Monday, August 29, 2011

Runnin' and Swimmin' and Cheerin'

This was a jam-packed, accomplishment-filled weekend!  I'm so proud of my family, and here's why:  these events were prepared for with an intense amount of WORK!  When I look at these two men and my two girls, I don't see just the day, but the days and days and days of work they have put into preparing themselves for these events.  I love a strong work-ethic.  Love.  It.  And it is especially deep in both the men that live in my home.  They could both be poster-boys for the "Just Do It" campaign.  They just do it without complaining and with a steady consistency.  So, although I have tremendously strong mixed feeling about bragging on accomplishments, I have no qualms about bragging on these men:  their character and their work ethic has earned a little pat on the back!

First up was Alex:  running the Portland to Coast High School Relay Challenge this weekend.  His team was made up mostly of his high school cross country team, with a couple others from different schools.  Alex has been running this summer.  He has logged over 500 miles. This relay involves a team of 12 people running 130 miles.  They each take two legs, just over 10 miles each.  Alex's first leg was a 7 mile run in the middle of the night on a 2 lane road with very little shoulder....I made the mistake of letting him show me the google map of his route before he left.  Eek!  As it turns out, due to a chaotic scheduling of start times, there was massive traffic from team vans trying to get to the exchanges, so he was never totally alone out there.  I wish I would have known that as I was trying to go to sleep!  He was very disappointed in the time of his first leg, he desperately needed to...use the facilities...the entire run.  He lost about 2 minutes on that.  But his second leg was much faster, and he breezed through it.  Brad and I drove down to Seaside very early Saturday to watch the team finish.  So much excitement!  A neat group of kids, and I loved the camaraderie and support they showed to each other!

They load the team members into this chute when a race official radios in that your runner is on the promenade, then all the runners join in for the last several yards to cross the finish together.

official team photo

Alex sporting his "major award" sun glasses that he won at a booth

After eating a HUGE breakfast when they were done, one of the moms went back down to the beach to check in and see what place they came in...

this was the moment they learned they took 1st!

FIRST!!!  Out of 50 high school teams, they finished first!  14 hours and 55 minutes!  Big accomplishment, so proud of them.

happy, exhausted team!

On the drive home, Alex fell asleep before we were even completely out of Seaside and slept the whole way.  At one point, he sat up, leaned forward and said, 'Hey! (mumble, mumble, mumble...)" 

I said, "WHAT????"

To which he responds, "I SAID, do I still have to run any more???" 

We assured him he was done and he could go back to sleep.  I think he was asleep before I even finished answering him.

Sunday, it was Brad's turn.  This was his third year doing the Park to Park Swim.  It's a 1.4 mile swim across Lake Washington, a fundraiser for Children's Hospital.  A pretty special tie-in for us, one that Brad swims with a mind and heart full of his daughter.

And this man was first out of the water this year!!  He started a couple minutes after the start of wave 3, trying to avoid some of the crowd, and he passed everyone and emerged first out!  So proud of him!  Unfortunately, I had to stay home to be at the cheer stuff on time, so just Alex went.  Alex took one picture.  And the picture, although beautiful to behold, is not appropriate for this blog.  For my eyes only.  Pitter. Pat.  Next...

Also on Sunday, it was time for the big football Jamboree!  The girls were super excited, and they cheered so sweetly.  I had 18 of my 20, and they did an amazing job.  So proud of this bunch of girls! 

Later in the day it was Brenna's turn with her squad.  A smaller squad this year, but a powerful bunch!  I love this mix of girls, and those that were there Sunday were all girls that wanted to be there, and it showed.  Happy, peppy, loud and together: everything a cheer squad should be! 

being cheerful

being pretty

being silly

And oh, boy, did everyone in this house sleep good last night!!  Great weekend, great memories made!  So thankful that we are following that up with a calm Monday.  The days of summer are counting down, and we are enjoying the moments...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Five Question Friday

Oh, hang on!  Two weeks in a row of these 5 Questions?  I think I just started a trend for myself. A trend of taking very simple questions and totally overthinking them.  Perfect.

So without any further rambling, I'll get right to the overthinking with maybe a bit of rambling thrown in.  Just for fun.

1.  Did you make any fun purchases this week?

Define fun.  For me, fun depends on the day.  So let me think about what was fun in the moment.  Oh, I did buy myself a running shirt with the cool "O" design.  Really fun for me, and yet ironic since I now haven't run for two weeks.  So I use the term "running shirt" loosely.  Most all of my other purchases were for other people, namely three other people getting ready for the start of a new school year.  But tonight I am purchasing movie tickets.  For two.  THAT will be fun.

2.  If you could go to any musical concert, what would it be?

Hmm.  This is a hard one to think about.  I go to a lot of musical concerts.  A LOT.  So I can sincerely answer that I would hands-down choose any concert that includes one of my children.  Especially one that pays.  And then beyond that, I just don't know.  I'm not a big crowd person, and concerts usually involved crowds.  But I do love music.  LOVE music.

3.  What is your least favorite and most favorite house chore?

Okay, my least favorite is doing anything that I JUST did.  For example, I really enjoy cleaning my kitchen.  The first time.  But when I leave the room and come back 12 minutes later and step on crumbs and see something smeared on the counter.  I truly enjoy cleaning my windows.  So bright, so shiny.  Then I walk by a window that was just cleaned and see a smear from someone leaning their nose/forehead into the window.  Sometimes a child, sometimes a dog.  Laundry, when I keep up with it, I love.  But always, right when I am putting the last load into the dryer, one child will come out of their bedroom with an armload of clothes that had somehow escaped their first pass through when I told them to all bring me their dirty clothes. 

My favorite?  Hmm.  I vacuum every single day.  And I love the instant gratification of seeing the floor, even if ever-so-briefly, clean and in order.  And I love to dust.  And call me crazy, but I do love to scrub a toilet.  Well, the toilets in my own house.  And I love to pull laundry out of the dryer and smell it.  And I love putting freshly washed sheets on my bed.

4.  Would you prefer new appliances or new clothes?

I love to cook.  I love gadgetry that makes cooking more fun.  I love my oven so much.  I love the faithfulness of my dishwasher.  Pile her up, squirt in some soap, push a button, and she cleans all my dishes for me.  How can you not show favoritism towards that?  And I am not a good clothes shopper.  I do not know what fits me, what looks good...I get overwhelmed and walk away very easily.  And yet appliances are major purchases and clothes are not.  So this is a toss-up.  But the edge goes to appliances.

5.  Miracle Whip or Mayo

Okay.  I am so glad to have a reason to address this.  I grew up in a household of Miracle Whip.  My sweet grandmother loved Miracle Whip.  My sweet mother loved Miracle Whip.  I had sandwiches made for me with Miracle Whip.  I honestly thought "Miracle Whip" was a brand name for "mayonnaise".  The details are fuzzy.  But I do remember a moment of conversion.  I saw a jar of "Best Foods Real Mayonnaise" for the first time at someone's house.  I remember being so disappointed, because it was not Miracle Whip.  And I almost passed on it all together.  This person explained to me that there were two kinds of people in this world:  Miracle Whip people and Mayonnaise people.  All this time, I had considered myself just a person, not defined by my sandwich spread.  And then I tried it.  And I threw myself with reckless abandon into the camp of mayonnaise people.  I am a mayonnaise person.  I've never gone back.  Nev-ah!  I will eat a dry sandwich before I will subject my tastebuds to the synthetic tasting twang of Miracle Whip.  Miracle?  Huh-uh.  Mayo.  Mayo.  Mayo.  Mayo.

Sheesh.  That exhausted me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Evidence Of the Attraction of Opposites

Oh, these girls of mine.  I'm pretty crazy about them.  They have been the best of buddies since November of 2000, when I introduced them for the first time.  Two peas in a pod?  Maybe not so much.  More like tomato and basil.  Both fabulous individually, and go together beautifully.  They have strings of similarity, but are extremely unique.  Last weekend, Brad took the kids camping.  When I talked to them from my lonely blissfully quiet house, I heard the excited story from Beth about the snake she found and played with for a couple hours.  Yes, a couple hours.  And when they came home and showed me the pictures?  I saw the most beautiful evidence of both their oppositeness and their togetherness:

Beth showing off her snake. Notice the look of delight on her face.  And Brenna was taking the picture, which was very brave of her, because...

...Brenna does not share her sister's love for snakes.  I love the look on Brenna's face, as she tries hard to enjoy something her sister enjoys.  A painful attempt.

 Snakes and all, I love these two.  (But I'm on Team Brenna when it comes to the snakes.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cats Fights and Sweet Temptations

Last night I was awake from 2:30 to 5:00 in the morning.  I didn't want to be.  Long story.  Boring story.  I now should be in bed, relieving my burning eyes with the only thing that will soothe them:  sleep.  But my cat got into a HUGE fight in my backyard.  They jumped a fence to continue the fight in the greenbelt.  Then jumped another fence into our neighbors yard.  Then onto my neighbors ROOF!  Oh, my.  The yowling and the tumbling across the roof...I think I will owe my neighbors an apology tomorrow.  Maybe in the form of something baked.  And so now I sit here hoping my cat will stand down and return home so I can assess the damage.  He's a tough boy, I think he's fine, but I want to see for myself. 

And I really wanted some dessert tonight.  I got a little hungry.  Then I started in with the craving.  Then the cat fight.  Then the thought that I should bake something tomorrow.  Then more cravings.  Then I wasted some time on Pinterest.  And that's where craving and weakness collided into honest-to-goodness salivating.  Take a look:

yes, please!

the genius of a S'More Cupcake.  YES!

Chocolate No-Bakes.  Mmm-hmm.

I typically shy away from chocolate/fruit combos, but this looks so fun and so yummy.  Imagine it with a vanilla pudding dipping sauce ~ like a fondue!  Yum!

And just to prove I'm not too narrow-minded when it comes to dessertness, this made me go "ooooooh" too! It's almost time for these!  And they are not nearly as good with non-fat milk. Go for the 2%.

And I simply love this.  I didn't so much find my big girl panties tonight as I simply do not have the above items in stock.  And it's so late, I can't do anything about it.

And this is so sweet, I think I need to make myself this and have it in my kitchen.  Sweetness without the calories.

And the cat came back just as I finished this!  Yay!  Nary a scratch on him that I can find, but his eyes are as wide as saucers and he is a bit on-edge.  I think I'll head to bed and sleep peacefully.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Time Alone With All The Wrinkled Ladies

This has been a beautiful weekend in my home.  Beautiful silence.  Beautifully clean.  Brad has been gone the last two weekends, and I miss him terribly.  This weekend?  He took ALL THREE kids with him!  Oh, sweetness.  I was very purposeful to accomplish my list.  And on my list?  Nothing.  Yeah, literally.  Nothing.  And I accomplished it.  Well, I read. I cleaned without it being immediately messed.  I slept soundly.  I shopped for new jeans.  (And left in disgust after only trying two pair.)  And I watched a cheesy movie.  And I watched part of the Seahawks.  (I love the new coaching staff shirts, Seahawks.  Nice call on that one.)  And then I decided to peruse some you tube videos for some choreography inspiration.  And I got distracted...SURPRISE!!!  And I ended up watching Anita Renfroe videos.  And I laughed and laughed.  I found one I had not seen before, and I love it.  I've noticed wrinkly-wrankly things on my body that are new, so I appreciated the sisterhood of this song.  A must watch, and I promise you it will be stuck in your head:

Friday, August 19, 2011

Five Question Friday

I totally intended to do these Five Questions Fridays, and then Fridays seemed to blur into Tuesdays and here we are.  But these are always fun for me to read, and it's good right now to force my mind to think of questions other than those being asked by 10-year olds. So if you can handle the intellectual depth, hang on and forge ahead:

1.  Do you close the bathroom door when you are home alone?

Well now.  First of all, this question made me think how very rarely I am home alone. But when I am, uh...that would be a no. I'll leave it at that.

2.  You have to walk around with a word on your forehead. That word describes you. One word. What is it?

Oh, geez. This kind of question always stumps me. I think too much about it, go too many different directions. Because really, I always feel a need to explain something. And then there is the confusion of what I'd want it to be yet know I don't hang on to that all the time, though I try. Hmm. But I guess if I had to choose just one, I would say this:


I know I'm loved by my God, my family, and my friends. And because I know deeply and certainly that I'm loved, I can be confident, content, compassionate, secure, peaceful, joyful. And all those things join up to define me. In a nutshell, though, it's all there because I know I'm loved.  All the negative words that are so quick to jump to the front of the line? I'm seasoned enough to know those don't define me.  See, I told you I'd think too deeply.

3.  What store do you refuse to shop at and why?

No trouble with this one. You probably know the one.  Lights so dim you think you look good, music so loud you can't hear the person you are with tell you it's not looking so good, cologne so strong your brain starts to get fuzzy, and pictures all advertising things that have nothing to do with clothes. Can't go in there.  Won't.

4.  If you participated in arranged marriages for you children, who would you choose for your children?

Oh, man.  I began looking for perfect matches all the way back in our little Mommy and Me group.  All the moms would talk about it, evaluating these chubby little toddlers as matches for our own. Sweet days.  Now?  Oh, dear.  For my son, I want someone who is passionately, wildly crazy about him, even after she gets to know him.  I don't know anyone I would choose for him yet.  For my girls?  I know a certain cowboy-in-the-making that would be the sweetest match for my oldest daughter.  From toddlerhood, this pair has caught our eye. It makes me grin to think about it.  But again, I want someone for her that is crazy for her and treats her the way she was created to be treated. Now, my lastborn? Definitely haven't met him yet. This is going to have to be a man that is up for adventure and loves to laugh.  And he better hold that girl's heart with great strength and gentleness. And this question is much different to ponder when you have teens that when you have toddlers.  For sure.

5.  If you could pick how and when you die, would you?

Oh, man, for a girl that loves to plan and be organized, this tempts me. But I also know there is a good reason that we go through life with that mystery.  But since we are talking IF, I would choose to be old, grey, and wrinkled, sitting on a porch swing holding my man's hand, then hear a trumpet sound and be walking in Paradise.  Perfect. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Naps and Snacks

I just attempted a nap.  I failed.  Why is it so hard to take a nap??  I am amazed at how some people can just decide to take a nap and they do.  Brad can come home from work, sit down, put his head back, and go to SLEEP.  Snoring sleep.  Meanwhile I'm making noise cooking dinner, kids wandering in and out, and he SLEEPS.  Doesn't work that way for me.  I've tried.  Today I needed a nap.  Very little sleep to be had last night, due to someone's snoring sleep. Instead of getting any restorative sleep, I wasted a half hour trying. Not a fan of wasted time. Or of lack of sleep.

On a happier note, I have been such a good girl with my eating.  I've had my 5 servings of fruits and veggies, and mostly veggies at that, every day for almost a week.  Hey, that's a big thing for me.  And I haven't completely banned sweets, but I've cut way back.  I'm getting all my water in.  And in three weeks I haven't missed one day of my vitamins!  I'm doing the work, baby stepping to better health.  Imagine how great I would feel with some good sleep!

So, in honor of my eating better, here are some things I've been enjoying:

*the green grapes at Costco right now are everything a grape should be.  they are plump and sweet and firm and explode with freshness in your mouth.  yum.

*Tzatziki Yogurt Dip with cucumber and garlic is a yum, yum, yummy veggie dip. I'm a little confused by the "yogurt dip" description, because the main ingredient is sour cream and it has zero protein, but it's still a yummy dip that makes it worth eating all kinds of veggies: carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, peppers...mmmm.

*Did you know you can make your own microwaved popcorn out of regular kernels?  Using a lunch-sized brown paper bag!  Just put 1/3 cup kernels into the bag, fold over the top and tape it closed (just one small piece of scotch tape will do). Use the popcorn setting on your microwave and the magic just happens. No oil necessary.  No so-called "butter" that is in the store bought microwave packages.  Now, after it's popped you can drizzle it with some real melted butter if you like.  You can even sprinkle in 1 TBSP sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon and shake it up to make snickerdoodle popcorn.  Just heard that might be pretty good.

*I've been making salmon patties to keep in the fridge for a quick lunch or snack.  They remind me of one thing my mom use to make that I liked, and are great crumbled over a big green salad or eaten burger style or just eaten plain.  I just mix 2 (6 oz each) cans wild salmon, some crushed saltines (or some seasoned bread crumbs), diced onion, Johnny's seafood seasoning and a slightly beaten egg.  Mix together well, shape into patties and cook in a non-stick pan a few minutes on each side.

*a salad with mostly spinach, some greens, chopped yellow peppers, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, and a crumbled salmon patty = yummy lunch.

*Quaker multi grain hot cereal is a great jazzed up oatmeal.  I love this stuff.  More fiber, too.  I know I'm not totally where I need to be, because I ate my first bowl of that and thought, "Ooooh, I wonder how oatmeal/chocolate chip cookies made with this cereal would be???"  Then I had cookies on my brain all day.  But none in my mouth, thank you very much. (Not that I'm forbidding cookies, just trying to not give in to every whim.  But I will try those cookies soon.  Gotta see how they'd be.  Plus they'd be so HEALTHY!!)

*And my very favorite description of self-control comes from Beth Moore:  Self-Control is not always "no", sometimes it's just "that's enough for now".  Isn't that so gentle?  I can say "that's enough for now" to myself.

I've found that one of my biggest pitfall to eating well is just not having the good stuff conveniently ready.  The days get so busy, and all of a sudden I'm hungry NOW.  I've never been one to slowly realize I need to eat.  Once I'm hungry, I get a bit cranky and panicky. So if I have this kind of stuff sitting there ready to be eaten, I'm much more likely to grab that.  Fruit washed and ready to grab.  Veggies chopped and ready to eat. Something with protein sitting there smiling at me.   This container idea from Real Simple caught my eye. The only potential trouble I see is my son, who would remove the entire tub as a pre-meal appetizer.  It would have to sit in my fridge with clear rules.  Like "touch it and you lose the ability to taste food for 14 days" or something like that.

Now I'm going to start blasting my music and see if I can summon up enough creativity to choreograph a wee bit more of my dance.  Oh, I do hope this goes well...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Multitudes on Monday ~ Sitting Still

The number of Mondays left in this summer is dwindling quickly. Too quickly. I want to slow them down and hang on to them. And sometimes simply slowing myself down to think of nothing but gifts I'm grateful for is the best way to slow down the Mondays. It makes me soak in the right now, instead of hurrying on with the next thing. Plenty to be done today, but to take the time to stop and do this lets me sit still in the moment. Ah, it's so good to sit still and appreciate:

438. A weekend with just my girls.
439. Big puffy clouds.
440. Warm sunshine coming through a sunroof.
441. Bursts of creativity.
442. A couple sweet hours of quiet and alone.
443. Ending a day having finished everything that needed to be done that day.
444. A new magazine sitting by my bed waiting to be read.
445. Finding a yummy veggie dip that is going to make the extra veggies actually enjoyable!
446. Grapes that taste as good as they look.
447. My boys having three days alone together.
448. That my boys are coming safely home.
449. Hearing my girls singing together.
450. Being able to ease my way into a day without rushing.
451. Sharing recipes.
452. A movie that is as good as the book.
453. Time with friends.
454. That a day can flip from chaos to calm in a matter of minutes.
455. Making someone else's chaos a little calmer.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thoughts on Motivation and A Great Meal

Oh, man, I have been trying to get back on the blog more frequently. When I last posted on Monday, I had every intention of getting back on Tuesday and finishing our vacation pictures.  The days seem to take on a life of their own, demanding my time.  These last two weeks have been too scheduled for what I think summer should be.  But that has been what life has required lately. 

We are six practices into the cheer season.  My squad of 20 (20!!!) has learned 28 cheers and the first section of their dance.  Oh, yeah, that time of year that I have to choreograph and teach a dance!  So outside of my box.  At the start of one practice that came on the heels of a very demanding cheer day, I sent a text to Brad that said simply, "Tell me why I do this.".  His response was sweet and encouraging.  And the bottom line of what he said was, "Because you love your girls."  Yes, I do.  My biological girls and these others that I spend six hours a week with.  They are sweet, sweet, sweet.  What a privilege to coach them, a privilege I don't take lightly.  So, yeah, I'm tired.  But it's worth it.  And once all the other behind the scenes stuff is done, and all I have to do is coach my own squad, it will be much better.  Unfortunately the timing of that will be right about when it's time to head back to school and work.  Oh, well.  I love my girls.

I finally made the decision to take a couple weeks off running.  I got to the point that my knees ache so badly every night, and my body just hurts.  It's so ridiculous to do something with the motivation of health and wellness and have it harm and hurt. So instead of running, I've gone back to a workout dvd that I LOVE and have MISSED!  Oh, it beats you up in such a good way. My muscles hurt so much (in a good way) that I strategized when to use the bathroom to limit the number of times I had to get down and get back up.  If you know what I mean you totally know what I mean.  I've loved doing this workout.  I feel stronger all over.  But other parts of my body are responding less favorably to not running.  And I hate that part.  Why?  Why does something that takes so long to achieve go away so very quickly?

So, the motivation I'm looking for is this:  I am going to get S.T.R.I.C.T (hang around cheerleaders too long and you start to spell everything) with my eating.  I'm going to give it a fair shot and see what happens to my body as it approaches 42.  Things look very different lately and I don't like it.  Vain?  Yes.  I'll own that.  I had a loooooong talk with Brad last night about all this stuff, and I'll share more about this later.  But I'm going to try some new things.  I'm going to apply my discipline to some other areas of my life.  I'm not too happy about it.  But if I wait until I'm happy about it I may never do it.  I roll my eyes and get irritated just thinking about it.  But I'm going to do it anyway.  I will stop short of changing the name of my blog to "carrot sticks and broccoli", but hopefully I will incorporate some new foods I choose to love into meal ideas that maybe you will like too.

Let's dip our toe in the water, shall we?  No need to dive in head first.  This dinner that we love is just a toe.  A nice balance of healthy and unhealthy.  You can choose the ratio to suit yourself.  But it is so very easy and so very tasty.

Have you seen the bags of sweet mini peppers?  Safeway has them, Costco occasionally has them.  They are so sweet and yummy. My obvious sweet tooth is drawn to the sweeter veggies, and I love these grilled.  Grab a bag of these, a package of smoked kielbasa sausage, some ripe tomatoes, and a sweet onion.  And some skewers.  See what's coming??

Just cut the peppers in half, remove the seeds and pulp.  Slice the tomatoes and onion into wedges. Cut the sausages up into decent sized chunks.  Sprinkle all the veggies with a little Johnny's seasoned salt and some garlic powder.  Then just start threading them onto your skewers.  (If you are using wooden skewers, do soak them first so they won't catch on fire!)  You can do any arrangement you like.  Grill them, turning as necessary.  Make a big pot of rice to go with this, a big yummy salad, maybe some rolls that you toast on the grill right before you eat....mouth watering.  The tomatoes are so very yummy grilled.  If you haven't done that before, you must try it.

So here we go.  My mind is chewing on a lot of thoughts about health and it's pursuit and the motivation for it and the balance in the many thoughts.  As I sort them I'll share them.  For accountability.

And, a final thought....I saw "The Help" yesterday.  I wish I had brought my camera.  The four of us were the young, hot chicks of the theater.  Yeah, I'm serious.  Imagine THAT!  Great company, great time away...and the movie?  A MUST SEE!  I really want to go see it again.  There was applause at the end of the movie, and people sat and watched the credits.  That good.  If you haven't read the book yet, I'm disappointed in you.  Go get it, read it, and then go see the movie.  And bring a tissue.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Multitudes on Monday ~ Back At It

My blogging has been lacking over this summer, but my gratitude has not.  I've been still noticing the little gifts that are all around me.  Still being purposeful to notice them.  Still opening my eyes to what is continually right in front of me.  But I haven't been actually listing them, and I want to.  I want to see this through and start what I finished.  Today I'll just start right back in where I left off.  Though my time on the computer has been wonderfully limited, the gifts I'm so thankful for are as abundant as ever:

421.  Watching a tiny, tiny bird land in the grass and scavenge for something, cocking his head sideways to look at me now and then, but not really caring that I'm watching.
422.  Watching a gigantic crow try to land on the flimsiest of branches trying to eat the cherries off our tree, and thought that branch swayed up and down and made it very difficult for him to be steady enough to grab a cherry, it held.
423.  The cool air first thing in the morning.
424.  Worn out kids (the good kind of worn out).
425.  Comfortable silence.
426.  Fresh raspberries right off the bushes, hot from the sun.
427.  Catching an unexpected glimpse of a beautiful sunset.
428.  Time to be still.
429.  Soft, squishy sand to bury my feet in.
430.  Being able to completely ignore the clock.
431.  Watching my husband and son be boys together.
432.  Sights so beautiful you are left in awe.
433.  Walking barefoot on grass wet from the sprinkler.
434.  The smell of yeast dough.
435.  The anticipation of reading a new book, even if it takes several days to actually start it.
436.  Watching discipline develop in my kids.
437.  Words of truth...spoken, sung, witnessed.  Reminders of past answers and promises of future provision.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Cutest Little Bluebell I Have Ever Seen

Beth has had a fun week of drama camp, and tonight was the big production!  They have been working so hard to bring "The Selfish Giant" to fruition.  It was an absolute delight.  Initially I was mostly excited about this camp because it was going to keep her busy the week that her sister was gone, and I knew she would need the busyness.  And from the first day, she was hooked on drama.  The good kind of drama.  Somewhere in the blog past I talked about "Pit-Pat-Panny", who is a hysterically funny character that Beth will break into every now and then.  The latest appearance was on Brad's birthday, when Pit-Pat-Panny recruited her sister to join her in a musical number honoring the birthday boy. 

Based on that, I should have known this girl would take to drama.  And she has.  She sang a duet, and delivered her one line spot-on!  It was a fun evening, and I'm proud of this girl for embracing what she loves!

Singing The Laughing Song

Bluebell Beth and Peach Tree Maddy

And of course we had to celebrate the performance with a trip to Dairy Queen.  Brenna is STILL gone, so Alex ate an extra blizzard in her honor.

Fun week, fun performance.  And come Monday morning, my alarm is not going to wake me.  Hopefully Pit-Pat-Panny will let me sleep in.  Amen and hallelujah.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Have I Lost That Bloggy Feelin'??

Everything is a song to me right now.  Even the title of this post.  "Whoa, that bloggy feelin'. Bring back that bloggy feelin'..."  Everything is a song because I'm in that crazy bubble of time right now...ordering cheer uniforms (done! "stayin' alive, stayin' alive. whoa whoa whoa whoa, stayin' aliiiiiiiiiiive"); collecting and assembling frustrating amounts of paperwork ("working 9-5, what a way to make a living..."); and finally, this week, starting cheer practices!  And the music connection?  Because I listen to a crazy, crazy amount of random music trying to find the right song for their dance this year.  I listen to the music all around me, trying to find one that strikes me for a dance.  Cuz I also have to choreograph this dance.  And that's just not my thing.  But I make it my thing.  And the song is.....

Stray Cats "Rock This Town".  It'll be fun.  I have 20 girls this year.  It'll be fun.  Three nights a week for two hours at a pop.  It'll be fun.  I promise.  (I'm talking to myself.)

These girls are truly so sweet. They have been patient with me this week.  We slammed out 22 cheers in our first three practices.  Uh-huh.  Love them.

So, in an effort to get songs out of my head and get back my bloggy feelin' ("whoa, that bloggy feelin'"), I thought I would post some more interesting pictures that I would miss out on if I deleted things from my camera.  They probably don't need much explanation.

When a 10-year old takes pictures of her dog:

When a hungry 16-year old makes pancakes:

When a curious cat climbs in the dryer:

When a mom finds it interesting that girls 3 years apart can share shoes:

When a 16-year old boy buys his momma some truffles as a gift when he's away at Silverwood, and that bag sits in the hot sun:

(The bag says, "Dear Mom, It's the thought that counts. Love, Alex")

And, yes, I still ate those truffles.

Okay, it feels so good to be back.  Maybe I'll even get around to finishing our vacation pictures soon.