Friday, October 31, 2008

Deck the what?!?!? And Halloween, too.

So, I know I want my blog to be positive, but sometimes I'm just gonna have to rant. Like now.

Today was unseasonably warm. Hot, even. Mid-70's. Keep that in mind, would you?

As I left work at 3:30 this afternoon, I marvelled at how nice the weather was. Two Halloweens ago it was snowing, and today I was HOT in my jeans and running shoes (I was not hot because I was running, I was just wearing running shoes).

Get in the car. Unroll the windows. Turn on the radio.

Here's where my rant begins...

Deck the halls with boughs of holly
'Tis the season to be jolly

and here is where you cover the eyes of any little ones trying to learn to read at this moment.

What the F*^#? Seriously? We can't even go trick-or-treating before the over-commercialization of Christmas starts?

I love Christmas. The entire holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving preparations, is amazing. Such a focus on our family, our Savior, our home, the simple things that make our life complete. And all the baking. I love baking. And the music. I adore Christmas music. After Thanksgiving. Maybe a few songs in mid-November. Not a radio station devoting their programming to Christmas songs now. RIDICULOUS!!!

I know I'm a little crazy about this. I'm usually very easy-going. But one of my life rules is NO CHRISTMAS MUSIC BEFORE NOVEMBER. The unseasonably warm weather was just the cherry on top.


In other news, trick-or-treating was fun. Lauren fell asleep on the way home from daycare, so Aubrey and I went t-or-t-ing while Andy and Lauren stayed home. Aubrey wore butterfly wings, with a cut-out fish around her neck - she was a butterfly fish (what I'd been at work earlier) and I wore her doughnut costume (cardboard cut-out decorated with felt frosting and sprinkles - what she had been at school*, girl scouts and daycare). And she got enough candy for 6 kids**. Lauren woke up minutes after Aubrey and I got home, so she put on her butterfly wings and I took her to Bob & Bev across the street, and called it a night. And my camera is MIA, so umm, sorry, no Halloween pictures.

*Apparently Aubrey'd been talking about her costume in class - when we arrive with her doughnut costume, one of the girls sees it and says, "Holy God, she wasn't kidding!" All I could do was laugh.

**I've always put a limit on candy consumption, but then it stays in the house for sooooo long, so Aubrey and I decided that we will all each as much as we want tonight, without even asking mom first!!! and then, beginning tomorrow, have a 2 piece a day limit. And, I decided unilaterally that all the candy expires about mid-November, no matter what. As I'm typing this, though, Lauren is claiming that the 11 blow-pops in her hands are all hers, and I'm maybe rethinking our plans for the night. :-)

In a kinda funny twist to my Christmas music/Halloween situation, I found out today that my sister will be with us for Christmas this year. That means enchilada casserole for Christmas Eve Dinner, and Grandpa John's sticky buns for breakfast Christmas day. And thinking of that puts me in the holiday spirit. But it's still way too freakin' early to deck my halls!

How was your Halloween? For your sake, I hope there was no decking of halls, silencing of the night or jingling of bells! ;-)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A few of my favorite things....

Tea. Hot tea. It's gotta be herbal. Well, actually, it's gotta be Tazo Calm.
I often enjoy other varieties of tea, but my favorite tea by far is Tazo Calm. Subtle, light, refreshing, heavenly. I don't lie. I could drink it all day long. And sometimes I do. It's very similar to Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Tea, but a bit more grown up.

Another of my favorite things lately has been the NPR series of essays This I Believe. Anyone, anyone, can write an essay (I'm not sure how the submission process works) and it may end up in this series. Browsing their essays, I can spend hours clicking from one to another to another. It's amazing and inspiring, the varieties of "voices" featured. Really, though, I love anything on NPR's website these days. Except all the politics. I can't wait for November 6th.

Another of my favorite things is the legal pad I keep sitting on my desk at work. I don't like working, and wish I could be home with my girls, playing, creating, enjoying everyday things. But, since right now I need to work, I have my pad. List after list after list gets written. Things I need to do when I get home, things we want to do on the weekend, craft projects (that, admittedly, wouldn't get done even if I were home) that I think would be so cool, items to pack for our Thanksgiving roadtrip to New Mexico, and, always, groceries.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Confessions of a 2 1/2 year old

My name Warren. I wike to tawk

Did you know that Lauren used to be able to see the purple tree? But not anymore, because the purple tree got on roller skates and went away. To Grandpa Shane's house. Apparently there is a blue tree still around somewhere, though.

And the conversation just moments ago...

Mommy, you an owl!
I'm an owl?
No, you a animal!
An animal?
No, you a cracker!
I'm a cracker?
Yes, you a cracker. Hahahahaha!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wonderful Sunday

Let's start off by me informing you that I can ramble. I'm feeling kinda rambly.

Growing up, I always believed in God and knew I was Christian, but church wasn't really a part of our everyday lives. We went to church exactly 4 times a year... Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Sunday after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

When we moved to Wisconsin, we chose to live in the same town as Andy's second cousin, who happens to be a pastor. She and her husband are pastors, actually. So we began going to their church. Regularly. Not 4x a year regularly, but just-about-every-Sunday regularly. And it was awesome. Such a great church family, lots of community involvement, global causes, and very welcoming. I became a member. Andy and Aubrey were baptized here. Lauren, too, when she was born.

However, a few months ago, something small happened at church that turned my stomach. Really, it's small and not the point of the story, you just need to know that after that incident my motivation for going to church was pretty low. I don't need to go to church to fill my spiritual cup, but I love to go when I enjoy it. And I know that Jesus knows my heart, and my not going to church every Sunday is okay. So this morning I really really didn't want to go, but I felt I should, and I knew that once I got there, the music would feel amazing. It always does.

So I went. With both girls. Aubrey chose to stay in the nursery the whole time, and Lauren stayed with me until I read the bulletin and saw that I was to do prayer ministry. So, down to the nursery Lauren went, and I did prayer ministry. At our church, that's held off to the side of the alter during communion. Anyone wanting someone to pray with them or for them may come over and we pray. *

The first woman to approach me, we'll call her Sal. Sal's got cancer. This is the 2nd time she's had it. It's really taking it's toll on her. Her doctor informed her this week that the drug she's using now is her last hope. There are 2 (FDA-approved) drugs she hasn't yet tried - this one and one that knocks your immunity down to nothing. Sal's immunity is really low anyway, she can't try the other. This is it. So we prayed. And cried. And talked. And cried.

This entire time, Steve is doing prayer ministry next to me, with other folks. I notice Julie standing back aways, and she never approaches Steve, even though he's 'open.' She waits for Sal to leave me. Which took awhile. Communion was done, things were moving right along. So, Jule approaches me and asks that I pray for her heart. She's younger then I am (I'm 28) and she's got a heart condition. Has started new meds and is hoping for the best, but might be pregnant, and a pregnancy is not what her heart can handle right now. Pray, cry, talk, comfort... all the while I really kept feeling like everything was going to be fine, and I told her such. Not in a way to dismiss her feelings, just that for what it was worth, that's what my intuition was saying.

Being prayer minister today was the last thing I set out to do this morning. I'm so glad I didn't skip church, and that I got to pray with Sal and Julie. That filled my spiritual cup more than any song could today, it was just what I needed.

* Praying out loud is a fear of mine. I'm not comfortable doing it. I never would've chosen to do prayer ministry at all. In fact, I didn't choose to do it. One night last April I was laying in bed. Everyone else was asleep, I was almost there. Out of the blue, clear as day, I thought to myself, "I should really get over this fear of praying out loud, what is that all about anyway?" Then I fell asleep, woke up the next day and forgot that I had told myself I needed to conquer this fear. Until I got the mail that afternoon. A letter from the volunteer coordinator at church, asking me to join the prayer ministers, and noting that she'd been praying for some time and I that my name came to her. So, with a little nudge from God, I am working on this fear of mine. One random Sunday at a time.

In other news, we might wake up to snow. So I ran out and clipped my asters, one lonely daisy and my pineapple sage, and they are all crammed into my Grandma Ruthie's pewter pitcher right now, making my table look so welcoming and put-together. I rarely have cut flowers in the house, but I need to do it more often. Ha, great time to make this resolution, as we are expecting snow, huh? (Store-bought bouquets are just not the same!)



Check out these adorable skirts! I'm in love. And inspired.

And, thank you, Emily, for sharing this link! :-)
oops, double-post! sorry, carry on.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Can't argue the logic

Listening to NPR on the way home from work, the topic is the upcoming election. Shocking, huh? Anyway, a gentleman with a very heavy (unidentifiable to me) accent very eloquently said that the dems exploit everyone but Americans, while the republicans exploit everyone incuding Americans. And that he won't vote for Obama because of the democrats history, not apologizing for this thing or the other. And that he wants to vote for Nader, but if the election is close in Wisconsin, he'll vote McCain because if McCain wins, he'll push us past the breaking point so bad that we (Americans) will finally see the problems and seek the necessary changes. Hahahahaha. I so can't argue with him. He thinks there are some things wrong with our country. Who doesn't. But to have the balls to say "let's elect the guy who'll screw us over the most, so maybe then we'll learn." I laughed out loud. I've been laughing out loud. And I still can't argue with him. He's one smart dude.

*one smart dude does not necessarily express the views and opinions of this author, he just makes her laugh.

Maybe you are left scratching your chin, thinking I've lost my marbles. If that's the case, then let's just say it was funnier in person. Or that I've lost my marbles. Really, it could go either way.

Monday, October 20, 2008

three things

I so totally copied this from a blog I stumbled upon in my wanderings around the web today, and thought it seemed fun. Enjoy!

3 Favorite Last Purchases:
1. Eggs from my egg lady
2. Halloween costume pieces at Goodwill
3. Apples at the orchard

3 Fears:
1. Outliving my children
2. Dying in a car crash
3. Snakes and other creepy-crawly critters

3 Favorite Movies:
1. The Notebook
2. Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants
3. Nannie McPhee

3 Facts About Me:
1. I love baking
2. I am very creative
3. I am L A Z Y

3 Things I haven't done:
1. Made Shaker-Stuffed Flank Steak - the dish my husband drools over but it's an entire day in the kitchen (and it falls under cooking NOT baking)
2. Visited my sister in Prague
3. Bike around Geneva Lake

3 Things I can't live without:
1. my family
2. craft supplies
3. the full moon

3 Things on today's list:
1. Turn in Daisy fundraiser paperwork
2. Fold laundry
3. Return The Creative Family (I haven't yet figured out how to insert text instead of the actual website for links yet - any help?) to the library. And make a mental note to tell Andy that all I want for Christmas is that book

3 Favorite dishes:
1. Mom's red chile enchiladas
2. Daddy's chicken curry
3. Andy's Sunday breakfasts

3 Places I have lived:
1. Albuquerque
2. Richmond, VA
3. Wisconsin

3 Favorite tv shows:
1. Grey's Anatomy
2. Deperate Housewives
3. Brothers & Sisters

3 Places I have traveled:
1. Northwest Washington
2. Washington, D.C.
3. Deming, NM

3 Favorite Desserts:
1. Pig Lickin' Cake
2. Homemade pumpkin pie
3. warm buttermilk pie

3 Things I would buy if money wasn't an issue:
1. A lifetime of yoga classes
2. A vacation to Prague
3. A long cardigan like this

3 Wishes:
1. To live communally on Andy's parents' property with his parents, siblings and their families.
2. Financial freedom.
3. A simple, quality life with plenty of time to enjoy and create.

3 People I tag:
1. April
2. Emily
3. Alison (psst - since you don't blog, you can post it as a comment here or e-mail it to me)


We have 5 fur friends in our home, 3 cats and 2 rabbits. A week ago we only had 1 rabbit (Honey - a giant albino - spayed female), but our neighbors gave us theirs (Binky, a black dwarf intact male), and I spent some time researching how to introduce bunnies to eachother. Bunny dates are recommended to get things going. The dates must always be on neutral territory, aka my bathroom.

On date #1 Binky took a few minutes to come out of his carrier and check things out, and then he took 1.7 seconds to mount Honey. Right in the middle of her back. Later attempts that same first date were a bit more on target if you catch my drift. The date lasted about 30 minutes. Date #2 - more mounting, lots of chasing, and they both seemed completely relaxed. Binky even got mad at me when I told him the date was over and he needed to go back home.

After the 2 neutral dates I brought Binky into Honey's enclosure - his future home sweet home - and things were a little crazy for awhile, as they figured out who got to be in charge. And, as it turns out, Honey kinda led Binky on in the mounting department. The behavior she somewhat tolerated while dating just doesn't fly anymore. So now instead of trying to mount Honey in order to make babies (I haven't yet told Binky he'll never be a father), he's out just for pleasure.... he'll groom Honey's ears, get her nice and relaxed and then attack her face. Yes, her face. All while still grooming her. She tolerates Binky gettin' it on on her face, which I so do not relate to, but they've figured out what works for them. And the girls think they're just playing.

So neat to see how quickly they've bonded, though. After Binky's 4th night here, his former owner came over. Stuck his hand over the enclosure to pet Binky, and Honey attacked him. Not the way Binky attacks Honey, just to be clear, but was obviously protecting Binky from the man she doesn't know. And, just a litte while ago, Honey worked her way under her blanket so that only a small patch of her hiney was exposed. Binky freaked out. Ran circles all around her, lookng for her. Holy crap, it was hilarious. He knew she was there, but he couldn't see her. Kind of like when Mommy wants to take a bath, and she closes the bathroom door (maybe even locks it) and her children are left outside screaming "Mommy! Can I come in?" "I'm thirsty!" "Can I have some candy?" "I havta pee." "My sister hit me, so I hit her back!" I foresee Honey hiding under her blanket often, to get a break from Binky or to mess with him, depending on her mood. And how often Binky has tried to score with her face in the last hour.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Quick, any AMAZING ideas?

I just found out about Google's 10th Anniversary contest - Project 10 to the 100th -

Searching for the next big ideas that will help us all. The deadline is tomorrow, in case you've got a plan to save the world and want Google to help you make it happen. I can't imagine how many ideas they've got coming in, but what a cool idea! I keep thinking, even the ideas that won't win might get enough exposure to cause some little ripples of change, if not tidal waves. Woohoo. I'm ridiculously excited. Maybe partly because I submitted my very own world-saving idea just moments ago. My idea - replace as many household paper products as you can with cloth. Napkins, diapers, papertowels, toilet paper, baby wipes, menstrual pads, you get the idea. I gave much more detail in my submission, and now it's late and I'm sleepy, so if you want any more information, let me know and I'll share (FYI - all of my examples are ones that I personally do - though the toilet paper is not a 100% commitment - mostly because I don't have that many wipes. Well no, I have that many wipes, I just don't like laundry that much - and, speaking of laundry, I just throw the napkins and extra kitchen towels in with my regular towel loads while the diapers, wipes and pads, they get their own load with a pre-wash soak to boot - only 1 more load of laundry a week for our family of 4).


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Single-tasking Challenge

I found this article about how multi-tasking isn't all that great, and it made lots of sense to me.

I want to take this challenge, but I can't commit to it at the moment - I need to mentally prepare myself. I know, silly. But still, the thought of NOT answering the phone when it rings because I'm making dinner, while freeing, is also kinda scary. Anyone want to single-task with me? Might be the motivation I need to give it a try. :-)

In other news, Aubrey was up off and on throughout the night because her ear was hurting her. So I kept her home from school, and she seems fine. So fine that I threatened to take her to school when she was driving me batty. Hopefully she'll be fine tonight, because I'm sure the pain comes from laying down long enough for the fluid to work its' way up into the ears. Maybe I'll just have her camp on the recliner tonight and call it good.

And, Colleen just called (I sent Lauren to daycare today even though I'm working from home - I cannot work with her here!) to say that Lauren keeps going up to Grace. "You Grace. My name Warren. You can say 'Hi' me now. I Warren." She's done this repeatedly. Only to Grace, who has been at teh daycare since before lauren started going - it's not like Grace is new there. Too silly.

And, my typing what Lauren was saying, made me notice that each of girls, before they could pronounce their own names, had "boy names." Aubrey called herself 'Bobby' - a nickname that has stuck with our sometimes-babysitter, Ashley, who always calls her 'Bob.' And, obviously, Lauren calls herself 'Warren.' Bobby and Warren, my boys. :-)

Okay, back to work I go.......

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


My blog was flagged as a potential spam blog - what the heck? Very ODD! I'm glad Blogger is watching out for us, but I'm so curious as to what about my blog appeared spam-like in their algorithm.

I'm currently watching the debate and I must say, it isn't holding my attention well. I'm trying, though, because I think it's important. Even though I know who I'm voting for, I should watch to solidify my decision, or possibly change it (though I don't foresee that happening this election). *yawn*

I'm drooling over the hanna anderson catalog that came today. I want this


(with the matching dress for both my girls)

and this...

and lots of other things, too, but these two I really really love.

Monday, October 6, 2008

sick folk

We are a house of sickies right now. Poor Aubrey's got it the worst, and Lauren and I are both feeling it. Andy is, too, but he pushed himself to get to work this morning. I'm hoping he'll be home early.

Our weekend was full of resting, trying to get over the sickies. And I also spent a long evening helping my Jaimie get her new apartment somewhat settled. She's leaving her husband, and I so wanted to talk to her about that and everything that goes along with it, but her children (not from this marraige) and her step-son, along with assorted friends of the kids, were always around, so real adult conversation will wait. I was able to help with the unpacking a little bit, though, and I threw together a big pot a vegetable soup for people to eat when they got hungry, because I knew otherwise it would be a late trip to McD's for something less-then-healthy and $$$ - I've moved too many times in my life to not know how that works!

This weekend fall seemed to hit with a vengence. So Sunday morning Aubrey and I snuck away to Goodwill (this was when Aubrey's energy was good and she seemed like she was mostly better, and the puking hadn't yet hit!). I love that store. Anyway, I made sure Aubrey took it easy still - sitting in the cart for part of the trip, lots of trips to the water fountain. We found her several cute pairs of pants and some long sleeved shirts that I wouldn't let her not get. I found a pair of jeans and a super cute black skirt I can wear to work. No luck on shirts for me, that'll be another day. We also found Aubrey's wings for Halloween - she wants to be a fairy - and Lauren's cowboy hat, because she wants to be a cowboy. "No, not a cowgirl, me be a cowboy!" I also found (but didn't buy) assorted things to decorate the house. See, I was on a budget (even at Goodwill) and the house I was mentally decorating is the house several states away, that has yet to be found. I can't justify buying loads of cute things in Wisconsin only to put them in a box and haul them 1000+ miles away, you know?

I hope you had a great weekend. :-)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Our camping trip in photos

Run, run, fast as you can, you can't catch Aubrey, she's headed toward the playground!

Her exact words were, "Go away, Mommy!" (I think she was tired of the camera!)

Round and round they went, Lauren always wanting to go faster then Aubrey.

Delicious Stone Stew, made by Andy. Yes, that's a stone in the middle of our stew.

An earthworm friend we made.

Our caterpillar friend - we named him Chubby Cheeks and played with him for quite awhile. Then we took him home and put him in a nice little habitat to watch him, and he died.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

craft projects of the week

First, Aubrey's Flower Princess crown. Her back-from-summer-break Daisy Girl Scout meeting was to be a "princess picnic" and, well, we don't do too much princess in our house, so I made Aubrey a crown. I'd been wanting to make her one for awhile, and turns out the princess picnic was the motivation I needed. All the fabric is felt, the ribbon a grossgrain that I machine sewed on with a fancy machine stitch and verigated thread, and her initial, along with the middles of the flowers, are just little glass beads. This was so easy to make. And pretty quick.

Next (and last craft project of this post) is the play dough. Aubrey's been asking for months if we could make play dough, and she always happened to ask in the middle of making dinner, or driving to the library, or after brushing teeth before bed. So, finally, tonight, I remembered that she's been wanting to do this and I got it started. My helpers were so helpful, picking out the two most beautiful colors - "bwue" is what Lauren chose, like the ocean, while Aubrey opted for yellow. Egg yolk yellow, if you ask me.

As you can probably tell from the picture, there seems to be more green play dough then the afore-mentioned bwue and yellow. Yup. Because when asked if the two could be mixed, I took a deep breath to calm the OCD and responded sweetly with, "It's your playdough, what do you think?" A resounding "YES!" immediately followed, along with requests for bowls, for the proper mixing. Tools are everything, you know.

I predict that by tomorrow at dinner time, there will be no visible evidence of there ever having been two seperate, distinct batches of play dough made today, and that the hulk green that we've created will be made into pizza, cookies, blueberry pie, towers and assorted family members.

(And, because I am sure you are so curious, the bowl pictured is my favorite bowl, and since it is my favorite, it is also Aubrey's favorite. This means that sometimes we fight over it. No, not really, but if she weren't one of the loves of my life, I just might fight her for it!)

Picture time!

Last time I went to the garden, all this was waiting for me.... (sorry about the fuzziness - I took LOTS of pictures before realizing my lens was dirty!)

So much happiness in fresh produce.

So much more happiness in produce I grew myself.

The orange tomatoes are the best I've ever tasted, and I can't for the life of me remember the name, so I am attempting to save tomato seeds - we'll see how it goes! The purple corn is actually called red, and it is really sweet. Other things we grew this year... pumpkins, cantaloupe, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, carrots, zucchini, unidentified squash, peas.

In my front flower bed I currently have this aster and hibiscus, along with a pineapple sage that I am totally in love with (but no pictures, maybe it's just lust and not love after all). The hibiscus flowers are each as big as my hands.
more pictures asap - still figuring out blogger!