Friday, February 29, 2008

Just call me Susie...

Susie Homemaker, that is! I have decided...I want a sewing machine. I know, I know...that is scary. But I can totally sew! I know I can! Growing up, my Grandma Stewart used to let me sew things and I loved it! Recently, I have found these super cute cloth gift bags online. They come with cute ribbons to tie at the top. I love that idea! But the bags are quite pricey. I figure if I buy a sewing machine and make my own, I will be saving money AND the planet at the same time! Love it! So maybe not your average Susie Homemaker, but a new age Susie! :)

Sunday=50 degrees

If you could see me, you would see a little tear in my eye...a tear of PURE JOY!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

One of those days...

Not sure what's up, but I am just having one of those days. Everything seems out of whack. I'm emotional and just not in a good place. Trying to work through it, but for now that's all I got.

A week or so ago I posted a photo of Ayla. Jennie and Amy both said she had the "Zoolander face". I didn't know what that meant, but Jennie sent me a photo last night. Here they are side by side. What do you think??

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Article sent to me by my brother (and Kari, too!)...uh-oh

Ohio school suspends boy over Mohawk
Wed Feb 27, 5:10 AM ET
PARMA, Ohio - A kindergarten student with a freshly spiked Mohawk has been suspended from school.
Michelle Barile, the mother of 6-year-old Bryan Ruda, said nothing in the Parma Community School handbook prohibits the haircut, characterized by closely shaved sides with a strip of prominent hair on top. The school said the hair was a distraction for other students.
"I understand they have a dress code. I understand he has a uniform. But this is total discrimination," she said. "They can't tell me how I can cut his hair."
An administrator at the suburban Cleveland charter school first warned Barile last fall that the haircut wasn't acceptable. The school later sent another warning to her reiterating the ban.
Mohawks violate the school's policy on being properly groomed, school Principal Linda Geyer said. Also, the school district's dress code allows school officials to forbid anything that interferes with the conduct of education.
Ruda's hair became a disruption last week when Ruda arrived freshly shorn, Geyer said. Administrators called Barile on Friday telling her to pick Ruda up from school.
"This was his third infraction," Geyer said Tuesday. "We felt that we were being extremely patient."
Rather than request a hearing to appeal the suspension, Barile said she'll enroll him at another school. Changing the hairstyle is not an option, she said.
"It's something that he really likes," Barile said. "When people hear Mohawk, they think it's long, it's spiked, it's crazy looking, and it's really not."


Yesterday I got an email saying that I am fully approved for the breastfeeding donation program. Ok, that officially makes me a "Human Milk Donor". That sounds funny. But I found this to be very exciting because I have been following a blog written by a husband of a young woman with cystic fibrosis. He blogs regularly and his wife just delivered their baby 15+ weeks premature. She is on the waiting list for a double lung transplant and is on a ton of medication. She cannot breastfeed her premature baby. They have chosen to feed their baby donated breastmilk! The company that I am doing this program through donates part of the milk to orphanages in Africa, and part of it to NICUs in the US. It was exciting to read about how another family is benefiting from this program!! Good stuff!

Monday, February 25, 2008

How "our thing" has evolved

When we lived in Colorado (long before children), Paul and I would meet every Friday after work at this Harley bar in Denver called The Piper. The had the most amazing Asian hot wings. We would eat a plate of wings and celery and split a pitcher of beer. It became "our thing". We could never find a chicken wing that held a candle to asian hot wings. So on our last visit there, we begged the waitress for the recipe. She was vague, but gave us the ingredient list. So we messed around with it for a long time, and we have it as close as it'll ever get. So we used to buy the wings and Paul would cut them up and we'd fry them and make a mess. It took all night, really. And we'd drink a couple Bud Lights with them. Then Fat Tire came to town! :) So this Saturday we altered "our thing" a little bit more. We called down to Tailgaters and ordered plain chicken wings. While Paul went to pick them up, I made the sauce at home and cut up celery. He walked in with hot wings and a couple Fat Tires to boot! We tossed them in the sauce and viola! Supper for 2...with virtually no mess and in half the time! And the kids...well they got popcorn. Everyone's happy!
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My babies

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See...she SMILES!

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Feel free to laugh

After a day of melting and then more freezing temps, our steps out front and back were DANGEROUS. I love our mailman. I love getting mail. So I decided to try and break the ice up a bit so he wouldn't fall and kill himself. So I grabbed this roofing shovel I found in the garage and started chipping away at the ice on the back steps. It was flying everywhere...including my eyes. So I ran inside and grabbed the glasses that Paul wore home after his laser surgery (I keep them in my kitchen drawer so I can wear them when I chop onions because my eyes water horribly!). So I was out front chipping away at the ice with these hilarious glasses on and just laughing at myself. I'm sure the neighbors loved the entertainment for the morning. And for further entertainment, they may want to watch me chop onions sometime!
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

It's still no love affair...

Ok runner friends. You told me 6 weeks. It's been 8. I have been on this beginner running schedule for 8 weeks now. I am up to running 30 minutes straight on my treadmill. The one thing I can say is this...I suppose now I would rather run 30 minutes than give birth...Maybe. It depends on the day. I do not love it. I am not skinny. So I'm not sure where to go from here. The one thing that has gotten me through is the idea of running in Race for the Cure on May 11. I think I am going to stick with that plan for now. But I assure you, there is NO love affair between myself and running. And I think that all you runners out there love it and think that everyone would love it if they just gave it a chance. I'll let you know in 10 months...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My lap top...

So Jody called me this morning. She was not happy. She claimed her lap top was broken as well as her coffee pot and her shower head. No shower, coffee or computer access. If you know Jody at all, you know that this is enough to push her over the edge. So I gathered my lap top and a travel mug of coffee and headed out there. She spent 5 minutes on my computer and gasped and said "Uh-oh...". Not good. I said, "WHAT?!?" She says everything is screen just flickered. AND she can't get online with my computer either. (she is blaming that on my computer). I inform her that maybe it is her network. If MY computer and HER computer both will not connect in her house, she may need to reboot her router. She does. Her computer connects. My computer is now permanantly broken. Something happened. It sounds as though the hard drive is still working and running properly, I just have a black screen. So I am posting from my PC in the dark corner of my bedroom. I'm not really sure how I survived before wireless. So you may be seeing less of me until I get the computer situation taken care of. If I were you, I wouldn't risk bringing my lap top to Jody's house...

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's just sad

when it's 24 degrees out and you are considering that warm enough to put away the winter clothes and pull out the spring stuff!!


She was seriously giggling right before I pulled out the camera. Then bam...all serious...refusing to crack a smile. She's too much.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I tried...

I REALLY wanted to get a good pic of the lunar eclipse tonight. Didn't happen. This was the best I could do. I'm hoping that one of my friends with a fabulous camera captured it!! We got Brigg up to go outside and see the eclipse...he wasn't that impressed. He is buried under that coat Paul is holding...just so we have proof that we tried! :) He wanted to get back into his warm bed. I found it to be pretty spectacular. Must be my old age.
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Kinda like Florida?

Mom went to Florida yesterday. The kids BEGGED to go with her. I was begging in my mind to go, too. This weather is insane. So today after I went on Lani's preschool field trip with her, I couldn't take it anymore. I said, I HAVE to get OUT OF HERE!! So we loaded up and went swimming for family swim at the Y (we are going to try not to share this with Brigg, he'll be so mad!). We went in the theraputic pool. The air temp was 86 degrees and the water temp was 92 degrees. I looked at Lani and said, "See, this is almost like Florida." Ok...not really. But it did help. And Ayla loved it, too. I'm thinking of making reservations at the waterpark in Dubuque for the weekend. This is getting ridiculous!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

That face...

This is the same face I get from Ayla everytime I pull out the camera. She gets very serious and refuses to smile. And those eyes look huge!
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Monday, February 18, 2008


There's no way around it. It's just plain cold. And our 100 year-old house lets a lot of that cold air in. Brigg was trying to find a way to keep warm tonight. And he said more than once, "Mom, I can't WAIT for spring!" Me either buddy, me either...
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For Mom and Jody

Ok girls...Paul is proving his love for you. He had the day off and this is what he worked on!
Here is the old accordian door from our bathroom...yes, it is outside, in the snow, ready to be sent to the dump!

And this my dears, is the new and improved bathroom door. It shuts AND it locks. Good stuff. I think Paul feels his days working on projects can now be officially over. You will both be very happy to come over and use the toilet, I'm sure...
(we still do need to do some trim work and painting, but hey, it closes!)
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Sub-zero temps=Lots of paperwork finished

I paid bills. I worked on taxes. I balanced my check book.

Paul put a door up on our bathroom...a REAL door. SO excited about that!

The kids fought. Brigg had a melt down. Lani started coming down with a cold and we backed out of small group for the night.

It's been a busy day. THIS WEATHER STINKS! (but as least my bills are paid and taxes finished!)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Might I recommend...
For all you bloggers out there, this is a fantastic resource. You can convert your blog into book form. I have my blog book from 2006 sitting on my living room table and I am currently working on my book for 2007. It is a pain in the neck, no doubt. It will take you hours upon hours, but hey...there is really no hurry. And when it's done you have your whole year in review. I have been reading my entries as I put my book together for this past year and I just keep thinking over and over again, "I am SO GLAD I blog this stuff!" I have been reminded of so many stories that I would have forever forgotten had I not blogged it. It's great. So go to blurb, download the booksmart software and click on "Blog to book". It's worth the work!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

"What just happened?"

That's how I felt this morning. I woke up and wondered what had happened over the last 24 hours. I am thankful that my children survived! About a half hour after my last post, I was down for the count. Could not move. Burning up...everything was just kind of blurry. I remember nursing Ayla a couple of times, in a fog, and telling Lani she could get herself some string cheese and water. Paul was home at 4:00 and he took over. He fed and bathed the kids and got them to bed and I just continued laying there...feeling half dead. But I am better today. It was pretty quick, so that's the good news! So I am back and trying to catch up with household chores today. Not an easy task.

Friday, February 15, 2008

i'm afraid it's coming

the flu. i'm not feeling great and it kinda comes in waves. we'll see what happens...ugh.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tater the dancer...

He is SUCH A HAM!!
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Our day

We had a fun breakfast and Brigg was very excited about his valentine! :) I went and helped out at Brigg's school Valentine's party. It was so much fun and fulfilled my teacher fix for the next couple months!

I made supper and Paul made dessert...chocolate milkshakes. It was a great day! I love these people SO MUCH it hurts!!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Some more words on love from my tablecloth...

Valentine's Day

Ok, I still have a little "teacher" in me. On practically ALL holidays I plan and prepare the night before. Valentine's Day is no different. Tonight I got the table all set to surprise the kids in the morning. I pulled out some special things that remind me of "love". The dishes on the table belonged to my Grandma Clodfelder. The heart in the center was the cake topper at our wedding and the tablecloth is one that traveled with me to two of my bridal showers. It is covered with love quotes and sayings from so many people that are dear to me. I posted a photo of a couple of my favorite sayings on it. Happy Valentine's Day to all!! We'll be celebrating in them morning with heart-shaped chocolate chip pancakes!! YUM!

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After a yummy lunch of homemade Dora Wot and Injera (traditional Ethiopian cuisine...with a "Tesi twist"...made in honor of Tesi's son on the other side of the world, whom they should be bringing home next month!)...

We are taming things down a bit tonight with grilled cheese and homemade tomato soup!

Monday, February 11, 2008


Not much going on around here today. A quick trip to Iowa City to the co-op and we are back home trying to get the house presentable. Brigg's mohawk was a hit at school. He still loves it. Ayla spends most of the hours of her life sleeping like a rock. Must be that Paul gene. She is quite possibly the easiest baby ever...I'm just scared that this will all change when the teenage years arrive!
Have I mentioned that I am beyond ready for spring? Well if not, I am!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Another Bread Post

A few weeks ago, I posted about baking bread. I had a few people who commented that they wanted the recipes. Let me first say, that I am no expert on bread making. I believe it is an art to be mastered and I'm nowhere NEAR having it mastered. But each time I make it I think it's a little better. But trust me, it will take years. In the photo on that post, there were 2 kinds of bread. The longer, lighter loaves are my grandma's recipe. I LOVE making that bread...even though I usually don't even eat one piece. I'd be able to go without bread for the rest of my life, I'm quite certain. Anyway, there is something about the smell of brings memories rushing back. Memories of my grandma and memories of my childhood. It is a great joy for me to bake this bread with Lani and Brigg and have them knead the dough and get covered in flour from head to toe. It makes a mess and it's usually and all-day event, but I'm sure it creates memories for Nalani and Brigg as well. I don't think it's possible though to just post the recipe. There are too many quirky things that are not in the recipe and need to be demonstrated. BUT the other loaf of bread in that photo (the round one) was a new recipe. Paul brought it home and we tried it out. He thought it was pretty good! (Remember, I don't eat the stuff, so I cannot verify how good it was!) But it was an EASY, no-knead bread recipe that I thought others might want to try. The good thing about bread is that you can mix things up once in a while and try it with different kinds of flour and it totally changes the bread. So anyway, here is the recipe for that crusty bread. Paul suggests that you eat it with soup or dip it in something. It IS a crusty bread. Here ya go...

No Knead, Dutch Oven Bread

Back to my "roots"

Some of you may not know this, but there has been a rumor around town that I am not a natural blonde! I KNOW! People are insane! How could you possibly think THIS is not natural...

Ok, my friends, that is what you call OUTGROWTH. And I seem to have a lot of it most days of my life. So, in an effort to avoid such obvious future outgrowth, I went back to my roots and we now have three new do's in this house.
(AND, those may possibly be the most adorable children on the planet!)
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