Tuesday, December 23, 2008

For unto us a Child is Born!

To me, this passage from Isaiah is the reason for the season. I pray that each of you find Jesus, either for the first time or all over again, in these next few days. For me, He is ever present, but for many I know that He is still not as close. I pray that this Christmas season, He may be re-born unto you and that through this you may find the greatest Christmas gift we have been given: Eternal Life through Jesus Christ!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

You finish the story...

Aghh!!! is all I could say (especially with a 3-year old in earshot!) after lunch today. But let's start at the beginning.

Last night after we had a wonderful family evening of dinner, watching Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown, and cookies, I decided to give my kitchen a Christmas gift... an on-your-hands-and-knees scrubbing. It needed it. We had baked 4 (but 3 edible) batches of cookies yesterday and I could barely take a step without feeling some nugget of cr%p under my feet. As I was finishing, I looked at the front of the refrigerator and thought "I should really wash that down while I'm hear on the floor" and then I proceeded on. Well, who knew!!!

So today we were pleasantly surprised to have Scott home for lunch (that happens maybe twice a year) so I grabbed some ground beef and sloppy joe mix and made sloppy joe's for lunch. We had a great lunch, sent him off to work again, and proceeded to clean up the kitchen. I was just about finished wiping down the counters when I realized the coffee pot was spotted. So I wiped it down, slid it back into place and then it happened. I realized that is where I had set the not quite empty sloppy joe can... and it proceeded to fall onto the floor, bounce off the rug, and land most of its tomato-y contents on the front of my white refrigerator....Merry Christmas, Kitchen. You are officially clean!

Deck the Halls!

I was not into the blogging world last year for BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes, but I thought it would fun to participate this year. If for no other reason, Maria is frequently asking to see pictures of our new (okay, its not really new anymore) home in Ohio. Merry Christmas and enjoy the tour.***

Welcome to our home - I must say, as tempted as I have been to paint the door, I do love having a white door because everything shows up!

Upon entering, you'll come into our foyer. Typically this has a few other kid friendly decorations, but they appear to have been hidden (hence why they are kid friendly).

The stairwell was new creation this year. For whatever reason, it has gone undecorated in past years. This year it has become a beautiful array of lights (and doubles as a nightlight!)

The Living Room shelf was a last minute creation. I had a lot of ribbon left from another project you'll see later on the tour and I decided to use it on shelves throughout the house. This is one of my favorites, especially because the winter scene in the picture is enhanced by all the decorations.
On the other side of the foyer is our formal dining room. I must say the photographer (that's me) did not really do this room justice. Its much more beautiful at night when the garland is lit and the china hutch lights are on... but you'll need to use your imagination.

Here is a picture of the buffet and hutch up close:

This window hangs over our wine rack and is something that changes seasonally. This year I simply took some of my holly (which I used elsewhere throughout the dining room) and added it to to the ivy. Get it... holly and the ivy!!!

On to our family room. The arrangement of furniture was new this year (and done with the help of my dear friend Kristen) to allow the tree to be in this corner. I really like it here versus other places we've had it as you can see it upon entering the room. If you look closely at the picture, you will see the miniature tour guide, she just couldn't stay out of the picture!

Here is our mantle and fireplace.

And last on the official tour is the Snow Village, each year I wonder where to put it as the village grows and each year it ends up on top of the TV curio. Somehow I always find room for the latest addition. I think year's village arrangement is my favorite.

Although this concluded the official tour of the McGregor home, I did mention my ribbon project this year. After reading and viewing some craft ideas from Maria, I came up with this fun idea for my 5 red stars that decorate my kitchen soffit all year round. It was so easy and it added just a little more Christmas spirit to my kitchen.

Thank you for taking a tour of our home. We wish each and every one a blessed Christmas season.

***I, like Maria, am totally blown away by the beautiful, elegant, and elaborate decorations of these homes. I am not in anyway competing or comparing my work... it would just shame me:)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Christmas Story (on ice)

Ever since Thanksgiving weekend, K has been obsessed with Disney on Ice. She got to see Mickey, Minnie, and the crew on ice in Des Moines while visiting Grandma and Grandpa. While the first 5 minutes were a rather overwhelming adventure (including repeated requests to sit in the car and go home), the minute Minnie walked/skated out she declared "I love this!" So it has been no surprise that for the last 2 weeks, we've been "playing" a lot of things "On Ice". To this point, it has meant we just pretend to ice skate around the basement while playing whatever we were doing before. Today it took on a new level.

Today, we had to play the Christmas Story. K has several books of her own with this story, but her new favorite is a library book that is about a preschool who performs the Christmas Story. So K decided our roles. She would play Mary, I would play Joseph, and her stuffed deer (named Tiny Star) would be Baby Jesus because "he's a good deer so he can be Jesus". We had a Little People doll, Raggedy Ann, and Dressy Bessie playing the 3 Wise Men and a stuffed Snoopy Dog as the Shepard boy. It all seemed pretty normal for a 3 year old mind and then.... "Mary" proceeded to put on her roller skates so we can be "On Ice".

Please picture this... Mary is now roller/ice skating to Bethlehem (aka around the basement playroom) with Joseph (me) and a tiny deer under her arm. When I did ask if "Jesus" was born yet, "Mary replied" " Yes, he already came from the sky" (okay- babies come the sky- good answer at 3!)

After several trips around the basement, a song from the shepherds (Joy to the World- sung by me) and the 3 Wise Men (Star of Wonder- sung by K). Mary and Joseph stopped at the "Inn" (playhouse), rang the doorbell, and proceeded to place Jesus in the manager (doll cradle).

And that folks, is the Christmas Story on Ice... probably not coming to venue near you soon, but if my video camera is within reach next time, it may show up on YouTube.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Decorating our Hearts

Today is one of those days when I'm in a zone. Today its the decorating zone... all I want to is decorate for Christmas. Earlier this week, I was really having serious motivation issues regarding decorating. I'm not sure if its the perfectionist in me, the insane amount of Christmas out before Thanksgiving, or just not wanting to deal with the mess that must first occur before the final result is achieved.

So last night, after K begged us, we all went out to put out the small amount of outdoor lights that is the norm for our house. And then something clicked. I realized that decorating for Christmas isn't just about getting the house looking perfect and festive, its also a time for me to prepare my heart for the real meaning of Christmas. Decorating is about preparing for the arrival of the King, Christ Jesus. And if God has spent so much effort into creating a room for me in His house, then I can certainly spent a little time each year preparing for His arrival... not only in my home but more importantly, in my heart.

So, off to continue decorating. And while doing so, I'm greatly awaiting the arrival of Christ Jesus again this year.

Happy Advent, Blessed Christmas, and Merry Decorating~

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I love to travel... anyone who knows me knows that. But I really think one of the best parts of traveling is coming home. There is nothing better than being completely exhausted, usually from hours upon hours in the car with a wee-little one or from battling the less-than-experienced travelers at the airport, and walking into your own house, using your own bathroom, and completely collapsing into your own bed.

Oh its true (and this drives my husband and my buck-eye friends a little nuts) that I still don't really consider the state of Ohio home as I do Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. But if you define home as being where I want to be at the end of a long day of travel, than Ohio is it, for now. This is where I find my husband and daughter, my house, and my bed. And wonderful it all is... so I guess this is it... Ohio is now: Home Sweet Home!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Okay, People, I'm back...

I am back. I know, its been a ridulcous amount of time. I have no excuse. And trust me, I have tried to come up with a few good ones.

I promise to make better use of this internet space I call my blog (and the new laptop I scored at 6:00 AM from Staples is going to help!)

Happy Day!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The one about my husband.

Thanks, Julz for posting this... this was fun to read and fill out. Play along ladies, if you dare!

1. He's sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen? Modern Marvels (if its about anything running on diesel) or comedy central, which he will turn off when I walk in the room!

2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Bleu Cheese

3. What's one food he doesn't like? Really not a chocolate guy...how are we together?? :)

4. You go out to the bar. What does he order? If he's making it an early evening, Miller Lite or maybe something unique on tap (Fat Tire, Leinnes' seasonal, etc) but if its a good night out, Crown and Coke.

5. Where did he go to high school? Marshalltown- go bobcats!

6. What size shoe does he wear? Size 11.5-12 - looking at him, you'd never guess.

7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? Auction brochures... seriously, baseball hats.

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? Hot sandwiches... like a Quizno's or a toasted sub

9. What would he eat every day if he could? Ice cream or red meat....

10. What is his favorite cereal? Hmm, can't remember the last time I saw him eat cereal.

11. What would he never wear? Probably an Ohio State shirt (sorry, Buckeye fans!)

12. What is his favorite sports team? He doesn't really have one... but if his MIL asks, it better be the Packers.

13. Who will he vote for? I do know, but we're not happy with either party right now...

14. Who is his best friend? Aside from me... Jason Evans, college roommate.

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do? Probably put downy in his whites load.

16. How many states has he lived in?3... IA, MN, and OH

17. What is his heritage? Scottish... about 150%!!

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what would it be?Anything with ice cream on the side

19. Did he play sports in high school? He was on the swim team

20. What could he spend hours doing? Searching the web for equipment, construction jobs, and bid letting... CRAZY, isn't he?

21. Does he belong to any men's organizations?No.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

House Rules

I grew up in a big family... not Dugger size of 16, but there are 5 kids. I am the oldest and there are 12.5 years between me and the baby (who is now 19). After me there is my sister Amy, my brother Kyle, my sister Kya, and baby brother Kale. We are currently spread across the US - literally, with one sister in Virginia, one in Seattle, a brother in Philly, the other in Chicago and us in Ohio. And yet, we're close. I talk to my sisters at least once a week (or leave them a voicemail) and I try to talk to my brothers often, but boys being boys... conversations are not usually lenghty.

Anyway, I digress. The thing I remember about living in a house with 5 kids under 13 was there wasn't the chaos that you might expect. Granted I moved to college at 18 and so there were only really a few years with ALL of us at home, but even now when we're all home, with spouses and kids, its not chaotic. Oh, I remember days that seemed chaotic, like Junior Prom, my sister and I both trying to get ready and fighting over the curling iron (luckily the scar is gone!) or trying to leave for a 20 hour drive to FL with 5 kids in a van (okay that was insane not chaotic!) but yet I wonder, in amazement, how my parents accomplished that! There is nothing that sticks out in my mind, like family meetings or a big list of house rules, we just somehow did it.

I mention all this because even in our household of 3 (2 adults and a 3-yo) it can feel a little chaotic. So I've been thinking about house rules - what house rules or family rules do we need? Do we really need any other than loving and respecting each other? So my question is - does your family have house rules/family rules? Did you write them down? I'm looking for some input... and I'll post more later when our family decides on our own.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oh, for the love of...

Diet Coke.

Yes, Diet Coke. I try really hard to be healthy, I do. We're eating a lot more fresh or freshly frozen veggies and fruit, trying to work more organic or locally grown foods into our diet, and working toward those 8 glasses a day of water. We usually do okay on this one... K loves her milk and juice, but little does she know its 80% water, 20% juice, and we are faithful to the 3 glasses of milk a day. Partially because I just don't buy soda and the truth is I don't buy it because I will drink it.

Case in point... this weekend we had K's 3 year birthday party. I made Kool-aid for the kids and bought 2 2-liters of soda for the grown-ups (along with some beer and homeade ice-tea). The regular Coke was almost gone, maybe 3 (very flat) ounces left, which I used to get the baked on crud out of the bottom of the crock pot. But there was almost a quarter of the 2-liter left of Diet Coke... what's a girl to do. I know, I know, I know all the awful stories about people drinking so much their teeth go bad, and that the nutrasweet is totally unnatural, blah, blah, blah. But I LOVE IT, so help me. Thank goodness that bottle is almost empty...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Its not easy being Green...

Here at the McGregor home, we're trying to do our part for the planet. If you know us, outside of the blog world, you know

  • we love nature, but we're not chaining ourselves to Redwoods anytime soon

  • we love being outdoors, but understand the best place of employment for us is in an office

  • we love fresh air, but at 90 degrees with 90% humidity, air conditioning is still a fabulous gift from God

Maybe its having children (and knowing others who will need our planet some day) that has made me a little more "green" but here are few things I find myself doing more and more:

Breaking down every cardboard box, from macaroni and cheese (which is all Annie's now! LOVE IT!!) to big corragated boxes from packages and gifts

Looking at the packaging to see what has the least and is it recyclable

Saving those plastic ties that come off of every kid toy under the sun - did you know they make great suitcase locks and the TSA doesn't have to cut them!

Trying to actually eat all the leftovers in the fridge before they go bad (and the same with freezer food - getting it eaten before its covered in freezer burn!)

So - what, if anything, have you been doing to help be a little more green? I'm always looking for more simple, yet safe, ideas!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

5 Things...

I copied this from Julz... it looked like fun (and I knew most of her 5 things no-one knows... live with a girl a year and you learn a lot! :)

10 Years Ago...I was 23 and starting my senior year of college. Living with my best friend and having the time of my life (uno in the elevator, anyone?).

5 Years Ago... Married to Scott, working at Park Nicollet on the CPOE/eMAR project and living in The Cities.

5 Things on my list for tomorrow...
1. church
2. finishing my grocery list for K's birthday party
3. laundry
4. finish hacking (aka: pruning) at my shurbs in the front yard
5. having chinese for dinner

5 Things people don't know about me...
1. I've had braces twice.
2. I really love ironing, especially pillowcases.
3. I'm not totally opposed to a tatoo at some point in my life
4. I am total afraid of unenclosed fires (candles and fireplaces are okay, birthday candles and bonfires better be adequately put out)
5. I kept my maiden name (Schnettler) as my second middle name when I got married on my Social Security card.

5 Bad Habits...
1. cleaning every square inch of a room when all I was going to do was pick up
2. buying paper because its pretty
3. not checking my voicemail
4. forgetting my cellphone
5. not reading my bible everyday

5 Places I've Lived...
1. Kohler, WI
2. Decorah, IA
3. Edina, MN
4. Melville, NY (okay, it was work, but I spent more time there in 2000-2001 than in MN)
5. Springfield, OH

The big 3!

I can hardly believe that our little baby turned 3 on Thursday. It really seems like just yesterday we were at the wedding of some friends, teasing about how I had another month to go... and then, Kelsey made her great appearance into the world the very next day. I remember feeling so blessed and yet so scared at the same time. Seeing your baby in an incubator, hooked up to monitors, lying under the bili lights, feeding tubes...and yet we knew we were so very blessed that She has been an incredible little girl from the very start... who has grown up so very much.

Kelsey's Hospital picture - taken August 26, 2005 (the day she went home)

She is so excited to be 3, as she is now a "tall girl" (she rarely uses big... she likes tall!). She knows she gets to start dance class in the fall and get a big girl bed (yes, she's still in a crib!).

Kelsey (age 3) opening a present from Nonnie and Plain Grandpa!

If I could only be so excited about each new age I reach! HAHAHA!!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back to School...

I love "back to school" time each year. And yes, no one in our house even goes to school (right now!) But I love the idea of fresh notebooks, crayons, and folders and getting it all set with your backpack. It has always been my favorite part of the school year... and if that and bulletin boards were all there really was to being a teacher, I'd be there (but if you know me... you know I'm not the teacher-to-children-other-than-my-own type).

Anyhow... I was reminded of Mr. Sketch markers today as I was thumbing through a back-to-school craft magazine. Almost instantly, I could smell the blend of mint, chocolate, apple, and licorice markers. Its one of those things that I'm still amazed are still around... was it actually safe for us to inhale all those together??? :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Confession Time

I have a confession... I love houseguests. Really I do. I realized this today as I was getting out towels, swishing the bathroom, stocking TP, etc for some last minute houseguests. I really do love it. I love trying to make my home as comfortable for friends and family as it is for me. We use to joke about our house in Minnesota being the McGregor Inn, because of the frequent guests we had when we first moved in... my MIL had even bought me a guest book to keep track of our visitors. And now that we're in Ohio and we don't have as many guests, I really do miss it and truly cherish the ones who do come!

So, if you're in the neighborhood... please feel free to stop by. The McGregor Inn is open!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Feelin' like Martha... again!

So here was the dilemma. We have 2 wonderful westward facing windows in our formal dining room that allow in the wonderful breezes (especially on day's like today, sunny, 75F, no humidity- did I mention its august?!). But my dilemma has always been, how do I keep the very light-weight (and totally for fashion, not function) panel curtains from blowing all over my dining room and people, if you're trying to actually use the room.

My brainstorm (aka: Martha Moment!) today: Napkin rings!! They are the perfect tie-backs for my curtains. They are heavy enough to keep the curtains from blowing and yet light enough they don't just fall off! Who knew!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Slowly, but surely

Life is returning to normal around here. And thank goodness.... I'm not sure how much more of the random side-dishes of life I could take. K seems to be over UTI numero dos, this time a little quicker than numero uno. Of course, its still a constant battle to drink enough fluid, take her medicines, get rid of the fluid she drank, etc. But, I'll take it. I'll take same old rountine any day of the week over a very sick child who isn't herself.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I know, I know, I know...

Blogs are meant to be UPDATED! So like my Mama Friend, I will be trying harder to keep my blog up to date.

Life has been CRAZY! With a Capital everything. There have been so many happenings, positive and negative, it would take me hours (and giving up my mornign shower!) to give you all the details but since my last blog, here's what we've been up to:

1. March for Babies - a huge success in Clark County! Thanks for all your great support (PS- if you meant to donate and forgot, its still not to late!)
2. Mothers Day - which was a wonderful day with my husband and daughter
3.Trip to WI to visit with Cousin Avery and Auntie Kya who was home from Seattle for her college graduation (WAY TO GO KYA!)
4. From LaCrosse WI to Minneapolis for a day visit with the McGregor Clan (Happy belated Birthday, Uncle Michael) and to see good friends!
5. From Minneapolis to Annandale MN to see the Princess Pigtails and her Mama. We had 2 great days filled with 2 1/2 year old fun and then...
6. A trip to the Buffalo Urgent Care for Kelsey - her first UTI.
7. A trip back to Kohler to get Kesley well - it worked (for a while)
8. While in Kohler, Mom has unexpected surgery (turned out to be okay and she's doing well!)
9. Trip back to Springfield (with Scott!) and HOME, aka: my own bed and house!
10. We enjoy a quiet week at home, get the sailboat out with sails up, enjoy some great weather, some great stormy weather and then...
11. BAHM! Kelsey has a UTI, again. Forunately, we're home this time. Now we begin the process of getting her well again and then traveling to Dayton Children's for some tests.

Its been a crazy couple of weeks, folks. So I hope you can understand my lack of blogging (not tomention my husband doesn't think I NEED a laptop! - any help on that is appreciated!)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Martha Moment...

I occasionally have what I call a Martha Moment... one of those moments when you actually do something household or crafty, right. Just like Martha would do.

Yesterday, I put in a load of laundry, random light colored things. My good khaki pants, a few light colored shirts, some pj's, etc. I emptied the pockets, added the Cheer, Downy, hit "Warm/Cold" and GO! You can imagine how surprised I was when I opened up the washer and every item had red spots on it. Now, there was nothing red in the load, and it was only little 1/2 inch spots, usually 1-2 per item... on every single thing. I quickly thought "don't dry these - it will set the stain (what ever this is!) and got out the shout gel, and went to work. I dotted and rubbed each little red dot on every item, but it all back in the washer, did the soap, downy, water, ON thing again and said a little prayer. After all those are my favorite khaki pants!

And 30 mins later when the washer was done - VIOLA! NO RED SPOTS! I know it wasn't rocket science... but I was so glad to have saved a load of laundry (and my favorite pants!) I declared this an official Martha Moment!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Come out, come out wherever you are!

I am referring to SPRING!!! After 5 glorious days of sunshine, 60's and 70's, yard work, trips to the park... spring is hiding. And I want it to come back!!!! Now, I must say, we could have had the days, upon days, upon days of rain that my parents were having or we could have had snow like our Minnesota friends were having. But I am tried of clouds and drizzle. I WANT SUN!!!!!

So, if you know where its hiding, please send it this way. I will be forever grateful.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I must apologize...

...friends and blog readers.  It has been way too long since my last post.

I had fully intended on blogging while on vacation in Flordia... but my dear MIL's laptop died 3 days in to the trip and we were without technology for the remainder.  It was weird... no email to check, no digital photos to edit, no blogs to read or write, no facebook! What's a girl to do, you ask!  

Our answer:  play in the sun, the surf, and the pool!  We did tons of it and K enjoyed every minute (as did Grandma L and Mommy!)  Here are a few pictures of our fabulous annual adventure:

And we returned, lucky for us, to spring in Ohio.  It is 65, sunny, and we are enjoying being outside at home once again.

Happy Spring!!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

March for Babies...

For those of you who don't know, our family has gotten very involved in our local March of Dimes chapter here in the Miami Valley. Last year we participated in WalkAmerica as a family team raising $$ and I helped the committee with recruiting other family teams.

This year we're taking on a little more! I am actually chairing our local Clark County March for Babies (formerly WalkAmerica) and am SO EXCITED!!! This year has been fanastic as March of Dimes has been re-branding itself and the event. I love getting to know other families who have been touched by the wonderful work that the March of Dimes does... all to give every baby a healthy start. Afterall... that's what the March of Dimes is really all about.

So please... if you have been impacted by the work of the March of Dimes (and if you got a polio vaccine, a PKU screening at birth, are taking your folic acid for future healthy babies - then you have!) please consider donating to our family team, Kelsey Belle's Bunch or become your own family team and participate in March for Babies in your own local area.

With your help... we can give all babies a healthy start.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Snap, crackle, pop!!!

And I don't mean the cereal... that was the sound of my light fixture over the breakfast table this morning. It was also followed by a fireworks display (albeit, very small!). Now for those of you who know I my unrational fear of fire... this is not the way to start my morning. Especially when K is standing there calmly saying "Don't do it again, Mommy!"

Thank goodness my dad was able to put it all in prespective... try all new light bulbs, and when that doesn't work, replace the fixture!

Now I just have to turn off every single light in the house whenever I leave the room... and I might be make it. Darn, those irrational fears!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Budding Artist Gallery

I'm starting to run out of storage space for all of K's fabulous art. So, we've decided to preserve it by taking digital photos... that way we can save them forever and share them with all of you.

We hope you enjoy the introductory pieces of the Budding Artist's Gallery!
Finger painting #1 - Feb 22 , 2008

Finger painting #2 - Feb 22 , 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ladybug Attack....

Although it is not even really close to spring (2 2-hour late starts and 2 snow days this week!), we have had an influx of ladybugs at our house... courtesy of K. She has discovered she can draw them and now that is all she draws. Ladybugs, ladybugs, ladybugs. Here is her 1st one (its the only one I saved!)
I was quite proud of our little artist... she really did the whole thing herself... I only prompted here to put on some legs... which she then added about 12!!! Too cute.

I must say, if my house is going to be taken over by ladybugs, I will take these paper ones over the real ones any day of the week!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Tis' the Season...

Tis the Season of Lent.... I have to admit that it is only in recent years that I have truly come to love and appreciate the season of Lent. I know, in our secular world, most people don't probably think of Lent as a season to be celebrated. Hallmark isn't advertising its Lenten Cards, people aren't having Lent Open Houses, the corporate world does not give Holy Week to employees as a holiday... but to me it has become a very important season in my Christian walk.

The importance and my love of Lent truly increased in 2006... this was the year when Scott started working in Ohio Monday through Friday, leaving me in Minnesota with a 4 month old. Talk about 40 days in the desert fighting with the Devil... we faced a lot. But we knew that at the end of the time, we would be a new family in a new home, in a new place. And let me tell you that first Easter in Ohio (9 days after we moved) was so filled with joy and new beginnings.

Oh, I don't even dare to compare our experiences with what Christ did for us. But I do believe that sometimes God puts events and seasons in our lives so that we may just have a glimpse of what His only, precious Son did for us on the cross.

So as we begin this season of Lent, I am reminded not only of seasons past in our lives, but of the greatest season to come... Eternal Life with my Savior.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Scavenger Hunt...

So I have been thinking about scavenger hunts lately... you remember the game from your kid-days. You get a list of random things (0ur's always contained a green tissue) that you had to go scavenge from the neighbors... they were good times... I still remember the one from my 11th birthday, pouring rain and my aunt Phyllis carrying a golf umbrella to help keep 3 10/11 yo girls dry.

Anyway, I have been thinking about them because I have been working on a decluttering scavenger hunt from FlyLady's website... a list of random places to declutter that we might not otherwise think of.

So, this really got me to thinking (I know ... its scary) I sometimes think God made the world a scavenger hunt. The (very partial) list would look something like this:

  • Penicllin

  • Paper

  • DNA mapping

  • Ethanol

  • Great Marriages

  • Jell-O

The things on the list are things He knows the secret to, but we need to find them... like pencillin from mold...tree pulp into paper...corn into fuel for ethanol...itty bitty pieces of things into DNA maps... Love and forgiveness (and HIM) in great marriage...Jell-O, at every church event.

I do sometimes think there must be so many "secrets" that God has planted into our everyday lives... it is like a scavenger hunt.

Little Ladies...

My sister Amy has always called K " a little lady"... especially when she was an infant. So I must say that my little niece, baby Tate, is also growing into a lovely little lady.

For those of you who have been asking.... here are some pics of Avery from her baptism this past weekend (thanks to avery's blog!) There are some pictures of Avery wearing her baptism gown, the same one that K wore (its made out of my mother's wedding dress), so I thought I'd put up a picture of K in the same gown... oh, where are those baby days!?!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

And the list continues...

  • All things unicorn
  • CareBears
  • JiffyPop
  • The blue bag of Cheetos
  • Miami Vice, LA Law, St. Elsewhere, Moonlighting... all 80's TV
  • Razzles (it's candy - no, it's gum!)
  • The Breakfast Club... okay, Brat Pak in general
  • Spokey-Dokes and banana bike seats

I must say many of these were added by my friends and I often have lists running through my head... I just can't always blog them in time for you all to enjoy before they're **poof** gone!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Adding to the list...

Seeing my dear friend, Mama's, post about NKOTB made me realize I forgot to add - making mixed tapes ... from the radio... to the list of retro things our children will never really understand.

I can only dream that K never discovers NKOTB... but we'll just have to let fate takes its course on that one!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

So true, so true.

What goes around, comes around. What comes around never leaves!"

This is one of my favorite quotes spoken by my husband's best friend Jason while we were in college. Its one of my favorites because, well, it just seems true.

And this week what won't leave is this nasty virus/bug-thing at our house. Yes, K woke up Friday night with a 101.5 fever and has had it with great persistence ever since. She's slowly working on the congestion and other lovelies that comes with this virus/bug, so I have no doubt it came from yours-truly. That is one thing I've learned in the Mommy-world. No matter how raw your hands are from washing, no matter how many antibacterial wipes you use, no matter how much you clean... germs get passed. And since I refuse to give up hugging, kissing, or general affection for my child... I will learn to live with it.

Now, if I could only figure out how to lysol-bomb the house, I might be able to rid us all of it.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Retro, Smetro..

So this random blog actually began in my head earlier this week when I was at Hallmark (one of my favorite stores) and saw Rainbow Brite stickers. For those of you who were young girls in the 80's you may remember these dolls/show. Anyway, it transformed into a list of things from the 80's that I'm glad have returned or I think should return for future generations. Feel free to add (or comment) to this list if there are things I forgot:

  • Rainbow Brite

  • Strawberry Shortcake

  • Jelly shoes and bracelets

  • He-Man and She-ra

  • All great Saturday morning cartoons (Smurfs, Snorkes, etc.)

  • Leggings

  • Cabbage Patch Dolls (although they never really did disappear)

  • Fisher-Price Pocket Rockers (although the MP3 player kind of negates the need for these, but they were so cool!)

Oh the list could go on... please feel free to comment on these and I will compile them into a future blog post. I can't wait to see what you miss form the 80's....

Friday, January 25, 2008

Better Living through Chemistry

Or drugs in this case, specifically antibiotics, and most importantly, my favorite: the Z-pak! Its my favorites for two (very different) reasons! 1. It works (quickly!) wonders on me 2. It was always the drug of choice when teaching physicians how to order them electronically to the pharmacy in my old PN days. Ahhh, the days when taking a sick day meant actually being able to be sick and stay in bed vs. now when a sick day means explaining for the 1001 time to the 2 year old that you are in fact sick and not up for much of anything... but I digress.

Anyway, as you might have guessed, I finally bit the bullet and went to the doctor. After 11 days of a sore throat, 3 days of no voice, and many, many doses of sudafed, Motrin, and HALLS, I just wasn't any better. I'm hoping tomorrow I can report something different.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

WFMW: Grocery/Coupon Lists

This is really my first WFMW tip... but it's been working great for me. One of my "improvement areas" (notice, not resolutions) for 2008 was to better with our weekly grocery bill. And thanks to the Grocery Game, we have been doing better. But one of my biggest frustrations has always been keeping my list organized with my coupons... and remembering to dig ALL the coupons out of the bottom of my purse. But I have found a solution. I had leftover envelopes from Christmas cards this year, so I have been using the envelopes to write my grocery list and then neatly tucking the coupons right in the envelope! I figure when the envelopes run out I'll have to buy some cheap ones at the store, but if it saves $$ in the long run, I'm all for it!

Be Kind... Please Rewind.

K and I set out for the library yesterday. It was cold and ugly out and we needed something to do. I promised K that if she was good (which she was) we would get a movie from the library. So when it came time to pick something out, she picked out a Barney. As much as I am not a fan of Barney, it was what she wanted. But of course she picked out the only one that did not come on DVD, but on VHS. That really wasn't a problem... we have a DVD/VHS player in our family room... so we took it home. What I had not planned on... trying to explain to a 2 1/2 year old what "rewinding the movie" means. I forgot she only knows movies on DVD and no rewinding is ever necessary. She did find it incredibly humorous to watch the movie rewinding, she wanted them to "dance funny again!" I imagine someday I will find myself explaining other things we parents all know about... like encyclopedias, black and white movies, corded phones, record players, cooking without a microwave... feel free to add to the list, I know I must be missing somethings.

And just in case you were wondering... the movie did have a "Be Kind, Please Rewind" sticker on the cassette!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What? Did you say something????

For those of you following this "no-voice" saga... its day 2. The first hour this morning was promising... after 7.5 hours of resting my voice. There were some completely audible and understandable sentences. And then, it died again.

So today our house will be another day of quiet toys, coloring, movies (which I hate having to do....) and oodles of play-dough. Anything to help a 2 1/2 year old understand why Mom can't read countless (much less 1!) book or play any game that involves conversation. As for dear Scott... he gets another quiet day when he comes home from the office.

Monday, January 21, 2008

At a loss for words.... literally.

I have no voice. I have, on occasion, had a very hoarse voice from a cold, but I can honestly say this is my first true experience with laryngitis. The first few words this morning were audible... but only by four legged furry friends. So yeah, I was a caught a little off guard by the whole thing. I quickly learned that today was going to be a "quiet day" at our house and thus far I have said, maybe 250 words all day at any sort of audible level.

However, K and I did discover that great deals at Kohls' has absolutely nothing to do with the volume of your voice. So we did find lots of great deals on winter clearance items and a few extras. Perhaps it was luck or perhaps my sense of a good deal was heightened by my lack of verbal communication... you know lose one sense and the others are heightened!

Anyway, we (okay, maybe just me- Scott might enjoy the silence) pray that tomorrow will bring a little more relief and lot more volume to my voice.

Friday, January 18, 2008

God is Good

I especially know this today because this week He has blessed me with most well-behaved little almost 2 1/2 year old. I'm not bragging, really. But Daddy left on Monday morning only to return on Friday at dinnertime and I came down with a NASTY cold on Wednesday and have barely been functioning ever since. K has been a trooper... playing nicely with herself or quiet toys with Mom, sleeping well, and mostly just understanding that Mom is not up for 1 (much less 30-gazillion) rounds of Running or Ski Patrol, her new favorite pretend activity.

For those of you yet to experience K's new love of Ski Patrol, the game goes like this. We pretend to cross country ski around the basement. At the appropriate time, I fall down and pretend to be hurt. The "Ski Patrol" then comes and picks me up and offers me hot chocolate, which she has so graciously tested to see if its too hot. The general concept came from her favorite show The Backyardigans, but I guarantee you, she's given it her own twist!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Flash Gordon is back....

I just have to say that as much as Facebook can be very annoying (how many times have I been invited to random things...MILLIONS!) but I love the fact that I have actually found people we really care about and have reconnected! I will say it again... I'm so glad I live in the 21st century and keeping in touch with friends and loved ones is so easy.

Glad to have found you, Gordon. Flash missed you!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

2008 is underway...

And so far its been good. Its been a little less crazy than the end of 2007, but hey, that's what happens during the holidays when you live no less than 8 hours away from immediate family. We did, again, make the McGregor Midwest Tour, as we like to call it... and with K's increased love of singing and dancing, it was more of a Concert Tour. Here were the cities and venues of her choice...

Dec 22- Peoria IL -- Holiday Inn Downtown
Dec 23 - Marshalltown IA -- McGregor Family Complex
Dec 27 - Decorah IA -- Country Inn and Suites and Luther College
Dec 29 - Kohler WI -- Schnettler Family Complex
Jan 2 - Springfield OH -- Homecoming Concert

For those of you wanting to buy the T-shrit... we're all out, sorry. We will be touring again soon, I'm sure and will be sure to print some extra's next time!

But seriously, we were extremely blessed to travel over 1500 miles safely, mostly in good spirits (only 1 "I WANT OUT" tantrum!) and see a majority of our family and a lot of close friends. After trips like this, I am always extremely grateful to live in the 21st century, with reliable cars and roads, flexible jobs, the ability to travel and see family and friends (and did I mention portable DVD players for 2 year olds!) I often wonder what it would be like for us if we didn't have all these fabulous things to keep us in touch. As much as I enjoy Little House on the Prairie... I was not born to live it.