Your Blogging Type is Artistic and Passionate
You see your blog as the ultimate personal expression - and work hard to make it great.
One moment you may be working on a new dramatic design for your blog...
And the next, you're passionately writing about your pet causes.
Your blog is very important - and you're careful about who you share it with.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
And just one last Halloween decoration photo. Two of my favorite decorations! I saw these hat boxes last year at a candy shop in St. Charles but left them behind. When I returned to buy them, they were gone!! I've since thought of them and dreamt I'd bought them and thought of them again. (I don't think I'm obsessive. Do you?) I saw them in a magazine - everything else was for sale in the magazine, but not the boxes! So, the first chance I had to look at the candy store again this year, I did. And I'm glad!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
(Last year she read the Kindergarteners the FABulous book Big Pumpkin while in her garb. Baby S has changed a lot, eh?)
Here's the deal: Halloween can be cute, fun, and creative. But it has a dark side that I just don't like. And that's where I draw the line. I keep my sweet black (striped) kitty inside during the month of October. I'm serious. And I keep my Halloween cute, fun, and creative. Wanna see what Baby S will be for Halloween this year??
Is that cute or what?! Yeah, we've got Queen Amidala, Luke Skywalker (VIth episode, People - if you know StarWars, you know what I mean...and if you don't, like me, actually, you'll have to ask why T will be wearing his black Karate uniform, like I did...), and Darth Vader, of course. That's as spooky as we'll be getting around here. And you all know Darth Vader turns away from The Dark Side in movie VI and stands alongside Yoda and Obi-Wan in their live forever after-life form. You all know that, right? Right? Tap-tap Is this thing on??
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I am particularly fond of the silhouettes - each of my little sweeties, captured in time (I did make these!!!). Perhaps the best part? Spray painted frames from Dollar Tree = $1 + change! Yay!
Tomorrow I am attending a papercrafting class at my favorite scrap store - my first time to take a class for myself in three years! WooHoo! It's a witch's hat --- and Monday I return to make a haunted house! I am thrilled! I'll show pictures when I return and add them to those little blank spots along the fireplace (I have a VERY oddly shaped mantel - if only The Nester could help me!)
In the meantime, if you decide to try silhouettes, let me assure you - you do not want to have your kids sit in front of a blank sheet of paper and a bright light while you try to draw an accurate pencil line around their chiseled shadowy noses. No, no, no. No. Instead, stand them in front of your garage door facing the wall, photograph your subject's profile, print the picture, then shrink and copy it on your printer in black and white. TaDa! I cut that image out, traced it on black cardstock and cut it out again. I know there are other instructions on-line. This worked for me. WAAAaay better than the giant, glaring, HOT shop light I aimed towards their heads while they fidgeted and cringed and eventually wailed, kicked, and melted down in the heat of the moment. Wait a minute. I was talking about them. Not me. (oops.)
For a little diversity, next year, I am SO gonna silhouette this one of Baby S!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I am a CFL bulb user. I began purchasing these bulbs at the recommendation of dear, frugal friends who had saved 10’s of dollars by installing them in all their light fixtures. Like them, Mr. Gore, I bought into your notion that CFL bulbs would save on my energy bills and would decrease the nation’s energy consumption as a whole. I convinced my husband to purchase them for every light in our home when our prudent friends - the Pringles (names changed to protect the innocent – but not yours, Mr. Gore) - bought them for their own home. I laughed at the irony (if that’s what it was) when a few months ago I saw the tiny little sign above the CFL bulbs at WalMart informing me that my purchase was contaminating hundreds of landfills throughout the USA. But I have less waste to dispose of with my long-lasting CFL bulbs than, say, the fly-by- night, dime-a-dozen standard GE 60 watters, right, Mr. Al Gore? I continued to buy into your Global Warming fodder that CFLs, along with Obama’s tire gauge, would help to end the energy crisis. The well-intentioned St. Louis ladies of Women’s Voices Raised for Social Injustice, who footed the CFL light bulb bill for hundreds of lower income families in our area, also bought into your ideas. They, too, believed that the energy saved to purchase bulbs we once called “fluorescent” but are now disguised in the energy-saving “green” misnomer of the CFL, would save the world. I don’t suppose, Mr. Gore, that they had read this statement in their genuine yet mistaken good intentions:
…the study found breaking a single bulb can send mercury vapor levels in a room(found on the internet – you know, the one you invented, at: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=72133)
to over 50 times the level that California considers dangerous and to over
300 times what the EPA has established as a safe level for prolonged exposure.
Or, Mr. Gore, this bit of information the news media fails to share in between your oh-so wise soundbites:
The small amount of mercury inside a CFL can penetrate carpet and continue to be
emitted at very low levels for a long time. This may continue even after the
initial cleanup. If a CFL breaks on carpeting, consider removing the section of carpet where the breakage occurred, especially if young children or pregnant women frequently use this room. (http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/cfl_fact_sheet_final.pdf)
Mr. Gore, perhaps your family (with its new houseboat) can afford to replace my brand-new friese carpet in the family room (where we spend all our time). Mine, however, cannot. Besides, sir, that the money I saved in buying these bulbs over the last year was nullified tonite when I purchased a 'disposable' vacuum cleaner to clean the contaminated mess made by one of your beloved (now broken) CFL bulbs. Dare I ask how I might 'double bag' this new (but now poisonous) vacuum cleaner and place it into a glass jar with a metal lid for my local landfill to accept? Or, pray tell, what happens if the glass jar I placed the broken bulb into (as per the Energy Star website's instruction) might break when the trashman throws it into his truck?
Mr. Gore, in future interviews with the liberal media about our use of CFL bulbs, would you please inform the public that we should "consider not using CFLs in playrooms, children’s bedrooms, and other areas where there may be an increased chance of bulb breakage."
(http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/cfl_fact_sheet_final.pdf) Perhaps the dear members of Women's Voices Raised for Social Injustice should also be informed of this recommendation, as they are handing out CFL bulbs free for single mothers of low-income households. I, for one, had I known the significant risks, with my houseful of small children and pets, I might have reconsidered your wisdom. As should they.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Since then, we've dolled up many a part of our house! And those improvements have ALL been at the hands of My Man. Since everyone enjoys a nice before and after shot, here are a few from My (Handy) Man.
The Kids' Bath (also known as - Everyone Else's)
Here you go...
Monday, September 22, 2008
My Man and I married for better or for worse 10 years ago on October 4th! Believe me, we've kind of been 'through it all' in a decade - though I know there is much more to come! I pray that we continue to be blessed. But when God allows - not authors, but allows - rain to fall, I pray that we continue singing like birds in a downpour!
In the (10) days to come, I plan to honor the man my husband has become by sharing some of his awesomeness here on my blog. I joke that he isn't the same man I married --- and in truth, he isn't. He's much, much more. God put me on a fabulous path with a wonderful man. Join me in looking back at who he's become...
My Man: Then
My Man: Now
Sunday, September 21, 2008
The highlights from the day included meeting PearlHeart (remember Nashville Stars?).
Our fashion diva
The Canine Twins
And taking a bite out of a little Midwestern Americana. The facts of the race this year are remarkable. And make me a little nauseated, actually. I'm praying for our country and its people - daily - but especially for the next 44 days. We face a monumental decision that can lead our country into one of two entirely different directions, depending upon the conclusion.
Be smart. Get informed.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Some of you may have noticed I wrote a post late Thursday night and pulled it down Friday morning. I pulled it because Gramma2Many is planning her trip to Africa with Msoshi. I sat at my computer Friday morning and realized there are so many more important things in life. God gives His time to us no matter how 'insignificant' our 'problems' may be, but I'm focusing my prayers on Gramma and my friends like her. Life is too short not to see the forest for the trees.
Shortly after I pulled the post, I shared an awesome phone call with one of my best friends. She, too, helped me. (THANK YOU, P.S.!!!) She helped me remember what a friend is. Here's what I know: A friend is there when you have a crisis. And she stands up for you even when you aren't standing right next to her. I was reminded of Sissy's post about friends. I don't need to be everything to everyone. I need to mean something to someone.
I am a fairly transparent person. I am an imperfect person saved by the Grace of God. My profile rings so true about me --- I am constantly trying to be better. And boy, some days I really soar. And other days...I am thankful I have a forgiving God.
So, I'm shaking the dust off my sandals. And I'm moving on. (Mark 6:11) Thanks, Mom!
See ya again soon!
Monday, September 15, 2008
"Lewis & Clark 2008: You Tried; We Tried
As far as our event was concerned, the remnants of Hurricane Ike could not have arrived in St. Louis at a worse possible time. While we are all very disappointed that this year's race did not turn out as we hoped, we are very proud of how our volunteers and athletes responded to a true worst-case weather scenario.
Postponing a race of the size of Lewis & Clark - even for a few hours - was never an option. Our event requires time-specific permits and permissions from a dozen separate municipalities and government agencies - as well as the scheduling of 500 volunteers (who come to us both as individuals and in groups) and various service providers (traffic control, trash hauling, etc.). Postponing until a later date is also not possible. The booking of Frontier Park, the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater , medical support, bus service, etc. must be done months (and in some cases a year) in advance. Our only two choices for the event were to (1) cancel it entirely or (2) work hard to provide a safe event in spite of the extreme weather...
...Despite the fact that circumstances were such that cancelling the event was a defensible position, we decided to do our best to serve our athletesby holding the event. While few PRs would be set - everyone was at least sure to leave with an "I ran with Ike" story. When the event started, we had every intention of allowing everyone to complete the entire distance. Both courses were runnable and we believed given the latest weather reports that they would continue to be so. Unfortunately, the combination of (1) the storm dropping over 5" of rain and (2) much of that rain falling immediately before the start of the race (in part due to the delay that resulted because the police were understandably late getting to their positions because they were busy working a multitude of traffic accidents) caused a flash flood that swamped a long stretch of the north section of our course just minutes before the first runners were to arrive. When we received the reports of the flash flooding approximately 30 minutes into the race, we immediately responded by safely altering the course to avoid the flooded area. We wish we could have re-routed to another 13.1 mile course, but for many reasons that was not a viable option. ...the storm knocked out our radio communications... To make matters worse, our finish line sound system was also put out of commission by the storm, so information could not be effectively delivered post-race...As for the marathon course, we received word soon after the flooding report that the wind and rain had caused two large branches to fall onto and across our course - obviously a dangerous situation. In addition, the medical station on the south end of the marathon course could not operate effectively in the dangerous conditions. As a result, we felt we had to stop all of our competitors at 10 miles.
Congratulations to those of you who competed head-to-head with Ike!
David Spetnagel, Debby Spetnagel, Jeff Neuschwander, Kristen Murphy
Well, there you have it. Although My Man made a valiant attempt to get us to the starting line and helped keep our spirits up with his ever-present sense of humor, it was not in the cards. And I think I'm kinda glad...
(see yesterday's post)
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Check this out.
To make a long story short, 5 feet of standing water in half the city; exits closed down and alternative routes flooded, we never made it to the starting line.
We went to Cracker Barrel and ate breakfast, witnessing the 60 mph winds and sheets of rain falling sideways from a nice warm distance.
Stay tuned. There's always Chicago or Memphis!
Friday, September 12, 2008
- to journal and express my thoughts & emotions
- to record a legacy for my children
- to make someone laugh
- to make someone think
- to be a witness of God's power and love in every day life
- to connect with others
- because I enjoy it
Why do you do it? Why do you blog?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Yet, at one time, there had to have been a first time.
Back then, my drink of choice was Coke. Even as a child, my mom encouraged me to 'drink only one' per day. I started that habit in high school --- Dr. Pepper started it all, actually. With a KitKat bar from the student store during 3rd period IB Spanish. Maestra ('Teacher') repeatedly admonished the teenage girls in her class that this was a bad habit to start and soon enough (you know, in our 30's or something) our metabolism would slow and these daily trips to binge at the snack shop would return to haunt our then-shapely figures.
Then in college I turned to CocaCola. And a bag of peanut butter M&Ms. Every day. I'd walk down the 3 flights of stairs to the vending machines - that had to account for something, Maestra!
And, post-grad school, on my drive into work in my sporty Chevy Cavalier, I twisted the lid off the new 20-ounce bottles of Coke. And since I only allowed myself one per day, I nursed it slowly through lunch (warm, unfizzy, by noon).
As we prepared to build our family, I gave up caffeine. I transitioned (kicking and screaming, except for the end result of ... babies!) to Root Beer. But once the twins came and sleep deprivation set in, the sweet taste of Coke returned to my morning routine. And I remember discovering General Foods International's iced coffee. As I watched my kids' therapists traipse in and out of the house each morning, I'd consume a homemade iced coffee. And as they came and went each afternoon, I'd nurse a soda again. (Mom always said 'one Coke' - she said nothing about coffee and CocaCola every day!)
And soon enough, the twins became mobile - at least enough for me to tote both of them into the Bread Co. in their carseats. We started going as a diversion. A chance to get out amongst 'the people' without exposing Pookie to too many germs that first year with our fears of RSV and surgeries and growth.
That's truly how it all started.
And now, 7 years later, my kids groan when I tell 'em we're headed to Bread Co. I can't even bribe them with 'snacks' from the list of carbohydrate choices any more! And. I'm addicted to Icee Mochas. In a bad way. (I gave up Coke while pregnant with Meiners - those sweet, syrupie puppies make me sick with their sugar content even to this day! ...odd, considering the sugar content of an Icee Mocha, I know)
Recently, a few of my best bloggy friends have admitted to blog addictions. I conceed that it can be addictive. But, my friend Melissa felt called by God this week to give up her addiction. And she has bid us farewell in her blog today. I have heard of this notion before. This concept of giving up an addiction. All summer, Pastor John taught us from Proverbs. And you don't think Proverbs speaks of turning from our bad choices and running towards purity? Yes. I do believe caffeine is an impurity. And, from a girl who has slowly transitioned to the realization that she has become a runner - in the true sense of the word, caffeine addiction is not a healthy life style. It is a drug. And, although I believe it to have been vital in delivering me to the kitchen many a morning after a sleepless night, I also believe there are only so many times you can turn from the voice of God, telling Him to go wake Someone Else up with His gentle nudging.
Now, before you all get in an uproar, I don't give one hootie whether you love coffee or slurp your Icee Cokes from the Tarjay foodcourt. God will speak to you about the things in your life that are your weakness. I guarantee that. This one's about me and the choices I make.
So, for today, I kneel at the feet of my God. What have You got in store for us, Lord? I'm sweating. Just so you know. I'm scared. But, I can see how You've been whispering. Prodding. And I'm game.
I don't look forward to the headaches. I don't anticipate with any sense of fun the prospect of 13.1 on Sunday early morning (probably in Hurricane Ike's rain!!!). But, Lord, I do look forward to Your Miracles. And I pray that You would be a light unto my path.
Pray for me.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Laura befriended the town banker recently. Of course, she didn't know he was the stingy, cranky, codger of a town banker that she heard tale of through town gossip. She just knew the man by his fishing. And his friendship. Think there's probably a lesson there. But, being me, instead, I chose to focus that episode on how Laura quoted Tennison. Because Pa reads Tennison to her, of course. (At least, that's what she told Crotchity Ol' Banker Guy --- I don't remember his name!)
And that made me think: What could I be reading to my kids that would further their lives through wisdom and enlightenment?
The Little House on the Prairie series, of course!
So, we're reading one chapter per day. And once we finish Little House in the Big Woods, we'll be taking a break to listen to Daddy's choice of stories. And then I'll head back to the House on the Prairie. Or maybe I'll try out my vocal talents on Marley (John Grogan's bad dog).
My kids? My kids during these times when we gather 'round the hearth by the light of the (electric) lamp glowing amidst us? They're pretty much hitting each other, picking their fingernails, yawning. Seems like this is one of Mom's great hairbrained schemes. And yet, they humor me. Until I can't take the crying, fighting, and lack of interest any longer. Then I pack it up and go make dinner. But I'll keep trying. Cuz I'm mean like that. Trying to increase wisdom and enlightenment amongst my offspring.
I thought it would go over a little better. They sure laughed their tails off when Pookie read My Brother's from Outer Space outloud yesterday. *sigh* Kids these days.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
The twins were off to school and Baby S napped. But Meiners was home yesterday and awake. Wide awake. And wanting some attention. My first few reactions were to put him off. Send him on his way. And eventually grow a little snappy as I valiantly tried to pick up scattered toys and stacks of papers and everything else he innocently got into as I came before and went behind him picking and picking and picking up.
Then, I paused, stopping myself from a full-fledged Mommy verbal assault. I thought, 'what would they have done in the days of Little House?' And just as suddenly, an idea formed in my head. It began to resemble something like this:
(Wow! The resemblance is uncanny...)
Friday, September 5, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Oh Lord Have Mercy! I exclaimed. It was a day that I dare not even describe.
So, as is the case for all things Daddy, he made us all laugh by then asking Baby S how her day was. And in a high pitched baby-esque voice, he exclaimed on her behalf:
Oh, Lord Have Mercy!
That is, if the child could talk. Instead of screaming and hitting and throwing things and pulling hair and scratching and yanking things out of cabinets if she doesn't get the answer she seeks. Oh, understand, she does. Talk, she does not. Doctor (or Speech Pathologist, in my case), Heal thy own child. So, Meiners and I began a little therapy with Little Miss Princess this morning (although Meiners isn't aware of the fact that he's therapeuting his baby sister...)
Not sleeping through the night. Throwing tantrums the likes of which NONE of my children have ever dared. Yes, dared, I say.
But tonite, I evidently redeemed myself. I made these:
And even my pickiest eater ate the whole thing!!!
Want the recipe? Here it is:
(Taken from the St. Louis Days / St. Louis Nights Jr. League cookbook, 1998)
Savory Crescent Chicken Squares
1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon parsely
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 8-ounce package refrigerated crescent rolls
bread crumbs (I used crackers...)
- blend cream cheese and butter
- add chicken, salt, pepper, milk, parsley, and onion
- spearate crescent rolls into 4 rectangles; seal perforations
- spoon chicken mixture into center of rectangle; pull up 4 corners
- brush on melted butter; place squares on baking sheet
- sprinkle with bread crumbs
- bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
Love you all.
Off to read some advice from The Word on how to handle wayward children. And impatient moms.