Family – Techies


How many gadgets can you count? 😉


Run – The Jelly Bean Virtual Race

Virtual Run

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but it still feels like winter here in North Dakota. On the upside, it hasn’t snowed since Sunday. But on the downside, it’s still wicked cold. It’s supposed to reach 38 degrees this weekend. Whoop! Whoop! I only wish it were that warm on a day when my children are in school and I could run outside.

Anyway, as you can imagine, races are a bit hard to come by around here this time of year. I’ve been green with envy over everyone I’ve seen running St. Patrick’s Day races and the like. Get it? Green? I’ll be here all night. 😉

When I saw the opportunity to participate in a The Jelly Bean Virtual Race over at Run With Jess, I jumped at the chance. At least it’s something! I got my 5K done on the treadmill in the family room the other day. The photo above is so you can appreciate my view. I snapped a photo of my time as I literally rolled off the back of the treadmill to take lil’ bit to the bathroom. She started complaining that she had to go – desperately, of course – about two minutes before I finished. So I ran my 5K, then we ran across the gym to the locker room. Not ideal, but it works.

I wanted to do the 10K too, but I’m not sure it’s going to happen before the Easter deadline. I’d have done it today, but I was feeling weird this morning and decided it was best to take a rest day. I may attempt it tomorrow, but I’m pretty sure my girl isn’t going to last for an hour in the family room unless there are other kids there. Please, let there be other kids there.

Project – Reusable Cloth Napkins

I have recently realized that each time we move, I go through a cycle. When the boxes arrive at our new house, we spend about a month unpacking, organizing, and arranging things. Once the house is habitable, I quit. For about six months. Then, finally, I begin to nest and make the house mine.

That’s where I am now. We’ve been in this house since October, and I’ve finally spent enough time in it to recognize what needs to change and what needs to be finished. I have an ever-growing list of Pinterest projects I want to try. I’ll take it one day at a time and see which ones I can make work for this house.

My first project? Napkins!


A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a photo of some mismatched cloth napkins on the interwebs. For some reason, napkins are one of those random things that I always forget to buy, but I usually have them left over from a party of some kind. Anyway, I’m not so big on the mismatched part, but cloth napkins are something I thought we could give a try.

Before we moved, I had a business making children’s clothes, so I have a gigantenormous stash of fabric that I was able to go through for material.

I began by cutting 17-inch squares of each of my chosen fabrics. You can make these smaller or larger, depending on your preference. We’re not going to be folding swans around here, so I didn’t need them too huge.


Next, pin the edges for a double hem. You’ll need an iron for this. And lots of pins.


On to the corners! I tried two different ways. I’ll show you both, and you can decide which you think is best.

For the first, start with both edges pressed under once.


Next, take the corner, fold it in toward the middle of the napkin, and press it down.


Once you’ve done that, you’ll fold each edge in toward the corner, press it, and pin them down.


The other way to do the corners is just to continue the double hem all the way around, pressing the corners down square.

Of the two options, I prefer the first. It takes a little more time to get them ready, but the folds aren’t quite as thick. My machine got hung up on the corners on all the napkins I did using this second method.



Once you’ve got everything pinned up, you’re ready to run a straight stitch around the edges of all your napkins.

Did you run out of pins? I almost did. I need a bigger pincushion.


There you go. Cloth napkins – ready to wipe milk mustaches, tacos, chocolate chip cookies, or whatever messy foods your family likes to eat.


Photo – Snow


Snow. We got more last night. I am totally over snow.

I am becoming increasingly jealous of all my (real and internet) friends who are already able to brag about warm weather. When does spring come to North Dakota? It’s March. I’m not used to being cold in March. I’d like to slap Old Man Winter right about now. The official first day of spring is in two days, and somehow, I’m pretty sure we won’t be experiencing it here for a while yet…unless I crank up the heat, play some Beach Boys, and start wearing shorts around the house.

Family – Birthday Celebration


You might have heard that we celebrated a birthday around here yesterday. All those sprinkles? They’re for the boy’s cake. I recently ran across this Rainbow Sprinkle Cake on Pinterest. I talk about it enough. If you want to find me on Pinterest, go here. It’s a fun place to be friends. 🙂

I will preface all of the coming pictures with this disclaimer:  I am not a baker. Usually, I serve cupcakes at my kids’ birthday parties. I have become a master of fancying up boxed cake mix with some pretty fantastic homemade frosting. Cupcakes and kids go really well together. You don’t have to worry about how good (or bad) you are at cutting cake. There’s no frustration over who gets the corner, the flower, the biggest piece. You don’t have to deal with a line of anxious kids waiting for their slice. You just pass out cupcakes. It all happens very quickly. Everyone is happy.

For the first time ever, we didn’t have a big party. Two months ago, when it normally would have been time to start thinking and planning the party, I just couldn’t get into it. I usually love throwing the kids’ parties, but for some reason, I didn’t feel like it. It may have been divine providence. Looking back at how February turned out, planning a party probably would have pushed me over the edge.

I won’t lie and tell you that I’m not battling a lot of mommy-guilt over the fact that I didn’t give Aidan a party, because I am. What I will tell you is that it turned out just fine. The boy is happy. And I’m sure this won’t be the last time I feel guilty over a parenting decision.

Instead of a big party, my parents came to visit, we had Aidan’s favorite (tacos) for dinner, and for the first time in his life, I made my son a cake.


Ta-da! That is a lot of sprinkles. Aidan thought his cake was awesome, and I’m pretty proud of the way it turned out, too. The funniest part is cutting into the thing and hearing the “Ping! Ping!” of little sprinkles everywhere. We’ll be finding them in this house for months to come.


I even got a little crazy with the inside. The original had six layers of rainbow colors inside. I went with four layers, in blue and green. Ooh…


It was yummy!


Here’s one of me and my boy. He’s come to the age where he runs from me and acts like he doesn’t want to be loved on. It’s fun to catch him and force him into it from time to time. Especially now that I can see he’s smiling anyway.


Around here, everyone gets into opening presents, even the Hank dog. And Pop’s foot.

Family – Seven!


You see this little guy? He’s seven years old today. Seven! I can hardly believe it. On this day seven years ago, they turned a B-52 around so his Daddy could be there when he was born. Not too many kids can say that. 🙂

We need a little happy around here. I’m glad we have something to celebrate.

Happy 7th Birthday, Aidan!

My Granny

Mother's Day 2009

Mother’s Day 2009

This is a place I never imagined I’d be again so soon – trying to put the remembrance of a loved one into words. My Granny passed away late last night. Her death certificate will not say so, but I am fairly certain she died of a broken heart.

What can I say about my Granny? She was the most meticulous, organized, no-nonsense woman I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I only wish I were half of her. My heart hurts, so I’ll do this the only way I know how.

My Granny and I, 2009

Granny and Me, 2009

Granny’s Sunday pot roast and rice pilaf were the best. Ever. Her favorite color was purple. She had a fly swatter within reach almost everywhere in her house. To see Granny with a baby in her arms was to capture pure joy on her face. She used to pay me one dollar each week to be quiet and pay attention in church. More often than not, she gave me that dollar even when I didn’t earn it – the perfect example of grace to a young child. She had the softest hands. She had a box of old costume jewelry in a dresser in the guest room, and I felt like a princess when she let me play with it. Dyeing Easter eggs at her kitchen table was the highlight of every spring. She kept rose bushes in the back yard, and I loved when she let me help cut the blooms. She was there when I lost my first tooth, eating an apple before Wednesday night church when I was five. She helped me wrap it carefully for the journey home. She gave me my first sewing machine – a gift that confused me at first. She must have known me better than I did; I love to sew now.

Granny & baby Aidan, 2006

Granny & baby Aidan, 2006

More important than all the memories I can conjure, my Granny loved. Once you were hers, you were hers forever. She loved beyond my comprehension sometimes – a true example of Jesus Christ’s love. By example, she taught me how to be a good mother. She was steady and strong.

My Granny’s death was unexpected, and the pain is acute. But if I really stop and think, it makes perfect sense. Granny and Grandad were married for 64 years – it would have been 65 this June. That’s 23,360 days and then some. Granny followed Grandad to heaven just 23 days after he left her. What else could she do? They belong together. They honored God with their marriage and their lives, and He did not see fit for her to suffer a broken heart any longer.