Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy, happy New Year!

As the sun sets on 2011, isn't it fun to think of what 2012 will bring?!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Just in case we ever need reminding that our big bro is a.w.e.s.o.m.e -
This makes me laugh every time I see it :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Three good things from Christmas Day

The best things, of course, were found in the people filling up a cozy house and surrounding a pretty table, and the ones we love, even though so many miles separate us.

How could we ever quantify the good things found in family?

"Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!"
- Albert Einstein

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Three good things from Christmas Eve

Please excuse my tardiness!

1. An afternoon tromp through the woods with Team Living the Dream:

2. An extravaganza of fireworks with the wonder nephews:

3. Little boys with their brand new Nerf crossbows (and an uncle who knew just what little boys would love!)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Three good things from the 23rd

Yesterday, in the wee hours of the morning, we had our own little Christmas, just the two of us. So...

1. The effort and consideration Jan Michael put into the most delightful stack of presents. He knows his girly, pink-and-pretty-things-loving, exercise-and-cooking- enthused wife very well, and I made out like a bandit. A bandit!! But - and we hear this truth over and over, don't we? - it's knowing how much time and thought he gave toward of all it that especially makes my heart light up.

2. The reaction of my ever young-at-heart husband when he opened his G.I. Joe Cobra H.I.S.S tank. This is at the very, very top of the very best things about this year's Christmas.

3. Our Christmas breakfast eaten on Christmas dishes and made, in part, with my new toaster oven :)


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Three good things on the 22nd

1. A little girl at the grocery store who was dressed in hot pink from head to toe - snow boots, leggings and fleece... She & I are kindred spirits, I think!

2. A big, beautiful pile of snowy pictures to add to my 'Winter Wonderland' board on Pinterest

3. A long, quiet evening with nothing much to do, except eat vanilla ice cream with Tessa's homeade caramel sauce and take a bubble bath

Three good things from the 21st

1. Country roads in between tiny towns on a sunny December day

2. Lunch with our Mama & our Gran, who were coming across the mountains so Grandma can spend Christmas with us. I think she'll be thoroughly worn out by the end of her visit - there tends to be, as you might imagine, a high level of exuberance when we're all together. We just keep her young, that's all :)

3. Water, and lots of it, for a gal who is determined not to get sick. Think again, dumb cold! You will not get me!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Three good things from the 20th

1. A big pile of Goodwill & craft store treasures, just waiting to be spun into crazy Christmas sweaters

2. Cinderella with Tessa at the 5th Avenue... The music! The singing! The sets! THE COSTUMES! THE WICKED STEPSISTERS!! Will you think I'm silly if I tell you I had goosebumps? Or that I still have goosebumps?! Please, if you have the opportunity, you must go! For days after, you will twirl around the living room, humming about pumpkins turning into coaches and impossible things happening every day :)

3. A new exercise DVD for my back end from the library... and a body that's able to do what I ask of it

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Three good things from the 19th

1. Swans on the lake where I work... SWANS!

2. Glitter and sparkles and color at the poinsettia festival with my friend Angela... Is it possible to have too many Christmas outings? I think not!

3. Number 3 is a tie between yakking with both our sis and youngest brother, and laughing until I almost cried when hearing about the crazy Christmas sweaters that will be on display on Sunday ... and my Jan Michael, who waited on me last night because I was a little off my feed. Let's hear it for a husband who will bring me my favorite cold-brewed green tea in my favorite mason jar and who will smooth my hair and hold my hand while I mewl and carry on about not feeling well :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Three good things, the weekend edition

From Saturday -

1. Waking up with the early birds and watching the sky change from beautiful to brilliant to magnificent. My poor camera tried its best, but had no chance of capturing what my eyes were seeing.

2. A pretty new skirt :)

3. A visit from our brother

From Sunday -

Any and all good things about yesterday are summed up in the privilege of having one of our ministers spend the night. He has been involved in the most important events in our life, and we love him.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Three good things from the 16th

1. A few hours with three of our nearests & dearests:

while we...

2. strolled through the botanical gardens (I can't get enough of this place!) -


3. watching these two yuk it up:
Uncle Jan + Miss E = my heart in a big puddle on the floor. Every single time.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Three good things from the 15th

1. Christmas surprises, and spare rooms to hide them in:

2. A Christmas care package for our youngest brother, who is far away. Far away in body, but close in our hearts!

3. A clean kitchen! Clean for a little while, anyway :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Three good things on the 14th

1. A long overdue coffee date with two lovely ladies

2. Cozy, quiet time under quilts and Christmas lights

3. Music that gives me goosebumps:

Three good things, a double dose

From Monday:

1. Christmas moose!

2. A Christmas goose!

3. This precious baby, hearing his Mama's voice for the first time with the help of a cochlear implant:

From Tuesday:

1. The discovery of some pink, girly lotion that I'd forgotten all about

2. Easy-peasy Christmas treats, with pretzels, Hershey's kisses and red & green M&Ms:

3. A 3rd place finish at Tuesday night trivia; one of these Tuesdays we're going to shatter that 3rd place ceiling, you just wait!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Three good things on the 11th

1. Friends who are seeking to serve God and to do His will, and who encourage us in that direction; they are priceless.

2. A very nice man who was parked near me in the boondocks of the Costco parking lot and who offered to take my cart back to where it belonged. (This is not meant to take away from today's three good things, but going to Costco for milk & Jimmy Dean turkey sausage on a Sunday afternoon just 2 weeks before Christmas was not one of my better ideas. Please feel free to learn from my mistakes.)

3. "A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." Roald Dahl

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Three good things on the 10th

1. I woke up on the right side of the bed :) This doesn't happen every day, you know!

2. An early morning workout that made me feel like I'm making some progress in this fitness journey - this doesn't happen every day, either!

3. Texting with one brother and a good, long phone conversation with the other. I love those brothers of mine.

*Honorable mention: I had a cute hair day :)

Friday, December 09, 2011

Three good things on the 9th

1. Witnessing Jan Michael's unabashed delight while we cruised down the toy aisles at Target. A husband who will try on an Optimus Prime mask and slash through the air with a Jedi light saber = just the right husband for me. We will not grow up, and we're kind of proud of it.

2. Lovely, quality time together while the Caramel Corn King whipped up 6 batches for a Christmas party tomorrow. It's a treat to be his helper :)

3. Our second Christmas card in the mailbox! Keep 'em coming, people!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Three good things on the 8th

1. A construction worker on the side of the road who was using his break to feed the birds

2. Loitering in the kitchen while Jan Michael the caramel-corn-maker wooed me with his mad skills:

3. Christmas plans with our brother and the wonder-boy nephews

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Three good things on the 7th

1. The things I heard at Bible study

2. Peter Pan on CD; folding laundry has never been so magical! :)

3. Peanut butter (chunky), jam (blackberry freezer) and milk - morning, noon & night

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Three good things x 2 (again!)

From Monday:

1. The sun and the fog busted out a tag-team maneuver in the late afternoon, and driving through it was like moving through a golden, shimmery mist.

2. A Christmas outing with my friend Angela, which began with bundling up and wandering through this:

3. Snowflake Lane, the second star of the evening. Only very good things can come from toy soldiers drumming and elves dancing and snow falling!

From yesterday:

1. A nap with the Mr.

2. Day six of The 30 Day Shred. It's getting easier!

3. A little bit of handygal work with a hammer & nails and lots of Christmas lights strung around our bedroom. And the very best part - sitting underneath all that twinkling color and listening to Jan Michael remember the Christmas (the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER! he says) when he received... the G.I. Joe Cobra H.I.S.S tank :)

Today's three good things coming soon! The day's not over yet!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Three good things x 2

From today:

1. Our Sunday morning fellowship meeting

2. A walk down the valley trail. I've zoomed down this trail hundreds of times for exercise, but the days I decide to meander around and really look at what I'm surrounded by are such treats. Slowing down for a little while is such a good thing. Today, my favorite parts were these:
- The ducks, so many more than I've ever seen in the pond, and quacking to beat the band. One duck was especially exuberant, and sounded like a mix between a chicken clucking and a lady laughing, and it made me giggle out loud.
- The people I shared the trail with, including a man with a white handlebar moustache who pedaled past on his bike, an elderly man with a red stocking hat and a cane who shuffled along and taught a very good lesson (without knowing it, I'm sure) about accomplishing things that aren't easy, and a not-quite-so-elderly couple who went strolling by, arm in arm.
- The colors, which always amaze me, even in a season of dormancy and hibernation.

3. A bag of clothespins from the hardware store, some glittery scrapbook paper, and a fair amount of decoupage, which equals a fun, sparkly new way to display our Christmas cards. I like glittery, sparkly things!

From yesterday:

1. A morning date with my friend Halcyon and her two sweet, spirited kiddos

2. A peppermint latte at a cozy Main Street coffee shop

3. This video, which is a crystal clear glimpse into what life will be like 30 years down the road. If you know Jan Michael, you know exactly what I'm talking about :)

Friday, December 02, 2011

Three good things on Dec. 2nd

1. Billowy white clouds in a bright blue sky

2. Sugar snap peas and satsuma oranges

3. Trimming our tiny tree while I tell stories of Christmases past. Jan Michael has listened to my growing-up stories 500 times over, but just today he told me again how much he likes to hear them. And that gives me a happy heart :)

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Three good things

I've been cross and out of sorts lately; it's ridiculous and unfounded.

To combat such rubbish, I'm invoking the find-at-least-3-good-things-everyday rule, taught to me years ago by my wise Mama. I am going to be very deliberate about it, and by it I'm going to whip myself into shape.

1. Foggy, gray December days -
They help me to be quiet, somehow.

2. This, overheard at the grocery store -

Little boy: Knock, knock!
Mom: Who's there?
Little boy: Toilet!
Mom: Don't say it! Don't you say it!! (This seemed too-little-too-late, as he'd already answered the knock, so to speak. Besides, I think it only fueled the fire for what came next, spoken with great conviction...)
Little Boy: Toi-let!!

I laughed all the way down the coffee aisle :)

3. Every year I buy a silly, cheap Advent calendar; it's my first Christmas present to Jan Michael. I'm always excited to give it, and he's always happy to get it, and of our little Christmas traditions, it's one of my favorites.

4. Psalm 139. The whole thing is wonderful, but for now, just the first few verses:

1 O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Behind thankful scenes

"Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow." ~Edward Sandford Martin

"Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, - a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise."
~George Herbert