<3 this family!

Love everywhere! 

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I was told that I am not skinny.  But she didn’t mean it.  She meant I am rounded out nicely.  Yeah, she did.  Diet starts NOW!

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Next year, the nephew on the left will be taller than I am.  The fella in the middle is the family turkey.  Three trouble makers cousins.

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Thumbs up for Deviled Eggs. Salami art.

Me and my daddy.  Grandma and three of the grandkids.

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More family turkey. Every family has one.  Trouble makers Cousins again.  Next year, the fella on the right WONT be taller than I am.  Yippy!

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The older variety cousins.  The girlie cousins, slightly outnumbered.

  Last year, these two were almost the same size.  One of these boys puked Thanksgiving night.

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Is there any doubt I have so much to be thankful for?


So many reasons!

Someone is another year older today!!  It aint me!

So many more reasons to love being married to my guy. (List #1 here)

He fixes vacuums.

He cleans my oven when I am afraid to.


He lifted Crazy Man up for almost the whole Toby Mac concert at Sonshine.

He pretty much is the brains of this operation.

He promised to love me over 16 years ago, and he still does.


He loves and cares for his mom in a tremendous way.  (Well, who wouldn’t?)


He is predictable and realistic, which pretty much balances the very wing-diggity-it me.  “Squirrel?”

He is learning to put the TV tray away each night – trust me, this is a big deal to me.

He is a great example of Christ’s love for us – he never gives up on me or runs out of patience for us, except when he needs to lay down the law.

He molested a dolphin because I made us late for the demo on how to correctly pet a dolphin and never told me it was my fault, even though the blame was clearly mine.


He not only got me a sewing machine, but also learned how to use it for those special times when one of the boys says, “I need a badge sewn on in 10 minutes!!”  Real men can sew.

He parasailed with me, but it wasn’t the actual parasailing that showed his love that day!  It was mopping up after me without muttering one word!!  NOT ONE WORD!

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He walked through sewage this morning to mop up the problem.

He cared for Lucy after her major surgery, even sleeping in a tent in our garage one night so Lucy could be with her people. (read: Lucy LOVES Bill!)


He laughs when he sees my receipts after a weekend of shopping, even though inside, he is probably crying.


He does all our snow removal.

He chipped his two front teeth being a great sport at Scout Camp this summer!  Our kids are lucky to have him as their daddy!

He dusts our ceiling fans.

He replaces all the burnt-out light bulbs.

He took Curly in for her shots – that alone speaks volumes.  Tough love.

Happy Birthday, Bill!!  We are a very blessed family.  Thanks for everything you do for us on a daily basis and for all the times you go above and beyond.  Witnessing all the extras you have done this year has been a reminder of how selfless you are.  Love you tons!

Thanksgiving–it’s a wrap!


Over the River and through the woods we went.   Not to Grandma’s house first, but eventually we did go there too.  It was an eventful Thanksgiving for our family.  Have a seat, this might get long.

Prompt:  2.) Share a photo of what Thanksgiving looks like in your neck of the woods.

Ok, then here we go:

20101125_145019_6076  “Two Turkeys”  My brother, the turkey carvin’ crazy man – I think it was because our family has gotten so big, we needed two birds, and he was sick of it at this point, or maybe it was due to the fact that he had worked all night and carved turkeys all day – either way, he was lovin’ the job so much.

20101125_154610_6094 “The Future is so Bright”  Dad forgot his real glasses and had to spend the day in his prescription shades – all that meant was better mood lighting for his after dinner siesta. 

20101125_165752_6098 20101125_200134_6103“Had a Bad Day”  Curly, this is why we don’t wear glasses while sledding.  Glue and tape were not able to put Humpty together again.

20101125_185435_6101  “Another One Bites the Dust”  JP, meet tree.  Tree, meet JP.  Frenectomy completed without Novocain shots.  Bottom lip given pouty look without need for silicone injections. 

After this exciting afternoon, the kids were asleep before 8:30 and I was sitting like a zombie on Missi’s couch because unknown to me at that time, the little scratchy throat and sniffles I had begun to experience were about to blow up into a full-blown, teeth-aching, double-kleenex-blowing, head-pounding, chill-inducing cold – just in time to head to the germs-not-welcome farm.  Yeah for me.  Yeah for them.  Yeah for everyone.  Sudafed and  Nyquil, I adore you.

Mama's Losin' It

Happy “you’re older than me” day to my hubby!!

Lucy, Bill, and I were all 35 yesterday.  Today, that all changes.  Today, he is older than me!!  Back in childhood, being older was a good thing.  Now, however, we are getting all too close to that big number that is supposed to be all black and sad and full of questioning of the meaning of life.  He is closer than I am for about 8 months…ah, crap, he is 8 months older than I am all the time, but this time of year, it is kinda fun to be the wife of an older man.  He is such a cradle robber. 

We got married 4 days after I turned 12.  He was also 12.  That’s just the way it works.  We were babies.  We grew into adulthood together.  Nah, we still are kids.  But really, we have grown from little babes to whatever it is we are now, and we have done it all together.  He met me at 90 lbs and now I am, shoot, like I am going to tell you.  I will let you in on the secret that my body has a few more stripes than it used to have and also a couple (**cough cough**) lumps here and there.  Oh, and a couple killer scars.  He loves me anyway.  That’s what it is all about!  I have a keeper. 


So, an incomplete list of 20 things I love about Bill:

  1. He pumps almost all my van’s gas and I haven’t taken a vehicle in for an oil change since we started dating.
  2. He works hard – really hard – and provides financial security for our family.
  3. He rubs the knots out of my shoulders almost every time I ask, which is pretty much daily.
  4. He is a super involved dad.  Our kids are very blessed.
  5. He watches chick flicks whenever I want to.
  6. He lets me pick the restaurant almost every time and doesn’t complain when I pick Texas Roadhouse pretty much over and over and over.
  7. He does all our money junk.  He balances, deposits, budgets, and so on, and with free-spending me as a wife, it is a BIG job.
  8. He does all the heavy lifting, shoveling, hauling, etc. for me (probably to prevent more of #3)
  9. He doesn’t get mad at me when I do stupid things.
  10. He talks to me at 11 PM when my brain is still going, and then again at 7 AM when it has started again, even though he wants to sleep.
  11. He lets me go out with friends pretty much whenever I decide I am going towithout complaining.
  12. He wears old jeans and free Microsoft shirts so I can wear new sweaters (and pants, and shoes, and jewelry)
  13. He’s been known to vacuum.
  14. He does almost all our laundry.
  15. He knows I am intelligent (after all, I have a degree – someone in this house has to have one!) so he encourages me to use my brain, whether that was while I was a stay-at-home mom or now as a para.
  16. He eats toast without complaining.  Night after night, if he has to.
  17. He lets me be a complete goof nut and also lets me cry when I need to.  Moody moody little girl!!
  18. He nags me to take my meds.
  19. He bought a suit.  I am so stoked about that!!
  20. He can build and fix almost anything. 

There are so many more things, but this is a start.  Happy Birthday, Mr. P., cant believe you are sooooo old already!!


My fun weekend

We were supposed to be at the farm but decided since JP and I were sporting pretty nasty colds, we wouldn’t go drag those germs down.  I was going to miss the bridal shower and some fun time spent with the in-laws, but germ + situation = bad, so opted to stay home.  Good thing since it snowed like crazy and the shower ended up cancelled anyway.  That drive home could have been interesting!

Because we stayed home, my aunt and uncle from Oregon were able to come spend the weekend, since they were in the area.  FUN!  Put my aunt and I together, and you get sweet rebellion, and that is rebellion in a good way.  We cooked, we ate, we shopped, we watched TV, it was success.

Friday night, we enjoyed our Pork Roast dinner, all 10 of us around the table together.  We don’t sit down and have dinner at the table all that often in our run run run lifestyle.   We served it over mashed potatoes with a side of corn.  I also made pumpkin bars and apple crisp that we munched on all weekend.  Warmed apple crisp for breakfast is yummy!    Ok, back to the business of Friday night.  Uncle Doug taught Crazy Man how to tie his tie!  Alright, more like Uncle Doug tied it and taught him how to loosen it and tighten it to get it on and off for future uses.  HANDSOME!!

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Saturday, we enjoyed breakfast at Tiffany’s (Perkins, actually) and then did a little shopping.  I found a shrug and bracelet for my little black dress for the wedding and our upcoming cruise.  The shrugs were all hung really high.  What were we two shorty pants to do?  Where was Janell when we needed her?  We couldn’t find one of those trusty hookers either – you know, those things you use to reach the stuff they hang in ridiculous heights? So we improvised and got one – cant share the details.  See how short my aunt is?

20101114_095132_6004 Ok, truth is, I am sitting on 3 blankets in this picture – my uncle is actually really tall.

We came home to get started on our extraordinary dinner plans.  Auntie Joyce loves to cook old school,  and being the wiser girl I am these days, instead of watching, I took notes and learned some more tricks of the trade.  Every time they come, they make chicken wings for us!  YUMMY!  We did a little cheat this time and ran to BWW for sauces.  Joyce’s homemade sauces are better.  We also learned how to make her famous coleslaw. 

Auntie Joyce’s Famous Coleslaw

1.  Cheat and start with 2 bags of already bagged coleslaw mix


2.  Roast sliced almonds (we did slivered almonds)


3.  In a bowl, mix a couple scoops of mayo, a scoop or so of sugar, and a squirt of mustard (told ya, this is old school recipe stuff, no measuring)

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4.  Notice that you don’t have any poppy seeds, call a neighbor, borrow hers, and add them to your mayo mixture…


5.  Sprinkle 2 handfuls of Craisins into the coleslaw mix


6.  Add the mayo mix to the coleslaw mix and taste.  Allow to sit and meld.

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7.  Add the almonds just before serving.  YUM!!


Also, back to this thankfulness challenge. 

Nov 13th – Thankful for extended family.  Not just my brothers and their families, I am talking the fringes, like aunts and uncles, who care about my whole being.  Like the deep down parts of my being.  There is just no such things as too much love.

Nov 14th – I am thankful for window blinds.  I like my personal life to be personal.  I like walking around in my jammies at noon if I feel like it.  I like dancing with my kids once in a while.  I like leaving messes around the place if I don’t want to clean.  And I like that no one can see it all.  I also LOVE my top down blinds in my bedroom.  I can come out of my bathroom and get dressed without the hood seeing the horror.  (Thanks for this great thankfulness idea, facebook buddy!)

Glorious Hitting of the Wall

It happened – once in a while, it does – and last night was that night for me.  I started our crazy Tuesday of after school running and kept running till all the running was done.  When all the running was done, I came home, hopped in a hot bubble bath and crashed.  Girls still awake, Bill still with the little drummer boy at Scouts, JP off with a friend, and I didn’t care.  I didn’t have it in me to care.  I crawled in bed.  I woke up at 6:00 this morning after 10+ hours of sleep.  Do the math, I will wait for you. 


-insert beautiful waiting room music –


I went to bed last night at 7:40.  Yah, you heard me right.  7:40 and it felt good.  James woke me up when he got home, Bill came in to talk to me because I must be sick or something, nope, just sick of being awake.  It was wonderful.

I also conducted the #2 experiment.  Nope, not what you are thinking or maybe even wishing I would talk about.   After eating so well for 6 days, I decided to see what would happen if I accidentally ate an entire #2 combo meal from the mecca of all that is healthy and right in this world.  Yeah, I ordered from a McDonalds drive through, and it began by going down way too easily.  Perfect Fries – almost too hot to grab, but not quite, and perfect salt factor.  (We have joked that at any one of our How family funerals, it would be perfectly respectable to serve McDonalds #2 meals since we all eat them in bulk.) Ahhhhhh…and there they sat in my stomach.  And seem to be still sitting.  I feel like I don’t have to eat again for at least another 24 hours.  And there we have a brilliant idea.  If you can leave a McDonalds cheeseburger on a counter for a couple months and it looks the same, what is it doing in my stomach?  I think my stomach is still trying to figure what to do – I picture a meeting of the head enzymes trying to develop any sort of new digestion plan they can come up with to rid my body of that poison.  Eat one meal every other day and remain full.  This would help so many people.  Marathon runners, hunters, race car drivers, scuba divers, surgeons, sailors, so many people can benefit from this. 


And I missed 2 days of Thankfulness, not that I wasn’t thankful, I just didn’t add them to the blog.  I was too busy sleeping.

Nov 8 – I am thankful for the massive support system we have.  I haven’t even had to tap into our second line of defense since the first line has done it all for us these past couple weeks.  You people know who you are, and THANK-YOU!

Nov 9 – I am thankful for the ability to bathe in clean hot water.  Not even in our country is that a guarantee, and certainly not in the rest of the world.  Water is something we take for granted big time!!

And Nov 10 – I am thankful for a van transmission that only seems to be going out once a day.  It could be twice a day.  It could have clunked out on me already, but nope, just about once a day, I push the gas pedal and it chooses not to smoothly shift and accelerate, but only for a second or two and then it remembers what it is supposed to do.  At least we have time to get mentally prepared to plunk down massive money on a tranny,  it could have just called it a day and caught us off guard.  Nothing worse than a split second, total melt-down of the van mechanics. Ok, tons of things worse.  This is just stuff.  And we are ready, bring it!

Sunday = spiritual rest and hopefully some physical rest

For those of you who only want to hear the funny stuff with no deep meaning, skip to the horizontal line.  You know who you are.       

After I think 7 weeks of missing our home church, this morning felt like I was home.  Songs I hear every day brought tears as I stood during worship in a safe place, a place I don’t have to pretend to have it all together.  Home.  Friends I haven’t seen for a long time surrounded us in support and God met me there and provided spiritual and emotional healing. Thanks, church family, today you were Hebrews 10 people for me.

Hebrews 10:23 – 25

23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

I found a new church blog that I find very entertaining and funny, Soiled Wings.  This link is to an entry called Church Rules #1.  Follow that lead and enjoy reading about her take on church issues.  I think she is spot on.  I also like her God, Facebook, and Lady Gaga post.  I  spent much of the first half of my football watching time also perusing her blog.  I can multi-task, I am a female and besides, watching the Vikes this year without some sort of mental distraction is not good for my stress level.

What I cant seem to do today is get inspired to do anything but veg.  So now I think I will take a nap.  Smile  Because I can.  Today I am thankful for a soft safe bed.  So many go without those things.

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