Monday, December 17, 2007
Winn borrowed this number from a friend of ours (he later added a sword to the belt).
I had fun making this blue velvet sheath for myself. I designed it after one like it that I saw on a medieval costume website. I bought the white Celtic chemise undergarment from Museum Replicas.
Winn and Dr. Grebe (his boss) discussing the medieval GPS hanging around his neck.
The authentic menu was extravagant, all made from scratch by Ursula Grebe from Russian cookbooks that I couldn't make sense of. The spread consisted of salmon, roast beef, and ham with a smattering of various dipping sauces with such ingredients as grapes, ginger, and garlic. There was also peas porridge, leaks, onions, and cabbage. For beverages they served cider, pomegranate juice, Scottish ale, and wine.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Foster care update:
Yesterday morning we got a call from the social worker saying that the situation had changed with the boys that I blogged about earlier, and they needed us to take them for a whole week (beginning yesterday after school!). After a lot of phone tag between me, Winn, and the social worker, we went to the store and got some bedding and stockpiled groceries...and learned that they had found a different place for them and didn't need us to take them after all. What a rollercoaster! Poor boys. But they do still want us to begin doing respite care for them one weekend a month, beginning in a couple of weeks.
Hope you're enjoying your weekend!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
I love a piece of potato bread toast with strawberry jam in the morning. And coffee. Gotta have a cup of coffee.
We got an exciting call yesterday. Our first foster care "assignment." This one won't be full-time, just respite care (one weekend a month). But here's the kicker...three boys...ages 11, 12, and 13. Oofdah, I'm tired already. We weren't going to do respite care to start off with, and we weren't going to take kids over the age of 10 to start off with...but we sorta caved when we heard these boys' story.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
On my agenda for the rest of today: go to fabric store, finish sewing stocking stuffer gifts, start working on quilt, transcript editing, pick friends up from hospital, go through closet and get rid of clothes.
Monday, December 3, 2007
(My little sisters visited our childhood
church and found their old Christmas pageant
getups from when they were just tykes.)
To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.
~ Clara Ortega
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Winn made white chocolate mochas all around, and we gorged ourselves on fresh-out-of-the-oven pumpkin pie with extra whipped cream on top. But even better than the hot eats, cool treats, and literary feats (clever, ey?) was the company of these four individuals, each an encouragement and delight to us. Let's do it again soon!
Before the Scrabble match, we had cheesy wild rice soup, spinach feta bread, and oriental salad for dinner. The soup is a delicious recipe from my friend Kelly. Just click on the picture of the bowl of soup to view the recipe.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
My sister Jessica gives such fun ornaments for stocking stuffers each year. The following five are from her, and I love every one of them!
This one is from my sister Carrie. She said that my niece Caitlyn picked it out. :)
This plaid bear is from my Aunt Barbara. She got it in Thailand when she lived there.
This next one I picked out. It's actually a set of tiny rustic churches, all in unfinished wood with copper roofs. I believe I got them at a craft store sale a long time ago. I think they're so charming.
This Santa is from my Aunt Barbara's antique store. There were a few in this set, but this is the only one that doesn't have a broken string. I need to fix the others so that I can hang them.
This is Winn's, in honor of his alma mater (go Cyclones!).
I've had this Jingle Bells one for probably about 10 years. It was part of a gift for singing in a friend's wedding.
I can't remember where I got this crocheted ball, but I think it's so delicate and lovely.
We got our first real snowfall this evening. Not too much, just a dusting. But it's the first snow that's stayed on the ground. It's beautiful out. I should know. I just got home from work, after 10:30 pm! That late of an hour is unusual in my line of work (thank goodness!), but it was a deposition with some New Jersey folks who, I guess, could only arrange to fly here for an evening gig. It's a good thing. Or else I wouldn't have been out to enjoy the quiet night and the gently falling snow and the Christmas lights on the eves of the houses I passed.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
(Okay, he had a few more attainable items on there too, such as overalls, Goose Island Rootbeer, a bald wig, and chocolate chipless cookie dough.)
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
It's crazy, but I think I spend less time with my family ever since they moved to the same town as me. I mean, I run into them at church sometimes, although not always since our church is fairly large and we have a couple different service times, and once in a while I'll see them around town. I think that now that they're here, I just figure that I can see them anytime I want, so I don't make that much of an effort to spend time with them. Isn't that awful? But today I spent the day shopping with my mom. We found some fun sales; she took me to lunch; and I got a couple stocking-stuffer gifts knocked off my Christmas list. Good times. We'll have to do it more often.
Monday, November 19, 2007
1. Learn keyboarding for worship band
2. Ride an elephant
3. Finish my bachelor’s degree
4. Write a song for Martina McBride to perform
5. Go skinny-dipping with my husband
6. Adopt a child (or children)
7. Get my CRR certification (certified realtime reporter)
8. Read through the whole Bible
9. Learn to play the drums
10. Float through the Blue Grotto in Capri, Italy
11. Take a photography class
12. Be on Wheel of Fortune
13. Learn to garden
14. Learn to can
15. Visit Africa
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Ten Quick Keys to Learn to Listen
In order to listen well, we must first understand that it’s an art to be rediscovered. We listen more frequently than any other activity that we can name, except breathing. And, in spite of all the listening that goes on, there is a great need for improvement. We can become good listeners because without training ourselves to listen, we retain only 25 % of what we hear.
If you can, picture this huge iceberg floating in the ocean near Alaska. You only see the portion that’s above the water line. You don’t see this very large piece of the iceberg below the water line. It’s like that in listening. We are hearing only what’s above the water line, and in true listening (hearing the heart), we want to hear what’s below the surface of the water line. It truly takes training ourselves to focus and pay attention. I believe that listening is a personal obligation.
Poor listening stems from poor habits, from self-centeredness, and from pride. It’s been said that listening is one of the most complicated things we do because our emotions and our personality traits can actually interfere with good listening.
In learning the skill of communication, more time is spent on learning to speak rather than learning to listen. Interestingly enough, we spend about 16% of our time reading, 30% of our time talking, and 45% of our time listening. Hmmm… How many speaking courses have you been to? And, how many listening courses have you been to?
Here are Ten Quick Keys to Improve Your Listening:
2. Identify what they are saying. Is it an opinion, an experience, a request, a desire, a concern, or are they asking a question?
3. Don’t interrupt. Speak only in turn. It’s rude to tramp on someones thoughts and heart that is being spoken.
4. Think of what they are saying, not what you want to say. Mentally summarize their message. When you sense emotion in you rising up, get control, keep it under control.
6. Don’t change the subject. Give the person the gift of being heard out completely.
8. Certain words mean certain things to certain people.
9. Don’t judge what they are saying in terms of your experience. Remember, this is their story. Listen to understand.
10. If you don’t understand the meaning of a word, then ask.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Winn was a good sport and let me snap a photo of him in his fancy orange tie when he came home from work today. He was needing some new dress duds, and while we were doing some Christmas shopping at the mall last night, we noticed that JcPenney's was having a nice sale on their neckties and fitted dress shirts. We spotted this tangerine tie, but it had a snag in it and appeared to be the last one on the shelf. Well, after sending the sales associate on a wild goose chase to find another, we finally found a hidden stack of unblemished ones and were able to bring this fancy number home. What a studmuffin.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Being 5'11" myself, I appreciate my brother's humor. Hope you get a giggle out of it as well. (To see "A Guide For Short People, Part 1", click here.)
CAREER OPTIONS FOR SHORT PEOPLE
So many young short people dreamed of playing for the NBA and had their hopes dashed. However, there are a number of competitive fields that are advantageous for the Shorts. Here are a few:
Plumber (The less plumbers have to bend over, the better it is for us all.)
Miner (Any job with low ceilings is going to give short people an advantage.)
Sewage Worker (This is especially good for the workaholic as sewage work often leaves you up to your ears in work.)
Shoe Polisher (This has great job security because most people have shoes.)
Jobs That Involve Flying (Try sitting in a plane with long legs.)
Foot Doctor (Even better job security; almost everyone has feet.)
Tailor (There must be jobs in this field because evidently all clothes are made by short people.)
Submarine Sailor/Jet Pilot (Both are occupations where you are not allowed to be over a certain height.)
Tunnel Rat (Another military job. Basically you go into an enemy tunnel, kill the enemy, and blow up the tunnel. They only allow Shorts, and the Shorts can have it.)
Astronaut (Astronauts are not allowed to be over 6 foot, 4 inches.)
Roller Coaster Designer (Roller coasters are obviously designed by short people because I am not allowed to ride the best roller coasters.)
If you had your heart set on athletics, don't give up. There is still hope. Here are some sports that give short people an advantage: Limbo, Jockey, Weight Lifting (if you are short, you don't have to lift as far), Professional Hide-and-Go-Seek, Dodgeball, and Baseball (smaller strike zone).
Friday, November 9, 2007
Sherill (Winn's mom) had surgery this week to put in another port. She had to have the old one taken out due to a rare bacterial infection that she got. Right after they put the new port in, they gave her a dose of chemo. Although the lumps in her neck came back while she was taking a break from the treatment, the tumors on her liver and lung appear to have remained stable, so we're extremely grateful for that. They're going to try a lower dose of the chemotherapy every week, instead of the larger dose every three weeks. Please pray with us that this method is more tolerable for her and that the treatment does its job quickly.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I hate getting shots. I don't know why. It doesn't hurt that much. I've just always had a bit of a shot phobia. I start to breathe a little heavier when I sit down in the "shot chair." So naturally, today when I had to get some tests done in the blood lab, I got the room with a student in it. Nice. Luckily, he was a conscientious student and didn't do too bad. He actually was better than the gal I got last week when I was there. Then I also had to get my tetanus shot today, so I've definitely had to "face my fear" this past week.
On a lighter note, I'm extremely thankful for these things today:
1. My new sewing/embroidery machine! I got it set up last night and started playing with it. You should see all the neat stitches and designs it has! I'm very excited to start putting it to use.
2. A mom who's a GM at Panera. Our Connections Team from church had a meeting there this evening, and Mom sent us all home with a bag of our favorite treats (mine had cinnamon crunch bagels in it!).
3. Our volleyball team made it to the playoffs again this season! The championship is on Thursday night.
Monday, November 5, 2007
My Aunt Nancy has been training and showing dogs for about 15 years, so naturally we called her when we were having trouble with Sajak going crazy when people come to our door. He would constantly bark (and his bark is LOUD) and crowd them at the door. Well, after spending some time with him to watch his mannerisms, etc., and after enlisting the help of a couple of our neighbors to come to the door and ring our doorbell, Nancy helped me make him sit quietly at the top of the stairs while I'd let our neighbors in. Sajak would sit there until I released him, and then he'd calmly go down and sniff the guests to make sure it was "safe" to let them in the house. I had no clue it would be so easy. Apparently, we need to work on being the alpha (leader of the pack) so that Sajak doesn't feel like he has to be. She said that he's a smart dog, but it's just that his parents need a little training. :)
The photos below show her trying to rid Sajak of his vacuum-cleaner phobia. We're still working on that, but it's a lot better than it used to be.
Friday, November 2, 2007
We made another batch of fresh salsa this week. We got the recipe from our friend Ben a couple of years ago and have been chips-and-salsa-aholics ever since. It's the perfect blend of tomato, garlic, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro. Have a taste:
Ben Steed's Salsa
- large can of Hunt's petite-diced tomatoes
- cilantro (one to two-thirds of the top of a bundle)
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 big or 1 small red onion
- 1 or 2 jalapenos (we like 2)
- salt and pepper to taste
Chop all the ingredients, mix together, and refrigerate. Enjoy!
Thursday, November 1, 2007
He came to visit last night to say trick-or-treat, and let me tell you, he was the cutest little peapod you ever did see! He didn't seem to mind the little hat tied to his head or the big fluffy "peas" that kept getting in his face. He was just chillin', laid back, up for anything. What a cutie.
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
- Matthew 19:14