Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Thanks

"May my feet rest firmly on the ground. May my head touch the sky. May I see clearly. May I have the capacity to listen. May I be free to touch. May my words be true. May my heart and mind be open. May my hands be empty to fill the need. May my arms be open to others. May my gifts be revealed to me. So I may return that which has been given, completing the great circle."
--The Terma Collective

Today I am thankful for:

1. Gil and Dawn's stories about Alaska.
2. Laughter.
3. Graduations - Congrats and blessings to Kelsey and Juanita!
4. Getting to bless our graduates and their families at church - what a privelege.
5. The last time I will have to be at both churches on one Sunday morning! Woo-hoo!
6. Sitting with my hubby in church.
7. Leftovers for lunch.
8. LONG naps after a BUSY weekend!
9. Reading on the patio in the sun... would have been nicer if the wind wasn't so strong!
10. Shopping. :)

Saturday, May 30, 2009


"So then did you start reading the Bible?" I asked.
"Yes. We would eat chocolate...and read the Bible, which is the only way to do it, if you ask me. Don, the Bible is so good with chocolate. I always thought the Bible was more of a salad thing, you know, but it isn't. It is a chocolate thing."
--Donald Miller, in "Blue Like Jazz"

I started reading this book today. LOVE it.

Today I am thankful for:

1. A good night's sleep.
2. A great morning with my confirmands from Faith UMC. Such smart, insightful and fun youth!
3. Kelsey's graduation party - nice to sit and chat with friends.
4. Disc golf. The hubby brought my sneakers to the party so we could go play frisbee golf afterwards. It was my first time in about 12 years... I hit more trees than I care to count - but we had a lot of good laughs!
5. Bookstores. Love bookstores.
6. The hubby's new grill - and the dinner it produced tonight!
7. The song, "Right As Rain" by Adele.
8. A good hair day.
9. A nice evening at home.
10. Surviving my drive through West St Paul - saw 2 accidents, and 3 "almost accidents," then on the freeway a mattress flew out of the back of a pick-up two cars in front of me. I think someone had it in for me today - but I survived!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Fun and Fave Five - May 29th

It's Friday! I don't get much of a weekend, this week, due to some youth group activities - but I do love spending time with the kids, so it's all good! And next weekend, I get five days in Pittsburgh with my sister Emily and her family... So I'll tough it out!

Here's my Friday Fun - some random get-to-know-you questions - feel free to use them, if you'd like!

Giving birth: how old is too old? Ha ha ha. Last week my doctor and I were joking about the woman in England who is 66 and pregnant. I asked him if he knew about it, and he said, "no... but I guarantee, that's not natural!" I laughed and promised him I won't wait that long to decide!

Would you rather have ten children or none? Uh. None. I'm scared of two or three.

What it the scariest thing about parenting? The lack of control you really have over your kids or the rest of the world. I think I would end up being way overprotective - and it still wouldn't matter... Anything could happen, anytime... That scares me. I worry enough about the people I love.

Should children be sheltered from unhappiness? No. I think parents shelter their kids way too much these days. Kids need to know that life will not always go the way they want it to - and that's ok. Life will go on, and they will find happiness in other ways. I think we end up hurting kids more than helping them when we underestimate their resilience.

What drives you craziest about children, yours or others? The lack of respect and accountability for their actions. I sound like an old lady, but I cannot believe how disrespectful kids are these days. And when they don't feel like taking responsibility for their own actions, their parents make excuses for them?! It's an absolute JOY when I get to work with a kid with a good head on their shoulders and parents who keep their kid accountable.

At what age do you think children are cutest to observe? I love first, second, and third grade kids. They're still somewhat innocent - but full of mischief, they're curious and full of wonder, and they're smart and want to keep learning. And they like to tell you all about what they're thinking about the world - so fun.

Would you ever adopt a child? Yes. I would like to eventually.

Anything can be fun if you want it to be: agree or disagree? “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens." --Kahlil Gibran. I agree. For goodness sakes, I laugh with my doctors at annual exams, and today during a mammogram....!

Would you rather skydive or hang glide? Well, I have sky-dived - and loved it. And I would love to try hang gliding! (Although the older I get, the wimpier I get... So we'll see!)

Would you rather put together a 30,000 piece jigsaw puzzle or read a dictionary cover-to-cover? Puzzle. Definately. Might take more time - but definately more fun. (And at least you could enjoy the end result!)
And now for my Friday Fave Five of the week (click on the link to read others' answers, too!):

1. Went to the doctor this morning, had a mammogram and ultrasound - all is good. Praise God!
2. One of my youth group kids has been hoping and praying for a specific medical treatment to be approved for her - and she got approved and started it this week! (We've been praying for her in Confirmation class for several weeks - so this is big news!)
3. Dinner with the hubby and friends - Barb, Beth, and Heather last night. So fun to have a night out! San Pedro Cafe in Hudson, WI - our fave!
4. Notes from my friend, Em, all week. She always makes me laugh out loud - even on the rough days!
5. The pool is open and the weather is gorgeous - I'm hoping to get there this weekend!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Good news at the doctors office. Whew.
2. Confirmation retreats - so sun. Such good kids!
3. Time at the pool - first time this year! Woo-hoo!
4. My swimsuit is too big... Lovely.
5. Chatting with my sister on the phone today - I can't wait to see her next week!
6. "Chatting" with my friend online tonight. So fun.
7. Prayers from friends. Gotta love them!
8. Jay Leno's last show - love the Jaywalking clips! Ha ha ha.
9. My dog apparently bought my hubby a new grill tonight - there was even a note on the new grill from her to him: "Dear Daddy, Thank you for playing frisbee with me even when you don't wanna... Please cook mommy yummy dinners with this. She likes to cuddle when I smell like the grill. Luv, Booger" (A term of endearment, of course!) LOL Well... at least she had me in mind when she bought it!
10. Looking forward to a busy day tomorrow! (And a grilled dinner!)

Thursday, May 28, 2009


"'Leadership' is a concept we often resist. It seems immodest, even self-aggrandizing, to think of ourselves as leaders. But if it is true that we are made for community, then leadership is everyone's vocation, and it can be an evasion to insist that it is not. When we live in the close-knit ecosystem called community, everyone follows and everyone leads...

"...We have places of fear inside of us, but we have other places as well - places with names like trust and hope and faith. We can choose to lead from one of those places, to stand on ground that is not riddled with the fault lines of fear, to move toward others from a place of promise instead of anxiety. As we stand in one of those places, fear may remain close at hand and our spirits may still tremble. But now we stand on ground that will support us, ground from which we can lead others toward a more trustworthy, more hopeful, more faithful way of being in the world."
--Parker Palmer, "Let Your Life Speak"

Things that I am thankful for today:

1. A beautiful day outside!
2. Diane worrying about me going to the doctor by myself tomorrow - I'll be ok, I promise!
3. The song, "Down in Mary's Land" by Mary Chapin Carpenter - great in the car with the windows down and moonroof open, especially in the evening!
4. Feeling "crispy" after being out in the sun!
5. New flip flops.
6. Gift cards.
7. Dinner at San Pedro - YUM!
8. Friends joining us at San Pedro - finally!
9. A beautiful sunset.
10. Distractions.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yummy Wednesday - Cedar-Planked Salmon

Mmmm - if you like salmon, here's a recipe you will LOVE! The hubby and I don't even order salmon at restaurants anymore... We just make our own!

Grilled Cedar-Planked Salmon

1 salmon filet
1 tbsp margarine (we use Brummel and Brown)
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to season
2 tbsps brown sugar (we use light brown sugar, but I'm sure dark would be fine, too!)
1 cedar plank

1. Soak your cedar plank for 1 hour in water. (Yes, an actual piece of cedar wood! You can buy them at most grocery stores, and especially speciality cooking stores.)
2. Get the grill going - you'll want it at about medium heat.
3. Pat the salmon filet dry with a paper towel. Melt the margarine.
4. Mix together the margarine and lemon juice. Using a basting brush, cover the salmon filet with the margarine and lemon juice. Then, season with salt and pepper to taste. And sprinkle with the brown sugar.
5. Place the cedar plank on the grill, just long enough to heat up the underside, then flip over and place the salmon filet on the cedar plank, on the grill.
6. Grill over medium heat for up to 20 minutes, or until done - fish should be flakey. Don't flip the fish - it will cook through on the plank!
Makes 3-4 servings. (We love to serve it with mashed potatoes and asparagus, and maybe a ciabatta roll! One of our favorite dinners!)

Things I am thankful for today:

1. A cool, rainy day - it kind of matched my mood.
2. Napping with the dog in a warm blanket.
3. Mashed potatoes for lunch.
4. Notes from Em.
5. The hubby taking care of my car - oil change, tires rotated, and a bath!
6. Sushi for dinner. Yum.
7. A long, hot shower.
8. The hubby making me a chocolate banana malt.
9. Coffee with Rebecca G.
10. Looking forward to a fun dinner out tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


"The spiritual journey is full of paradoxes. One of them is that the humiliation that brings us down - down to ground on which it is safe to stand and to fall - eventually takes us to a firmer and fuller sense of self. When people ask me how it felt to emerge from depression, I can give only one answer: I felt at home in my own skin, and at home on the face of the earth, for the first time.

"Florida Scott Maxwell put it in terms more elegant than mine: 'You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and are fierce with reality.' I now know myself to be a person of weakness and strength, liability and giftedness, darkness and light. I now know that to be whole means to reject none of it but to embrace all of it."
--Parker Palmer, "Let Your Life Speak"

Things I am thankful for today:

1. A supportive staff.
2. Planning for the weekend.
3. Rev. Sally Howell Johnson's blog, Pause. Here's a quote she posted today: "May my feet rest firmly on the ground. May my head touch the sky. May I see clearly. May I have the capacity to listen. May I be free to touch. May my words be true. May my heart and mind be open. May my hands be empty to fill the need. May my arms be open to others. May my gifts be revealed to me. So I may return that which has been given, completing the great circle." The Terma Collective
4. Book group - such a great group of ladies!
5. A nice walk on a cool day.
6. A quick gnochi dinner - yum.
7. The hubby gets to be best man in his buddy's wedding! (He's starting to look for a black suit - hubba hubba!) LOL
8. Little sis, Kayla, made it into concert choir for her senior year of high school!
9. Lunch with Dad tomorrow.
10. Coffee with Rebecca tomorrow!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook - May 25th Edition

For Today...

Outside my window... evening is here. The sun is slowly sinking in the horizon, the wind has become a nice breeze, the birds are singing their evening songs, and the last of the Memorial Day barbecues are dying down.
I am thinking... it's been such a nice weekend... We got a lot of work done, has some time to relax, and enjoyed some time with friends and family.
I am thankful... for all those who have served in the armed forces! Family members, friends, even former youth group members - we are so proud of all of you! Thank you for your sacrifices and courage - no one could ever express all that you mean to our country!
From the kitchen... all good things come. Ha ha ha. The hubby just brought me a mini hot fudge sundae with fresh raspberries. A great ending to the weekend!
I am wearing... hey! For once I can answer that I am in REAL clothes - not jammies or workout clothes! I am actually wearing jeans and a cute, orange t-shirt!
I am creating... an organized closet. That's the project for the week. First, my closet, then the craft closet. Uff-da.
I am going... to have my first mammogram on Friday. My doctor found an "area of concern," so I will be getting smooshed. Prayers that it's nothing would be greatly appreciated!
I am reading... "Let Your Life Speak," by Parker Palmer, "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson.
I am hoping... that within a couple of weeks, all my test results will be in and I will have a clean bill of health!
I am hearing... our neighbor's air conditioning going full blast. I don't understand. It's a beautiful day, currently 65 degrees. Their AC starts in May and goes all the way through October. What a waste of money and energy...
One of my favorite things... that feeling of warmth that seeps into your skin when you get your first "color" of the year. It's like carrying a sun spot with you all day!
A few plans for the rest of the week... book group, lunch with Dad, doctor's appointment, confirmation retreats, and youth group kids' graduation parties.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
We've been seeing a lot of hot air balloons around our area the last few weeks - but they're always too far away to get a good picture... But in February, in Hudson, Wisconsin, they always have a hot air balloon festival. A couple of years ago we went on a COLD evening to watch them light up the balloons - it's a really beautiful sight! Hopefully, one of these days, I'll actually get to go up in one!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Sun spots.
2. Cool breezes.
3. Yummy leftovers.
4. Pancakes.
5. My hubby, the perfect-pancake flipper.
6. Lunch plans with Dad.
7. Naps.
8. A lazy, relaxing, three-day weekend.
9. Sitting in the sun on the patio.
10. The TV show, "Here Come the Newlyweds."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Silliness

As I was going through pictures today, I found this sequence that I forgot to post a couple of weeks ago! I thought this was so funny - so typical of our frisbee-obsessed poodle! I hope it makes you chuckle!
Bailey, thinking, "I found my frisbee... Who shall I ask to play?"
Since Mom is being annoying with the camera... I'll ask Dad.
Dad doesn't get it yet... Maybe if I re-position the frisbee next to him... He'll know I want to play.
Still ignoring me. What if I hit him with it?Nothing. Dad must really be into whatever he's watching on TV...
Ok. I'll leave it next to him - and stare at him. He can't ignore this cute mug, can he?
Still nothing! Must attack with kisses! He can't ignore THAT!!! And Dad looks SO happy about it! Ha ha ha.

(By the way, her ploys worked!)

Things I am thankful for today:

1. A dog that makes me laugh everyday.
2. Waking up early today - it was such a nice morning.
3. Church went back to one hour for the summer (meaning no Sunday School). It was SO nice!
4. Recognizing veterans and their families during prayer time at church - very nice.
5. A Yum-a-licious dinner! Salmon on the grill, mashed potatoes, and a new morel mushroom recipe. Good job, hubby!
6. An evening at home - a cool breeze, some candlelight, and our cozy living room. Very relaxing.
7. A visit from the family when they came to get their dog. Always fun to visit.
8. The hubby cleaning the upstairs so I could relax. Good guy.
9. A nice walk.
10. Windows open at night. Good sleeping weather! (And clean, fresh sheets! Woo-hoo!)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Surroundings

"An interior is the natural projections of the soul."
--Coco Chanel

Well, we finished - finally! The downstairs - living room, dining room, kitchen and powder room are complete! We have painted, cleaned, re-organized, and hung new curtains and wall decor. The home is finally exactly as we would like - and we LOVE it!

Here's some pictures of our humble little home:
The entryway.
Our living room and dining room (say "hi" to Hershey, my parents' dog! She was spending the night...).
Our living room.
Our dining room - check out the green! Whoa!
The kitchen - I love this kitchen, a lot!
More kitchen...
The blue powder room - it's actually a much brighter blue than it looks in the picture... But you kind of get the idea...

Hope you enjoyed the "tour!"

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Loving my home.
2. Junk markets - great places to get things to decorate the home, for cheap!
3. Pictures of family and friends on our walls - finally!
4. Color.
5. A kitchen I LIKE to cook in!
6. Sky blue - so fresh and pretty!
7. A hubby who laughs at me when I take pictures of my own home.
8. Behr paint.
9. The hubby let me stay home tonight so I could finish putting the house back together.
10. The feeling that all your hard work was worth it!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Fun and Fave Five - May 22nd

Things are a little behind this weekend... But here are some fun get-to-know-you questions, and my fave five for last week!

What do your friends find likable about you? Ha ha ha. I've had more than one friend tell my hubby and I that we are "easy." We are laid back, go with the flow, low maintenance, and relaxed. We don't have agendas, we just like to "be" with our friends - no muss, no fuss!

You are embarrassed when you... cry in public. I HATE that!

How would you spend six hours with your best friend? Any one of my outtings with girlfriends usually entails a couple of cocktails, a yummy dessert, and LOTS of girl talk! Perfect.

When you reminisce with friends about wild times, do you have to go back more than five years? Ha ha ha! What "wild times"?! Even at my most rebellious, I was hardly a wild child... And yes, those days would have been more than five years ago... Geesh. Way to make me feel old AND boring!

What are two things that help people have a close relationship? Trust. And the ability to laugh with each other at the suck-y parts of life. When you can trust someone to hear your thoughts and feelings, and know they are listening - and then to be able to joke and laugh about it... That's a friend that will get you through anything.

Do you like constant company or to be alone at times? Oh, I love alone time! I love being with friends, hanging out with the family, and spending lots of time with the hubby... but then, I need time to myself. Time to unwind, relax, and do nothing. I need time to re-charge for the next round of gatherings. I'm the epitome of an introvert!

How did someone once help you when you were not feeling well? Oh, last spring after I had some minor surgery and was stuck at home for a week - when people would come visit, that was the best! I would get so bored being home and not feeling well... I got restless and agitated - and when a friend would come and just sit and talk with me - that was the best! It's the simple things that count, right?

Do you have any friends from your parents' generation or older? Yes, of course! Working in the life of a church, that tends to happen - and I'm so thankful it does! It's nice to have friends who have experienced so much in life and can offer words of wisdom... and can put you in your place when you're taking life too seriously!

Are you married? Duh. If you've EVER read my blog, you would know this. (I talk about him all the time!)

Do you have kids? Nope. Just a dog. And she's enough for now. :)
And now for my Friday Fave Five of the week (click on the link to read others' answers, too!):

1. We finished the redecorating of our downstairs! I'll post pictures tomorrow!
2. Enjoying a bonfire on a cool, summer night at a friend's house.
3. Last day of confirmation class for the year - we've had a great group this year!
4. Singing "Amazing Grace" with my little sis at her last choir concert of the year.
5. Taking walks in our nature area and watching all the birds coming back - goldfinches, house finches, bluebirds, red-wing blackbirds, cardinals, etc - and watching kids playing in the wetlands, catching the spring frogs!

And... things I am thankful for today:

1. Doctor's visits - not fun, but nice to have a cautious, thorough, doctor.
2. Getting over my fear of having blood drawn - it's finally EASY!
3. Trying new recipes... One good, one not so good. But I like the experience of trying!
4. Finishing ALL of the painting! Woo-hoo!
5. Target stores.
6. Online access to health records - quick test results.
7. WebMD.
8. Starting the book, "Three Cups of Tea."
9. Longer days.
10. A sweet hubby.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


"Ah! There's nothing like staying home for real comfort."
--Jane Austen

"If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say the house shelters daydreaming."
--Gaston Bachelard

Because of all the love he and his wife bestowed on their home (over 35 years), "it had a heart and soul, and eyes to see with; and approvals and solictudes and deep sympathies; it was us, and we were in its confidence and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benedictions. We never came home from an absence that its face did not light up and speak out in eloquent welcome - and we could not enter it unmoved."
--Samuel Clemens, aka "Mark Twain"

Simple Abundance is still in the "home" theme this week - and so am I! We put the first coat of paint on the living room last night, and will finish the painting tomorrow. My canvas art came this morning - looking Beautiful! I can't wait to hang it up! I've dreamt since I was a little girl of having my own home, and picking the colors, fabrics, artwork, etc, to decorate my own space - the space that would calm and inspire me - and it's so fun to finally be at that point in my life! And what's even more fun, is to have a husband who enjoys it and values the ideas, work, and end result as much as I do!

"I dwell in possibility."
--Emily Dickinson

"We can, too. Don't look at the problems. Search for the possibilities. It doesn't matter where you live at this moment... It may not be your dream but it does shelter your dreams. Those dreams can transform it into the home for which you long. Love knows how to paint, refinish, plaster, wallpaper, stencil, plant, sew, and build, even on a budget. Love knows that whatever you lack in your checking account can be made up by investing time, creative energy, and emotion. We need to learn Love's decorating secrets...
Realize that the home of your dreams dwells within. You must find it in the secret sanctuary of your heart today before you can cross the threshold of tomorrow."
--Simple Abundance

Things I am thankful for today:

1. My art came!
2. My Norman Rockwell print came!
3. Our pictures came!
4. It was cool outside again. So nice.
5. Feeling organized.
6. Lunch with Pastor Penny.
7. The hubby went grocery shopping.
8. My last council meeting at Faith UMC.
9. Having a day off tomorrow.
10. New recipes to try!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yummy Wednesday - Orange-Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes

"All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast."
--John Gunther

Mmmm.... mmmmm... mmm! One of our favorite Saturday morning treats!
Orange-Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes from the October 2005 Cottage Living magazine:

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I like using the minis.)

1. Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine buttermilk, milk, egg, and butter in a seperate bowl; add to flour mixture, and whisk until just blended. Add orange zest and chocolate chips to batter. Transfer to a large measuring cup, and let stand 10 minutes.

2. Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons of batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or non-stick pan. Cook until pancakes are covered with bubbles and edges turn brown. Turn and cook other side 2 minutes or until golden brown.

3. Serve with your favorite maple syrup. Garnish with more orange zest and chocolate!

Makes about 10 pancakes.

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Funny notes from the hubby.
2. Another HOT day!
3. Finishing "The Year of Living Biblically" - a fun read, but not life-changing.
4. I got my ticket to Pittsburgh! Woo-hoo!
5. My art prints come tomorrow!
6. Lunch with Pastor Rod and Bryan, the intern, on his last day.
7. Trying a new restaurant, Boca Chica - yum.
8. A fresh coat of paint on the living room walls - so clean and crisp!
9. Hot fudge sundaes. Yum.
10. Air conditioning.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


"Our strongest gifts are usually those we are barely aware of possessing. They are a part of our God-given nature, with us from the moment we drew first breath, and we are no more conscious of having them than we are of breathing...

"If we are to live our lives fully and well, we must learn to embrace the opposites, to live in a creative tension between our limits and our potentials. We must honor our limitations in ways that do not distort our nature, and we must trust and use our gifts in ways that fulfill that potentials God gave us. We must take the no of the way that closes and find the guidance it has to offer - and take the yes of the way that opens and respond with the yes of our lives."
--Parker Palmer, "Let You Life Speak"

Things I am thankful for today:

1. The hubby gave me a chuckle by locking himself out this morning - even if it was 6:15am.
2. Being awake for a beautiful morning.
3. This story about a banker in Spokane, WA, helping a mama duck and her babies to safety. So cute.
4. An understanding boss.
5. A fun staff.
6. Cheap tickets to Pittsburgh to see my sister and her family!
7. My other sister, Kayla's, choir concert. So fun to see my old choir director direct again!
8. A gorgeous drive home at 9:30pm - it's beautiful out!
9. Summer is officially here! 98 degrees today!
10. The hubby was kind enough to make me a chocolate banana malt when I got home. Just what I needed to end the day!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook - May 18th Edition

For Today...

Outside my window... it's still SO windy! Our patio furniture keeps migrating from the patio, the birdfeeder has been horizontal, all the beautiful flower petals are on the ground... I would love a peaceful spring day, with just a gentle breeze...
I am thinking... so much to do, so little time. And I'm so tired. I need a boost!
I am thankful... for my hubby. He worked so hard this weekend, and trusted me with my ideas, and was fun to work with. I like him - a lot! LOL
From the kitchen... banana chocolate malts were made last night. I forgot about this specialty of the hubby! They are mmm-mmm-good!
I am wearing... my pjs still. Pink, orange, yellow, and white striped pj bottoms, an orange tank top, and my tan wrap sweater. Very comfy. (Someday, I should really answer these questions on a day besides Monday - I really am usually dressed by 8am!)
I am creating... a colorful home! Ha ha ha.
I am going... to have a rough week, trying not to feel out of sorts, until everything is back in its place in the living room and dining room! (We've been painting... everything is in dis-array!)
I am reading... still, "The Year of Living Biblically," by AJ Jacobs - very funny. And "Let Your Life Speak," by Parker Palmer, and I'm starting "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson.
I am hoping... my art prints come soon! I can't wait to see them hung up downstairs!
I am hearing... Brett Dennen's song, "Blessed" in my head. Check it out - it will make you happy!
One of my favorite things... bonfires in the summer... the hubby roasting marshmallows (he makes them perfect!), smores, starry skies, blankets, and cuddling.
A few plans for the rest of the week... mission team meeting, book group, Kayla's choir concert, more church meetings, finishing the house projects, more BBQs to attend next weekend...
Here is picture thought I am sharing... Norman Rockwell's "High Dive." I love it so much I ordered it for our new blue bathroom! So fun!
Visit the Simple Woman’s Daybook, for more women's answers to these questions!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Warm sunshine!
2. Sore muscles feeling so much better!
3. A surprise phone call.
4. My art prints have been shipped!
5. Writing my last newsletter page for Faith UMC - bittersweet.
6. Dinner with the hubby and a friend.
7. Good Mexican food.
8. A short and sweet meeting.
9. Kayla R.'s note on Facebook - cracked me up: "This is what i learned(or at least, remember that ive learned)in confirmation:-Love god; Love your neighbor as yourself.-5 books of the bible: Genedis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deutoronomy, and Numbers- The history of the church: They used to pray underground because they didnt want people to know that they were praying and worshiping Jesus-Megan is the coolest confirmation teacher ever :)- I probly learned more too, but ya know- its kinda late @ nite so i dont remember it all. HAHA YOU ROCK :] K-la"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Simplify and Beautify

"Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful."
William Morris

"Deciding to simplify our lives and bring order to our homes by sending on the objects we no longer love to new, happier incarnations with people who will genuinely appreciate them is the way to open ourselves up to receiving an abundance that will perfectly suit us."
--Simple Abundance

Ha ha ha - perfect! This was the Simple Abundance reading for Saturday, and today's was about being brave enough to clear out the junk drawers! And what have I been doing all weekend? Cleaning out, appreciating the things I love, and continuing to simplify and beautify! Gotta love it!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. A beautiful day!
2. A praise band at church today - so fun!
3. One of my youth group kids is actually sad that confirmation is coming to an end.
4. "Pirate English" on Facebook.
5. Finishing the bathroom and kitchen.
6. Grilling out. Yum.
7. A relaxed evening.
8. Naps.
9. Carol's making toys for anonymous toy drops - that just makes me smile!
10. Life is good - exhausting - but good!
11. I ordered my artwork! Woo-hoo!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Paint Day

First and foremost - I have to list my things I was thankful for yesterday (Blogger wasn't letting me edit easily, and I was tired, so I gave up!). So, for Friday:

1. An easy-going morning.
2. The hubby came home early from work.
3. Beginning the house projects!
4. Inspiration.
5. Pretty paint colors.
6. A spare bedroom to "hide" everything in while we paint.
7. Muscles that are capable of hardwork (even if they do get super sore!).
8. The hubby's willingness to try new things.
9. I get to pick out artwork for the dining room wall! Yippee!
10. Chatting with friends online, late at night.

And for Saturday:

1. Waking up when ready - and not before!
2. Making yummy pancakes for breakfast. (Recipe coming this Wednesday!)
3. Loving our pretty blue bathroom!
4. The hubby and I work so well together - teamwork!
5. The dog brushed wet paint with her tail... then stepped in paint. She gave us lots of laughs!
6. Great music to work by!
7. A nice breeze through the windows!
8. Going to Dylan and Tonya's bonfire - a nice break from hard work!
9. Tylenol for all the aches and pains.
10. Loving our "risk" color in the dining room! Phew!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Fun and Fave Five - May 15th

Five fun questions from Country Girl to get us started, and then five more get-to-know-you questions - feel free to use them and pass them on!

What was your first word as a child? I believe I've heard a story that it was, "No, Al." (Al was our cat....)

What are you allergic to? It used to be nothing... Now, I'm pretty sure I have the usual spring allergies. I get really bad migraines with changes in the weather, too - especially when it get colder, wetter, or windier (which makes spring and fall SO MUCH FUN!)

What tastes best covered in chocolate? Oh geesh - everything?! Raspberries, strawberries, orange stuff.... oh! Peanut butter!

What was the last name of the person you first kissed? Well, Bailey (aka James) in, like, 1st grade, I think. On the cheek, of course!

Have you ever REALLY cried from happiness? What was the situation? If REALLY cried means sobbed - probably not. But I've simply cried out of happiness - driving home from my weekend with the hubby when he proposed, my wedding day, the day we closed on our house, when I found out my sister delivered her baby safe and sound, when I met my goddaughter, when I was prayed over at church during my cancer scare (sounds strange to be crying out of happiness - but I don't think I've ever felt so cared for and loved)...

Have you ever had a difficult neighbor? Oh the stories I could share... Nosey old ladies; domestic abuse; the ghetto of Kankakee, IL; pot-smoking hippees; the young man who wore dresses and pigtails and sang Cher at the top of his lungs; the hispanic family of 20 that lived in one apartment; a drug dealer with more domestic abuse and 7 kids living in a tiny townhome (who I called the police on, and was scared to death of until they finally moved...); ethnicities that cook unusual smelly things in their garage (and melt the door in the process); and the lazy irritating partiers that never clean up the outside of their home... I'm sure I forgot some interesting ones...

If someone hurt you terribly, would you seek revenge? Nope. I'm not a revenge kind of gal. I just move on...

What things do you display when friends come to visit? Ha ha ha - do you change up your decorations depending on who is coming to your house?! My house is decorated with simplicity and comfort in mind... I don't change things up for certain people, other than having fresh flowers or clean towels! I think that's a funny question...

Who is the funniest person you ever met and how did you meet? Well, that's easy. My friend Emily is by far the funniest person I know! We met in Junior High and became fast friends - to this day, she and I can laugh over anything! And her statuses on Facebook have got to be the best ever. My whole family looks forward to reading them!

Who loves you for who you really are? My hubby. He gets to see the highs and lows, good things and bad things everyday. And he still adores me - even when I'm stressed, sad, angry, crabby. He's a very patient guy and he knows me and loves me for all my flaws, "cause that's what marriage is," as he would say. LOL

And now for Friday's Fave Five! Here's a group that lists their Five Favorite things about the week. I'll do these and then list my usual ten for the day later.
For the week:

1. A fun Mother's Day with my mom! A day spent at the Farmer's Market with a yummy dinner with the family that night.
2. My new pillow - I've been sleeping like a baby all week!
3. Getting summer planning done for work - It'll be a fun summer!
4. Cooking some yummy new recipes! Pioneer Woman's Baked Lemon Pasta is yum-o!
5. National Chocolate Chip Cookie day is today! We're celebrating - are you?!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


"Why do we love certain houses, and why do they seem to love us? It is the warmth of our individual hearts reflected in our surroundings."
--T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

"The minute we walk into a home, we know whether or not it has charm. There's a coziness that attracts us with cheerful hospitality. The warm resonance of a charming room beckons us to sink into the comfort to our heart's content. Simple beauty delights. Serenity, harmony, and order soothe. Touches of whimsy amuse. Personal memory reacquaints the present with the past. All's right in the world in such an engaging and inviting home...

"Money can purchase beautiful furnishings and decorative accessories, but it cannot ensure that charm abides with us. I believe this is because charm seems to be a quality of the soul that cannot be bought or sold. But charm can be channeled from Creative Spirit. It is accessed through our authenticity, expressed in our personal flair."
--Simple Abundance

This weekend and next weekend, the hubby and I will be working on our house. Some painting, patching, cleaning, hanging pictures... It's all planned out and ready to go! But in everything we do to our home... We always keep in mind - Simplicity. Personal. Beauty. Comfort. And a touch of Whimsy.

I'll be sure to post before and after pictures!

How would you describe your home?

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Cookies - still.
2. Diane's stories and laughter at work.
3. Kleenex.
4. A husband who laughs at my sobs during Grey's Anatomy.
5. A beautiful day for a walk.
6. Picking paint colors - maybe going a little bolder than originally planned!
7. A quiet day.
8. The dog acting upset when the hubby teased her about having the swine flu... at every mention she jumps up and runs away... Weird.
9. More birds at the birdfeeder.
10. Hot fudge sundae with raspberries!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Yummy Wednesday - Sweet and Salty Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Andrea from The Little Collection reminded me of my deep love of chocolate chip cookies this week (check out the picture of how her hubby set the table on Sunday - a man after my own heart!). So, in honor of cookies, I share with you my favorites:

Sweet and Salty Peanut Chocolate Chunk Cookies from the March 2007 Cooking Light magazine.1/3 cup coarsely chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or a little more...)
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place nuts in a small baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes or until lightly toasted; cool.
3. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda, stirring well with a whisk.
4. Place sugars and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well-blended (about 2 minutes). Add vanilla and egg; beat until combined. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed until well-blended. Stir in peanuts, chocolate chips, and salt.
5. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned (they will look slightly undone - but they will be perfect!). Cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Makes 38 cookies (serving size: 1 cookie)

Calories: 61 Fat: 2.4g Protein: .9g Carb: 9.2g Fiber: .3g Chol: 9mg Sodium: 48mg

(And now... since I don't have a picture of these yummy delights... I will NEED (wink wink) to bake some tonight and load the pictures later...)
Things I am thankful for today:

1. Pastor Penny's caring heart.
2. A short and sweet staff meeting.
3. Thunderstorms!
4. Bluebirds right outside my window!
5. Pioneer Woman's Baked Lemon Pasta - I tried it for dinner tonight. FABulous! (It earned me lots of kisses from the hubby tonight... Highly recommended!)
6. LOST.
7. Chocolate chip cookies, of course!
8. Summer schedule is almost set!
9. A new Max Lucado book... I haven't read one in a long time. They're so uplifting!
10. A good cry. Sometimes we just need one.
11. Tickets to a Jason Mraz concert... Yippee!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Vocation II

"Biblical faith calls it the image of God in which we are all created. Thomas Merton calls it true self. Quakers call it the inner light, or 'that of God,' in every person. The humanist tradition calls it identity and integrity. No matter what you call it, it is a pearl of great price...

"Our deepest calling is to grow into our authentic selfhood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be. As we do so, we will not only find the joy that every human being seeks - we will also find our path of authentic service in the world. True vocation joins self and service, as Frederick Buechner asserts when he defines vocation as 'the place where your deep gladness meets the world's deep need...

"But before we come to that (sacred) center, full of light, we must travel in the dark. Darkness is not the whole story - every pilgrimmage has passages of loveliness and joy - but it is the part of the story most often left untold. When we finally escape the darkness and stumble into the light, it is tempting to tell others that our hope never flagged, to deny those long nights we spent cowering in fear.
The experience of darkness has been essential to my coming into selfhood, and telling the truth about that fact helps me stay in the light. But I want to tell that truth for another reason as well: many young people today journey in the dark, as the young always have, and we elders do them a disservice when we withhold the shadowy parts of our lives...

"Self-care is never a selfish act - it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on the earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch..."
--Parker Palmer, from the book "Let Your Life Speak"

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Sleeping in (by accident... the dog didn't wake me up early like usual!).
2. Breakfast with Mom.
3. Getting my reading done for book group.
4. The hubby changing our dinner plans - I needed comfort food!
5. Book group - they make me smile.
6. Friends who understand.
7. Canceling plans to go out of town this weekend. I will miss seeing our friends, but I will thoroughly enjoy being home, too.
8. Burning CDs for Melissa - I had no idea how many songs were on one playlist! And they're my "happy songs!"
9. LOTS of morel mushrooms in our fridge - thanks to the hubby! (He brought even more home today!) 10. Bailey the dog missed "the mama" tonight.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook - May 11th Edition

For Today...

Outside my window... blue skies, green grass, flowers blooming, leaves spreading out on the trees, and an empty birdfeeder (so we can make some adjustments... no more grackles!).
I am thinking... only a week and a half until the pool opens! (I hope the weather starts warming up!)
I am thankful... for my new pillow - I am sleeping so well!
From the kitchen... scallop and bacon pasta (courtesy of the new Holly Clegg cookbook) tonight... The rest of the week is still to be determined...
I am wearing... lounging, Monday clothes. Black capris, a green tank top, and a black zip-up hoodie. Perfect for working from home, cleaning the house, and taking the dog for a walk!
I am creating... my summer plans. So many things to do, so many possibilities, and so much to enjoy!
I am going... to Holland, Belgium, and France next March! Woo-hoo! It's officially booked!
I am reading... still, "The Year of Living Biblically" - very funny. And "Let Your Life Speak," by Parker Palmer.
I am hoping... my hubby can get some quality sleep soon. The poor guy is dragging!
I am hearing... lots of birds chirping! Morning doves, red-wing blackbirds, finches... I love it.
Around the house... things to do.... things to do....
One of my favorite things... waking up without the need of an alarm!
A few plans for the rest of the week... meetings, book group, a visit from Mom, and visiting friends in Madison, WI.
Here is picture thought I am sharing... My sister, Kayla, and the hubby sharing music and youtube videos. I think it's cute that they get along so well!

Visit the Simple Woman’s Daybook, for more women's answers to these questions!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. A beautiful day.
2. Time to think.
3. Going through "scrap-boxes" - memories from all different periods of my life. So funny!
4. Finding more "stuff" to donate.
5. New people on the Neighbor's Inc board - so fun to meet!
6. Good things happening at Neighbor's Inc - a great year for this non-profit!
7. Hubby picked two pounds of morel mushrooms yesterday! His excitement was that of a little kid!
8. Mom came to spend the night. Fun!
9. No TV tonight - kind of nice.
10. Time to sit on the patio today.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers' Day!

Things that make me thankful for my mom:

1. Her laugh and giggle.
(Giggles at the house yesterday...)

2. Her hugs.
3. Her way of encouraging us to be the best people we know how to be.
4. Her pride in her family.
5. Her way of listening when we need someone to lean on.
6. Her talents at making our house a warm and cozy home.
7. Her strength.
8. Her faith.
9. Her ability to stand up for what she believes in.
10. Her friendship.

I love you, Mom!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Things I am thankful for today:

1. Sleeping in.
2. Surprising my Mom by meeting her and Dad at the Minneapolis Farmers' Market.
3. Talking to my sister, Emily, on the phone.
4. Yummy brats, corn on the cob, and cinnamon roasted almonds at the Market - there's always something "festive" about eating vendor food!
5. Trying on hats, pashminas, and sampling new foods.
6. My new pillow!
7. Dinner with my parents and sister - steaks on the grill.
8. Going to the grocery store with my sister, Kayla, and her lovely boyfriend opening a cashier aisle just for us!
9. Trying a new dessert recipe - lots of laughs while attempting to make it!
10. Bailey, the dog, sneaking into a chair at the table with a steak on her plate... and no one in the room! I still cannot believe she didn't jump on the table and devour the entire steak!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Fun and Fave Five - May 8th

Here's another round of get-to-know-you questions - have fun!

What birthday party with friends do you remember well? Ha ha ha - lots of them! In high school, my girlfriends "kidnapped" me - they came to the house, woke me up really early on a Saturday, dressed me up in curlers, a bath robe and slippers and took me to Baker's Square for breakfast (the whole way over, telling me that the guy I had a crush on was working!). It was a fun morning.
My 30th birthday will always be remembered too! My hubby surprised me with three of my best girlfriends, a limo, and a late night in the city - then a sleepover, and he made breakfast for us in the morning. So fun!
How important is it for you to be popular? Well, in elementary school this was the be-all end-all. I remember having conversations with both of my parents as a little kid, trying to figure out what it would take to be one of the "popular" kids. Well, it never happened. I was always a little too nerdy, not quite wealthy enough, and never cool enough. And that's ok. I had my close friends and that's all that mattered. I think we all want to be "liked" but as an adult, I know it won't always be that way. And that's ok. Life goes on.

Do your friends tend to have easygoing or difficult personalities? Easygoing! I wouldn't know what to do with friends that were difficult. I lose patience with "high maintenance" people too easily!

Where is your favorite place to sit at home? In the "loft," on the "magic couch," with my feet up on the ottoman, the window open with a nice breeze, and sun shining in... I'm there right now!

What frustrates you most about your current relationships? Physical distance. Some of my best friends, and my hubby's best friends, live far away... So we don't get to see them much. With today's "electronic" ways of communicating... it's just not the same. People don't stay connected on a "deeper" level anymore.

What grabs your attention when someone walks by? Unusual style. The way a person carries themselves. Loud or unusual behavior. People who think they're better than everyone else. Someone doing something sweet for someone else. Laughter. Lots of things. I'm an obsessive people-watcher. (Earlier this week, I watched a woman looking at fresh flowers, dancing and singing in front of a grocery store, by herself... She seemed so happy in her own little world, that I was a bit jealous!)

What quality do you like most in a person? The ability to laugh at yourself. People who take life too seriously, and themselves too seriously, wear me out. Life's too short for that.

What makes someone unforgettable? Passion. For life, for love, for a cause they believe in. When there's something in their life that makes them really alive and want to share it with everyone around them.

Who would you take on a month-long backcountry camping expedition? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha - don't get me started! God would have to be VERY unhappy with me to ever send me backpacking for an entire month! I barely made it four days without jumping off a cliff... but that's a story for another day...
(Debating jumping over the cliff on Mt. Trudy on the Superior Hiking Trail... Summer 2006.)

What is a particularly dangerous thing you did with a friend? Sky-diving! Twice! The first time was Mother's Day weekend 1998 - I called my mom that afternoon and told her that her gift that year was that I was still alive! Ha ha ha - she was not happy with me, to say the least! (Although, I don't think she actually believed that I did it until she saw the pictures...)

***As for the things I am thankful for, today I thought I'd join the Friday Fave Five group! They list their favorite five things of the week (so I'll do that for my first five, then list my usual 10 things for the day).***
For the week:

1. Getting the "yardwork" done last weekend - beautiful flowers, new sod, a nice patio to enjoy the gorgeous weather!
2. A spontaneous trip to our favorite restaurant - good food, good company, and so relaxing!
3. A fun night out to the Ampersand Families benefit dinner. Good company, good music, and supporting an amazing cause.
4. Getting out of my funk. This has been a long week - and last night helped me move forward!
5. Oh! The worship service I led last week. So fun and joy-filled. We talked about counting our blessings - and one of the youth group kids has been posting things she's grateful for on her Facebook status all week! So cool!

And for today:

1. Sleeping in after a late night.
2. Plans for a girls' night out tonight.
3. Bird sites on the internet to help combat the grackle problem I have with my new bird feeder. Wish me luck!
4. Taking a walk in the rain.
5. Bluebirds.
6. A fun night out with a friend.
7. A piece of chocolate cake so huge that Em and I couldn't finish it!
8. Good music on the radio while stuck in traffic at midnight!
9. A good workout.
10. New bloggers stopping by - Welcome!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


"Vocation does not come from willfulness. It comes from listening. I must listen to my life and try to understand what it is truly about - quite apart from what I would like it to be about - or my life will never represent anything real in the world, no matter how earnest my intentions.

"That insight is hidden in the word 'vocation' itself, which is rooted in the Latin for 'voice.' Vocation does not mean a goal that I pursue. It means a calling that I hear. Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am. I must listen for the truths and values at the heart of my own identity, not the standards by which I must live - but the standards by which I cannot help but live if I am living my own life."
--Parker Palmer, in the book Let Your Life Speak

As I'm quickly approaching a new phase of my career, more and more questions are surfacing about who is it I want to be? What is it I want to do? More and more I find who I am and what I believe is guiding me through work and relationships... Which, when you let go and allow that to happen - when you listen to our life "telling you who you are," so many things seem to fall into place. I've been really blessed this year to be surrounded by a community who believes in me, supports me, and wants to walk alongside me as we begin a new journey together - and I'm so excited for the opportunity to help lead the way!

Here's to listening, seeing, and discovering who we are - and maybe, where God wants us!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. New opportunities.
2. Meeting Lynn - a beautiful spirit. I hope we get a chance to work together on some projects!
3. Prom pictures from the youth group kids - so fun to look at!
4. Checking out a new local coffee shop - Black Sheep Cafe in South St Paul. Yum!
5. Finishing each other's sentences.
6. Catching up with JoAnne - nice to see her happy!
7. Going to a benefit dinner with Carol (from giraffedreams) and Charles last night - supporting Ampersand Families (check them out, awesome organization!).
(The hubby even won a mug as a door prize! LOL)
8. Live reggae music - reminded me of a mission trip to Jamaica in my high school days.
9. Getting to wear a pretty dress and heels.
10. Going to another favorite pub, The Local, after the dinner. Not letting our "date" end to early!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Yummy Wednesday - Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Paninis

"Laughter is brightest, in the place where the food is."
--Irish Proverb

"It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato."
--Lewis Grizzard

Here is a new favorite comfort food for a Sunday afternoon: "Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Paninis" found on the WeightWatchers website, and in their "Best Eats" cookbook. These paninis make a great lunch or a wonderful light dinner!
1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
4 oz Italian bread, cut into eight 1/2-inch pieces
2 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese, fresh, thinly sliced
1 cup(s) arugula, baby leaves
1 medium plum tomato(es), cut into eight thin slices
4 spray(s) olive oil cooking spray
1 medium garlic clove(s), peeled and cut in half

Preheat outdoor grill (or grill pan or skillet).
In a small cup, stir together vinegar, oil, oregano, salt and pepper until blended.
Brush mixture onto 1 side of each slice of bread.
To make each sandwich, layer 1/4 of cheese over brushed side of bread and then top with 2 tomato slices and 1/4 cup of arugula.
Top with another slice of bread, brushed side down and then coat sandwiches with cooking spray.
Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Grill, lightly pressing with a spatula from time to time, until bread is toasted and cheese melts, about 1 to 2 minutes per side; rub grilled bread with garlic clove.

Yields 2 sandwiches per serving.

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Orange mango smoothie for breakfast - summer is almost here!
2. My baby flowers survived the storm last night!
3. Good parking spots.
4. Did I mention both pastors are back? Hallelujah!
5. Open windows.
6. Time to read.
7. Freshly painted toe nails.
8. Kids trying to catch frogs.
9. A quiet evening.
10. Everything is getting greener by the day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


'May today there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.
May you use the gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content with yourself just the way you are.
Let this knowledge settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.'

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Sleeping with the window open.
2. Red-wing blackbirds.
3. Open and honest discussion.
4. Ghiradelli milk chocolate squares with caramel filling...
5. Fun plans to look forward to this weekend.
6. Thunderstorms.
7. The smell of rain...
8. Summer pjs.
9. New lotion.
10. Penny's excitement over the "PaperBag Princess." LOL

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook - May 4th Edition

For Today...

Outside my window... green grass, blue skies, fresh flowers - it's spring! Now... If I can just keep the dumb black birds off my new birdfeeder...
I am thinking... I need a squirt gun to deter the blackbirds... Or I could train the dog to ONLY bark at the blackbirds, and not the song birds... Any ideas?
I am thankful... for the hard work my hubby did this weekend. He laid sod outside our townhome (to replace the pet-damaged areas) - and did such a beautiful job!
From the kitchen... chocolate chip cookies were made last night... Mmmm.... So good - and so bad!
I am wearing... my workout clothes - black capris, a black tank top, ankle socks and my walking shoes. I know. Hot.
I am creating... a grocery list. What yummies will we make this week? I'm thinking we should grill out tonight!
I am going... to keep researching possible trips for next spring. So far, I'm thinking an eight day tour of Belgium and France. It's fun to daydream!
I am reading... still, "The Year of Living Biblically" - very funny. I haven't picked up anything new this week.
I am hoping... to go to Austin City Limits Music Festival this fall... But it's not looking likely... (Ugh! Tickets sold out today... No more hoping...)
I am hearing... construction equipment. I think my summer is doomed to this noise... at least for awhile. We have two more houses to go up across the street - then we should never have to listen to these noises again! Oh happy day!
Around the house... dog toys everywhere. I pick them up, leave the room, and five minutes later they are once again EVERYWHERE! Geesh. I might as well have a kid!
One of my favorite things... my little $1 seed starter kits from Target - they're actually growing and healthy! I'm excited for them to get just a little bigger so they can be planted in big pots - zinnias and marigolds! (I sincerely thought they would never bloom... I thought they'd just make cute table favors for Easter...)
A few plans for the rest of the week... book group, coffee with youth group kids, a benefit dinner, doctor's appointment - yuck, dinner with a friend, Mom-in-law coming this weekend for our town's garage sale extravaganza, and possibly dinner with another old friend...
Here is picture thought I am sharing... Devils Lake in Baraboo, WI. A favorite place for us to go hiking in the summer. Also, the site of the hubby's and my first camping trip together - that's a story for another day! LOL
Visit the Simple Woman’s Daybook, for more women's answers to these questions! I rarely post there, I just like the simple questions.

Things I am thankful for today:

1. LOVE this video of the song, "One Love" - check it out, it will make you smile! (Thanks, Mom!)
2. Jill for telling about the lemon cookies at Trader Joe's - Yum!
3. The "Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, guess I'll go and eat some worms..." song! LOL I started singing it to the hubby tonight when he couldn't get ahold of anyone on the phone.
4. Both pastors are back! Yeah!
5. I got my Holly Clegg cookbooks today! Yippee!
6. Bison burgers on the grill.
7. A good workout - I even pushed through the pain in my legs. Yeah me!
8. The Southwest Airlines commercial with the woman in the elevator that won't let the man hit his floor button. Cracks me up everytime!
9. Neighbors, Inc - the non-profit that I'm on the board for, was 4th in the state of MN in donations for the month of March! Woo-hoo!
10. Being barefoot.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


"Every spirit builds itself a house, and beyond its house a world, and beyond its world a heaven. Know then that world exists for you."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"A house is who you are, not who you ought to be."
--Jill Robinson

"Like it or not, the personalities of our homes are accurate barometers that reflect, through our surroundings, where we have been, what's going on in our lives, and who we are - today, this moment - though not necessarily where we're heading."
--Simple Abundance

Interesting... I've been thinking and talking a lot about my home lately... My love of its simplicity... My need for it to be clean and neat - a sanctuary from the rest of the world... A place to host friends and family... A place to relax, rest, laugh, and just be. And today's devotional readings reflect all of that. I like it!

What do you love about your home? What does it say about you?

Here's to enjoying our homes... our places of rest... our places of joy!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Our poodle the "guard dog."
2. A fun worship service at Faith UMC today!
3. Kayla, Pat and Sam - what a fun confirmation group!
4. Getting 77 people to write 10 things that they are thankful for today. So fun!
5. Goldfinches at my new birdfeeder.
6. Chocolate chip cookies.
7. My friend, Emily.
8. Brie cheese and triscuits.
9. A beautiful sunny day!
10. My hubby.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


"Today a new sun rises for me, everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it."
--Anne De Lanclos

"You have to count on living every single day in a way you believe will make you feel good about your life - so that if it were over tomorrow, you'd be content."
--Jane Seymour

Good quotes for a sunny, beautiful Saturday morning!

We'll be eating breakfast soon, then a day of yardwork - laying sod, filling planters, and getting my new birdfeeder!

I hope your day is alive and full of renewal - isn't that what Saturdays are for?

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Saturday mornings - breakfast and coffee.
2. A husband that gives into whims.
3. Flowers -beautiful spring flowers!
4. Birdfeeders.
5. The hubby's hard work.
6. A pretty patio to sit on in the summer to enjoy the evenings.
7. Spontaneous plans.
8. The restaurant, "San Pedro" in Hudson, WI. We always feel like we're on vacation when we visit...
9. Our favorite waitress, Aliza - she'll be there through the summer, thank goodness!
10. Feeling prepared for tomorrow.
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