Monday, March 31, 2008

New drums for The Dude

A new drum set is now taking up a nice chunk of the basement. And yes, they are very loud. But in a good way, because how else can one work towards the goal of being a rock star someday?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Walk for The Old Girl

Does this dog look happy to you?

She is happy, she told me so right after our walk this afternoon. You see, it has been a very, very long winter here in Nebraska and Lucy The Weimaraner has barely ventured beyond the backyard. For several reasons, really, one being that I don't walk the neighborhood in the winter. Sorry, but I'm a chicken when it comes to the cold. And another reason is that poor Lucy is getting older, you see. She is ten and a half, which is downright geriatric for a dog her size. So, no walks lately. And some bum hips that frankly had us wondering recently if she would ever go for a walk again.

Today, though, the hips were okay. There was some sunshine and a light breeze and a twinkle in her eye that begged, "please, take me out!" So, we went out. Ears pricked forward and nose bent to the ground (um, that would be hers, not mine), we traipsed around the block. She stopped at nearly every fire hydrant, lamppost, and bush, too, sniffing for all of the lucky dogs who have been privileged enough to go for wintertime walks. I was on the lookout for spring bulbs, though they are not to be found just yet. Really, it ended up feeling so nice out that we maybe could have gone further, but our route took us in a neat little circle and I figured I'd be easy on her today. Good thing. She's limping again slightly and her back leg muscles are all atwitter. But look at that smile! Yep, she sure is happy. The tail still wags whenever I look her way, like a little thank you note that is thumped out in a rhythm on the floor.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I spy with my little eye...

Have you ever given much thought about all of the little details of life and this world that you typically notice? Like, what things do you notice that I might ignore? Do you always notice typos? Or poor grammar? Or can you pick out architectural details (or flaws) of a given building? Do you notice peoples eyes, or their wedding rings, or the way people walk? I came across this thread last night and was compelled to sit, glued to my chair, until I had read every response! I found it so fascinating to read the rich complexity of details that are so important (or unimportantly obvious, either way) to people as they move through the world.

It really got me to thinking...what things do I notice frequently? Some things I can list easily. Like how I always can hear when a person (or a tv personality, which drives me nuts) misuses the "less/fewer" descriptive. Or crow's feet (you know, the lines around a person's eyes?), especially on the younger-than-40 crowd. I also notice couples holding hands in church, really good amateur photography, and yes, even pantylines (I know this will come back to haunt me, now that everyone will be noticing mine!). I pay attention to knitwear (handmade or by machine? natural fiber or synthetic? ) and I can spot designer fabrics at a distance. When I was a cashier in high school and college I always noticed people's handwriting and women's wedding rings.

So, what do you notice? I'm looking forward to spending the next week or so continuing to "notice what I notice," you know what I mean?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Easter

This photo was taken a few months ago - Lauren was the architect on the project and built this little gem all by herself. She didn't tell any of us what she had made - just built it and left it on her bedroom floor. I love it. With Easter soon here I unearthed the image in the photo archive and thought it appropriate for this weekend!

It is so easy to get caught up in the secular trappings of Easter - bunnies, candy, baskets, eggs, etc. That's all well and good and has its place, but I find myself trying to find a balance between all of that and what Easter really means. So, tonight we got out our set of Resurrection Eggs - yes, it's plastic and gimmicky but actually does an awesome job helping retell the Easter story in a very hands-on, tangible way. The kids were so excited and have been begging to do this for several days. After dinner Lauren said "please, Mom, can we do the eggs?" OK. They all sat so patiently and took turns opening the eggs, and each had their own take on how the story goes and what each piece's significance was. Really, it was great! I love having a teaching tool that brings the story alive to little hands and hearts.

Have a happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


So, I have been sick this week. With the flu (yes, the actual influenza virus) hit me really hard and finally I am getting back on my feet. It's been a long time since I've battled a fever (up to 103!) with chills, aches, pains, and cold/cough to boot. Yuck! I have learned my lesson and I vow to never forget my flu shot again!

Grace was the other lucky recipient of the sicky virus, though she didn't get it as bad as me. I guess the vaccine (Flu Mist) actually helped her keep from getting too sick. And the fact that by the time she was getting sick I knew what I had, so she (and the other 3 in the house) could get put on anti-virals to prevent more illness. Unfortunately, I was not lucky enough to partake in that and had to get better the old fashioned way!

So, naps have become very important around here again. Like every afternoon, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours at a stretch (this is me, not Grace!) - though she has fallen back into the habit as well. And today, the day that I was not able to take a nap, she begged me not to go to her room. I said fine, just play quietly (please!). Before long, I realized it was awfully quiet, and turned around and found her like this on the floor. Sound asleep! I tiptoed out and she remained in place for the next hour and a half.

Sleep peacefully, little one, and maybe tomorrow mama can join you - just someplace more comfortable than the floor, okay?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A little lull, fashion, and sneaky cooking.

The late winter lull has hit the shop (and me) and things have slowed down here a little bit. That is okay. I still have some projects in the works, but I have also been enjoying a few naps. And tea. And a re-read of Harry Potter #7. And growing some seeds (as well as replanting the grass). And, a cub scout derby car in the works. So the winter lull is a good thing. Focusing on life and household energy while waiting for warm breezes and sunnier evenings.

As for fashion, the Visa has been getting a workout lately with spring shopping for the kids. They have all outgrown their stuff at the same time, so I'm trying my hardest to stay organized and not over-buy. Trying to go for a little better quality and a little less quantity this season.

The Visa gets pulled out in my honor as well, with new jeans at the top of my list. I live in jeans! And finding the right ones is - so - hard. I find it crazy that clothing manufacturers cut misses sizes to be boxy and curveless! Um, aren't we all women? Aren't curves a good thing? Or is it that the runway model doesn't have curves so I shouldn't, either ? My recent pair of Levi's had to come from the juniors department, just to get the proper fit and length! Shopping in juniors was fun when I was 15, but not so much when I'm 32!

OK, on to the sneaky cooking! I know lots of people have heard the buzz lately about Jessica Seinfeld's new book, and the "original" book/idea by Missy Chase Lapine. Now, in general, I am not big on deceiving my kids when it comes to meals. We don't fight at mealtime either (try not to, anyway) so I've come to accept that there are very few foods that all 3 of my kids will eat other than dessert!

Having said that...I was intrigued by the idea when I read the article in Family Fun this month. I really kind of obsessed on the idea for a day or two before I went out and bought the spinach, blueberries, sweet potatoes, and carrots to create a few "veggie purees." I have to say, I have been experimenting a bit and it is crazy that I haven't done this before now! My pediatrician even suggested it back when Reed was little (I believe the question was, 'how do I get him to eat more vegetables?' and she told me to put pureed veggies in marinara and the like). So anyway, I have made brownies with the blueberries and spinach (brownie mix, then added in a scoop of puree) - the finished product was crumbly but moist and still totally brownie-tasting. Yum. I made mac and cheese (Kraft, of course) with the carrot/sweet potato in place of milk and they had no idea. Seriously. I included the same orange mix into muffins - no idea - and tonight we had it in pancakes. Again, clueless. I have decided to start telling them what is inside after they have stated how much they love the food - then maybe they'll start getting the idea that these things aren't gross and that they actually like the taste! In the meantime, they will still have to eat their bites of broccoli and carrots - but this seems so much better than shoving a nasty vitamin in their face and have them start thinking that good nutrition comes from a pill rather than food!