Monday, January 28, 2008


It snowed last night. Quite a bit, in fact. Jan Michael left for work around 6:30, didn't arrived until 7:30, and along the way narrowly missed being side-swiped by a poor woman careening down the icy road. Since nobody else had braved the weather for something as trivial as work, he waited until it was completely light outside (approximately 7:45) and began the trek back home. At 8:45 he found himself at the bottom of our hill, and discovered that the drive up would only be possible with chains on the tires. This is when I made my appearance, under the guise of helping, but really only to take a picture or two.

What a lovely way to spend a snow day, snug as a bug in a rug with your main squeeze. We played on the Wii and ate a bunch of macaroons, and I can't remember all what else. I'm crossing my fingers and toes that tomorrow we'll wake up to another 6 inches :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

She walks in beauty like the night...

In today's post, we shall stop and consider the following things:

1. How glad we are that it is no longer 1987.
2. Whether or not my parents were stockholders in Aqua Net.
3. The probability that I am single-handedly responsible for the hole in the ozone layer.
4. The likelihood that my parents were forced to take out a second mortgage on their home in order to afford the extensive orthdontic work I underwent beginning the following year.
5. On a scale of 1 to 10, how thoughtless & unkind my orthodontist was in saying that he would use my "before" picture to scare other patients on Halloween.
6. How thankful we are that, really, when we get down to brass tacks, how we look doesn't make one bit of difference, but...
7. Sometimes, years & years later, we can remember how we once looked and have a good, cleansing laugh about it.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Family and culture in the same day!

We went with Brent yesterday morning to the building site, and I will sum up the three hours we were there in one word - misery. It was freezing (FREEZING!), it was raining, it was muddy, and ice had to be scraped off the boards that were used for framing the walls. Twenty minutes into the misery, I was certain I had frostbite. I didn't stop complaining the entire time. In situations such as this, it's handy to have a patient, long-suffering husband.

You'll be relieved to know that the rest of the day was more than salvaged as we spent the afternoon in front a warm & toasty fire with our parents and nephews.
We built a carwash and a garage and probably 25 different towers. Derek is my favorite person to play Legos with :)

Some of us had more fun than others.

We colored and pasted and cut, and had a discussion about our favorite colors.
"Derek," I said, as he scooted across the floor on his horse, "Tell me what a cowboy says." "Cowboy says," he shouted, "I'm having funnn!!!"

Derek graciously agreed to interrupt his hockey game to take a picture with us.
Is Jan Michael's shirt not one of the coolest ever?!
How I love these people! (And you'll notice that Little D went right back to the hockey - no rest for the busy!)

After so much activity, we gave hugs and blew kisses and went to meet my parents. They took us out to dinner, and then to a concert at the local community college. We saw the California Guitar Trio, which is made up of a man from Japan, a man from Belgium, and a man from Utah. They met years ago while studying the guitar in England, and have been playing together for about 16 years, and are really, REALLY amazing to listen to. They played several of their own, original songs, and some other popular songs that they've arranged, and the whole thing was a big treat. My Dad gets tickets to things like this through his bank, and I'm hoping, hoping, hoping we'll be able to see a group of Celtic singers that are coming in April.

So, all in all, lots of good together-ness and memories made :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Soup for you!

I eat a lot of lentils. They sort of take the place of meat, which I try to stay away from, plus they're high in fiber, low in fat, blah, blah, blah. (Honestly, eating healthy things can be so tiresome.) I found a recipe today for lentil soup, and I have decided to share it with you for two reasons: First, I quite enjoyed it, and second, it earned a passing grade from my better half.

2 Tablespoons olive-oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 celery stalks, copped
2 garlic gloves, chopped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1.25 cups lentils
11 (yes, ELEVEN) cups chicken broth
2/3 cup elbow pasta (you won't miss this if you leave it out)
1 cup shredded Parmesan

Heat the oil in a heavy, large (emphasis on large!) pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots & celery. Add the garlic, salt & pepper and saute until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes (or maybe longer, which is what happened with me.) Add the tomatoes (including the juice) and simmer until the juice evaporates a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the lentils and mix to coat. Add the broth and stir. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover & simmer over low heat until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the pasta. Simmer until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

The recipe claims to serves 6, but that is such complete and utter rubbish. Maybe 6 giants or something, but as for regular people, probably 12 or 15.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Reason #957 that Jan Michael is the best husband for me.

This will contain more mush, so you can turn back now if you like to avoid proclamations of loooove and gratitude, etc.

We were taking a walk this afternoon to the store. It was a nice day for a walk - fairly chilly (which makes for good hand-holding weather, ahem), but the sky was clear and blue, and there wasn't a raindrop in sight. And the route to the store was pleasant, too - through a long residential section and then down a big hill. There were other people out, as well, riding skateboards and walking dogs and pushing baby carriages. But in the middle of our stroll I got sick. Nauseous and weak, with the realization that continuing on to the store would be a bad, bad, really bad idea. And so, we turned around. And Jan Michael took off at a sprint, back up the hill, through the long residential section, up the other hill that comes right before our house, and dived into the car and raced back to pick me up. He drove me home, helped me in the door, divested me of my sweatshirt, tucked me in on the couch and brought me water. And this is one of the reasons I thank my lucky stars (actually, it's God whom I thank; luck has nothing to do with it) that I am married to Jan Michael.

Thank you for reading :)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


I've been considering this business of New Year's resolutions. A lot of people, it seems, think they're a bunch of bunk, and maybe that's because a lot of people have trouble keeping them. But I don't think that means it's bad to make them. When people don't end up following through, they can just start over, or make a brand new one that's more realistic to begin with.

So in the spirit of encouraging all of you resolution-makers (of which I and Jan Michael are two), I have advice from my very wise (in more ways than one) father-in-law. Many moons ago, he coached Jan & Derek & scores of other kids in basketball and soccer, and the following guidelines are the foundation on which he built his teams. (And they won a lot, by the way.) I've posted these before, several months ago, but they're worth another look :)

1. Listening excellence
2. Team player-helper
3. Passing accuracy
4. Tight defense
5. Aggressive ball-goal attack
6. Goal setting excellence
7. Recover
8. Stable serious practice
9. Mental alertness
10. Practice practice practice
11. Commitment

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

We hope everyone is safe & sound this morning and ready for a brand new year. We whooped it up with Bill & Sheryl, Eric & Tessa, big banana splits, a few rounds of Buzzword and Hoopla, a whole bunch of laughing, and a good long time on the Wii.

2 minutes to ruckus...


I love this one. And I love the smell of fireworks in the house in January, too.

Bill rocks the bowling!

And then, it was time for the tennis battle of the century. I skulked around trying to take pictures, Sheryl sacked out in the corner & somehow managed a nap in the middle of all the noise, and Tessa served...

Jan & Bill wait...

and so does Eric. There's a lot of waiting at first, until everyone gets the hang of the return. Then it's ping, pong, ping, pong over & over again. And lots of jumping around. And screaming. And flinging the controller across the room by accident if you forget to use the wrist strap.

They finally called it quits at 2:30. Playstation 3 and Guitar Hero coming soon!!!!