Saturday, November 29, 2008

ilsa's purple ahnsahmbleh (ensemble)

Ilsa' picked this outfit out herself. It is very purple. I really don't worry about what the girls pick to wear, as long as it is weather and occasion appropriate, especially for just playing or running errands. I never make fun of what they have chosen. But Chad did stifle a laugh.

I think I might try to always have either the top or pants in the wash so as to conveniently discourage purple flower overload. And then she found this paper gift bag with the gift wrap supplies! And she put my purple crochet scarf inside!!! I guess she likes purple.

By the way, this coordinated outfit includes a top, pants, socks, courdoroy jumper and button front dress of the same purple flower fabric. They were hand-me-downs from a good friend up in Almost Canada; she said that Ingrid (who never wore them because of her button wackiness) was the fifth girl to have them, making Ilsa the sixth. This is a testament to the quality and longevity of Hanna Andersson clothing!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

thanksgiving 2 = 10 things for which I am thankful

Okay, I think that the real meaning of Thanksgiving was kind of driven home to me today, because my day did NOT turn out as I had wanted it to. After four days of preparation, I have to say, the dinner was just "eh". I have a rotten cold and can't really taste anything. I also felt like I had to fight with my mind all day just to focus on what I was doing, and subsequently, I let the dressing burn on top, the rolls were somewhat underdone, I put too much liquid into the mashed potatoes and had to throw some potatoes into the microwave to thicken it up (it was literally potato soup), the green beans were overcooked, and the bottom of the pumpkin pie crust burned black. I'm not complaining, just stating fact.

I felt the cold coming on yesterday when I woke up, and then this morning it was full blown. I am sure I caught it from Ilsa, who seems to be on the mend already.

Then this evening, Ingrid said she didn't feel well. Could mean a few things in Ingridese: 1) I want attention because Ilsa and Mommy don't feel well; 2) I'm tired; or 3) I don't feel well. Number 3 was the winner. You guessed it...she went to bed and threw up on the floor. Out came the steam cleaner again, just as I was finally getting ready to go to bed and just crash.

All of this to say that the Thanksgiving Feast is important, but it isn't Thanksgiving! I think everyone knows that, but I'm not upset about the dinner! I think in years past I would have been, but not now. So here's my list:
  1. I had my husband sitting at the dinner table with me tonight. His bike accident could have just been so much worse, and this could have been a very different Thanksgiving.

  2. I have two wonderful girls. Six years ago, they weren't a part of our lives, but the Lord saw fit to entrust them to us. May we be worthy of this task!

  3. We have a warm, comfortable, beautiful home. Even on our street, there is one home that has been repo'd. I never take Chad's paycheck for granted. Ever.

  4. We had an abundant feast on our table, even if the dressing was burned on top. We have food in our pantry, and refrigerator, and don't have to think twice when we need to go to the store for milk, eggs or butter.

  5. Chad and I both have parents alive and still married to each other. Chad's have been married nearly 45 years, and mine, 52 this coming June. Wow. What great examples of devotion.

  6. I have Godly friends in my life who love me enough to call me onto the carpet when I need to be straightened out, can laugh with me when I just want to be goofy, and encourage me when I am down.

  7. I live in a country that boasts, even in extremely tough economic times, more stability and access to medical care, food, financial assistance, and safety than most people in the world can claim.

  8. My family and I have affordable quality healthcare.

  9. My church preaches the Word of God, and I'm growing, learning and being stretched weekly. As Pastor I. said recently, when I leave a sermon, I should feel "mad, sad or glad" (I think it was a quote from Martin Luther). I always feel one of those three things. My feelings are never neutral.

  10. And most importantly, The Lord chose me. ME! Wretch that I am, to be His child. From before the foundations of the earth, he chose me. His Son Jesus Christ died on the cross for me! ME! He called out to me in the midst of my sin and gave me the faith to believe on Him! Thank you Lord!!!

Oh, one more thing. Tonight I was tucking Ilsa into bed, and I asked her what she was thankful for. (We talked about this a lot today, but this was the best answer yet.) She said, "I'm thankful for my sister who loves duckies."

thanksgiving 1

Preparation is the key, or at least so I am told. This was my schedule. The only reason I'm blogging this is so that I can remember for NEXT YEAR because it actually has worked very well...not an ounce of stress right now at 9:25 am!

Baked 2 loaves of bread for stuffing
Made and chilled dough for rolls
Braved Costco

High aspirations, little accomplished except cubing loaves of bread for stuffing and dried it on the counter.
Assembled granny smith apple/sweet italian sausage stuffing
Made cranberry sauce
Brined turkey (remember this one, Steph, it worked: use the little "playmate" cooler and ice packs)
Made gravy roux
Made turkey stock for gravy using the creepy stuff from the turkey
Baked two pumpkin pies, vacuum-sealed and froze one for Christmas

Got up at a decent hour -- at least decent for our house, 7:00 am
Took turkey out of brine and put in fridge on baking sheet to dry off a little bit
Iced turkey breast-side-down on rack
To be continued...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

10 things for which I am thankful

It's been a while...not in any particular order:
  1. Antibiotics and analgesics
  2. Cable TV with lots of kids programs on all day
  3. A comfortable couch
  4. Meals I had the foresight to prepare and freeze for days like today
  5. The ability to tune out whining
  6. Children's Benadryl
  7. Children's Tylenol
  8. A fast Urgent Care clinic when the Base clinic has a two week wait for an appointment
  9. Saltine crackers
  10. Ice cold water and an ice dispenser in my fridge door

If you didn't get the hint, I'm sick.

kitchenaid woes

Anyone out there who knows about KitchenAid stand mixers? I have a tilt-head 5 quart oldie-but-goodie KSM90. I need to replace the baseplate -- if you don't know what that is, you probably shouldn't offer a suggestion. :) I have received the replacement part from KitchenAid customer service (twice!) but I just can't get it in. The old one was tight, but I was able to just drop it back in after taking it out. Any ideas?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I heard a good one today: Mommy, I'm sugarfied. (Just ate a snickerdoodle, and her hands were sandy with sugar...)

veteran's day

Veteran's Day is not about blowout sales.

In Flanders Fields
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

sending out a call for encouragement!

HELP! Ilsa is finally in the terrible twos, right before she turns three! We've had relatively smooth sailing thus far. But now we're talking full-on tantrums, screaming "NO!", running away from me in public, collapsing on the floor at Starbuck's, etc. Her favorite phrase is, "No, I don't want you to, Mom!" I have yet to see a smile on her face this afternoon. And this isn't really a discipline issue -- I've been very, very consistent.

And I know I will survive it, because Ingrid is still with us -- HA! I just needs some words of love friends!
Oh, one funny thing in the past few days. We had a salad along with dinner the other night, and I pulled out the Newman's Own Light Balsamic dressing, you know, the one with the beaming face of Paul Newman on the bottle. Ilsa said, "I want some 'Man Sauce' Mommy." MAN SAUCE! Isn't that hilarious?

Monday, November 10, 2008

food for pro-life thought

Check out this blog post from John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute While it is not wholly discouraging, it is challenging and convicting.

While I personally do not believe we should ever give up legislative efforts to legally end abortion, in the big picture the legal victories seem to have been almost purely symbolic because people's hearts and minds haven't been changed. Further, even though symbolic victories do send a message, Mr. Whitehead proposes that the message is not being received, believed nor implemented by the culture at large. This is a bad thing because the pro-life community hangs our hats on these legal victories but doesn't go any further...thereby spending millions and millions of dollars on symbolic victory.
Please don't misinterpret me. Abortion must be stopped. It is murder. Period. But read the article for yourself. Compelling? Give me your thoughts...I'd love to read them!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

the shack

Thinking about reading The Shack by William P. Young? Read this first. Already read it? You need to read this analysis too. So I guess I'm kind of reviewing a book I have never read. How weird is that? My book club voted to put it onto our 2009 calendar (I didn't vote for this one -- I wanted to read Pride & Prejudice for the umpteenth time...I hope I don't sound self-righteous -- I don't mean to). And then yesterday I was surfing the web when I ended up at this review on the Boundless webzine site. I don't think it was coincidence...I think it was a divine Google hit.

"[S]olid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” - Hebrews 5:14
What is discernment? Tim Challies gives a great definition:

It is “the skill of understanding and applying God's Word with the purpose of separating truth from error and right from wrong.” Discernment is knowing what God says to us in the Bible so that we can apply this to our lives and live in the way God would have us live. It is a skill that demands practice and one that demands intimate familiarity with the Bible. It is an ability that allows us, with God’s help, to filter what is true about God from what is false.
If you have already read this book, I humbly suggest that you prayerfully ask the Lord of Hosts, in Jesus' name, to reveal to you through His Word, the Bible, WHO HE IS.

"Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, [be] honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen." - I Timothy 1:17

  • Click here to go to to read both Tim Challies' blog post about the book, and download the pdf of his review.
  • Click here to just view the pdf of the review.

Oh, and if you are wondering, I'm taking some Godly counsel to heart, and will not be reading this book.

Friday, November 7, 2008

soggy cell phone

Friday 11/24/08
UPDATE for anyone who cares...

Cell phone is kaput. I did get it to power up, but there was no picture on the screen, and it was always on vibrate.


Good grief! Last night I WASHED my cell phone in my pant pocket. On hot. With a second rinse. Let's just say I was an in a big hurry to get those pants off. Ingrid had thrown up all over me -- twice.

Not surprisingly, cell phone baptism is a common occurence; hence, there are lots of helpful tips on the web to possibly restore life to my mobile lifeline. Right now, it is submerged in rice after a rubbing alcohol bath. Yep. That suggestion was echoed many, many times, not just on some random wierdo's site. The alcohol evaporates faster than water, and takes the water with it. It also helps clean out any residue from the detergents in the wash (or whatever water bath the phone could have experienced: toilet, tub, mucky lake). The rice acts as a dessicant (I learned that word last night) and kind of "pulls" the water out.

So if this ever happens to you, take the battery out as quickly as possible -- and for sure do not try to turn it back oh -- it can short it out; dry it off as much as you can with a towel, and then dry it as thoroughly as you can via "baking" it on the lowest setting in your oven (I wasn't brave enough to do that), submerging it in dry rice, or sealing it into a ziplock or container with some of those silicone packets that come in dry foods and vitamins. Finally, after 3 days (that seems to be the magic rice number) it should be dry. But wait another day just to be safe.

I'll update you on Tuesday. Just don't call me.

Monday, November 3, 2008

a scholar and a warrior

I just can't keep it a secret any longer. My husband has a secret identity. He is......Every superhero has a name...what should his superhero name be?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

candy, candy, here we come!

To quote our neighbor upon seeing the girls, "Steph, you've got your hands full tonight!" It was like two racehorses at the gate...Mama, is time to go yet? Is it now? What about now? (And this was at 4:00.)
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