Sunday, February 27, 2011

March: Lion or Lamb?

Can it really be the 3rd month of 2011 already?  My life is flashing before my eyes.  I am ready for spring so I say bring on March 1st.  Let's be serious, I live in Nebraska, it doesn't matter if it comes in like a lion or a lamb because the next day it could will be totally different, even snow.

This morning I woke up with such a spring in my step I really expected it to be warm and sunny outside yet the day met me with with clouds and cool temps, once again but it didn't get me down.  In fact, right now even though I am exhausted and should be in bed I feel a little giddy.  Right now I am watching my hubby clean up the living room, that could be my source of joy.  Nothing like seeing a man clean up the house.  Whew! 

I do have several reasons to be happy....
1) Tomorrow I get to see a dear friend from Grand Island.  The circumstances aren't the best as she is bringing her sweet little man to see a specialist but the prognosis seems good so still a reason to be happy.
2) My launch party for my new business was a great success on Saturday.  Norwex is an amazing company and I truly would love to see the products being used by everyone I love, I believe in the products that much.
3) My cousin is coming over some time this week to do some scrapbooking.
4) We are all healthy again this week.
5) I started painting my bathroom today.  Right now I am not very impressed with the color I picked.  Maybe it will grow on me.
6) Chris' book release is getting closer.
7) I had a conversation today at church that I have been wanting to have for several weeks.  What a relief!
8) Finally my tax return was accepted and we should be getting a check this week.  YAY!
9) Our family vacation is planned and paid for.
10) I will be able to get my new camera this week, just have to decide exactly which one I want.

Sometimes I have to pinch myself, I do live a blessed life.  There are "interruptions" but so often I gain perspective and can see them as "divine interventions" instead.  My life is much like the month of March.  I never really know if it is going to be calm like a lamb or a raging fury like a lion.  Whatever the case my be, I am fully aware that it all can change in the blink of an eye.  It's important to appreciate the calm and find the joy in the wild winds.

Asking for prayers...
Little Man's doctor appointment on Monday
Chelsea flying back home from Africa on Monday
My daughter's relationships

Peace this week to each of you!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Artwork

Who knew the process for a cover would be so difficult.  We started out with a great artist who just happens to be related to us but the publisher wasn't pleased and ultimately it's their call.  The next artist was not at all what we were thinking.  Last week we heard from a new artist, I hope this is the guy.  So far, so good. 

Quick, jump over to Chris' blog for THE NEW PHENOM3NON, you'll find two new sketches.  I can't wait to see more detail and color.  We'll keep you posted. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mission Trip Updates

Here's the blog for my friend's medical mission trip to Mali, Africa.  If you are interested in following their updates, daily there will be a new post from a different person.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beads Etc

I'm going to do a big plug for a bead store in Omaha both on my blog and on facebook!!

Today after church Emma and I ran to Gordman's for a quick return (instead of attending a baptism that I totally forgot about...that's another story). As we were heading back to the parking lot I took a detour to the bead store next door. I have been wanting to replace the bracelet I made several years ago and then lost shortly after moving to Omaha.
Here's the whole story. Way back when we lived in Phoenix (8-9 yrs ago) my friend Marcy Percival made a bracelet with Emma and Reagan's names on it as a babyshower gift.  Fast forward 4 years to Grand Island after Olivia was born and I added another name to my mom bracelet.  Again, jump ahead several years to 2008 or 2009 and I was ready to restring my bracelet.  I remember the day I stopped in a little bead shop just to check out their prices knowing I would have to go back when I didn't have the girls with me. That evening I realized I had lost my bracelet. I called the store hoping I had left it there but no one had found what I was missing.  So that brings us to today, probably two years later.  Just on the off chance they might have it, I asked the gal at the front counter about a bracelet I lost a long time ago.  She walked over to a ziplock bag on the desk and asked if it had names on the bracelet and what where they.  I couldn't believe it, she had my bracelet right there in her hand.  Apparently, someone found it in the parking lot and the store has been holding on to it all this time wondering if the owner would come back. 

I am a sucker for customer service and this must be the best customer service I have ever experienced.  So a great big THANK YOU to Linette Nelson, Owner of Beads Etc.  If you are ever in Omaha and interested in making any jewelry, restringing, repairing, taking a class or doing a fun girls night party you really must check out this store. 
Beads Etc
17306 Lakeside Hills Plaza
Omaha NE  68130

Cute Isn't He?

This blog often contains cute pictures of our daughters and even our cat but seldom do I have a good picture of my handsome, hardworking, loving husband. Tonya Ratliff, a good friend and professional photographer in Omaha took this picture for the back of Chris' book cover.  (I just love this guy!)

Speaking of the book.  Chris has traded information several times with the new potential artist for the book cover of THE NEW PHENOM3NON.  We don't have any artwork yet but it's getting closer.  Mr Artist has not read the book so hopefully he can create something that will do this literary masterpiece justice. We are getting down to a pretty tight timeline.  Keep your ears and eyes open, in less than two months we should have a new best seller available for you to purchase through or or find us at one of our many book signings.

Quick prayer requests:
My friend Chelsea left for a mission trip in Mali, Africa today.  Please pray for the team's safety, the arrival of bags and everything in the bags, changed lives and health.
My friend Kimberly and family are going through several health issues right now, some known and some unknown.
My parents.  Parkinson's Disease is rough in so many ways!
To the amazing prayer warriors, thank you for your dedication to praying for people you do not even know.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Memory Work

Geepers!  February is already half over.  Time flies when...well you fill in the blank, there are lots of reasons that time flies.  Anyway, almost forgot to record my memory verse for Beth Moore's Scripture Challenge.

Verse #4 of 24
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

Proverbs 16:3 NKJV

I have 2 reasons for picking this verse.  #1 We have some new stuff in our life and it's important that whatever we do, it's for His glory, not ours.  #2 This is a short one.  I'm struggling with my week number two, not that it was long, I just can't remember it. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Just A Little More Green

In my journey to go a little more healthy and a little more "green" I have stumbled across a phenomenal company.  My friend Tonya kept talking about cleaning without chemicals which was both cheaper and better for the environment. She was talking about Norwex!
If you are frugal, it's good for your household cleaning budget. 
If you are interested in "green" products that work well, it's good for the earth.
If you are a germ-a-phobe, the cloths are actually anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal.

I am so excited about these products that I have decided to join the Norwex team, if for no other reason than to make my house clean and healthy.  For the last several years I have cut back my list of cleaning supplies to more natural items like vinegar, club soda, baking soda, etc.  From what I can tell, I won't need those items either.  This is all new to me so I'm learning but I would encourage you to check out Norwex with me.  For those of you who I have your email addresses, I would like to send you my newsletter.  If you aren't interested you can unsubscribe and it won't ofend me in the slightest.  Yes, this is a company that sells products but you will not find me hitting you up to meet my quota.  The newsletter will contain helpful hints and earth friendly news.

Tonight I just got my new goodies and I am actually excited to clean. 

Wishing you some good clean fun,

Monday, February 14, 2011

Teacher Gifts

Using yesterday's recipe for Reese Peanut Butter Bars, I created a tasty little valentine's gift for the girls' teachers.  Turns out, I had so much that I gave it to the janitors, our chiropractor and staff, grandparents and several neighbors.  This snack is super yummy and just as easy to make.  Funny how you make something so easy and people think you are some kind of Betty Crocker.  :)  Even though it's full of sugar this snack is better for you homemade than store bought.  I used organic ingrediants and cut the sugar in half.  Still it was so rich you could eat only one piece. (Chris said he had 5 today.)

Do you know Quinoa?  Are you a fan?  We love quinoa but only because we "doctor" it up.  Quinoa (keen*wa) can be used when ever you would serve rice or pasta.  It is a healthy alternative and delicious.

Using my rice cooker....
1 1/3 cups quinoa
2 cups broth (I used homemade chicken broth to avoid MSG and other yucky stuff in store bought)
I'm not sure how long I cooked it, probably around 35 minutes

In a skillet I lightly sauteed onion, red bell pepper and zuchini. I added garlic, salt, pepper and sweet basil. Do not over cook, veggies should not be mushy. I did mushrooms in a seperate pan so the girls wouldn't complain.

I added all the ingrediants together plus about a cup of leftover black beans

Add a fresh veggie salad and you've got a healthy happy meal.  The girls all loved it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love Is In The Air

Happy Valentines Day!

Valentine's Day is a little bitter sweet for me, mostly because I often have unattainable expectations of my amazing husband.  The good thing is that I am fully aware of those expectations.  Poor guy, huh?  So as I prepare for the holiday that says "I love you" with cards and gifts I am trying to figure out what to do for the guy who does not celebrate the holiday.  Remember from previous posts, one of my love languages is gifts so I just have to give Chris something.  Lucky for me, one of Chris' love languages is eating.  (I made that up.)  Since he has a love affair not only with his wife but with peanut butter the girls and I are making these yummy Reese's Peanut Butter Bars for daddy. The recipe is from which I found on a new friend's blog, Brandi.

No Bake Reese's Peanut Butter Bars
1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
1 lb (3 1/2 C) powdered sugar
1 1/2 C creamy peanut butter
1 C (2 sticks) real butter, melted
1 12oz bag chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, or dark, you pick!)
2 tsp shortening (or use more peanut butter)

In a large mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and peanut butter and butter and beat until combined. Press into a parchment (or waxed paper or foil) lined 9x13 pan.

Place chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring after each one, until melted and smooth. Pour chocolate over peanut butter mixture and spread out evenly. Place pan in the fridge just until chocolate is set and then cut into bars. Tip: If the bars chill until the chocolate is too hard to easily cut, use a sharp knife and score the cuts first, then gently cut through. Can be stored in the fridge or at room temp. They will stay firmer if stored in the fridge.

There are other signs of love in our home and I'm not sure how I feel about it.  Why do kids have to grow up?  There was a day not too long ago that they all had chubby cheeks and nothing brought them more joy than their toys and hugs from mommy and daddy.  *sigh* 

However, the greatest love affair known to man is the one God so generously shares with each of us.  Why can we accept the love of a human who is flawed in so many ways but struggle to accept the free, no strings attached love of the creator who is perfect in every way?  My prayer for you tonight is that if you don't already know that love seek it out or comment on my blog and we can have a private conversation.  You are as precious as gold.

Blessings to each and every one of you visiting my blog today. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

There's A Website

Have I mentioned that my devilishly handsome husband wrote a novel about nineteen months ago?  Just in case you missed that post here is some of the background information.  Chris has a great love of writing and he is even good at it.  Several years ago Chris started writing a novel that would appeal to young men, specifically his middle school and high school students.  He got about three chapters in and he lost direction.  Fast forward to May of 2009 when a well known author visited the school that Chris teaches in.  Once again, he was inspired but this time took the time to map out the entire novel.  Before July 1st rolled around Chris had completed the first draft of his book.  If I remember correctly, the manuscript was sent in to WriteLife publishing in October of 2009.  There have been countless (well Chris knows exactly how many) revisions, many late nights and lots of uncertainty but now we are just 1 1/2 to 2 months away from having a published young adult novel in our hands.  I for one, can not wait!

Now we are learning about publicity.  Geesh!  What do we do?  How do we accomplish it?  What can we expect?  It's all a mystery to us but God knows the plans He has for us...for this book.  We would love to have you visit Chris' new website. Click Here Feedback is much appreciated.  You can subscribe to the site and certainly, tell all your friends about it.  We will send out all updates through this site and THE NEW PHENOM3NON facebook fan page.

Thanks to so many of you who have offered encouragement along the way.  We hope to have the opportunity to do many book signing events.  If you are interested in having this friendly, handsome author come speak at your event please leave a comment on the website.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Scrap Friendzy Blog Hop

Today I'm checking out a list of blogs.  The scrappy ladies over at  Scrap Friendzy  are doing a blog hop and then this weekend they will do a crop.  Sounds like fun to me.  I have some friends who are part of the design team, guess it's time for me to check out the site a little more.  If you want to check out the hop start here at their blog.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Twelve Year Old

How can it be true?  Emma will drive in four years. That was one of the first things she told me after wishing her a happy birthday this week. Oh my, she is so ready to grow up and I'm seeing it happen right before my eyes.

My card to Emma had a mom and daughter on the front, it read...
"Daughter, when I look at you I see myself
but so much better."
So true.  That statement gives me such hope and honestly a little fear.  :)

Birthdays remind me of the nine months I carried the child and then the few days I spent in the hospital bringing the child into the world and what parent could ever forget the first few weeks home from the blessed event.  Yes, there was discomfort, uncertainty and loss of sleep but the pure joy out weighed all of it.  My greatest job title to date is "mom".  Chris and I pray for the health and salvation for our girls everyday.  What a privilage it has been to thus far to care for and help raise our girls. 

I love you
Happy Birthday!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It Is Finished

The cleaning of the townhouse I mean...
No I didn't take any pictures.  By the time I cleaned the bathroom, floors, counter tops, really every surface I didn't want to run home to grab my camera.  I was tired from 3 days of sick kids and didn't want to battle the blizzard outside.  So again I say, it is finished.  PRAISE GOD!!

Now to figure out where to put all the stuff we didn't think should go in the storage unit.  Just what my house needs...more stuff.