Monday, November 24, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Monday, November 24, 2008

Outside my window...welcoming Texas skies are fading into the evening.

I am thinking... about how wonderful my husband is. I have been out of town for 8 days and upon my return I found freshly cleaned bathrooms, recently laundered towels, a tidy kitchen, and a few home repairs completed. All this and he still managed to squeeze in a little hunting for himself.

I am thankful for...the ability to pick up and travel at anytime. I know when Savannah starts school some day this will all come to an end. But for now, we are soaking up every minute.

From the kitchen...nothing. Didn't you read? I have been gone 8 days! But last week at my sister's the kitchen was bustling. She and I were both in a mood to cook. We indulged in fall favorites along with some new experiments. It was a good week for the taste buds.

I am creating...centerpieces for our Thanksgiving tables, Christmas cards, table decor the neighborhood Christmas tea I host, and several other things for the upcoming season.

I am be sane this holiday season. I am NOT going to go crazy! I think I have done enough ahead of time that I can sit back and enjoy my most favorite time of the year.

I am hearing...Savannah saying, "Daddy, let me hold the caulk gun. Daddy, can I try it? Daddy, please. Daddy is it my turn to caulk?" She is his shadow tonight since we have not seen him in a week. Earlier they were injecting the turkey with marinade together.

I am reading..."Twilight." Yes, I gave in to the pop culture phenomenon. And I must tell you that Savannah will never be allowed to date a vampire. Their ghost-like movements allow them to escape adult supervision all too well. However, when I go see the recently released movie version, I might scream like a 12 year old girl when the sultry, alluring, amber-eyed vampire named Edward appears on the silver screen with his perfectly sculpted body. And let me tell you, it will not be in fear!

I am hoping...uh, that my husband will take me to the movies to see "Twilight." What do you think my chances are? psst... call me if you want to go!

Around the house...Savannah is still following Mark, asking a million questions. Both of the have rubber gloves on. Perhaps I should go see what exactly they are fixing.

One of my favorite things...the day after Thanksgiving. We bring out the Christmas decor and music. Savannah always enjoys it but it seems every year she gets more and more excited about it. When she naps, I continue to decorate while Mark and I watch "Christmas Vacation" and laugh our socks off!

A few plans for the week...22 people over for Thanksgiving dinner, visit with family, decorate for Christmas and set up for a Christmas tea for the following weekend. And somewhere in there I'll relax and take it all in.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

From the fire pit in our backyard. Fall 2008.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Outside my window...the cold darkness of an autumn night highlighted by the moonlit snow capped mountains of Aspen, Colorado.

I am thankful for...the giggles in the car ride up here between Ella and Savannah, sushi and starbucks alone with my sister this afternoon, and the fun plans awaiting us the rest of the week.

I am wearing...pajamas, of course. One can hardly curl up and blog without them!

I am talk to Peeps in the background on her cell phone. He gets lonely when we are all together without him. But don't worry about him. He will fly up on Friday to be with us.

From the kitchen...recently roasted butternut squash in preparation for tomorrow's breakfast of butternut squash french toast. To counteract the effects of this extremely rich and tasty breakfast, we plan to walk a few miles in search of snow piles, elk, and deer tomorrow. A slight smell of the beef curry I made for dinner still lingers as well.

Around the house...Ella is still battling bedtime upstairs, Savannah is fast asleep, and I am typing on the computer while wondering why I chose to order a cafe mocha earlier that was not decaf!

I am creating...a complete list of all the topics I speak on as a professional speaker. Of all the professional hats I wear this is one of my favorites, especially in recent years since I have branched out into multiple topics vs. just nutrition topics alone.

I am reading..."Let the Nations Be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions" by John Piper. One of my students recommended it to me last year but I am just now getting around to reading it.

I am bed eventually I hope!

One of my favorite a gorgeous and very nice tea set that John and Allison brought back for me from China last year. It holds a prized location in my china cabinet catching my eye every time I pass by. The blue and gold details trigger thoughts of John and Allison's giving spirit, the orphans in China that await the arrival of their missionary friends next year, and the imprint of God they have left behind. No doubt it will keep me warm this winter in many ways.

A few plans for the rest of the week...our walk tomorrow morning, a trip to the ski area for the kids to play in the snow, a sister day out, more walking, a hunt for dark chocolate truffles downtown to take home to Mark, and Burton's first birthday party.

I have no picture thought for you this week. I'll just let you imagine the majestic sight of the mountains that lie on the other side of the giant picture window I am facing :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's A Girl!

In light of my recent posts on this blog about Savannah's lack of girlishness and sometimes difficult uniqueness, I decided to share our recent progress.
This week, Savannah wore a bow in her for the first time in her entire life! See, you guys just thought I was girly, but I'm really not. It was my first time to adorn those golden locks with the traditional mark of femininity.
Please note that the bow is green. She and I will both have to work our way up to a pink one!

Her outfit below does a pretty good job of summing her up. She's not so rough around the edges that overalls are needed. But a fluffy pink dress would certainly hold her back.
I think this outfit does her personality justice.

Photography by Jeanne Dammoff

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Retro Wednesday

The summer after Savannah turned one, we took pity on an adorable, orphaned kitty and welcomed him in to join our clan.
Since we already had Java and Cocoa, we decided to name this cat Chicory to keep with the hot beverage theme. Thus, we were now the family with three cats.
Chicory, summer 2005.

Upon their first meeting, Savannah and Chicory became comrades.
(here they are playing string)

They explored the world together in their infancy.

Cocoa also took in the little tyke. She bathed him (still does) and played with him (still does). Just like a mother, she always lets him go first in everything.

Chicory was a tiny cute little guy that could fit anywhere.

More often than not, I found he and Savannah where they should not be. Here, they have pulled down my curtains after playing in them. This is when we figured out that Chicory is like the disruptive class clown in school. The teacher is frustrated by him but he has such a warm and charming personality, he can't help but be the favorite.

Do you see what I am talking about? He really is a sweet boy...

...and Savannah's best friend. Sadly, she has asked if Chicory is her brother!

That whole summer she hung out under the dinning room table with Chicory and Cocoa playing string and rolling around. Did I mention her speech use to sound very similar to Chicory's? No need to call CSP. She did grow out of it and she now realizes she is not a cat.

These days Chicory is all grown up and sweet and cuddly as ever. But he is far from that tiny kitty we use to have. To be honest he is huge!
No, he is not suppose to be laying on this table. Yes, he still gets disciplined more than Savannah.

But he is still Savannah's best bud!

Savannah and Chicory, summer 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, November 10, 2008

Outside my window...the dreary gray sky is releasing a chilly down poor lending a gloomy feeling to the day.

I am thinking...if not for Savannah's dance class this afternoon, I would still be in pj's or sweats with this weather. Don't think the thought did not cross my mind to let her skip, stay undressed, put on a movie for her and a pot of hot tea for me, and curl up on the couch!

I am thankful for... the bounty of children books on Savannah's shelf and our mutual love of devouring them. Nothing erases a less than ideal morning with my 3 year old like story time before her nap. We snuggling up and travel the world together without leaving her bunk bed, meanwhile dissolving any differences we might have had.

From the kitchen...I am headed to a woman's ministry dinner and Mark and Savannah are going on a date which relieves me of all kitchen duties. However, for your enjoyment I thought I would post an irresistible recipe. My new fall favorite, let me rephrase that, my whole family's (including Savannah) new fall favorite is Risotto with Roasted Winter Squash. With my homemade chicken broth, this dish was rich and flavorful but I'm sure it would taste pretty good with store bought broth as well.

I am wearing...jeans and a cute rusty orange fitted button down. Soon I will be putting on a clean pair of pj's for the dinner tonight. I can't remember what the theme is but, we are suppose to wear pajamas. On a dark, cold rainy night, who could pass up that opportunity? Tell me again why I even get out of my pj's today?

I am creating...a host of ideas for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Gifts, decor, parties, and menus, are all in the works. If only I could make a living "hosting" things... (some of you will find that funny for a particular reason ;)

I am going...out for dinner. Ya know, I think we are having breakfast for dinner and that's why we are wearing pajamas.

I am reading..."Creative Correction" by Lisa Whelchel, again. Last time I read the book Savannah was 1 1/2. This time the material is proving to be a bit more applicable.

I am hoping...that Savannah and Mark get in some good bonding time tonight on their date before Savannah and I leave for Colorado again next week.

I am hearing...Savannah stomp around the hardwood floors just for the sake of hearing her deeply loved brown boots clomp.

Around the house...Savannah and Mark are heading out the door and I am about to leave. There is laundry that needs to find it's home and sheets that need a bed. But the important things is, that I have no qualms about leaving it all undone.

One of my favorite church family. Mark and I had a hard time visiting churches when we first moved here. Neither one of us had had to "visit" churches before. How could I go to a church where I wasn't related to half the congregation and the other half should be like family because they would have known my parents and grandparents for a hundred years? We couldn't find a church in this new town of ours where everyone had known us since birth. Imagine that. So how am I going to bond with them? Well not knowing me from birth turned out to be a blessing. Last January at D-now when they handed me keys to the church van with no hesitation I thought, "Oh, this would have not happened in my old church without at least one snide remark about my driving during the teenage years!" Let's just say the fresh start was just that, refreshing. Although we felt we had arrived where we needed to be the first time we patroned IBC, last Christmas it hit home. During the welcome part of the service it felt like warm arms were all around me, both holding me up and loving me. I scanned the congregation and saw nothing but inviting familiar faces. It was the closest thing I've had to an outer body experince. Tears welled up as I realized I am home.

Whew! OK, on a lighter note...

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Savannah and cousin Todd, our house Thanksgiving 2005.
Every year since she has been born, I have captured a picture of her crawling over Todd on Thanksgiving day. The question is, are the children drawn to him because of his charisma or is it his annual stretch-out-on-the-floor-and-try-to-catch-a-post-turkey-nap ritual that leaves him wide open for invasion?

A few plans for the rest of the week...MOPs tomorrow, dinner at the Lessard's this weekend, many projects, a few appointments, and a little work. Lastly Sunday, Savannah and I will jet off to Dallas again in preparation for another Aspen trip. We will be back just in time to host thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Better late than never!

It's been a busy week so I am just now getting around to posting Halloween pics.

Savannah and her Daddy carved 2 highly anticipated jack-o-lanterns while I worked a fundraiser.

Proudly Savannah showed off her work while acting the part of a scarecrow.

Fall festival at our church allowed Savannah to reunite with her favorite festival pastime...the giant slide. From the first time she toddled up that latter a couple of years ago as a mini trick-or-treater, it was love at first slide.

It's also Daddy's favorite.

Savannah modeled her red hair while I talked to Cassie and Bec.

Savannah having pink eyeballs painted on her face.

October 31st, 2008
After this pic was taken Savannah made a mad dash to see all the sweet older ladies a block over. I love trick or treating. We indulge in the rare opportunity to visit with new and old neighbors. Most of us are out walking about in the evening or sitting on our front porch. And these are the people we see often. But there are those in our neighborhood who can't get out or lead hectic lives and I am grateful there is a holiday that brings them out.

A few days later the candy fairy came to harvest the candy she needs for the year. In preparation for her coming, we packaged up our extra candy and set it out on the porch. The next morning we found she had graciously left us a surprise. It was the DVD, "Land Before Time," which happens to be one of my favorite movies from my childhood. Happily, it is now one of Savannah's.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Our last day

Our final day in Colorado was full of celebrations. Granny Smiles turned 80 with a lap full of great grandchildren competing for her attention as they proudly showed her their handmade cards.

The girls helped Grandpa make sweet potato pancakes which was enough to make anyone laugh. There is no telling what we actually ate that day. Every time Grandpa turned his back someone stuck a little something extra into the batter. Notice Ella's finger in this shot.

This is my Retro Wednesday photo by the way since it looks old. The kids and Granny Smiles enjoyed dressing up for the monumental birthday pic.

The afternoon was filled with relaxing and just enjoying each other.

Grandpa and his only Grandson in their matching train ride-ready hats.

Granny Smiles' birthday is also she and Papa Mel's wedding anniversary.

Happy birthday and Anniversary Granny Smiles and Papa Mel!
We love you both very much!

Now let's eat some cake!

Lovin' the leaves

Cousinly love. Granny Smiles' back yard.

You know you take to many pictures when you can see the leaves moving continuously, frame by frame.

...and finish.

Sweet Burton.

Who needs a man made playground in their backyard? Just rake up a few leaves and provide something for them to jump off of into the leaves. They will figure out the rest.

Yummm. Tastes good.

Good fun with Great Granny Smiles.
Notice Savannah is posing the next jump.

"Bury us! Please!"

"Let's bury Grandpa!"

Monday, November 3, 2008

Back to my trip report...

Although Ella is dressed as if she were going shrimping on the gulf, in her mind she was all decked out for a trip to Ouray. Yes, after one day at our destination it was time to get out of the house. This crew does not sit still for long.

Savannah happily put on the coat and boots she had been begging to wear all summer.

In Ouray we perused a variety of stores. Savannah was impressed that the shops in Colorado sell "really cool" rocks. Dawn and I stumbled upon a unique local toy store. The kids played contently while we shopped for an hour. Meanwhile, Grandpa kicked back and enjoyed the moment.

After shopping for quite a while the kids, mommas, grandpa, and great grandmother all needed rejuvenation.

Savannah had read (a million times) the previous week, Curious George Goes to the Chocolate Factory. You would have thought we entered to the gates of Disney World when she saw the bountiful truffles laid out! The Mouse's Chocolates and Coffee is known for it's indulgent hot chocolate. On a brisk fall morning, who can resist that? Hot chocolate, mocha this, and chai that for everyone. And don't forget truffles too!
We experienced John Denver's Rocky Mountain high via high blood glucose levels!

The girls were exhausted from the shopping once they came down from their sugar high. On the way home to Granny Smiles' house, Ella thought she would kick back and relax with a movie. Tiredness blinded her from the fact she could not hear the movie.