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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book Review: Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes

I've been reading Robin Jones Gunn's Sisterchick Series since they were published.  While I can't relate to the age of the characters (typically they are empty nesters) I really do enjoy reading the stories she's able to spin about their lives.  Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes* is very similar to the others I've read in this series, a cute read, although somewhat predictable.

Sisterchick books follow a pretty standard pattern: A woman is faced with a dilemma, decides to go on a trip to an exotic location even though it's totally out of character for her.  She usually has some significant demons to face while she's there, and a friend who either goes with her or meets her there helps her uncover what it is she needs to learn.  The woman experiences a refreshing of her faith and comes home changed.  Laughs and truths are mixed together for an easily read story.  This book follows her typical pattern and is cute.

I didn't find the truths discovered by the main character to be terribly deep, but I enjoyed the simplicity of them.  Much of the lessons are pulled from the 23rd Psalm, and it is beautiful in it's simple peacefulness.

The reason I really enjoy the Sisterchick books is because I firmly believe in the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone and experiencing life in unexpected places.  I can totally relate with how disorienting it can be to find yourself in a different culture.  I can personally attest to how life changing a trip can be. Sometimes just changing your perspective when you look at the world can change how you view your situation entirely.

While I wouldn't recommend you run out and buy this book right away, I found it a fun and quick read.

*I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for reviewing purposes.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Unfinished no more



I've had this project sitting around almost finished for the past 2 years.  This past week I finally finished it.  Finishing involved learning a new skill...sewing a lining for a purse from no pattern.  It's not perfect, but I'm happy enough with it. 

I think the theme of this year is "finishing what I start".  And, if I do say, I'm off to a dandy start.  I've finished several UFP's and I'm very happy with how things are turning out!

Here's to more finishing!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Things I never thought I'd say

"Theo!  Get your foot out of the popcorn bowl!"

And just like that, I was done with popcorn for the night.  But, so was he.  We can't start teaching him that if he puts his foot in stuff he gets it all to himself.  I fear that would escalate to unacceptable levels within days. 

**********


And, a Tate Quote:

Mark: Boys, what should we pray for tonight?

Tate: Mara (our dog). Pray that she doesn't get bit by a dinosaur. And that she doesn't get scared of her tail.
And that Grandma Annie and Grandpa Teddy don't gets stuck in a hole.

*********

As far as the crochet hat/bootie patterns go, I'm working on it.  I am great at trying things to get them to work, but horrible at following directions and recipes...so writing directions is proving to be difficult.  I'm working on it, though.  

If you'd like, you can always check out finished products at HOPE By Design (link is at the top of my page).  Most of our stuff goes there.  I should be updating our store with a BUNCH of new stuff early next week.  I'll keep you posted!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Night Fun


Friday nights used to look a whole lot...different.


But that's OK, 



because this is way fun!


And honestly, much cheaper than the old days...


And who needs a restaurant and movie?


Not Me!  Not when these clowns live here!


So, I'll take these Friday nights


Because I know that someday in the future the boys' Friday night plans won't revolve around us old folks.


So, I'll take it while I can get it. 


Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Super Duper

It's been a very exciting week.

Why?
-I have tickets to Nicaragua!
-The peas and carrots (Forrest Gump, anyone?) I planted have germinated.
-I slept very well last night.
-We have a new car (more on that, later.  And we don't really have it yet)
-I got good news from Kevin!
-Theo is feeling a little better.
-Tate is LOVING preschool!
-LT Wonderful is done making up his reserve drills.

So, there we go.  It's been a great week.

How has yours been?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yes, Absolutely

I'm often asked if I think it's safe to bring my kids to Nicaragua. 

My answer?


Is a resounding


YES!


Absolutely. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Theo's getting in on the game

Theo: Mom, I hungry. 
Me: Would you like some cheese?
Theo: Yeeeeeah!  Cheese!
Me: Can you say please?
Theo: CHEESE!





Thursday, March 17, 2011

Preschool in photos

One of my favorite things to do in September is look at back-to-school photos.  Tate started preschool in March, but I wanted to make sure I took photos for him to start his collection.
  I patiently explained to him that I wanted to take pictures of him before he went to his first day of school.  
He said he didn't want to.  
I begged and pleaded.  And threatened. And begged some more.  
He finally gave in. 
 This was what I got:


Fantastic!  I love it so much!  I honestly can't think of a better picture to describe how Tate felt about going to school. 

When I begged him to look at me, this was what I got:


Seriously, I love this kid more than cupcakes!

After all of that, I am happy to say that Tate LOVES preschool and wants to go every day. 

I am so proud of my beloved son!  And I will forever treasure these back to school pictures!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Random quotes

LT Wonderful:  I love my boys!  They are so cool!

Tate: Theo's only cool when he sleeps. 

**********

I read this on a friend's Facebook a while back.  I was humbled.


 We shouldn’t get married to please ourselves. We should get married to serve the person we love the most. Ultimately, getting married means that you’ve chosen to become a loving servant to your spouse forever. And if children come along, you’re signing up to serve them forever too. We must let go of ourselves & choose to serve cheerfully.


**********

Sunday, March 13, 2011

*GASP* A Real Weekend

I'm sitting here enjoying our first two days off after 12 straight days of LT Wonderful working. 

It's so nice to be able to relax and recover for a couple of days.  Don't get me wrong, we've been busy with church and family stuff, but those are things we have chosen to do, not things that were chosen for us. 

The boys have really enjoyed having their dad around all day.  I can't tell you how many times they have gone to "wrestle tassel" (pronounced "RAAA-sle TAAA-sle).  I don't participate but I do enjoy hearing the laughter and screams coming from upstairs while they play.  

The house is nearly back to normal after our latest bout with whatever bug it was we were fighting.  I'm assuming it was a virus because I know for sure it wasn't a parasite or foreign bacteria.  I don't really think that leaves much else as a possibility. 

I hope your weekend has been enjoyable!  I'm going to get back to mine!

Peace and love, 
Jenni 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I love Thursdays

I have always loved Thursdays. 

Thursdays are very close to Fridays, and Friday means the weekend. 

Growing up, my dad always had Thursday afternoons off, so sometimes at the end of the school day my brother and I would be walking to the bus and we'd see our parents there waiting for us.  It was always such a surprise and so much fun!

In high school, our swim meets were on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  While that meant that morning practices were harder, it also meant that there was no afternoon practice.  I loved the "break."

When Mark and I finally got a TV, we got to watch The Office on Thursday nights.  We love that show. 

These days, Tate goes to preschool on Thursdays (and Tuesdays, too).  So I get to spend some time with Theo, just the two of us.  We mostly snuggle on the couch.  I cannot resist him when he says, "Snuggle you, Mommy."

Tate and I get to spend a little quality time together when Theo naps.  We usually just talk or read, but it's time for just us.  I love it. 

And, for the last month, Thursdays are my weekly phone dates with this kid: 



So, I love Thursdays.  The hope and excitement of Friday is in the air.  I get to spend time with my kids. I get to enjoy family. 

So, Happy Thursday to You!

Peace and love, 
Jenni 


PS Heather, I thought fondly of Trey when I wrote this!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Getting Crafty

My Craft Challenge has been over for a couple of months now, but I still have some yarn in my stash.  I'm down to mostly odds and ends that I have very little inspiration for.  Since I still don't want to spend a ton of money on yarn, I've been working really hard to continue using the yarn from my stash.  

Several years ago I bought this camouflage yarn accidentally.  Online the colors shown were tan, beige and brown so I thought they would make a striped brown bag.  Imagine my surprise when I got the yarn in the mail and it wasn't striping AND there was green mixed in.  I was annoyed.  I wracked my brain trying to decide what to make out of the yarn for the last three years. 

Then my good friend found out she was having a little girl.  And her husband is a hunter.  So I put two and two together and came up with this: 





Super fun!

The pink yarn has also been a source of frustration for me.  I think it works perfectly with the camouflage.  It's right shade and right weight. 

So I'm pretty excited about the results.  And a couple more skeins of yarn down!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Book Review: 60 Minute $ Workout



I have always had a love/hate relationship with personal finance.  I love it when we're doing well and I hate it when we're not doing well.  In my quest to learn more about PF, I have read several books and taken classes, specifically Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. 

When I received Ellie Kay's new book on PF, I was excited.  I've read most of her others and I really like her!  She tells wonderful stories in her books and they are easy to read without making me feel guilty. 

But to be honest, I felt like this book was lacking a little bit.  Her stories and information were great, but I didn't care for the 60 minute workouts she talks about.  I understand the analogy she talks about but I just don't like the method.  LT Wonderful and I  have a system down now, perhaps that's why I don't care for this one.  

If you skip over the "workout" sections the book is great.  Ellie is always very on top of the latest money saving resources and includes them in her book.  There are also codes in the book that you can use by emailing her to get access to restricted areas on her website.  I would say that the book is worth it based on that alone.  The tools that are on the website are fantastic and we have started incorporating them into our budget meetings. 

If you're looking for a place to start with finances, this book could be a good option for you.  However, I would say that starting somewhere else with more accountability would be even better.  

Overall I'd say this book is a solid two stars out of five.  

*I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah for review purposes. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I'm Back, and BETTER Than Ever

OK, OK, maybe not better than ever, but I'm feeling pretty good.

Finally.

And the boys are (knock on wood) fine too.

So now we can start real life.  And when I say real life I mean we-have-a schedule-and-try-to-adhere-to-it-more-or-less life.

Tate's in preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays!  I have a Bible study on Wednesdays so at least three days a week I'm going to be getting up and out.  That should add structure to our days.  My goal is to work out before I head off to school/church (this means I'll be getting up early...yuck!) but I think it will help with that oh so needed structure.

Theo and I don't have anything planned for our mornings together yet, but I do hope to do something fun.  I know that Tuesdays will be my new grocery shopping days so we'll enjoy doing that together.  Theo loves the store.  I'm thinking about hitting the library with him.  We'll see what he's up to.  As soon as it gets nice out on a regular basis (so, like, August) I'll take him to the park.  This kid would play outside all day if he could.

Tate's said some funny stuff lately regarding his bout with the illness:

"Mom, poop is not my favorite anymore.  Pee is."

I was previously unaware that he had favorites, but now I know.

Theo has decided to get in on joking around.  Just today he stuck his foot in my face.  I scrunched up my nose and said "EWWW!!  Your feet stink, Theo!"  He responded, "No Mom.  It's like pizza."  When I laughed he did it over and over.

I hope your weekend was great!

Peace and love,
Jenni

Friday, March 4, 2011

And another one's down

Tate's got what Theo and I had...the fun doesn't stop!



Loves to you all, and I'll be back when I'm not busy cleaning up poop. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tired and a bit Grumpy

I've been off the last few days.  A little grumpy, a little tired and a lot funky.  I know that how I'm feeling has been reflected in my lack of posting and lack of substance in what I do post.  I apologize for that.

Theo and I seem to be sharing a stomach bug that we just can't kick.  He went to the doctor today (and is as scared of doctors as I am, it seems) so we should have results in about 10 days to see if there is something specific that's making him sick.  If there is, it's probably also bothering me.  I'm hoping that it's just a bug that we get rid of before then.  10 days is a long time to feel junky, especially when we've already felt that way for 5-8 days.

On a positive note, tomorrow is Tate's first day of preschool.  I've already cried a few times and it's sure to just continue tomorrow (for both of us, he's deathly afraid of school).  In a really neat twist, Tate's teacher is named Miss Kathy.  Since my mom is a preschool teacher and is also named Kathy I felt very at peace. It's the little things like this that make me feel like God really loves me.  Of course he takes care of the big stuff, but it's nice to see him in the small stuff as well.

I'll post pictures and a review of Tate's first day of school!

Peace and love,
Jenni

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Odds and Ends

We had a super busy weekend planned.  And then I got sick.  I think it was some kind of virus, but whatever it was isn't really important.  The bottom line is that we didn't accomplish anything we had planned to accomplish.  It was still a great weekend.

I re-watched the movie Chocolat.  I love, love, love that movie.  The speech the pastor/rabbi/priest gives at the end of the movie gets me every time.  It's so beautiful and true.

Theo's birthday went well...except that he spent a sizable chunk of time in his time out chair.  He's been hitting and pinching lately.  We're working on that.

And, in case you've missed them lately, here's a Tate quote for you:

Mom, will you pray for me to stop pooping please?