Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I went to the mall a couple of days ago with Cody and Claire. It's what we do for fun here in the winter because it has an indoor playground that Claire plays on. So while we were there, I stopped in to look at a couple different clothing stores and home decorating stores. I have a certain style that I would like to dress and a certain look that I want to decorate my house with. My problem is I see things that I like but they are too expensive. I can't bring myself to pay a lot of money for clothes or for decorations. So I usually don't buy anything and then I get worried and discouraged about money and how hopeless it seems that I will ever decorate the house they way I want it or dress everyday the way I envision myself.

So this morning, I worried a little bit about money, and then I worried a little bit about my friend, and then I worried a bit about how unorganized my linen closet is, and then I got a phone call telling me that a gi rl in our ward was just diagnosed with a brain tumor and that she has a 15% chance of living. She is roughly my age and just had her first baby four months ago. I was floored when I heard the news. Its inoperatable so they are going to start an aggressive round of chemo treatment next week, but the prognisis is not good. Immediately it put everything in persepective for me. It made me feel so silly and tired about worrying about decorating my house! It made me forget about the silly thing my friend had said. It made me think about what it would be like to hear you probably won't be around to watch your infant son grow up; you probably won't grow old with your husband. Her visiting teacher told me that when she talked to her this morning, she sounded upbeat and positive. So what exactly was I worrying about?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I just finished reading These is My Words by Nancy Turner. I got it from the library, read until 2 in the morning and then finished the next day by noon. I liked it that much I couldn't put it down. It is the diary of a women settler in the Arizona Territories in the late 1800's. It is a interesting look at the hard and wild times there and the joys of family. But the spirit of the book lies in the great love story it tells. When you finish reading it, you can't help but love your husband a little more. It reminds you of the joy and importance of love. Oh, I really liked it. I hope you read it and love it, too.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Brrrr, Happy Valentines Day!

I know this is a bit belated. I offer no apologies.

We are still alive, still kicking, and still have all of our digits after being subjected to severe winter weather. Last week we didn't rise above freezing once, plus we received more than our fair share of snow, the freezing rain, then more snow- and none of it melted since we didn't get close to be above freezing. I had to go to the Doctor's office last week and we had to go the day after the ice/snow storm. My car had a 1/2 inch of solid ice all over it, topped of with a nice layer of snow. So I went out about 30 minutes than I normally would to start the car and hopefully defrost the ice. I came out 10 minutes later, and our defrost hadn't put a dent in the ice. So I put Claire in the car, grabbed the ice scrapper, and proceded for the next 15 minutes chipping off the ice- it was the most exercise I had had in a long time! So I finally get the ice off the windows. I get in the car, try to move, and realize I am snowed into my spot on the side of the road. So I get out, run back to my house, grab the shovel and shovel my way out. 10 minutes later, I finally get out and realize my battle has just begun. The roads were literally the worst roads I had ever driven on. It was afternoon, and the streets still had several inches of snow and slush- no sign of pavements- even at the intersections and main roads. But we made it on time and without incident. After being frozen for almost 3 weeks, I have decided I am done!! I am done with winter!!! I broke out my flower books and I am busy planning away my garden for the summer. Its my escape.

On Valentine's day, the roads were terrible, again, and Cody had a snow day from school. So we finally decided to take Claire out in the snow and let her play. It was quite a production to get all our winter clothes on- since we basically have never used them- but Claire loved being outside. The snow wouldn't pack, and there was a layer of ice over everything, so it wasn't super fun, but she enjoyed it. We dragged her in about 45 minutes later, because we were freezing, so we figured she must be too. But she kicked and screamed the whole way inside. Tough cookies, .

It was nice to have Cody home on Valentine's day to just hang out and relax. He had sent me flowers, which just made the snow day all the more cozy.

And as a special late valentine's suprise, today I received a box full of valentines and candy from an old friend (I say old because she is almost 30!!). Monica sent me a box of valentines, tons of valentines, to make up for a previous valentines fiasco from almost two decades ago. I figure we are completely square now and my lawyer has advised me to stop bringing it up in my blogs or I could face legal action.

I hope you all had a great valentine's week, and I envy you who are already getting spring weather!! But to look on the bright side, today was 40 degrees in Pittsburgh, and it felt like heaven. Soon the snow will be gone, and the bulbs will pop up and let the gardening begin!!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

DiBrooklet Code

Okay, if that last entry didn't make any sense- good. It wasn't suppose to. But it is part of a puzzle hidden deep in my blog!!

I am a nerd. I feel no personal shame.

A couple of nights ago as I was laying in bed, a thought popped into my mind that it would be fun to hide a message in my blog and those who are daring would be able to try to solve it using their smarts. So if you want to attempt this, you have to be dedicated, fearless, and be a nerd- just like me. This is not just busy work. I promise you will be justly rewarded when you reach the end of the path.

I made it challenging because I have some good puzzle solver's in my friends and family and I didn't want to sport with their intelligence with an easy and obvious code. And remember, the reward at the end is worth it. If you solve it, please don't give it away for anyone else.

So here is the clue to start you on your path:

Using the key as your count and measure, start at the beginning. The letter L is the first letter of your message which will take you on your path.

Good luck!!

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Beginning

I Liked to open up doors not known to begin so. Yet this time up the riddles for my guests. I realize one must undergo new sound and sight for knowledge gained. I laugh at every so frustration beneath facades. There it is.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

How Do I Love Thee?


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Y Red. When I think of a month I envision it in color. Every month is a different color and I think this is a result of the calendars my teacher put up in elementary school and it has had a permanent effect on me, apparently. So February is red. Red is my favorite color. I love the decorations of red and pink- it just makes me happy.

Y Valentines. I have mentioned in a previous post of an scandalous incident involving an innocent second grader, a manipulating, fasting talking fifth grader, and two unbalanced piles of valentine cards. But there is no need to rehash the past. I love the idea of making, giving, and receiving valentine cards. Genius.

Y Valentine Boxes. Even more exciting than giving valentines is making VALENTINE BOXES. Of course I haven't made one since elementary school, before they were banned and everyone had to make the generic heart envelope thingy. But, oh boy, am I excited to help Claire make her valentine boxes in the coming years. I actually have real good memories of Monica helping me make my piano valentine's box years ago (probably to make up for the fiasco aforementioned).

Y Groundhogs Day. It's just fun that we have a holiday centered on a rodent(?). But more important, I love the movie Groundhogs Day. 'Nuf said.

Y Birthdays. Well there is just a list of birthdays that make February fun. First off, my moms. She also shares her birthday with Ronald Reagan. Then there is Shannon Clark (turned 3 this year), Chrissy Higginson (I still think of her every Feb 8, but I haven't a clue where she is or what she is doing), George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and of course, Justine Bateman.

Y Flowers. This is the most likely time of the year that I can count on receiving flowers from my husband. I have a great husband who surprises me here and there with flowers, but February holds a slight lead in the odds race for there to be a vase of fresh flower on my dining room table.

Y It ushers in the lion. It's the last real month of winter which gives me hope that spring is around the corner and we can start looking forward to the lamb.

Y Love. Sometimes its hard to tell those who mean so much to us that we love them. But February makes a celebration of it. This is a holiday that celebrates the best things about being a human being- love.


I was just bullied into signing up with the new blogger!! I have been resisting it because of shear laziness and uncertainty, but today when I signed in, it MADE me make a new google account, yada, yada, yada, and now I have the new blogger. Not that it was that painful of a transition to make, I just prefer to do things when I want, rather than be the victim of a hostile take over.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Key

'Twas a dark and windy night. As the mercury dropped to a place it hadn't visited in years, a young women lay warm and snug in her bed. The wind whipped the outside of her house, begging to be let into the warm and quiet, if only for a little respite from the frigid cold (wind chill was -22 degrees). But the woman and her family continued to sleep comfortably, blissfully unaware at the war raging outside- her daughter was snug in her bed, wearing a warm and toasty footsy pajama as extra protection and her husband safe and warm beside the wife in . . . wait, no! That poor bloke! He wasn't beside her. He, unlike the lazy wife, arose before the sun had a chance to spread its hand across the land and left for school before 7:00 am. He had to venture out into the world, taking on the mighty North Wind, defying the cold to stop him. As he walked out the front door, he braced himself for the obstacle and challenges that the cold would surely throw in his way to thwart him. The first test- would the car in fact start or would the the cold claim victory over its old battery? His wife listened with bated breath, though still snug and now spread out in her warm bed, as he husband tried to start the car. She heard it turn over, slowly, slowly. . . . He tried again, only to have less success than the first try. There was no denying the truth. . . the battery was de ad; it had given up the ghost; it had gone the way of the earth. Bitter Cold: 1. Husband: 0.

But our story doesn't stop there. The husband was no quitter and he had come prepared. He had a spare battery, but now his challenge was to replace the battery whilst standing exposed to the the -22 degree wind. His wife listened from bed, hoping that it wouldn't take long to replace the battery. She was planning what she would do if she didn't hear him start the car after ten minutes. She would make the long and arduous trek from the bed to the window to make sure he hadn't succumbed to hypothermia or lost any appendages to frost bite. But after about 7 minutes and probably many cuss words delivered under his breath, the husband had installed the battery and once again tried to start the car. It turned over, slowly, and then. . . vvvrrroooom. It started!!! Take that Bitter Cold and North Wind. You cannot defeat the mighty husband!!

But of course, the warm wife and child are not even going to attempt to challenge the elements. The child wants to, more than anything, go out and play in the snow. She just doesn't understand what it means when the loving, kind mother says, "It's too cold outside. Your fingers will freeze and fall off." So indoors they remain and have remained since the cold snap began several weeks ago. The situation is starting to turn desperate, as the only company they have had is themselves for several weeks! As the groceries start to dwindle, because the wife is too big of a chicken to face the cold to go grocery shopping, the family is forced to live off from pancakes, every other meal.

Well, to make a long story short, it's cold here!!!

But this is really the Key: Joshua 6:4

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

Happy Birthday, Mom! I hope you get the day off work today and I hope you spend it in quilting stores! We love you.

Cody, Brooke, and Claire!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Happy Groundhogs Day!

I feel a bit more connected to Groundhogs day since I am here in Penn- sylvania, 100 miles away from Punxa- tawny Phil. I heard that he saw his shadow, which means another six weeks of winter. But actually in Pittsburgh, spring doesn't really come until May- much more than six weeks away! I hear that the groundhog sees his shadow 90% of the time.

I shouldn't complain, though. Even though its freezing and snowing outside right now, it has really been a mild winter, with the temperatures usually in the 50s. Not too shabby. But I did hear on the news this morning that, in fact, the world is getting warmer. So maybe the groundhog's nerves will be eased as he sees less and less of his shadow.

This is a picture of my Groundhog. She worked hard on perfecting the groundhog face, so I thought I would share it all with you-- Our own Pittsburgh Claire.