open tabs

most of the time, when jon uses the computer, he usually utters some sort of complaint about the ridiculous number of internet browser windows and tabs that i have open -- right now i have 8 windows and 18 tabs open to various sites...

i thought i would share a few:

the womens conference:  i have had this one open all week and have been surfing around the site here and there when i have a free minute.  i would love to attend this conference -- just because -- luckily, due to technology, i can, via posted videos (and free of charge) -- but still -- i would love to actually go to the conference some day...

fall wreath tutorial by elise:  kim and i made two of these for valentines day a couple years ago -- it is fun and elise's is adorable-- so adorable i might have to make another one.

emersonmade:  i. LOVE. everything. period. -- plus, their site is witty and cute, and just fantastic.
this is emerson made -- a husband and wife -- they are beyond adorable-- not to mention gorgeous

just love this necklace -- and the chicken too

hope you have a fan-diddily-tastic weekend.


to be 100

a few days ago i ran across this feature by the new york times.  i couldn't get to it right away, so i bookmarked it until i found the time.  it is mini interviews with eight people who have lived to see 100 years and beyond.  the photography is beautiful and the few minutes of sharing from one who has done so much living is priceless.

take a minute to view:

secrets of the centenarians

my wednesday was full of many happy things, maybe a few not so happy, but i am only going to think about the happy ones -- now i am tired and ready to climb in bed with a good book -- but instead i am going to happily go do the dinner dishes and change the sheets on my bed -- because i had a nice, warm, delicious dinner and i have a nice, warm, comfy bed to sleep in tonight.


the panda express opened on monday night -- the drive thru line was very very long
i drove by there again tonight on my way home and it wasn't any shorter. 


the tuesday that i really thought was wednesday...

most of the day too -- like part of me really knew it was tuesday, but kept thinking it was wednesday... but it really wasn't wednesday, because tonight was taco night and wednesday night is roasted veggies -- so it really was tuesday.  

happy things about tuesday: 

-- i did three loads of laundry before i left for work
-- i made it through my workout this morning - i am calling it the "deadly 21 x's 3"  
-- it was a pretty good day at work.  my kiddo's are priceless.  this morning two of the four year old's were talking and coloring when one pipes up to loudly announce to the room that her partner just said two very intense swear words -- no slang about them, just pure and potent... excellent.  i'm pretty sure i didn't know those words until i was almost twenty... hmmm... p.s -- this story isn't a "happy thing" really, more like a reminder to watch your language  -- and while i must admit to being slightly humored, i am more horrified...
--i picked up my CSA box tonight, it had little tiny carrots, rutabagas, golden apples, spring mix (light on the arugula this week -- thank goodness-- not that we don't enjoy it, it's just a very potent green) a loaf of fresh rye bread, and our gallon of local milk from the grass-fed cows.  at the beginning of september we signed up for our fall CSA (community supported agriculture) program -- i am always sad that i miss out during the summer because i am in montana, and so i was quite excited when i saw they were going to do a fall program.  it runs from mid september to mid december at a cost of about $30 a week.  i love that i am getting fresh picked food directly from a local farmer!  it is the best feeling, plus the excitement of never knowing what's going to be in your box.  
--it was taco night -- wait, did i already mention that??  i really really love taco night.
-- jen's here!
-- jen's here!
-- jen't here!

jen. is. here. with. us.

and it was good.

-- i took the truck through the car wash and they had the really really fun, nice smelling rainbow colored wax.  hooray!
-- we (jen and i) went to a local deli and bought three extremely delicious desserts to take home to eat with kim (who was diligently studying) -- i wanted to buy everything that was in the case -- we didn't though -- instead we had pumpkin cheesecake with a fresh fig and lavendar sprinkles, a three layer carmel mousse, and a flour-less dark chocolate tort.  simply divine.
-- jon will be home sometime tonight.

--tomorrow is wednesday.  it is going to be quite busy for all of us.  but i am sure there will be many happy things, starting with coffee in the morning with my favorite tara.  

hope your wednesday is filled with happy things too -- and if it isn't -- i bet you can think of at least one 


lulu love

snuggle time

shhhh.... don't tell that i let her on the couch

party night with the roommies.  kim took a test today so we get to play tonight- which means take out, mini pumpkin pie blizzards, and movies.
jon is driving home from montana - last trip - which is excellent as the weather is cold in montana and a really really yucky yucky storm is almost there.  hopefully he beats the storm home.

it feels like fall.  i ate soup today.  the leaves are falling down.  the trees are a fiery burst of color.  pumpkins are all around.  candles are burning.   sweaters feel cozy and warm.  hot tea is a nightly ritual.

i. just. love. it.


motivational issues & the grocery store

this is about how the afternoon went -- zero motivation until about 7:30 tonight -- it might have something to do with the fact that i had a raging headache all afternoon -- lulu felt sympathy for me and decided it was a lay on the bed kind of day too...  so we caught up on glee, tried to watch an episode of the real housewives of atlanta -- short lived, as i found it might give me nightmares -- and then moved on to reading a book.  at 6:30 i decided i'd better get to grocery store and then my second wind kicked in.
the grocery store is a magical place for me.  there is just something about it that i just love love love.  when i was growing up, i used to go to the store with my mom - we would walk down each aisle choosing items, and then the best part - the produce section, it was usually an hour long experience.   i have never grown out of my love of the grocery store.  i like to go at all times of the day and all days.  even the day before a holiday.  i like going by myself, but i also have a few favorite people who i am willing to share my grocery shopping experience with.  when i was in college, both in australia and here, my friend, melissa, and i would go grocery shopping together -- walking down the aisle, looking at the products, discussing and deciding what and with what we were going cook-- and on a college student budget.  these days, i grocery shop a lot with the roommates, mostly just kim --unless it's an ice cream trip --  kim and i, we've done a lot of things together over the years, but grocery shopping is one of my favorites.  first- we make the weekly menu, then we write the shopping list.  next, we decide where to shop.  once we get there, we spend a lot of time in the produce section, because we eat a lot of produce - - down the aisle's to get the rest -- sometimes quickly, if it's the usual - sometimes not as quickly -- must read the labels -- (do you know what's in the food you are eating?)  while we try to avoid most items that come in packages - especially if it has a long shelf life - there are some things that we do choose and prefer them to be free of corn syrup, food coloring, other additives and preservatives, and anything that we can't pronounce and haven't a clue what it is...  then sometimes we have to talk about which brand to get, organic or not, free range or vegetarian fed-- and then compromise, get both, or take a turn -- it's a plus that we mostly like to eat the same things.  sometimes, kim even throws in a box of cinnamon toast crunch as a consolation for telling me no pop tarts (yes, i really could buy the pop tarts, but i don't really want them -- it's just fun to have her give me the "look" and shake her head as we walk past them).  mostly we shop at our favorite local market down the road from us, but sometimes, we shop for plaid shirts or easter dresses in the middle of a wal-mart shopping trip, or get breakfast burritos on our way to farmer's market, or buy seasonal latte's at starbucks if we are shopping at safeway. sometimes we talk about little things, sometimes big things, or sometimes nothing at all, but it's always a good trip.
i couldn't finish this post without talking about going to the grocery store with my husband.  one of our favorites is going to farmers market or the store and choosing ingredients for a meal we are going to cook together.  i am blessed with a husband who enjoys cooking and, especially cooking with me -- unless i am trying to cook with green peppers, nuts, or any bean other than a pinto.  the best (and most expensive) part of going to the store with jon is what ends up in the cart -- whole milk, boxed cereal, half and half, steak, frozen cinnamon rolls with orange frosting...the list goes on-- though i'm not complaining -- he buys organic, tofu, fruit and veggies too -- and he doesn't get the super sugary cereal or imitation juice, and i don't think he's ever bought a t.v. dinner... i love this man.

anyways -- after that detour -- where was i?? oh yes, the grocery store and all it's beautiful produce made me quite happy...and the 2nd round of pain killer kicking in didn't hurt either... so i came home and decided to make split yellow pea and sweet potato soup and a whole wheat honey walnut pumpkin bread - minus the walnuts tonight - both turned out pretty well.  the soup is a really thick pea soup, which i have been craving for the past week or two, and especially today after the rainy weather -- it might need a little more salt or a dash of nutmeg, but an easy recipe -- it makes about 8 cups, so plan to feed many, freeze some, or cut the recipe in half.  the pumpkin bread is also good.  i didn't add the sugar, and next time i will use applesauce instead of oil (tonight i was not motivated to go get another jar out of the shop) - i also dumped it out of the pan too fast and it didn't like that very well - i made both recipes at the same time and it took about 80 minutes including cooking time.

i think i've already had two pieces -- and a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch -- midnight snack time is over

p.s. -- i didn't even talk about costco trips -- that's a whole other post....



it was a good day.
restful but busy---somehow sabbath can be both i think
we had pumpkin spice pancakes for breakfast.
cottage cheese loaf, mashed potatoes, and salad for lunch 
--and let's not forget the homemade pies (triple berry and apple) amy and chris brought for dessert--
**did we mention how thankful we are for friends who bake pies and share them?**

last month we listened to a sermon (begins at the 10 minute mark -- about 30 mins. long) by pastor alex bryan on community -- and eating -- and the importance of time spent together at the table, eating and fellowshipping, and how Jesus spent a lot of time eating and fellowshipping...  reaching out to those around and coming together-- and what a difference it can make in our world and in our church 
(or at least that is what we all got out of it).  
our household has really taken to the idea of "community" the past few weeks, and i think we are pretty happy with the results -- we are in the "baby steps" stage right now... today there were 11 of us for lunch
--all of whom we already know (which is good too) -- as we progress i am sure we will be enjoying all sorts of new and interesting people at our dining room table.  
we did enjoy our church community tonight, and lots of folks that we don't know --
whom we were able to get to know better by attending the annual church barn party.
at first we weren't to sure about it, but then came the popcorn and carmel apples, and next came the "dosey doe'ing" -- and really...how can you not have a lot of community (and fun) when you are promenading in a circle with half the congregation?

before the barn party - we had a little park party 
it consisted of the girls riding the bikes and the boys long boarding

at the barn party - excellent picture i know...

dosey doe'ing fun

everyone has their own idea of what the word "community" means 
i wouldn't say that i haven't previous enjoyed community - or that i am unfriendly or non-participatory... however, i think we are all trying it with a little bit more intent (my word for the year :) )
doing things like going to an all alumni potluck at our reunion, changing my schedule at work so that all my kiddos can eat snack together, joining a volleyball group and a book club or two, eating meals together whenever possible (and at the table versus in front of our tv),volunteer options,  asking folks if they need a ride or giving a ride to someone who you would usually pass by, attending events you normally wouldn't and intentionally trying to talk with and meet new people.  
it's so easy to stay in my comfort zone and interact with those in my circle.  

intentionally being:
more friendly
more loving
more helpful
more smiley
more eye contact
a better listener
more hello's
more inclusive
less exclusive
less selfish
more giving

right now:  kim is sleeping - she has to study all day tomorrow for her test on monday, jon is driving to montana, and the rest of us are watching "how to train your dragon" 
 we had pizza delivered tonight -- it was my first experience of pineapple and jalapeno's together --
 pretty good, though a little spicy for me -- my tongue might still be burning.

hope your day was amazing too...what did you do?



friday night "family" dinner
us + the boys

i am so thankful for the weekend and the rest it brings. 
friday has been a good day -- packed to the brim, especially for jon.

tonight we came home from work, did a little running, a little cleaning, and then a little eating.
one of my favorite things about fall is coming home to yummy smells from the crockpot.
tonight we had a three bean chili with cornmeal chive dumplings and steamed kale.
maybe we demolished a pan of brownies, maybe we didn't.

p.s.  this was our 3rd try for the picture -- might explain why we look a little crazy??


jordan + ben -- the wedding

it may have been a torrential downpour right before she walked down the aisle, but the day was perfect as my beautiful little sister married her best friend.  all the pieces came together, and while none of us had asked for the rain, thunder, and lightening -- we embraced it and enjoyed it -- for which it thanked us with two hours of clear and sunny weather during the reception -- and a rainbow too.  

these are my pictures----however, andrew, a cousin on jon's side, was able to photograph the wedding and has posted a sneak peak picture on his blog: transformed photography  -- check it out!

sadly, i didn't get many other pictures -- but others did, so jordan and ben will have many pictures... 
i was busy-- doing fun things like putting up the "dessert" sign before the wedding:

it was a very good day.


finding the words again...

i've missed my blog -- maybe you've missed it too.  i was looking at the date of my last post and realized it had been longer than i thought -- almost three months.

august was a burst of busy after july's slow pace.  jon's sister, julie, two of my favorite girls, and my parents all came to visit us in montana -- then it was time for me to pack up for home and back to work -- the end of the month through september 20th is a blur of back to work business and wedding preparations.

a friend asked me the other day if i was still blogging...i said i was just about ready to get back to it...i just haven't had the words for the past while.  she replied that that was good and must mean i was about "back to normal" and recovered from the craziness of september -- that about sums it up for how things are going around here now.  the past five months -- and especially the last three -- have been a lot of busy (repeat: a lot of busy) and a lot of just dealing with "stuff" -- you know what i'm talking about -- the stuff of life that cycles in and out and all about -- that you have to sort through and clean up -- the kind that isn't yucky stuff,  it's just mostly little stuff scattered around that you have to pick up and decide what to do with it -- and maybe a few pieces of big stuff that requires a little more effort -- some times it takes some of us a little longer --especially if you like to do a lot of thinking while you are sorting through your stuff -- or take a lot of breaks for dairy queen mini blizzards or trips to the library...

so far october has mostly been about relaxing and getting back to the usual routine -- sort of... maybe more like the usual routine plus some tweaks...the good kind