Sunday, April 30, 2006

Update on the Happy Homemaker: feeling ill since Thursday, been in bed since Friday afternoon...still not well. Not so happy, actually. Be back soon.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

After school today I took the boys downtown for the Arts Festival. They insisted we stop by home first to get their notebooks and pens so they could draw the flowers that grow downtown. We parked far far away for free and rode the trolley in for 25 cents. The gardens were beautiful today and the weather was perfect. We got there before the after-work crowd, so it was relatively sparse and easy to get around.

We didn't see much art, really. We did stop for every new plant we saw so the boys could draw it in their notebooks. I bought them Dippin' Dots ice cream and we sat on the lush green lawn in the shade and watched the ducks swim in the pond.

We eventually made it to the artist section and, what do you know, the boys noticed the flower pots sitting beside the art and they sat down to draw those flowers, too. At least the artists thought it was cool! The boys did finally notice one artist's work and we spent a lot of time in her booth looking over her colorful sea life silkscreens and asking her about her inspiration for her wacky flowers.

After looking at the art, we headed over to the children's "bowl" where the children are allowed to tie strips of fabric to mobile structures. The boys absolutely loved it! After a while, Spencer decided it might be fun to roll down the hills, so he spent a good thirty minutes running up, rolling down and starting all over again. The grass was as soft and green as it gets, the landscape was beautiful, and he rolled down under those colorful creations, which were gently moving in the wind. Perfection.

"Mommy, what happens at night at the festival? Do the criminals come and steal all the art while everyone is sleeping?"

"No, they put the art away and they also have policemen who watch over everything at night."

"Oh. So, then...some policemen are nocturnal?"


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Introducing your new favorite restaurant: Thai Basil.

I've been frequenting Thai Basil for some time now, but today as I sat across the table from my most handsome lunch companion (Spencer) I thought, "Hey, I should tell my blogging friends about this place!" Isn't that sweet how I think of you?

Anyway, Thai Basil is owned by the chef, and she is very good! Although I don't know exactly what makes the food "modern" I probably would have described it in the same way. Perhaps it is the absolute freshness of the food. It is colorful and abundant, never mushy, and full of flavor. She does not use MSG and the menu, though possibly Americanized, is not limited to the standard Thai-American fare. For instance, she makes a Three Flavor Snapper with Pomegranite Sauce and Teriyaki Sauteed Chicken on a bed of Sweet Potatoes and Fresh Vegetables. Exotic, no?

Of course, our favorites are Pad Thai (rice noodles tossed with eggs, cabbage, carrots, scallions, sprouts, peanuts, tofu and chicken and seasoned with tamarind, palm sugar and fish sauce) and Panang Curry Chicken (chicken with spicy coconut milk, red bell peppers, peas and carrots). We order one of each, share them, eat until we're full and then take half home for lunch the next day!

Some people are afraid to try Thai food because they've heard it is spicy and/or it is weird. Well, unless you ask for spicy at Thai Basil, your food will have a mild flavor. That's what we get and we love it. As for weird? I don't think you'll find anything you don't recognize at Thai Basil. It is mainly chicken or shrimp with rice, noodles or vegetables. I hope you'll give it a try and let me know what you think!


Monday, April 24, 2006

Tagged Again!

Answer the following questions using only the song titles from a chosen musician/band. (I used itunes to find a list!)

Musician I chose: Barbra Streisand (because she sings a lot of songs)

Are you male or female? Woman in Love

Describe yourself. I Believe in Love

How do some people feel about you? Someone to Watch Over Me

How do you feel about yourself? What Kind of Fool

Describe your ex: No More Tears

Describe your current significant other: My Funny Valentine

Describe where you want to be: Over the Rainbow -or- Moon River

Describe how you live: Don't Rain on My Parade

Describe how you love: It's Up to You

(just kidding...but it is funny, no?)

What would you ask for if you had just one wish? No More Tears

Share a few words of wisdom: You'll Never Walk Alone

Now say goodbye: Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long


The boys are home with coughs today. We saw the pediatrician and they'll be fixed up in no time.

We got a new couch today! Before today we owned two couches. One is 10 years old and the other is 20 years old. The new couch is chocolate brown and understated. It looks marvelous, darling.

I started my work on the bedroom walls today. I am installing an architecturally textured wallpaper border under the current moulding. Under that I'll put a ever-so-slightly textured 1/2-round (wood moulding), and then I'll paint the entire thing white. Thusly, I will extend my current 2-inch moulding to 6-inch moulding. We live in an old house with high ceilings and I think it is going to look great. . . especially with that toile paper!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I have been informed by the artist himself that these are part of his "Crayon Color Collection," and you can find an earlier entry here.

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I've finally selected the wallpaper for our bedroom and it is on its way! Yay!
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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Good Morning!
Well, it is 9:40 and it has already been a great morning. I slept in all the way to 7:30 (which really is sleeping in around here), the boys brought me a chocolate doughnut and I headed outside for some gardening. I pulled all the ivy down off the fence (it came off the trees last night), swept the driveway, cut down three trees and pruned another. Then I turned on the fan-style sprinkler and sat on the porch, letting it lull me into a Saturday morning state of mind. My cardinal is playing in the redbud and getting a shower, peeping away in happiness. My boys have camoflaged their bikes with ivy and are riding around the drive....and I've got a peaceful, easy feeling.

Friday, April 21, 2006

I've added a few blogs to my blogroll. One of them, Ookpik's Negativity, has kept me busy and nostalgic for a good part of the evening. He (and others on his blogroll) collect vernacular photographs like the one here of James and his sister at a carnival. This is one of my favorite photos from James' collection.
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Thursday, April 20, 2006

By Gail Rodgers

"He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
(Isaiah 40:22)

~Father God,

My knees bow and my head is lifted to You, for You are the only true and living God (Exodus 20: 2 - 3).

You are the One who is worthy of all honor and praise and glory (Rev. 4:11).

You sit enthroned above the circle of the Earth (Isaiah 40:22).

Fill my heart with a fresh realization of You. You are so much more than I allow You to be in my life.

You know the beginning from the end in every detail of my life (Rev. 22:13).
Help me to rest in the knowledge of that.

You are the One who has proven Your love for me, dying for me while I was still sinning (Romans 5:8).

You are the One who has disarmed the powers of the enemy, making a public display of them, triumphing over then at the cross (Colossians 2:15).

You are the One who gave me Your Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth (John 16:13). You empower my life to live in holiness and godliness (Galatians 5:16).

You alone have all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).

You alone are the Head over all rule and authority (Colossians 2:10)

You alone call me by my name, You alone redeem my life (Isaiah 43:1).

You alone are the One who makes new creations of those who respond to Your love and Your power (2 Corinthians 5:17).

You alone are the One who can bring results from my life that will last for eternity (John 15:8).

You alone are Savior of all who call upon Your name (Romans 10:13).

You alone, O LORD, reign forever (Psalm 9:7).

In the powerful name of Jesus I ask You, by Your might and by Your power, LORD, REIGN IN ME today! Amen.

I praise the name of the LORD my God!
I'm in a Bible study and we are studying the book of Genesis. For a portion of our time, we meet in small groups and share our answers to the week's study. The answers are always serious, and some of my group's members are more serious than others. This week when we were discussing Joseph's encounter with the cupbearer and the baker (who asked him to interpret their dreams), one of the more serious women said, "Well, Joseph was straight with them, I mean, he pretty much told the baker, 'You're toast.' " She didn't know what she had said until we all laughed!

I'm still laughing.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Flying things, by Colin
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Just cleaning off my desk today and found this. Poor Margo, she just doesn't get it! This cracked me up.
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Not so much Tagged, but I'm doing it Anyway (via Lip Schtick)

1) What were you doing 10 years ago?

I was working at a law firm in downtown Oklahoma City for a bear of a man. In all fairness, he told me when he interviewed me that he had scared away a lot of people and that he was, in fact, a bear. I told him I could handle it. One day he was giving me an assignment and I was listening and thinking. He said, "Do you understand? You're not saying anything and I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall." I said, "Does my work reflect that I'm a brick wall?" He seemed a bit surprised that I talked back, told me it didn't, and never bothered me again. Anyway, I didn't like the job and 10 years ago I was searching for another job.

2) 5 years ago?
Spence was 6 months old, Colin was 2. Need I say more?

3) 1 year ago?
Taking Colin to morning kindergarten, staying home with Spencer, blogging, and all the other stuff I'm still doing...

4) Five snacks you enjoy:
1 - Chips and salsa
2 - Cinnamon toast
3 - Peanut Butter cookies
4 - Cheese
5 - Butter crackers

5) Five songs I know by heart but wish I didn’t:
1 - My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion)
2- Afternoon Delight
3- 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall
4- The song someone was just humming when they walked by that now plays over and over in your know what I mean?
5 - eh, I can't think of this stuff!

6) Five things I would do with a LOT of money:
1 - Donate a LOT of money/tithe
2 - Travel with my family
3 - Buy furniture
4 - Save for my children's education
5 - Save for retirement

7) Five things I would never wear:
1 - bikini
2 - pierced anything (except ears)
3 - low-ride, backside cleavage, pants
4 - tattoo
5 - mullet

8) Five things I should never have worn:
1- permed hair
2- big earrings
3- stirrup pants
4- baby oil (for tanning purposes)
5- the shirt with sparkles I wore to my highschool reunion. Why? At one point during the evening I looked around the room and could see every chair I sat in. Each was covered with sparkles. Gah!!!

9) Five things I enjoy doing:
1 - sitting next to my boys with my arms around them
2 - looking at nature (there is a beautiful red cardinal looking at me right now!)
3 - helping other people
4 - blogging
5 - having lunch with friends

10) Five bad habits of mine:
1 - avoiding the telephone
2 - not putting stuff away
3 - carrying around a bunch of stuff in my passenger seat
4 - being bossy
5 - stacking stuff I should toss


My desk is next to a window, which is to say, the opposite side of my desk meets up with a large window. Just outside the window is a large fig tree which has just put out little leaves, promises of the giant leaves that will soon cover the tree and shade my desk. As I sit here, I see a little creature sitting on a branch. His little legs and feet are peach-colored. His head is brown - and I see he has streaks of brown on his green chest.* He looks to be nearly three feet tall and about 36 pounds. His socks and shoes are neatly stacked on the grass and he's got an airplane in his hand. I think I'll take him a granola bar for a snack. He's a keeper.

*His preschool class used brown paint today to paint ant hills.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Okay, so I have this man in my house fixing my freezer/ice maker. His son was here in 2004 and I found him strangely cocky, but very good at fixing things and doing it without making a mess. His son was here for several days because I live in the original money pit. Now I can see that the apple didn't fall far from the tree. The father is insufferably condescending. I mean, he is completely polite. He is efficient and he clearly knows what he is doing. But, if he's not gone in 15 minutes I'll scream!!!!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Six Degrees of Weirdness

I've been tagged!

1. Reveal 6 weird facts/things/habits about yourself and then tag 6 people.

2. Leave a "You're tagged" comment to let people know you have tagged them. They must reveal 6 things (or the entire blogosphere will explode and it will be all their fault)

3. Leave me a comment letting me know you have completed your mission (should you choose to accept it)

i. When the sunlight first hits my face in the morning, it makes me sneeze.

ii. I just love doorknobs, light fixtures and other hardware. I even subscribe to magazines and catalogs about them! When I had my hair done last Saturday, they had a magazine about do-it-yourself home repair and I was excited about it!

iii. I will not get out of bed until there is a direct line to the bathroom sink so I can brush my teeth. I'm pretty sure I can not walk more than 20 feet without brushing my teeth first.

iv. Well, a good portion of my friends think it is weird that I keep a blog.

v. I have a friend who is an actress. She can impersonate with the best of them, but she says she can't do me because I am so understated. She has studied me and noticed that I don't really have any quirky expressions. I told her I'm that way on purpose - I actually work at it. You should have seen the look on her face.

vi. I am able to see both (or all) sides of most any issue, which sometimes makes it difficult for me to make decisions. My parents noticed this about me when I was very young and nicknamed me "the Politician." (Now that I'm entering old-geezer land, this "gift" is fading.)

Okay, let the tagging begin: Charles, David, (Charles David! Get it?), Violet, Joe (I'm almost afraid to ask Joe), Angi and Mikey.


Saturday, April 15, 2006

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Friday, April 14, 2006

The Crush

Since my boys were born I've been praying for my daughters-in-law. Sometimes I pray alone and sometimes I pray with my boys. We pray that she's having a good day (if she's born, that is), that God will protect her parents and their marriage, that she will have friends who influence her for the good and that love her, that she will know God, and things like that. I already consider them my daughters-I-haven't-met and I love them dearly. In fact, I'm in love with them.

We know many little girls that we believe will grow into fine young women. I enjoy watching them play and wondering if one of them might be the girl I'm praying for. I know there is as much chance that I'll see her on the playground as there is that she is just being born in Vermont... or Africa...but I also know all those little girls represent my girls, and they are a joy to me.

One little girl has recently stolen my heart. Her mother said she talks about me all the time and "just loves" me. The feeling is mutual. Recently she saw me at school and came over to give me a hug and talk to me. We talked for 30 minutes and, well, she is just wonderful. As she skipped away holding her mother's hand, she turned around and waved goodbye and I had the distinct feeling that I had just touched the future. I fell hard.

This week, we had a picnic with her family to celebrate her birthday. Before she left, she came and gave me a big hug. She looked me in the eyes and said, "Did I ever tell you you're special to me?" I told her she hadn't but I was glad because she was VERY special to me, too. She never lost eye contact and then she said, "You're like sunshine to me."

It was all I could do to keep my composure! (Okay, I didn't keep my composure.)

My oldest son is only seven and I'm already falling for the girls! AACH!
The Rules of Summer

Thought I'd pass along The Rules, which I received today via email:

As a member of the Diva Sisterhood, I pledge to follow The Rules when I wear sandals and other open-toe shoes.

I promise to always wear sandals that fit. My toes will not hang over and touch the ground, nor will my heels spill over the backs. And the sides and tops of my feet will not bulge out between the straps.

I will go polish-free or vow to keep the polish fresh, intact and chip-free. I will not cheat and just touch up my big toe.

I will sand down any mounds of skin before they turn hard and yellow. I will shave the hairs off my big toe.

I won't wear pantyhose even if my misinformed girlfriend, coworker, mother, sister tells me the toe seam really will stay under my toes if I tuck it there.

If a strap breaks, I won't duct-tape, pin, glue or tuck it back in to place hoping it will stay put. I will get my shoe fixed or toss it.

I will not live in corn denial; rather I will lean on my good friend Dr. Scholl's if my feet need him.

I will resist the urge to buy jelly shoes at Payless for the low, low price of $4.99 even if my feet are small enough to fit into the kids' sizes. This is out of concern for my safety, and the safety of others. No one can walk properly when standing in a pool of sweat, and I would hate to take someone down with me as I fall and break my ankle.

I will take my toe ring off toward the end of the day if my toes swell and begin to look like Vienna sausages

I will promise if I wear flip flops, that I will ensure they actually flip and flop, making the correct noise while walking and I will swear NOT to slide or drag my feet while wearing them.

I will promise to go to my local beauty school at least once per season and have a real pedicure (they are about $15 and worth EVERY penny). I say spend another $15.00 and get an even better one.

I will promise to throw away any white/off-white sandals that show signs of wear...nothing is tackier than dirty white sandals.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Stuff, by Colin

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It's You I Like
- Fred Rogers

It's you I like,
It's not the things you wear,
It's not the way you do your hair--
But it's you I like
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you--
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys--
They're just beside you.

But it's you I like--
Every part of you,
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you'll remember
Even when you're feeling blue
That it's you I like,
It's you yourself,
It's you, it's you I like.

A few more photos from the ranch.
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Monday, April 10, 2006

Wikipedia Birthday!
via Charles via Phoebe: type your birthday into Wikipedia and give us three interesting facts, 2 births and a death. Here's mine:

Three Interesting Facts:
1215 - The Fourth Lateran Council meets, adopting the doctrine of transubstantiation, meaning that bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Christ.
1911 - Many cities in the midwest broke their record highs and lows on the same day as a strong cold front rolls through (the 11/11/11 cold wave).
1918 - World War I ends: Germany signs an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside of Compiegne in .France. The war officially stops at 11:00.

1889 - Washington is admitted as the 42nd U.S. state.
1970 - First broadcast of Sesame Street.

2000 - In Kaprun, Austria, 155 skiers and snowboarders die when a cable car catches fire in an alpine tunnel.

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We spent the weekend at this beautiful ranch in Texas. Some friends, who also have two boys, invited us to join them. The ranch is 582 acres and was purchased by our friend's grandmother, passed down to her 4 children and now is owned by her 8 grandchildren. It was stunningly beautiful and the boys had a grand time exploring. We went on several long hikes and never saw civilization! The inside of the cabin was 50s kitsch of the best kind, sprinkled with family history and memories. Truly inspiring.
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Thursday, April 06, 2006

It's All French to Me
Last night we had a wonderful lesson at church about the Passover and all the symbolism and meaning wrapped up in the Seder - and how Christ fulfills it. There was a reinactment of a Seder on the stage which provided a vivid demonstration. Many of the prayers were said in Hebrew and we even had English supertitles so we would know what the prayer was.

As we were driving home I was raving about the lesson and how much we had learned. I asked my boys, "What did you guys learn tonight?" Spencer (age 5) was quick to reply: "I don't know. It was all in French and I couldn't understand any of it!"
3:00 a.m. Awake. Colin is describing a nightmare wherein his now-deceased cat, Hobbes, came back to life and then turned into an evil lemur and came after Colin....or....
7:00 a.m. Awake. Feels like 6:00. What's going on?. . .
7:45 a.m. Awake again.
8:00 a.m. Scramble eggs, pour cereal, fix the boys' hair, round up the backpacks, send 'em to school, get dressed
8:30 a.m. Go to the bank for cash because i.d. is missing and nobody will take a check without it (except the bank), go to the shoe store, hobby store and pet store. Learn about algae eating fish and proper lighting for a fish tank. Purchase an algae-eating fish. Visit the tag agent for a new i.d. and notice the sign on the wall informs that I have insufficient eveidence of my identity.
11:15 a.m. Visit Colin in the school lunch room
11:30 a.m. Take Spencer home
12:00 p.m. Lunch with Spencer. Spencer is still ravenous and eats my lunch, too.
12:30 p.m. Load up old sink to take to Habitat for Humanity. See two more (identical) sinks on the side of the road. Load them up and drive to HH. Notice Dr. Michael Anderson is donating furniture at HH at the same time and offer to purchase the table he just delivered. Load table up and take it home.
1:00 p.m. Deliver donations to Salvation Army
1:30 p.m. Take Colin's bike to bike shop for repairs
1:45 p.m. Shop at Target. Use up the last of the cash (not enough money for the m&ms! very sad)
2:15 p.m. Go to the bank for more cash
2:30 p.m. Pick up bike
2:45 p.m. Take film for developing
3:00 p.m. Carpool
3:15 p.m. Take Colin and Spencer to the lake to ride our bikes. The highlight of the day!
4:30 p.m. Eat dinner
5:00 p.m. Take Colin to friend's house to play
5:30 p.m. Take Spencer to T-ball practice
7:00 p.m. Fill up van with gas (we barely made it to the station!)
7:30 p.m. Pick up Colin and talk to friend's mom
8:00 p.m. Clean up the boys for bed
8:30 p.m. Bible study
9:30 p.m. Work (for pay), load the dishwasher and fold a load of laundry
11:45 p.m. Check out.

(Colin thinks I should be practicing my French horn so I can be famous!)

(By the way, if you have a digital license, you don't have to find your lock box key, go to the bank, get your birth certificate out of storage, or find your insurance verification...just so you know. I didn't.)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I got some new shoes this week! They reminded me of the Famolare High Ups I wanted to wear when I was 16. Of course, when I was 16 I wasn't considered old enough to wear such a high heel! I suppose we can add these to the list of possible signs of a midlife crisis. If you see me wearing these with glitter on my heels, just smile and wave.
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Word Clouds here.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Our friends have kittens to spare! CUTE kittens. We don't need a kitten, but look how she lures us over there and takes photos of my children with the kittens. Will she stop at nothing?

(p.s. did you notice Colin's bling?)
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Monday, April 03, 2006

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Easter is fast approaching and we can all begin anticipating the celebration that Christ has risen and reigns! What better way to start the day than with this good-vs.-evil- themed basket from none other than HUBBA BUBBA!
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And here's a nice little Easter snack: scrambled egg and bean nachos from Tostitos!
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I think I'll just stick with good ole Betty Crocker.
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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Well, I didn't play any April Fools Day pranks on my family. I guess we're just not the type.

Colin went to a birthday party this morning. Spencer (who has been doing very well since the doc fixed him up yesterday afternoon) went with me to pick him up and, ravenous as he is (he lost 4 pounds!) he asked if he could have one of the Oreo cookies that were sitting on the table. I got one for him and he took a bite, then handed it back to me with a disgusted look on his face. Everyone laughed and said, "It has toothpaste in the middle!"

Frankly, I just hoped Spencer wouldn't puke!

Good joke, bad timing for poor Spencer!