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Showing posts from January, 2008

Reading List

Stefan finally found something at the library! (I know...he only has about a million choices!) He has been reading a policing-exam book all night which has given me room to read/check over the following:

Valentines: Ted Kooser (former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner--he works at my old university!)
Fix-It-and-Forget-It: crock-pot recipes for lazy me!
Martha Stewart: Living (don't.)
Book #5, Prude: Carol Platt Liebau

Weren't you glad you asked?

Free Stuff for Moms and Dads

I always love free stuff--who doesn't? This entire pile (minus the phone in the background) was free of charge, from for doing this small step everytime (must create a free account first to sign in) I purchased a bag of diapers. I love P. diapers because they seem to be the only ones that truly stand up to the 'keep it in your pants' test. Enough about that--onto the free stuff! Pampers has an online section called "Gifts to Grow" and inside every package is a code that you enter in to gain 'reward points'. It's just a small step you can do while checking your e-mail; doesn't take long at all. Once you have enough points you can choose from a rewards catalog the item you want. Most are baby toys or board books, or if you save up close to 500 (the people who actually get this must have triplets or something!) you can even get a trike! However, they do have a few "Mom & Dad" options, and that's what we wanted. We alread…

Book #4 Finished Tonight!

Through InterLibraryLoan I was able to snag a copy of Unprotectedfrom the Omaha Public Library system. It's 151 pages of statistics and well researched motives for the current "Women's Health" crises facing today's college campus health centers today. The author, Anonymous, M.D. is a clinician at a large, well-known college who, because of the 'politically correct' laws and regulations for medical centers, is finding that she is unable to help the majority of clients who walk in the doors. Almost 70% of the people who visit M.D.'s (she's a counselor) office are women who she feels she is unable to help because of questions she is not allowed to ask. To understand what I mean by this, here's a quote from the Introduction section of her book,

"You probably didn't know what some insider psychologists are now revealing: that "psychology, psychiatry, and social work has been captured by an ultraliberal agenda" and that there are …

Arjax "Bear" Mast

This is the pup Lukka gets his nickname from. When we got Arjax home at 8 weeks old (Best Surprise EVER, hus!) he gradually started to answer to anything I would call him, from "Teddy Bear" to "Teddy" to just "Bear" and then again--"Jax-y". He sometimes doesn't answer to his real name, Arjax. He turned two on Christmas Day, and I'll have a big headshot of the other dog, Atreyu up soon. It will be so fun taking Bear and Trey (Atreyu) to the ocean--us throwing a stick way out in the sea and them paddling like mad to get it, and then Trey so happy she runs around like a crazy fool!

Updates on an Old 1915 House

Here are our house updates, as for the interior goes, we are done! (except, for you homeowners, you know you're never really done) Stefan just has to replace grout in 3 places, but we're back to using our bathroom!

Double staircase hallway (finally) painted "Babbling Brook". Cute, huh? Love that green shag, that, unfortunately won't be replaced anytime soon. However, can I draw your attention to the all original (1915) crown moulding? Lovely!
Second story hallway--cute cupboard built into the wall 1920's style. Original knobs with a fiesty rug from Pier One on the floor.
Tried to show double staircase...failed.
Our new bathroom! Sea foam colored tiles replaced nasty vinyl and deep brown replaced boring white. It is SO cozy in there! The color didn't turn out the best, it's actually quite dulled in the picture.

Gluten Free

In June of 2005, I was diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that is best summed up by saying that if I eat gluten (found in wheat, barley, and rye), I get sick as the lining in my small intestine gradually is eaten away. Gross, I know. When I got pregnant with Lukka, I stayed away from gluten...mostly. (No wheat means pretty much everything with no flour: bread, pasta, cookies, dognuts, cake, etc.) Once I had him, I ate a first, and then a lot, and never got sick! I thought this must be a 'pregnant' thing--I've heard of straight-haired women not being able to control the curls of post-partum. Bizarre that the body will change so drastically with a bun in the oven... No pun intended! I ate bread on a daily basis (even having four pieces of toast throughout the day today) and never got sick, except once, twice, and then again today. Well, it was fun while it lasted, but I think I need to jump back on the wagon, for my intestinal purposes...the …

Our House Gets Updated

Whew! One thing is for certain---I hate painting. I say this with a loathing not suitable for a housewife. But I do. Love watercolors, love oil, love artsy-fartsy paintin', HATE HATE HATE painting walls with a roller and brush. This week is the last week of our painting extravaganza, where we finished one massive hallway and one smaller one, and the bathroom. The colors turned out magnificant, and all of our guests in the previous year and a half would think so, too, as now the 'blue stripe' in our living room (the rest of the wall was white, it was pitiful) is fully blended with the rest of the wall. Hurray! I will post pictures after everything is cleaned up and put back in its proper place. Just so you don't forget, I hate painting, but on a good note, my husband loves it. (This is what he does and I don't, I mow and he doesn't...odd trade-off, but it works!)

What a Small World

I love the blogging community. I find great 'frugal deals and ideas' that other SAHMs dish out on a daily basis, and also find encouragement in other women (most of who I don't know) living their lives and writing about events going on where they are in life--however how small. As I was visiting this blog (this mom is Super Mom!), I left a comment and posted that I was from Lincoln, NE after my name. Someone from Lincoln emailed me on my blog whom I have met once at a Mom's Group of my Church's sister-church, Zion. How Bizarre! Looks like I made a new friend!

On another note, my church's bible study started a new 10-week session tonight. It is Beth Moore's "A Woman's Heart". I didn't really know what to expect because I've never really liked tele-evangelistic type programs, and only being a "Protestant" (it still feels weird to say that) for a few years, this is normally the sort of thing we weathered Catholics would cringe at…

Book #3 Done!

"Heaven" by Randy Alcorn was awesome. Every Christian should read this book to understand what the Bible has to say about our future eternal home. Awesome references, too. Even our little Lincoln Public Library has a few copies!

On to the next! (While I'm waiting for the library to make this book ready for readers--they just ordered and received two copies last week--I'm reading this!)

For more information on this subject, go to this blog.

Tea Bowls as Gifts

These teabowls were given to us as gifts from Jake M, a potter who goes to our church. He told us yesterday that he brings about 5-6 teabowls every Sunday to give away to people 'who match the bowls'. He puts a lot of thought into it, and explained yesterday the origination of each type of bowl. Stefan's is the brown, neutral earthenware, and mine is a teal translucent one, made in the imitation of Jade. Jake has also opened up his home to us and a group of our GC friends to throw pots and have a potluck. He has two wheels, a kiln, and a raku kiln (made from an old garbage bin!). What an awesome experience that was (it is so much harder than those potters make it seem!)

Frugality List

Since I am trying to win a copy of this, my regular readers may not know that I am a secret saver. We penny pinch, but mostly it's because we like to do things the 'home-made' way (i.e. cheap) or we wouldn't do them! Here's a list of my quirky, I mean, frugal things I do in my home:
I cut Stefan's hair. His mother taught me how to do this right after we got married. I don't think the poor kid has ever had a haircut in a salon...or even a cost cutters! We recycle everything, and whatever we can't find a second use for (ice-cream bucket turns into 'road-tripping water-bowl for dogs'), goes into the recycling unit a few blocks from our house. We also swap what we want and want to give away with a local online group, Freecycle (check out and join for your city). We bake our own bread and desserts. We rarely buy 'dessert' (except ice cream in the summer) and two chocolate bars per adult every month. Don't let this fool you, it's mostly…

Frugal (Free!) Book Alert!

Click on the title or here to see and enter a drawing for The Tightwad Gazette, a book I'd been reading about recently in the Frugal Blog Network (mostly here and here). I love these ladies, their ideas are so great, and who knew frugality could be fun? I thought it just meant no trips to Super Target with 10 things when I only needed 1 (how depressing, huh?). Enjoy! And ::crossing fingers:: good luck!

New Supplies

With Lukka being crawling age, getting soon to open cupboards, etc. and still putting his mouth over everything, I've been getting a bit paranoid about cleaning supplies. I also recently had an incident where I used a heavy-duty tub cleaner and the chemical was so harsh I couldn't open my eyes for nearly 5 minutes without wanting to close them because of the burning...just from being around the chemical. I threw that out and decided to check out this new brand I've seen at SuperTarget. Not only does it have a sleek design, it's 'all-natural', stating on its website that, "method is made with naturally-derived surfactants. It works by absorbing dirt rather than chemically degrading it. And method is biodegradable so you can clean your home without flushing super-toxic chemicals down the drain into our rivers, lakes and oceans. We're against that. Dirty doesn't have to roll downhill". It also has all the ingredients (including the bottles') …

Update on Dinner

I feel a little dumb. I forgot to pick up a few of these at Target when we went there for groceries the other day, thus no potato soup...but the cookies (with chickpeas!) were the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever made! Also...Jisa's cheese is long gone. It doesn't stay in our house past the 4 hour mark, it's just too good.

We Love Open Harvest

Dinner tonight: Potato soup (with cauliflower and carrot puree, cookbook Deceptively Delicious)

Dessert tonight: Chocolate chip cookies (with chickpeas aka organic Garbanzo beans, cookbook above)
My favorite type of chips, Kettle Chips. Stefan figured out how to make a 'healthy version' of our favorite snack: salty chips. We took 2 old potatoes, cut them lengthwise with a carrot peeler, based lightly with canola oil and then lightly salted with sea salt. Bake for about 5-10 mins (check your oven frequently, we used a small toaster oven) and dip in ketchup...YUM!
Best dairy in Nebraska, Legacy Farms milk and Jisa's Cheese...YUM! (each milk container is glass, rinse and recycle for $1.50 off next milk OR keep as a cute vase for spring flowers! Watch out for their chocolate milk, I could officially drink it for the rest of my life.)

Cute Movie

National Treasure Trailor

This is a cute family film, and being as I was interested in becoming an archeologist when I was little, I found the movie especially good. I can't remember the last PG movie I saw. Pretty much the 'child friendly' version of this.

First Showing

Well, here it came, the first of the potential buyers, at just after 3:30 PM today. We just listed it on Friday and 5 days later we got our first call...and this with the second 'snow' of the year! Not a very good day to be out and about...but we're not complaining! Hopefully they'll be many more soon! I was lucky my mom wanted to come over to see Lukka, and during that hour of her playing 'patty cake', I ran around the house doing dishes, vacuuming, laundry, swiffering, mopping, dusting, and putting things away! I was sweating by the end of the hour!
We'll see!

Just shy of 100

Pages left that is, in my 3rd book (and it's only January, frankly, I'm doing well!) on my list for 2008. It is so thick, but it's wonderful. Randy Alcorn's, Heaven, answers about 100 questions he and others have had about our future home. It is full of Scripture (just about after answered question!) and has made me realign my thinking of sitting on clouds, strumming harps all day, bouncing from white puffy cotton cloud to the next! It has taken me the entire 6 weeks the library allows for one book to be checked out and then renewed by one person. It's technically due on the 25th...but I hope to be done by this weekend! I think his next book (also on my list), "Money, Possessions, and Eternity" will be MUCH farther down through the year than I previously thought. It's sorta like labor and childbirth...ya' know you want to have another one...but you need a bit of a break first to "want" to want the next! One of the things he talks abou…

Old Hoodie goes Modern

The first picture is the front of the hat, the second is the back of the hat. This project took me about 2 hours total. I took an old donated hoodie, used the cuffs of each sleeve to create mittens (sewn on appliques) and then used a plain piece (cut into triangle shape) of the hoodie to create the hat. I added both set of patterns to the hat and then each mitten has one or the other. The edge of the hat was unfinished, so I added ribbon. The ribbon was by far the hardest. This can easily fit a young girl, elementary or junior high aged. I had hoped to make 4 items (a big matching tote is on its way) and give them to my friend Emily, but didn't want to cut into the tote's material to make the hat big enough. Although the mittens and tote (obviously) will 'fit' her! What a fun project, I am going to make a lot of these 'sets' and sell them on my Etsy Store.

Kitchen View #1 and Backyard

Stefan and I (and family) have taken off all the kitchen's wallpaper and repainted the walls a seafoam green and the wainscoating a brighter white. Stefan tore down all the railing on the deck outside and repositioned a new set of stairs. This picture makes our backyard look very small, but it's actually quite big! Stefan had painted the deck brown this summer but the bottom needs another coat.

Family Room

This room (from this angle) is done! Behind me (I'm on the stairs) the wall is still half-white, half-blue! Yikes, we better get painting before the first of our potential buyers see it!

Good Recipe

Stefan and I really like to buy food from Open Harvest, the organic store...the only thing is, what happens when you spend a dollar extra on 'organic yogurt' and it expires before you eat it all? You wander over to the garbage with the container in your hand with a tear in your eye notice a recipe on the back...that involves baking...and high temperatures. In my mind this justifies keeping around the ole' stuff until its used. (Does this really work...Is it the same as "cooking the bacteria out of it"? I would like to know.) Viola! The recipe was fabulous and the "Apple Spice Muffins' were probably the best I've ever made (it helped I had apple puree in the freezer). The yogurt was Stonyfield Farms lowfat vanilla and the recipe is (summarized):
2 c. flour
2 eggs
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar
1 cup apples, peeled and chopped (however, I just used 1 c. apple puree--that had the peel still in it! and they were great...and no …


Why I hate our dogs:

The dreaded backyard in winter: It took me a good 40 minutes to pick up their stuck-in-the-frozen-you-know-what today.

Why I love our dogs:
They will curl up and sleep together to make some of the cutest pictures.

Book Two Done

I had to take a break from "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn. I am currently 191 pages into it (out of about 450!) and although good...its heavy. Plus, I got one of my books off the list as a Christmas gift and have been excited to read it ever since! It is Ani Difranco's "Verses" and it was a fantastic hour read--coming it at just under 100 pages. It is a book of poetry, and I would say abotu 65% of them have become lyrics to songs that I knew from my huge collection of her CDs that I own. I didn't know, however, that she was an artist that uses mixed media, canvas, and sketches, too, as they were strewn throughout. One of my favorite parts of the book was her dialogue with Sekou Sundiata. Ani started her own recording company ( at the age of 18 and has been touring, writing, creating, and playing since then. Stefan and I have only had one chance to see her. It was a few years at the Rococco Theatre and it was amazing. I can'…

Poor Late Bloomers

I am a lover of magazines. I currently subscribe to a few: Reader's Digest, Relevant, Christian Research Journal (apologetics), and Radiant and read them cover-to-cover. Relevant and Radiant are sister magazines, born from the same press, only Radiant is the "female" version and Relevant is pretty gender neutral. I just started subscribing to Radiant in the Fall, and since it is a newer publication, it is only a quarterly magazine. I got my Fall 2007 issue and never my "Winter" one...I expected it would come in January with the new year. As I opened up my Relevant mag (which I got about a week ago) and turned to the letter from the editor, he (Strang) said they discontinued Radiant because there wasn't enough subscriptions to pay for itself, although they are continuing the website (great articles and blogs, updated every few days: I was SO disappointed--I had ordered all the back issues (only 5!) for myself to read over Christm…

Vancouver or Bust, 2008

We have a secret. We have a monster Resolution for 2008. Since we have discussed this a) privately, b)with family, and c) with close friends, I feel I can now let the cat out of the bag. We are feeling pulled to move this year to Vancouver, British Columbia. Stefan and I first made the decision to mark 2008 as the year to move for a number of reasons. Some are little, some are big, some are more important than others. A few of them are: We have always had the desire to move there and have never wanted to settle in Nebraska, when we first got married, we put a "5-7" year time frame on the calendar and never (really) intended to stay past year #5 or 6. We feel a sense of urgency in 2008 because the 2010 Winter Olympics are in Whistler ( which means housing and costs in general are going to SKYROCKET for that, and we feel that we should 'beat the crowd' (if we can) by moving sooner than 2009, if we don't, we'd have to wait until 2…