Monday, December 26, 2011

Very Very Merry

We had a wonderful Christmas, but somehow I feel a bit like this.  I think Harry has the right idea.  Maybe I will crawl under the tree and join him.  Yeah, sounds good.  I'll be back....
Sweet Shot Day

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Perfect Pairings Psalms 100:5

 I couldn't find the "I saw grandma kissing Santa Claus" verse, so I"ll have to go with this one instead:

Psalm 100:5

 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

It's good to see the "generations" get together and Grandma got it all started with a little help from, well, not Santa (that's MY Santa). Just in case you were wondering. 

Joining up with Baloney today. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Heart Faces - King Harold

I Heart Faces is having a "Furry Face" challenge this week.  I have always been a fan of this website, but have never submitted a photo.   I like this picture of King Harold the Great.  I was just starting to understand a bit what was meant by the whole depth of field concept, and was excited when it sort of worked!  I took this in February of 2010, aka the winter we had snow up to our eyeballs for four months straight. Anyway, here we go.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Everyday She's Hustlin'

After much prodding and cajoling by the Captain and yours truly, we talked Marissa into going out for basketball this year.  Yes, she is only in 6th grade, but thanks to IBL (Instructional Basketball League) they get 'em started young 'round these parts. Some of the girls she plays with have been doing this since 4th grade.  She was a bit behind on the learning curve and quite honestly, in the first couple of games, it looked as though she had been gifted with her father's coordination and her mother's raw speed.  Poor thing. In fact when one of the coaches told her she needed to hustle down the court to play defense, Marissa honestly replied that she did not like to hustle.  She was not sold on this whole basketball thing.

Now, in defense of the Captain, give him a skateboard, bike or snowboard and he is golden.  Ball and stick, as he likes to say, not so much.  As for me, I played Iowa style half court 6-on-6 for my basketball years, so my contributions to this whole full court thing is worth,well, only two dribbles.

One of the things that made the Captain and I so persistent in getting Marissa to try basketball is the fact that the girl is tall, and she just keeps getting taller.  I am 5'9" and she is looking me in the eyeballs.  We share ginormous size 10 (sometimes 11) shoes.  The Captain's dad and brother are well into the 6'4 range and my younger brother is 6'3" or so. So there is some height to be had.  And she is only 11. As in eleven, people.

Anyhow, her team played in a tournament this weekend, and something seemed to click for Marissa.  After a good few weeks of consistent practices, Marissa became a rebounding machine.  Of course, it helps that she is a good half foot taller than most of her teammates. Granted, her shooting needs help, her game sense needs lots of work, her ball handling skills leave much to be desired, but the girl likes to REBOUND.

Coach Tony let her know she was doing a good job.

To which she responded with typical Marissa - like enthusiasm.

So, we are proud of her for sticking it out and hope she continues to learn and improve. She was more than ready to head to practice tonight and just a teeny bit excited about it.  That's our girl!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Perfect Pairings Job 37:6

We got our first snow here in Iowa.  As much as I lament winter, which is especially true the older I get, this snow was also especially beautiful.  The flakes were big, fluffy and picture perfect.  

I think God uses the beauty of His creation to give us these tiny glimpses of how incredibly awesome, powerful and beautiful He is.

Job 37:6

New International Version (NIV)
He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ 

   and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’

Head on over to Baloney's, where all the pairings are perfect.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

When Lizzie Comes to Play

When Lizzie comes to play there's usually lots of silliness going on.

Toys and dress-up clothes get drug out that haven't been played with in months.  There's usually lots of imagination happening too. Maren loves to have her around.

 So does Harry.  He has this weird little half yelp, half whine that he only does when Lizzie is around.
Lizzie likes Harry too.  I always haul out the camera and take lots of pictures.

Sometimes she has to tell me to stop. Like in this picture.

But, I can't resist.

The subject matter is just too cute.  At a time when Princess Maren seems to be growing up so fast, it does my heart good to see her act like a little girl again and who better to do it with.  Play dress-up, play store, and watch Nemo.
See you next time Lizzy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Our pastor likes to say if you were born in the United States, in the Midwest, during this century, you have pretty much won the lottery.  I don't think he is saying this proudly or with any other intent than to say that wow, we are blessed with so much, with so much more than many others have and we haven't done one single thing to deserve that.  Yet, we have the nerve to complain about the long pick up lines at school while we are sitting in our nice warm cars, picking up our healthy, well-fed children as we check the weather on our cell phones.  And believe me, I am guilty as charged.  I don't think I will ever have enough appreciation for the blessings I have or for the God that has given them too me.  But, today I'm gonna try.   Happy Thanksgiving!  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I've Been Pinspired

The Captain says I am addicted to Pinterest. That may well be.  I argue, better Pinterest than Twitter, which he enjoys immensely.  I'd rather be a pinner than a twit. Regardless, the internet is full of goodies and pinterest just sort of gathers them all up in one place for you.  Then you can decide what you like and don't like. What you like, you can pin.

I liked this haircut, so I pinned it to my board and then sent it to my email to show my hairdresser and that turned out pretty well.  I like her boots and her scarf too, but Rachel did not deliver on those.  If only it were so easy.

There's a humor section too, just silly stuff that makes me giggle the hours away.  Sometimes I guffaw and snort a little bit, it is that funny.  Some of these I pin, and some of these I save in my download file to reference later.  See, your "boards" get shared with others who are following you. I wonder if this is "appropriate",  but it makes me giggle for some odd reason. And who knows, maybe I'll need it someday.  A love note to the Captain or something.

Ok, so did you know that you can put warm chicken breasts into your mixer, use the paddle attachment, run it on 5 for a few seconds and get beautiful, juicy, restaurant style shredded chicken??? I KNOW!  I did this the other night and it worked like a charm.  The Captain asked me if he could lick the paddle.  That made 
me gag.

.Pinned Image

But mostly, I get inspired.  There are oodles of pins about home decor, cute outfits, crafty little such and suches, and the list goes on.  I even busted out the sewing machine.  I had some sad, sorry, outdoor pillows that I had picked up for $2 at a flea market.  They were just OK.  We have used them for a good two years and they were just tired.  Here's the before made even more gruesome with the orange shag carpet and dark brown paneling in the background. 

Dreadful, right?  

And here's the after, times two.

Side A

Side B

Bought me some reasonably priced fabric at Walmart, and got to stitching.  I like.  I pin.  

So go on over and join in the fun.  You do need an invite to start pinning, so leave me your email in a comment if you want and  I'll send you one. Happy Pinning!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What Pumpkin Carving Requires

Take note:

You need your Daddy to be home.

One missing front tooth is preferable.

Pumpkin carving also requires much concentration,

an occasional over-bite,

and a good tongue rolling.  Go ahead, you try it.  I'll wait.

It may require some unbridled Halloween excitement

and Ninja-like need to stab something. 
Then, if you're lucky, it may turn out something like this.

Hope your Halloween was happy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mas Musica!

I think the title means More Music! Just brushing off my Spanish II brain cells.  Not that Spanish has anything whatsoever to do with this post. More Music! does though.

So my Dad has been in a nursing home for over a year now.  As a family we have wrestled with this choice, and though we feel have made the right decision, I think we still think through the "what-ifs  and "if-only's".  It is not easy to have your Dad/Husband/Grandpa in a nursing home at age 73, but that doesn't mean the nursing home is a horrible place.  I refuse to call it such.  Parkinson's is a HORRIBLE disease, and that is where the problem lies, not in the nursing home. At least not Dad's nursing home.  

I know we have it good here.  Most nursing homes leave a lot to be desired.  But here, we have pretty darn good nurses, a nice facility, good doctors, fresh popcorn most hours of the day, and a large basement where the grandkids can all get together and play hide-n-seek or sardines if they choose.  Oh, and we also have Judy.

Judy. Judy. Judy.  She can call a Bingo game like nobody's business.  She dresses up like Mario for her grandson's birthday party ( I know this because I work with her daughter and have seen the photographic evidence). She also directs a pretty mean handbell choir and makes us cry like babies whenever she puts on a special program for the residents and their families.  So this past Saturday she did both.  My dad plays in the handbell choir and he does a great job.  They all do.  It amazes me how good they sound!  They played some traditional hymns, and ended with "I Love You Lord." Not a dry eye in the place - let me tell you.  I'm sure it was a sweet, sweet sound in His ear.

And so the nursing home provides me with an experience that I probably would have never had.  I got to see and hear my Dad perform - to loud cheers and clapping no less! I am so proud of him! Maybe it is just the smallest opportunity for me to repay the countless hours of concerts, track meets, basketball games, and school plays both he and mom attended in the years we were growing up.  They always let us know how proud they were of us too.  Sometimes you find your blessings in the darnedest places.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Good Music, Good Light, Good Life

Marissa had the chance to play in the NW Iowa Middle School Strings Concert the other day.  As you can see, I took my camera along.  As you can see, I could use a little zoom in my lens.  But you get the gist. Really, why do you bring a camera to a music concert anyway?  I should have brought a recorder of some sort because she, and the rest of the kids from our middle school, totally rocked the house church.  My goodness. I seriously get teary-eyed when I hear them play.  Even when they just warm up, it gets to me.  I thought I was the only one, but the Captain said he had the same thing. We're weird that way.

So after a wonderful concert, and dinner out with some friends afterward, we forsook Best Buy, Target, and Lowe's and headed home.  School night you know.  Besides, that, the light was really pretty as only it can be on an autumn evening in rural Iowa.

Actually these pics were from the trip down to the concert.  Love the different textures of the fields as they are harvested. And catching that telephone pole right in the middle of the photo as I was hanging out the car window at 67 miles per hour - well, that's raw talent I tell you.

I'd like to live on that hill.  I'd put my horses out back.

Oh dear, I have become my husband.  We can add this to his cloud picture collection. The Captain's a sucker for a good cloud formation.

We can add this one to the side-profile-of-the-Captain-as-he-is-driving-collection. Seems like we have a bunch of those shots too. But this one is special because here I am experimenting with creative sun flare.  It looks like a golden sneeze. (HER-RUSSIA!! That's a joke only the girls and the Captain will appreciate.) And that large piece or radioactive green bokeh bursting forth from his right frontal temporal lobe, well, like I said. Raw talent.

Then we saw this little rainbow-ish thing.  It was more like a rain-cylinder than a rainbow.  But it was pretty cool looking.  Turns out we were the lucky ones getting a nice little rain shower back in the OC.  

Wish this one hadn't been so blurry 'cause the light was pretty neat-o keen. Like I said, 67 mph hanging out the window of your car never does much for the sharpness of your pictures.  Your hair either, for that matter.

And here's what it's all about in NW Iowa this time of year.  I still love the sight, smell, and sound of a good hard fought harvest being brought in.  There's something very good and right about it.  Like hearing your girl warm up for her orchestra concert.  Ahhhh.

  It's a good life.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Big Benny...

Big Benny is turning one on October 8. How fast did that year fly by?

Why do we call him Big Benny?  Well, it could be in reference to his rather large, rather blue eyes.  They are big and blue, alright.

Or it could be in reference to his "big" personality.  He definitely has one of those too.  

But no, it really has a lot to do with the fact Big Benny has a rather large noggin. Truth.

Don and Michelle have decided to capitalize on this and plan to dress him up for Halloween as, well...guess...

When Don told me they were thinking about it, I think I laughed until I cried.  

Oh Benny, we love you so much!!