Friday, October 30, 2009

*UPDATED* Update On Baby Christopher

Please continue to pray for our youth
pastor's son, little Christopher.
(You can read the first
request for prayer here.)

Since he was admitted to CHOP on Monday, he has remained stable. However, the doctors are concerned by that and need to see him turn a corner with some serious progression toward improving. It's imperative that he experience a breakthrough, and according to his daddy, these next couple of days are critical.

Our church family has really come together on behalf of this family, gathering for the next week to pray each night from 7-8:30 p.m. If you are local and care to join us as we seek God for a miracle, please feel free to do so. If you cannot be here physically, please consider joining us in spirit as we approach the throne.

This song seemed to be the over-arching theme of Thursday night's prayer time. I pray it ministers to you where you are. And that it be a fragrant offering to our Father on behalf of little Christopher.

Today's news is very hopeful. Christopher's levels have improved overnight and they were able to remove his chest tube. There's been no problems since doing that. It's not huge improvement but certainly "baby steps" in the right direction! Please continue to pray with us and I'll update as healing continues.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'll Bet You Are Tuckered Out With The Waiting!

Okay, so, you've been so patient. Well, most of you have been patient. Some of you have been antsy-in-yo'-pantsy (!). And some of you have likely plumb forgotten what the heck you were supposed to be waiting for. If you fall in that latter category, just play along. Pretend you care. (And yes, I did use the word "plumb." I read a Western over the weekend. It's baseball AND football season, what can I say?!)

Several weeks ago, we tore apart our dining room. We'd been living with wallpaper-stripped walls, full of nicks and scratches and nasty blue chair rail for close to four years. We had 1st grade turkey art hanging on the wall, accompanied by my husband's graffiti. You can see the "Before" pictures here. Go ahead. I'll wait. It's only fair. You waited for the "After."

I'm so gracious to you, dear readers, I know.
It's a gift.

Finally, after weeks of stops and starts on this relatively easy home improvement project, we finished enough of it to share with you. I still have a couple details to work out, including what to do with that huge wall that is gapingly empty right now. But I'm COMMITTED to filling it ONLY with something that I LOVE. And what I think I might LOVE is kinda out of the ballpark, speaking budgetarily, that is. (And yes, I may have in fact just made up that word. Budgetarily. But it works, does it not?! Humph.)

Without further ado, I give you my newly re-decorated dining room.

This is the view from the kitchen doorway,
looking left into the dining room.
These curtains are the same as
the ones in the living room, but not tied back.
Not necessarily permanent, but they are
growing on me for this space.
I'm sentimentally attached to them,
as a dear friend made them for me
as a gift when we were young, first-time
homeowners with BIG windows to cover.
And sheesh, who can afford curtains
when they have gaping spaces to fill?!

Please, ignore the random appearances of burgundy
through out the room. When I'm truly done,
there will be no burgundy
accenting any longer. I'm over it.
(Except for the burgundy place mats
that will still appear
on my table for meals.
Cuz, well, they are still in great shape.

Just won't be needing their services
as accents anymore.)

We spiffed up our chandelier with new
mocha-colored shades.
For now, the secretary that The Boss
and Dr. D re-finished returned to its spot also.
Good spot for concentrated school work.

My china cabinet got a coat of fresh khaki paint.
And put back right where it was before the re-do.
It just didn't seem to fit right in any other space.

This antique chest of drawers also went back
in its original spot, but that's likely a temporary move.
We're really hoping to find a longer, lower buffet-type
piece at a flea market.

The lamp got switched out and we bought a shade
that matched the chandelier shades.

I hung this picture on Monday.
You'll have to trust me when I say that it fills the space perfectly.
From this angle, it seems a little puny for that corner. It's not.
You'll just have to trust me.
It really pulls the two rooms together nicely.
Remember our green living room?

The color is a lovely shade of brown called "Rare Spices." It reminds me of hot chocolate or really good quality milk chocolate. I get almost the same rush of happy when I look at the wall that I get when I eat really good milk chocolate. (Almost . . .)

So, I've got the big wall between the china cabinet and the secretary to fill. It's about 11 or 12' of space to think about. That's a lot of thinking. And think, I will. Wait, I will. At least until I get tickets to the Opr@h Show, where I too can win $500 just for plunking my butt in a studio seat on a lucky day. Or not.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Playing peek-a-boo.
"Waahn, Tooooo, Tweeee, Doh, Digh . . ."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Please Pray! *UPDATED*

Our youth pastor and his wife gave birth to a sweet little baby boy this weekend. Baby Christopher was diagnosed with persistent pulmonary hypertension in infants and over the course of the weekend experienced a collapsed lung. He did not respond to the treatment that the local NICU prescribed. So last night, they "Life Flight'ed" him to CHOP.

Please pray with our church family for complete and total healing over this precious little baby. Please pray for his awesome momma, who is recovering from a c-section in another hospital. Please pray for his daddy, while he stands guard over the little guy's crib in the CHOP NICU. Please pray for our church family while we stand in faith for the healing of this future warrior of the Kingdom. Thank you.

I will post updates as I receive them.

Posted at 2:30 p.m: Little Christopher is stable, but still in critical condition. It does appear as if he is responding postively to the treatment regime. The Boss is actually trying right now to break away from a meeting and head over to the hospital proper to pray with Pastor Mike and maybe get him a healthy (read: non-fast food!) lunch. Please, keep spreading the word and praying annointed healing over this little guy!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I'm feeling naked today.
Well, my hands and wrists are feeling naked, that is.
(But I got ya with that lead-in, didn't I?!)

My hands and wrists are bare.

Because I've removed my rings and my watch.

Because I'm washing my hands just about every 15 minutes. Or so it seems.

Because on Saturday, Dr. D started feeling mild, flu-like symptoms.

Because on Sunday, Dr. D felt no better. Not worse, but no better.

Because this morning, LadyBug stated that she felt sick. Like the shaky, achey-head, dizzy and queasy kind of sick.

Because Dr. D is pretty congested today.

Because LadyBug is now congested, coughing and feeling clammy.

Because these are the only two of my gang that DID not get their flu vaccine.

Because their pediatrician was out of appointments for the flu vaccine until early November.

Because I waited to vaccinate them.

Because when I had Shaggy, Baby BlueEyes and Li'l Empress vaccinated (back in September), they all felt cruddy for 24 hours afterward.

Because I didn't want Dr. D and LadyBug to be sick for our two weeks of family events.

Now my hands and wrists are naked. My knuckles are dry and cracked.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Rewarding Revision

The other night, I made a new recipe for dinner. Except, I had to improvise along the way. It actually turned out very tasty. I'll share the original recipe with you and then my revisions that compensated for what I missed. Either way, it was a delightful comfort-food type of meal and everyone here enjoyed it (well, except for Miss Picky LadyBug, but I'm getting used to that . . .).

Fiesta Chicken Casserole
taken from the Sunday coupon inserts

1 package (2 crusts) of refrigerated pie crust
1 jar (16 oz.) salsa
1 can (10.75 oz.) cream of chicken soup
1 c. sour cream
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 package (24 oz.) frozen whole kernel corn
2 cans (9.75 oz. each) canned chicken breast, drained
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed in cold water and drained
  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Mix all ingredients together and pour into lightly sprayed 9x13 baking dish.
  • Unfold pie crusts and lay on lightly floured surface so they overlap each other by about 3 inches. Press the seam to seal. Roll crusts into a 14x10 rectangle and lay over the top of the baking dish that has been filled. Press crust edges to baking dish edges. Trim excess. Cut slits into top of crust.
my revisions:
2 pkg. (4 crusts) pie crust
12 oz. salsa
2 cans (10.75 oz. ea.) cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar
2 cans (11 oz. ea.) fiesta corn, drained well
1 can (40. oz?) black beans, rinsed and drained well
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Fit 2 of the pie crusts into two deep dish pie dishes.
  • Mix all other ingredients well and split between two pies.
  • Lay remaining crusts over each pie. Seal seams, flute edges if you are a fancy pants. Cut slit in top.
  • Bake at 400 for 35 - 45 minutes or until top is golden brown.
My mistake? I (for reasons likely contributed to sleep deprivation and incessant repetition of my name chanted behind me where ever I go these days) had it in my head that I was making a version of traditional pot pie so I (on autopilot I'm sure!) lay the pie crusts into the pie plates and THEN realized I needed more crusts to do it that way. And that we were out of sour cream. Thank goodness the pie crusts were on sale this week and I stocked up! The other revisions I did in order to accommodate the ingredients/sizes I had on hand.

My version was a little runnier than I like for a casserole like that, so I will likely only use one can of soup next time. But believe you me, there WILL be a next time. It was delish!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Vision For My Daughter

While I was preparing my post on Tuesday, while I was rocking Li'l Empress before her nap time, and while I was bustling around my house with her on my heels in between all my daily chores, I was praying. I've been doing that a lot more lately, it seems. Seeking the Lord for some answers to questions I have about her heart. Asking the Lord what to do about the pain I hear in her cries. Trying to listen to what HIS heart has to say about what has been going on with her in recent weeks. All while trying to manage and minister to my Li'l Empress as lovingly as I possibly can.

You see, Li'l Empress has been struggling for several weeks now with increasing levels of separation anxiety. We're fairly confident that this is a more-painful-than-normal kind of separation anxiety. I know all the influencing factors that may (or may not!) be contributing to her struggle.

(One last molar popping through, fluid in her ear from a cold,
increased activity in our family calendar, interrupted
and/or unusual daily routines, her fear of change,
her toddler's quest for independence, etc. etc. etc.)

I know all the ways that The Boss and I have agreed to tackle these struggles to help mitigate the triggers.

(routine, routine, routine, comfort, comfort, comfort,
and the occasional dose of pain meds at bedtime!)

I know that these strategies must be employed consistently, lovingly, and very intentionally to bring the structure that brings her comfort. I know it won't last forever. I know it's just a stage. I know that TWO is a hard age - for the two year old AND for the parents. We've been through some of these same struggles before, with the four older kids.

But I also know that underneath those cries that escalate so quickly, is something else. That something else is what has been driving my quest for information on parenting an adopted child. That something else is what has been sending me to my bed many nights by 9:30, for extra time in solitude and prayer. And yes, extra rest. (I swear, I did not need this much sleep when Shaggy and Dr. D were 2. Am I getting old?!) That something else is what has been occasionally keeping me up way past a healthy bed time just to finish what I started earlier in that day. That something else is what has me weighing very carefully the number of times I leave the house without Li'l Empress in tow.

That something is behind the tremors and racing heart rate that takes over Li'l Empress when the cry becomes a scream. That something is what causes her to clutch and cling to me over the simplest offense or upset. That something else is what makes her cry until she gags when she sees car keys in my hands. Or a coat on my back. That something doesn't necessarily need a name. I have prayed enough about it to know that it's there. And that it's real to my girl. AND that we as her parents have authority over it in the spiritual realm. We can go to war for her, over her, and conquer it.

But that battle is wearying. That battle is long. And sometimes very lonely. Especially when the only physical comfort Li'l Empress will receive is in my arms. By my hands. As much as she loves her Daddy and her siblings, it's to my legs she clings when her little world is rocked. It's in my arms she buries her little head when she can't face the fear one more minute. It's my name she calls when she sees me heading toward the door.

I have to admit, I am exhausted. It hurts to see my daughter in such pain. I am out of creative solutions (just for now, I am certain!) as to how I can leave the house (or the room for that matter) without hurting her little heart. For as I've said, it's more than run-of-the-mill pain of separation than an average toddler experiences. Please don't read what I am NOT saying. I am thrilled that her attachment is so strong with me. I am thrilled and grateful that she feels such security in my arms. I'm just saying that being the only one that she wants is hard. And please don't feel sorry for me or for her. It's a stage and a season. We will persevere. We will get through it victoriously. I believe that the pain she experiences at seeing me walk away is still on the overall range of typical, considering all that she's experienced in her two short little years.

So anyway, on Tuesday, while I was praying and bustling, the Lord kept giving me bits and pieces of a vision for my daughter. I'm receiving it as an encouragement to keep praying over her, keep loving on her and keep welcoming the prayers of those who love her. And as I prayed over it, I couldn't help but think that someone else might feel like this vision represents them. I am sharing it here today, begging God to keep it at the forefront of my heart and my mind as I minister to my daughter. And asking Him to make it count toward healing and hope for someone else out there as well. After all, aren't we all broken and weary at some point?
I see a dry, sparse, scarred expanse of land. Like the proverbial drought-cracked pictures one sees in nature magazines. While the colors are glorious and rich, the land is cracked. It almost looks dead, save for the little glimpses of foliage scattered here and there. Gaping canyons and pits are scattered across the landscape.

In the upper corner of the view, I see a vessel. This vessel is golden, glowing as it reflects the dry, hot sun above. Shards of light are bouncing off of this vessel, almost blinding me when I turn my eyes toward it. Looking at it full on is almost painful. The vessel tips over. Out of its slender mouth pours a honey-colored liquid, flowing quickly. This liquid is covering the land, seeking the cracks and the breaks and filling them to level. The liquid then begins to seep into the dry ground, saturating it and bringing to life the colors that were already so poignant and beautiful.

Now, those colors are luminescent and vibrant. It's as if they are alive, dancing with the reflection of the sun's rays. The ground is no longer cracked and scarred. But I can still see the fault lines. They are just full and the colors that have welled up in them are more saturated than on the flat surface of the ground. Richer and deeper. The land is alive still, but now it's full of life.
"See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:19

The lovely pictures included here are courtesy of
Li'l Empress' "Poppa E-yi," who has a wonderful eye for
God's amazing creation and a talent
for capturing it on film.
Thanks, Dad for sharing your talent with us!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shining The Light

You all know, I have a string of celebrity crushes that tickle my fancy. And by now, you all know I have a couple bloggy heroes who give me a little thrill. When they show up in my comment box, I get all a'twitter. Today, I read a post that totally summarizes how I've been feeling about some huge issues I've encountered lately. And you guessed it, it was written by my adoptive mom blogging hero, Stefanie. I swear, if I ever got to meet this woman in person, I think I'd pass out from the excitement. Or pee myself. Or something equally embarrassing or disturbing. She's that amazing to me. But I digress. . . and embarrass myself even now. . . .

This post of hers is well-balanced (something I strive for daily as a really black and white personality type!), Biblical in its foundations, and very eloquent. It's addressing a current trend in the adoption community that has been very disheartening for a newbie like me. Let me try to explain . . .

I've been working very hard to learn as much as I can about parenting this precious gift called Li'l Empress. The premise is that sometimes, parenting an adopted child HAS to look different and be executed differently than parenting our biological children. I don't disagree with that premise, and because of that, I have felt pressed to begin seeking a good plan for our family. To educate myself about the issues and the stories of those who have been through the journey, from all sides of the triad (as it's known in adoption lingo - adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents).

The questions and concerns I've encountered have far outweighed the answers I've found. Some of it has been downright dark and difficult to process. I want to know all sides of the issue before I formulate my own plan. I'm like that with many of the big decisions or issues I experience in my life. So I'm not BY ANY MEANS shying away from the hard conversations. Nor do I want to. I'm just dismayed by the lack of balance that I've found. And by NO MEANS am I saying that I've been exhaustive enough in my research to say that the balance doesn't exist. It does. It's out there. I'm just having a harder time finding Biblical perspectives that balance the darkness ON THIS PARTICULAR ISSUE. It's out there, I know it is. I'm just starting to scratch the surface of the godly balance that I know is there. Again, I know it's there.

And today's post by Stefanie (sigh) is a shining light on that path of discovery. Be sure to follow the link she highlights at the bottom of her post. It, too, is a fabulously eloquent summary of the heart of God for parenting these precious gifts we've been loaned. I'll be digesting it and it's related issues for a while. I'm so thankful for the path these two posts have opened up to me in my research.

Even if you aren't part of the adoptive community, the issues raised in both of the posts I've highlighted probably affect you, even if you don't know it. We all have a part to play, in the Body of Christ, in working together to bring the healing light of the love of Jesus to the world in which we live. These couple posts just focus in on adoption. The Biblical truths apply to whatever issue you are facing. They stand the test of time. That's a light that will never lead me astray. It shines forever.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

He Nailed It!

I love this post. It's written by a blogging friend with whom I connected while they were waiting to adopt a sibling group last year. It's a neat glimpse into the heart and mind of an adoptive daddy. And really, it speaks well to what goes on in the mind of adoptive mommies too. Head over and read it, and give the guy some kudos. He nailed this one!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today Needs Chocolate

Li'l Empress woke up on the wrong side of the crib today. Momma woke up too early, to a too cold house, and had to bring LadyBug to school early to boot. And the day just slid downward from there. By 9:15 a.m., I was exhausted. Barney was in his second round of coma-inducing play songs. And Li'l Empress was still ornery.

I took matters in hand. A little Shane and Shane, a lot of softened butter, and a bunch of chocolate. Yeah, today needs chocolate.

In case you are having a day like ours, I am sneaking in the time to post this recipe. Li'l Empress is sitting (but still ornery!) with a coloring book and grousing loudly about the fact that she has to color with the same 5 crayons she's had for oh, about 2 minutes now. Whip up a batch of these delectable treats for your gang. Maybe it'll turn your day around. If nothing else, it's given me a break from the incessant hitting of my leg by a particularly grumpy baby. Have I mentioned how ornery she seems today?

Or maybe you'll be in such a sugar-chocolate-goodness-fog that you won't care if your little one is Still. ORNERY.

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 c. flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 c. quick oats
6 oz. chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350. Combine sugar and butter till creamy in large bowl. Add egg and vanilla.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa, soda, and salt. Add slowly to butter mixture.
  • Add oats and chocolate chips. Dough will be very heavy and stiff.
  • Form tablespoon-sized balls and place on cookie sheet. Flatten slightly.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes. Yields about 4 doz.
I used my Pampered Chef mini melon-baller and didn't flatten the cookies. They turned out soft and gooey.

This recipe is from my Mom. I believe she got it from one of her local newspapers.

Is it nap time yet?!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

When you are a home-schooler,
every day can be Crazy Hat Day!

For more Wordless Wednesday fun,
head over to 5 Minutes for Mom.
Just don't enter that contest.

I SOOOOOOOO Want to Win This One!

I love this book. I loved it when I was little. I loved it when my boys were little. I love it still. I am amazed by the illustrations - monsters and other imaginary creatures who aren't scary in the least. I'm thrilled by the creative mind of little Max. I am captivated by the sweet innocence and childish antics of the monsters. I sigh with contentment each and every time I turn the last page and close the book.

In fact, I love it so much that when the boys were little, I snuck it into their library bags whenever I could find it on the shelves. Even if we had just read it last month together. I just confessed to them this week when we were watching the trailer. I think they finally understand why they could recite it in their sleep by the time they were each 4 or 5.

(They still don't know that the reason we watched the Maurice Sendak PBS show
- I think it was called 7 Little Monsters -
almost every week was because I was so in love with those monsters.
Smart Momma, she just named them 1, 2, 3 and so on.
I'll bet she saved tons in baby name books.
Yes, I made my little ones sit with me through
countless half-hour episodes of PBS for a show about monsters.
What can I say? If it was wrong, I don't wanna be right.)


Shockingly enough, we've never owned our own copy of the book. That all could change. With this contest.

Head over and join the fun. Whether I win or not, I see a family movie night in The Gang's near future!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hugs All Around

Last night, while sucking the last dregs of life out of our Mommy-proclaimed "Jammy Day," a beautiful thing happened.

Li'l Empress clambered up into my lap. And asked for a "hud" ("hug" in her two year old speak). Not terribly rare, as she is an affectionate little thing. But then she surprised all of us and asked for "Keesh" (her speak for LadyBug) to join us. And wonder of wonders . . .

For the first time in the 14 months that we have been home together, Li'l Empress initiated, tolerated and, I daresay, reveled in a hug shared between all three of us girls. I even snuck in a few kisses on all the little cheeks resting against my shoulders and arms.

I got to sit on the couch, hugging both my girls at the same time. With no crying. No jealousy. No pushing away. No hitting or scowling. Just a warm, cuddly hug.

It may not seem like a big deal to some of you. But here at The Gang's house, it was actually a fairly important milestone. You see, Li'l Empress has been very comfortable giving and receiving affection to all of us in the house, INDIVIDUALLY. But catching sight of me hugging The Boss, or worse, one of the other kids, has caused anxiety and jealousy for her since coming home to us. We've been careful not to antagonize the jealousy or increase the anxiety while still expressing healthy affection toward each other. She has had to be reassured each time that I am still her Momma and that I love and cherish her, too. Sharing me over these last 14 months has been one of those lingering adjustments that came along much more slowly than other adaptations she's made.

I don't know what prompted yesterday's change. I don't know why all of a sudden last night was a good night to decide to share Mommy. It might have been the scads of free-floating testosterone after all the football on Sunday and all the baseball on Monday. Maybe she was needing the reassurance of female connection. I don't know. But I'll take it.

We celebrated by sharing hugs all around. It was a good night for hugging.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Grab a Tissue

You'll need it when you watch this one. God is still performing miracles today. This video is about many different layers of those miraculous moments that God orchestrates for those He loves. Grab your tissue.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Something Good is Goin' On!

No Hands But Ours is one of my favorite adoption sites. It was formed by a great group of intentional, passionate moms who feel called to get the Word out about special needs adoptions and orphan care around the world. I've shared with you before about my bloggy crush on Stefanie, and my profound respect for Tonggu Mommy. I regularly keep up with Amie and of course, we can't forget Wild Olives' site for awesome, feminine t-shirts that get the Word out there. And raise funds for orphans all over the world at the same time.

But the No Hands But Ours site has just increased their awesome amazing-ness by adding some guest bloggers to the mix. They are now featuring other adoptive blogger moms whom I've followed for a long time. These great contributors are now writing from their hearts. Sharing their stories and experiences. All for the purpose of further educating and raising awareness about special needs adoptions.

Something good is goin' on over there and you really shouldn't miss it.

Tell them that The Gang's Momma sent you!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mixin' It Up

When The Boss and I were newlyweds, traveling together was an adventure. It represented a chunk of solitude that we didn't often have readily available on the everyday. Between his two jobs, the crazy hours at my job, our volunteer youth ministry hours, and plugging in to our new young marrieds' group at church, we had a pretty busy life. Breaking away together to go visit the parents or other college friends was a double bonus: time alone together in the car sandwiching time with loved ones. We had a couple traditions we followed for every car trip: he stocked up on hot coffee in his super-sized mug, I grabbed a big bag of Cheetos to share, and we packed all our favorite 80's music (tapes !) for the road.

Now, when The Gang travels together, especially for long car trips, we have a whole process we follow to ensure that no one gets too antsy, too hungry, or too bored. "Entertainment bags" are packed, drinks are readied, personal music devices are charged, books are stacked. But there's one thing that all my Gang members really look forward to, one thing they all cheer for when the bags are packed. One thing that they count on as our unique way of traveling together.

The Gang's Travel Snack Mix

Here's a loose rendition of the ingredients. Feel free to add, substitute, or delete whatever suits your family's preferences. Go crazy, have fun. It's really more about making a tradition or a memory that binds you all together. And, well, it's also a lot about keeping everyone occupied. In a healthier way than gallons of coffee and big bags of messy, greasy Cheetos!

The Gang's Travel Snack Mix
Goldfish baked pretzels
Goldfish whole grain crackers
M&M's or chocolate chips
Raisins and/or Craisins
Dry-Roasted Peanuts
Mix together in whatever proportions best meet your tastes. Scoop into individual zipping sandwich bags. Pass out when the crowd gets restless. Enjoy the happy contented sighs. And Daddy's relief that another hour can pass on the road without bickering or grumpiness!

(Incidentally, I occasionally mix something like this up for game day treats too. I also have a great crock pot recipe for a cereal snack mix that I can share. Maybe next week, for the Sunday football frenzy!)


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hold Your Horses!

I know, I know. My last post about the dining room re-do left y'all hanging. I'm so sorry. Apparently, it's created quite a bit of angst for a couple of you :) but we are at an impasse.

You see, The Boss was really pushing to get that second coat of paint up before Saturday afternoon. The motivator behind that was the five days of family time that was to follow. Five days of being surrounded by my siblings, their spouses, and all my gorgeous sweet nieces and nephews. Five days of long conversations, lots of laughter, and hugs whenever I felt like one. Or twelve. Five days of bliss.

Saturday night, most of us gathered at my sister's home for a big pasta dinner. Pasta for 22, that is. Since it was just around the corner, we didn't actually show up till it was time to eat. We had to finish cleaning up the work area in the dining room, and get the guest bed ready for Grandma and Grandpa. And I was shopping for some fall clothes that could also be used for our family picture scheduled for Sunday.

Sunday, we met at my brother's church to celebrate his ordination. I say we, but to give you an accurate picture, I mean that 21 of us trooped in together to the auditorium. Shortly after we arrived, my sister-in-law's family added another 4 or 5 to those numbers. His church did a wonderful job of honoring him and his sweet wife for their service to the church family, and honoring my folks for raising my brother in a manner that set him apart for that service. It was a beautiful service, and partnered well with the 10th anniversary celebration of the church's ministry to the community.

After the service, the church hosted a fabulous luncheon for the whole crowd. And a friend of ours met us for a group photo session. If you are local and looking for a great photographer who is patient, creative, and great with kids, may I suggest this lady? You will love the work she does. And the fact that she maintained great composure and a sense of humor while corralling 15 rowdy, playful kids and 10 chatty adults is still a marvel to me!

We spent the rest of Sunday afternoon, Monday, and Tuesday hanging out together between the three local homes, chatting, eating, laughing and shooing the kids back outside for fresh air and wide open spaces to make their noise and mess. My sister and her family headed back to Massachusetts on Wednesday morning, leaving a still silence in their place. The Boss and I kept commenting that it was just TOO quiet now. While I kept busy getting laundry running, I felt really melancholy about the end of all the fun. All the togetherness. I'm so grateful for the time we carved out of our regular routines. I'm so thankful for time with family to celebrate the most important moments of our lives. But I'm really sad that it's over, at least till Christmas. It's the hardest part of being spread out over the distances. And the job restrictions. And school calendar limitations.

So today, we are settling nicely into our regular Thursday routine. Writing the bulletin. Catching up on my blog. Running laundry. Washing dishes. Prepping dinner. Catching up on school. Entertaining and occupying Li'l Empress. And so on.

And the dining room re-do? The walls are waiting for mirrors and prints. Although now they wait while covered in a lovely shade of . . . . (what, you didn't think I was going to TELL you what color we painted, did you?!) Curtains still need to be hung. Shades must be purchased. Furniture must be arranged. The details are coming together nicely in my mind. However, it's all going to have to be JUST in my head for a few more days . . .

We are going to be out of town tomorrow, enjoying a day trip here. And on Saturday, we travel north to be with my folks. They are celebrating their 25th year in ministry at their church. And I get another weekend with family, albeit a much smaller crowd this time around.

I promise, we will get around to finishing that room. We have to, we have another round of company coming soon and we will need the space! Until then, well, you are just gonna have to hold your horses.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Aaaahhh, the Suspense

The first coat of paint is up on the dining room walls. And it's even better than I pictured in my head. Rich. Warm. Inviting.

So inviting.

And that's only the first coat, without any trim work done yet.

I was going to show you a picture. But I think I'd rather keep you all in suspense.

The big reveal will be so much more fun that way.

At least for me, that is.

Have a great weekend. Try not to bite your nails while you wait for it.

The big reveal, that is.

Aaaaaah, nothing like a little suspense to keep my readers coming back. All three or seven of you.