Thursday, February 23, 2006

Dustin's Mom's Wild Rice Soup

Here's the recipe for the soup I brought to small group:

1/2 cup wild rice
Boil rice 15 minutes in salt water. Drain and rinse. Repeat at least 2 times until water is clear.

2 cans cream of potato soup
1 cup Velveeta cheese
1/2 lb. bacon cooked and crumbled
2 cups milk
1 small onion (about 1/2 cup chopped)
cooked rice

Simmer until onion is tender.

I've never tried chicken in it but I bet it would be good. If anyone tinkers with the recipe and has good results, let me know!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Pay it forward

Brenton's sermon on Sunday got me to thinking about a movie I saw a few years back. The movie, Pay It Forward (it stars Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and that kid from The Sixth Sense that sees dead people), wasn't really very good but the theme was. It's about random acts of kindness. Basically doing something kind for someone (a stranger, family, whatever) without expecting anything in return. Then that person, instead of paying you back, would pay it forward to someone else. The idea is that the one act of kindness could travel around the world.

Random acts of kindness. The world could use some more of those.

Dustin and I had a chance to do something nice for a close family member this week. This family member and their family have been really struggling financially lately. Last week one of their vehicles died on them that has put them in a much worse position. We have a pretty tight budget but we happened to get our tax return this weekend. After church on Sunday when I went grocery shopping I picked up a gift card to Cub for them. It wasn't anything huge, just enough for a decent trip to the store for a family of 4. The sound of this person's voice when they thanked me, the weight that was lifted off of their shoulders, if only for one week, was enough to fuel me for days.

Acts of kindness don't always have to involve money. Words can sometimes be even more powerful. Growing up, my family was not one of physical touch or the words "I love you." I knew I was loved, it's just that it was mostly unspoken. Dustin's family was the opposite. Even today, he, his mom and his sisters end every phone call with an "I love you" and hug and kiss hello and goodbye. I remember one time about a year ago I was talking with one of his sisters on the phone. She was having serious marital problems and had hit a low. After talking for awhile I said to her "I love know that we're here for you no matter what, right?" She started to sob but her outlook seemed to brighten immediately. I realized that I had never said those words to her even though she is one of my closest friends. I'm sure that she knew how I felt but hearing the words meant a lot to her.

I pray that God would remind me to make a conscious effort every day to be more kind and more generous to all those around, friends and strangers alike.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Tuesdays with Dad

My dad has always had a silly sense of humor. When I was a kid, any time my brothers or I would ask the question "When?" my dad always had the same answer: "On Tuesday!"

And it has been on every Tuesday since we moved to Maple Lake 3 years ago that he has made the trek over to visit us. My kids know that Tuesday is Grandpa Bill day and that he will always have some kind of treat for them when he comes. Greta even gets it now and when my dad comes up the steps she runs to him. They plop down on the recliner together and he pulls out a pack of fruit snacks for them to share.

It's funny that as I'm thinking about him now I realize that this year his birthday, today, falls on a Tuesday.

My dad is an awesome guy. He was the sole bread winner for our family of 7. He worked as a teacher and counselor until he retired a few months before Miles was born. During the summers when he had time off from school he worked different overnight jobs to make extra money. He would sleep for only a couple of hours, then get up and do things with us kids. He was at every band concert, sporting event and school function that was humanly possible for all 5 of his kids. He took us to the State Fair every year and bought us every food item imaginable...even though money was always pretty tight.

I struggle with the fact that he has not yet become a Christian and am asking for Kingdom prayers for him from all of you in the blogging world (and anywhere else!)

Happy Birthday Dad!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Swearing at the devil

Ah, the joys of a child in school. Here are a few things that Miles has learned or witnessed in Kindergarten:
  1. The "Batman smells" version of Jingle Bells.
  2. An anatomically correct version of Santa Claus (thanks to the boy who sits next to him).
  3. That we are the only family in Maple Lake that says 'gas' rather than 'fart'.
  4. The "...sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G" song.
  5. The use of his middle finger. He came home the other day and flipped me the bird. When I reprimanded him he stated "Kora told me that's how you swear at the devil. He lives under the ground." You can imagine how long it took me to straighten that one out. Especially since, in Kora's vast 5 1/2 year existence, she has learned more than I have.

Man am I glad it's the weekend!

Almost Famous

For Miles, the best part of being named student of the month was getting his picture taken for the local newspaper, The Messenger. He has been asking us every day for the last week when the paper will come. He was even counting down the days until Thursday (yesterday) because he couldn't wait to see himself in the paper. "Mom", he said, "I'm going to be famous." I explained that the paper is for people in Maple Lake, not the whole world. He said "I know. But everyone in Maple Lake will know who I am." (Note to self: teach children lesson on humility.) Well, much to his dismay, the paper came yesterday and the students of the month weren't in it. Maybe next week? So here's to another week of "Is it Thursday yet?"

If it's not in next week's paper I'm going to let him call the editor...

Monday, February 13, 2006

An Early Valentine

I know that Valentine's Day isn't until tomorrow but I'm feelin' it today. This post is for my husband.

Thank you for:
  • Marrying me on that cold December evening 6 years ago.
  • Inspiring me to be a better person.
  • Being a father and a man that our boys can look up to.
  • Giving Greta an awesome example of what a husband should be.
  • Every time you have prayed with me and for me.
  • All that you have sacrificed of yourself in the name of our family.
  • Going to work every single day so that I can stay home with our kids.
  • Living with my mood swings through 3 pregnancies.
  • Loving me even when I'm unloveable.
  • Being there just to listen and for not always trying to fix my problem.
  • Supporting our family (and my scrapbooking habit.)
  • Everything that you do around the house even though you've already put in a full day's work.
  • Using 2 comforters so I could have the ceiling fan on high when I was 9 months pregnant in February.
  • Being my best friend.
  • Putting my feelings first.
  • Scratching my back any time I ask.
  • Letting me see myself through your eyes.
  • Making me laugh until my sides hurt.
  • Being a man that stands up for what you believe in.
  • Watching scary movies with me even though you think they're stupid.
  • Getting the coffee pot ready for me every single morning.
  • Being so committed to God that it runs off on our whole family.
  • Making me feel safe.
  • Buying us a sleep number bed (though it wasn't really in our budget) because you knew my back couldn't take one more night on our 50 year old bed.
  • Being the man your dad just couldn't be.

I love you babe. Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Feelin' Groovy

The old Simon and Garfunkel song, Feelin' Groovy, has been bouncing around my head tonight...and I know why...

I'm sitting here, belly full from a delicious supper my husband made, listening to Dustin and the kids rock out on the drums downstairs. It's Friday night, which means we have the weekend ahead of us to spend family time. Sleep in a little tomorrow, then wake up and Dust and I will cozy up on the couch with some coffee and watch the kids be kids. We have nothing planned this weekend... how scrumptious! It's snowing outside...those big, fluffy flakes that float gently to the ground.

Life, I love you. All is groovy.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Hooray Miles!

Along with his new (for lack of a better description) armpit-farting skills, Miles hit a great achievement this week. He was named student of the month at school! They choose two kids from each grade for hard work, good attitude, etc.

So we're having a little family party tonight that includes some Star Wars and graham crackers with frosting... two of Miles' favorites!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Little Drummer Boy

Linus turns 4!!

Today is Linus' 4th birthday. We're having mac-n-cheese for supper (birthday boy's request!) and eating cake and opening presents later tonight. Dustin and I are excited because this year we got Linus a drum set and we can't wait to see his reaction!

Dustin took the day off to spend "special time" with Linus. They went to McDonalds play place for lunch and to the store to pick out ice cream for tonight. I decorated the house a little and took a 2 hour nap on the couch (still not feeling very well.)

I'm (and by that I mean Dustin is) going to post a picture of Linus with his drums after he opens them. I can't wait!

Friday, February 03, 2006

A cold, ear infections and the flu, oh my!

I'm still fighting off a cold that I feel like I've had since last winter. I went to the doctor on Wednesday to find out that I also have a double ear infection...for which I'm now taking amoxicillan. Then Wed. night I came down with a minor case of that nasty flu that is going around. And now the side effects from the amoxicillan are, well, starting to kick in.

I'm having a pity party at my house today if anyone wants to come. :)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A story by Miles

Miles wrote this story on the computer this afternoon. He is a little punctuation happy, but pretty good for a kindergartener!

Once apon a time. Thar. Wus a. Big bare and thar wus a home. And thar wus a big, Groop. Of cowboys, And thay did cheres with hot coco. Thay did not do good stuff, One day the bare came to thar fun howsoe thay ran away, So thay had a plan. So thay kild that bare, Rite. Up. The, End

Now he wants to illustrate it (his words, not mine.) So I'll be printing out a few copies!