Saturday, January 31, 2009

48 Days and Counting

Wish I'd Done That: If your little ones are fans of a certain TV show, incorporate events on the show into your lives. For example, when LA and AA were little, Sesame Street had a wedding. I invited some neighbors over, and we had a wedding cake, mints and punch while the kids watched the show. My kids didn't watch much TV, but I wanted to make it more interactive when they did.

Since we've been attacked by ice this week, I thought it would be fun to LOOK AHEAD!

Spring is in 48 days - yea!

However, with spring comes many chores: weeding, mowing, sweeping, raking, watering, weeding, potting, weeding, etc....

So, while I don't like ice, there are many advantages to this season.

I thank God for a warm fire, a great book and no particular place to go!

Hey, also, I've gotten on Facebook. It's really fun, so come join me. Lots of techno going on here....

Next week: healthy recipes.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ice Days

Wish I'd Done That: Despite what my friend, Sharon, would say, snow and ice days are great for being lazy, playing games, staying in pajamas all day, and just general horsing around. Kids need to see you take a load off, relax and have fun. It won't kill you to miss a day of "perfection"!

In spite of the previous advice, (I like to contradict myself) I've used today's ice storm to clean closets. I know; I REALLY hate to do this. You can tell, because I've got church dresses from 1991 still in my closet.....
Anyway, the hall closet was first, and the BEST. Because in it I found those large pictures we had taken of the kids at Sears, Wal-Mart, etc. when they were very small. LA as a baby, AA as a gun-totin' cowboy - you get the idea.
I found a studio picture I'd forgotten about. One of my whole family. I was pregnant with AA - I guess it was Thanksgiving, 1986. Jana's girls and LA were wearing dresses my mom had made them. Just darling little things.
My dad was healthy and smiling between my brother Rick and Jana's husband, Bart.
If only I had known how fleeting a time; how precious that picture.
Dad began to exhibit slight Alzheimer moments in the next few years, and those days passed in a flash.
Cuddle close; and remember: enjoy today!
(If I ever get a really big scanner, and post that picture!)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Jury Duty

Wish I'd Done That: When LA and AA were little, when they or one of their friends got the measles or chicken pox, I made a cake. We decorated it together - red hots for the spots, a red Twizzler in a frown, M & M's for eyes. We had lots of fun, and the sick one always had a smile!

I'm off to perform my civic duty. In the middle of the coming ice storm, I'm going to serve my jury duty. I hope I can serve this week, and finish my term.
I'll be anxious to give you all the scoop - when we're done!

I've already been sent home! Really, Judge, I didn't mean it!
I never got to say a word; they just pulled and my name and sent me away. (I do have to return next week, tho.....)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What's For Dinner?

Wish I'd Done That: Plan meals out for a week or two. That way, you will have all ingredients on hand, and there won't be that mad scramble to think of what to make. You could make a whole month's worth, and keep repeating it over and over. Stock your pantry with items you always use: pasta, rice, canned tomatoes, soup base, potatoes, etc. Meals will be a cinch!

On that note: What's for dinner at your house?

We're having a great stir fry. In my quest for better health, I'm using different veggies. Tonight, I'm adding zucchini to the mix, along with the traditional broccoli, carrots, onions, etc. Rather that the rice, I'm serving mine over spaghetti squash.

If you haven't tried this, I really recommend it. Slice the squash in half from stem to end, place face down in a microwaveable dish, add a bit of water, and micro 10 minutes on high.

Take it out, and remove the seeds. The rest of the squash can be pulled into spaghetti strings by using a fork run through the pulp.

Amazing, and really good!

The squash is also great served with grated Parmesan with chives or chopped green onions.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Wish I'd Done That: From my friend, Dana - store old books in plastic tubs with lids. She'd stored some in cardboard. You guessed it: a flood, and she lost all her precious books!

Ace has come through once again! For 3 years (I know!) I've wanted molding in my kitchen/dining. We just never got around to it. I finally decided to hire someone, since I didn't want to nag. I had really about decided to change the whole paint and everything, when Ace mentioned something about molding. He said, do you want it for your birthday? Sort of unconventional, I know, but I really love it!

It really finishes off the space - I went back and touched up the glaze on the walls, and now I just love the way it turned out!

Laura did the Scripture for me years ago; I scraped the popcorn ceiling last spring and refinished the ceiling with paint and glaze. (no, she won't do it ever again - I guess I scared her)
The foolish man asked if we were done now (with home improvements), and I just laughed!
Who ever heard of anything like that?
Now, we move to the bathrooms and master bedroom with all that molding. He said it wasn't hard!........

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Growing Things

Wish I'd Done That: Ace and I always measured our kids on their birthdays. We had a really cute growth chart with Scripture that we put on the back of the kids' bathroom door. When they got taller, we moved the measurements to the kitchen door frame. If we ever move from this place, I'm taking the door trim with me!

For Christmas, one of my favorites is this herb garden. LA knows how I love to use fresh herbs, so she gave me this:

The set included seeds for: lemon basil (yum!), Italian parsley and marjoram. I'm excited to watch the herbs grow. It's so cold and brown outside, it's great to have something green and growing on the inside.

The real challenge will be keeping them alive until harvest time. I'll post periodic pics to see how things are growing.

Thanks, kid!

Remember to pray for our country and our new president. He will needs the prayers of God's people.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Wish I'd Done That: In today's world, child safety is a grave concern. When your little ones are 4 or so, teach them a "password". This helps when you have someone new pick them up from pre-school, church, or wherever. Unless the new person knows the "password" your child should not go with them. This is handy, and can be presented in such a way your child won't be scared, just cautious. Obviously, if it's Grandma, they don't need the password; you get the idea.

I love to go to garage sales, auctions, antique and junk stores. I've found lots of great things, and I loved doing it with my parents.

One of the things I love most is cobalt enamelware. You can find enamelware in lots of colors: yellow, green, grey, etc., but my favorite is cobalt.

My dad gave me the coffee pot, and I bought the cup and saucer. Later, Mom gave me the other saucer. We had so much fun together digging around for our treasures. Dad found the coffee pot in some junk place, and Mom said he was so excited to find one for me for such a great deal. He loved to bargain and talk to everyone he met during our outings.

I don't remember where I found either of these pieces, but I love the different mottling on them. Great!

The pot on the left that's upside down came from my grandmother. She didn't collect anything, she just had it lying around, and I wanted it! She probably used it for washing dishes, or something. Anyway, it's special since it came from her.

Grandma was a real hoot. I don't think she was even 5 foot tall, but she could cook like something you've never seen. Jana says she turned the heat up and cooked everything on high. She had 10 kids - one every 2 years. She made the very best noodles I've ever tasted! Gosh.......She always had a German chocolate cake on her kitchen table, too.! Wow!

I move my stuff around all the time, but I always keep this group out, because it reminds me of great times with Mom & Dad and my Grandma Headrick.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Love Life

Wish I'd Done That: As you are gathering all that stuff to take to Goodwill, put some of the stuff on the kitchen table and let them be creative. Use the old paper napkins, leftover craft feathers and other project "orphans" and let the kids go crazy. Good for their creative skills, and it's less you've got to haul away. Display their creations for a week, then out they go, too!

I Love My Life
1. All my needs are met
2. Personal freedom
3. Freedom to worship
4. Great family
5. Great friends
6. Great church family
7. Fairly close to my extended family
8. Kids are healthy, happy
9. Husband healthy, happy
10. My Redeemer loves me!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Laundry List

Wish I'd Done That: I've been cleaning cabinets, closets and drawers. You're supposed to get organized in January, right? I throw lots out, but the remainder I take down to Goodwill. Someone might get some use from that stuff; I just don't need it anymore. It is freeing to cart stuff away. If that's true, why does buying more give me such a buzz sometimes? Hmmmm....

10 Things Wrong with Keeping House
1. Cleaning toilets
2. Dusting window blinds
3. Cleaning baseboards
4. Ironing (unless there's a good old movie on TV)
5. Doing taxes/accounting stuff for
6. Changing seasons of clothes from upstairs to down
7. Doing dishes
8. Going to Wal-Mart
9. Washing windows
10. Cleaning bathrooms

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Agony and Ecstasy

Wish I'd Done That: For a great cold-weather activity, my friend Priscilla says to wait for a REALLY cold day - 0 degrees or below. Get a glass of water, go outside and throw the water into the air. She says the water crackles and freezes. Try it! Your kids will love it. Just stand them at the back door - you won't even have to get them all bundled up!
I hope you all remember last week's big TU football bowl game win over then-ranked Ball State, because today, I must report on a sad loss.
TU hadn't beaten Memphis, a conference foe, in 7 tries. Last night, we played them at home on ESPN2. We were behind the entire game, but in spite of some bad luck, missed calls and 22 turnovers, we had a chance to win.
Our best guy, Ben Uzoh, went to the free throw line with 4.5 seconds left. He shot 2, made both, and TU went ahead.
Memphis took the ball down and shot over our 7 foot Jamaican dream, Jerome Jordan, and the ball went in as the buzzer sounded.
So sad! Memphis hadn't lost a conference game in forever (44 wins in a row), and we thought we finally had them.
Oh, well!
Very exciting, but disappointing.
Ace & I have season tickets in the same seats as last year. I'm going to have to move next year, because we've got some doozies who sit behind us. They have nothing but negative things to say about our kids - I don't know why they come.
As a parent of an athlete, I know how deeply these kids want to win; they are trying their hardest to do their best. Sometimes, that doesn't happen. I'm so tempted to ask these so-called "fans" if they've ever played a college basketball game, or any sport, for that matter.
It's a great lesson for me to always be positive: someone is always listening!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Year Smoothie

Wish I'd Done That: When you assign your kids their chores, once in a while give them a great surprise! Tape $1 to the EndDust can, put cash in the dishwasher, tape money to the vacuum. Not every time, but enough that they may not whine when assigned a chore. If they whine, take the $ away before they get there. Or, have a rule about surprises, cash and whining.

In my quest for better health, here's my breakfast solution. This gets more calcium into me, and I love it. It's always been a great thing for me. I got this recipe years ago while on Weight Watchers, although I've put my own spin to the recipe.

1 cup skim milk
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 pkt. Equal (or like)
Blend all in a blender. This will be thick, like a milkshake. Low fat, low cal and yummy.
Variations: frozen peaches, half a banana added to the strawberries, 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (love the texture that adds), blueberries, mangoes. Protein powder is great to add, as well as a few pecans or walnuts.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Doing My Duty

Wish I'd Done That: Help your kids learn Scripture by making the whole thing a game. One of my favorites: Blow up lots of balloons (I know!, I can't do it, either!). Put one word of the Scripture on one balloon. Pin them to the wall (or tape them, whatever), and have the kids read the Scripture. Each kid gets a turn, and they pop a balloon. They have a great time, repeat the Scripture lots of times, and when the balloons are popped, Scripture learned! It's easy and fun, and they will learn the verse (so will you!)

I'm off to jury duty today. Don't you feel more confident in our legal system now, knowing I'll be deciding some poor smuck's fate?

This is what I'll recommend for all convicted offenders!

Seriously, it's important to serve. Don't try to get out of service, no matter how inconvenient, or distasteful. If all of us did, who would be left to serve? I don't think we want the criminals to be the only jurors!

I've served several times, and it's interesting, if nothing else.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Restaurant List

Wish I'd Done That: Let your little ones experience failure. I know, that's hard. It will help them in the long run. Don't always let them win at Candy Land. It will be easier later on for your kids to know that we can't always be number 1: sometimes, others will be better at something. It's tempting to go before our kids and make things easy for them, but it's great for them to learn to work things out.

Tulsa Eats
1. Big Al's - 15th and Harvard - health food, but great!
2. Hideaway Pizza - several locations - great pizza
3. Bill's Jumbo Burgers - east Admiral - a dive, but close to TU: greasy burger mecca
4. Sonoma - Brookside - great pizza, salad and more
5. Brook - Brookside - comfort food, great breakfasts
6. Charleston's - 2 locations - love the croissants!
7. McNellie's - downtown - sweet potato fries!
8. Queenies - Utica Square - desserts, and a super grilled cheese
9. TiOmo's - 2 places - great Italian, ambiance is cool
10. Wild Fork - MY VERY FAVORITE! Love everything there, especially the jalapeno cole slaw.
Tell me your favs in Tulsa. I need to try some new stuff. It's not hard to sign up to comment here. Do it!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another List; and Soup!

Wish I'd Done That: Develop a real talent for listening to your kids. You know them better than anyone, and it's vital you listen carefully to what they tell you: both verbally and physically. LA was complaining about something one time, and I said, "That's not important." She replied, "Well, it is to me." I learned a valuable lesson that day: LISTEN. Really engage in what your little one is telling you. It's a great investment in your family, and those listening skills might come in handy in other places, too!

Italian Sausage Vegetable Soup
Here it is, Pam and Sally!
2 lbs Italian sausage
2 medium onions, chopped fine
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
4 small zucchini, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
11 cup chicken broth
2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 tsp. dried basil, crumbled
1 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
1 cup uncooked orzo (cooked according to pkg. directions)
1 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Brown the sausage in a heavy Dutch oven until no longer pink. Remove sausage and drain. Spoon out most of the sausage fat and discard. In remaining fat, add the onions and garlic. Cook until soft, but not brown. Add the carrots, zucchini, peppers, broth, tomatoes, basil and oregano. Bring to a boil. When soup is boiling, add the cooked orzo and cook for 20 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, put in soup bowls and top with Parmesan. This soup is best if cooked the day before serving. May also be frozen. Makes 12 - 16 servings.
Where to Go Next
1. Grand Canyon
2. Australia
3. San Francisco
4. Yellowstone
5. Washington, D.C. (again)
6. New York (again)
7. New England
8. Charleston, S.C.
9. Mediterranean
Where would you go, if you could go anywhere?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Wish I'd Done That: In honor of 2009: give yourself a break! Relax! Don't worry about - taxes, the economy, getting into Harvard, what's for dinner, etc. Just enjoy the day. You've put away Christmas decorations, and straightened up the house. Isn't that enough? Play games, and have a ball!

Things to Do in 2009
1. Treasure each day. God has given me this day, take advantage of my opportunity!
2. Pay attention to my family: husband, kids, siblings, parents. Consider my chance to make their day a special one.
3. Love my friends. God has blessed me with some great ones.
4. Employ random acts of kindness. Let the impatient one in line behind me go first. Let the nice lady in line behind me go first. Go to a playground and sprinkle a roll of nickles under the play stuff-kids love that. Give someone an anonymous present.
5. Make God's Word and time with Him my priority.
6. Love my pastor and his family. Show them I love them.
7. Tell others how to know Christ.
8. Disciple my Sunday School class to love the Word.
9. Read lots of books.
10. Get healthy.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Bowling Hopes

Wish I'd Done That: Once a month, schedule a "date night" with your hubby. It doesn't have to be anything expensive, maybe just a trip to the grocery store, but spend time with the guy. When you have little ones, they tend to take all your attention. The big guy needs some alone time, too. I know you are frazzled, tired, talked-out, etc., but it's a great investment for your marriage.

TU plays Ball State tomorrow night in the GMAC Bowl. We decided not to go, since Ace needs to work this week. We'll be watching the game, and rooting on the kids.

LA begins her next-to-last term in grad school today. I see Chicago's temp is about 20 degrees. Nice......

AA is skiing today in Breckenridge. The kids have a big group, stay together in a great condo, and ski for 4 days or so.

Now that all the Christmas stuff is put away, I find myself at loose ends. Not a bad feeling, but I need to get a great book to read!

I've been called for jury duty next week. I get called often, it seems. I must be really good at it?.....

Friday, January 2, 2009

Ace Comes Through!

Wish I'd Done That: When LA was little, I never let the poor little girl get dirty, play in the dirt, or generally get messed up. When AA came along, I was more relaxed and let them both have lots of fun. Take my advice: dirt is good; the kids develop resistance to germs!

You all may remember my sad tale about this cup:

My souvenir from London's National Museum, I'd broken it; knocked it off the kitchen counter. I loved it! I'd tried to replace it and had looked everywhere online, but no luck.

On Christmas morning, I opened this from Ace, my sweet husband:

He'd ordered it from London; it's not Van Gogh's Sunflowers, but he remembered I love the Monet pond paintings we've seen. Wasn't that thoughtful? I love it, and now I have another great memory associated with my cup.

I still can't bring myself to throw away the other cup - I'm crazy, right?

Hope your Christmas was fun and safe.

I pray 2009 will bring you all blessings and God's wisdom and grace.