Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An Owie

Almost 2 weeks ago I got to be the Mommy of a big owie. Mackenzie ran back into our house to get her backpack for school. As she was returning to the car, she fell down 2 steps hitting her head on a box and split her head open. She was not crying. She came out to the car with tissue over her left side of her face. She was climbing in the car to "get to school Mom" when I made her move the tissue so I could see the owie. This is what I saw . . .

Being a nurse I shouldn't have an issue with this as blood is never an issue for me. However, on this occasion I did NOT expect this huge gash on her head. Momentarily I got nauseous but then the adrenaline hit. She was concerned about getting to school and I said oh no we were going to the ER. I mentioned stitches and that is when she started to cry. As soon as we go to ER and they mentioned they could glue it instead of stitches the tears stop and she was a trooper. The beauty of a local small hospital ER - we were in and out in 35 minutes and this is how she looked.

It is almost 2 weeks later and she is looking better every day. She did not get a black eye as I was sure she would. She is a tough one! This is what she looks like this morning.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Carrot, An Egg & A Cup Of Coffee

I read this on my cousin's Facebook page and had to share it as we all seem to go through trials but we all react different to adversity. Before reading, think to yourself - in times of trial, am I a carrot, an egg or a cup of coffee? Now read the following and see if you change your answer!

A carrot, an egg and a cup of coffee . . . You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about 20 minutes she turned off the burners . . . She fished out the carrots and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. The she ladeled the coffee our and plave it in a cup. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardboiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its indie became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the eff that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are lik the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everthing; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.

Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

May we all be COFFEE!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Favorite Things Circle Journal

I am part of a group of ladies that have been doing circle journals for a year now. I did a year before this as well. It is a fun thing but is harder to be unique as you get farther down in the group. Today I did two of them. One was My Favorite Things and I did the following as my creative unique approach. I loved it so had to share.

Michelle's Favorite Things

(to the tune of My Favorite Things)

Hot cup of coffee and snuggles with kiddos

Knitting with fun yarn and sun in my windows

Cool winter mornings with fresh snow and things

These are a few of my favorite things.

Good country music and days at the lake

Scrapping and stamping and cards fun to make,

Quilting and sewing and more fabric things

These are a few of my favorite things.

Pictures I've taken of my family

A good day of worship with Christian family

My favorite Bible and family study

These are a few of my favorite things.

When bills are due,

When the phone rings,

When I'm feeling stressed

I simply remember my favorite things

and then I know that I'm blessed.

The Sound of Music movie is part of my heritage it seems. My dad took my mom to see it on the date he proposed. I have watched it for 35+ years and know that the last Sunday in December it can always be found on TV. I love the song My Favorite Things.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Well it is soccer time of the year and Chase is a very happy boy! They had their first game last weekend and they did great! They got their shirts just before the game. Big thanks to Shoreline for sponsoring them. Chase chose #7 because he is 7 years old and because his soccer PJs from Mamma have #7 on them. He loves his Mamma!

Monday, August 30, 2010

August A to Z

I got this idea from a dear friend of mine Jane who uses this format to summarize months. I don't get around to blogging often so I think the monthly summary will at least help. So here goes my first A to Z monthly summary post.

Alura - we got to spend the week of camp and a long weekend with our granddaughter Alura - we all enjoyed it a lot.

Busy month - I do not know how we got from August 1st to today (August 30th) as quickly as we have. We sure packed a lot into this month.

Camp - we had a fun week at camp to start off this month. Lots of fun memories and a great week for us all.

Dinner at Lakeview Drive-In - after a fire destroyed park of Lakeview Drive-in last month, we were happy to be able to have dinner from the drive-in on the 21st of this month when they opened. The Drive-In is definitely a summer staple in Chelan.

Eager kids - the kids are very excited to head back to school. Mommy is not quite sure how it happened that they grew up so quick as I have a 1st grader and a 2nd grader this year!

Fair - we made a trek up to Waterville to the NCW Fair last week. The kids loved the animals and seeing thier friends who had animals there to show. Now we have a new craving in our house - to have an animal for fair next year! We will see about that!

Grayson - we have started having a routine family time with Bobbie & Grayson as we prepare for the arrival of our newest grandchild Kyzaya in December

Horses - we have seen a lot of horses this month - Kenzie was sure that we made it to Omak Stampede and to the Lake Chelan Jr Rodeo and that I took pictures of many of the horses.

Ice - the kids enjoyed Tropical Sno shave ice after an afternoon at Kids Club on Tuesdays this month. They love the stuff and conveniently there is a stand on the way out of the park! Hmmm - good planning on someone's part!

Joint duties - My sister and I shared camp nurse duties and both found the joint efforts to be a much easier deal than the one person approach we both did at separate camps last year. We are looking forward to another joint effort next summer.

Kids Club - we spent Tuesdays at Lakeside for our summer Kids Club days to enjoy time with friends and swimming and sand fun

Loss - it has been a month of loss for many people that I know. A short list of the lost ones this month would include Clara, James, and Sharla. That added to the list of those with health challenges this month has made for a busy prayer month. We continue to pray for the families of those lost this month.

Ma's birthday - This month brought the first birthday for Ma (my mother-in-law whom I always called Ma) since her death. It was a hard day yesterday for Dave. He made the trek to Mount Vernon to put flowers on her grave yesterday. The kids (as all kids do) wanted to talk about her all day and didn't seem to understand the sadness for Daddy & I. If only we could all have the simplistic view of death that children do.

New laptop - after Dave dropped a full cup of coffee on his laptop (surprise, surprise - it was dead afterward), he got a new laptop. Not necessarily in the budget this month, but he started video stuff for
GoLakeChelan for fall sprts this month so he had to have a working computer. I guess the good news is that prices are pretty good this time of year for laptops.

Omak Stampede - none of us had ever been to Stampeded and we had a great evening this year - I think we will make this an annual event!

Play dates - the kids had play dates with Rylee, Raiden, Bella, Teagan, Grayson, Seth & Soren this month - what a fun way to spend the summer!! Nice to have so many kids around that they can have playdates a lot.

Quite a few pictures taken - this was a busy month for my camera! I took over 800 pictures at camp alone. I don't even want to think about the total number of pictures taken this month as I am sure it is in excess of 1200!

Return of football - Anyone who knows us, knows that football is serious business in our house! Thie month brought the return of NFL football - preseason games several days a week on TV! We have a happy house!!

Slidewaters - had our second trip of the summer to the water slides this month. We usually only go once or twice a summer so we are on the mark and enjoyed this day with Alura at the waterslides. Mackenzie even braved Purple Haze!

Tie Dye - we tie dyed shirts at camp and enjoyed it so much that we did it at home with Daddy and then at Kids Club for an end of summer activity last week!

Unusual weather -We had every sort of weather imaginable this month. LOTS AND LOTS of rain in a short period of time leading to slides, 600+ lightning strikes in one evening, temperatures in excess of 100 degrees and mornings with temperatures under 50 degrees. Wow we have had it all!

Very fun times - I know that the memories of this summer will live in my mind for a long time. If someone had asked what summer I would like the most, I would have never guess with would be the summer they are 6 & 7 years old. They are old enough to have fun without me right there to make it happen but still young enough to want me to be part of it. Dave was dead-set on doing spring cleaning this summer and I said we can do it when they go back to school. The kids will never remember that we cleaned the house this summer but they will remember having a fun summer doing fun things.

Water - We spent a lot of time in the water this month. Our pool, the upper Chelan Hills pool, Lakeside, Chelan Falls, State Park, creek at camp, Waterslides, and Brewster Swimming Pool all this month!! The kids are fish and enjoy anything WATER!!

X-rays - Dave had follow-up on both knee replacements. Thankfully all seems to be doing well with both of them! It is nice to have a year without a knee issue for him - the first of that since 2002!

Young kids with board games - This summer the kids have gotten to an age that they LOVE board games. We have played a lot of Monopoly at any available moment. We have finally moved out of preschool games and can play games for readers!! Apples to Apples Jr, Blockus, Battleship, Monopoly, Hullabaloo, Rummikub, Twister, Pictionary are a few of our favorites!

Zebra Prints - we all enjoyed wearing bandanas including zebra print ones while at camp. It was an easy hair day on the days when a shower and a bandana sufficed!


This month has flown by! We started the month going to Florida College Summer Camp in Turner, OR. My sister and I shared the nurse duties for the week. It was a fun week for all! My parents got to tag along and camp in the nearby RV park so they got to see all 4 of the grandkids together for the week. It was a week of memories for all.

Kids start back to school in two days - maybe Mommy can get back on a routine that involves this blog as well.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Growing Up

Well, last weekend was Mackenzie's 6th birthday so we decided it is time (maybe past time) she gets out of the office/nursery next to our room. The room that was an office before we moved in to this house was a perfect nursery as it has a pocket door to our room. That put the kids less than 15 feet from my side of the bed (naturally my side not his). It worked great for Chase and he moved to his own room when Mackenzie was done in the cradle in our room. Well, Mackenzie has been in the nursery since about 3 months old. Her next door is not so much the issue as it is that she comes into our bed about 2 am EVERY night! A king size bed is only so big!

I have had plans - purchased a wallpaper mural and paint several months ago! One thing or another kept me from just doing it! Well, yesterday was the day! My BFF Jill got a babysitter for her 4 year old (who is adorable but would NOT have been much help). She came over and we got a large chunk of it done while the kids were at school. I got the mural up and she came and helped paint. We got half of the room painted. The half we got done is the part with the door, closet, window and mural to paint around. Thus, the remaining half is just open wall that should go quickly. I am also planning to paint the ceiling as ALL of the painting in this house was done in flat wall paint - UGH!

I picked up Mackenzie from school and got her home telling her I had a surprise for her. Of course, she came blazing in the house wanting to know where is the surprise. You see, she had NO idea we were doing the back bedroom for her! She loves horse and I had worked hard to fins a horse mural and match paint to it. Needless to say, she was VERY excited when she opened the door and saw this . . .

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Busy Times

It has been a very busy couple of weeks at the Rogge house. As we near the end of the school year, I look at the kids and wonder how it is that they are almost finished with first grade and kindergarten respectively. WOW!! They grow up so fast!

Chase had the opportunity to be involved in the Missoula Children's Theater Production of The Pied Piper at the PAC in Chelan. He auditioned and wanted to be cast as I rat and indeed he was cast as a rat! He had practices after school every day and dress rehearsal on Saturday morning and then two performances on Saturday. He did a good job but was a very tired boy by the end of that week.

Next came a visit from Mamma and Papa for Mackenzie's birthday. They arrived with boat in tow on Thursday the 20th. Mackenzie's choice for her birthday "party" this year was to go fishing it Papa and one of her friends (Hannah) in Papa's boat. Don't know who was more excited - Papa or Mackenzie. The kids hadn't seen Mamma and Papa in 2 1/2 months which is longer than usual. They were so excited that we counted down days for over three weeks and counted hours for the last two of those days. Once we knew they had made it to Entiat (about 20 mintues away) Chase stood on the deck with binoculars in hand watching across the lake to see them come down into the Chelan valley. Alas, they arrived and the kids met them in the driveway!

Mackenzie turned 6 last week - how did that happen? I made ladybug cupcakes for her class and we took them in at the end of the day on Friday. She and Hannah went fishing with Papa and I on Friday afternoon - they caught 6 keeper size Blue Gill. Hannah had never been fishing and was tickled to catch them. We then had "rice & gravy" (stroganoff and rice) for dinner and then watched The Princess and The Frog before I took Hannah home - it was a fun day for Kenzie (and all of us).

Saturday brought with it dress rehearsal and recital for Mackenzie's ballet class. They did a dance to "Fireflies" by Owl City and it was very cute. It was a fun night of dance and music performances by several kids from the valley. All very well planned and executed by Mackenzie's 15 year old dance instructor (she is amazing). While Kenzie was at dress rehearsal the guys took Chase fishing and they caught 8 blue gill! He was excited to have Daddy & Papa time in the boat.

The guys took Monday and Tuesday to go fishing on the "big" lake. Well, fishing it what they did as "catching" evaded them. They spent several hours each day trolling around and trying different things. They reported seeing lots of fish on the fish finder but could catch nothing. I guess the guys are meant to catch only blue gill and only when they have the kids with them.

Alas, it was time for Mamma and Papa to head home so a teary family (the kids and I) stood on the porch this morning waving as they drove away headed back to their home!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blog Post Makes it to Paper

I have been participating in a Layout A Day (LOAD) for the month of May. It has been fun and I can happily say the I have done well in getting my layouts done every day so far (12 down and 19 to go). Today our challenge was J is for journaling. As soon as I read the challenge I knew that my post from August "Long Time Dream Fullfilled" had to finally make it onto paper for Chase's scrapbook. I had to share the final product here as most of my friends don't see my LOAD layouts on Flickr. I cried lots of tears as I read this story again and scrapbooked it. I have been doing my layouts on the dining room table but this one I did in the solitude of my scrap room alone where I could enjoy the memories and tears again. I am happy with how the layout turned out.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

As mothers, we are the family nurse, personal shopper, taxi driver, tutor, seamstress, maid, chef, counselor, etc, etc, etc . . . what a nice honor to have a day dedicated to us. However, the powers that be in Chelan decided many moons ago that the kids fishing derby would be best held on none other than Mother's Day. It is a fun event mind you and the kids love it but really does a Mom want to spend the day at the edge of the pond at the golf course helping her kids become master fishermen? I realize the most Dads will take the kids but in this family, Dave is allergic to fish of all kinds and cannot even help remove them from hooks so this Mom spent yesterday helping her kids get 5 trout from the lake (and got a good sunburn too).

Alas, this Mother's Day was also the first Mother's Day without Dave's Mom so it carried with it some extra emotions. I did this scrapbook page as a tribute to her yesterday as she was heavy on our hearts in this house.

My sister, Dad and I went together this year and got my Mom a new set of pots and pans. The ones she had were the set they got as a wedding gift almost 44 years ago. She was tickled to death with them and is so happy to have pots that are flat (as opposed to warped) on the bottom. She called me the first time she used them to tell me how fast she could boil water in them! As my sister out it in a text message to me, "I think this was a slam dunk" for Mom this year!

My kids flooded me with little gifts from school including a trivet from Kenzie with her handprint on it, a marigold that Chase planted and a few little books they wrote for me. It was a lot of fun. Daddy also helped them to get Mommy a "Mom" bracelet and a pin with their birthstone "kid" charms on it. It was a lovely day and I am so lucky to be a Mom!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dinner Anyone?

Well, today was a day that I finally felt like cooking. Antibiotics are an amazing thing in making one feel better.

After posting the Chili Recipe yesterday I decided I was on a roll and wanted some sort of soup today. My kids both LOVE baked potatoes so Baked Potato Soup it is. We have Chase's AFTERS soccer and Kenzie's dance this evening so not home till nearly 6 pm and we usually eat 5 or 5:30 so this will be nice to have ready on the stove when we get home. If you are interested, here is the recipe. I made a half pot as that is plenty for our family of 4. It took less than 1 hour from decision to make it till completely ready just needs reheated when we get home.

Baked Potato Soup

6 medium baking potatoes, cut bite sized & boiled (I leave skins on and use Yukon Gold potatoes)

1 lb bacon, cooked & crumbled (I use costco real bacon bit and about 1 cup of that)

4 stalks green onions, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

6 cups milk

2 cups water

2 cups shredded cheese

8 oz sour cream

1 cup butter

In a large pot, melt butter. Add flour, when mixed together, add onions adn celery and cook till tender. Add milk and stir until smooth. Cook at medium temperature. Stir often so it won't stick to bottom of pot. Add water, and stir to combine. Add bacon, cheese, green onions and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add sour cream and potatoes. Thin as needed with water or milk.

Makes a BIG pot!

Then to decide what to serve with it. hmmmmm! I love biscuits and I have recently found the best biscuit recipe so that is what I am making. Here is the recipe and it is the BEST!

Fluffy Biscuits

2 cups flour

4 tsp baking powder

3 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup shortening

1 egg

2/3 cup milk

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in shortnening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat egg with milk, stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Turn onto flour surface; knead 20 times. Roll to 3/4 inch thick; cut with floured biscuit cutter. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes or till golden brown.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thunderstorms mean warm inside food

We have been in Florida on vacation for about a week and a half. We got home on Friday and it has been cold and windy since then and then the rain and thunder started today.

On cold wet days, one looks for good warm recipes. Today I will share my Taco Chili Recipe. Easy, quick and loved by all - even the kids like it. I serve it with tortilla chips and sour cream!

Taco Chili

2 lbs ground beef, browned & drained

3 cups tomato juice (or 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce & 1 1/2 cups water)

1 jar (16 oz ) salsa (pick the degree of spiciness you want your chili to be

1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, drained

1 can (15 1/2 oz) great northern beans, drained

1 can (15 oz) butter beans, drained

1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies (can double this for extra spice)

1 envelope taco seasoning

Combine all ingredients in big pot and simmer for 15 min. Can be served at this point or I have put it in my crock pot on low for up to 4 hours!


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

We have been blessed with some nice and some odd weather in the past week or so here in Chelan. We have had nice sunny days where we were able to enjoy the park but then we had snow on Friday, April 2, 2010!

We took in the local Easter Egg Hunt put on by the local Lions Club yesterday. Somehow we managed to enjoy the 30 second hunt even after waiting outside in windy below 40 degree weather for 20 minutes.

Wishing you and yours a very happy Easter. May you enjoy family, friends, food, faith and fun!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Break

After spending a weekend away at stamp camp with my BFF Jill, I am back home and enjoying spring break with the kids. The sun is out but it is COLD until mid afternoon and then it is only warm IF the winds doesn't blow up a gale.

We went to Wenatchee and saw How To Train Your Dragon on Monday in 3D. It is a fun time and the kids LOVED the movie. It is a loud movie with some scary dragon fight scenes that I would not recommend for kids under 4 or 5 years old but the 3D is great and neither of my kids (5 & 7) complained of being scared. It is 1 hour and 38 minutes long and the first 20 minutes is a little slow in getting started but think Lilo & Stitch relationship only a Viking Boy and a Dragon. After we saw the movie, we went to Wok About Grill (a favorite when we go to Wenatchee).
Yesterday the kids and I spent a couple of hours at the park until it got too cold to be there. We took our picnic lunch and Rylee came along. We met up the the Dames, Yorgasons, and Schoenwalds and the kids had fun. Adults wouldn't have complained about the cold if we were moving about like the kids were.
Today . . . began with making German Pancakes (thanks Jill for recipe) with homemade Buttermilk Syrup (YUM). Kids were thrilled that breakfast was not cereal! Had to share the recipe as it turned out well and the syrup is definitley worth the time and effort.

German Pancakes

6 eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup flour

1/2 stick butter

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place half stick butter in 9 X 13 pan and place in oven until butter is melted. Mix eggs, flour, salt and milk in blender until well blended. Remove pan from oven and pour egg mixture in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm with warm syrup.

Buttermilk Syrup

1 1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk (or 1 Tbsp vinegar + enough milk to make 3/4 cup)

1/2 cup butter

2 Tbsp corn syrup

1 tsp baking soda

Combine in saucepan (make sure it is a bigger pan and this grows while it boils) and bring to boil of med low heat. Boil for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 tsp vanilla. Stir and serve on pancakes, waffles, french toast . . . The mixture is foamy and cloudly while on stove and once vanilla is added and it cools slightly, it will turn a translucent carmelly color.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Heavy Heart

Every fall I attend a wonderful scrapping retreat that is so relaxing and inspiring in many things. Jane and Deb do a great job of making it a weekend for us. Over the years, you become a part of the family of DJ Scrappin Retreats. I am dedicating today's post to part of the "family". I know that several others of the "family" are doing the same.

Jane is a God-fearing, inspiring Woman, Mom, Wife and Grandma to be who is having to send off her oldest son Abe to Iraq today (pictured about dancing at Cali's reception). He has served a mission for the LDS church and graduated from West Point. He has had his training and has gotten married. He is leaving today to embark on the journey he has been preparing for over the past several years. He is leaving behind a wife, Grace, who is expecting their first child in the fall. May God be with Abe and his family while he is away in the unknown territory of war. May God hold Jane close today as she says one of many goodbyes she has had to say but undoubtedly one of the most difficult.

We love you Jane and pray for you all!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Fun Story From Erma Bombeck

I have always enjoyed reading Erma Bombeck as sometimes my life seems to be in the "pits" while others view it as a "bowl of cherries". I got this Erma Bombeck story from a friend of mine on a piece of paper that had clearly been copied a few times. I enjoyed it and thought I would share it today.

Our Family Jewels Sparkle on Film

by Erma Bombeck

There is a small closet in our house where we store the family jewels. There is no safe in the wall and no lock on the door. There are just boxes lining the floor and stacked on the shelves. They contain picture albums, home movies, slides, and packets of photographs.

We hoard them as if they are going to support us in our old age. To five a single print away is unthinkable. It would be like giving up a child. Our entire family had always treated snapshots with a reverence reserved for icons and cars that run.

My Aunt Mildred (God rest her sticky-fingered soul) used to lift one or two pictures every time she was permitted to shuffle through them. She never took anything else - only photographs. When she died (and her pictures were obviously out of probate), her sisters went through her albums and screamed "So this is where the picture of Dad riding a horse went!" Families have split over lesser altercations.

My mother, who is in her 80's, is taking no chances. A couple of years ago, she started dispersing her photos. (We wouldn't want a picture of me, naked at two months, to fall into the wrong hands, would we?)

I am not ready to distribute my wealth until my children show a little more responsibility. At the moment they're too busy living in the present to sift through their past. The longer they live, the more they will need to know who made the trip with them.

How strange that burglars who invade our homes and steal guns, TV sets, VCR's and jewelry, leave behind the only things that have any real value to us - images of our past.

There isn't one of us who wouldn't pay ransom to get back baby pictures of our children. Ask any mother what she would risk her neck to save if there was a fire. The answer is never a piece of silver or a family heirloom. It's always an album or a canister of 8 mm film. Some jewels tarnish with age. These seem to get only brighter and more dazzling with each year.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Blog Swap

I have never done a blog swap but I was reading Shannon's blog this morning and it sounded so fun I took the leap and will keep you posted on what is going on with it on my blog. My favorite color is Red and that is our "swap topic" - we are to send 5 items to the person we are matched with - one handmade and the others of our choosing. If you are a blogger and want to join, click the "color swap" square at the top and sign up before Monday the 22nd.

Hope to have fun!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Bare Necessities - Log Your Memory

Well it is Log Your Memory time for this week. It has been a busy week at my house with my daughter having her tonsils and adenoids removed so if this post seems disjointed - it just might be due to lack of sleep and/or interruptions by the patient!

What Are Your Bare Necessities? The things you just can't live without . . .

(I am going to put a little dislaimer here that I am taking this question to mean the things that make each day complete for me - not the literal necessities of my existance)

1) My Coffee - be it homebrewed cup or my Starbucks - no morning is complete without at least one cup. On Wednesday and Friday mornings my day involves a coffee stop at Starbucks with my girlfriends.

2) My Bible - At some point in each day, my Bible and the guidance God gives me in it are part of my routine.

3) My Car - rarely is there a day that goes by that I am not in the car multiple times for trips to school, the store, my BFF house or some other thing or another

4) My portable DVD player at my bedside - I ALWAYS go to bed with a movie or a re-run of Beverly Hills 90210 in the DVD player by my bed.

5) My Family - even if I am away from home I make time to talk to them and especially to tuck the kids in over the phone with their requested number of night night kisses

6) My Cell phone - as much as I hate to admit it, I am lost without it! My BFF and I can be found on our phones to one another a lot. My kids find me on the phone and say "oh, it must be Jill"

7) My computer - be it email, Facebook, bill paying, news reading or research, I am on the computer several times every day!
8) Chocolate - I very, very rarely go a day without something chocolate (no matter how small) passing my lips (just don't tell my doctor as my high triglycerides I am sure have NOTHING to do with chocolate consumption)

9) Music - I love to make monthly collection CDs from my ipod and listen to music in the car and around the house - my kids are both known to sing along as the CD of the month is usually on whenever we are in the car

10) My neck pillow - though it may seem weird, the contour neck pillow is a life saver after neck surgery - I have bought a new one on more than one occasion when I have left for out of town without mine - my night of sleep is never the same without it!

Take a moment to thing about your necessities in life and if you blog - share those things. I tried to do a "Top 10" approach to mine - how will you do yours?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My Baby is 7 Years Old!

It seems only yesterday we were waiting so anxiously to be receive the call about a referral of our first little one. We received our I-171 letter, which permitted us to bring a child back to the US, on January 19, 2003. Chase was born on February 6, 2003 in Guatemala City to Reina and was given the birth name of Jose' Valentin Canahui Ac. On February 17, 2003, we received the phone call that changed our lives forever. The adoption agency, Heritage Adoption called and our wonderful Vicky had the news we had waited for . . . a baby boy was born in Guatemala and needed parents. We are ecstatic and all those around us were as well as adoption is a journey for the entire family and friend network. Nine long months later, we finally got to go to Guatemala and get him!

Now he is 7 years old. He is over half way through his first grade year at MOE in Chelan. He is reading very well and was proud to bring home a perfect report card the day before his birthday. Even with his sister home recovering from a tonsillectomy & adenoidectomy, he enjoyed a good day. On Friday, we took cupcakes to his classroom and he and I went out to dinner at his favorite Bamboo Shoot. On Saturday, he got to open his gifts and we had cake and Daddy's Famous Meatloaf for dinner.

Last month, we talked to him about what he wanted for his birthday. Anymore, birthday parties are getting to be bigger and more expensive things by the year. We gave him a choice. He could have the big bowling and pizza party OR he could get a computer for his room. He thought about it and asked several questions to make sure he understood the exchange and all the pros and cons of each side. He concluded that he wanted the computer. We shopped for a desk and chair and then his computer. I was playing nursemaid to Mackenzie on Friday but managed to get his desk and chair assembled while he was at school. I got the computer put together while he tended to his sister after school. He was thrilled. Papa & Mamma got him a printer/copier/scanner for his birthday. Aunt Lissa & Uncle Mitchell got him a Boeing 787 mouse pad and toy plane. Big Sissy Stephanie got him the book Where The Sidewalk Ends. He also got a webcam for his computer. I spent part of Saturday getting him online and setting up the webcam. He loves to email but waits and watches for responses so sometimes I have to call Mamma or Aunt Lissa to get them to respond quickly. He got to try out his webcam with Papa and Mamma with Skype yesterday. It worked great and that comes from someone who has used Yahoo messenger and MSN Live. Skype is the webcam way to go!! (See the above picture of him on the webcam with Papa and Mamma - clearly a happy 7 year old!)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Log Your Memory - Family's Favorite Pastimes

As I started last week, I am posting from the weekly challenges in my Log Your Memory book. This week's challenge has to do with pastimes are your house. Thankfully my kids are now at reading age so that opens a whoel new bunch of games and pastimes from the non-reading Candy Land and such.

The kids love, love, love to play games and will find any spare moment ro rope one of us into a game. The current favorites at our house are checkers, Twister, Don't Tip The Waiter, Disney DVD Bingo, Uno and the newest is Phase 10 for Kids. It is so fun to see them using their minds for good stuff like that.

Reading is also a frequent pastime at our house. Chase is hooked on the Magic Treehouse Books and reads usually 2 of them a week. I loves to read them to us and it is so great to hear how well he is reading. I have always read to the kids a lot and they love to have me read to them, in fact anything less than 45 minutes of reading is not enough for them. Mackenzie is starting to read too and loves to sit with her Number 1 readers and practice whenever given an opportunity.

We are also a big puzzle family. Quite often in the winter months, there is a large puzzle (500-1000 pieces) on our dining room table. Chase is a natural at puzzles and neither of the kids are afraid of helping out on a big puzzle. If the puzzle is a pretty one that we really like, we use puzzle glue and Papa makes us a frame to put them in and we use them for art around our house (the picture above is one that hangs in Chase's room).

We have an evening ritual that is part of our "bedtime routine" that makes it all go smoothly (most of the time). The kids love to have movie time so after dinner, we all get in PJs and congregate in the living room for movie time. On odd days Chase pics and on even days Mackenzie pics the movie. For a long time we have done Disney cartoons over and over and over but in the last few months, the kids have started to enjoy movies with real people in them. Having Netflix helps to keep a variety of good kid movies available instantly or by mail. The kids currently love any movie about dogs and recently discovered Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory.

During the summer months, our family spends a lot of time at the lake or in the pool as we all love water. The kids would exist in swimsuits all summer if we would let them. It doesn't hurt that we live in such a great area for summer fun in the sun and water.

What are your family's favorite pastimes? Are they the same or different than a year ago? Are there things you would like to add to the pastimes you enjoy?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Taco Chili - Another Winter Warmer Recipe

Well, it is cold and gloomy in Chelan and we have only seen the sun for little glimpses over the last few weeks. Those cold days certainly put me in the mood for warm soups. I have recently shared Beef Stew and then Cheddar Corn Chowder and today I will share the Taco Chili Recipe.

I made this pot today and we all ate off of it and there are leftovers for this week. We eat it with cheese and sour cream on it and with warm tortillas on the side. Hope you enjoy it!

Taco Chili

2 lbs ground beef, browned & drained
2 (16 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (16 oz) jar salsa (I use mild but if you want heat use a spicier one)
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, drained
1 can (15 1/2 oz) great northern beans, drained
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 can (14 1/2) diced tomatoes with juice

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and simmer for 45 min to 1 hour. Serve with cheese & sour cream with side of warm tortilla or tortilla chips.

Sketch # 3 on Ella Publishing

Well, the third of six sketches was posted on the Ella blog yesterday so I spent a bit getting a page done using it while enjoying my morning coffee and listening to CMT Video Countdown.

Here is my take on the sketch - these are pictures taken on a Disney Cruise that Dave and I went on in 2005 down the Mexican Riviera. Check out the great sketches on Ella using the Ella elephant button on the top right of my blog.

Hope you all have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winter Warmer Recipe - Cheddar Corn Chowder

On cold winter days, there is nothing like a yummy pot of homemade soup. My kids (as with most kids) prefer cream-based soups to broth-based soups. We have a favorite around our house that is usually made at least once or twice a month for most winter months. This one is an easy recipe that is ready in about 45 minutes from start to finish and I love that part! Also it is a good recipe for a family of four. This pot is perfect sized for my husband and I and our 5 year old daughter and almost 7 year old son. Occasionally there is a small bowl of leftovers but usually it is GONE! It is an easy recipe to double if company or extra leftovers are your wishes. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. I usually make rolls or bread bowls with it.

Cheddar Corn Chowder

2 cups water
2-3 cups cubed peeled potatoes
1/2 cup slice carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheese
1 can corn, drained

OPTIONAL - add 1 1/2 cups cubed ham OR 3/4 cup chopped cooked bacon

In a large saucepan, bring water, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes until veges are tender. Remove from heat, DO NOT DRAIN. Meantime, in a lg saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 min or until thickened. Add cheese & stir unti melted. Stir into the undrained veges. Return pan to heat. Add corn and meat (optional), heat through and serve.


** Easy bread bowls - buy Rhodes frozen bread loaf dough, place on cookie sheet to thaw for and hour or so, once thawed enough to divide, cut loaf into either halves or thirds (depends on desird size of bowl), round into a ball, cover with greased plastic wrap, let rise per directions on bag, bake on cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes till golden, once cooled cut top off and carefully scoop out inside bread (I keep this bread in chunks on side of plates for dipping)

Monday, January 25, 2010

A New Fun Blog

I found a new fun blog this past week.

They have sketches posted once a week and a contest with these sketches. I used this weeks sketch for the above layout of a few of my favorite pictures from the last year!

Take a chance to check out this fun blog by clicking the link in this post or using her button on the top right of my blog! I hope you enjoy!

(My daughter loves this one as it has elephants one its logo)

10 Things That Make Me Happy

A friend of mine did this post yesterday and although I was not tagged to do it she did leave it open to all to do. Particularly at this time I feel this was a goo dpost for the day as some days it is hard to find the happy!

1) Sleeping In . . . although sleeping in for me is not considered noon or anything, I do enjoy getting to sleep in till 8:30 or 9:00 on occasion.

2) Reading with Kindergarten Kids . . . last year I started volunteering in Chase's kindergarten classroom and this year I am doing the same in Mackenzie's classroom, it is such a joy to see the thrill of success in the eyes of these 5 & 6 year olds and they begin to read - this is a happy part of every school day for me

3) Date Night with Hubby & No Kids . . . don't get me wrong, I love my kids but they are at the fast food and cartoon age and once in a while I do enjoy to each out at a restaurant that doesn't have a drive-through window and to see a movie with real people in it! Nothing feels like the love of a man who truly considers you his Cinderella!

4) Cooking . . . I love to cook and truly enjoy the thrill of finding a good new recipe that is a hit with the family.

5) A Day at the Beach in Chelan During the Summer With Girlfriends & Kids . . . several years ago there was a Kid's Club started with severl Moms in Chelan before our kids were in school, suring the summer we enjoy at least one long afternoon a week at the beach at Lakeside or at State Park with the kids frolicking in the water and the Mom's enjoying the sun and one another's company

6) Family . . . I enjoy all of my extended family and the time that we get to spend with them, after the recent loss of my mother-in-law, it is a renewed commitment with me to spend more time with family as it has not always been prioritized high enough and you never know what life has in store for anyone.

7) Friends . . . particularly by BFF Jill, it is such a wonderful feeling to have the love and friendship unconditionally of a person who is ALWAYS there for you and can turn around an otherwise bad day . . . what would we do without friends

8) Coffee . . . most days cannot be complete without a cup of Jo, I love many different kinds of coffee and my new fav is my Keurig machine i got for Christmas as I can make a cup whenever I want

9) A Good Chick Flick . . . I have several of these that I own on DVD as I know the dialogue well enough that I can be in and out of the room and not miss anything, as a good laugh or occasional cry from a chick flick is good!

10) My Bible . . . I make time daily to take a walk through my scriptures and seem to always be able to find something that is appropriate for that day, much like my necklace from my parents at Christmas that reads - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me - Phil 4:13 - how can one not be happy and have confidence in oneself when God has confidence in us beyond our own.

Well, that was a fun exercise, I am going to tag a few people that check my blog so that they can enjoy this process - so Jane, Megan (I know you don't have a blog but enjoy thinking about it nonetheless), Melissa (post yours on Facebook) and anyone else who feels the desire.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Log My Memory - My January Soundtrack

In early December I ran across a neat website and book that is a great day planner type book for scrapbookers and mothers alike who are trying to keep track of where they are to be and when but also where they have been and the memories of the year. I personally bought the downloadable version and had it printed at my local print shop and comb bound. I love that it will stay together and include memories that I want to keep. The book also include little prompts and challenges weekly, monthly and for holidays. It is a nice way to remember the details and keep track of what we have done as a family. I am going to use some of those challenges as blog prompts to help keep me in more of a blogging routine. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Every month I make a new playlist on my ipod of songs that are big with me that month. I usually make a CD of them and that is in each car as well. I kind of think of them as the soundtrack of my month. I plan to share my monthly soundtrack sometime during each month in 2010 as I strive to make my blogging more routine and something that logs my memories for future use.

January 2010 Soundtrack

1. Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man - Carrie Underwood & Brad Paisley
2. Need You Now - Lady Antebellum
3. Cryin' For Me - Toby Keith
4. Hillbilly Bone - Blake Shelton & Trace Adkins
5. Why Don't We Just Dance - Josh Turner
6. American Honey - Lady Antebellum
7. Alright - Darius Rucker
8. How Far Do You Want To Go - Gloriana
9. Keep On Lovin' You - Steel Magnolia
10. Take Me There - Rascal Flatts
11. The Truth - Jason Aldean
12. Twang - George Strait
13. History In The Making - Darius Rucker
14. You're Gonna Miss This - Trace Adkins
15. Stay - Sugarland
16. Highway 20 Ride - Zac Brown Band
17. Love This Pain - Lady Antebellum
18. Sara Smile - Jimmy Wayne
19. Red Light - David Nail
20. The Man I Want To Be - Chris Young
21. Living For The Night - George Strait

I hope you too will take the time to Log Your Memories in whatever form you choose and time flies and we never know what tomorrow holds. Our written memories will be treasures for our family after we are gone and are completely irreplaceable.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Yummy biscuits on a cold day

This weekend was Winterfest in Chelan. It is a mixed bag of weather from year to year. We have not had good snow for it the last couple of years and this year was the same. It did snow Saturday night but then rained Sunday afternoon so all of the snow is gone! When it is a cold dreary day there are a host of winter warmer recipes I fall back on as respite inside from the cold doldrum of winter. I recently made by stew (recipe posted on blog in December) and was really in the mood for biscuits but I wanted the real thing . . . no bisquick for me. I went hunting for a good recipe and I found truly the best biscuit recipe I have ever had in my possession. I had to share it with my blog readers as it is a sure winner (everyone loved them) to go with your favorite pot of stew or soup and makes great leftovers (if any are left) for breakfast the next morning.

Fluffy Biscuits
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sale
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
2/3 cup milk

In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening until the misture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat egg with milk; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Turn onto well-floured surface; knead 20 times. Roll to 3/4 inch thickness; cut with floured biscuit cutter. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 1 dozen


Friday, January 8, 2010

You are missed Mom!

After 9 days away to be with Dave and family after the death of his mother, we are finally back home. It was sure a tough start to 2010 and I can't even tell you what time I went to bed on New Year's Eve. The last week is a blur but I do know one thing and that is, the memorial was a lovely tribute to a great lady who I was so fortunate to call my mother-in-law. As my brother-in-law Kevin shared at the memorial, she could do a good job of butting in to everyone's business and never thought twice before opening her mouth and speaking her mind, but we wouldn't have wanted her any other way. Now the healing begins as we get back to our routine and learn to not look at the caller ID and know it was her calling on Sunday evenings right as we started a movie or whenever Edgar Martinez was on TV or sometimes even when Chuck Norris was on in Walker Texas Ranger.

I have seen more salt and pepper shakers since her passing and it is nearly more than I can do to not buy them for her as she would scold us if we shared that we saw some and didn't buy them. In the week we spent in Mount Vernon after her passing and leading up to her memorial, I drove past the thrift stores in Mount Vernon multiple times and wondered what treasures she would find in them if she were still here.

She is no longer fighting that awful disease of ALS which robbed her of so many things but left her mind intact. She was trapped in a body that didn't work how she wanted anymore. No more is she trapped!

We were so fortunate to have one last Christmas with her. We originally were to go to my parents' house for Christmas but as we saw her decline, the decision was made that we would bring Christmas to her. My parents brought their tree and ornaments, we brought stockings and gifts and we had a great time sharing Christmas with her. She told me in a note on Christmas Eve that after the holidays she was giving up but I NEVER dreamed she meant 5 days after Christmas.

I love you & miss you Mom and I will treasure forever the memories with you!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Good Bye Ma

After a long battle with ALS, my mother-in-law Betty Arendse passed away peacefully with her family around her in her home in Mount Vernon, WA on 12/30/09. She was a great lady and loved family, ice cream, collecting salt & pepper shakers and talking on the phone. In the last year of her illness she lost her ability to eat and to talk but she never lost her sense of humor or her independent spirit, determined to the end to live life on her terms. We are so happy that we got to spend one last Christmas with her. She lived a tough life, having buried 2 children and a husband. She will live on in our memories forever.