Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weather Channel, Minnesota Style...

When it hits negative 20 with windchill, 
Minnesotans finally don the gloves...

 ... and fire up the boot warmers (Julie - aren't you jealous??!  Yes, they DO work, and yes, we DO love them!!)

 ... and put the gloves in the fridge to warm up...

... and still beg to go outback on the porch and play... with a smile on our face :)

When it hits zero...

the "why do we have to wear our coats, it's WARM outside" whines begin...

... and capes become the cover of choice...

When it actually breaks 32,

We can finally chip off enough snow to build the annual mammoth snow man

And in the rare instance that it actually reads 50 degrees,

Shoes suddenly become 'optional equipment'
And shorts actually make their yearly debut...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Illustrations for Dave

... These will make absolutely no sense to anyone,
That is until you see them in my book :)
... yep, still working
and working
and working
On the book.
sheesh - no wonder they say it's like another child - this book thing is harder than gestating!

Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

Cinnabean muffins
(Cinnamon Bean Muffins)

Chip Dip with a plus
(fiber, that is!)

Fun and fancy fruit dip

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's the little things...

That made me fall in love with this amazing man.

All of my life, I was waiting for the fan fair,
the fire works
the neon sign
that this was THE ONE.

And then I met Jerry...
... on my first Sunday home from my mission, to be exact.
He was my brothers roommate, and I went to church with my brother.
And sat in between my brother and Jerry
And about passed out with the fact that I was sitting within 'arms length' of an unrelated male.
Totally freaked me out
In fact, I think I about jumped into my brothers lap through the course of the Sacrament meeting.  (A fact that Jerry has since taunted me with...).

All of that was 3 years before we even thought about dating.
Yep, that right.  THREE YEARS.
We lived right across a little walkway from each other.  
Seriously, you could look out my window and look right into his window.
3 Years.

In fact, we sat in Early morning meetings together almost every Sunday.
... and I spent many of those meetings setting him up with all of the RS women who just had to go out with Jerry Brewer.

And then, suddenly, it happened.

... but then again, not so suddenly.
more like little by little it snuck up on me, until one morning (after being told the "L" word by him the previous night), I realized that Love had come.
I loved him all along.
And I hadn't even realized.
I had loved him from the beginning.
Only it was so simple and sweet that I almost missed it entirely (I could go into all sorts of sordid details about break-ups and freak-outs and such, but this post is long enough as it is!).  

I realized that it was the little things that one by one
Made this guy wholly and completely my knight in shining armor, without a shadow of doubt.

And I fell.
Over my head, 100 percent, in complete unabashed loved with this man. (And then there was a little bit of freak out on his end... but again, a post for another day... )

Fast forward 11 Valentine's Days spent together, and 5 children added to the pack

And it's still the little things
That he does
Day in and day out
Most of which he probably doesn't even realize
(because they are such an ingrained part of him)
That keep me standing in awe of this man that I am lucky enough to call mine.

Yep, the little things...
-- like reading the bedtime story to the kids every night, and tucking them in
-- and taking each child on special daddy/child dates, and infuses service into each one (creates a special service project for them to do together, and then go to dinner of their choice, followed by a trip to toys R us for a 'special' present)
-- or even the way he is so meticulous in every facet of what he does...
     ... even down to specifically placing each and every stamp on our wedding announcements in the exact right spot on the envelop, completely straight and everything (something that I have kind of sort of mocked him for through the years... i mean, c'mon, who looks at the stamps on envelops that they get in the mail?  Well, if you looked at our wedding announcements, the stamps were perfect!  ... at least on jerry's pile...)

-- and the quiet way in which he simply does what needs to be done
    ... like turning the pancakes over when I get pre-occupied with something else in the kitchen while cooking breakfast
-- and stays up late making special Valentines cards for each of the kids so it's the first thing each child sees on Valentine's Day morning (we're talking designing, printing, and even laminated personal cards for each of them!)

-- and the way that he is so simply sentimental - and thinks of all of the tiny things that make my heart melt - all with no fan fare whatsoever on his part
   ... like the fact that during each pregnancy he wore the same tie to church every single week, and for the baby blessing, and then for the baptism, for each father's blessing, and then plans on giving the tie to each boy when they leave on their mission (how cool is that?!). 
   ... or the single rose that he gave me on our first anniversary with a card that simply said, "one rose for one year" (... and yes, we are now up to 11 roses ;) ).
... and the way that he is so rock solid in his goals. 
... he is a great finisher.     
(which is good for me, because I'm a great starter...)
Seriously, when he sets a goal, there is not a shadow of doubt that he will get the goal.  
... like reading the Book of Mormon in different languages, which I have seen him do every single day for the entire 11 years that we have been married.
... or when he decides he needs to keep a journal a few months after we got married, I haven't seen a Sunday go by that he hasn't written (which is so much more than I can say for my own sketchy record of keeping records...)

Yes, I am truly amazed by this man.  
By the little things.
Day in and day out.
That truly light up the fireworks, flash the neon signs, and play the fan fare in my life.

Thanks, honey,
for taking the family leap with me

Happy Valentine's Day.
Here's to Eternity!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Seeing R.E.D.

Since our kids daily scripture reading is a wee bit shy of stellar (read:  nonexistent!), I decided to blatantly copy an idea from one of the primaries that we visited in the stake:

We are officially declaring February our R.E.D.  Scripture Month:

We had our kickoff during family home evening last night, complete with letting the kids choose the reward at the end of the month if everyone gets all of their days filled in.

(They chose Chuck-E-Cheese... .sigh... I knew when it opened here last month that it was only a matter of time before they wore us down enough to get us there...)

We even had some red(ish) treats to help usher in our Fabulous February

Okay, so these weren't quite as elaborate as our last years Valentine's Day treat...

but c'mon, those things took forever... and then they were gone in 2 minutes flat!  At least with rice krispie treats, the proportion of making to eating is a bit more homogenous :)

Here's to a Fabulous February (and GOODBYE January!!!)