Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Thanksgiving Collage

We spent three days at the Sell farm back in ND for the Thanksgiving holiday. Lots of cousins, lots of laughter, lots of activities, lots of food, lots of love, and not much sleep... what could be better?? Ok - the excessive calories consumed were out of control, so I will need to do a million sit-ups and run a couple hundred miles, but mmmmmmmm... so good!!
Five funny cousins... Noah, Logan, Kippy, Kaleb and Abby.

Auntie Nae with her beautiful 15 year old niece, Makenzie.

Grandma Rose in a rare quiet moment with grandson, Nixin.

Logan celebrated his 7th birthday.

So, if you use a big branch instead of a bat, does that mean you are a redneck? Don't answer that question... :-)

I removed 5 of Steve's 7 stitches around his eye. This was in preparation for the family pictures that we are having taken on Saturday afternoon as a birthday gift to my mom.

Playing games...

Making crafts...

Funny faces... all equal a fabulous time!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanks for Giving!

Don't you love this cheesy grin from Kippy when she was 5?I love Thanksgiving! It is a wonderful opportunity to gather together and give thanks for all the gifts God has blessed us with. We are heading to the farm in ND later this afternoon and will be spending Thanksgiving with my parents, my brother Russ and his family and my brother Randy and his family.

I am grateful for so many things, but first and foremost, I am grateful that Steve is recovering well from his Christmas lights catastrophe! I am thankful for the love and blessings from God and his son Jesus; for my wonderful husband and beautiful daughters; for our supportive families; for our amazing friends - you know who you are!; for our health; for the bountiful harvest that is still in progress at the farm; for pumpkin pie, my favorite; for great traveling weather; for so many, many blessings... I could go on and on!

Happy Thanksgiving Day to you all! May your turkey be juicy, your mashed potatoes creamy and your day be blessed!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas Casualty

Saturday afternoon, my dear husband was working on hanging up the outside Christmas lights. This year, I talked him into hanging the lights along the front of our garage. Bad idea on my part, because as Steve was up on the ladder near the peak of the garage, the ladder slid out from underneath him. When the ladder hit the driveway, his face bounced off the ladder. In the meantime, I was in the bedroom and thought I heard a noise but didn't know what it was. When I came into the kitchen, Steve was already holding a bloody paper-towel over his eye. I quickly I had him lay down as I noticed his hands were trembling and he appeared to be in shock. My main concern was what was the best way to get him to the ER. Should I call 911 or could I drive him? Steve was communicating clearly and I checked out all the areas where he had pain (knee, leg, hand and face). He definitely had lacerations, but could walk on his own since he had made it into the house after stopping to take his Carhartts off in the garage. I had the girls come upstairs. I asked Abby to stay home because 1) she handles blood and injuries as badly as I do and 2) she could watch over supper which was already cooking in the oven. I then loaded up Steve and Kippy in the van and headed to the ER.
We spent nearly two hours in the ER and Steve got three stitches above his right eye and two stitches below as well as two stitches in his right shin. He had his right hand x-rayed and although extremely painful, the Dr. didn't think it was broken. His right knee is purple and he pretty much aches all over. All-in-all, he was very lucky and it could have been so much worse. For the record, I never passed out, although I did go white while he was getting stitched up and the nurse made me sit and drink some juice. Kippy, on the other hand, watched over everything that was done to her daddy and was a big hit with the Dr. and nurses. One nurse even let her help push Steve's gurney down to X-ray and back to the room!

I kept in contact with Abby as we went through the process and she had supper ready for us when we got home around 7:00 PM. Our main goal was to get food in Steve's stomach so he could take the pain meds as soon as possible.

I didn't take any pictures of the scene of the crime until Sunday afternoon. Notice the skid marks from the ladder on the side of the house. Steve said he had the string of lights in his hand, but they didn't slow down his fall at all.

The ladder exactly as it fell...
The lights didn't fair very well. There were quite a few shattered bulbs.
Our house will probably not have as many Christmas lights as others, but we are grateful that Steve is able to laugh and smile already about his experience!

This is the card Abby made for Steve. Thanks to everyone for your prayers and concern and offers of assistance!

Prayer Request

Late yesterday afternoon, the ladder Steve was on slipped out from under him and he fell about 20 feet. I took him to the emergency room and he got stitches around his right eye and on his right shin. He is also pretty banged up. Please send your healing prayers for Steve's recovery. I'll blog more about the details later today.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Poster Contest Winner

This happened almost a month ago, but I just got the picture from the Fergus Falls paper this past week. So here is the news...
Angelique was one of 6 second graders in Fergus Falls to win the Fire Prevention Poster Contest that was held in October. Her prize as a winner was a lunch date with the firefighters. The kids got to ride in the fire truck on October 21st to have lunch at McDonalds. She is the one in the front row on the left.
She was bouncing all around with excitement and couldn't wait to tell me when she got home... "Mom, there was a girl who didn't want her apple fries at McDonald's so she gave them to me so I got to eat all her caramel dip!" Interesting that would be her trip highlight. I guess the reason she was bouncing all around was due to a sugar high!

Note to Mom, Dad and Abby

My daughter, Angelique (aka Kippy) is a pretty emotional child. Her highs are really high and her lows are really low. Hummm.... wonder where she got that from? Movin' on...

Kippy got a new book from the book fair on Wednesday and was very engrossed in it. So much so, Steve eventually had to tell her to put the book away and get ready for supper. Steve ended up repeating himself numerous times, getting more frustrated with her and Angelique started to get really emotional. She was mad and did some stomping (her favorite way to show us she is mad) and accidentally stubbed her toe on the chair. She then began wailing in a super, exaggerated way... and it went on and on. She was finally sent to her room to get control of herself.

It took her about 10 minutes for her to be ok to come for supper and in the meantime she cranked out this letter to us all.

It read as follows...

"Note to Mom, Dad and Abby:

This is not how I like life rite now nothing is a teeny bit good not even a smig. What I think is all people need is respect, but rite now I’m not getting any R-E-S-P-E-C-T."

I didn't find her note until lunch yesterday when I was putting some of her things away in her bedroom. I showed it to Steve and although we chuckled, I thought it was important that we take her note seriously. So I wrote a note back to her that read...

Dear Angelique,

I really appreciate that you wrote a note about your feelings. This is a very positive way to express them and I am impressed by your choice!

I am sorry that you feel that you are not respected. Please know that to have respect and gain respect, you must also act with respect. This means to be respected you must be respectful. We all need to work on that.

I know you get frustrated when you are told you need to do something and you don’t feel ready; however, it is important that rules are followed. A simple, “Yes, Mom.” Or “Yes, Dad.” would be all that is required. When you act calm and follow the directions given by your parents, things will go smoothly.

You are making so many good choices in your behavior. Writing your feelings down is a very mature choice. We all get frustrated and want others to listen and respect us. Dad and I work very hard to teach you and Abby how to act respectfully to one another.

You are a beautiful person, inside and out. We love you dearly and are so grateful to be blessed with you as our daughter.

Please continue to express your feelings in positive ways like you did by writing your note. Please be careful about exaggeration. When one thing does not go your way, it does not mean every thing is bad. This means when you stub your toe, your family isn’t bad and your life isn’t bad. It means that your toe hurts.

You are loved unconditionally by your parents. Unconditionally means that even if you make mistakes or make bad choices, we still ALWAYS love you. Please remember that when you are feeling angry or upset with the consequences of your actions.

Much love, many hugs and kisses, XXX OOO

From, Mom

When she got home from school, I told her to go check out her desk. She read the note from me and gave me a hug and then we talked about it some more. Kippy keeps things entertaining around here!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Finally finished!

This is embarrassing to admit, but I finally finished this denim rag quilt Wednesday night, but I actually started it 3 or 4 years ago. With my mom's encouragement, I had recycled some jeans I had by cutting them into 8" blocks. I also had gotten flannel backing and cut those blocks out as well. That is as far as I ever got. Since then, it has just been sitting in my sewing room cabinet stuffed in a Walmart sack, just waiting for me to get the urge to actually assemble it.

I am going to credit Denise with giving me the gumption to get it out and work on it. Last weekend, Denise and I had gone to JoAnn's Fabrics together to pick out material for a quilt that she is going to be making. Looking at all the fabric made me feel guilty to remember my quilt blocks that were already pre-cut and ready to go and still stuffed in a sack. Let me also confess that I have never done something like this before. My grandma Nita was a wonderful quilter and I think she set the bar so high I was intimidated.

My wonderful friend, Lori, is a quilter. A few weeks ago, I admitted to her that I had cut quilt blocks years ago for a rag quilt but didn't really know how to get started. Lori said, "Oh, rag quilts are so easy!" Hummm... maybe easy for her, but I need directions to follow (I am a tried and true recipe follower). I Googled "denim rag quilt" and found some straight forward instructions and what do you know... Lori was right... it was easy!

I had some problems... I wanted my lap quilt to be two rows wider and one row longer, but apparently, when I cut my flannel backing blocks all those years ago, I had planned for a smaller quilt. So... I had to revise and go with the blocks that I had since I didn't have any more fabric. I also got major hand cramps snipping all the seams. In fact, that is what took the longest time. I sat in front of the TV and snipped and snipped for 2 1/2 hours. I only washed it once, so it should get a little more "fringy" in future washings.

THE MAIN THING IS THAT I FINISHED IT! I am not normally a procrastinator, but I am a total planner (with perfectionist tendencies) and since I never had instructions, I really think that is what held me back. Now I have something else I can do with my Ragamuffin daughter's torn up jeans!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Livin' with a ragamuffin

I did not know when Angelique was born that I would end up raising a little ragamuffin. Try as I might, her hair is only tangle free for about 5 seconds after it is brushed, unless it is a rare occasion when she consents to letting me braid or confine it into some type of pony-tail. I've tried working the "jedi-mind-tricks" angle to get her to agree to get her hair cut shorter, but haven't succeeded yet. Anywho...

This past weekend, I had just dressed her nicely and brushed out her hair in an attempt to get a family picture taken for our Christmas cards. I kid you not... 2 minutes after doing this, I find her upside-down on the couch rubbing her head back and forth on the carpet. I am freakin' out because it was nothing but static and snarls! Steve is right, once a monkey, always a monkey.

My dad often says Angelique will wear her clothes out from the inside instead of the outside since she is so squirrelly; however, I have not found this to be the case. Which brings me to the point of this little ragamuffin story... what the heck do you do with a child who constantly rips holes in her jeans and her school has a "no holes" dress code?
First I tried fusable patches that were made specifically for jeans... didn't work. Then I tried combining the fusable patches and then sewing them in place... result, ugly looking jeans. So, then I tried fusable patches, sewing them in place and then covering them with something decorative... ummm... that sometimes works, but as you can see here, she just tore the jeans out above the patch.
At this point, I just try to separate her jeans to "weekend-jeans-with-holes" and "brand-new-wear-to-school-jeans". I am buying 2-3 pairs a month, plus washing clothes every other day~not my idea of fun.
I did get an idea of something to do with some of the wrecked jeans... I made purses for each of the girls and me. I haven't figured out how to keep Kippy from looking like a ragamuffin, but I'll certainly take any suggestions that you have!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Abby is a certified Babysitter! I am sure you are wondering "how you get to become a certified babysitter?" Well... Abby attended a Babysitting class last weekend sponsored by the American Red Cross. It was an all-day comprehensive class and she even got the official card to prove it.
Once Abby was certified, we made plans to put her to the test. Abby's first official babysitting job was our Godchild, Brac Mathern. He is an absolutely adorable 2 1/2 year old. Check out his somersaulting skills!
Steve & I went out for supper with Brac's parents, Lance & Denise. Abby was not only supervising Brac, but she had her little sister, Kippy as well. Abby has spent a lot of time with Brac, but this was still the first time she was going to be on her own. Denise carefully documented the bedtime routine and reviewed it with Abby. We also chose a restaurant (Isabella's, a wonderful Italian eatery) very close to their house, so we could easily get back within 5 minutes if necessary.

Turned out, Abby kept everything under control and even had Brac sleeping by 7:45 PM! All the kids were happy and well rested in the morning. It was a successful first-time experience for her and I am sure it will boost her confidence as she continues babysitting.

In addition, it was also a treat for Steve & I to get a chance to spend an evening with our wonderful friends. We ended up being the last people to leave Isabella's! And boy did we laugh! I'm surprised we weren't asked to hush-up. We decimated the tiramisu dessert we had. Abby asked, "Did you guys lick the plate?" It was gone so fast that I didn't get a chance to take a picture of how beautiful it looked, but trust me... it was DELICIOUS!
I have to end with another pic of our godchild... he is so darn cute! We are looking forward to leveraging Abby's newly acquired babysitting certification for more evenings out with friends. ;-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Music to my ears

Tonight was Abby's Fall Band Concert and it was a full house at the High School gym. Abby plays alto sax in the 6th grade band. It is unbelievable the improvement the band members made since last year.
When Abby started band in 5th grade, the squeaks that came out of her saxophone made me cringe... like nails across a blackboard. urggg... I used to hide down in the basement whenever Abby practiced! This year I have noticed a marked improvement in her technique since I no longer have to run to the basement, but I was still surprised at the richness of the full-band sound tonight.
The music was pleasurable and the songs are getting more complex. I am looking forward to the next concert in the Spring. As the quote above our piano says... "Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." I'm feeling pretty sparkly right now!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Honoring Our Veterans

We salute those of you who have served and continue to serve our country to preserve our freedom! Today is a snowy day in Fergus Falls, so unfortunately flag #1447 was not able to fly as part of the Veteran's Walk of Flags. May we all offer a moment of silence to remember and honor those who gave their life for our country.

Happy Veteran's Day, Russ!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My DVR addiction

Oh man, I knew I should never get a DVR, but I did. And yes, I am addicted! I absolutely love that I can record whatever I want, whenever I want. And don't get me started on fast forwarding... it is pure bliss!! I don't think I have watched any commercials at all since getting the DVR 2 months ago. I wonder what marketing companies are going to do to combat the fast forwarding of all commercials. Will this effect how new products are introduced?? Ok, too deep of thoughts for me right now. My other favorite feature is pausing live TV so you can take a phone call, visit the ladies room, get a drink of water, or answer one of your children's questions. So, what do I record on a frequent basis to watch?
  • HBO TruBlood
  • MTV The Island (but that is over now)
  • Jon & Kate Plus 8
  • Dr. 90210
  • Oprah
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • ER
Yes, I realize, I spend entirely too much time watching TV. The first step to healing is admitting the problem, right? Do you DVR? If so, what shows do you DVR?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Murder and Mayham

Last night, Steve & I had a rare night out with friends. We participated in a Murder Mystery party hosted by my fabulous friend, Heather. The event was wonderfully recapped by my equally fabulous friend, Lori, so I won't even try to get into the details. Needless to say, we had a great time dressing up as characters, eating a spectacular supper and laughing while working to solve the murder.

Thanks so much everyone!