Monday, March 29, 2010


We did it! We managed to pull off a surprise 13th birthday party at home(!) for Strike...tho' it certainly helped that we celebrated a week early - when she was least expecting it :)  I took her shopping so her sister could decorate the house, make a cake & get things in order for the guests to arrive at 6:00 PM and for us to arrive shortly after that. All went according to plan...without a hitch! We stopped on the way home to pick up a pizza  & walked into the dark house to a  flashing camera - & after a slight awkward delay...a shout of "SURPRISE!" as friends & family popped out all over the place :) She was sooooo surprised! She had no idea whatsoever what she was walking into. We had dinner, played BINGO (w/ lots of silly prizes at stake) & later the kids played the WII & her girlfriends slept overnight.
Playmaker made her cake ... I think Spokes may  have helped as well.
Fun, fUn, FUN :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I've got mail! :)

...and it's not junk mail(!) - or bills (hooray!) - but rather something much more fun! ... a prize I won in a drawing over at The 4 Bushel Farm. I love the recycled wrapping paper! Thank you, Farmgal!

I consider myself to be "conservative", so the description below has me wondering what makes a "Liberal" feel guilty?? :)

What does it really take to live eco-effectively? For one year, Colin Beavan swore off plastic and toxins, turned off his electricity, went organic, became a bicycle nut, and tried to save the planet from environmental catastrophe while dragging his young daughter and his Prada-wearing wife along for the ride. Together they attempted to make zero impact on the environment while living right in the heart of Manhattan, and this is the sensational, funny, and consciousness-raising story of how they did it. With No Impact Man, Beavan found that no-impact living is worthwhile--and richer, fuller, and more satisfying in the bargain. via product description

In honor of Farmgal, who has been implementing one small change after another in an attempt to be more environmentally conscientious, I intend to recycle this book right down to the wrapping paper & ribbon! So stay tuned for a book review/giveaway in the near future!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

arkwork by budding arktists :)

Following are the works budding arktists submitted for Arkeology's powerpoint art gallery at the end of the play this weekend. I cropped some of the arkwork bc the arktists autographed their masterpieces with their full name.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Our construction crew did a marvelous job converting our choir loft!

SO MUCH detail.

The closer you looked, the more you saw! :)

below....the organ :) You'd hardly recognize it!

We narrated the entire program with Scripture
& used a Powerpoint presentation to change the sky from clear

to stormy...

to sunny...

to rainbow!

Strike is the Zebra on the right.
....told ya pajamas make great costumes :)
Tho' a bit big, thanks to a drawstring,
they didn't require altering after all.

Two of this. Two of that.


(elephants at dress rehearsal)

Noah & penguins during our final performance

At the end we shared a Powerpoint slide show of the kids preparing for the performance, "Ark Art" that children made, & "Noah's Nursery" for which several parents submitted photos of our precious babies & toddlers dressed in animal costumes. So incredibly cute, they were! :)

I had planned to get the congregation involved by having them help us create an acapella rainstorm to set the stage but as time got closer, I let that go. I loved the idea!! - but it was an extra challenge we just didn't need.

Every week we tweaked our plans a bit more...made changes.... worked out little bugs - all the way up to the very end - until time no longer afforded us that option.

I'd love to share pics of all the clever costumes but I don't feel right posting pics of the children without permission. I included a few here bc I figured they wouldn't be recognizable.

All in all over the past few months, it took God (I'm sure it was Him who helped us identify a major technical issue at the very last minute & remedy it just in the nick of time!) & about 50(!) people, each doing their part (including 16 lively "animals") to pull this off! It was a tremendous team effort! The kids rose to the occasion beautifully! I could not be more proud of them!

Stay tuned for "Ark Art" tomorrow!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Funny Friday - Two Cute

How twins are made....

Sorry - I don't know the source of the pic here - but isn't it two cute :) There are twin boys in the Arkeology play (Which - by the way, is this Sunday... Yikes!) & I just cannot keep them straight to save my life! :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Self storage

Just stumbled on this article this morning. Something you'll have to see to believe. I guess it gives new meaning to "thinking outside the box".

Friday, March 12, 2010

Funny Friday

Rain is in the forecast all weekend here so this just seemed timely in that regard :)

My house is in pretty good order & it will probably be too soggy to do much work outside so I'm hoping to get my laundry all caught up today & plan simple dinners for Sat & Sun. That way, over the weekend, I can do some things I enjoy without feeling like I should be doing something else :) My plan is to work on my quilt, read & maybe write some handwritten notes to mail.

Happy Friday! Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Some of my favorite words...

This was one of my very first posts back in 2008! I was inspired to revisit it today after reading a friend's post this morning over at shells and bells flowers and showers.

I'm a list person. Wrote this list a while back. Was stunned as it "took shape"....

Hope (not necessarily a favorite….but noteworthy nonetheless)
New Covenant
Self Control

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happy Birthday

Her story has just begun - but already she's overcome odds that doctors can't seem to explain given how long & hard her parents have tried to have a baby & had pretty much given up hope of ever being able to. Then, when they least expected it, along comes this very unexpected pregnancy that was practically perfect in every way leading up to a healthy bundle of beautiful baby born yesterday. If miracles can be measured, this one weighed in at 8lbs 1 oz. The details aren't really mine to share but after seeing her precious picture, I'll leave it at that & share this song here in honor of her birthday :)

To skip the intro start viewing 35 seconds in....

Monday, March 8, 2010

This & That

We enjoyed a beautiful weekend of sunshine! Just felt so good to see it & to be out in it & to soak some up. Quite a bit of snow melted in temps that hovered around 50 degrees yesterday and revealed hints of how much yardwork we have in store for us in the near future!

My husband & I walked over to our friends house yesterday to help him celebrate a belated 90th birthday. It was neat to see so many others there. What a blessing it must be to be 90 years old - have a doting/loving wife & to be out & about enjoying life - to still have a sound mind & a sense of humor.

My husband began the process of cleaning out the storage room. No small task - but when we were walking around the neighborhood the other night someone had nice quality white cabinets in their trash by the side of the road so we adopted them. They're installed now - & will go a long way in helping us to get things organized.

Last week after play practice I mistakenly left a pair of lizards on the edge of the choir loft - which is soon to be converted into Noah's Ark. At some point our pastor found them & was inspired with the idea to keep adding a few more animals each week leading up to the play. Needless to say, it was fun to see some new faces in church yesterday :)

While shopping for some things for the Arkeology (Noah's Ark) play I learned that pajamas make great costumes! I found leopard & zebra pjs at a discount store ... & even a pair that look kinda like snake skin & might just work for our lizard. The lizard costume has by far been the most challenging.

I could ramble on - but I'll stop here. Monday kinda snuck up on me & I need to get ahead of my day instead of letting it get ahead of me ... especially since it involves a play rehearsal w/ sixteen lively lads & lasses :)

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"Ark"tic Animals

While searching for costume ideas for Arkeology, I stumbled on some really cute ones. Strike fell in love w/these polar paws you can probably guess what she's going to be :)


I ran into a pair of peculiar penguins too. Pretty cute, huh? ...

and is this baby bunny not beautiful?! Just so sweet :)

For a complete "how too" go here

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Deep Tweet

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen:

not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What's happenin' on my side of my PC screen

Just a little update on what we're up to these days. I like to insert these now & then - for my own record & for friends & family that I know peek in here now & then.

My husband has been working like crazy. Not complaining - as having a good job and being good at it is a huge blessing. He took a couple well deserved days off last week. Despite the flood in our basement - & dropping a piece of firewood on his toe ....even then we managed to enjoy our time together. Judging by how his little toe looks (nasty!) & feels (ouch!), I think he broke it :(

Spoke's College graduation is just around the corner now as he finishes up his last semester! I can hardly believe it. I'm just so proud of him. He's working while going to school & somehow he manages to find time to stay in shape & gear up for the upcoming racing (cycling) season by training in our basement.

Winter break here ended about a week ago. Strike had fun staying w/ friends for a few days before heading to Cape Cod w/ another friend & her mom overnight. The girls had fun just being, swimming in the wavepool at the hotel, going to the movies & working out in the gym. She's also faithfully practicing her sport (softball) in the off season. On Saturdays she attends a pitching clinic & pitches to her Daddy in a nearby school gym. She's been a HUGE help to me as far as the Arkeology play is concerned. Just HUGE! She'll be a teenager in just a few short weeks (insert happy & sad tears here).

Over the break Playmaker learned how to snowboard w/ her boyfriend as her coach. Either he was a good teacher or she was a fast learner or perhaps a little of both :) She had SO much fun & loved learning how to do something new. Her high school hockey season has ended. As far as I'm concerned, a great season means she didn't get seriously hurt - & that was indeed the case here! Whew :) But even by her higher standards I believe it qualified as a great season & she really enjoyed it :) She'll turn Sweet 16 while we're in Africa. She's home sick from school today w/a fever. I'm thankful I can stay home & take care of her.

Our Africa trip is inching closer every day! I'm excited. We've got all our immunizations, passports & airline tickets now.

& there ya have it... a glimpse of what's happenin' on my side of my computer screen :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Our kids get an ITUNES card if/when...

...they each read this book : )

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
--Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture
by Randy Pausch

"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted."
Randy Pausch

I gave this book to my husband for Valentines Day after learning about it from farmgal over here . It was written by a college professor when he learned he had just a short time to live. It's about "really achieving your childhood dreams" & is based on his experience. My husband read it & I just finished it - tho' I may go back before I hand it off to the kids & do some underlining & notemaking. ie... "Pay attention here!" - or "Read this twice - then YOU decide! :)" - & - "Daddy told me that if I didn't read anything else in this book, to just read this be sure you do too!"

I agreed w/ about 95% of what this guy shared. On the 5% I disagree w/ I'd like to share my own thoughts w/ my kids in the margin.

Perhaps the thing I found most fascinating was the author didn't mention one thing he would go back and do differently. When he came close to it, he more or less wrapped a negative (a lesson learned the hard way) in a positive (the fact that he DID learn a lesson that he carried w/ him for the rest of his life).

"Each of us must decide: Am I a fun-loving Tigger or a sad-sack Eeyore?
Pick a camp."

Randy Pausch