only takes like 1000!) and use them for accent on other things. I am using 14 of them on the neck of a cardigan sweater. It is going to be "too die for" cute! I saw the original on the Country Living website.

I think this is the version I am going to use on my sweater. With the darling buttons in the middle.

This is the deluxe double yo-yo with button model. Haven't tried this yet.

This week I went to a wonderful estate sale and picked up two gorgeous, never used pillowcases. They have beautiful embroidered monograms and at least 8 inches of crocheted lace on the edge. Gorgeous and they washed up beautifully. I also found a crocheted throw which came from Dublin Ireland and washed up soft and sweet. But the find of all finds was a whole shoebox full of old buttons for $3.00. I snatched it up and sorted it out at home. Lots of wonderful jars! I love jars of buttons.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Yes. This is a complete post about nothing more than my love of Toast. My whole family loves Toast (except my husband who really detests my love of it). I will eat just about any toast, even that made from cheap white bread, but the preferred toast of all time is made from this......................

San Francisco style sourdough bread. I love it toasted just to the burned point. It can even be a little burned. Toast is meant to be dark. Not floppy and light in color. It has to be a little charred to be really good. Most of the time it has to be flipped in the toaster after it's done toasting and toasted for half the time on the other side. Then immediately spread with butter. Not margarine. Yuk..who eats that anyway? Real butter, preferrably with a low water content so it doesn't get all yukky and soggy. Then a smear of this glorious substance..........

Bonne a variety of luscious flavors, the only jam I will buy. First, who can resist the jar? Is it not the cutest thing? I love to reuse them for homemade salad dressing or for storing buttons. Too die for. The jam is yummy too though. We adore the Four Fruits but also love the blueberry. The cherry is good too. I don't think we've had one we hated. That is about the perfect snack or breakfast. Sourdough toast, spread with buttter and smeared with four fruits jam.

I also have a cookbook about nothing more than toast. The title is (what else) "Toast" and the author is Jesse Ziff Cool which I happen to think is one of the "coolest" names around. Jesse Ziff would have been wonderful but add the Cool and it's over the top. The recipes are yummerrie (are you familiar with that word) and easy! She's the owner of the Cool Cafe and the Flea Street Cafe in Menlo Park near Stanford. Since I adore Menlo Park...I'm sure I'd love her in person.

On another note. One time I read an article on Wolfgang Puck and he was asked his favorite comfort food. His reponse was, "baguette fresh from the bakery. Sometimes I have to buy two just so I can tear into the first one in the car, yanking off chunks and eating it and still have another one left when I get home". I loved that!

Another use for toast that I adore is Crostini. Beautiful little pieces of baguette or whatever bread you choose to use, toasted up and topped with some wonderful substance. Even just melted cheese. Don't get me started there...toasted cheese and paninis are a whole other post and obsession.

That's it for now. Just my ode to toast. Enjoy!

Friday, September 4, 2009

This, That and The Other Thing (revisited)

Oh dear bloggy world! What in the world have I been doing that I haven't blogged since August 22? Well...suffice it to say, I've been busy. So here's what I've been up to:
1. Letting Shadow in the house and out of the house. He is the perpetual "inny-outy" dog of all time. If he's in, he wants out and if he's He truly has some annoying ways about him. Oh and this..for some BIZARRE reason, when he wants to go out, you have to step out and hold the door open for him. As if I'm a doorman at the Ritz! It doesn't matter if it's 3 in the morning, pouring rain, sunny or if he has to poop so bad he's going to explode. Then he walks through as if he's entering Narnia for the first time. Tentative. As if it's a whole new backyard, not the same one he has been frequenting for 8 months straight. Like we are sending him to a gas chamber...which very well might happen if he doesn't quit chewing on the outside of the house. Ahem.
2. I've spent countless hours shuttling the Big D's forgotten items to his school. His ID badge, planner, books, running clothes. Luckily it's a 10 minute drive round trip but still....the only place to park is the faux handicapped slot. This is the parking stall that USED to be handicapped as referenced by the wheelchair painted on the pavement which has been eradicated in blue paint. It always freaks me out though...does that mean it isn't for the handicapped anymore and I can park there without repercussion or does it mean someone's stencil slipped when they were repainting the slot and everyone is going to think I'm a jerk. All this over a forgotten pair of running shorts.
3. The oven repair. My oven on my brand new stove quit working about 6 months after we purchased it. It only heats on Convection and only to 350 degrees after about 1 1/2 hours. SO....finally 6 months later I called the repair man and he came out and said the broiler element was burned out. He would order a new one and it would be in after a month. It's been two weeks and it's in (hallelujah) but the only time frame they can give me for installation is a 5 hour span. Can you be available between 8 and 1? I can't fathom that they can't pin it down to a shorter span. It is like saying...can you be home non-stop, never leaving, never having to go run an errand, never walk away from the phone because you just might miss our 15 minute prior to arrival courtesy call....for a whole day? That's bizarre to me.
4. Volleyball which has never NOT been the focus of our lives, has ramped up to become our very breath. The gatorade, inhalers, clean sox, clean spandex, uniform which CANNOT go in the dryer and stinky knee pads are never ending. If the washer isn't running and damp volleyball clothes aren't hanging, their is a problem.

I guess that's the long and short of it. Today I finally feel like I can take a breath. The long Labor Day weekend is going to be nice. Tomorrow we have a Cross Country meet (Big D) in the morning and then it's nothing until Tuesday. Should be wonderful!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Children's Rooms

I am suffering the consequences of allowing Sweet Baby M and the Big D to become uncontrollable messes. Their rooms are both so bad. Jim has hit the ceiling and of course we all know who suffers the wrath then....Me. It is so hard to force them to clean them up and keep them that way. Sweet Baby M has SO many clothes and the Big D is just sloppy. There are not enough hours in the day to keep this all running like a well oiled machine AND deal with the unexpected. If somone has the answer, please fill me in.
Defeated in KS

Friday, August 21, 2009

RIP Timothy

This sweet little baby, whom I have named Timothy, flew into a window today and perished. I saw him fly into the window and drop to the ground and quickly went over to see if he was just stunned. Unfortunately, he was dead. Because I didn't want anyone to just kick him to the curb or sweep him into the trash, I picked him up and wrapped him in a kleenex in my purse. He rode around to lunch with Tia and I and on our plethora of pressing errands while lying in repose in the back of my car. Now he has been carefully placed on a Sweet Life doily and laid in his little coffin. Poor little Timothy will be laid to rest tomorrow morning in the flower garden. Perhaps we will bury him in front of my statue of Jesus holding his heart (which is my FAVE statue) and say a little word. Wouldn't it be nice if Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal flitted in for the funeral (they live in the neighborhood, you know) and since he is a dignatary in the Catholic church being a cardinal and all.
This is in memory of little Mr. Timothy.

A Bird Came Down the Walk
by Emily Dickinson

A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad, --
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, plashless, as they swim.

The service details are below:
Private Service for Mr. Timothy Sparrow
Saturday, August 22, 2009
7:00 a.m. (daybreak)
Family only
Birdseed breakfast to follow.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I just finished reading such a great book. It's "Home Safe" by Elizabeth Berg. I have read another of her books..."The Year of Pleasures" which I also enjoyed. I like her style of writing. It flows easily and her thoughts are so similar to just what I was thinking. I like that. Sometimes I like to read books that jar my mindsets and make me think but for right now, this was perfect.
I must say...I love the cover. It's a bluejay sitting on a large egg. So simple and yet so perfect. The main character is a 59 year old woman with a daughter she is always trying to "mother" and the daughter doesn't like the mothering so much. I can relate to that. She is also a writer. She writes mainly fiction but I love that she makes up stories about the people she sees in her life; the old woman at the bus stop, the waiter, the cabbie.
I think that is what I loved most about my previous job. I got to write about people's lives as they were living them. Got to explore who they were and what made them tick. If you were lucky, the person you were interviewing actually let you see their insides. What made them tick. For lack of a better word...their soul. That was such a gift and a responsibility. You had to be careful to represent exactly what their essence was without reading your own likes and dislikes into it.

I miss writing. I thought maybe this blog would placate that need but it really doesn't. Unfortunately, I feel about this blog kind of like I feel about scrapbooking...if it's not perfect, I don't want to do it. I'm trying to get beyond worrying about it and just keeping it as a sort of journal but I always have the desire to clean it up. To delete things that I don't like and change things around. I need to commit to a set time to just write each day and let it be. I have so many ideas rattling around in my head...I'm just lazy about putting them on paper.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back to Blogging

What a week we've had! Between Maggie not having a car (minor accident), getting everyone ready for school (Monday) and Jim's VERY early work schedule (getting up at 4:30!) it's been a big week with not alot of free time.
School starts tomorrow and hopefully everything will stabilize a little. I'm ready for the routine again. I have a lot of projects planned (closets and the like) and can't wait to get started on it all.
My biggest challenge is planning out all my meals really well and shopping efficiently so I'm not continually at the store. Both my kids need breakfast and then something Maggie can take to have mid morning. Both need lunch packed (as does Jim) and Maggie needs something to munch on between school and volleyball practice. She needs a lot of little meals all day. Planning dinner is easy, it's all those other things to keep everyone fueled up.

I thought we might have a great jeep ride today to blow all the cobwebs out of our brains...but alas...this is what it is doing right now.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monotonous Monday

I wish this post wasn't called Monotonous Monday but alas, it is. I just can't get excited today about a new week. For one thing, it is now the final two week countdown to school for the kiddos. Ugh. I like having them home and hanging out for summer. Soon we will start the whole huge year of homework and volleyball games and rushing to get to school, rushing to pick up from school, rushing to volleyball, dinners on the run, rushing home to fall in bed. My only consolation is that at least this year I won't be working and will have more time to keep everything together at home and everyone well fed and happy.

So much has changed for us this school year (Jim's new STRESSFUL job, Maggie's Senior year, Daniel's new school) that I think it will be wonderful to be at home during the day to focus on keeping our home base as stress free as possible. They all need a comfortable place to take a breath and I'm hoping home will be that this year.

Now for some random thoughts:
*I'm wondering if my hair can wait two more weeks until my peeps are back in school for color. Probably that is going to be PUSHING it.
*I want to get rid of my hideous mini blinds that are EVERYWHERE in this house. I want to replace them with matchstick blinds but it seems overwhelming. I guess I just need to jump in, measure and price them.
*If I die of the swine flu, I beg of you (my family and friends)....just call it something else. I can't imagine anything worse than forever being remembered as having died from "the SWINE flu". It's gross. Just say I died of a virus.

I'd best get to the never ending laundry pile and I also forgot to run the dishwasher last night before bed (double darn!) so need to start that up. Baked Spaghetti for dinner tonight (super easy!) and I'm still scanning in slides (more on that in another post). Here's a preview pic though. This is an old slide of me when I was about three years old at Avila Beach in California. I think my arms look freakishly short for my body. My arms aren't too short now. It's weird looking. Maybe it's just the perspective the picture is taken from but it seems strange.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Shadow is INSANE this morning. It rained in the night and I think it has affected his brain! He's running through the house like a madman...all 60 lbs of him! He's not happy outside and so is barking endlessly but he's not real happy inside. It's not a pretty sight and the only thing that is keeping him calm right now is a big glob of peanut butter in his Kong. It's a momentary peace.

What a week we've had! Got both kids enrolled in school. Whew! Sweet Baby M has a full load of classes this semester plus volleyball plus college prep. She is going to be a busy girl. We still need to find a couple of pairs of jeans for her but in the school shopping found these coach shoes. Not quite this pattern...she got the ocelot but I'm too lazy to take a picture and I couldn't find the exact on the web. Actually they are nothing like this...they have laces but just squint and imagine.

They look so cute on her. We also found the darlingest dress for Homecoming in November. It is one she looked at for prom back in April but it was just too spendy. Well, lo and behold, it was on sale at Von Maur for about half off. She grabbed it up and we bought it and it is hanging in my closet encased in plastic to await it's debut. Not really the things she needs to start school but with that Von Maur you have to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak.
She will probably want to go to Deb's in the mall or Gordman's for jeans...they always seem to have her size (tiny!) and fit her well in both the waist and hiney. She is the hipless wonder. She also needs a few cute t's to perk her up and a new backpack/schoolbag/carrying case. Whatever's cool for Seniors to carry. Ha!

The Big D is all enrolled in school too and we have most of his supplies. We have his new shirts and just need pants. He is going to love his new school and I hope he is very happy there. I think he will be. He doesn't require as much as his sister!

I'm not ready for it to be two weeks 'til school starts. We've had a good summer and I don't want it to end. Once they start school I have to figure out lunches and schedules and what to do with MYself. Ugh!

On a random note...when Shadow wants something or is bored he has a high girly bark but when he's mad he sure sounds like a big boy. Right now he is lying beside me licking the kitchen sanitary! He's a big lug of a mess. Poor little Pup pup and Tiki are still tucked in tight in bed with Jim.

It's a rainy day here today...all my plans of jeep rides and garage sales are probably going right out the window. I did find this little Kate Spade gem at a sale last week.

The gal wanted $8.00 and it was like brand new. I couldn't resist and simply paid full price. Took it to Von Maur to authenticate it and comparable Kate Spade's are going for $175 to $250. Yikes! I've carried it a little and I like it but it is PETITE. I still love this big bad boy the sweet black leather Coach. It's huge and I can stuff everything in it including a notebook and calendar. I just can't fit my camera in it. I need a cute camera bag.

Guess that's all the rambling I can do this morning. I need to jump in the shower and start the day and wake up all these sleepyheads!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Big D

If I wasn't this child's mother and already in love with him...I would fall in love just looking at this picture. Is this a handsome boy or what? He's so sweet too.
Although Sweet Baby has me in a lather just because of her Senior Year...this boy is still in my evil clutches for at least five years! Bwah ha ha ha! Thankfully he's only going into 8th grade. I'm sure I'll feel differently when he enters High School next year but this year I only have to deal with the trauma of Sweet Baby and her inevitable emancipation.

He is so good and while I'm sure he does a multitude of naughty things that I have no idea about...I just see all his good traits. I love living in denial! He truly is a good kid, though. I absolutely adored him on sight and he attached himself like a monkey to me for two years solid. I wouldn't have changed that for the world. No one gets my humour like Big D. He would DIE if he heard this but he is very much like his Momma!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I love, love, love my blog and especially my music feeder. The songs on my music feeder are my FAVES especially now that I have limited "Oklahoma" which was beginning to annoy me. I thought it was a fave but upon repeated listenings OVER AND OVER it is not. It's just mildly amusing.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sweet Baby M

This shall be the post in which I admit my insane behavior and slightly psychotic bend. I am UNDONE by Sweet Baby M starting her Senior year of high school. I can't take it. I cry every time I think of it and sometimes even when I don't think of it outright, something reminds me of it...and I cry. I am not going to make it through registration, let alone the first day. When did she grow up? Wasn't she just kicked out of Kindermusik last week (for marching too exuberantly, no less)? Didn't I just leave her in Kindergarten yesterday? I thought we attended her Freshman orientation last night? Where did all those years go? I try praying about Sweet Baby's Senior Year and just end up I have to say "Lord, you just have to handle this without me", I try talking to friends about Sweet Baby's year and can't even get the words out, I don't even want to think about it.

Sweet Baby and I have designated this the "Year of Sweet Baby". That means that starting in must revolve around her desires. So, September we are having a State Fair which I will let myself be drug to the State Fair which I hate and spend hundreds of dollars entertaining my children with fattening fair food and overpriced rides. October will be the Horribly Haunted Halloween party. November we will celebrate Thanksgiving on the beach in Florida and more importantly my darling child will turn 18! December (I almost can't type at this point) will be Sweet Baby's LAST Christmas as a high schooler so we are going all out with an old fashioned theme in which Sweet Baby's dear father will have to face climbing on our steeply pitched roof to hang Christmas lights. On and on it shall go until we reach Spring Break and her Senior Trip which we will celebrate in New York City and then on to her graduation....wherein I shall be melting in a puddle of tears at the Coliseum or whatever venue they decide to have the graduation in. When she was a toddler she promised me she would stay my baby forever and she has broken her promise.

My fave singer, Brad Paisley, has a song "I Thought I Loved You Then" which I have changed to suit my own purposes...which I know BP would not mind because I am such a devoted fan. Everytime I hear this song I think of my Sweet Baby M.

I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
And 3 weeks later in the pale moonlight taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way (this is the part that kills me!Someday my baby will be a Mommy)
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray (I hope I'm dead before that)
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say and I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

This is so incredibly pathetic...I can just read the words and I'm bawling. It's going to be a heck of a long year.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Our First Case!

Update: Sweet Baby M's boyfriend was NO HELP which really peeved me. He's going to put the word out on text to all his peeps...see what they can flush out. Don't you love the police lingo. I KNEW all those marathon hours of watching Law and Order CSI, SVU and all the other L & O entities would serve me well. Now if I could just figure out how to recreate that music they play on my blog! Dang..I wish my partner was Elliott Stabler (L & O SVU) instead of Tia. He's SO gorgeous. He would have my back if trouble went down, Tia would probably pee her pants. Oh well...I have to settle for my dear little friend Gwendolyn Snoop. Back to the chase.

The Snoop Sisters are in business. We have our first case..The Case of The Vanishing Wallet. This incredible glass artist, Scott Hartley, had his wallet stolen from his OFFICE yesterday. Unfortunately he was on his way to the bank to make a deposit.
This man is one of the neatest people I've ever met. I met him while doing an interview for the magazine I worked for. He is an incredible artist, a sweet person and his WIFE! I am in love with his wife just through Facebook! She is a hoot! They also have a darling family consisting of a handsome son and two sweet girls who have special needs. They DO NOT deserve this.

That said, Tia and I are on the case. I will be interviewing Sweet Baby M's boyfriend as he attended the same school as the suspect SAID that he attended. He was ballsy enough to come in looking for a job! and then went on to steal the wallet out of the front office. We need this kid's name so we can pass it on to the police. They have his fingerprints as he stupidly touched a lot of the glass pieces in the showroom.

Isn't Scott's work absolutely beautiful? You can find him at Infinity Art Glass in Benton, Kansas. He's an amazing artist.