Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful, 2010.

love of, and for God
family + friends
good health
love, of each other
love, for those less fortunate
life group
a warm and comfortable home (x2)
jobs, mine + his
a love of school (x3)
food + gas + clothing = plenty, all the time

*what are you thankful for?

Monday, November 15, 2010


Happy Monday!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010.

Looking back on the blog archives, it seems as though I haven't posted much since last Halloween. Oops. We had a good trick-or-treat haul this year and now that it's over (thank goodness!) I figured I'd share our costumes once again.

First, the youngest had been claiming she wanted to be a butterfly. I didn't really want to round up all of the pieces for that (costume+wings+headband+tights+???) so instead, I convinced her to be a bride. We had these old-ish flower girl dresses given to us from a one-off/damaged goods truck and the girls have always used them as dress-up gear. I've been getting sick of them laying around (they are large and puffy, thus take up mucho floor space), and I almost donated them until I realized they had prime Halloween potential. Add a $5 veil, and voila...instant bride! She looked so good it was almost scary in that oh-my-goodness-someday-she-really-will-be-a-bride kind of way.
Middle child also went with my well-placed suggestion, to be a zookeeper like last year. Looks like I detailed her outfit in this space a year ago. It's simple but I still love it, and she agreed because none of the friends at the new school had seen it before.
She had a fun project this year for school too, which was to "disguise" a pumpkin without carving or piercing it in any way. Together we found the idea of doing Oscar the Grouch and he turned out really well. A plain paint can, green spray paint, some felt, and an awesome black boa from Michaels. You know me, I love a good craft challenge.
And finally, the eldest has reached the "tweens" with a fierceness that we didn't quite expect. He really didn't want to be anything for Halloween. Boo. Being in 5th grade, though, they still do a party and I told him he wasn't going to be "that kid," the only one out of 80+ kids without a costume. So, after much thought and "What about a ____ ?" or "How about this one...?" we decided that he should be a contestant on the Amazing Race. This one did take a little time to find images online for the various clue cards/logos (Route Marker, Detour, Fast Forward, The Amazing Race envelope, etc). I luckily found some realistic images on Wikipedia. Print, laminate, punch a hole, and hook on a binder clip to his fanny pack and backpack...add a head bandana and a couple of foreign maps/language books hanging out the back of the backpack and he was done. He won "best dressed boy" at a Halloween party we attended. Too bad Mr. Tween had already gone home so his sisters claimed his prize!
As in past years, I'm glad Halloween is over. And now please let us all remember that Thanksgiving comes's not Christmas yet, people! :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010


We did it, 13.1! An adventure for sure! It was hard, yes, but we agreed that we would absolutely do it again. Some shots from the morning:

Waiting in the pre-dawn, minutes from the start

Me and Erinn, ready to go!

The Bob Kerry pedestrian bridge in downtown Omaha - this was around mile 12.8 so we knew we were getting close!

Mile marker 13, a welcome site!

The finish line! I hope the runners behind us (who were finishing the entire marathon) didn't mind me snapping a photo at this point.

Other observations from the morning:
1. We never expected that we would have to take 3 pee breaks, 2 of which were during the race. Don't like porta-potties, but thank goodness they were there!
2. If you are a member of the "50 States Marathon Club," you are awesome. Period.
3. You are also awesome if you are running an entire marathon.
4. It was cool that runners and walkers cheered each other on as they passed.
5. It would be very challenging to run a marathon with a cowboy hat strapped to your head (yes, we saw this and don't get me started on the potential chafing issues!).
6. The 4 year-old water volunteer was the cutest of the day!
7. Experiencing something like this was made better by far by doing it with a good friend. MAP friends, we are recruiting for the Lincoln Half next spring!
8. Next up, Everest. (Just kidding, Sherilyn!) :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Tomorrow, I'll be walking in a half-marathon.
I never, ever thought I would say that.
A good friend is walking with me.
We have trained together, walking over 50 miles,
in preparation.
Through oppressive heat and misty chill, we have walked.
We have shared stories and testimony,
family history,
challenges and praises.
And tomorrow, we walk again.
13.1 more miles, together.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shop changes.

OK friends, I think I am going to close up shop! But first, I have some fabric to sell off and I would love to unload sooner than later! I've had this in mind for awhile, basically since the new job started. But wouldn't you know, yesterday I got a shipment in from Westminster and now I have even more fabric to sell...lucky for you, it's some pretty good stuff. Here is what came yesterday:
Amy Butler Wallflower in Cherry - 5 bolts

Amy Butler Morning Glory in Linen - 4 bolts

If you are interested in purchasing, you can either go to my Etsy shop or feel free to send me an email and we can coordinate a sale via email. You'll also notice I reopened my shop, so I'm hoping to sell off anything listed there as well. I did have to change my shipping policies, and now I am only able to ship domestically in the US. Sorry, international friends! I just can't swing international shipping anymore with a full time job and full time mom-duties.

I have enjoyed running the fabric shop...but now with life changing pace a bit I am looking forward to spending my more limited free time in crafting for myself! Shocking, it's been so long since I've made things just for me!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Like riding a bike.

I'm pleased to report that the new job is going very well. I feel like I'm riding a bike after a long, long, hands and feet seem to remember what to do even though I can't always articulate exactly how I'm doing it. After all these years, it's amazing to see how the job of being an Occupational Therapist is coming back to me. My brain is starting to think in terms of goals and treatment plans, occupational components and purposeful activity, impairments and functional ability levels.

So what am I doing? Well, my time is split between working at a clinic with kids and adults that have developmental disabilities, as well as going to workshops and day facilities that have the same adult clientele. I really enjoy getting to go different makes the day go by so quickly! We also have a pool in the clinic and that is a new experience for me. I did a little bit of aquatic therapy years ago, but not at the level with which we do at this clinic. Truly, my brain and hands are like sponges at the moment, learning and soaking up the many things that others are teaching me.

Here are a few random things I've realized, over the past couple of weeks:

1. It is nice to work for a place that requires employees to wear the company logo on their shirt. I have 5 t-shirts and a few embroidered items...I never have to think about what I'm going to wear the next day.

2. It is a little weird to keep a swimsuit at work. It never dries out.

3. Even though one of my kids has a physical disability, it is obvious that he is very, very fortunate to only have a physical disability.

4. There is something awesome about hearing people - adults with developmental disabilitles and their caregivers - have a karaoke showdown on a Friday afternoon. Tina Turner and Neil Diamond never sounded so good.

5. A paycheck is a good thing. (OK, I already knew that, but it's nice when I get one as a therapist rather than a school para!).

Have a wonderful weekend, friends.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Update, part deux.

It's official, I can legally sign my name with "OTR/L" and will actually be doing so very frequently in the near future. I have been hired as an occupational therapist for a local private therapy company, working in their pediatrics clinic. I'm looking forward to working with kids (I will see some adults too) and having an actual professional career once again! I feel very lucky to have the chance to ease back into OT after all these years. Truly, 9+ years is a long time to be away and I'm pleased my new employer has the confidence and faith in my abilities. And the best part? I got to pick my schedule so I can still be there for my kids before and after school. That is huge.

So for now, I am enjoying the last few days of my summer vacation before the kids go back to school and I start work. Lots of swimming and book-reading seem to be in order...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Summer is more than half over (really?), speeding by like a runaway train! I thought it would feel like a slower pace without travel or summer camps on the agenda, but in reality I think it seems to be going even faster than usual.

The first piece of this update is that yes, we still own two homes. We like to joke that we have a vacation home, or an "east" and a "west" property. Or better yet, a "his" and "hers." Any joking on the matter is actually an attempt to somehow deal with the stress of it all! We've been lucky to have an awesome agent, and traffic has been busy this week. We continue to pray for the day when it is sold, closed, and the check is in hand. Hopefully soon.

The other piece of the update is sort of on the job front. While I still have my job as a para at my kids' elementary school, I came to the conclusion earlier this spring that the time is right for me to pursue renewing my Occupational Therapy credentials. My goal was to have all of my continuing education done by July, and wouldn't you know it - I finished up my last course on June 30th! I now have my national certification renewed (NBCOT certification, meaning I can sign my name "Jenny Hofer, OTR" ... and my state license for Nebraska is going to be issued on August 2nd. With that in hand I'll be able to sign "OTR/L."

So what do updated credentials mean for me? It will give me the ability to legally practice as an Occupational Therapist in my state, and therefore any job opportunities in the field will be open to me. Don't get me wrong, I actually love my job at school. But I think God is pushing me to open my heart to new horizons, whatever they may be.

It's scary being in a continual state of flux. My baby went off to kindergarten last year, we built a new home, I started a new job, we moved, we sold our house, now we're selling it again, and in the middle of it all I'm feeling like God has bigger plans for me that I just can't quite see yet. I'm not sure I remember what life was like when it was simple and predictable! So I wait, trying to learn my lesson in patience, and I trust God, knowing that His plan for my life was decided long, long ago.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


they asked me if they could keep borrowing paper could i tell them no?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Puppy love.

A new puppy (well, dog, she's 2) is here.
Her name is Daisy.
She is all white, weighs 5 pounds.
Pure love.
And puppy kisses.
A Havanese, so she won't shed.
No barking.
No chewing.
Her favorite place? A warm lap.
Favorite person? Me.
The kids are over the moon, and so are we.
Can you blame us?

Thursday, June 24, 2010


funny, legos gain new life when you move them to a different room
Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 21, 2010


late evening reading time has become a favorite for all of the girls in this house. yes, i love that they love these books too.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


father's day. a challenge to be more gentle. rain. afternoon visits. a peek of sunshine. us open. pizza. a good day for the dads around here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


all she wanted was a bike for her birthday. can you tell what her favorite color is?

This crazy life.

To quote Reed's favorite movie,

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Pretty much sums up life these days.

We sold our house 3 months ago. The new house was built, and we moved in. Now, in mid-June, the sale has fallen through and we are back to square one in the sales process. Frustrating? Yes. Bitterness? Yes. Could life be worse? A resounding, Yes.

So, it's our challenge this summer to live life more simply...lots of books, lots of swimming, eating dinners on the deck, growing a garden, trying to find joy in the everyday. For today it's enjoying Lauren's birthday with presents, cake, and celebrating the fact that we are here, we are healthy, and we love each other very much.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Makes me smile.

My stress level has been sky-high lately...what with still getting in the groove of working full time, keeping up on the endless house showings, and tracking the multitudes of details that are still coming together on the new house. I actually cracked from the pressure this week. Not a pretty sight for sure.

Anyway, I'm all about finding little things to make the day a bit brighter. A couple of weeks ago we were at Target, wasting time in the books and magazines area as we waited for our showing to be over. I saw this magazine cover and it put a smile on my face. Even better was the picture of Leo ironing. I showed it to Kirk, and asked him why he doesn't look like that when he irons. He just scowled.

Is it just me, or does he seem to be aging nicely? :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

The long winter.

OK, so I maybe lied on that last post. Keeping iCraft open this last month or so proved too taxing to my already stressed mind, so I closed shop for awhile. It's just been a lot lately, what with working, keeping on top of new house details, (still) trying to sell our current house, and the never-ending piles of laundry, dishes, etc.

Added to all of that, of course, has been this dreadful, dreary winter.

If you're from around these parts, you know what I'm talking about! The cold, the snow, the blizzards, the mini-thaws followed by more and more and more snow. Temperatures that are lower than in Greenland (yes, my friends, that is correct!); friends carrying groceries and supplies in on foot to other friends who are literally stranded in their own neighborhoods; other friends who break down in tears every time they attempt (and fail) to climb their own icy street; kids who cry at the mention of snow days and who announce daily, "I'm sick of winter." No kidding, we're all sick of it.

To cheer myself up I continue to turn to one of my favorite blogs, Little Brown Pen, and gaze at her lovely Parisian photos. I have even dreamed of Paris the past couple of nights, wishing I could go back, wander around, and soak up all of that awesomeness. Better that than dreaming of snow, right?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Times, they are a-changin'...

Obviously, life has been pretty different around here these last few days. Quiet and lonely for sure. We miss our puppy! And yet, in spite of the pang of that loss, we are thankful that she didn't suffer long (an hour, maybe?). The vet seemed to think she had a massive stroke, which is how she went from being a happy-go-lucky dog one minute (begging for attention and food!) and the next minute so badly ill. We're okay, just still sad that she is gone.

How else has life changed around this house in the last 72 hours? Well, the kids started their new school and I started a new job yesterday. The bonus for me is that the job is at their school, so I can drive them, go in to work, see them (occasionally) during the day, and leave together in the afternoon. No before/after-school care, no coordination of drop-off and pick-up, etc. As a former Occupational Therapist I have known for awhile that I would not want to work in a hospital again. The school setting is more my thing, so for now I can get back into the swing of working (after a 9.5 year hiatus) in the setting I prefer. Will I go back to OT? Maybe. I know that for now, I am where I am supposed to be!

The kids have loved their first two days of school. New friends, new teachers, new routines...they are soaking it all up and thankfully are excited for more. It has been such a blessing to check in with their teachers periodically during the day to ease the transition further! Truly, that is an answered prayer.

So, despite the home-front atmosphere changes, I am planning to continue operating iCraft on the side. Fabric sales only for now, I think. The only minor changes in operation will be that I will only be able to answer convo's (Etsy messaging/email) after 4:00 pm central time, and that international orders will be mailed on Wednesday and Saturdays only. So please continue to shop, I love the business and your awesome feedback!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Goodbye, sweet friend.

Today, we are sad. We said goodbye to our sweet Lucy last night, quite unexpectedly. She was such a good dog. We only hope that now she is enjoying her just rewards in heaven with lots of attention, pats on the head, and the comfiest pillow imaginable.