Sunday, June 28, 2009

Faith

The movers are coming tomorrow and we are about as prepared as we have ever been for a move. Tomorrow night we'll be sleeping in a hotel and planning some carefree summer ways to spent our last bit in Nebraska. I'll be spotty (at best) at posting, visiting and reading blogs for the next 4 weeks or so. Please don't stop following or drop me from your blog reader. I will be back. I promise.

Just so you know we're still able to find a little joy in the journey, I overheard a winner today. We had just arrived home from church and the kids were in a hurry to change and spend a little time in the sun with Tony (who just got home after two weeks TDY in Alabama). Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Sam standing in front of the bathroom mirror. You know you've been WAY too obsessed with moving (and "to-do" lists) when your eight-year-old says this:

"Shorts? Check."
"Shirt? Check."
"Sandals? Check."
"Hat? Check."
"Belt? Check."


And just a though in closing.



Be back soon!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Top Ten Reasons I'll Miss Nebraska

10. Runza onion rings and crinkle fries. I only have them once in a while (thank goodness or I'd be as big as a house) but I am always glad when I do. And they're open late for emergency stops on the way home from covert shopping trips to DSW. Right, Megs?

9. Thunderstorms. I love the way the rain sounds on the roof. I love sitting on the front porch and watching the lightening. And I LOVE the way they smell.

8. Mid-western kindness. I have never met nicer people. Ever. Humble, generous, and salt of the earth.

7. Cornfields in the middle of town. It still amazes me that they grow corn wherever there's a spot. But it makes town so lush and green and watching the stalks grow almost before your eyes is amazing. Not to mention buying fresh sweet corn from the farmer set up on the corner.

6. The absurd loyalty of Husker fans. They are rabid. And during football season, you can't escape the mania. Not that we would really want to.

5. Winter Quarters. Every time we visit the Winter Quarter's Temple or Visitor's Center in the Winter, I am grateful I'm not a pioneer living in a mud hut along the banks of the Missouri River. And I am amazed by the faith of those who did.

4. The Henry Doorly Zoo. This may be one of the greatest places in the whole world for our animal lovin' family. We especially love the aquarium tunnel, the Leid jungle, and the okapi. Yes, I said okapi.

3. My house and my neighborhood. I will miss everything about my sweet little house on the corner. The front porch. My granite countertops. The great backyard. Drawing with chalk on the driveway. The memories of teaching Josh to walk here. Our wonderful neighbors. Our jammin' block parties. Sigh.

2. Being so close to my sister. Megan was only nine when I left for college and I must admit, I barely knew her. Now she is a gorgeous, put together young lady, just a few weeks away from finishing her Masters. I love her and am so proud to be her sister. Knowing she is staying in Lincoln just breaks my heart.

1. My friends. Book group. Play dates. Girls Night Out. Sharing moments of glee and despair. New babies and babies on the way. Running in races. Crafting. Shopping. Having people willing to be my family when my real family is so far away. People who have watched my children. And have loved me and my family. How can I ever thank you enough??

Until we meet again...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Squaring My Shoulders

It really should be no surprise to those of you who know me, but I'm not thrilled to be moving. It's not so much where we are moving TO, but more what we are leaving behind. So every once in a while, I have a mini-breakdown. Feel a bit sorry for myself. Cry. Square my shoulders. Try to carry on. And it has been a little easier this week while Joan has been visiting. She has been wonderful about letting me run errands without helpers (divine, I tell you) and giving me some much needed time to sort, stack and simplify. And yesterday, I was able to find a little time to make my version of a wonderful project I saw in BH&G 100 Decorating Ideas Under $100 with things I had on hand. Mostly because I needed a little something new. Something that has never been hanging in one of our homes before. Something I can look forward to unpacking and finding the perfect place for in our new home.

Our new home.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Macadamia Coconut Icebox Cookies

Usually Anna is my cooking buddy. But early last week, I wanted to try a recipe I had found and Anna was at a play date so I asked Sam if he wanted to help. He reluctantly agreed. But by the end of the adventure, he had warmed considerably. And then when he actually TASTED the fruits of our labors...? Well, I think I might be able to talk him in to helping me bake again one day. He just won't wear an apron.
















Macadamia Coconut Icebox cookies

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
1 cup flaked coconut
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups chopped macadamia nuts

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in vanilla. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir into the butter mixture. then stir in the oatmeal, macadamia nuts and coconut. Divide dough into three portions and roll into a log in plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours, or wrap and freeze for up to two months. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease baking sheets. If dough is frozen, allow to thaw on counter for 10 minutes. Slice each log into 1/4 inch rounds and place about 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for one minute on baking sheet, then remove to wire racks to cool.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bloom

Well, it is official. After a bit of a snag yesterday (which was our original closing date) as of now, we are no longer home owners. Thanks so much to those of you who offered thoughts and prayers to get us through this past 2 days...we couldn't have done it without you.

Now on to the fun stuff.

I wanted to put together a little something small for neighbor gifts and as a last goodbye to our visiting teaching sisters. When I saw this card over at Thinking Inking, I knew it was something I could duplicate. In essence, that it. Every card Debbie creates is a little work of art so don't judge my simple inspired card too harshly. My goal was to only use supplies on hand and I was really pleased with the way they turned out. Now, when you open the card, the ribbon across the left hand side of the card is just big enough to hold a little seed packet of forget-me-nots...one of my favorite flowers because they're fairly hard to kill (and we all know how black MY thumb is) and they are the Alaska state flower.

And I don't want to be forgotten.

Man, it sucks to move.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sam's Hero

One of the wonderful things about school being over is the stack of stuff from throughout the year that gets sent home that last week. It is so fun to see how much Sam has improved and the things that were important to him at any particular time during the school year. Take this assignment, for example. Sam was supposed to write about who his hero was and why. It isn't dated, but my guess is that it was after Halloween (Tony pinned on Major ("mayger") on Halloween) and before Christmas. His spelling isn't great in places, but he spells just the way the word sounds. Click on the picture to see it bigger.


I'm glad he survived, too, Sam. This one is going in the "keep" box...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Skirting the Issue

I really like to sew, but as far as clothes for me?...not so much. But I finally found a pattern that I LOVE. And so I've been in a frenzy of making these darling A-line summer skirts. It's called the Barcelona Skirt by Amy Butler and you can find it here. The pattern includes a simple A-line as well as a layered one, which is the one I am wearing in the picture. I bought the pattern on a whim and after just two tries have adjusted it to fit. Delightful, I tell you!


Bring on the sunshine!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Dancin' Queen

This weekend was a whirl of costume, make-up and hairspray with Anna's dance recital dress rehearsal and performance. These girls are so cute and have had a wonderful time this year dancing together. They performed two numbers...a tap dance to "Hokey-Pokey" and a ballet dance to "Pretty Woman". As we left the theater, Anna just cried and cried when she realized that she would not have any more dance classes on Wednesday night and that we'd have to find another dance teacher when we moved. (Thank goodness for waterproof mascara. Sheesh.) Thank you Miss Jennifer for another great year!

We weren't allowed to tape the actual performance, so this is the dress rehearsal. But you get the idea. Most of the time, Anna is the fourth from the left.

video

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Reflecting On Normandy


"The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead, or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.

The Americans who fought here that morning knew word of the invasion was spreading through the darkness back home. They fought -- or felt in their hearts, though they couldn't know in fact, that in Georgia they were filling the churches at 4:00 am. In Kansas they were kneeling on their porches and praying. And in Philadelphia they were ringing the Liberty Bell."

--Ronald Reagan
(Excerpt of the speech delivered 6 June 1984 in Pointe Du Hoc, Normandy, France on the 40th anniversary of D-Day)

God bless the troops, then and now, who worked and are working to liberate, rather than conquer. And may we always remember the difference.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Jerk Chicken Kabobs

We're not much for grilling, but as the weather warms, I love the chance to cook without actually heating up my kitchen. I also have a yummy pork kabob recipe, but I think my family likes this one even better.















Jerk Chicken Kabobs

Italian Seasoning Mix (plus oil and vinegar)
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. cinnamon
5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 cans pineapple chunks

Mix Italian dressing packet according to directions. Add to the dressing: brown sugar, soy sauce and cinnamon. Mix well. Pour over the cubed chicken (I use a big Tupperware bowl so I can shake it every so often) and marinate 4-5 hours or overnight. Right before grilling, slide onto skewers with a piece of pineapple between each piece of chicken. Grill until chicken is done.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Our Summer Fun Jar

Last year, Cocoa from Chocolate On My Cranium shared a really fun way her family keeps the "I'm bored" monster at bay during the summer months. She reposted it again this week with a fantastic list of ideas and tutorials to keep your kids busy and a cute craft idea to keep it all organized. Because we are in the midst of a big move, I won't have the resources to do too much, but for FHE last night we came up with an idea that will work for our family...our Summer Fun Jar.


First, we came up with a list of activities that the kids love to do...some cost money, some don't. Then today they helped me type them up and place them in a big biscuit jar. And because we believe that kids should have responsibilities (as well as a reminder to be kind), the big kids each have a list of goals. If they meet their goals for the day and are kind to each other, after dinner we will pick an activity to do the next day. I really think this will work for or family, even when we're spending a few weeks in a hotel before and after the move.

Do you have any ideas on how to organize Summer fun at your house??

Monday, June 1, 2009

Obsessed

I am an obsesser. I get on a kick and I have to learn everything there is to know about the particular subject. And it seems as if I have passed this particular trait on to my unsuspecting and innocent children. For example Anna, for better or worse, drew this picture yesterday during Sacrament meeting.


Any guesses to what we are still obsessing about at our house?

Here's a hint, if you even really need it...