Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Big Girl

Look who got an adorable haircut today:

She was very serious as she watched Kendall working.

She was really good the entire time- I was proud of her!

Who is the big girl?

I was a bit nervous about going so short, but am so glad I just went with it. It looks cute and it grows quickly (she gets that from me- and her fine, but lots of it, hair.) I got mine cut, too, but who cares about that. She's the star of this show! I guess we won't be doing pigtails for her first day of school!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In with the new

I've never been more ready for a Monday then I was yesterday. I'm not usually a Monday fan. Thursdays are more my thing, but yesterday was an exception. Monday meant a healthy enough husband to return to work and a return to "normal" for me. If you ignore the wild, disobedient 2.5 year old, it was a lovely day.

In the midst of all our crazy the last few weeks I got an overwhelming urge to reorganize my life. I spent a good chunk of the weekend doing just that and am so pleased with the results. Granted, they haven't been time-tested yet, but they sure seem like good ideas!

I also spent part of the weekend putting together my home management notebook. I stole many of my ideas for it from Simple Mom and even used her basic framework to come up with my daily plan. I scrounged up an old small binder, prettied it up with some random scrapbook paper and gave it a place of prominence on my now, reorganized kitchen counter. I have found myself going to it instinctively to jot down a note or write something on the calendar or remind myself to do something. Again, it's only Day 2 of this new system, but I am feeling good about it. It just makes sense and I can quit wasting brain power trying to keep track of random bits of info. I have a feeling it will help me feel more productive as we go along; I love to check things off a list!

One little box on my daily plan sheets is for scripture memorization, an area that I constantly struggle with. And it's no accident that I was lead to this verse for my first week of my new system:

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." -Colossians 3:23, 24

The perfect reminder that all I do to serve my family, from the mundane to the tedious, I do it for the Lord. Serving and caring for my family is serving Him. My hope is that my new systems and plans help me to serve all the more effectively.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday round-up

It's been a long week. I'm glad it's Saturday. I'm thankful Cale is feeling a bit better. I'm sad Haven woke up with a fever. I'm hopeful about all I want to accomplish this weekend. But right now, all I hope to accomplish is a list of some of my favorite things I have stumbled across this week.

-Haven is going to start preschool in a few weeks. For some reason, I'm a little crazy about it being her first first day of school. So I decided that she needed a dress to wear on this momentous day. But early September is tricky weather-wise. I wanted something fall-ish, but would still work if it's 90 degrees out. I love what we found! Even better is that it was cheaper in store then online AND I had a coupon. It's cute for now, but maybe even cuter with some jeans throughout the rest of the year.

-We went to a story time at Barnes and Noble last weekend. And I'm the sucker that used our time there to browse and subsequently, buy books. But I promise that I called Cale to check that they weren't cheaper online anywhere before I bought them! Richard Scarry's Great Big Schoolhouse is a classic in my mind that we will read and love for years to come. I also got Richard Scarry's Please and Thank You which I am also loving. I have fond memories of laying on the floor pouring over What Do People Do All Day? as a child and I hope to create the same memories with our kids.

-I've found some great new blogs this week that have been inspiring to me in my role as keeper of our home. Simple Mom is going to finally set me over the edge and motivate me to create a home management journal. I have thought about this idea off and on for the last year and am ready to take the plunge. I think that as long as I can make it work for me and me not work for it, we will be in good shape. Simple Mom is just full of great ideas for all aspects of life as a home keeper.

-Other great homekeeping blogs I've found this week: The Shabby Nest, Nesting Place and Chatting at the Sky are just a few. I haven't had untold hours to sit and peruse their archives, but what I have read and seen have been wonderful.

-We had some friends over last night who are moving away in a few weeks. Instead of dinner we met later in the evening for some heavy snacking. Thank you to for the following great recipes: Chicken Garlic Pizza, Double Tomato Bruschetta and Malidzano Eggplant Spread. We have had the pizza many a time and it's always delicious. The bruschetta is one of my favorite ways to use fresh from the garden tomatoes. The eggplant spread was a newbie and we were not disappointed! Our guests loved it and we did, too. Of course, I tweaked it a bit because that's just what I do, but it was wonderful. (The recipe calls for three eggplants, but I think that is way too much. I uesd one large one and adjusted the rest of the ingredients accordingly.) It was great with pita chips. Cale, who is not even an eggplant love like myself, really enjoyed it (on bread because he can't even anything crispy for a few more weeks!).

I hope Monday finds me back in the swing of things with a more organized house, a healthier family and a thankful heart for a new week!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Grandma Margaret

She's not my real grandma. But don't tell her that. Or me, either. She's known me since the day I came home from the hospital and she's loved me every day since. Childhood memories of summer almost always have her house as the setting.

Sitting on the porch trying to keep cool. Running through the yard catching fire flies. Climbing trees and having crab apple fights with my brothers. Pumping water from the well and splashing around to cool ourselves off. Playing in the barn on tractors and combines and acting out scenes from "The Fall Guy". Tables full of Grandma's delicious food and lots of people to share it with. Sitting on Grandpa's lap and listening to fairy tales read from the big book. Picking vegetables from the garden and thinking that there was no way we could eat all those tomatoes.

These are the memories that helped define my life, that give me a sense of belonging and an understanding of what home is.

We went to visit Grandma on Sunday and her presence, all 4' 10" of it, is a comfort to me even still. Watching Haven and Grandma walk down the hallway, hand-in-hand, makes me aware of the flow of life in a new way. Hearing Grandma say my name in the way only she does makes me feel like I'm five again, standing in her kitchen. Kath-a-leen. Seeing the way her eyes light up when we talk about days gone by and knowing that we all miss the same people who fill those memories with love.

She taught my parents, and thus, my brothers and I, that family doesn't just mean the people you share a biological connection with.

She is my grandma.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Out of sorts

We are out of sorts around here. My patient has taken a bad turn and the last few days have been much more painful for Cale. He managed to go into work this afternoon for a few hours which is a step in the right direction. I'm glad for that for many reasons, but selfishly because I've missed my routine and quiet afternoons. The last few days have been hectic and full of major life moments, but I haven't had time to sit and process them. We've been on survival mode for the last week and I have hopes of returning to "normal" sometime soon. Hopefully we can find our way back!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Lots to say, but go here to read why we're so happy around our house today!

Cale's recovering remarkably well and we are also so thankful for that. He's still in some pain, but it's not nearly as bad as we were anticipating. Thanks for praying for us!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tonsils are overrated

Today is Cale's last full day as the proud owner of his tonsils. Thursday afternoon he will be rid of them forever and hopefully rid of some of the problems that have been plaguing him for years. Nana's on her way to help with Haven while we are at the hospital and to keep her entertained when my patient demands more of my time then usual. I feel like I've been preparing all week; stockpiling cabinets and freezer with ice cream, smoothie ingredients, pudding, jello, sherbet, sorbet, juice, applesauce and instant mashed potatoes. I don't know what he will be able to eat when, but I can assure you I'll be prepared for pretty much anything he can swallow. If it's squishy, gelatinous, smooth, cool, or liquid you can bet I've got it.

Cale's confidence has almost completely disappeared after talking to the myriad of people we know who have had this procedure done as an adult. The procedure itself isn't the problem, but the recovery can be long and arduous. I love my husband profusely, but he is a big baby when it comes to pain. I'm not sure how he is going to handle it so prayers for grace and patience (for me!) and for the ability to rest, a quick recovery and good pain meds would be much appreciated. It could be a long couple of weeks for all of us!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic dreams

I was 5 years old when the 1984 Olympics were held. I was all about Mary Lou Retton and begged my parents to sign my up for gymnastics. I wanted to be just like her (minus the hair-do!). My gymnastics career lasted about 4 months and I never got past the cartwheel. Oh well.

So it's no surprise that Haven is taken with the Olympics, too. She's watched diving and "nym-nasnicts" with us and her response is always, "When I get big, I wanna do that, Mama. K?"

Dream big, baby. Dream big.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A good week

We've had a busy week; but it's been the best kind of busy. Filled with trips to the playground, good friends and getting things accomplished here at home. It's been the kind of week that makes me feel really blessed and loving the life we have. It's been good.

Haven turned 2 and a half on Sunday and spur of the minute we decided it would be fun to start a tradition of celebrating every one's half birthday. So we did! We worked on an art project that morning that I read about here. I love the way they turned out and they are now hanging in the play room. She painted the canvases herself and then we helped her do her hand and foot prints.

We had a fun day together- went to a museum, got out the pool to splash around in, had cake complete with singing and blowing out a candle. Haven loved it all!

I also had the chance to spend a lot of quality time with several of the great women in my life. Mom's Bible study ladies, my neighbor and old friends who just moved back to the area. Having gone through a friend drought various times in the past, I'm feeling very blessed by all these wonderful women.

A good, normal-life-stuff-kind-of-week. Here's to hoping that the weekend is more of the same!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Muffin Tin Monday #3

Haven was thrilled when I pulled out her muffin tin for lunch today. After several weeks of being gone or forgetful, I remembered that today was Muffin Tin Monday. On the menu today: grapes, string cheese, carrots, almonds, TJ's crackers and hummus. She ate everything except one carrot. It took her an hour to eat (she was REALLY distracted), but she enjoyed it all.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

So long...farewell

We said a fond farewell to Cale's '92 Corolla today. Cale listed it on and within 45 minutes we signed away the title and had a stack of cash in hand. He removed the listing once the guy left with the car and within that hour and half we had 5 email inquiries. We were amazed and wondering if we should have asked for more. Thank you craigslist!

However, it was not an entirely painless farewell. I cried. I admit I am a sentimental fool and when the reality of the car not being around hit me, I was a mess. My mind was flooded with memories of the last 7 years of life... our DTR talk...the first date...newlywed roadtrips...the (painful) ride home from the hospital with our daughter...countless amazing conversations...the talk that confirmed in our hearts we were to adopt...all took place in that little Corolla. She served us well and we'll miss her. (But I am thoroughly enjoying my new car so I'm pretty sure I'll get over it fast!) We are in a season of change in many areas of life and this is just another, albeit trivial, one.

When the guy left with the car Cale said, "And just like that, she drove out of my life." So long...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Garden Dinner

Tonight's dinner is courtesy of the neighbors' garden. They loaded my arms last night with eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, pattypans and tomatoes. All those vegetables, plus an onion and a red pepper will be roasted in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Tossed with some whole wheat couscous, crumbled feta and topped with fresh thyme and chives from my garden. Delicious! We'll round it out with my double tomato bruschetta that is chilling in the fridge, some freshly baked bread and a salad. Maybe even a glass of iced tea.

Hello, August. I love your fresh produce.