Thursday, April 30, 2009


Here's a hint for the May Faithbooking Crop:

Our next Faithbooking Crop will be on Saturday, May 9th from 9:00 am-4:00 pm at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Lakeville. The crops are FREE and include snacks, beverages, and make-and-take supplies. Feel free to work the crop around your schedule, just let me know if you plan to attend and I'll be sure to have a spot ready for you.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day 58/365: my son is a numismatist

America’s first Penny was about the size of a Half Dollar. Known as the Large Penny, it actually contained one penny’s worth of copper. The coin was one of the first to be struck by the United States Mint in the 1790’s, and it was made until 1857 when it was replaced with the first small Penny. This is a rarely-seen coin that is at least 150 years old.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

any tips for the girl with a black thumb?

After three long years of waiting, I finally have a garden. (It's really more like a spot of black dirt at the moment, but you get the picture.) The hubby has given me what he enthusiastically refers to as The Garden Mahal.

Now what do I do? I would like an assortment of vegetables - lettuce, peas, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, and carrots but am CLUELESS in the ways of gardening. In fact, I have an unusual knack for killing leafy things. Do you have any tips, favorite shopping places, website resources, or words of gardening wisdom to share? If so, I'd love to hear them! (Please, really... I am desperate.)

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this had me laughing...

hysterically. (For those of you with boys, I'm sure sure you can relate.) While searching for the commercial, I stumbled across this "Behind the Scenes" spoof:


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Saturday, April 25, 2009

the roughest thing about my week was the photo challenge theme

Transportation. Not one of my favorites. It definitely challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone. And on days I didn't feel like it...

I would simply resort to toys because I am lazy creative like that.

Hit a little snag this week. Remember that class I'd signed up for, the one I was really excited about? You know, the one that was supposed to be my birthday gift... the one that I'd been waiting on forever? Yeah, that one... the class that was supposed to begin on Monday.

Supposed to being the operative phrase.

Suffice it to say, there is no class. Though I am extremely disappointed in the news, I am very happy about the extra margin in my calendar.

Speaking of calendar, it's my sister-in-law's birthday today :-) Be sure to hop on over to Amy's blog to wish her a happy one.

On a completely irrelevant note, the smart part about "Carb Smart" ice cream is that it isn't very tasty. Thus preventing someone from eating even a full serving. Bleck.

As sad as it is, this post has tapped my brain dry. Or perhaps it was getting up at the crack of dawn for today's Math Masters competition. Yeah, that sounds much better.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

another surprise for Sharon

The hubby found this one. Brings back fond memories of friendship from the early days. (BTW, the Nixon Pupils rocked.)

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I sometimes goof around with the boys by locking the front door when they arrive home from school. They ring the bell and I say, "Sorry, not interested."

Someone will ring it again and yell, "I'm your son." To which I respond, "Buns? Sorry, I don't need any buns."

You get the picture.

Well, when the little one stepped into the window to show me how serious he was about being let into the house, I couldn't help but laugh:

It musta been one rough bus ride.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

encourage honesty in your home

As parents, we are entrusted with the daunting task of raising our children. Not only must we be there to guide and protect them as they grow physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.

Like I said: daunting.

I am thankful for the opportunity to connect with other moms, especially those who have been in my shoes before. (As a side note, Hosanna! will be starting up a new group for moms this fall - click HERE for details.) Books, websites, parenting seminars, and the Bible - have all proven to be valuable resources as well.

And believe you me, I need them all.

An issue we've been dealing with in our home as of late, has been lying. With a background of secrets and addiction, I place a high premium on honesty. However, it seems the more I push the bigger the issue becomes. God has been making things pretty clear - my way is not working.

I realized it's possible to actually encourage dishonesty, simply by how we discipline. It's something I'd even heard once from a child therapist friend. Interestingly enough, Supernanny expert Dr. Victoria Samuel seems to offer up the same idea (click HERE to learn more). As does Christian apologist and author, Josh McDowell. Click HERE to read an excerpt of his book, The Father Connection: How You Can Make the Difference in Your Child's Self-Esteem and Sense of Purpose (Right Your Wrong).

I am a staunch advocate of consistent parenting, which is why I tend to lean most heavily on God's Word for advice. Circumstances change, our kids change but thankfully God never does.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

it was the perfect way to end the week...

In addition, it made a great capture for the last image under the theme of "family" in the weekly photo challenge. We hooked up with Tilly and her family for a little Sonic action. After all it was a gorgeous day, what could be better than dinner on the patio?

Answer: Dinner in the van.

We were cold when the sun ditched us and everyone ended up taking shelter inside. Except for the brave men:

They enjoyed a quiet dinner. Alone. While Tilly and I helped four children carefully maneuver chicken and fries and tots and ketchup and ranch dressing and drinks.

Looking back, I think perhaps we were the brave ones.

Then we headed back to our house for a movie:

Where I cried again watching Bolt. (Seriously, how could you not?) It was a fun time. Afterwards, Tilly and I had a chance to visit while the kids rocked out and our hubbies worked on some sort of music/recording/techy thing.

I was reminded of THIS lovely photographer and promised to pass along her information to Tilly today. Thought I'd post it here for other photography fans as well. Too, I discovered the very cool Mom*tog blog through Brenda's site after she'd been an interviewee. (Click HERE to give it a look-see yourself.) The author of that blog is also an amazing photographer, you can check out her work HERE.

I'm on-call today... please pray that no one needs my services. I'll try to check in again later.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

good things come out of Edelweiss


The best tiramisu. EVER. And this:

Great company and conversation. Our time at Edelweiss is beginning to look like *a regular thing* - which gives me a good excuse for working through their bakery case.

Research, you know. For the blog.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April Faithbooking Lesson

So the whole "convert the lessons into PDF documents" thing still hasn't happened. I tried a free online service and it simply turned the document into a 4-page piece of mush. Perhaps I'll have better luck next time.

The theme of this month's lesson was "Rutbusters" and will hopefully provide insight and inspiration to those who are spiritually and creatively challenged... from one who is often spiritually and creatively challenged. (Just click on the lesson to enlarge.)

Here's are some of my tips for breaking out of a CREATIVE rut:
  1. Take a look at what others are doing. Visit Two Peas in a Bucket for some great inspiration and ideas:
  2. Go to the library and pour over scrapbooking magazines and idea books.
  3. Take a look around you and zero in on ONE THING, especially something you might have overlooked in the busy-ness of living. Create a page layout after first sketching out a few ideas on paper.
  4. Purchase one new embellishment or piece of paper and use it to create a page layout.
  5. Browse through your images and find a few that grab you. Create a page layout using those images.
  6. Visit one of these blogs for creative inspiration:
    Elsie Flannigan
    Ali Edwards
    Kelli Rae Roberts
    Donna Downey
  7. Shake up your surroundings by taking in some creative sites:
    Uptown Art Fair
    MN Landscape Arboretum
    Walker Art Center
    Lakeville Art Festival
    Scrapbook Expo
    ScrapFest ’09
  8. Keep a journal.
  9. Do you save notes and other memorabilia? Create a page that focuses on a recently saved nugget.
  10. Work on a small album project – a paper, PicFolio, or chipboard album can be a great place to start.
Here's are some of my tips for breaking out of a SPIRITUAL rut:

  1. Establish a consistent time and place to taste the grace of silence. Turn off all technology, grab a warm drink, and open up your Bible. Use the concordance to look up verses on guidance, encouragement, hope, or anything else that comes to mind. Write down the verses that speak most to you.
  2. Pray about everything.
  3. Attend church. Regular participation is just another way of staying plugged-in.
  4. Set the pace of simplicity:
    * Are you keeping regular hours? Are you going to bed at a decent time and allowing yourself at least 7-8 hours of sleep?
    * Are you eating balanced meals at least three times each day?
    Are you allowing time for exercise?
    * Have you been making the most of your family time? Do you engage your children or have a tendency to run away?
    * Have you been building into your marriage by setting aside quality time with your husband?
    * Are you carefully guarding your calendar? Do you have some margin built into your life?
    * Have you been consistent? In parenting? In honoring commitments? If not, it might be time to reevaluate.
  5. Pick up a copy of Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby and Claude King.
  6. Keep a journal.
  7. Listen to AM 900 for inspirational teaching and FM 98.5 for inspirational music.
  8. Take a day to declutter: your closet, your basement, your kitchen cabinet. Check out this website for great tips and ideas:
If I am continually losing my peace, feeling stressed or frazzled, chances are I am unbalanced. It's important to look closely at my priorities to see that first, they line up with God's priorities. And second, that my daily/weekly/monthly commitments reflect those same priorities. If my calendar is overloaded, then some things will need to be cut off.

And that can be tough.

It's a whole lot easier taking charge of things at the front end, carefully guarding our family's time by wisely choosing commitments.

And that can be tough sometimes, too.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Photo Challenge Themes for May

Here are the weekly themes for May:

April 26-May 2, 2009: Old
May 3-9, 2009: Soft
May 10-16, 2009: Yellow
May 17-23, 2009: Half a Face Is Better Than a Whole
May 24-30. 2009: Drinks

If you'd like to join our Flickr group for ideas and inspiration, just let me know!

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it's all just a blur of jelly beans & scrapbooking supplies

I knew that hosting a 12-hour crop on Easter weekend would be crazy an adventure, but we'd already canceled in March after all. Despite the extra commotion and lack of sleep I'd experienced Friday night, being away from home and with a bunch of gals is exactly what I needed on Saturday.

I laughed. A lot. Plus I saw a side of Tilly never seen before. And that caused me to laugh even more :-)

After a painful awakening (by a child. in our room. at 6:25 am. looking for permission to begin the Easter egg hunt.), we spent Easter morning at my folks' house. Great Grandma S. made it after a bit of commotion with Great Grandma & Great Grandpa D. - she was supposed to travel up with them after church but my grandpa ended up in the hospital. (He is thankfully doing well now.)

Unfortunately, we were not able to celebrate my nephew's first Easter with him or his family. For reasons that are difficult to explain, my sister chose not to join us. We miss the little bugger and look forward to the next opportunity to snap 50-million pictures love on him.

Oh... and Grandma Pat went all out, even making all sorts of fancy cupcakes:

After the cupcake extravaganza, we made our way to Grandma Lita's place and had ourselves another Easter celebration:

It was a good day.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?

"Happy Camper"

"Angry Guy"

"Scaredy Cat"


"The Sad Look"


My nephew. You might remember him from THIS POST. He posed for me this time. Lots.

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see the resemblance?

Ren created this special egg to represent his dad. Notice the intricate detailing:

Um, yes... that's a bald spot. Here it is, up close and personal:

It's so funny watching an 8-year old mess with his dad.

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