Monday, September 26, 2011

On being awesome

I was awesome today.
And yesterday.
And maybe even a couple days before that.

There. I said it.

If my self-praise rubs you the wrong way,
perhaps try substituting the word "productive"
from here on out.
That may read a smidge less arrogant.
But really, I WAS.
I was productive and awesome!

I posted a bit about my awesomeness on facebook yesterday
but was gently reminded that it was the Lord's Day.
*delete post*
*hang head in shame*
Seems my awesomeness doesn't always know
when it's time to take a break
from being so awesome.

So.... ya wanna hear about it?
My recent bout of awesomeness?
Why don't I just type it up quick,
Recent Awesome Accomplishments
Resume Style.

  • completed Seasonal Wardrobe Change et closet cleaning for all four girlies
  • made applesauce, apple butter, apple pie filling
  • canned applesauce, apple butter and pears
  • made meat pies
  • baked cookies
  • made delicious beer cheese soup
  • edited and ordered photos
  • had girls write letters
  • put letters and photos in the mail
  • made silhouettes for a friend
  • worked out at fitness center before picking girls up from school
  • catch that? (cross running and weight lifting off my list)
  • almost caught up on laundry
  • filled back of Suburban with donations
  • recovered two bulletin boards in girls' room
  • discovered fabulous grey, pink and yellow color scheme for master bedroom
  • hung photos and art in color scheme with hubby pronouncing it my "best work"
  • washed and french braided three heads Sunday night 
  • found all girls' library books before library day
  • shaved legs
  • painted nails
  • filled out forms
  • removed make-up before bed

And this List of Awesomeness is
not even all-inclusive!
Sure feels good.
Gettin stuff done.
At this rate, I may come to the very end of my
To-Do list
(has that ever happened?)
and have to take out an ad in the local paper:
Awesome for Hire.
Because I am.

Also, in case you still find
my shameless boastfulness
I promise to soon share with you
some things that are in no way
About me.
And my house.
And maybe my abs.
Because I am not always so awesome.

But speaking of awesome,
Steve is threatening to start 
The Sing-Off 
without me!
Ben Folds.
Sara Barellies.
A cappella harmonies.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Annibersary......Happy Annibersary!

Yup. 13 years ago we headed on over to
the Little Log Wedding Chapel of Gatlinburg, TN
to get ourselves hitched
with a ring from a quarter machine
and our recently married BFFs
as witnesses.

We were happy.
No huge event to stress over.
Just us.
And my hardy mum.
And our love.
And the rest of our lives together.

Today I am home.
Still too sick to care for the babies in nursery.
So Steve is off
with four excited little helpers......
anxious to read and cuddle and build towers
with all the little ones at church.
I am so proud of my girlies:)

They brought us breakfast in bed this morning.
But I hadn't taken my thyroid pill.
And neither of us really like PB and cinnamon toast.
So they happily consumed the fruits of their labor
and went outside to play.
(the best gift possible;)

This morning I will make meat pie.
Just like Steve's grandma's.
And maybe some kind of apple dessert.
Steve will watch the Lions cream the Vikings
(because he has money riding on it.)
The kids will get along like angels
and clean their rooms.
I will shave my legs.
Steve will wear his cologne.

And we will continue to live happily ever after.

see photos of our big day in this post

Saturday, September 24, 2011


  • I am sick. Burning cough of fire, tears streaming down my face SICK.

  • I am still not over the fact that this dumb cold kept me from Josie's field trip to Seed Savers Exchange and a fish hatchery on an absolutely perfect fall day. (Martha Stewart buys her seeds at SSE......only the best for Martha!)

  • I am feeling nostalgic......listening to Huffamoose, an amazing concert my insanely hot boyfriend took me to at the Blind Pig.....before we were married.......13 years ago tomorrow (the marriage part....not the concert).

  • I am hoping hubby wears a spritz of his very old Abercrombie cologne.....instantly transports me back to those crazy mad love days. *sigh*

  • I need to accept the fact that I cannot serve tacos to my family without the table looking like we have something against our plates. I mean, really, even Steve has to drop huge clumps of meat on my favorite freshly washed tablecloth!

  • I should be out picking pears with the rest of the family, but I'm really enjoying having the house to myself right now. 

  • OK. I'll go out. Just to take a few pictures.......

  •  Steve in a tree.


     The kids' favorite downed apple tree.
    That still grows apples:)

     Good for climbing, jumping, and possibly occasionally peeing in!

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    running over

    No. I haven't actually started running.
    Though it IS on my To-Do list.
    Toward the bottom-ish.

    It is my cup that is running over.
    I am having an exceptionally joy-filled morning.
    We all slept in......
    until the girls came and piled in our king-sized bed.
    Except lil Gwen....
    who woke up, got dressed
    and immediately hiked thru the woods,
    balancing across that long downed log
    to their fort to retrieve
    the backpack she had dug out of
    someone's free garage sale box.
    If you only knew what that hike entailed...
    I swear.
    In my old age I have become
    a balance-impaired scaredy cat.
    When I crossed that log,
    Addie had to come back and hold my hand!
    Perhaps my hesitation is just intuition
    that my bones are becoming brittle.
    Ha! I sound like an old woman.
    Add lifting weights to my to-do list.

    Pears and apples are coming out of my ears.
    I picked just the surface last night
    under the light of the moon.
    While Steve "practiced" boiling a huge turkey fryer
    full of water
    over an open fire
    in preparation for next weekend's visitors
    and some home brewing.

    I am washing a load of adorable Baby Gap outfits
    I couldn't resist from a garage sale yesterday.
    A new with $34.50 tags
    pink and frilly heirloom dress
    for one dollar!?!
    Yes, please.
    As I was admiring my deals last night
    the girls were begging us to get a foster kid
    or adopt a baby.
    We love the babies!

    The air is cool and crisp.
    My favorite.
    Impossible not to be bubbling with joy
    over all God's simple blessings
    this delicious morning.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    an update

    Don't worry.
    The tears have been replaced
    with lots of check marks
    on my to-do list.
    Who knew a girl could accomplish so much?

    Excuse me while I go finish
    assembling the lasagna for
    tonight's dinner.
    And yes,
    it is only 12:29 PM!

    Have a wonderful day!
    I know I will.

    (The girls have adjusted just fine as well everything except the mandatory hot lunches)

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    all alone.

    I just dropped all four of my girlies off for their first day of school.
    Sorry. No cute photos documenting this momentous day.
    Couldn't find the camera:(
    They were excited.
    And a little nervous.
    Wanted to know everything that would happen.
    I didn't have all the answers.
    But I guess that's a part of growing up.
    Leaving the predictable routine of life at home
    and heading out into uncertainty of the real world.

    I know I am probably making this a bigger deal than it needs to be.

    On the long drive to town I gave them all a little pep talk.

    Be awesome.
    Let your light shine.
    Don't be shy.....
    because Mimi says that shy people are really just selfish......
    only thinking about themselves.
    Look for someone ELSE who is nervous
    and do your best to make THEM comfortable.
    Don't be afraid to ask questions.
    Don't be afraid of the bathrooms and pee your pants
    like I did when I changed schools in the middle of first grade.
    (they got a kick out of that.)
    Have no part of gossip.
    And don't necessarily believe everything they tell you.
    (We are not Catholic).
    Addie wondered if it was wrong to do the sign of the cross.
    I think that is what "the Father, Son and Holy Spirit" thing is called......

    I think I covered all the important stuff.
    But I am wishing I could be there to hold their hands.......
    Keep Gwen company in a crowd of strangers
    so she doesn't feel alone.
    Like I feel now.

    This will be a good change.
    I hope it will.
    I know it will.
    But for now, I am sad.
    Tears streaming down my face....
    Like seeing my little Addie struggle up the steep steps
    onto a school bus of big strangers for her first day of Kindergarden.
    Times 4.
    They are all growing up at once.

    Give me this day to be emotional.
    And then on my next day off
    I will conquer the world.

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    a little more summer

    After much deliberation, we have decided to put the girls in private school this year.
    Big changes are ahead and my nest will soon be very empty,
    at least during the day.
    There are definite pros and cons
    to both homeschooling and private school.
    A con for private is that it starts mid-August.
    So we are busy trying to cram some summer fun
    into the next couple weeks.

    Here are some pictures from this past week
    along with lyrics to a Trace Atkins song
    that gets me every time.

    I’m lost in her there holdin’ that pink rod and reel
    She’s doin’ almost everything but sittin’ still
    Talkin’ ‘bout her ballet shoes and training wheels
    And her kittens
    And she thinks we’re just fishin’

    I say, “Daddy loves you, baby” one more time
    She says, “I know. I think I got a bite.” 
    And all this laughin’, cryin, smilin’ dyin’ here inside’s
    What I call, livin’

    And she thinks we’re just fishin’ on the riverside
    Throwin’ back what we could fry
    Drownin’ worms and killin’ time
    Nothin’ too ambitious
    She ain’t even thinkin’ ‘bout
    What’s really goin’ on right now
    But I guarantee this memory’s a big’in
    And she thinks we’re just fishin’

    She’s already pretty, like her mama is
    Gonna drive the boys all crazy
    Give her daddy fits
    And I better do this every chance I get
    ‘Cause time is tickin’
    (Yeah it is)

    And she thinks we’re just fishin’ on the riverside
    Throwin’ back what we could fry
    Drownin’ worms and killin’ time
    Nothin’ too ambitious
    She ain’t even thinkin’ ‘bout
    What’s really goin’ on right now
    But I guarantee this memory’s a big’in
    And she thinks we’re just fishin’

    She ain’t even thinkin’ ‘bout
    What’s really goin’ on right now
    But I guarantee this memory’s a big’in
    And she thinks we’re just fishin’
    Yeah, aww, she thinks we’re just fishin’
    We ain’t only fishin’
    (This ain’t about fishin’)

    Addie wanted company on a little island, 
    so she carried Gwen thru the muck.

    Ella slipped and fell....
    leaving a big mud spot on her white shorts.

    Josie tried to help me get a picture from behind....

    ....but Ella wanted nothing to do with such a photo.

    Sure wish I knew how to arrange photos.
    Anyone know of a good tutorial?

    Sunday, July 31, 2011

    Barn Dance

    My wonderful friend and the girls' babysitter (still trying to think of a special name that describes what a blessing LaDeane has been to our family) invited us to her barn dance to celebrate her 30th wedding anniversary last night.

    Decorating is not her "thing" so she agreed to let me add a few touches to their beautiful barn a few hours before the shindig started. Steve chauffeured me around the dirt roads Saturday morning, letting me out in the ditches to pick flowers in my mudboots and knees highs pulled up over my capris ensemble. I'm sure I was quite the sight. But one is not concerned with fashion when fighting her way through rodent/snake/insect infested foliage.

    The party was a wonderful excuse to pull out evidence of my "textile obsession." All my vintage tablecloths and patchwork quilts covered the tables and hay bales. My old floral hankies were strung from authentic (as in straight from the bale) twine along the white brick walls.

    My new $3 chalkboard was just the right size for the menu and my assorted 3s and 0s served as a reminder for the number of years Marvin and LaDeane were celebrating.

    Josie was so excited to rock her new Goodwill cowboy hat.


    Unfortunately we were unable to find any boots for the occasion.

    The happy couple.

    A late night potassium refuel after all the dancing.

    Our first ever barn dance.
    It was a good thing.

    Steve and I humiliating ourselves
    with an incredibly failed attempt 
    at some Garth Brooks karaoke.....
    NOT a good thing.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    my little corner of the world

    I'll admit it.
    I am spoiled.
    This morning's "breakfast" is a piece of pound cake 
    drizzled in my yummy raspberry sauce
    with a dollup of Cool Whip.
    Eaten in front of the computer 
    where I have been "pinning" like a crazy woman 
    while the girls "play" school.
    Essentially, Addie is teaching Gwen to read.
    Thank you Hooked on Phonics
    (and Addie).

    It's my new latest obsession.
    As Sabrina described it......
    "a glorious time waster."

    Made me want to "pin" a few of my own
    favorite corners of my world.

    A homonym flashcard from a set I found at a garage sale
    set in a $12 frame I found in the basement of our local antique store.
    Hard to see.....

    Mary can sew well.
    The farmer will sow his seed.

    CAN sew well
    and we are surrounded my farmers sowing their seeds.

    Until I can decide what I want to do with this lovely huge frame
    it will provide a spot of color on our otherwise drab walls.

    On top of our piano....
    neat old books,
    a recently completed silhouette of one of the girls
    and a HUGE map of Duluth.

    Though not entirely functional 
    as it dims the light a tidge,
    I used a bit of an old holy heirloom quilt
    to top this super tall thrift store lamp.

    Truly, my current favorite corner of the house. 
    Color = Happiness.

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    Occupational BERRapY

    Addie is improving, her appetite and energy level both increasing. 
    She is still quite pale due to her low hemoglobin levels 
    and is quite bruised from all the poking and pulling 
    of last week's interventions.

    But man, can that girl pick berries!

    Her sisters have gotten bored with the hunting and gathering.
    But Addie is loving it!
    She rushes to tell me every time she finds a new great spot
    or fills a bucket.
    I love her enthusiasm.
    And after being stuck in bed for two weeks
    I am sure 
    it is quite therapeutic.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    all in a [few] day's work

    I am still processing the events of the past couple weeks in which Addie's "kidney infection" turned out to be a very scary case of hemolytic uremic syndrome requiring an ambulance ride to Mayo, 2 platelet transfusions, one blood transfusion, and two sessions of dialysis over our 8 day stay in the hospital.

    (detailed post to come)

     I have spent the last couple of days trying to manage my "post-traumatic" stress by scraping all the nasty linoleum and residue from the top of my latest find. As usual, in my excitement to transform something crusty into something beautiful, I failed to take a 'before' photo. You will have to take my word that it required HOURS of hand-cramping scraping with a screwdriver and a few coats of my new favorite turquoise paint to get this result.

    I spent $20 on the furniture and just over $10 on paint and am quite pleased with the outcome. Plenty of shoe storage and lots of display potential. Originally I planned to cover the top in red gingham oilcloth, but I'm fine with the rustic look for now.

    I made sure that hubby the kill-joy didn't even have to help carry my finished product from the pole barn to the house. You should have seen my four girlies and me heaving it up the deck stairs. I was so proud of them:) To be expected, Steve still insists it wasn't worth the $20 I paid.

    I must show you some comparables to defend my decision making.

    Sundance West Country Sideboard $1595
    Wisteria Stacked Sideboard $499

    A $32 turquoise sideboard. It's a good thing.

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    July heat.

    Can it really be July already?
    Am I getting a smidge predictable with my intros? 
    Where has the time gone?
    Where have I been the past two months?
    Is summer really half over?

    Maybe if I were to be more diligent in my blog writing I could spare you
    the predictable laments over the passage of time
    and cut to the chase.

    As much as it saddens my heart,
    it IS July.
    And today's high is supposed to be 98!
    NOT counting all the humidity!

    You can just see the heat and humidity in the air.

    We now have another fruit bearing tree!
    (It blossomed last year, but no fruit.)
    Nothing makes me feel quite as rich as 
    pears on a tree.

    Evidence of Steve's latest "hobby."

    Today I am incredibly thankful that we splurged on that pool
    that fits perfectly on our old silo slab.
    Sweet relief!

    Addie has been suspiciously absent from recent photos 
    as she is battling a kidney infection.
    And possibly something else.
    Poor kid hasn't been able to keep anything down since SUNDAY!
    They put her on an IV yesterday and told us to come back today if she wasn't better.
    So we are going in. again.
    Praying for answers.......