Friday, July 29, 2011

To make a heart light again

The last year has brought much heartache and sorrow.


There are loved ones whose marriages are broken.


There are loved ones who have passed away.


by Ann Tristani


There are loved ones who are suffering and dealing with illness.


There are loved ones who are struggling with finances.


All of this pain has weighed heavy on my heart.


I have allowed the heaviness of it all to settle deeply.


It has settled too deeply, because lately I have allowed my Bible to settle comfortably on my bedside table.




A place it should never get comfortable resting, for it should get used to resting in my hands under my searching eyes!


I need it's wise words like I need the air I breathe.


The need to be reading my Bible has nudged at me. It has been whispering to me and I have allowed the noise of life's hardships to shout over that whisper until I heard the whisper no longer.


And then, in a book I picked up at the library, for an easy summer read, called Sisterchicks in Gondolas...it's about two friends who go to Italy, how could I resist...I read this line, "a Bible that's falling apart (from use) usually belongs to a person whose life isn't." And I remembered the whisper. I remembered my need to be comforted, encouraged, and to build up my faith.


Now I'm not trying to say that reading my Bible will prevent anything from going wrong in life. It won't! 


What reading scripture will do is remind me that God is sovereign.(Psalm 47:2-8) He cares about my heartache and the heartache of those I love.(Psalm 145:8-9) He is my hope. (Romans 15:13) He is my comfort!(Psalm 23:4)


It is through scripture that I learn to have a tender, forgiving heart toward others and to seek forgiveness myself.


It is through scripture that I am taught to be generous and find joy.


I eat daily to nourish my body, yet I had forgotten to feed my soul. It was starving. 


A starving soul does not have the strength to lift the weight of a heavy heart, and a nourished soul has the weight lifted by Almighty God.


The Bible is my souls daily bread.


I am thankful, that I read in a book, that I happened to pick up at the library, what I could no longer hear in a whisper.


God is also faithful!


Christine

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Tooth Fairy NEVER forgets

We have been waiting patiently for Miss Emma Bean to lose a loose tooth.


We have been waiting for awhile.


Bean does not enjoy the process of losing her baby teeth! That may be the greatest understatement I will ever make! Therefore when the Bean has a loose tooth, the Husband and I are filled with great anxiety anticipation until the tooth is finally out!


Miss Bean has never actually pulled out one of her loose teeth. That's right, not a one! Zero, zip, zilch! She has NEVER! Nor has she ever allowed the Husband or me to remove a loose tooth.


Miss Emma Bean's loose teeth have fallen out while she has been eating. They have been knocked out when she and a friend collided while playing on the playground. The dog has even accidentally bopped her in the mouth knocking out a loose tooth, but Miss Bean has NEVER pulled one out herself! And it may never happen!


Hence the great joy and relief when Miss Bean showed us that the tooth, that has been loose for some time now, had fallen into her hand when she touched it!






YAY!! Joy and celebration! And of course it was time for the Tooth Fairy! Woohoo!


Here is where our story takes a potentially sad turn.


The Tooth Fairy did not arrive as scheduled! DRAT!


Miss Bean was very sad and gave me a very accusing look!


Please note my friends that at 10 and 13 years old my girls do know about the Tooth Fairy, and the 13 year old has lost all baby teeth and no longer gets visits from the Tooth Fairy. However, as parents who very much enjoy the wonderful mysteries of the Tooth Fairy etc, our children are expected to play along!


I will tell you that this is not a 1st time situation for us. Oh yes, the Tooth Fairy had forgotten not been able to make it once before. The Tooth Fairy is only human not perfect, and is very busy, collecting teeth and all, and can't always make every stop.


I calmed the Bean by explaining to her that the Tooth Fairy does not forget, she will come for the tooth, she would just be a little late. And a late Tooth Fairy brings something extra special because she feels guilty always make amends!


Just as I said, the Tooth Fairy, with a little help from her trusty sidekick...ah...um...the Tooth Fairy's Husband, yeah that's right, the Tooth Fairy's Husband, special gifts were brought for Miss Emma Bean the very next night!




The Tooth Fairy also left a very important message!


Yep, that took care of it! Miss Emma Bean was appeased and very happy this morning! I think that had more to do with the chocolate than the apology note, that and getting her sprinkling of fairy dust. Oh yes, the Tooth Fairy sprinkles the girls with fairy dust!




Like I said, to make Mom and Dad happy, the girls are expected to play along! And to be honest, I think the Tooth Fairy should be late more often, because in this house, chocolate must be shared!


Christine

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

108 ways

If you're crafty and have some old t-shirts around, you have to get Generation T 108 ways to transform a T-shirt.




The girls and I have enjoyed transforming old t-shirts for the past several years because of this book!


We have made t-shirt skirts.




T-shirt vests.




And we've made cute halter tops.




Most of the t-shirt transformations are pretty easy! 


The one we made for Miss Emma Bean this summer is one of my favorites!


We cut the sleeves off of an old, long sleeved shirt.



Then we cut diagonally from the neck line to the bottom of the opposite armhole. 




We then cut 4, 1 inch strips off of the bottom of another t-shirt and sewed them onto the back of the shirt we were transforming.




Miss Emma Bean braided a few inches of the strips of t-shirt. We stitched the end of the braid so it would stay braided, and then stitched the free ends of the braided piece to the front of the t-shirt.


Voila! Old t-shirt...transformed!




The book also has patterns for making bags, rugs, pillows, the list goes on and on!


Transforming old t-shirts, a very fun craft!


Christine


P.S. Anyone else have a favorite fun craft? I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Husband to the rescue

It was time to get the job done.


We put if off because it was too rainy. 


We put it off because it was too hot.


We put it off mostly because we were scared of these!




Our climbing rose has some wicked sharp thorns that we were not excited to tangle with.


However, this guy (Japanese beetle) and about 200,000 of his friends have done quite a job of devouring the leaves on our poor climbing rose, leaving it with a lot of dead branches that needed to be removed.




But like I said, it was a scary task!



Wicked sharp man!


Thankfully the Husband, who is very brave, came to the rescue!




He chopped out all of those wicked sharp branches with his bare arms! Who's the man? The Husband is the Man!!


It took a couple of hours and a little blood, but finally there was nothing left of the climbing rose but healthy new branches.


I wanted to cry a little.


There was a time when the climbing rose was healthy and full of leaves!




You can see it behind the Husband in this photo. Look at all of those leaves! Beautiful! The Husband looks very good too! Kilt!!


You can see it's lovely blooms in the top left corner of this photo.




But this year, it looked like this.




It looked kind of sparse didn't it? It was so full of dead branches...



and wicked sharp thorns. I may have said that already.


Now the climbing rose looks like this.




SNIFF! I know it's a good thing to trim it back, but now it looks pa-the-tic! 


Bad bugs!


Time to fight back!


We put out some Japanese beetle traps. They're gross, but they do the job!




Next we'll put down something called Milky Spore. It's supposed to be natural and safe for people, pets and beneficial insects, but it kills Japanese beetles while they are still grubs. YAY Milky Spore!


There are chemical sprays that will get rid of the beetles, but the sprays will also get rid of our Praying Mantises. We don't want that!


The Mantises are starting to get pretty big and though they can't keep up with the large number of beetles, they are doing a great job of keeping down the populations of other bugs.




It's also fun to find them in the garden!


Thanks to the Husband for saving the climbing rose!


Christine

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The face of a champ

I am not a good sports photographer!


My girls continue to play sports, so I intend to work on that! I want to be able to freeze for all time some amazing action shots of them!


It isn't the action that I love about these shots though. It's the facial expressions!



Fabulous!




Excellent!




Love it!


That my friends is the face of a champion!!


Christine

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hot

It's another very hot day in Minnesota today. 100 degrees and humid. It's don't bother to do the hair humid! Can't breath when you step outside humid! I can't get a clear photo humid.



I should have known the camera lens would fog! Darn humidity! It did make for a good shot though.


It's too hot to spend time outside. No weeding the garden. No picnics. And ice cream melts before you can get your first taste! grrrr


The heat is making me grumpy!


Since I don't want an entire blog post dedicated to my complaints about the heat, and frankly it's all I can think about, I'm just going to share some photos with you that I like.


Enjoy!




Okay, I realize this one may seem like I'm still fixated on the miserable heat, but really I just like the photo!




 I promise, Lilo was not panting from the heat! She had just been brushed and it made her happy! It made me happy too! She has been shedding buckets of fur because of the heat! Sorry! There I go again about the heat.




That's better! You would never know it was a sweltering hot day when I took this photo! I really like this shot! A perfect rose!




I laughed when I saw this duck. A great perch.


I'd just like to point out that I didn't say anything about the temperature on the day I took this photo!




I can't help it! The heat is all I can think about. 


I think we'll have to go for a splash in Grandma and Papa's pool today!




Miss Emma Bean approves!


Christine



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

O for the love of curls

Yesterday was haircut day for the girls.


They get their hair cut by the same stylist so I schedule one appointment right after the other.


Sadly the stylist who used to cut the their hair no longer works at the salon we go to. The girls were going to be seeing someone new.


I tend forget from one visit to the next that Miss Emma Bean should get her hair cut first. If she does not, she looks through the hairstyle books and gets very worked up about what to do with her hair. 


Bangs or no bangs?


Cut it shorter or let it grow longer?


Layers or no layers?


Pink streak or no pink streak?


Add in the fact that she was going to see someone new, that she doesn't know...ugh! It was a long wait for Emma Bean's turn to get her haircut!


When Emma Bean's turn finally came to see the stylist we were both beginning to feel pretty stressed out! Me maybe a little more so! 


When the new stylist, who was very nice by the way, asked Miss Bean how she would like her hair cut, Miss Bean just showed the stylist, who was very sweet, a photo she'd found of the lovely Taylor Swift.






The stylist asked Miss Bean if she liked the curls.


Miss Bean said yes.


"We can do that!" she said.


I added in a quick request for a bit of a trim off the ends.


After the removal of about 1/2 an inch of hair, and the expert skill and great patience it must take to curl the multitude of small sections of hair necessary to create such a look, Miss Emma Bean was returned to me beaming with delight!



I think the new stylist has found herself a client for life!


Miss Emma Bean doesn't ever want to wash her hair again...it might ruin her new look...but hey, at least a decision was made and she got it trimmed!


Christine

Monday, July 18, 2011

Smoothies

The first few days with braces were a little rough for Miss Sofi Bug! Her teeth hurt and she could not touch her back molars together. Therefore, no chewing. The orthodontist advised a soft or liquid diet for the first couple of days.


The poor girl. She was not excited about a liquid diet.


Though I know they really bothered her and I should have been giving her sympathetic looks, I couldn't help but grin at her every time she opened her mouth. She looks so super cute with her braces! 




Because Miss Sofi Bug likes to have fruit in the morning with her breakfast, and it was very difficult to eat fruit those first few days, we began to make fruit smoothies.


I had forgotten how good fruit smoothies are. I used to make them all of the time when the girls were little. If I remember correctly, they decided at some point that they didn't like them anymore and that's why I stopped making them. Since fruit smoothies seemed like the best way for Miss Sofi Bug to get her fruit in the morning, we began to make them again, and now the girls think they're fantastic! Yep, that's how it goes!


Smoothies are very easy to make.


Pour about 1/2 cup of orange juice into the pitcher of a blender.




Toss in a handful of frozen Strawberries and a handful of frozen blueberries. You can use fresh berries but the frozen make the smoothies seem more like an icy treat than something good for you!




Lastly, toss in 1/2 a banana.


Blend well and serve.




YUM!!! Homemade smoothies are delicious.


However...a little warning about fruit smoothies with berries. ALWAYS check your teeth after consuming a  smoothie!


I wouldn't want anyone to arrive at church...check their car mirror for a final do-I-look-alright inspection...which they should have done at home prior to leaving for church...discover berry seeds wedged between their front teeth...then have nothing but their fingernail to dislodge the unsightly seeds...while hoping NO ONE pulls into a nearby parking space to witness the embarrassing scene! 


It could happen! It could leave a person flustered! It might cause a person to hiss at their family the question "why didn't anyone tell me I had seeds stuck in my teeth!?"


I'm just saying!


Otherwise, what's not to like about a fruit smoothie? Enjoy!


Christine



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Today's the day

I was up at 5:30 this morning because today Miss Sofi Bug got braces put on her teeth and her appointment was for 7am. 7AM! ugh


I would have gladly made her appointment for later in the day, except that would have meant waiting a few more weeks for an opening to get the braces on, the orthodontist is very busy, and she was too excited to wait any longer to get it done. So 7am it was.




And frankly the 7am appointment gave me the perfect excuse to get a large Starbucks Mocha! mmmmmm




By the way...I also have a new hair color!


Old color.


Me, Miss Sofi Bug, my Mom Deb,  Miss Emma Bean, my Grandma Hazel
New color.




I was hoping for just a little less blond and a little more of my natural brown. My colorist may have taken the color a little darker than I had hoped for...or a lot darker. Well, it's fun to try something new.


So anyway, it only took about 40 minutes to get the braces on and then another 20 minutes to explain how to brush her teeth to best take care of the braces. No more Gummy Bears. She didn't cry, but she did pout quite a bit about that one!


I think she looks very cute with her new braces!



And I will just warn you right now that there will likely be a lot of photos of her and her braces posted in the blog. I may occasionally just throw one in. It may not have anything to do with the post I am writing, but I intend to get my money's worth!




 And she looks so cute!






Christine


P.S. Please don't tell her I said she looks cute. If she asks, I said pretty! Apparently cute is for little kids, NOT teenagers!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Celebrating and remembering

Yesterday was the Husband's birthday. We had a wonderful time celebrating him!


Last Saturday we celebrated my cousin's little boy. He turned 5 years old. Yay 5!




If you look very closely, you can just make out his cute face in this photo. I know, it's hard to see him. He was all decked out in camouflage! It was part of his party's army theme. He was difficult to spot most of the day!


This is his Mom and my cousin Rebecca with her littlest guy. She has just the two boys.




She is lovely and she is very nice. I like her! I'm only occasionally envious that she got that beautiful red hair and I did not! sigh


This is my cousin's Husband.



You do not have double vision! He is a twin. It can be confusing sometimes when they're both together! Her husband is the one in the blue. I think. Yes! Definitely the one in the blue! I'm pretty sure. Either way, they are both great guys. For sure the blue!


The kids had a great time playing with squirt guns at the party.


There was a bit of sneakiness from Miss Sofi Bug as she hid a the top of some stairs and sprayed the younger kids down below.




Miss Emma Bean may have taken things a little too seriously!




 All in all it was good fun for everyone!




We have done quite a bit of celebrating the last few days.


Today we will celebrate again. But it will be a little different. 


Today we remember the birthday of the Husband's Grandma Doris.


Grandma Doris went home to be with Jesus last December. She would have been 105 years old today. That's right, she lived to be 104 years old! Amazing!


The Husband's Sister put it very beautifully when she said "Grandma Doris left a legacy of love!" And she sure did! I can see it woven throughout her entire family from her children to her great grand children.


This is my favorite photo of Grandma Doris.




Smiling and full of joy, she too was very lovely!


Christine