Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Peony Dinner Party

Just yesterday, I noticed that my peonies have had a major growth spurt in the last week. Although I love roses, I just get so impatient for them to bloom, so I am pretty sure God created the peony for those of us who are lacking in the patience department!

What is not to love about the peony? I think they are just beautiful and the added benefit of no thorns, beautiful green foliage and their yummy scent makes them even more spectacular!

Last year a few friends were wanting to get together for dinner. It was the last week of school. Need I say more? Busy, busy week with school activities, commitments, teacher gifts etc. but there is never a "good" time for everybody to get, instead of procrastinating, we planned it! Even if only a few of us could make it, we were going to have a Spring Dinner Party!

No fancy invites, no fancy dinner. It was kept SIMPLE.

I called the girls via land line and then figured out a MENU for the evening that would work with our week. I LOVE PARTY MENUS!

This was the menu: Sparkling Lemonade
Homemade Bread or Artisan Bread from Costco...depending on time
Willamette Valley Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Large Pasta Salad with Rotisserie Chicken
Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Since the day of the dinner was going to be busy until that afternoon, I had made the cupcakes up ahead of time and stuck them in the freezer...I bake them without the wrappers and then put them in the wrappers before placing them on the cake stand.

I ran to Costco in the afternoon for the rotisserie chicken and Bebe Spring Mix. I got home, put the salads together, baked the bread and had time to decorate with a few things I had put together earlier on in the week.

Back to the flowers...the peonies were in FULL, their colors were my inspiration for the party: Pink, yellow and white.

It was simple and so much fun to just sit and enjoy friendship. So there we were a group of friends talking, eating,and laughing. The birds were taking their evening baths, the water was bubbling away in the fountain and the neighbors weren't mowing their lawn...and to think we almost didn't get together because of how busy we all seemed to be. Sweet friends, sweet bouquets of fresh cut flowers, and sweet memories!

Please check out the Reluctant Entertainer to see what delicous scents others are filling their homes with.

Also linked to PINK SATURDAY!

pinkalicious thursday

Friday, March 26, 2010

Trader Joes Tea Roses

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Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"I'll Carry You!"

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Every family has a child that challenges its family one way or another. Ours is no exception.

When our son was in preschool, I remember having to sit down behind him and having to wrap my legs around him in order to get him to sit still long enough to listen to a story.

My friends would talk about their blissful Saturday mornings when their kids would "pop" in a video and sit for hours while they would lounge. Not in our home. Caleb would be up by 7:00 at the latest...ready to do or work on a project or have his boots on to go outside and explore. I really was TOTALLY jealous and tried to be happy for them, but it just did not seem fair.

Fast forward 14 years and he still has energy to spare. In January, Caleb and I took a winter's walk along the path in the wetlands. It is something we enjoy because the air is always extra crisp and fresh along the creek.

As we were walking, Caleb spotted the tree that had fallen due to the beavers. He knew, because he had already checked it out on an earlier excursion. He wanted me to see the beaver's teeth marks at the base of the large tree. I was completely happy with him telling me ALLLL about it, but it it was so important for him to not only tell me about it but to SHOW me.

I was so focused with staying on task to get our walk "in" and to get back home to make dinner that I had to be convinced.

All I could see was the muddy, soggy ground, lots of shrubbs and branches that had to be moved to get down to the creek. After a couple of minutes, Caleb walked back toward me and said,"Mom, I'll help you up on my back and I'll carry you!".

Not only did he carry me, but he cleared the branches as we forged through the wetlands. He set me up on the slippery trunk and took my hand as we balanced ourselves down to where the trunk had been gnawed away by the beavers. How thrilling! It was yet another reminder of why God blessed us with our son.

Time and time again I have learned so much about my Savior through the children he has entrusted us with. Sometimes I wonder if they have been put in our care to give us just that much more of an understanding of how He cares and takes care of us.

How many times am I happy with the comfortable? Are there times He wants me to EXPERIENCE life beyond the dry familiar path? Is He asking me to go through the mud? If He is, I can be assured that it is worth the extra time, worth the sight and best of all He promises to carry me, clear the branches, set me up on a safe spot, take my hand and show me THE THRILLING and AMAZING!

Do you view challenges as an opportunity to grow or just as another frustration in your life?

Psalm 27:5
" For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock."

Friday, March 19, 2010

To Cure What "Ales" YA!

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So lately it seems like a stomach bug has been going around. I usually like taking homemade chicken noodle soup to friends, but finishing up with basketball season with the children, birthday month, track season starting etc. I have opted to making homemade GINGER ALE. Not only is it easy to make and fun to package up , but it really does work and it is soothing. It is refreshing just like SPRING! Happy SPRING to YOU!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

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Use your "PRETTIES"

Okay, this is going to be a tough one! Take a big 'ole deep breath! It is going to be alright.

How many of you remember going to a friend's house when you were younger and feeling like someone had just died? You went over to play and the "good" couches were covered with sheets, the lamps were still shrink wrapped in plastic(MAJOR FIRE HAZARD! :) ), the drapes were drawn to save the covered couch??? you had to play in the basement so nothing would get broken...except an arm from slipping on the cement...and about half-way through your play date... in solitary confinement, you mentioned you were a bit you went up to the off-limits Kitchen to get a snack and were given a bathroom Dixie cup with KOOL AID and a paper plate with stale chips...okay, not REALLY, but who are you saving your BEST for? Pretty sure none of us are expecting any dignitaries anytime soon...

So,give your best to those around you TODAY. Set the table with a tablecloth and your favorite dishes...that may not have even ever been used...get dressed up when your loved ones come home and smile when they ask you where you are going...blow off the dust on the candles and light them even if you are having them that they are more dear to you than anybody else in the world...treat them like they are Gold...REMEMBER I AM DOING THIS, too.

Last year my mom showed me the sweetest picture. I think it was taken on our first birthday. It was a homemade cake on a beautiful GLASS cake stand that was given to my parents as a wedding gift. She used her "PRETTIES" all of the time. It made us feel even more special in knowing that we were worth it. We learned to appreciate the little things and we also learned that the celebrating happens everyday with those around you.

If the plate does get chipped or the tablecloth gets stained, just think you will always have the memory of your special evening...loving and showing your dear ones that they are well worth the effort...don't forget your bright red lipstick and pearls!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010



I could not resist showing you the bouquet my mom brought over to me last night. It is so full of Spring! Have you ever seen a more yellow daffodilly? If you don't have any yellow out in your home...go find some. It will cheer you for sure and it will make you feel like Spring is already here...I can't wait for 11 more days anyway!

Here are some "yellow" ideas:

Yellow flowers if you have them

Go buy a spool of yellow ribbon...less than $2.00 using a 40% coupon at Michaels or JoAnns...and put it behind pictures or glue gun it to the frame. Tie it around a plant or around the towels in your bathroom!

Paint some wooden clothespins yellow and hang a few favorite pictures on string.

Make a tall...very TALL Italian Banana Cream Soda and stick a YELLOW straw in it.

Buy a lemon and make homemade lemonade.

Make two loaves of banana bread. Keep one for yourself and have fun giving one away...don't forget to wrap it with a yellow ribbon.

If this sounds too ridiculous, set your yellow butter out on a dish or leave your yellow mustard out on the counter AFTER MAKING the kids sandwiches...I am telling are going to be one HAPPY camper!
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Thursday, March 4, 2010


Can you think of anybody who does not LOVE getting flowers? Even if you are having a great day, getting flowers or a tiny little plant with one bud just makes you feel so alive! So, today, maybe you can think of somebody who needs some encouragement or somebody who you have had on your mind...and take them a little plant, bouquet, herbs...whatever...just to let them know somebody is thinking about them today. It is especially fun to do it without them knowing who it is from...our family calls it "elfing"...and it is not just for Christmas time. Have fun!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Laur!

Do you think from the moment we were conceived that we "knew" we would be best friends for life? It is an incredible thought! Just think, we have known each other longer than anybody else will ever be able to...not very many people can say that. What a privilege to be brought into the world with an instant best friend.

I think it is AMAZING! I know that God knew that you were exactly what I would need in this life...a twin...and an identical twin at that. How very perfect.

You were my very first birthday gift, Laur, and are one of my most cherished gifts I have ever received.

Whenever I hear your voice, it brings comfort and calm. You are the dearest of friends. You forgive, you have offered hope when I couldn't grasp it, you love me at my worst and best...absolutely unconditionally. You are always happy for me even when you are hurting. You pray with me and show me what it means to have mercy for others.

When we were little, people used to always ask us if we liked being twins. Back then, I never understood what they meant. All these years later, I think I know EXACTLY what they meant. I don't think they could understand how two different people could enjoy getting called the wrong name, getting in trouble for something they didn't do and boy oh boy do we know the list goes on! I still love being your twin and in my book there are NO disadvantages.

Laur, you have always had a cheerful, gentle spirit. It doesn't matter if you are right next to me or if you are on a different continent. If I was reading a letter from you, talking to you on the phone or whispering late into the night with you, your voice is a sweet echo from your heart.

I hold dear our childhood days of baby dolls, puppets, Chinese jump rope for hours on end, roller skating, spring picnics and hikes to our "TABLELAND", camping and biking in Holland, Chinese food, museums, castles, piano lessons, Grandma Metko's hide-a-bed, boyfriends, plane rides, berry picking, and graduation...then
...weddings, babies, toddlers, teenagers...

I have never faced the hardships you have experienced, but the example you have been to me is one of courage and strength. You have taught me that no matter what happens in this life we can not rely on ourselves as much as we think we can... but our trust has to be in God.

Tonight, as I try to squeeze this little birthday letter in, there are so many things I wanted to write and reminisce about, but I guess it all comes down to this, my sweet twin: my heart is bursting with thankfulness that God gave me a very tangible way of understanding His love toward me through you. I love you and am thankful I have had you in my life...from the VERY beginning.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Snail Mail

This is NOT going to kill you. Trust me. Support your local Post Office and go buy A STAMP...or two. Okay, no cheating. Write a note...use the back of a receipt if you have to...and let somebody know you are thinking about them. Facebook, a text and an e-mail do not count.

There is just something exciting about getting a handwritten note in YOUR mailbox. It feels so good to write a sweet message to somebody and it is a huge sense of accomplishment that will take minutes. Not including the trip to the Post Office.

Don't you just feel better just thinking about doing something special for somebody else?

"Everytime I think of you, I give thanks to my God..." Philippians 1:3

Monday, March 1, 2010


We all get into little ruts at times. You know EXACTLY what I am talking about. The same routine day in and day out. The mundane.

Well, if you are happy in that camp and are a creature of habit...I am very jealous...but you wont want to come back and visit until next month.
I decided with spring peeking its little face around the corner, it was time for something new and exciting.{ I am bored with my blog and have to do something different...did I ever tell you I have ADHD???} :}

Sometimes, life can become overwhelming and exhausting. So over the next month I thought I would give you some ideas that have been passed on to me or I have just tried in desperation to add a little SPRING to your step as you go along with your daily routine. Just simple things to add some fun to your life and things that will bring joy to those around you.

I will be doing this along with you. I thought we could "compare" notes as we go along if you would like...unless you want to remain anonymous! :)

Let's start!

DAY 1:

Here is the most refreshing water EVER:

Make a pitcher of SASSY WATER...adapted from Cynthia Sass

Fill glass pitcher with cold filtered water
Add 1 thinly sliced lemon
Add 1 inch of peeled, sliced ginger it fresh!
Add 10 mint leaves that have been cut a releases the essence of mint.
Let chill in the fridge and sip away! You will feel so refreshed.

Make new batch every couple of days to keep it fresh.