Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Honey

My dear sweet husband celebrated his 37th birthday this last week.

Birthdays are a big deal around our house and so with the same honors as the children receive, David was welcomed home to a big "army" birthday party.
Well, not really big, just our quaint little family - but it was big to the kids.

They thought it was great when we purchased all the camo and decorations from the story. Mattea kept asking "what do army guys do mom?" To which I promptly replied, "you might want to ask your father."

Our original theme was a pirate party but did scale back when the girls saw the army hats. Happy birthday David, can't wait to plan next years big bash - or better yet your 40th birthday since you are one year closer now!!!

Thanks Mom

Letters to the editor

Grad shaving head for children’s cancer research


It is refreshing to pick up a paper and read an article that conveys good news, such as telling us about children collecting money for someone in need, high school athletes striving to work hard to be good in their sport, or kids volunteering to help elderly people do fall clean-up.

The reason for this letter is to let you know about Heather, a former La Crescent graduate who happens to be our daughter. She is going to do something selfless and could use some donations.

Heather no longer lives in La Crescent, but in Idaho. She is a wife, mother of two girls and is a pediatric nurse. Some time ago, she called to say she was going to do something kinda “funky.” I asked what might that be?

“Well, mom, I’m going to have my hair shaved off.”

My first response was why? Your beautiful hair! For those who know Heather, she has worn long hair most of her life. She explained that her, some friends and nurses are doing it for St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The money raised will go for children’s cancer research.

On March 17, their hair will come off, but as she said, it’s only hair and will grow back.

The reason for this letter is not only because it is a happy story; it’s one to let us know there are people out their willing to make a huge difference in someone else’s life. What an example for our two granddaughters. Let’s help her reach her goal.

If you can, call 1-800-899-BALD or visit Shavee’s name is Heather Dean. If you want to write a check, send it to St. Baldrick’s Foundation, 1443 E. Washington Blvd., #650, Pasadena, CA, 91104-2650.

Specify Heather’s name and ID #363344 on the memo line of check.

Larry and Susan (Trulson) Dean,

La Crescent

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My Quest To Become Domestic

So my great friend Kim sent me an email this afternoon in response to my last blog post. I think she had some wonderful ideas and I'm tickled pink that she took the time too respond. So I though if there are any of you who have decided to join me on their own journey to being domestic divaness, then maybe these tips will come in handy. Thanks a bunch Kim, I can't wait to order the cookbooks.

I'm sorry that it's taken me awhile to respond to your post on your blog. I've been meaning to get back to you. So a few things about cooking etc. that I have learned.

1. You can't go wrong following the recipe. I LOVE trying new recipes. My husband and myself always get a little nervous when I'm prepping something new. Is it going to be a cereal night???? I can honestly say I don't think that I've made a new recipe that we haven't liked

2. So where do I get my new recipes from. I have the cookbook FAVORITES. It is to DIE FOR!!! Now, I don't talk to many things up but I have bought this cookbook for about every woman in my life because it is just that good. No pictures in the book (which I'm totally opposed too), but I haven't made anything bad from here. The recipes are pretty simple too. So this cookbook is purchased through the Make a Wish foundation in Utah. Here is the link to purchase it

3. I also love the Martha Stewart Everyday Food monthly magazine.$12_no_premium&gclid=CM-i55Wfi6ACFRFbagodWgTJdQ
I know you probably think oh great Martha, these recipes are going to be hard; but no. They are actually very simple and basic and sometimes get me to try new things.

4. So besides these books and some favorite casseroles. I try to keep it simple in my kitchen. With each dish I do either brown rice, cous cous, whole grain pasta, or sweet potato. Some type of meat, shrimp, or fish. my favorite thing to do is to marinate chicken in salad dressings (Ranch, Italian, Catalina, Caesar) and then grill it up. Then lots of favorite new way to cook up our vegetable is roasting. I used to be a big fan of steaming, but roasting is yummy too.

5. Weekly Meal Plan-HUGE!!! I almost forgot this and I would say this is my biggest factor of having success in the kitchen. I don't do good pulling dinner together on a whim when it's 4 pm and I'm hungry and Allie's hungry throwing a fit in the kitchen. So on Sundays I sit down and figure out what produce is on sale and make up my shopping list for the week and then make a menu for the week. THIS IS HUGE like I said. I've done it before where I have a "pasta night-Tuesday", "mexican night-Wednesday", "pizza night-Friday" etc. then you can try different dishes every week and it helps with planning.

So, sorry to talk your ear off. Take it for what it's worth. You are an awesome house diva right now! I know that as we set goals and learn new things we will grow and I'm all about that. Put in some hard work to learn new things and you will get rewarded.

And so with those great ideas and wonderful words of encouragement, I decided to tackle these tonight with the girls. Skipped eating dinner so I could enjoy the reward. Yummy!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Life Changes

There is some very big things happening at the "D" house. As I look ahead at the coming days and months, I am so excited about what will be changing. The last 8 years have been absolutely wonderful, but they don't stand in comparison to what is in store. I have big, big news and I have chosen this evening as the day to share. I hope you will all join with me in accepting this news and graciously provide support as we will definitely need it.

No - I am not pregnant!

I, Heather, have become domesticated. (Giggling while jumping up and down!!!)

Yep, I have decided that although I will never be a Mrs. Cleaver, I am in all my weakness going to attempt to become a domestic diva. I have so many friends providing such good examples, that I'm confident that with a Kitchen Aide Mixer and a whole lot of prayers, I can become one of "those." Do you know who I'm talking about? The ladies who cook Thanksgiving Dinner with their eyes closed, who sew their children's clothes from scratch (not thinking that will ever be me, but I'm hoping I'll at least be able to sew the missing buttons on my daughter's shirts), who always have a homemade dessert ready to go when their husbands come home. Yep, I'm hoping one day that will be me.

I have already started my cooking adventure - I'm starting there as I confidently can say I've mastered the house cleaning portion of it. I have a full menu planned for this week of nothing but good, semi-easy, healthy recipes for this week.

This is where you come in. I know plenty of you domesticated mothers read my blog - you may just read through Google Reader and don't always comment - which is fine. But this time, I need you to comment. Please leave me a message of a recipe that would be worth me trying, that would impress my family, and move me higher in the ranks of domestication. Or if you have a favorite cookbook, I'd take that too. And if any of you would offer your assistance in helping me can my own vegetables, well, I'd take that as well. After all, I need all the help I can get.

One Month To Live

What would you do if you were given one month to live?

That is the question my small group has been trying to answer for the past couple months. We decided to tackle this Bible Study back in the fall in hopes of trying to redirect our lives based on the idea of only having one month to live. Of course, we know that if we truly only had one month to live, many of us would quit our job, hire a housekeeper and head off to some remote island with all you can eat buffets and clear blue water. But, in essence none of us really know how much time we have left. The point - live as if you are limited. Because you are.

So, of course this has caused me to do some reflecting in my life and in turn, make some changes. They may not seem like big changes to you - but they are for me. So I would like to share a brief list of things that I have done differently as I begin to live my life differently. I'd love for you to think about what would be on your list and do share if you'd like.

Since completing this Bible Study I:
1) rode up and down the escalator yesterday at the mall with Paloma simply because she wanted to. Even though we were pressed for time because we had to get back and pick up her sister and I had a to-do list a mile long, I chose to forget about stopping at the grocery store and just ride the escalator up and down the floors in Dillards. Paloma smiled like it was Christmas. It was amazing.

2) have chosen to only deep clean every other week. Seems silly huh? I was cleaning every week religiously because I absolutely hate dirt/grime/clutter/etc. But with Dave away more, some days the only time I get to see him is on the weekends so I have chosen to do some "light cleaning" and completely forget about deep cleaning until the following weekend.

3) I have cut back on my hours spent at the gym. I'm not exactly happy about this one because I miss my workouts but rather than race around in the mornings trying to drop Mattea off, head to the gym, shower, and get back to pick Mattea up, I have decided to leisurely spend the morning one on one with Paloma. Again, I miss my workouts but I'm getting some much needed time in with my baby.

4) I have taken a step back and taken a look at how to nurture the precious relationship with my husband. I realized this last summer was miserable for us and I want the upcoming summer to be different. With different stresses occurring in our life, we chose to take it out on each other rather than work through it together. I have opened my eyes to him in a whole new light and although it is hard to overlook his "imperfections" I realize mine are no different. And if I woke up tomorrow without his "imperfections" laying next to me, I'd be devastated.

5) have cut vacuuming down to 2-3 times a day. Yep, used to be 6 but not anymore. And honestly folks, if I knew I had only 1 month to live, I wouldn't vacuum at all.

6) There is some forgiveness going one with certain relationships in my life. By far, I think this is the area that needs a lot more work, but if I was to no longer be around, I'd want all of those broken relationships to be mended before my passing. Again, I have a long ways to go but at least I'm now on the path.

7) cook. Crazy huh? Well, I don't really cook but I try. Just this past week, I whipped up a batch of sugar cookies and let the girls have at it with the frosting, sprinkles, and candy. They had a blast despite finding sprinkles all over my floors and rugs. It wasn't that long ago, I randomly decided to make a batch of scones as well. This is totally out of character for me, and to be quite honest, I still don't like it. But my kids do, and they enjoy being in the kitchen. And it allows us to work on an activity together ~ one that reaps rewards ~ semi good food at the end. So, I've tossed aside our learning books and flashcards, rolled up our sleeves, and dug out the mixer.

Again, these are just a couple of changes that I've made. I know it may not sound like a lot to you, but it is a lot to me. I am consistently reminded now on a daily basis of how precious each day is. I lay my head down each night and one of the first things I thank God for is "this day." This very day, whether it was glorious or dreadful, I am thankful for the day. I will say that some nights, I'm gritting my teeth as I thank God (silently hoping he allows for a better one tomorrow.)

What goes through your mind as you begin to think about only have one month to live?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why A Daughter Needs A Dad

Do you remember awhile back a post I did from a book I had bought entitled
"Why A Daughter Needs A Dad" by Gregory E. Lang. If you have forgotten, it is Ok. I'm redoing the post because I love this book and am dying to share some of it with you. If you have a daughter, this book is a must have for the coffee table. Please read below and truly think about the relationship with your father or perhaps the relationship your daughter has with her father. Either way, it stirs up a bit of emotion....

A daughter needs a dad to learn that when he says it will be okay soon, it will.

A daughter needs a dad who will make sacrifices so she will not have to sacrifice.

A daughter needs a dad who will laugh at her at all the right times, to teach her that her value as a person i s more than the way she looks, who will not punish her for her mistakes, but help her learn from them.

A daughter needs a dad who will always have time to give her hugs and kisses, who does not mind when she steps on his shoes while dancing, who will always make sure she has a place to come home to.

A daughter needs a dad who will never think she is too old to need him.

A daughter needs a dad to teach her to believe that she deserves to be treated well, to teach her to accept the differences in others, to teacher her to weigh the consequences of her actions and make decisions accordingly.

A daughter needs a dad to make the family whole and complete.

A daughter needs a dad to protect her from scary nighttime creatures, to answer the questions that keep her awake at night, to protect her from thunder and lightening.

A daughter needs a dad so she will know what it is like to be somebody's favorite.

A daughter needs a dad to make the complex simple and the painful bearable, to tell her that all is not hopeless, even when she feels it is, to join her journey when she is too afraid to walk alone, to teach her the meaning of integrity and how to avoid the crooked path.

A daughter needs a dad to tell her truthfully that is is the most beautiful of all.

A daughter needs a dad to make the tough decisions for her until she is able to make them for herself, to teach her that forgiving is a natural thing to do, to teach her that she can forgive more than once.

A daughter needs a dad to teach her that family is more important than work.

A daughter needs a dad to be the safe spot she can always turn to.

A daughter needs a dad to show her how it feels to be loved unselfishly.

A daughter needs a dad to be the standard against which she will judge all men.

A daughter needs a dad to teach her the difference between being firm and being stubborn, to teach her that she is equal to her husband, to teach her that respect is to be earned, as he has earned hers.

A daughter needs a dad to learn what she should expect from her husband, to teach her how to be responsible for others, to teach her to preserve her dignity during difficult times, to hep her believe in herself as a parent, and that in discipline there is hope.

A daughter needs a dad who will influence her life even when he isn't with her.

A daughter needs a dad so that she will have at least one her who will not let her down.

A daughter needs a dad to tuck her in at night.

A daughter needs a dad to protect her when she is not wise enough to protect herself.

A daughter needs a dad to teach her to be honest in all her dealings, to teach her patience and kindness, to teach her when to be firm and when to compromise, to help he try again whenever she fails.

A daughter needs a dad to help her take the risks that will build her confidence.

A daughter needs a dad to prepare her to preserve through hardship.

A daughter needs a dad who will let her know that while she may not be the center of someone else's world, she is the center of his.

A daughter needs a dad to give her the guidance she needs as she begins to resolve her own troubles, to pull her back when she is headed in the wrong direction, to think highly of her when no one else will, to held her as she cries.

A daughter needs a dad to be the history of her family for her own children.

A daughter needs a dad to teach her what it means to always be there.

A daughter needs a dad to teach her that a man's strength is not the force of his hand or his voice, but the kindness of his heart.

A daughter needs a dad to teach her to recognize truth and reward it, to teach her to recognize sincerity and encourage it, to teach her about fairness, to teach her to stand up for herself.

A daughter needs a dad to remind her of what she may not remember.

A daughter needs a dad to give her the gentle pushes that help her grown.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Father/Daughter Ball 2010

Friday February 12th marked the second year of the Father/Daughter ball for our house. My girls have been counting down this day for months now.

We made sure the dresses were washed, tights fit, shoes were shiny, hair was done, makeup (yes, I said makeup. The girls got some shiny lip gloss, nail polish, a dash of power and a hint of eyeshadow.)was on, and of course dance was perfected.

The girls waited (I wish I could say patiently) for their daddy to come bursting through the door and whisk them away to an evening of square dancing, crafts, ice sculptures, and of course chocolate.

And that is exactly what he did.

The girls were more than pleased to pose for some photos of course practice their curtsies before being escorted by a handsome man to the ball.

The girls couldn't help but soak up the attention and were thrilled at the chance to love all over their daddy.

Dave told me the girls were elated when they arrived to church and couldn't wait to head in. Dave said Mattea immediately veered over to the craft table and by the time he looked back to see where Paloma was, she had already made a beeline to the stage and was up dancing with a bunch of strangers. Go figure.

They had plenty of friends to hang out with and dance with while the guys got a little male conversation in. Please excuse my daughter's dance moves. Not sure who taught her how to pull her dress up while shaking her booty.

There was plenty of time for socializing and fun - meeting new friends and hanging out with old one.

I made sure to be home when they arrived home. Paloma burst in through the door just yelling about all the fun they had. I don't even think I understood her first few words because she was so excited. They showed me their programs, their crafts, and of course their dance moves. They are lucky little girls to have such a wonderful and loving dad. Thanks Dave for taking our girls on one of the most memorable nights of their lives.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Do You See It?

If you look closely, you can see the sparkle in my little girls' eyes. May it forever remain.....

Paloma's Plug

As I leaned down to give Paloma her final kiss for the evening, she wrapped her arms around me and said

P: "Stay with me forever"

Me: "I wish I could sweetheart but I have to tuck your sister into bed"

P: "I wish you wur (were) a magnet to stick on my bed"

I truly have a charmer on my hands. Love you little P!

Paloma's Plug

Paloma: "MOM, did you know that in two weeks, I'm going to shave my head off?"

I guess I have a bit of explaining to do.....

Saturday, February 6, 2010

We Have A New 5 Year Old

You heard it right ~ my sweet little Mattea turned 5 today!

Exciting yet scary to think about. I look ahead at all the upcoming possibilities in this little girl's life ~ kindergarten, reading, making new friends, riding a 2 wheeler, learning to write, etc but it means the less and less control I have over her. Sure, I still maintain the "drivers seat" per se, (as a co-pilot with God of course) but there are so many more influences entering my little girls life.

That could be a whole other post, I'm not going deep on this one. I'm just simply here to blog some very fun pictures of our special 'Hello Kitty' birthday party that we threw yesterday after preschool.

We rented out the community center after class let out and invited a few of our friends to come and enjoy lunch and a little playtime at Kid Zone (the indoor climbing area.)

I enlisted the help of my friend Darcy when it came to the cake. She is a phenomenal person who has so many talents ~ many that I'd love to tap into. But her most recent talent is making birthday cakes. Holy smokes, as you can see by the picture above, she did a great job.

The kids loved admiring the "ginormous" kitty and were excited about picking out their own special piece.

Mattea took a minute to admire the beautiful birthday cake...

before making her special wish and blowing out all 5 candles.

There were lots of smiles

and lots of giggles

and lots of memories. Happy Birthday sweet girl! Mommy and daddy love you very much!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Want To Fly My Kite

Do you remember this post ? I was reading the book by Cheri Fuller. Well one of the chapters that stood out to me was about flying a kite. Basically, she was saying how wonderful and therapeutic it is to just take some time to fly a kite with your kids. I used to date a guy in high school who loved to fly kites. Ok, so this crazy boy was a wonderful human being but was a bit eccentric to say the least. I never understood why he would choose to just pack up on an afternoon, head to the park, and fly a kite.
Well, today I guess I learned. The girls and I got back from gymnastics and decided it was a perfectly windy day to head out and tackle kite flying. The girls loved it and I loved that they loved it. At first, I didn't really want to go outside in the chilly temps and run around the park flying Barbie and Snow White. But once we walked over there and began, the dread was forgotten. I loved seeing their faces and hearing their giggles. Paloma was running at top speed yelling, "fly, snow white, fly." It was so fun. If you haven't done so recently, I highly encourage you to pick up a $3.99 kite from Target, take it out back and simply have some fun with your precious children. We had so much fun, they want to go back out after nap.

Dance Like Noone Is Watching

Our Bucket List

The other day I grabbed one of my notebooks out of the drawer to make a grocery list. This happens to not be just any notebook, but my special organic, recycled KRAFT BOOK ~ Unique Journal. Special huh? As I thumbed through the first few pages that were filled with biblical references regarding marriage, I stumbled upon a page entitled
"100 Things To Do Together In Our Lifetime."
Dave and I had started a list of 100 things we wanted to do together while we were married. I remember getting the idea to do this list during our premarital counseling. We didn't get far - only 20 things. I'm not sure if we ran out of time or simple forgot to finish the list but either way, I'm now determined to finish off the remaining 80 things Dave and I would like to do together as a couple before we perish. I'd love to share the list with you(we've actually accomplished quite a few things already) and encourage you to start a list of your own with your spouse. It is never too late. Each day is a gift from God - use your days wisely.

1) Buying a house ~ We did that. In fact, we've now purchased two houses together. One of which was left behind in Albuquerque.

2) Ski in Colorado together ~ not quite. We did ski together once in Albuquerque. I had a blast with David but I stunk at skiing. Not sure if we'll ever hit the slopes of Breckenridge anytime soon.

3) Get out of debt (individual) ~ done, kind of. Looming student loans and an ongoing vehicle loan we are still working on this one.

4) Own a puppy ~ Completed this one too. We own two dogs together. Miss Cora and Mr. Kody!

5) Teach Sunday School together ~ Check check. We began teaching Sunday school together 3 years ago and haven't stopped since. It is really a team building activity that we find both challenging and rewarding.

6) Mentor a young couple. Haven't been able to check this off our list but would definitely still like to one day. When David and I got together, we instantly knew our relationship was different. We wanted so badly to make it work and do it right - problem is we didn't know how. We had no idea what a Christian relationship looked like. We were brave enough to ask a couple from our church to take us under their wing and guide us along a Christian path. They did and we are forever grateful. We would love the opportunity to give back in that same way to another couple.

7) Have children ~ accomplished that one. We have two beautiful daughters. We love them to death and are so thankful God entrusted us with them. The word is out as to whether or not our family will expand in the future. We've always thought God would lead us to adopt. As all things though, we are realizing it is truly God's plan not our plan. We'll keep you posted.

8) Relocate to a child-rearing location ~ Done. That's why we are currently living here. Albuquerque was not a good fit for us. We knew that early on. We always said that once we had children, we would do our best to find a city/state that was more ideal for us to raise our kids - and we did. We love our current home and are so blessed to have the article from Men's Health that lead us here. That's right. We saw an article that said this city was in the top 10 list to raise kids. So here we are.

9) Annual family vacations - Right now they aren't quite annual but we're working on them. I think concentrated time alone is essential. We try to do at least something each summer with just our small little family.

10) Camping in Yellowstone - not done yet but hoping to complete either this summer or next.

11) Missions Trip. Sad to say we haven't completed this one yet either. Maybe someday.

12) Attend a Marriage Seminar ~ We did take in a marriage seminar together last year. Was encouraging. Learned some new things. I think marriage seminars are the needed recharge for every marriage.

13) Read a book together ~ we did this together numerous times as a couple. We read marriage prep books, dating books, etc. We loved reading together and then having weekly discussions on the topics. Obviously since the kids have been born, our ability to do this has lessened.

14) Take a cooking class together. I think this was Dave's idea. I can say this one has yet to be done.

15) Go kayaking. Nada.

16) Run a 10K together ~ We ran the Boulder Boulder together in Colorado prior to be ing married - kind of. That was before I could run so I mostly walked it. Since then, we have run a few races side by side. Dave is such a trooper. He barely breaks a sweat running with me but it still feels nice crossing the finish line as a couple. Next goal - 1/2 marathon together.

17) Go to an opera ~ done, several to be exact.

18) Spend a week on the East Coast - not yet. Maybe someday.

19) Climb to the top of La Luz ~ as a couple this goal will probably never be achieved. This was a trail back in Albuquerque and so I can't see us traveling back to climb La Luz but I am happy to announce that I climbed it with a friend of mine. It took us like 6 hours to do.

20) Eat at the top of the space needle - no go on this one but now that we are closer so Seattle, maybe one of these years we'll head over for a romantic dinner.

How about you - what would be on your list if you actually took the time to write one? I'd be curious to know.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Just A Reminder

Goal: $2,500.00 Raised: $850.00

Donate by Phone:(888) 899-BALD (2253)