"Anyone can have one kid. But going from one kid to two is like going from owning a dog to running a zoo." - P. J. O'Rourke

Friday, November 30, 2012

Oh, Christmas Tree

Not the real one yet (we get that on Chris' birthday - Dec. 15), but this....

It's a countdown "calendar" to Christmas.  Behind each tree is a piece of paper with an idea on it of something fun to do that day like "Go sledding" or "Bake cookies."  There are also ideas that involve serving others like "Bring a meal to a friend" or "Shovel someone's driveway."

I would love to take credit for this great idea, but it isn't mine.  I got it from another blog called IntentionalByGrace .  I thought it was a great idea, so we went out and made our own.  It was super easy (we bought pre-cut foam Christmas trees) and took Chris and me about 20 minutes to do.

Can't wait to begin the countdown tomorrow!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

We Have Furniture!!

For the first time in three months we have couches and chairs on which to sit.  We have a dining room table, which we all can sit around.  No one will have to stand up for dinner tomorrow night!

Oh, happy day!!

There's nothing on the walls yet, and most of the bookshelves are still bare, but at least we can sit down on comfy, cushioned things!  Ahhhhhhh!

Dust What?

I've seen my share of dust bunnies around here, even a few dust dinosaurs, but last night I saw my first dust seahorse.

While it is slightly embarrassing to show you all my dirty floor, I just had to show you this amazing find!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Celebrating Carpet Day

Some of you might be a little puzzled about the proper way to celebrate Carpet Day.  I have decided to post some pictures of our own Carpet Day celebrations to give you some ideas.

Here we have Molly demonstrating the planking method of celebration.  Great for really getting to know your carpeting  

The littles preferred to celebrate as a group.

Feel free to celebrate with your pets.  They love the carpet just as much as you.

It's always more fun to celebrate with those you love.

The point is to totally enjoy your carpet.  Revel in it (or on it, as the case may be).  Trust me, life is better with carpeting!

Carpet Day

I hereby decree that the 28th day of November be declared Carpet Day, to be celebrated every year henceforth in celebration of our carpet finally being laid.  Carpet Day should be annually celebrated by throwing yourself with whole-hearted enthusiasm onto any carpeted floor and proclaiming, "Praise God for his kindness to the human race in allowing carpet to be made and installed!"

If you do not have a carpeted floor on which to celebrate Carpet Day, feel free to come to our house and throw yourself on one of the many floors being carpeted on this very first Carpet Day!

Happy Carpet Day, everyone!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Raelea's Screen Debut

Raelea was asked to participate in a promotional video for our church's Advent series. Here is her screen debut...
 And if you're in the Minneapolis area, feel free to join us for our Advent series, every Sunday from now until Christmas.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Because this was an MDS 12 day..

"You ask where will we stand in the winds that will howl,
As all we see will slip into the clouds.
Oh, come down from your mountain and stand where we've been,
You know our breathe is weak and our bodies thin!  

Press my nose up to the glass around your heart,
I should have known I was weaker from the start.
You'll build your walls, I will play my bloody part,
To tear, tear them down,
Well, I'm gonna tear, tear them down! 

'Cause I know my weakness, know my voice,
And I'll believe in grace and choice.
And I know perhaps my heart is farce,
But I'll be born without a mask."

Random Weekend Pictures

Being that it was a holiday weekend, we took a LOT of pictures.  Here's a sampling...

Baby Calvin (my niece Colleen's little baby) is ADORABLE!!

Everybody wanted to watch him.

Good food for Thanksgiving!

Attack of the dogs.  Dogs love me.  Really, they do!

Snickers - enjoying Grandma and Grandpa's carpeting.  Something we have precious little of at home right now.

Dad feeding his great-grandson.

More Calvin.  You can never get enough Calvin!

We LOVE babies!

Um, well, this is just how we make cookies.

I love my daddy!

Lots and lots of cookies!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

First World Problems

I watched this video the other day...

It was all over Facebook, and I finally succumbed and watched it.  It got me thinking because I've heard some of those same complaints from my own children.  Now, when I hear them complain because they don't like the muffins I made for breakfast or because their favorite shirt is in the wash I just tell them "FWP!"  Makes them think.

But alas, as with most things, when I start calling my kids on something, I soon find myself convicted of the same thing!  So when I am frustrated about the stain on my nicely painted walls - FWP!  Or when the floors didn't turn out quite as nice as I would like them - FWP!  Perhaps I'm tempted to complain about waiting in line for 45 minutes on Black Friday - FWP!

Frankly, I just need to stop my whining!

That doesn't mean I have to be happy about the stain on my newly painted walls, but I do need to keep it in perspective.  It is only a wall after all!  Thank God I have walls and floors and sales at Kohls!

My friend Maria posted the following on Facebook today...
"What can we say about such wonderful things as this? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since God did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won't God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?" Romans 8:31, 32 

 Those of us who have Jesus really have nothing to worry about or be discontent about. God knows our needs - all of them - and HE alone can meet them. He gave us everything - how can I withhold anything from Him in light of all He has done and sacrificed for me? Everything good that I have is because God gave it to me first. Lord - help me to remember these Truths and put them into practice in all areas of my life. You alone are worthy of all praise, glory, and honor - and I want to live to please You first.

It's so true!  I really don't have ANYTHING to worry about or be discontented about.  Such a good and timely reminder!

Happy Anniversary To Us

Happy 22 1/365 year anniversary to us!  We didn't celebrate yesterday because, well, because finishing this house project took priority.  Tonight, though, I get to go out to dinner with my favorite guy!  Can't believe it's been 22 years since we said, "I do!"  Time goes by so fast.  And as you can see by the pictures, we haven't changed a bit!  Except a change in nail color.

I love you, Chris, and I am blessed to be your wife!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

This Is For Chris

One of his favorite versions of his favorite Christmas song...

Bring On The Snow

While I'm not really a winter person, my mumsy gave me these today, and I'm suddenly anxious for a good snowfall.

She can no longer cross-country ski because of her hip and knee replacements, so she has bequeathed her skis to ME.  Sad for her, but very happy for myself.

Thanks, Mom!

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

I LOVE this time of year!  I love the music, I love spending extra time with my extended family, and I love cookie baking, which is what we did today at Mom & Dad's while Chris stayed at home and refinished the wood floors.

So, while Chris was doing this...

The rest of us were doing this...

Creating many beautiful masterpieces...

 ANd nothing says Merry Christmas quite like a Christmas cookie grenade, right?!

Once we got home we discovered that Chris had created a beautiful masterpiece as well...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Race Was On

Well, I have to say the Turkey Day 5K we ran this morning was one of the most fun races I've ever run.  Not only was the weather  PERFECT, the course was FLAT and the other runners were highly ENTERTAINING.  Couldn't have asked for a better way to spend Thanksgiving morning!

We put the shirts back on for the picture, but we ran in short-sleeves for much of the way; it was so warm!

It's all about coordinating!

So Much

I've got so much to be thankful for.

Here's a short list for today:
- A beautiful sunrise
- Jumper cables
- A husband who will get out of a warm bed at 6 AM to jump my car for me
- 53 degrees at 7 AM (and not the 30-something degrees it was by 5 PM)
- A crazy sister who gets me to do fun things like run a 5K on Thanksgiving morning
- Crazy people who dress up like turkeys and pilgrims while they run a 5K on Thanksgiving morning
- Lots of amazing food
- A wonderful family to spend Thanksgiving with
- Candy cane colored nails
- Lots and lots of really great food
- That Snickers is still around for this Thanksgiving

Okay, that's the short list of things I am thankful for today.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope all my blog buddies and Facebook friends have a wonderful day enjoying food and family and giving thanks for their many blessings!

Here is my Thanksgiving gift to you all -

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The End Is Near

And I'm not talking about the Mayan calendar either.

Looky, looky at my beautiful cabinets (and my beautiful Zoe)!  I know this looks quite similar to my picture on Monday, but if you look closely you will see that we now have shelves in our bookshelves and doors on our corner cabinet.  Oh!!  They look so nice!

Carpeting is going to be installed on next Wednesday, and then we can move the furniture back in!  Still waiting for the fireplace surround (mantel, hearth, etc), but at least we will have our furniture back!!!!!!!

That Says It All

Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving like candy corn colored nails, right?

Okay, maybe not, but they make me smile at least, and they will match the blaze orange shirt I will wear tomorrow morning for the Turkey Day 5K.

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Workout

I have a new total body workout.  It's called the Geriatric Dog Workout.

First, you need to acquire a medium-sized geriatric dog, about 60 pounds should do the trick.  You need to make sure that the dog has reached the age where it can no longer go up and down stairs by itself.  You need to live in a split-level home for this work-out to be most effective.  The more stairs the better.

Now, several times throughout the day, whenever the dog needs to "do its business," you need to carry the dog down the steps. When she is done taking care of business, carry her back up the steps.  You may also need to carry her out of the kitchen, or any other slippery-floored place, when she falls over and can't get herself up again.

There you have it, the Geriatric Dog Workout.  I find it quite effective, particularly in building the upper body.

Here is my own personal geriatric dog.  

Almost There

So very close!  The cabinets got (mostly) installed today.  Yay!!  We are getting so very close; I'm getting antsy.  I can't wait to dust everything!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Two Weeks!

Two weeks from now, my house should be put back in order.  The furniture shouldbe out of the POD in the driveway and back in our house.  The dust should be banished from all shelves and carpeting.  We will have a dining room table to eat meals at, couches to sit on.  Workers will no longer be showing up at 7:30, making the dogs bark.

Two weeks!  Just two more weeks!!!  I told Chris if something happens to delay this finishing date, I will have a nervous breakdown...and I'm totally serious about that, btw.

Two weeks and you will no longer have to read another house addition post.  I warned you before this started that you were going to get bored hearing about the addition, and I was right, wasn't I?  You never thought you'd be begging me to post another Mumford & Sons post, but even that would be better than yet another construction post!

For those of you who want to know, this all started back on August 27 with our dismantling of the deck.  September 6 brought the beginning of the deconstruction of our old living room.  So we are on week 11.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

For Your Enjoyment

Meet Oliver

Much to Lorenzo's dismay, Molly has a new love.  Let me introduce you to Oliver.

As you can see, Molly is quite smitten with Oliver!

There's something I am learning about guitar players.  They NEVER have just one guitar...well, except for that brief period when they are just learning to play, but after that they start collecting guitars, like some people collect stamps.

Dear Molly has had her first guitar, Lorenzo, for just a tad over a year now and LOOK what has happened!  The second guitar has moved in!  A special thanks to Uncle Darren for bequeathing this beautiful instrument to Molly!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Mumford Depressing Scale

Molly and I were stuck alone in a car for hours today.  While we inched along in traffic, we used our time wisely and came up with The Mumford Depressing Scale (MDS).  We then proceeded to classify Mumford & Sons songs on the MDS scale.

Here's how it works -

A 1 means that is the most depressing song written by Mumford & Sons, a 20 means it is the least depressing (maybe even happy) song written by them.  A 12 is for all songs that start out sad, but end not so sad.  A 13 is for those that start out sad and finish happy.

Now, I need to be clear, we are only talking about lyrics.  Clearly there are peppy tunes with depressing lyrics and slow songs with happy lyrics.  We disregarded the music and rated them solely on lyrics.

Okay, here we go.  M & S songs from most depressing to least depressing -


  1. Liar
  2. I Gave You All
  3. Wretched Man
  4. Broken Crown
  5. White Blank Page
  6. Sister
  7. Where Are You Now
  8. Enemy
  9. Little Lion Man
  10. Dust Bowl Dance
  11. Reminder
  12. Babel, For Those Below, Holland Road, Home, Hopeless Wanderer, Lover's Eyes, Timshel, Winter Winds
  13. After the Storm, Below My Feet, Ghosts That We Knew, Hold On to What You Believe, I Will Wait, Lover of the Light, Roll Away Your Stone, Whispers in the Dark
  14. Where Is My Heart?
  15. Feel The Tide
  16. Sigh No More
  17. The Cave
  18. Banjolin Song
  19. Awake My Soul
  20. Not With Haste

We have now given you the ability to gauge your mood and determine which song you would like to listen to.  

If you're wallowing in sadness and have no desire to pick yourself up, go for numbers 1 through 11.  If you want to feel a little better, but need to crawl out of your pit slowly any of #12 should help.  Tired of being down in the dumps?  #13 is the answer.  Life's pretty good, smiling as you go and want to stay that way?  Fourteen through 20 will suit your needs just fine.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Weekend Activity

Well, I know what Chris will be doing all weekend...

Yay!  The cabinets have arrived!!!!  They are beautiful....and BIG!  If Chris gets them stained over the weekend, they can be installed next week.....and after that, it's just the carpeting!!!!!!!

You can tell how excited I am about this by the number of exclamation points in this post.

ADD Seminar

I went to a seminar on ADD yesterday, and a couple people asked me to summarize what they talked about.  I will give a quick rundown of what Russell Barkley presented.  First though, I have to say, that while he had a lot of information on the causes and effects of ADD, I did not agree with everything he said.

Anyway, the seminar was titled "The 12 Best Principles for Managing the Child or Teen with ADHD."

He started by defining ADHD.  It's a developmental disorder, not a psychopathological disorder.  It's not a mental illness.  ADHD children are slower to develop their executive functions in their brain.  It's not temporary and a majority of people do not "grow out of it."  Dr. Barkley said that ADHD is the most impairing disorder psychiatrists see on an out-patient basis.  It is primarily a genetic disorder, although can be caused by things such as smoking, alcohol use, or infections during pregnancy,; traumatic birth; or prematurity.

Okay, on to the 12 principles

  1. Parents are shepherds, not engineers.  Which I take to mean, you cannot change how they were made, you can teach them skills to function within their limitations.
  2. Time escapes them.   Minimize delays (rewards or punishments must be immediate).  Externalize time (using clocks, timers, etc.)
  3. They have poor working memory - remembering what they are supposed to be doing.  Use sticky notes, cards, or other cues to physically represent information that will help them guide their behavior.
  4. Make rewards part of the task.  They lack the brain function that controls self-motivation, so external motivation must be provided.
  5. Make problem solving physical.  Break problems into smaller tasks and make them physical - manipulatives, etc.
  6. Talk less, touch more.  As Dr. Barkley said, "It's not Information Deficit Disorder!"
  7. Be pro-active, not reactive.  Have a plan before the behavior deteriorates, to prevent the problem.
  8. Have a plan, think aloud, think ahead.  I think this was similar to #8.
  9. Increase accountability.  After you break things up into smaller tasks, make sure they actually do the little task.  Give positive feedback.
  10. Get your priorities straight.  Don't make a big deal out of things that aren't important.
  11. Remember, it's a disability.  ALthough you can't see it by looking at them, an ADHD child is disabled.
  12. Forgive.  Yourself.  Your child.
That was pretty much it.  Good things to remember.  Dr. Barkley did not give much credit to various treatments for ADHD (diet, sensory integration training, etc.).  I'm not sure he's right on those things.  I think the connection between the brain and our digestive system is just now starting to be fully explored and they are finding out some amazing things.  In another year or two I suspect a link between the health of our digestive system and the function of our brain will be confirmed, as the tip of that iceberg is just beginning to be explored.

Anyway, hope this is helpful to those of you who were asking.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

More Music!!!

Okay, so Mr. Ben Kyle has now recorded videos for all the songs on his debut album.  This is good!  This means I can slowly post them here for your enjoyment and you can go out to iTunes and buy them!  Trust me, you will be much happier once you own this album!

Monday, November 12, 2012

I'm In Love

It took awhile for the relationship to grow, but my new love has grown in character recently and is almost completely mature.  Today, I fell in love with my pillars!

They're not painted yet, but with the moulding on the top and bottom I can finally see what they shall look like when they are done.