Thursday, October 30, 2008

happy halloween...and tying up loose ends

happy halloween from my little pumpkins to yours! our little gator and cow will be both passing out "trick or treats" (elizabeth refuses to call it candy these days!) and gathering some of their own. we find it to be a fun way to get to visit some of our neighbors (and unabashedly scan the neighborhood for potential new friends!). our front porch is adorned with pumpkins...the big one the girls (read...poppy!) carved at the lake last weekend...and the two little ones elizabeth and i busted out this morning with the drill...yep...i'm not so good with knives! don't you love my creativity...this was today's craft for "l" week..."l"etters in pumpkins! :) we'll have to shoot for another little yak with an "e" as a first initial...then we'd successful spell "eek" instead of looking like we didn't know how to spell! :) i must admit, these are the first pumpkins we've carved since mike and i were engaged...five years we are with our magnificent creations!

and now i will finally follow through on the couple of times i've been tagged in the last week or so. i can't even remember who tagged me for this first one...the photo tag...but here it is. the your pictures, go to the fourth file, find the fourth picture and post it. this picture was actually taken this past summer in july. elizabeth and her sweet friends grace and cassandra were trying to touch the sharks in the shark petting tank. fun times!

then (and kudos if you are still reading!) kt mac tagged me to list 6 random things.

1-i really stress about these silly little random things...perhaps trying to find really unique or cool things...which apparently are hard to come by in my "normal" little life! perhaps that is why it took me FOREVER to post this...well, that and the fact i am so far behind in blog reading i didn't know i'd been tagged until today! :)

2-my husband once told me, "it doesn't matter because i wouldn't marry you." to which i replied, "good point!" (this was LONG before we ever IMAGINED we would date one another...much less end up married!)

3-i love fans. even when its the dead of winter i have to have the fan on in our bedroom....i might need to cover myself with layers and layers of blankets...but there's just something about the fan. and yes, i've turned my husband into a fan nut too! :)

4-mike and i agreed on the name elizabeth for a daughter before we were even married. we have yet to come to a definitely conclusion on a boy's name (mind you, we also don't find out gender)...perhaps until that day we will keep on popping out girl after girl after girl! (and by the way...we would be okay with that...we are totally not the type to keep trying endlessly for a boy)

5-back to my first paragraph...why i carved a pumpkin with a drill...well friends, on our first date, mike came (invited himself) to my place and i cooked chicken parmesan. i was in such a flutter of nerves and all that i sliced my finger open with a butter knife...yes, a butter knife...ever since then we've had an ongoing joke about me and knives. and yes, it does seem my cooking won him over...but i think he was smitten before that! :)

6-in third grade i drew my own name in a raffle to win a ten-speed bike...and in case you've forgotten third grade, that was a WAY cool prize for a third grader. for quite awhile i thought i might be the luckiest person EVER. by the way...i still think that's true...only now i know it isn't's God's amazing blessing!

and now...i tag
rebecca @ life, love, and the pursuit of happiness
amy @ blah, blah, blah blogging--who i also know in real life!
michelle @ LazyDogPottery--who just so happens to be my sister...and who also has an incredible etsy shop you should totally check out! :)
carrie @ carrie's crafty cottage
and any of y'all who haven't already done this one!

and last, but not least...shanna awarded me the kreativ blogger award. the rules are that i have to share six things i love and then pass the award on to six people i love. sounds easy enough. (except that the hub is calling me to i will be back to finish tomorrow!)

1-my fam...the four of us (and mugho too!) right within these walls and the extended ones as well! :) if you missed the reference earlier...i direct you to my beautiful and talented incredible potter, beautiful person, and delightful friend. love you me shell! :)

2-God...and really, this one should have been first. the events of late have truly drawn me to a new level of trust and love...i suppose this is what happens when one is comfronted with painful trials of life. friends, He is faithful beyond measure. i wasted so much time worrying and fearing what might come...wondering how in the world i would ever make it if something "hard" came into life...and then, it did. and lo and behold, God's grace comes with the trial. His love, His mercy, and His hand carry you through...tenderly drawing you to His side...comforting, befriending, bringing joy amidst the pain. my friends, this is LOVE. 1 john 4:10 "This is love, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent His son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins."

3-my friends...both in the flesh and in the blog world.

4-crafting...sewing, knitting, name it, if it's crafty i either enjoy it or could learn to! :)

5-giggles and laughter....especially when its coming from my sweet girls playing together!

6-...and finally, because i'm particularly chilly and tired right now...warm blankets and soft pillows...the perfect recipe for an afternoon nap...only problem is that its only 10:30 a.m. right now...and just got up three hours ago! :)

and now...i pass this award onto...
1-Wendi @ Everyday Miracles...i don't remember when it was that wendi first commented on my blog, but oh how glad i am that she did...that we have gotten to know one another. how i love to visit her blog, to hear her sharing what she is learning from our Lord, the respect for her husband that flows from her pages, and, of course, her love for her sweet boys...both on earth and in heaven

2-Leslie @ My Happily Ever After...another woman who is fabulous...pop by, visit, and you will quickly see her sweet spirit, love for Jesus and her family...and, of course, her GORGEOUS photography

3-Rebecca @ Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Happiness...again, i have no clue how rebecca and i found one another, but she has become a dear friend. we both have little libs and my kate and her leila aren't too far apart. we would definitely be great friends in the "real" world...if only cali and indiana were a bit closer! :)

4-Jacy @ A Journey With Purpose...sweet Jacy...her words and descriptions are beautiful. her blog overflows with a deep love for God and for her little family (which is so beautiful). she is kind, compassionate, and a dear, dear friend!

5-Jill @ The Lewis Life...bloggity friends, i'd like to introduce you to my dearest friend in real person. meet jill. sweet, tender, compassionate...she loves Jesus and her family...she is an INCREDIBLE seamstress, phenomenal wife, and terrific mama to sweet a sweet baby boy. to my girls she is "aunt jill"...and to me, well, truly she is another sister. go on, head over...check out the precious pictures of her little her some love...cause, i already're gonna love her!

6-Amy @ Amy's Blah, Blah Blogging...i also know amy in the real world...though we haven't seen each other for quite awhile. actually, we knew one another just after college...and quite frankly, in times of life that were kind of "strange" for both of us. but here we are now...married, with precious girls (her second is due in a couple months!). she's witty, kind, full of love for Jesus and her family...pop by, i know you will want to visit again! :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

ten plus smile tuesday!

just a little libber face that makes me smile! :)

here i am...back after disappearing for the past week! i promise, it was with good reason. we've been playing and giggling, reading and snuggling, spending time at the lake (for the girlies) and enjoying a weekend away (for mommy and daddy!). here are just a few of our many, many smiles....

1. filling up the van for $1.99 a gallon. i mean, for real, less than $2.00 a gallon; i was sure we'd never again see that, but i did, just this morning. and it did put a smile on my face. (interestingly enough, gas was 40 cents more a gallon just 10 minutes down the crazy is that!?) ***update...i found gas for just $1.83 to fill up the car this evening!

2. the mail. this week i received two packages of fabric scraps for the tidbits now i just need to find the time to think about projects and get started. then, i arrived home from our weekend away to find a delightful little package from chelle in the mailbox...the starbucks giftcard i won during her birthday giveaway, and along with that some chocolate, music and stickers. she included a cd with the song "glory baby" by watermark. i found my box of tissues and simply listened over and over again...

3. kite flying fun...elizabeth and miranda made and decorated kites for "k" week, and, of course, we had to go outside to see if they would fly! :) fun times!

4. lib's loon lake leaves. because, of course, this week is "l" what better project than creating and playing with the autumn leaves grandmommy and poppy helped her collect over the weekend!

(mom...check out the concentration...she has her tongue out...just like poppy!)

5. wagon rides...

6. sidewalk chalk....(and other outdoor fun!)

7. hanging with jill and brennan. the girls and i needed to kill some time between dropping daddy for a half-day at work and picking him up to head out of town, so what better than killing time with a couple of our favorite friends (especially when pumpkin spice lattes and freshly baked cookies are involved!). :)

8. a fabulous hubby who is able (and willing) to fix leaky toilets...even after a weekend out of town! :) (this necessitated a family trip to lowe's sunday evening, and that too is a smile...seriously, everyone in the fam loves lowe's...elizabeth and kate go crazy for the race-car cart (if you haven't seen these they are quite fun...they aren't a car cart like the grocery, but an actual race-car, and if its any indication of future driving habits, we'd better watch out...kate is quite the crazy driver! as for elizabeth her favorite lowe's feature these days are the big Christmas inflatables....especially the one of santa on the ark (such an odd combination). we aren't big on santa at our house though, and after seeing him on the ark, she simply assumed he must be "noah"...since that makes SO much more sense! now anytime she sees an inflatable with santa, she calls him noah..."mommy, there's noah and the reindeer. and there's noah and the chimney, and noah and the tractor....." someday i suppose we'll have to teach her distinction, but for now i think i'll just giggle and call it cute!

9. a weekend with grandmommy and poppy (for the girls...and mugho too!)...including pumpkin carving, kitty cat hunting, collecting leaves, lego playing, and just plain having a fabulous time. THANKS POPPY AND GRANDMOMMY!

10. smile #9 means that mike and i had an entire weekend to ourselves. we actually went to a "weekend to remember" with familylife. it was a fabulous time...a good reminder of "the basics" and plenty of time for communicating, evaluating, and spurring us on in marriage. and, of course, it was lovely to simply be enjoy a few nights in a hotel, have a great date night saturday evening (and we just happened to be in my hometown for the conference...meaning we were able to go to one of my old favs for dinner...YUM!), and simply relax away from the "stuff" waiting for us at home. it was splendid! :)

11. one last smile...i almost forgot, but the lovely shanna awarded me the kreative blogger award...and i promise to follow the instructions that come with it in a later post (probably tomorrow) and pass it along! :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ten smile tuesday (with my first ever bloggy video!)

before you start reading let me warn you...this post is filled with pictures...i mean FILLED! if you don't have time to read the whole post be sure to at least scroll down and see my first ever bloggy video! there just may be more to come since i FINALLY figured out how to include them! :) in retrospect, i probably should have made a post for each event of the past weekend, but really, who has time for that...and it is, after all, ten smile tuesday, so there's no time like the present to fill you all in! :)

1. thursday...a lovely little MOPS meeting, followed by an impromptu lunch at costco with daddy, and an afternoon whirlwind of tidying up the house in preparation for our crazy weekend.

2. friday morning...a delightful morning at the "spa"...i went to aveda for a haircut and mini-massage, etc. of course, i have mentioned this smile before on so many occasions. but really, it bears repeating. where else can you get a fab haircut, mini-massage and facial for just $17!? (you'll see plenty of pics of my new haircut in the coming smiles!)

3. friday afternoon...lunch and some qual time with the bride-to-be and the girls...i mean, really, you all know what kind of qual time you have with a bunch of girls the day before a wedding! :) and really how great that my hubs took all day friday off to hang with the girls while i did my morning of pampering, lunch and hanging with the girls...and then i even managed to sneak in a quick shopping stop at kohls (AND actually bought something for myself!) before heading home.

4. friday later afternoon...a blissful nap! apparently having the entire morning out wasn't enough relaxation...

5. friday night...a fun rehearsal and tasty rehearsal dinner. more fun time with dear friends....AND seeing miss elizabeth practice her flower girl duties!

6. saturday morning...the wedding. what a wonderful morning...watching my sweet friend lora, who i've known since we were in preschool, walk down the aisle and marry an incredible Godly man. God's grace and wisdom in bringing this man and woman together is SO evident. not only that, but oh how my heart swelled to see my "baby" dressed in her beautiful flower girl dress...twirling and spinning like a beautiful princess...delighted at her little role in the wedding. and she did a fabulous dad has some video from his camera, and i will try to post it on friday when we're at their house. here is the reveal of the dresses i talked about making with my friend jill awhile back...jill made elizabeth's, and i made kate's (with lots of directions from jill!). i tweaked the ballet slipper pattern because i thought little brown satin slippers would be the perfect compliment to the dress...and jill had the finishing touches with the hair bow and basket. a special thanks to grandmommy and poppy who helped with kate during the wedding! :)

elizabeth and "aunt" jill

the girls...these are the four girls i did wednesday night Bible study with for SO long...

7. saturday evening....the "zooboo"...after the wedding and reception we snuck in a quick nap for the girls, my sister arrived, and our whole gang headed to the zoo. (my parents were already here from the wedding)--we missed you uncle richard...but thanks for sharing your wife!

checking out the penguins w/ aunt shell (i'd love to know what the penguins thought of the gator and cow pressed against the glass)

kate was SO into the animals (and trying to get libs treats!)

sisters all around!

8. saturday we made homemade pizza....prepared for the party...and just plain enjoyed being together.

my dad, me, michelle, and my mom (its been awhile since we've had a picture of just the four of us)

9. sunday....elizabeth's choo-choo birthday party! michelle and i had LOTS of fun building and decorating the cake, and bless my mom's heart, she kept the kitchen sparkling and helped with lots of the other food prep. the party was mostly family plus jill, nathan, and brennan (and really, they're "family" too!). what fun to have a mini family reunion of sorts though....a house full of noise and laughter and fun.

10. sunday evening...the calm after the nice to simply put our feet up and relax sunday night. we played with elizabeth's new toys, walked to cvs, and simply rested!

11. monday...back to the norm. really, i am smiling to be getting back into the swing of things after what feels like a month of non-routine. i've always kind of resisted routine, but the past weeks of craziness have made me really appreciate it! :)

12. good eats! cheesy corn tortilla bites, white chicken chili, taco soup, and guacamole...the makings for a choo-choo fiesta! :) (and, of course, a carrot choo-choo train cake with cream cheese frosting!)

and finally...five more pictures that make me smile. from top to bottom, left to right....
3 generations--michelle, mom, grandma, me
kate...i LOVE the twinkle in her eyes
our little fam
four generations--libs, shell, mom, gg, kate, me
our little fam (i love that we've gotten so many pics with the four of us together lately!)

and finally...for your viewing pleasure...the birthday girl!

Monday, October 20, 2008

a teaser...

there will be ten (maybe more!) smiles tomorrow sometime...but here's a teaser of our weekend...jam-packed with smiles and laughter, fun and family. i just couldn't wait to share! :)