Thursday, December 29, 2011

Birth Order

Anyone want to guess where these guys come in line? 
Yes, how did you guess. 
They are the youngest-borns of our family.
Just how did one family manage to get 3 of them? 

 And then you always have those who want to jump ship on their birth order :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

We do Thanksgiving..

It seems to have become a theme in my life.

Just doing.

Maybe because it is expected
Maybe out of mindless habit
Maybe as a way of avoiding thinking.
Whatever the reason, I'm ready for change.(and not the kind Obama promised)
I'm done doing Thanksgiving. I'm done looking at it as an event. That day that I "give thanks"
It needs to become my lifestyle.
While I somewhat revel in the melancholy part of my personality, it does not tend to lend itself to gratefulness.
Did you know you should brush your teeth for a full 3 minutes?

No this is not a rabbit trail...

Set the timer, pick up the tooth brush, and get busy. Brushing and making a list of all things you are thankful for. I would suggest a mental list over an audible one. Unless you enjoy cleaning your mirror and all things near your sink. In a week or two, you are sure to notice a difference. Both in your dental health, and the health of your "Thanksgiving attitude"

Just for Lucy & Duane.
You were represented here at thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Failed Brakes

That is what I am thankful for today.

My husband called me when I had just pulled into work. Letting me know that tonight's plans would have to change. When he pulled into the driveway at his work, the brakes on his truck gave out.
My first question was if he was okay. 
Yes he is fine.
My next thought was to breath a grateful prayer.
Not only for his safety this morning, but for the safety this past weekend. We were at the cabin. In that truck.
Over the mountains
On hairpin turns
Two hours there,
Two hours home.
Turnpike, tons of cars, moderately heavy traffic.
And here we are safe & sound.
Tonight when he came home from work, I hugged him a little tighter, and once again breathed a prayer of thankfulness
For Safety
For failed brakes, that remind me that I serve a mighty God.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

3 years

Three years ago...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bug on the Windsheild

Yes, it had been one of those days.
I woke up in the morning right on time. Twelve hours -give or take- from when I had fallen asleep. I wasn't feeling the greatest the night before, and truth be told those 12 hours didn't do much to improve the way I felt.
My contacts were all dried out from sleeping with them in.
I got my breakfast, packed my lunch & headed to work.
Despite leaving in plenty of time, after getting behind a tractor, unable to pass; I punched in at 7:32.
It was a long day.
Stress of trying to get all things on my list done.
Added pressure of last minute things to get done.
Till I looked at the clock & realized it was 5:00, and past time for me to be headed home; I was feeling the need for another 12 hour night.
Driving home i was making mental lists of all i needed to do in the evening before being able to get some sleep. I felt ever so much like a bug, and my mental list combined with my day was the windshield coming at me at 45 mph.
I was in stop & go traffic. I like that even less than following tractors. At one of the "stop" times, i saw movement in the top right corner of my windshield. And there was a little bug crawling across my windshield. I actually smiled at the irony of my previous thoughts of feeling like a bug splattered on a windshield.
I watched as he crawled ever so slowly. His antennae waving in the air. Antennae that look to be only ever so slightly attached to his body. I began to marvel at my Creator's handiwork. Thinking about the bug & how delicately he was designed, and God taking care of his every need.
The thought of God taking care of me, and knowing how many hairs are on my head, really hit home for the first time. Or at least in a way that I never thought of before.
I am a "make my world work" type of person. I have plans, I figure out what I need to do to get the results I expect. When my world doesn't work, I get stressed, I get frustrated, and often times to my shame, I only then cry out to God.
Even then it is "Lord, help me make this work" not "Lord here is the situation, I give it to You"
Amazing how sometimes all it takes is something like a bug on the windshield for God to get your attention.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Art class

I clearly remember the third grade.  I was sitting at my desk working on history homework. Art class had just finished and there was time left to do some homework before the end of the day. I raised my hand, and asked the teacher - "Why can't we have art class everyday?" In my mind it was a valid question. We had history every day- why not art? She smiled that "oh-silly little child" smile, and said: Because if we only did art what would you do when you get older? I smartly replied "be a mom".  The bell rang & school was over for the day.
    Fast forward quite a few years & here I am. While I am deeply grateful for my education in other subjects than art; (In fact I do quite like history) I still wish every day was art class.
As a child I had a very interesting imagination. Picking all kinds of weeds & tossing them together to make salad to serve from my McDonald's drive thru window. (the playhouse window) The salad generally got served with a mud burger and fries (twigs). I colored shapes on a piece of paper and dumped moms olive oil it so it would become transparent like a stained glass window. And then came the day when mom said I could use her sewing machine. Bits and pieces of scraps turned to misshapen pieces of doll or barbie clothes. I was in heaven.
   I still wish it was Art class every day. It's not. I'm not a mom yet, so those things I learned in school do come in handy.
   I still get my craft fix as often as I can. My newest venture is opening my own etsy shop. Right now I have some fabric flower headbands in it, but I also have some hair ties & pins that aren't listed. I dream of a shop full of little clothes and shoes, but for now its headbands.
  The other way I let out my inner artist ( I say that word very loosely!) is photography. I love it. I take pictures in my head even when I don't have my camera. There is just something about creating, and capturing that perfect moment, that has a profound grip on my heart.
So, while it's not art class every day all day for me. It's something I'm holding on to.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Maine Event

Saturday morning sunrise
   Anticipation is half the fun. Or so they say. It's been looked forward to for almost a year. It's been dreamed of, thought out, planned. Now it has already been here & it's over...But what a wonderful time it was. ;)
  We left in the early hours of Saturday morning (9/10) and headed out on our week long adventure to Maine. We went with friends of ours Lisa & Brent & their son William. We filled our week with quaint towns, lighthouses, hiking, beach-combing, good food, games, great memories, and lots of pictures.
At the Portland Head Light

The Goddard Mansion at Williams State Park in Portland

Weathered Building Scrumptious-ness

Our attempt at Pasta & Fresh Mussels

Lovely sunset views from the back yard.

boats - water - happiness

small town bakery

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. The one on the Maine State Quarter

Handsome husband

Went to the docks to get some "lobstah" for supper the one night.

our house

Our Last Maine Sunset

The boot at L.L. Bean

 We had an absolutely amazing time. A week that I will never forget.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hello, my name is Susie Housewife, & I'm a multi-tasker

You know those days when you feel pretty good about yourself? Well, today just might be one of them.
I slept in. (dont worry, that wasn't part of the multitasking)
The kind of sleeping in where you sleep solid. Not the listen-to-the-neighbor-mow-his-yard, or the-dog-barking-loudly, but I'm still sleeping, kind of sleep.
Then, I ate breakfast. A healthy bowl of Quaker oats with raw milk. And yes, the cereal was healthy, cause Bob Harper eats it.

Now, on to the Susie Housewife part. I would say Donna Reed, but what I had for lunch (cold pizza) puts me below her league. I'm pretty sure. Plus she would do it in heels & pearls instead of twisted up bed-head, and bare feet.

Marinara Sauce
Like I said. Susie Housewife. After breakfast I started Marinara Sauce to can. I also started the washer. I currently have my eye on the canner, wherein sits 20-some pints of sauce, with more next to it waiting to go in. plus, i was working on these little guys...
Eggplant headband
They are going to single-handedly (along with many other that look very much like them) get me & C to Ireland for an anniversary trip. Not saying which anniversary. Might be the 5th, or it might be the 50th. We're not sure yet. Regardless of if they sell or not., It is so good to be able to create.
I guess thats what canning is too. If you want to call it that.
Really though I think this is pretty too. And it will taste good later on. Pretty & functional & I'm all about that! ;)
Last weeks peaches.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bedtime Prayers...

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I snore while my wife's awake.
 I pray the Lord, dont let my life be at stake.

This should be C's prayer tonight...

I'm not particularly mad or annoyed at him. At least I hadn't been. He has this thing he does. You know "I'm not even really tired" then head hits pillow & he's asleep before I even finish brushing my teeth. And belive me I am not the kind of  stand-in-front-of-the-sink-forever-brushing-your-teeth type of girl.
 I am however the type of girl that lays in bed thinking of ways she could wake up her husband.
I feel like I'm 12 again. I feel like i did every Sunday afternoon when my sister decided to take a nap & I didn't want to. I would whine & complain that this is the only time I get to hang out with her & try to put her on a guilt trip. (yeah I did that at 12)
That's how I feel.
If I cant sleep why should he.
So my list of ways to wake him....
  • I'll start out subtle. Lay on my back with my knees bent & let them "fall over" on him in my sleep....
  • Flail my arms, moan & groan, pretending I am having a nightmare till he wakes up & "wake's me" from my horrible dream.
  • Use my cell phone to call the house phone. Answer the house phone & say "I think you have the wrong number"
  • Scream at the top of my lungs, then try to convince him he was dreaming.
  • Point the laser beam out the window at the dog pen to make Jack bark. Hop back in bed, & convince Curt to go out & see what his problem is. Turn off the laser before Curt gets out there.
  • Change the time on the clock, make the alarm go off & try to convince him it really is morning, it's just dark cause there is a thunderstorm brewing
  • Repeat number two, adding in some kicking & punching.
  • Turn his pager up the whole way & call in an emotional problem at our address. Cause that's what is gonna happen if I cant sleep soon!

And tell me why is it when I finally roll the whole way around & finally get comfortable, that he feels the urge to interrupt his snoring, roll on his side & breath on me?

Disclaimer: I do not have homicidal tendencies,  am not in the practice of making crank 911 calls,, & I do love my husband dearly :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is it strange...

Is it strange that I am particularly aware of my arm hair when it storms? They say before you get struck by lightning the hair on your arms stands up.Yes its storming, & yes I hate storms.
Something woke me up. I'm not sure what exactly, but as I was drifting back to sleep, I saw it lightning....through my eyelids. So now I'm awake.
Our bedroom basically has two walls of windows, so yeah it lights up in here. It's really quiet outside. I hear the jangle of Jack's dog license. I guess the stillness woke him up too.
My husband however is preparing wood for this coming winter. It's apparently gonna be a long cold one.
Every time it lightnings it illuminates the ceiling fan. For some reason it looks kinda creepy, & if I let my imagination go, I'll be up all night squeezing the life out of a  meat tenderizer to use as protection from the mass murderer that is outside my deck doors.
Its starting to rain.
I can hear it on the tin roof of the garage.
I'm suddenly rethinking the placement of our pool only a couple yards from our bedroom. Doesn't lightning strike water faster?
Its in an all out pour now.
How's this for a middle of the night weather report?
I guess the storms not too bad. I haven't woken C up yet. I'm liking the idea of blogging on the laptop in a pitch black room during a thunderstorm. The screen is pretty blinding. Makes me not see the lightning.
Storms are such a mixed thing for me.
I hate thunderstorms. They scare me. Probably cause I'm too worried about my hair standing on end. Maybe because lightning can cause fires, and fire scares me ever since I was a little girl.
Childhood is so intriguing.
So many misconceptions turn into lasting fears.
A strike started a barn fire when I was little. My dad was a fireman. He was gone most the night. I've hated storms ever since, that's probably when I started hating fires too. I used to have recurring dreams that as punishment i had to sit on a chair while my mom was working at the desk. There would be fire creeping towards me (from a log that fell from the wood stove) and she would make me sit there as it crept closer & closer. 
My mom is not mean, I don't remember actually having to sit in that chair as punishment, but I did hate the wood stove for as long as I can remember. If I was home alone, the stove would go out and I would freeze before even thinking of putting more wood in it.
Sometimes misconceptions are placed in our childhood minds by others.
One of my friends was really into hockey when he was little. His dad told him that the lightning was when God scored a shot, & the thunder was all the angels applauding. He also was told that God was rearranging the living room furniture. Guess God has lots of sofas cause its really rumbling.
On the other side of hating storms...
They also amaze me. I can just see God reaching out and touching the sky and lightning streaking away from his touch. Kinda like over-sized static electricity when I touch the metal file cabinet at work. When I'm not alone, or awoken from sleep.
Speaking of waking up, C just rolled over and mumbled something about using black powder to kill a black bear and left out a little chortle. Think it's safe to say he's not waking up anytime soon.
Think I'll try to put in my earbuds and call it a night...or whatever time it is...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

In no certain order...

Things that annoy me, disturb me, or generally amuse me...

1. People who do a year's worth of banking at the drive thru. It is a drive THRU not a park & STAY
2. Registration stickers on all 4 corners of a liscense plate. If they were meant to be in all 4 corners, there would be an indentation on all 4 corners.
3. Following a truck, or being followed by a truck.
4. People who leave their turn signals on when they have no intention of turning
5. Meeting people I know when I am shopping. Not because I dont like the people, just because it feels weird to have little half conversations in the middle of shopping.
6. Backseat drivers. When I'm driving or even if I am a passenger.
7.The fact that I am simply incapable of using a hot glue gun without burning my fingers.
8. Matching socks. I'm gonna throw out all my socks & buy ones that are all the same brand.
9.Unflushed public toilets
10. Putting something somewhere so you'll know where it is when you need it, & then forgeting where you put it.
11. The fact that my husband can fall asleep the moment his head hits the pillow.
12. When you get disconnected mid phone conversation. Do you call them or wait till they call you?
13. Bluetooth headsets - I just cant get used to people walking around in the store looking like they are talking to themselves
14. "floppy fish" handshakes.
15. The scan button on the radio/constantly flipping channels
16. comb-overs
17. mocking birds that copy car alarms
18. people that dominate conversations & can always make it pertain to 1 certain topic
19. roadkill
20. talking, laughing, or walking in one's sleep

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's May 22nd...

and the world is still here.
No rapture. Not that I was expecting it at 6pm as Mr Harold Camping predicted.
The world didnt end; but someone's world ended today.
Someone died today.
Actually about 154,138 someones died today. Their world ended. Were they ready?
So maybe like me you weren't looking for Christ to return at 6pm, but are you looking for Him to return?
He's coming back.
Not at 6pm on May 21 2001, but maybe May 22,2011. Or maybe it wont be for another 100 years.
We dont know when, but it will happen.
Ready or not. He's coming.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I have not yet begun to fight...

His name was John Paul
He had two first names - that always intrigues me
He was born in Scotland
There is something I love about the Scottish brogue
He deserted the slave trade industry because it disgusted him
He didn't let the money mold his morals
When a case of yellow fever claimed the lives of both the ship captain & the second in command, he stepped up.
He took on the responsibility.
Somewhere along the way, he added a last name of Jones.

And although the above things would give me plenty of reason to think he's pretty cool, that is not what I like about him.

But despite the good, the bad or the ugly, we remember him for something else.

"I have not yet begun to fight"

These words were said in the midst of battle when a British sailor was taunting him to surrender.

Those words I decided need to be my creed. So many people; me as well. We fight, but not for the right things. 
We fight 
-out of selfishness. 
-because we think our way is right & their way is wrong.
-to hide the fact that we are really fighting ourselves
-just for the sake of fighting

But I want to fight
-for relationships
-against injustice
-for the lost soul
-against the power of Satan
-for the person who has no voice
-for what is right.

When everyone else thinks it would be reasonable to give up. I want to say "I have not yet begun to fight" When all within us & without is begging us to give up, taunting us that it's not worth it; I want to fight. And I want to fight strong. Never giving up. Not being content to sit back when the there is a fight worth fighting. But to be there full force. Fighting for the right thing, fighting against self.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Windshield Wiper Judgeyness

So, I realize this is the internet, & I'm about to share this with the world, but I think I'm OK with that.
I have this fear of judgment that I am met with every time it rains. It is one of my insecurities that I am working through.

Every time I go away when it rains I am faced with how fast to run my windshield wipers. If I run them too slow, I can't see, but if I run them faster I always wonder if people look at me like I'm some obsessively crazed windshield wiper maniac.
I think I care more what other people think of me when I'm driving than I do at any other time. I distinctly remember a rainy day about 1 1/2 years ago. My car was in the shop for a face-lift, and the rental I had was a Mazda 5.

                             Now for those of you, who haven't a clue what a vehicle is
                             unless you own it or aspire to own it; A Mazda 5 is a cross
                             between a very long car and a very short mini van. You
                             know you have "toy" poodles? This is a "toy" mini van.

Well, it was on that rainy day that I was at a red light & realized that this van has a windshield wiper for the back window. I promptly turned it on, & after a lengthy giggle fit, turned it back off wondering if it looks as much like a dog wagging it's tail to the people in line behind me, as it did to me.

As I said, I am working through it. I have reached the point that I can now see that the reason I feel judged is because I "Windshield wiper judge" others that are on the road.  You know... there is always that one person coming the other way in a light sprinkling of rain that has their wipers going to the beat of Flight of the Bumblebee.

Like I said...I'm working on it. Lucky for me It's not raining today. It will be a judge free drive home :)

Friday, February 25, 2011


Sometimes I wish I could go back...
*To the days when my friends & I could entertain ourselves for several hours at walmart & leave without buying anything but gum.
*To the days when we bought cakes to celebrate Friday nights off.
*To the days where we tried to see how many girls fit in a bus bathroom...and a telephone booth.
*To the days where the setting summer sun only marked the beginning of a wonderful time.
*To the days of driving to roxburry listening to Rogers & Hammerstein soundtrack of Sound of Music, & pretending our stuffed animals were being stalked
*To the days of CD Players & large headphones with lots of splitters so we could all listen to the music together.
*To the days we (mostly me) would stand defiantly with my face in the wind. (I vaguely think this had something to do with lyrics from a song...maybe from Paul Overstreet or Midsouth?)
*To the days of corny inside jokes that sent us into gales of laughter. Inside jokes that don't even mean anything anymore.
*To the days when we passed Cd's around like prized possessions - cause they were.
*To the days of 6 girls sleeping sideways on a bed just so we could room together at the cabin.
*To the days where we talked & laughed till we cried...
*To the days where the best thing was a new roll of film & time with my friends.

Sometimes I wish I could go back...But only sometimes.

*Disclaimer: This post has a judgement free zone wrapped around it....I realize one or more of these memories may display things that are no longer a part of my character :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011


You know those moments that are just ordinary, & all the sudden, that ordinary moment turns into a moment of utter clarity. It can be a phrase, a song, or just a insignificant greeting card saying. But at that moment it speeks so deeply into your life & to your particular place in life, that you will simply remember it for the rest of your life.

I'm sure if I would think for a little I could come up with many instances, but there are a few that come to mind immediately. And alot of them have to do with songs.
I'm a words girl. I read, I write, I talk. Words do it for me. So, songs do it for me. Lyrics can be so powerful. Words are powerful.

It's been about a year. We went to a Casting Crowns concert. It was kinda a last minute thing. We had other plans, but when the opportunity came up, we took it. Our seats were in the very top row at the Giant Center. As far away from the stage as you could be without being outside or on the roof. But it was monumental.
At the time, I was struggling with alot of questions. The carpet had been ripped out from under me, and I felt like my world was a snow globe being shaken by an over-exuberant 2 year old. I thought I had been dealing with my "issues". But it's funny how they can come back up with no warning.
Especially when someone else puts your feelings into words in the form of a song.
When CC sang Praise you in this storm everyone starts singing along, and as the lyrics were up there on the jumbotron, I realized for the first time that the lyrics were praise you in this storm, not the storm, and that was the first chip at my heart. Cause I was in a very real storm to me, and to sing that I will Praise God in the midst of the storm, was alot different than telling God that I would praise Him in this storm. The song starts with these words.
      I was sure by now That You would have reached down
      And wiped our tears away, stepped in and saved the day
That was exactly what I was feeling. In all honesty I think I may have been a bit angry at God. I know, how un-Christian right? I was angry about injustice. I was angry that the power of my words were  being demeened & nullified. I was angry that God wasnt stepping in & saving the day. I was feeling trapped in a situation that was out. of.  my.  control.
     I remember when I stumbled in the windYou heard my cry,You raised me up again
    But my strength is almost gone How can I carry on if I can't find You
I was having a very hard time finding God in the midst of my struggles. Oh there were many times in my life I could look back & see how God was at work in my life. How He had made things work out. But in my state that day, I couldn't see it. I was fighting for all I was worth. I was seeking truth. But I was being met with brick walls. I was drained. And in my human mind I could not see how God - a God of truth, justice, love, mercy, & hope- could be found in my situation.
   I'll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands

   For You are who You are no matter where I am
   And every tear I've cried You hold in Your hand
   You never left my side and though my heart is torn
   I will praise You in this storm
It was that moment in the darkenss of the nosebleed section at a Casting Crowns concert that I hadn't even planned to be at. God was there & Hope was restored. Hope in the future. hope that the injustice would end. Hope that I would not be in this storm for the rest of my life. Granted it wasn't over. But there was the final realization that this is not all that God has in store for me. And...that He wasn't going anywhere.

As I said, it's been a year. A year of growth, & a year of realizing just how great my God is. Not great as in "that was a great sunset" but great in the way that He is my Strong Tower, my Shelter in the Storm. My Defender, my Abba.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The love of money...

Is some days the root of much amusement. :)

It all started back on a cold day in late December.
C called me on his way home from work. He needed to make a stop to check on a friends elderly mother who after taking some pills began to feel ill. Friend called C since he is an EMT to see if he could check up on her since he (friend) was about an hour from home.
So... C did. She was fine, just happened to take them on an empty stomach.
About a week later, we got a little envelope in our mailbox. In little old lady handwriting, it was addressed to C. It held a sincere thank-you note, and a $20 bill. While it was unnecessary, & certainly unexpected, C hung on to that $20 like gold.
                   See, before C & I  got together he paid cash for
                   simply everything. Me not so much. My Debit  Card
                   was my sidekick, & the two of us got along like very
                   old friends.
                   After we got married, by default I became the keeper
                   of the checkbook. Perhaps because C's way of balancing
                   his account was "withdraw cash, look at balance on
                   receipt" :)
                  Once we got settled into our budget, we talked of doing
                   a monthly spending allowance. You know, for the snack
                   thing at work, or in C's case a soda every now & then.
                   Time goes on, and the whole allowance thing kinda fell
                   by the wayside.

All that brings us to last night. I'm laying in bed, & see C frantically digging through his work pants pockets, moving stuff around at the head of the bed, trying to look down between the wall & the mattress. Suddenly he gives me an accusing look & says "Did you take me dollar?"
At that point I cracked up laughing. Like that was going to help my case for innocence....I finally convinced him I did not take it from him, & it probably came out of his pocket somewhere & is lost.
The dear lost dollar was the last of his $20. He gave me a sad look, and we went to sleep.  I fell asleep thinking that perhaps I am depriving my husband a little too much if he is getting sad over $1.
Then this morning, in the murky blurry eyed moments before I was completely awake, I see a folded dollar held up in front of my nose & an excited-because-it's-Christmas kind of voice say....I found my dollar! 

And that my friends is the man I love :)