Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Okay, Tinkerbell. Work your magic!

Warning: potty talk ahead! I know some of you out there just don't want to hear it... and who can blame you?

As a last resort (except not really, because it probably won't work either and then I'll have to think of another last resort. So maybe this is my next-to-last resort?), the girls and I went and bought the new TinkerBell movie today to motivate Addie to use the big-girl-potty.

Addie was so excited. Her eyes got super big and she squealed as we walked through WalMart saying, "I can't believe it! I can't believe it!" as she gazed at her new movie.



The catch is, she can't open it until she's wearing big-girl-panties. So until then, it will be prominently displayed in the bathroom for her to see.

And the night we take off the magical plastic wrapping, pop open that case, pop that popcorn and watch the movie to celebrate this milestone, I think I'll be the one saying excitedly, "I can't believe it! I can't believe it!"

So, no pressure, but I'm counting on you, Tink! Turn Addie into a little TinkleBell! Please!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Gleaning

This morning our family went to serve for Compa Ministries - a local ministry which provides food to the poor and homeless people of our community. Part of their ministry is called Project Glean. They partner with local farmers who give a portion of their crops over to Compa. Today, our job was picking lettuce from Petrocco Farms in Brighton.


It really was a thrill for this city slicker, who really always dreamed of growing up on a farm. It felt like a whole new world being in the middle of rows and rows of food as far as the eye can see. It was beautiful!



It was a really fun morning to spend together as a family. The girls were really excited to go, and were excellent helpers. They couldn't cut the lettuce since we were using knives, but they were great at loading it in the crates and carrying it over to the trucks. They weren't afraid to get their hands dirty and work hard. Addie did it last weekend with Gary and some of his high schoolers; that time they picked green peppers. The time before that, Gary and his group picked corn.


It only took a couple of hours away from our day, and we were actually disappointed that it didn't take longer! Harvesting for Project Glean is only a September/October thing, so it's over for this year. However, I can't wait until next fall and really hope to get some families together to serve in this way. Sometimes it's hard to find practical ways for our kids to give their time to the Lord in a way they can understand, so I'm thrilled about gleaning!

(Emma even put lettuce on Brody's head so he could carry lettuce too. What a funny girl!)


“Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the LORD your God.”
Leviticus 19:9,10

Friday, October 24, 2008

When all else fails, organize!

Today after Emma came home from school, I tried talking to her about her morning. She wouldn't talk.

Then I made lunch and we had the daily Battle of the Pink Plates. I'm sick of the girls fighting over the pink plates. I launched them into the backyard the other day so no one could have them. But, as if they were treasured heirloom pieces, the girls retrieved them right away, clutching them to their chests with tears streaming down their faces.

Then I tried playing a game with them, but they argued about who got what piece in Candy Land.

So... I sent them on their way and I went on mine. I figured if I couldn't control my kids, at least I'd try to control my really out of control cupboards. They've gotten a little out of hand.

Plus, I'm trying to get some order into my life. I need to get some routines and schedules going. I figure getting things organized and de-cluttering is a great start. Plus, I've been ruminating on this the last few days.

I now present you with... before and after pictures. I'm laying it all out here, friends. As if you needed any more proof of my imperfections, check out these beauties! I finally got tired of the "toss-it-in-and-slam-it-shut-before-it-all-comes-out" method of putting things away. (I know I'm not the only one.) The chaos under my counters just screams, "I love to cook extravagant, gourmet meals for my family!!!!"

Before:


After:


I found all sorts of goodies in here. Receipts, coupons, morning glory seed packets (THAT'S where those went!), a Barbie shoe... my junk drawer is right above this cupboard, so I guess it has maybe overflowed a few times. Oopsie. Not anymore though, because I also organized it recently. In this cupboard, tucked way in the back, I also found this:



A wedding gift. Never been used, in fact! And look...

The gift receipt taped on the back! That store isn't even open anymore. I put this in the garage sale box... unless someone can convince me that I need this handy dandy thing!

Another cupboard... Before:

After:


Last one... Before:


After:


So let's talk. I have to know what works for others, because some things in my cupboards are either cumbersome or seem unnecessary.

Do you have a million vases? Where do you store them? I think I literally have 2 dozen or more. I think I'll give/sell/recycle a bunch of them.

Where or how do you store your griddle? Look at that thing! It takes up so much room! And yet, it needs to be handy because we use it pretty frequently.

Should I keep my waffle iron that I've used maybe 3 times in 9 years? Hmm. Maybe I should just use it more often.

Will I regret putting my juicer in the garage sale box? I've used it once in 9 years.

After sorting my plastic containers (Rubbermaid, etc.), I have 12 lids with no containers. I wonder why. Would you keep them? What if I find the widowed container and I've tossed the lid?

I couldn't believe how many fancy serving pieces I had way back in the last cupboard. Like crystal appetizer dishes and cake plates. And lace tablecloths with matching napkins! We are so not fancy. I wonder if I should keep that stuff...

It's such a good feeling to get it all in place. Now to keep it that way!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

911 calls that didn't happen

Two incidents in the last 24 hours were almost 911-worthy. But definitely blog-worthy.

My friend Amber came over for dinner last night with her kids since our husbands were both gone. I had hoped to provide a nice break and escape for her since she's single-moming it this week with her husband away. It's hard to get off on the right foot though, when you almost set your kitchen ON FIRE. If you've kept up with my blog at all, you shouldn't be surprised that I had yet another kitchen blunder. I was making spaghetti of all things... it's not like I was making something complicated like mac-n-cheese or a casserole.

I put the noodles in the boiling water, turned to the sink for a second, turned back around and for crying out loud, there was a FIRE ON MY STOVE. I panicked. I truly didn't know what to do. I darted my hand between the fiery tongues leaping from my back burner and turned it off. (Didn't that sound dramatic?) And then? I started blowing. I felt like one of those ladies from those commercials years ago who couldn't blow out the birthday candles. (What were they selling in those commercials anyway?) I just huffed and puffed and huffed and tried to blow out that fire. In my mind I was trying to remember if I should be throwing water on it, calling 911 (for a little ol' stove fire?), or stopping dropping and rolling. After all, this picture was peering at me from the front of my refrigerator. Thank you, Emma's preschool education.


Anyway, as quickly as it started, it stopped. It was like someone just turned it off. (Thank you, Lord!) I was so relieved because truly, I did NOT know what to do. Emma was standing there with huge, scared eyes and quietly said, "I'm going outside." She was so freaked out! Amber later reminded me I could've beat it with towels! I forgot about that! What should I have done?

Here's a picture of my scarred pot, should you think I'm making this up (look on the bottom right side of the big pot):


So after opening all the windows, Febreezing the heck out of my house and hoping the smoky smell would go away, I answered the door to Amber and her kids. She helped me finish getting dinner ready, and all was going swimmingly until I, in all my kitchen clumsiness, decided to hold the way-too-small strainer WHILE I dumped the huge pot of noodles over it with the very same hands. This only resulted in me pouring boiling water all over my left hand. Amber, I tried downplaying how much it hurt, but YOWZA!!!!! I might've cried had you not been there. I played it cool and sauntered over to the fridge to get some ice, but it hurrrrrrrt. Only now, 24 hours later, is it not still hurting. Next time I'll use the colander like I should've in first place! Lesson learned!

AND THEN!

Addie. Ohhhhhh sweet Addie. She is a piece of work. Today she came to me whimpering and asking if I could help her blow her nose because she was stuffed up. She said it hurt, and of course I cringed, thinking maybe she was getting sick. I grabbed a Kleenex and had her blow. A teeny bit came out and she whimpered again and said it hurt. I told her to blow again.

A LEGO CAME OUT. A green lego. A small, round, nostril-shaped LEGO.



I was floored! Of course it hurt! Of course she was stuffed up! She put a freaking LEGO in her nose! Had I known it was in there, that would have been one thing. But I didn't know! Imagine my surprise when BAM! Out flew a LEGO. I was laughing so hard while I checked the other nostril and asked if there were more in there. Laughing, but so relieved that we didn't have to make a trip to the ER.

She said she will never do it again. But after receiving a tip from my friend Mer to read these posts, I hardly believe her. Anyone wanna place bets?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sweet Addie!

Adeline Joy is three today!

October 19, 2005... born at 4:00 a.m.




Addie, 1st birthday... got to celebrate twice! Once in California at Disneyland, and again at home...




Addie, 2nd birthday... got to celebrate at Disneyland AGAIN! Lucky girl!



Addie as a big, beautiful three year old...




Happy birthday, my sweet girl. I love you so, so much! Now start using the big girl potty!!!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

No coupon necessary!

Before Brody was born in August, the girls would ask how I would know when it was time for him to be born. To keep it simple and well, non-scary, I told them that my tummy would hurt really bad and that's when I'd know it was time to go to the hospital. Of course, then they'd ask if my tummy hurt with them, and I'd get to tell them about when they were born. Telling your kids about their birth day is such a special thing!

Three years ago tonight, I was three days away from Addie's due date. I was pushing Emma in a grocery cart down the cereal aisle when a very real, very strong contraction hit.

I stopped the cart, looked straight at Emma and said, "Whoa!" To which she repeated with huge eyes, "Whoa!"

About seven minutes later, another one hit. Again, I stopped the cart, looked at Emma and said, "Oh my!" And a sweet little voice echoed, "Oh my!"

About 9 hours later, Addie was born... but according to Addie, "you got me at the grocery store!"

That would be like, MAJOR clean up on aisle 12!

Here's Gary and I 3 years ago tonight. Look how I'm totally bracing myself through a contraction as my dad took the picture. I remember saying through my forced smile, "Take the darn picture already!"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Little Blogkeeping

I mentioned yesterday that I'm hung up on feeling like I can't blog until I'm all caught up with my blog reading. Well! The good news is I'm down to 248. I've purged a bunch, read a bunch, commented on a bunch, and only have 248 left to sort through. (ONLY?!)Well, another hang up I'm having is that I've been given awards and been tagged for a meme and need to follow up on those before I feel like I can get on my merry blogging way. (And these were from months ago...) So here we go!

Elaina tagged me for this ABC meme... so fun! Thanks, Elaina!

A- Available or Single: Neither - Available only for Gary!
B- Beach or Lake: Beach
C- Cake or Pie? Pie
D- Drink of Choice: Dr. Pepper
E- Essential Item you use every day: Cherry Chapstick
F- Favorite Color: Green
G- Gummy bears or Worms: Bears
H- Hometown: Highlands Ranch, CO
I- Indulgence: Ben & Jerry's Phish Food... I can down a pint of that like nobody's business!
J- January or February: February... it's a little closer to summer!
K- Kids & Names: Emmaline (Emma), Adeline (Addie), Brody... and Joshua
L- Life is Incomplete without: Jesus
M- Marriage Date: September 19th, 1999
N- Number of Siblings- Two sisters: Amy & Abby
O- Oranges or apples: Apples
P- Phobias: Drowning... not afraid of water so much, just the drowning part. Oh, and fish... not eating them, just the touching me while I'm swimming part. I have a story about that for another day...
Q- Fave Quote: hmmm... not sure... (That's not the quote, I'm just not sure what my favorite quote is. Got it?)
R- Reason to Smile: See "K"!
S- Season: Fall, hands down!
T- Tag 3 or 4 people: Loretta, Abby, Amy & Amber ... and anyone else who wants to do it. Leave me a comment if you do!
U- Unknown fact about me: I hate my thumbnails
V- Vegetable you don't like: Beets. Ewww.
W- Worst Habit: I'm a "late" person. I really hate that about me.
X- Xrays: Only for my teeth! Oh, scratch that. I had them for my stupid stress fractures.
Y- Your favorite food: This is hard... ice cream? licorice? french fries? oreos? What can I say... I'm a health nut.
Z- Zodiac Sign: Gemini

- - -

On to the awards!

Next is the "I *heart* Your Blog" award, given to me by Meredith. Awww, thanks Mer! I'd give it right back to you if it were allowed.

The people that first come to mind have either already been given this award or are the recipients of my next award. But one blog I've loved for quite some time is Sarah's blog. I don't know her, and I'm fairly certain she doesn't read my blog, so she won't know she got this award. But if you've never visited her blog - although I think a lot of you read it regularly - I encourage you to go take a peek because it's wonderful. She is a godly woman who loves her family but puts Jesus first. She makes the most adorable projects, and it seems she always has several on her plate. She's always doing a million things, yet always seems to have her priorities in order. I'm always eager to see what she's up to and always leave her blog feeling encouraged and refreshed. I'm sure she's probably not perfect, but I certainly admire her and learn so much from her. I wish I knew you in real life, Sarah!

Natalie gave me this next award. It's called the Arte y Pico award.

When I first read that she had passed this award on to me, I thought, "But I don't even like salsa!" (I don't! Yes, I could hear the gasps.) But alas, it has nothing to do with food. In fact, it's about art. In Natalie's words, it's bestowed upon "women who are artistic in their own right."

So I'm passing it on to the following five blogs:

Michelle... she's a regular Martha Stewart, although I'm sure she'll argue otherwise. She's so crafty and ambitious in the things she tries. I love being her guinea pig with new projects! And she loves to try new recipes because she's a good cook. And basically, I just love her to pieces.

Kathleen... she's always been a good artist with her hands, but now... NOW! She's an actress, ladies and gents! Her art is on the stage these days. Plus, she's artistic with her words. Your blog always makes me laugh, Kath. Oh! And she's an HGTV superstar.

Molly... my cousin is stinkin' hilarious. Go read her blog - here are some of my favorites. Molly, your humor is your art!

Joanne... anyone who has read Joanne's blog for 2 seconds knows how artsy and craftsy she is. My goodness. She cooks, she sews, she writes, she speaks, she reads... I swear she has more hours in her day than most people. She's just good at everything she does, not to mention she always points to the Lord.

Kimmy-Cat... because you're crafty and funny and you know it. Now get blogging!

Now, the official rules:

To the recipients of the award...share this with five blogs you consider deserving of this award, whether for creativity, design, interesting material, or contributions to the blogging community, no matter what language.Name each nominee and link to his/her blog. Show the award and include the name (and link to his/her blog) of whoever presented you with this award. Link to the Arte y Pico blog so everyone knows the origin of this award. Post these rules.

- - -

And just so you know... my Google Reader is back up to 260 unread posts just in the time it took to write this. Doh!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Remember me?

Anyone who has read my blog for awhile is well aware that I go in cycles... I blog a lot and get on a roll, and then I take a long break. The break is never intentional. It just happens! And if you think I just forget about the blog and suddenly remember one day, you're wrong. No, instead I've felt a little stressed every day that I haven't posted. It's like that horrible feeling when you have a big assignment or project hanging over your head. The end result is that I have a million posts floating around in my head. Hopefully this will start me on another roll... until I accidentally abandon my blog again.

But enough about that. That was boring. Who wants to hear a million excuses about why I don't have time? No one, I'm sure. But do you want to see one? I thought so.



What? You want another one?


Okay, fine. One more.


Pretty good excuse, huh? Yeah. He's cute.

But I do have one more thing to say: I have this major block where I feel like I can't blog until I've caught up on all my blog reading. And I'm literally at least a month or more behind. At this moment, I have 487 unread posts in my Google Reader. Fat chance that they'll all be read! Instead, after I post this, I intend to delete nearly all of them. It's going to break my heart. I'll feel like I'm really missing out on stuff. Sure, I'll read a few here and there, but I have to start from scratch or I'll just have them hanging over my head. So if I don't comment on your funniest or most important or most profound blog post ever, please direct me to it. I sure wouldn't want to miss it!

Stay tuned... my head is about to explode with stuff I need to blog about.
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