Friday, January 30, 2009

Mmm, what's new?

Well, the Arizona Cardinals are playing in the biggest game of the year... THE SUPER BOWL!!!
Normally I visit with my friends during the actual game and then when they go to commercial, I am glued to the set! I mean come on, admit it, you do the same. But, not this year. I'll be watching the game AND the commercials AND the half-time show. Mmmm, are you thinking what I'm thinking? Ya, when do I visit the ladies room? Well, I can't think about that now.

Anyway, the women that shared at the Women's Retreat last weekend are online! Some of you have mentioned that you'd like to hear what I shared... so you can do that by going HERE and clicking on Linda Thompson. (Oh, and that is my friend Chris that starts out by introducing me)

AND it happened again. Went to my little thrift store and found FOUR MORE vintage gingham aprons. Can you believe it! They're stunning! Clic the pic to enlarge and you'll see for yourself. As always, they were only 98 cents each!
I really and truly believe that I rescue them. Remember my story HERE, where I mention that I am keeping the collection together, thinking that maybe one sweet little lady made them all. Cuz I don't think I even get to that little thrift store but maybe every other week. And sure enough, there they are, waiting for me to rescue them. They're like a family of gingham aprons and I keep adopting them so they can stay together. Hey, you laugh... but it's what we do.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Emolyn @ 11 months

Just when you think she couldn't get any cuter... she shows up in these darling tights!
Oh my gosh, Randy & I went a little crazy when we saw these at the Oshkosh outlet store near Casa Grande before Christmas. We knew she's look so dang cute in them. And that she does.

Shawn, Nicole & Emolyn came over yesterday and we had so much fun. I pulled out a pan of lemon bars from the oven just as they arrived. So while they were still warm, we devoured half the pan! Boy, oh boy, did Emolyn love the warm lemon filling! Between bites she was smacking her lips like crazy!
Did I mention that I picked the lemons from our lemon tree? In 70 degree weather? Cuz that would be down-right mean of me, wouldn't it? Sorry, freezing family members from Wisconsin, Iowa and Oklahoma City.

And who do you suppose Skyped us during lunch? Emolyn's Aunt Miranda! Emolyn loves when her Aunt Miranda sings to her online. So that's Emolyn (below) telling me to take a picture of her and her Aunty Miranda in England.

Before they left, they put her in blue jeans. I had not seen my little angel baby in blue jeans before. Sooo stinkin cute, is all I'm sayin. Sooo stinkin cute!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jeremiah 29:11

What can I say? I am grateful and humbled. The Woman's Retreat was wonderful!
Thank you for praying for me. I have never felt such a peace.
Usually when I am facing something that feels so overwhelming... so out of my comfort zone... I find myself saying I can't wait till it's over! But this time I couldn't wait to actually be up there and communicate the things that God had put on my heart.

For those of you that don't know what I'm talking about, I was one of the speakers at our Woman's Retreat, at the church that Randy and I have been attending for 30 years. Wow, it will actually be 30 years on Valentine's Day! We started attending Open Door Fellowship, the week we got engaged.

The theme of the retreat was My life... the Big Picture along with the verse- Jeremiah 29:11- "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." The beautiful necklace was a thank you gift from Chris, who coordinated the retreat. Oh my gosh, what a thoughtful, memorable gift! Thank you Chris! I love it!

So, I have spent the past couple months going over my life story. I'm telling you, if you have never written out your life story, you must. You will see how the Lord has had His handprints all throughout your story. He is not only writing your story, but He is using all of it for His glory.

I titled my talk Embrace the story He is writing. It's uniquely yours. I'll be honest, there are parts of my story that I would just as well forget... but when I was finally able to see that He really and truly works all things for good, I began to embrace all of it. It makes me sad to look back now and see that I was so unwilling to trust Him in certain chapters of my life story, that I can now see as blessings. But we learn from those times and move on.

And you know what? God is not done with me yet. He know the plans He has for me... for me & Randy. And I am so excited about what's next! Randy & I are dreaming of this next chapter in our life story. And it's so freeing to know that I can trust Him for my future. I'll keep you posted as it unfolds.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

my retro alarm clock

Ever since I saw one similar to this one I have wanted one of my very own. A retro alarm clock. Not so much an I Love Lucy one but more like the one I saw at Hobby Lobby for around $20.00. Elsie has that one and you can see it here in several of her photos.
Well, I went to Savers last week and found this beauty. For $1.50. And it's metal, not plastic. Sooo happy. Love the colors, the design and how it looks on my desk at work.
Shawn & Nicole got me the sweet coffee mug for Christmas. How cute is that- Grandmas are Mommies with Lots of Frosting. We are, you know.

Sorry that I've been rather sporadic in blogging lately. I am one of the speakers at our Woman's Retreat this weekend. And it has consumed my thoughts night and day... for weeks and months. I don't think I have ever cried so much... prayed so much... or learned so much. Isn't that always the case? It's in the processing, the preparing, the grappling... that we finally get it and we are forever changed. If I was unable to share what I've prepared to another living soul... it will have been worth it. I am humbled to have walked this journey. I will tell you more about it after the retreat. But hey, if you think of it, pray for me. Thanks.

Monday, January 19, 2009

National Popcorn Day

Did you even know there was a National Popcorn Day? Neither did I.
But I love popcorn so why not take a little trip down popcorn memory lane.

Many years ago I attended a workshop while I was a cook at a preschool. We were asked a question- "If you had to live on one food for days and weeks or even years, what would that be?" A no-brainer. Why popcorn of course. Think about it. It's salty and crunchy. It's full of fiber and that's a good thing, if you know what I mean. I'm assuming that I would have the means to melt my beloved butter in which to amply drizzle over the popcorn. And who doesn't love butter. I mean butter happens to be my favorite food group for crying out loud. And fat is good for the skin right? So I won't get so wrinkly as the years go by.
What else... well, it seems I don't ever tire of eating popcorn. Ever. Now mind you, I don't eat it very often now. But I used to eat popcorn a lot! Like daily. Especially when I was pregnant with my kids. And I'm talking making it the old fashion way. Don't tell me some of you don't know what the old-fashion way is! Quite frankly, the ONLY way to pop popcorn.
Here's what you do-

Go to a thrift store and get yourself a heavy bottom old fry pan or a 3 qt. sauce pan (preferably NOT non stick) with lid. Designate it just for popping popcorn. We had a big old frying pan stored in the bottom drawer under the oven, while growing up on the farm. I now use a real old vintage sauce pan.
You heat the oil, add the kernels and keep the lid partly open for the air to escape and then you shake it over the heat. Does anyone out there still do it that way? Or is it a lost art and you've all settled for that mediocre microwavable muck. (did you know muck means waste matter? Sorry about that.) Then as the kernels are popping you dump the popcorn in a big bowl and keep returning the pan to the burner until all the kernels are popped.

We always melted the butter in the already heated pan and pour the butter over the bowl of popcorn. And to make sure you got every last drop of butter, you would transfer the popcorn from the bowl back in the pan to scoop up every last morsel of buttery sweetness. Like I said, I love butter.

If this sounds a tad bit too confusing, I actually found a similar recipe HERE that makes a bit more sense.

Anyway, an evening of popcorn and pop was a big deal in our home growing up. We'd gather around the TV and watch the Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday night or the yearly showing of The Wizard of OZ. A couple times a year we'd get out the old projecter and watch old home movies. With homemade popcorn of course.

Maybe that's another reason why I never tire of popcorn. The nostalgia, the memories, the warm fuzzy feelings of home and family... and hot, buttery popcorn at the center of it all.

Googled National Popcorn Day and found this-

National Popcorn Day is celebrated at the end of January, although its exact date is a matter of debate. Various sources report it as January 19; others claim it takes place on whatever day the Super Bowl falls on. The Popcorn Board is often asked about the origins of this day; unfortunately, we do not know how or when this celebration began. Some other individual or organization (with obvious good taste) began this tradition.

The connection to the Super Bowl seems natural enough. It’s a highly regarded annual sporting competition pitting the top two national football teams against each other. Millions of viewers from around the globe hunker down with bowls of their favorite snack—popcorn—in heated anticipation of who will win the battle.

And to think that one of those NFL teams is the ARIZONA CARDINALS!! GO CARDS!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

weekend madness

Lots happening in the Valley of the Sun this weekend.

*** added Sunday, Jan. 18th @ 5 PM-
The CARDINALS are going to the SUPER BOWL!!!
The CARDINALS are going to the SUPER BOWL!!!

~33,000 running in P.F. Chang's Rock 'n Roll Marathon. I will not be one of them.

~ 75,000 cheering on the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium for the NFC Championship game: Arizona Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Eagles. No way are the lowly Cards a mere game away from the Super Bowl! GO CARDS!

~ Probably shouldn't tell you that it's in the 70's and that we'll be grilling and hiking and thanking God... that we don't live in other parts of the country where... umm, you can't grill and hike. So I won't tell you that.
*** Just talked to my brother and it was -40 at the farm in WI this morning and that's not factoring in the wind chill! Yikes!

~ Randy & I went yard saling this morning, but first, a Dunkin' Donuts run to experience the best iced lattes ever! Love their coffee!

~ Miranda's spending the weekend in London with our dear friend Greg. They're hoping to see the Broadway show "Thriller".

~ We're done! We have just completed the 50 State Quarters Program by finding 4 Hawaii quarters today! We have been collecting the state quarters for each of our three kids and a set for Randy & I since January, 1999. I remember thinking back then, we'll be doing this for the next ten years?! We have pretty much stayed on schedule till the last one (Hawaii) came out in Nov. and we are just now finding them! It's been fun though! I'll miss it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

snowflake goodie bags

Like I said, I was into snowflakes this Christmas. So when I saw these aqua felt snowflake bags in the dollar section at Target I went a little crazy. My little gift idea was made even more complete when I found that Lindt had introduced a Limited Edition white chocolate truffle in the perfect holiday packaging. Life is good.
Then I remembered I had bought a snowflake stamp that I had never used. Do you know that stamping works so much better when you use paint rather than ink? Thanks to Amy for that helpful hint.

I know, I know, Christmas is over, but I found these pics that I had never posted, and thought maybe you'd like to see my little gift idea.
Btw, went to Target several days after Christmas and got me some more at 75% off. The perfect little gift bag for next Christmas... umm, for those that didn't get the bag this year. I do keep track you know.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Miranda's dorm room

That's Miranda's dorm room window! (click to enlarge)
I asked Miranda if she would take the pic that I posted a few days ago and circle her room. So she did!
I'll eventually replace that pic with this one and drop this post. But just thought you'd want to see her actual dorm room window before I do that.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

snowflakes and blooms

So, around these parts, when you don't get your tree up till the 13th... you take it down a lot later than usual... like yesterday. But yes, Christmas is gone. I keep my winter decor up a little longer... like my mitten garland over the window and anything with snowflakes. I'm into snowflakes this year. So you can imagine my sheer delight when I saw this pic on my friend Amy's Facebook yesterday. The perfect snowflake! I was stunned by this image of an actual snowflake! Who knew!

Miranda is doing great, other than a bad cold. She is going to meet up with a dear friend of ours from Denver today. Greg has been working in London for the past three months and is going to show her around the city. Greg and his family lived in Phoenix for many years and we sure miss them. But we are thrilled that Miranda will have her very own personal tour guide for the next couple weekends before he goes back to Denver. Thanks Greg!

When Randy's Dad died back in April, our dear, thoughtful Home Group gave us a beautiful rose bush to plant in memory of Dad Thompson. But within days it was covered in bugs and soon after died. We were sad to see it go, but eventually replaced it with a Cape Plumbago bush. Well, after months of neglect, you can imagine my surprise when I looked out my bedroom window yesterday and saw that it was blooming! Randy & I just love the color of the Cape Plumbago blooms! Don't you just!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Miranda's in England!

And she just called us on SKYPE!!
I woke up at 4:30 AM this morning and was rather concerned that she had not emailed to say she was there. And then when Randy woke up at 6 AM, the Skype phone rang and it was Miranda! I had just walked into Randy's office and said "why hasn't she called us yet?"... and just as those very words came out of my mouth, the Skype rang and it was her on the screen!! Needless to say, I was sooo relieved to know she was safe and sound inside her new castle digs. And she was radiant!

Yes, this is where she'll be living for the next 6 months! The Founder's Building was built in 1879. Our princess is living in a castle! Her room has a view of the beautiful courtyard. She showed us the view on skype. Click on the castle to enlarge. Is this cool or what!

Oh, her luggage made it with her. Yeh! But she hasn't slept yet. So she's due for a little shut eye before the new students pizza party gathering at Royal Holloway tonight. It's 1 PM there... 7 hours ahead of us.
Thank you, thank you for praying for my daughter! Means more to me than you'll ever know.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

she's on her way

And I am so peaceful. Really, you guys, I truly am.
OK, so I am going to miss her terribly, but her leaving feels so right.

This morning I woke up and a miracle happened. I was excited. I was not sad. I was not fearful. Or anxious. I was excited for my daughter and the adventure that awaits her! But I'll be honest, I wasn't sure I would feel this way. But then I was reminded of what happened when Miranda was moving out, on her own, into her first apartment a couple years ago. I was anxious about her living alone. How would we know she got in her apartment safely every night? I was sick at the thought that she would be so alone, so vulnerable. Then, a miracle happened. The day that Miranda asked me come see the apartment, I walked in and was instantly flooded with peace. I am serious you guys. I was giddy happy! No fear. From that moment on, I never worried. I never checked on her to see if she made it home safely. I never lost a minute of sleep worrying about her. Ever. That is a miracle. That is so not me! You see, I was choosing to trust God with my daughter.

Well, that is what happened this morning. I woke up and all my fears and anxieties were gone and replaced with excitement. Anticipation. Joy. Once again I was choosing to trust God with my precious daughter. And word has it that He loves and adores my daughter more than I ever could anyway. So, what did I have to lose? Exactly, because I had everything to gain! His peace. His perspective. His joy.

And that is my prayer for Miranda. That she keeps her eyes on Him. That she wakes up everyday, aware that He has her back. That everything is from Him. He allows it all. The good and the not so good. That He works all things for good. That He is a good God that sees the big picture and has it all under control.
I am praying that Miranda will surrender her plans for His plans. That she will let Him do His work in and though her. That she doesn't get in the way of all that He has planned for her in these next 7 months.

But I know me. I know I will have to choose every morning to trust the Lord with my daughter. That fears will creep in and overtake me and I will once again have to choose to believe by faith that God is doing His work and I can trust Him with her.

So, she's on her way to Minneapolis as I type these words and then on to London. If you think of it, please pray that she makes her connecting flights and she arrives in London as planned, along with ALL her luggage. Is that too much to ask... that her luggage actually arrives WITH her!? Oh and btw, one piece was just under 50 # and the other just under 70 #! Ya, not good... but thank God we only had to pay extra for one overweight piece. Cuz if that piece had been over 70 #, the overweight charges would have tripled! Yikes!

And because of the wonders of technology, we can stay connected through emails, her Facebook, her BLOG and SKYPE. How cool is that!

*** Oh my gosh, while linking Miranda's blog, I discovered that she had posted from her gate at the airport just after we had said our goodbyes through lots of tears and hugs at the security check. You have to go read it! She's so amazing!

Miranda, you are truly the most courageous woman I know and I love you sooo much!!

Monday, January 05, 2009

what's a Mom to do...

when she's coping with lots of changes?

~ she goes shopping-
love the 90% off clearance racks at Kohl's. Got a $44.00 top for $4.40 and an $18.00 necklace for $1.80!! Love, love, love a smokin deal!

~ she organizes her daughter's stuff-
cuz I keep finding things that I could always borrow while she is gone. Like lots of Pampered Chef. She sold it for a short while. I'll for sure be keeping her mini-cupcake baking pan plenty busy.

~ she loses herself in dozens of blogs-
love THIS gals blog. She's in her 20's and wise beyond her years and blesses me like no other.

~ she watches TNT movies-
watched Monster-in-law (for the 1st time) and The Wedding Date (for the dozenth time) last night. Made me laugh and cry.

~ she eats-
candy and junk galore. But I did make me some Split Pea soup and that's healthy and yummy! So that's a good thing, right?

~ she goes thrifting-

the perfect little find always puts a little skip in my step. And to think this child-size apron was a mere fifty cents. Love the pink rick-rack.

~ she sorts through hundreds of holiday pics-
this being my newest fav of me & Em.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

my daughter Miranda

She's home.
We finished moving Miranda home yesterday and she'll be living with us for a week. And then she moves into a castle in England for 7 months.
I love that we were all snuggled in our beds, under one roof, as we entered 2009.
I love that I could peek in her room this morning and watch her sleep.
I love that she stayed in her pjs all day while we watched movies and ate Chinese take-out.
I love that I have a week to pamper her.
I love that I'm her Mom.