Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I had forgotten how fun it is to watch four 5 & 6 year olds buzz around after the soccer ball like a swarm of bees.

All the practices, all the passing, all the "Spread Out!", is for nothing. It's just a huge swarm, and may the strongest kick win - whether it gets the ball or your shin.

Colton's first game was tonight, and he had a blast!

I think, if the average kid tonight ran 2 miles, Colton must have run 5 or 6. He was all over the field, constantly taking the long road, and many times not paying a lot of attention to what was going on and having to run to catch up.

He scored two goals. One was an unassisted breakaway. What a stud!

The other he calls an ally-oop. His buddy Katelyn shot the ball toward the goal, it ricocheted off of Colton's shin guard, and went in. They were both so excited!!

What a night. Pure, unencumbered joy. I need to remember how to capture some of that for myself.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Stuck at home for dinner

On Saturday night, Matt and I were going to attend the birthday party of a friend. Before all the sickness. Anyway, it was a "bring a snacky kind of food that you like to share" kind of party. The kind overflowing with Little Smokies, Meatballs, Veggie Trays, and Spinach Dip.

It had been a bit of a rough week, and we were both looking forward to some relaxing adult time.

Until the sickness. Although we weren't sick, I couldn't ask a babysitter to watch my feverish child while I went out and had fun. Just didn't seem right.

But oh, the Smokies, the Meatballs, the Dips - we would surely miss them.

So we decided to do them at home.

I had been consulting Tasty Kitchen all week, trying to figure out what I was going to take to the party. So, I already had several possible recipes printed out.

On a side note, have you perused Ree's Tasty Kitchen yet? You need to. It's most spectacular.

Since we couldn't go to the party, we let the party come to us.

Complete with Bacon Wrapped Smokies. And Pepperoni Pizza Dip. And Perfect Nachos. Rounded out with Colton's Fruit Kabobs.

It was a veritable smorgasbord of toothpick food. The boys were in heaven. Matt and I felt a little better (a little) about missing the party. And dinner was fun.

Lemonade out of lemons, right??

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A bunch of sickies

As I type, we have cancelled every weekend activity that was supposed to occur in our family, except Matt's work this afternoon.

We are sick. Except really, only one of us is sick. The problem is, in order to not make the rest of the world sick, we stay home from group activities and keep it to ourselves. Dang, sometimes I hate being responsible.

Here's what being sick has meant for our weekend:

  1. No Friday night football at halftime of the big boys' game.

  2. Lots of sleep.

  3. Top Ramen.

  4. No Saturday morning football game.

  5. No yard sales.

  6. No car shopping.

  7. A quick trip to town for Gatorade and Tylenol.

  8. Lots of temperatures.

  9. Reading (If you haven't read The Help, you should. Right now. It's that good.)

  10. Quiet time.

  11. TV and movies.

  12. Watching football.

  13. No "date night" for mom & dad.

  14. No babysitter for the boys.

  15. Appetizer dinner - how many things can you eat with toothpicks?

  16. More Tylenol.

  17. Restless nights.

  18. No church.

  19. And, again, no car shopping. (Sorry to the salesman who Matt told we'd be in after church!)

  20. A puzzle.

  21. 7-Up.

  22. Lemonade.

  23. Popsicles.

  24. K-Nex.

  25. Laundry catch-up.

  26. Pool clean-out.

  27. Dishes catch-up.

  28. Counter clean-off.

  29. Eggs in a frame.

  30. Chocolate milk.

  31. Wii. Guitar Hero. Madden football. Lynx archery.

  32. Snuggles.

  33. Naps.

  34. More temperatures.

  35. Relief.

Wow. Even with all that cancelling, we did more than I thought! Yet, so much less. I think our entire household is enjoying its Sabbath rest, forced or not.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thankfully, she still thinks he's funny

Colton's teacher turned 50 the other day. He was pretty excited to be able to celebrate with her in class.

I sent her a note to tell her Happy Birthday.

In her reply, she shared what a "character" Colton was that day. She has the Magnetic Poetry words on the front of her desk, so the kids can practice reading and making sentences, etc.

Every time Colton had to go talk to her, he put the one that said "old" at the top.

Pretty clever for a 6 year old! I hope they still think he's funny when he's 14 . . .

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tailgating at the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival.

Too bad the show wasn't as good as the company - or the fireworks!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Perfect Pancake

Chance is becoming quite the chef. Adventurous in the kitchen like his dad, he's not afraid to try new things. Last month, he taught me how to make the ultimate nacho. This time, it's pancakes. And he's got quite a recipe!

The Perfect Pancake

Start with three equal-sized pancakes.

Use a biscuit cutter to cut the middle out of one pancake.

Put one of the whole pancakes on the plate.

Spread with peanut butter.

Put the "donut" pancake on top of that.

Fill donut hole with Grandmother's Chocolate Syrup.
For those of you without a grandmother that makes the BEST chocolate syrup, you'll have to use Hershey's ;)

Spread remaining whole pancake with peanut butter, and place on the stack, peanut butter side down.

Top with Aunt Chris's homemade maple syrup.
Again, for those less fortunate than to have Aunt Chris' maple syrup on hand, Aunt Jemima will have to do :)


Chance thinks the chocolate oozing out is similar to Chocolate Lava cake, which I would never let him have for breakfast. At least, not on a weekday!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Company's Coming!

Or not.

After we got back from the football game on Saturday, we were all gearing up to do our household chores for the day.

As I'm lining the boys out with what they're expected to do, Chance asks:

"Who's coming over?"


"Who's coming over? And when? The only time we clean like this is when someone's coming."

Isn't it nice to have a clean house once in awhile just for us?

"No. We'll just goof it up by tomorrow!"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gender Gap

Yesterday was chore day. Well, it was football day, then it was chore day.

We came home, and all went about various duties. Matt was mowing the lawn, I was cleaning up around the house, and the boys were doing their chores.

After awhile, Colton comes in the house and asks:

"Mom, can I work like a man?"


"Can I work like a man?"

I'm thinking he'd rather do outside chores than inside, or "guy" jobs instead of housework.

"Sure. Why don't you go find your dad?"

"Yessssssss!" Colton exclaims. "I can take my shirt off!"


"I can take my shirt off and work like a man!"

In case you're wondering, it didn't really look anything like this:

But it was cute, none-the-less!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Football is life

Kind of. At least, I'm finding it's a pretty good imitation. I guess most sports are.

As we left Chance's game this morning, we saw two friends walking away from another field, opposite of us, heading for their car.

"How'd it go today?" he asked.

After a pause, "It was a learning experience," answered Matt.

"We had one of those today, too!" he answered with a slight chuckle.

And, that's just plain how we have to look at it. A learning experience. So, I'm sure you're begging to ask the age-old question - What did you learn at school football today?

  1. There should be some cosmic force that steps in and does not let cheaters win the game. But there is not.
  2. Cheaters will often win in this world, on the football field and off.
  3. That doesn't make it okay to be a cheater. Ever.
  4. Grown men/dads who call 5th graders "losers" from the sidelines are Grade A asses pinheads.
  5. A pinhead on the sidelines does not, cannot, define who you are as a person.
  6. It is up to you to make sure that they don't.
  7. Being on the losing team and still having morals is way better than being a cheater on the winning team.
  8. It is very hard to convince a 10-year-old boy of this fact.
  9. But it is the most important lesson he can learn in football.
  10. Especially if football is life. Or at least something like it.
Chance, I am so proud of you today. You tried your best. You never gave up. And you never gave in to the temptation to lower your standards. I've felt that temptation, and I am so glad you stayed true to yourself. Way to go, buddy. Today, you won in more ways than you will know for a long, long time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Express Lane Rant

Have ya been to Safeway lately at about 5:15?

Yeah. It's a pretty busy place.

Especially when you have to be at the football game at 5:30, and you forgot your kid's water bottle.

Which is why I will post the following handy Express Lane rules for all of our convenience and reading pleasure.

  1. 15 Items or Less really means 15 items or less. Don't "ish" this one.

  2. All weighables count as 5 items a piece.

  3. For those of you who are math-challenged, that means your limit is 3.

  4. If you have more than 3 weighables, see #1.

  5. The checker is used to quickly ferrying customers through with an energy drink, some gum, and the occasional pepperoni stick. She doesn't have the code memorized for the 7 large items you left in your cart. If you have said items, don't use the express lane.

  6. For those PC supermarkets that say "Approximately 15 items" on their express lane sign - see #1. They are just trying to be nice. They don't really mean for you to go ahead and step in line with your 34 items. And neither do the 14 people behind you, carrying just water and gum.

  7. Does anyone write checks anymore???

  8. If you do, write it before you get to the front. I know, the line is moving fairly quickly (it's the express lane!), and it might be hard to keep up while writing, but everyone behind you will thank you for it later.

  9. No, you can't write your check for $20 over. Do that in the regular lane.

  10. When in doubt, bow out. That really oughta be the cardinal rule. The "Golden Rule" of the Express Lane.

I must admit, at this point in the post, that I have not always followed these rules to a "T". But, I have never known the importance of such rules until now. Until this week. While simply trying to prevent dehydration in my miniature football athlete.

I promise, with Darla as my witness, I will follow them from now on. With the same vengeance that I now make sure I put my cart in to the proper receptacle in the parking lot.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Imagine Your Life Without Fear

Book Review

Max Lucado

From layoffs to financial collapse, illness to kids, and war to violence - Max covers it all. I don't care who you are, you will relate with at least one chapter, one fear, one nagging doubt in this book. Something about it will resonate with you, and Max will gently walk you through your fear, past your doubt, and into the arms of a loving God who just wants you to trust Him.

The biggest lesson, which seems to repeat itself chapter after chapter, is TRUST. God has it all under control. Hard to believe sometimes. And, even if you believe it, hard to put into action. We don't trust without doing our homework. We want to know track records, skill sets, degrees, and diplomas first. Thankfully, God was prepared for our unbelief. And He wrote a book. A book full of stories and accounts of faithful servants that trusted Him when they were afraid. And, of course, some that didn't.

As I was reading the book, I found several places that I thought, "this is it. This is the BIG point in the book for me. This is what I'll blog about." By the time I was through it, I had about 7. I think I'll narrow it down to two.

The chapter on finances was a home run for me. Max re-told the parable of the rich man who produced a good crop, then didn't have enough room to store them all up. It was at this point that Max hit home:

The tycoon in Jesus' story wasn't about to play the role of the grasshopper. No food lines or soup kitchens for him. And no food lines or soup kitchens for us either. We empathize with the fecund farmer. Truth be told, we want to learn from his success. . . .Doesn't the barn stuffer model responsible planning? And yet Jesus crowns him with the pointy hat of the dunce. Where did they guy mess up? Jesus answsers by populating three paragraphs with a swarm of personal pronouns. Reread the heart of the parable . . . . I.I.My.I.I.My.I.My.My.I.My.

The rich fool went to the wrong person (He asked himself) and asked the wrong question (What shall I do?). His error was not that he planned but rather that his plans didn't include God. Jesus criticized not the man's affluence but his arrogance, not the presence of personal goals but hte absence of God in those goals.
I was just simply reminded that in ALL I do, if I do it for Him, and with Him, whether it's my savings accounts or my grocery budget, He'll make it all work together for good.

My last revalation came toward the end, when Max quoted CS Lewis, from the book Prince Caspian.

Lucy sees Aslan for the first time in many years. He has changed since their last encounter. His size surprises her, and she tells him as much.

"Aslan," said Lucy, "you're bigger."

"That is because you are older, little one," answered he.

"Not because you are?"

"I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger."
Okay, first of all, I completely missed this when reading Prince Caspian. Because, if you really look at it, it's backwards. As we get older/bigger, things from before, from our childhood, seem so much smaller. When you go back to the grade school playground, the swings aren't near as tall, nor the hopscotch squares as long. You've gotten bigger, and everything else seems smaller.

Not so with God. As we get bigger - as we grow in Him - he only gets greater in us. He doesn't change - not at all. We change our perception of Him. And, the more we learn, the more we grow, the more we get to see the majesty that He really is. May he blow the top off the box I have put him in, as I allow Him to grow in me. Because the bigger he is, the smaller any fear has to be. There's just not room for both.

Thanks, Max.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Top 10 - Fall

My wonderful friend, Miss Sandy V., had a great idea in her last e-mail to the circle journalers, which made me realize I've never really thought about all the reasons why I like fall. I just do.

With that in mind, I figured I'd better blog it for posterity's sake.

My top ten reasons to love fall.

  1. Fall Leaves

  2. The Cabin

  3. Cool, crisp mornings

  4. Hot Chai Lattes

  5. Pumpkin Scones

  6. Football

  7. Scrap Retreat

  8. Solitude

  9. Fresh Beef

  10. Snuggle up, cozy, book reading time.

Do you love Autumn? If so, why?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Idea #10 in Colton's list of ways to get out of a jam

It's been a long week.

It's been a long 7 weeks.

This week marks the end of Matt's out of town assignments, and I couldn't be more ready.

Neither could the boys, apparently. They need a dominant male back in the house.

They are whiny. They fight. They bicker. They fight. They're tired. They fight. And then they fight some more.

Tonight, as I was talking on the phone to my dad, I hear a ruckus in the bathroom during tooth brushing time. Chance comes out of the bathroom holding his eye, crying. Colton is now crying, too. I think just for good measure.

What happened?

Colton punched me in the eye!

Did you, Colton?



He made me mad! (Colton is excused to the time-out step)

What did you do to make him mad, Chance?

I squirted the fluoride rinse into the cup when it was supposed to be his turn.

Wow. Huge offense, huh?

I leave Colt on the step for about 5 minutes, then head in there to talk to him.

*Insert* I am not a light walker. By any means. My heel-toe stomp can be heard for miles and/or minutes when I'm headed your way.

By the time I get to the step, Colton has his head bowed, and hands folded - looks a little bit like this-

Colton, you need to go apologize to your brother.

Fine! But, you shouldn't interrupt me when I'm praying for forgiveness!

Right. (trying so hard not to bust out laughing) Forgiveness. That's a great plan. You better finish that up and then apologize to your brother.

Wordless Wednesday

Tough Practice