Friday, December 31, 2010

Walk Like a (sore) Egyptian...

There is a reason there will be no pictures or video added to this post.  We bought the Wii Just Dance 2 game with Christmas money from Craig's grandpa and grandma.  Let's just say we have been bustin' moves that really shouldn't be busted.  Therefore, no pictures or video. Ever. Are you reading this Honey?

It really is hilariously fun and a good workout to boot.  Marissa and I have an on-going dance off with a forever stuck in my head Bollywood dance tune.  She is in the lead right now, but today is my day.  I can feel it in my gluteus maximus bones.  I could do a pretty mean "running man" back in the day. Turns out, the Captain does a pretty mean James Brown himself.  And should I be worried that Marissa used her Christmas itunes card to purchase "Walk Like an Egyptian"?  It's a revival, let me tell you. OK, so I can't resist, here's the original version.  You know you like it.

With a blizzard knocking on the door (2 inches and counting), the Captain most likely stuck on the east coast, and Maren recovering from the stomach flu, looks like our New Year's Eve celebration will be minimal.  But we can still dance the night away....sorta.

Here's hoping your New Year will be happy!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bad Harry Days

Harry's hair has much to be desired these days. His momma Someone forgot his last haircut, and because of the holidays we had to wait until January 7th to reschedule.  He looks pathetic.  Just this little ball of fur running around with no eyes and a really bad straight down the middle 80's part. 

Yes, there really is a dog under all that hair.  Poor thing, sometimes when he is eating his food he jumps like he has been electrocuted or something, but I actually think his hair scares him when it's all hanging in his eyes like that.  Reminds me a little bit of this dude.

I could laugh at these two all day.  I have to chuckle at Harry and all his hair too.  I chuckled right up to the point where he ate Marissa's ipod earbuds that she had just gotten for Christmas.  Bad Harry, uh, hairy - oh never mind.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Baby Changes Everything

Sometime before the holiday season really started ramping up, I remember asking God to let me feel His presence in a meaningful way this year.  I didn't want to get so caught up (as I am apt to do) in the doing, the buying and the overall busyness that seems to accompany this season.  There have been moments of craziness, and maybe I am speaking too soon, but it feels like we are settling in for a nice peaceful Christmas time. I have to say I've felt God's hand in many ways this holiday season;  in a book, (Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - whole 'nother blog post entirely and a must read) in a sermon (go figure) and strangely, even in the trials of various friends and family (their incredible faith comes shining through).

As things come back around, in a way that I feel only God can orchestrate, we had the privilege of hearing a former pastor from the small country church I grew up in, speak at the church we are attending now.  I was curious to hear him speak simply because of that connection to Newkirk church. Even though I was rather young and not too interested in the whole sermon thing back then, I do remember him being an excellent speaker. He is a former football coach, so his delivery is a bit different than most preachers.  He - no let me rephrase that - God, did not disappoint.  He read from John 1 and spoke about darkness and how it is more something that is felt rather than actually seen. Our eyes may perceive darkness, but our souls feel it.  He talked about conflict and power and reconciliation.  He and his wife give tours of the Holy Land.  They have had a first hand look at a seemingly endless conflict and what it can do - or undo.  He made the point that in order for reconciliation to take place, two parties have to be on equal terms, or the one with the "power" needs to empty themselves in order to bring about peace.

Having heard the Christmas story any number of times in my life and even in the course of a Christmas season, it starts to just tinkle around in your head and sometimes never makes it to your heart.  Yes, Jesus was born in a manger, there were shepherds, wisemen and angels.  It all becomes a bit too rote. Why a baby?

Earlier in the same service a lovely woman in our church who has walked through the darkness of breast cancer, spoke about a time when her baby fell down the steps to their basement which they happened to be remodeling at the time.  All she could do was scream for her husband, and watch her child tumble down each and every hard, un-carpeted step, head first, and land with a thud on the hard pavement below.  He was okay, but what parent hasn't been there?  Stood there helpless with the possibility or the reality of their child being harmed.

She went on to wonder if that was how God felt.  Did his stomach and his heart lurch as He watched His beloved Son fall down the stairs of heaven to this dark earth to be hurt and even die?  By His choice, God emptied himself in the form of a helpless babe, to be on equal footing with us, with whom He wishes to be reconciled. Not ridiculous or improbable. Of course, it had to be a baby.

God gave us the most incredible gift.  It was not us seeking him. Crazy as it seems, He must have really taken a shine to those early morning walks in the garden with Adam and Eve and He wants us back.  He loves us, He really does.  I hope you feel that in a very real way this Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

beginning to look a lot like....

well, you know,  CHRISTMAS!!


had a Christmas party, (where both SANTA and the police showed up).


(GREAT job girls.)

and FLOCKING the way nature intended.

 We watched Lizzie while momma finished her Christmas shopping. 
(We introduced her to the whole "SILLY FACES" shot Michelle - sorry. Word.

and finally, you know, the real mark of Christmas, PACKING PEANUTS...

on your stove top, because there was no room in the Inn on the table, or the bar or any flat sort of surface that did not contain some sort of Christmas frou-frou, besides the stove top in which to pack and ship gifts to our beloved but distant FAMILY member whose name we had drawn. PHEW!

Sing it with me now,  "packing peanuts roasting on the smooth top stove....".  Please tell me it gets a little hectic and crazy around your house this time of year.  I am ready to sit back and enjoy.  How about you? Come on over, I'll serve you up a nice cup of hot cocoa and a roasted packing peanut to go with it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

my favorite thing...

Forgive me for being shallow.  We had a knock-down, drag-out, how in the world did Laura Ingalls ever survive one good old Iowa blizzard here this past weekend.  Granted, I can't complain too much.  It has been relatively mild here all things considered.  To have our first major snow in the middle of December is really a pretty good thing.  We are that much closer to spring. 

But along with the snow came lots of cold and since it has been fairly decent - this cold seems a little jarring to the system. I just haven't gotten used to it yet.  And you do get used to it.  We are talking single digits and below right now, but come early March, mid- thirties and forties will feel like a veritable heat wave. 

This fall we got a new (read slighly used) car - a Chevy HHR.  It's pretty fun to drive, better than the old mini-van, gets 31 miles to the gallon on road trips to OK, but the very best feature which I love more than I ever thought I could love a selling feature on a car is the REMOTE START.  I can stand at the back door of the hospital, lock the doors, push the little start thingy on the key fob and ta-da! I chit-chat with the girls in RT for a couple minutes then walk out to my nice warm car.  It's a beautiful thing.  Now, if I can only buy a house with a remote cleaning option.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Perfect Pairings Proverbs 22:6

 Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Baby Bennet was baptized today - and what a wonderful day it was.  We have been blessed!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

On My Mind...

I have lots of things on my mind lately.  Lots.  Like why is most nearly everything baked at 350 degrees.  There must be some explanation for this.  Why don't they give you a free broiler pan when you buy a new stove anymore.  Or is this just some figment of my imagination? I could have sworn we got a nice big broiler pan with the second to last oven we bought.  Not so this time.  Had to spring for the Walmart version, but have to say those broiled pork chops we had for dinner the other night were worth every red cent.

I'm thinking about winter.  It is cold here. Lots of cold.  We had such a nice fall that this seems to be an abrupt change. For the worse.  Winter means Christmas.  I am totally unprepared for Christmas.  We had a Christmas party at work today and it felt so odd.  I could be in trouble.

I'm thinking about books.  I read Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" this past week on our trip down to Oklahoma and Kansas over Thanksgiving.  He never fails to provide a thought provoking read.  He writes about airplane crashes and mitigated speech.  An interesting chapter for the pilot wife.  He writes about the Beatles and Bill Gates and their 10,000 hours.  He writes about success in terms of alot more hard work and less raw talent. Add in a good measure of opportunity, timing and perhaps the year and maybe even the day you were born and by jove, you might have it. That elusive recipe for success.  The ingredients will surprise you.

Also, my MIL slipped me a copy of  "The Hunger Games".  Not so much interested in apocalyptic sci-fi reads, or so I thought, but it has me hooked.  I started reading it with Marissa, but think that better wait a couple years.  Some graphic violent details come to light amidst a burgeoning love story.  This is the first book in a trilogy.  Glad to have a good read or two, but feel like this may be a highly distracted and sleep deprived Christmas season.

I'm thinking about diabetes.  I have decided to add another hat to the ever-growing tower and have taken a position as a diabetic educator at the hospital where I work.  A large percentage of the cardiac patients I work with also have diabetes, so it is not entirely foreign territory for me.  Definitely need to buff up on my type I and gestational dibetes, along with some of the new meds and insulins they have going on.  Hmmm, Diabetic Educator Journal or The Hunger Games?

I'm thinking about Bennet.  Both of them.  The little one is getting baptized this Sunday.  The elder one firmly kicked my behind in three rounds of Bingo this Tuesday.  He always was the lucky one. And how.  He had blood work done the other day and his liver enzymes are the best they have been in years.  His weight is back up. His color is good.  I like having two Bennets in my world.

I'm also thinking I should go to bed.  Have to teach ACLS tomorrow.  Sell some dishcloths. Pack for a slumber party.  Hope the snow stays north.  And be very thakful for all the above.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Trains and not that Girlie stuff...

Maren often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to having friends over.  Marissa's best bud lives two blocks away and when they get bored at one house they traipse on over to the other's house to see what they can do about that.  Maren often gets left in the dust, unfortunately.  Luckily, Mr. Eyelashes Tyeson concedes to making a visit to girlie-land every now and then.  He always lets us know quite adamantly,"I'm not gonna play with those Barbies".

So, that usually means we bust out the trains.  Now when Marissa was Maren's age, she could play with trains all the live long day, and love every minute of it.  Maren would rather stick with the girlie-girl stuff, which as previoulsy indicated, Mr. Eyelashes Tyeson, being from a family of three boys, will have nothing to do with. It makes for an interesting dialogue. 

Maren: "Let's say that Lady had a baby train and they were going to go to school."

Tyeson: "OK", as he violently crashes two trains together on the drawbridge.

Maren: "And then let's say both of the parents died." (Do you ever notice how the parents are always dead in kids' stories, or um, is that just my kids? Yikes.)

Tyeson:  "Hold that story.  I have to go take a pee."

And he runs off to the bathroom and proceeds to accomplish this ( is Maren would indicate to me later) without even closing the door.

All gender stereotypes aside, they have a great time together.  It was actually our first snow day (or should we call it ice day) here this winter.  What a nice way to spend an afternoon.  Someday I'll have to tell you their "china" story.  Oh dear.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Oh Brother...

This is me and my brother Don.  It's Don's birthday today.  We are five days shy of being exactly two years apart. Guess Mom and Dad really believed in "celebrating" Valentine's Day, back then.  Wink. Wink. So yes, if you're doing the math, I just turned 40 so that makes him 42.  You guys are sharp.

I'll have to say I think this is a pretty darn cute picture.  It's one of my favorites of us.  Pretty sure it made the Christmas card insert that year.  When I look at that picture (once I get past the paneling and the linoleum) I can't help but think it sort of sums up our relationship in a lot of ways.  We definitely fall into the whole birth order thing.  Don is the first born - driven, determined, 4.0 student, who always had more discipline in his little finger than I have in my entire body. Of course he would hold the pig.  I am forever the middle child - peace-maker, a little goofier, a little sillier, and not much of a competitor at all. I want to make peace with the pig and that may not include me holding it. 

 I think I would have always been a little more hesitant in life if I hadn't seen Don go there first. Don led. I followed. Obviously,this could have good or bad consequences.  Not so good when he decided to light a fire under the county bridge down the gravel road from our farmplace.  My parents were not so impressed with our resourcefulness.  It was cold that day. We needed to kill keep ourselves and our cousins dead warm. 

But, I did chose to go to a four year college and get my Bachelor's Degree in Nursing, and boy am I glad I did.  Don went to college, so I did too.  Ever the over acheiver, Don went to a four year private college, got his chemistry degree, and then went to the University of Iowa another three years to become a pharmacist.  He was a RD, started up his own student care package delivery business, and probably had his schooling all paid for by the time he graduated, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.  What's a girl to do?

I guess just be happy to have such a good example ever present in my life since the day I was born. He was my first playmate, my chauffer in our high school years, my guidance couselor when considering college and career paths.  He threw me an excellent party when I turned 21. He drove cross country and killed his transmission to come visit me in Tulsa. He has been a wonderful uncle to our girls.  As far as older brother go, I couldn't ask for better.  Love you Donnie!   Happy Birthday!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

If You Give a Girl a Birthday...

...she may want some homemade pancakes lovingly, yet messily,(darn they were good!) prepared by her husband for her birthday breakfast...

 ....along with a nice dose of  public embarassment to go with it.

 If you give a girl a birthday...

 ...she might get some awesome birthday presents that might make her think turning 40 really isn't so bad after all.

She might want to hold her new nephew...

...or go out to a swanky restaurant with her swankier family.

She might even get a really cool hand-drawn card of her ride from her talented Father-in-law. 

Not that I would know anything about any of this. 

She might have had such a great 40th birthday that she thought it was all a wonderful dream....

until she saw this, and she understood it was all for real.

Even the BIG 4-0.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Perfect Pairings Ecclesiastes 3:1

3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloweening 2010

What a weekend. Busy. Good. Fun. Spoooky. All the above. Here's a re-cap. 

Marissa and Her Pumpkin:

Marissa's 5th grade class had a pumpkin decorating contest and Marissa won one of the 10 or so prizes awarded.  She was high on pumpkin love, let me tell you.  I'd like to tell you we were creative enough to think this one up, but we did a Google image search.  She looked for "cool" and I looked for easy.  Have to say it worked for both of us.

Halloween costumes:

Were pretty stress free this year.  Maren used the pumpkin costume I hand-labored over with blood, sweat, and tears for Marissa one year.  Marissa was the "like 80's girl". Like totally.  Like, I had no input whatsoever into the makings of that costume.  You know you're old when your high school years are "retro" and become cool again.

A mighty fine time was had by all.  The candy overfloweth. As did the sugar high and the giggling that accompanies such states.  Lucky Sue and Dennis were around to keep things sane. 

 The Two Bennets:

One of the highlights of our trick-or-treating adventures was hitting the care facility where my Dad, Bennet, is living.  One of the residents was even dressed as a witch and gave the girls a pretty good scare. We also got lucky and Baby Bennet was there too.  Love this shot.  What a perfect ending to a fun weekend.  Hope yours was a good one too!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Divide and Conquer

The pumpkins were conquered once again this year.  Think large saw and power tools.  To be continued...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Man of the House

The Captain has been gone quite a bit.  Harry knows this and has been secretly trying to usurp the Captain's positon as man of the house.  He has an agenda. I can tell. We have two comfy chairs facing our fireplace.  The recliner has been dubbed mine, and that is usually where you can find me winding down in the evenings over a game of Bejeweled Blitz. Harry also know this.  While I am furiously cursing the Bejeweled Blitz man-voice who is being very stingy with his "specTACulars", Harry quickly jumps into the other chair.  The arms on that chair are just high enough so that if he hides in the far corner, I can't even see him from my chair. By the time my minute is up, I may have forgotten I even have a dog. Very sneaky.

Now Harry has learned  not to try this when the Captain is home. He understands the inherent risk of being drop kicked into Cowboy's front yard. He tries.  He is my protector.  Ever vigilant in the face of danger.  A canine force of nature.  


Yeah, but then he gives me a look like this and I'm pretty much done.  I do give him a fairly stern "wait 'til your Father gets home",  to which Harry responds with this.

Yeah, that left a big impression.  I can tell. 

Dog for sale. Cheap.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Perfect Pairings James 1:17

James 1:17

17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

My older brother and his lovely wife Michelle added another
Bennet to the world last Friday making me an especially pround auntie.  As far as God's gifts go, I can't think of anything more perfect than babies.  Baby Bennet is pretty perfect in our book.  Welcome to the world sweet boy!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another World

Princess Maren is reading.  I love it.  I love this stage of discovery when every painstakingly sounded out word is like how I imagine it would be for Columbus stepping out of the boat into a whole new world.  The possibilities are endless.  The adventures too numerous to count. She gives me a triumphant look, a smug little grin, and is off to the next continent.  You go girl.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Do you ever look at words and think the spelling looks totally wrong?  Is that how you spell project?  It just looks wrong.  Anyway, I finally completed a little DIY project endeavor. 

Here's our sorry little water-stained, nail polished, too many hot pots left on it, cloroxed, had  it since the year we married table top.  Pitiful.

The thing was, I didn't mind the legs and the antiqued finish on the rest of the table and it's  actually still very sturdy.  It's a little wider than most tables, and I liked that too as far as having company and serving family style goes.

After a little trial and quite a bit of error in the form of Polyshades and going against the grain, (eh Captain?) we were redeemed by some custom mixed Old Masters gel stain and Cowboy's Momma (who happens to work for Old Masters AND live across the street). The result was worth it!  I love my table top now more than I did when we first bought it.  Seriously.

Now came my next quandry.  What to do with the chair seats?  Originally they were the same stain color as the table top. Minus the water stains and nail polish but plus some ground in strawberry jam, spaghetti sauce, and other unidentifiable remnants of past meals. Honestly, after what we had to go through to get the table top color, I knew there was no way I was gonna get close to matching that.

The thought came to mind to upholster them.  I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on this though.  The M's still have their share of spillage - OK - the Captain and I do, too.  But, one day at Walmart I found these chair pads. Two bucks a piece. Already cut to fit.  Sold. Figured I could find some cheap fabric on E-bay.

Then I went to Target a couple days later and found this.  It was a duvet cover but I loved the fabric color and I liked the feel of it and it was serioulsly marked down.  See that nice little red sticker in the corner? Love little red stickers.

Sold! I had more than enough fabric to cover six chairs and the backing of the duvet cover will make a nice coordinating table cloth.

I gave them a couple good coats of Scotchguard, but if they do get hopelessly yuck, I didn't spend enough to feel horribly bad about it.  They aren't perfect, but in the words of my nephew Tyeson - I "wike" them.

For about $80 and a little joy and pain ( ooo, what a great 90's dance tune! - sunshine and rain) we got us a good looking dining room table again.  I wike it. I wike it a-wot.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bday x 3

The Captain and his womb companions had a birthday last week.  They have been out and about for 41 years now.  An accomplishment of sorts, I would say.  The Captain scored this year.  He had three, count 'em, three, birthday celebrations this year. 


A mild celebration.  We all gathered at the nursing home. For my Dad's sake, not the Captain's, just to make that clear.  We celebrated the September birthdays on this side of the fam.  Jackson turned 7. Kleyton turned 8 and the Captain turned 41.  How fun is it to turn 41 with a Lego cake...

and a Hovaround!

My Grandma also turns 85 this month, but we spared her the Lego cake. Which was absolute deliciousness by the way.


The Captain got done with work last Friday and jetted out to Cali to meet up with his bro and sis.  Pretty sure this was the party to remember.  Or forget? Depending how much alcohol was consumed?  I think they had a pretty darn good time.  It had been awhile since the triplets had all been together since they are all sort of strewn across the western US of A and with busy lives and busy families, it makes getting togther that much harder.  Glad he got to go! Happy Birthday to you too, Chris and Kim!


It's always a party at our house when the Captain's truck hits the drive, but this time the girlies did a little more screamin', huggin', and kissin' to commemorate the event.  They missed having Dad home on his birthday.  We celebrated with salmon croquettes and  homemade carrot cake - the Captain's birthday meal of choice.  The girls were thumbs up on the salmon croquettes but our tastes veer more to the side of chocolate as far as cake goes. 

So Happy Birthday Honey! We love your weird, a bit goofy, Office-loving self.  Thanks for taking such good care of us!