Archive for the ‘fun stuff’ Category

So many times I look at a cute gift idea on pinterest and think “Nah, I can’t use that…my kids aren’t old enough.”  And they may not be.  But my co-workers are!

Last week, I made them each a simple mechanical pencil taped with a piece of paper that said “You got the ‘write’ stuff to make this a great team!”  I laid one on each of their desks in the morning.

Cheesy?  You betcha.

Fun?  You betcha.

Made them smile?  Most of them!


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I ran across a quote a while ago, but I don’t remember the source. It is “People don’t know how wonderful they are. Someone needs to tell them.” Maybe, for your friend, that someone is you. After all, relationships need encouragement to keep growing. Marriages don’t thrive when we ignore our spouses. Children don’t feel closer to us when we don’t spend time with them. Friendships are the same thing. Even with limited time that we moms can have, we can encourage our friendships. All it takes is just a little time and forethought.

Here are some of my ideas that don’t take too much time to pull off.

  • Send an email or a text message.  It just needs to be a few sentences, but it will brighten her day. Give her one to two things that you really appreciate.  Some things you’ve noticed about her specifically.  Extra credit if you hand write it on a note card, but that’s not necessary.
  • Bring her a treat. Driving through Starbucks? Pick her up a latte. Stopping by Dairy Queen? Order an extra milk shake just for her! Find out where she is and drop the treat off. You don’t even need to enjoy it with her; just bless her!
  • Decorate her yard. Get some plastic Easter eggs, fill them with candy and decorate her door step. Buy 100 American flags and make a big sign in her yard. Sneak into her yard at night and have some fun. Her kids will probably get a kick out of it too!
  • Drop off dinner. Making a casserole for dinner? Make two, but bring one to her. Just give her advance notice that you’re providing the meal or make it something that she can serve the next day. Meals don’t have to be just for new moms or when there is a death in the family.
  • Leave a voice mail. Does she have a work phone number? Call it late at night when she won’t be in the office. Leave a short message telling her that you value her friendship. That’ll be a nice surprise when she gets into the office!
  • Listen carefully. Many times, friends drop hints about the things that they need. Has she been looking for a good pork tenderloin recipe? If you find one, pass it on. If she mentions that her brother is looking for a job and you come across a possibility, send it her way. If you see a rug that would look great in her living room, tell her about it.
  • Take something off her plate.  Does she have errands to run?  Can you pick up her dry cleaning or the 5 gallons of paint she’s been meaning to get for the basement?  You can’t help her file her status reports for work, but you can bring her a snack while she’s working late.
  • Remember her birthday.  Let’s be honest. Sometimes moms can get overlooked on their birthdays.  So, before Facebook tells you it’s her birthday, write it in your day planner and plan ahead.  Order her one of those big chocolate chip cookies.  Make her a birthday cake.  It can even be from a box.  Help her kids make her a card.  Just make her feel special in some small way!

How do you encourage friendship?

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A Letter to Santa From This Gal

I don’t homeschool.  Not sure that I will.  (I guess you could make the argument that I do homeschool since I don’t send my kids to public school or anything, but really, they’re 2 and 20 months old and homeschool moms do way more than I do.)

But I read Simple Homeschool blog.  I just like it.  Especially this article on a Letter to Saint Nick. Go read it – it’s great.  If I could write my own, this is what I would say.

Dear Santa,

I’m not sure that I’ve been very good this year. But I have produced another wonderful kid into this world, so please count that as being good, k? K.

This is my Christmas list.

1. Please help me to create a home that I love, and not a home that I think ‘people who don’t live here’ would love.

2. Please remind me that I don’t have great DIY skills and shouldn’t attempt too many complicated things. Scratch that, I’ll just go look at the bad paint job in my powder room – that’s enough of a reminder.

3. Can you make it so that my children sleep during the hours that I go to work, so that I don’t miss too much? I mean, I want them to sleep at night too…but if they could just pass by the time that I’m gone, that’d be great.

4. Can you help me to just magically know how to encourage my husband better? I try and I try and I get it right like 90% of the time, but the remaining 10% of the time, I usually end up looking like a dork. On an unrelated note…

5. Can you help Jeff to not notice my gray hairs (like he did yesterday)? It’s nice that he was shocked when he noticed them…but, well, he did notice them. (And please consider my tummy as an unspoken Christmas request.)

6. I’d like my blog to be, well, bloggier. I’ve become gunshy lately about posting stuff because some random stranger wrote a mean comment about how bad of a writer I am. So if you could remind me of my audience (me), that’d be nice.

7. I don’t mind doing the work of decorating our new-to-us house for Christmas, but I’m kind of overwhelmed by how to go about doing it. And after-Christmas sales are about to be here, so if you could drop some great ideas my way (you know of stuff I actually can do), I’d really appreciate it.

8. I’d like to discover some really awesome, totally tasty new recipes that are healthy and easy. (Oh, and if you can make watermelon also be a winter crop here in Nebraska, I’d totally adore that. I miss the produce stand watermelons.)

9. Can I get assurance that I’ll actually like driving a mini-van when the time comes? I mean, I see how easy that they seem to make family’s lives and I know my days of a Toyota Corolla are numbered and I know that more kids = minivan, but I’m still not looking forward to it. Tell me that I’ll look cool.

10. I’d like my photography skills to magically get better. Just poof! Great pictures of all the great moments that we have.

So, Santa – that’s my list. I’ll totally see to it that you get some milk and cookies if you can do even half of these things. k? K.



P.S. Help me stick to my grocery budget, too?  That’d be really swell!

P.P.S. Since you read this, I’ll show you pictures of a cute kid wrestling with his dad.


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Favorite Christmas Videos

We don’t really watch much TV.  Well, not as much as some, but certainly more than others, I guess.  When The Voice is on, I watch it.  And then we catch Wheel of Fortune 2-3 times a week.  And Jeff & I usually watch Last Man Standing and The Shark Tank on Friday nights.  But that’s about it.  We do watch Netflix though.

All that’s to say that I haven’t watched many Christmas shows this season.  I don’t even know when they’re on.  I’m guessing when the kids are older, we’ll make it a point to watch Charlie Brown Christmas or How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  And I’m pretty sure Jeff will insist on watching It’s A Wonderful Life a time or two.

But I have watched a few Christmas videos on Youtube.  Some are just commercials.  Some are songs. But here are my favorites.

Social Networking Christmas

(I first shared this one 3 years ago — wow, how time flies!)

WestJet Christmas

As fun as it would be to be on the receiving end of this, it would’ve been a bigger blast to be on the giving end!  Can you imagine that company meeting where they asked for people willing to help?

Hallejulah Chorus by Monks


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Links to Like

Here are some things out on the interwebz that I’ve liked lately.

Things a Mom Does For A Picture.  I will never get this kid’s expression out of my mind.  Next time I’m having a bad day, I’m going here.  Instant smiles.

Why I Lost Faith In the Pro-Choice Movement.  A gal explains what turned her opinion from pro-choice to pro-life.  A quote: “But when I took a hard look behind the closed doors of the pro-choice movement, and demanded full information, and acknowledged the dignity of women of all ages (even those not yet born), and asked hard questions about what women’s reproductive freedom really means, that is when I became pro-life.”

Project Life.  A way of scrapbooking made easy.  I don’t use this method, but I hear many, many wonderful things about it.

5 Things I’ve Learned in the First Year of Being a Mom.  Not written by me (I’m not there yet!), but I love many of the things she says.  One thing that really hit home with me: “If you happen to look like you’re fourteen years old, they’ll give you even more unsolicited advice (don’t ask me how I know that!).  At first, I was offended by this.  I wanted to defend my mothering skills (though in fact I often didn’t—and don’t—always feel confident in them).  I began to realize, though, that it was my pride that felt the need to insist that I had it all together.”

Lay Me Down By Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman.  One of my new faves!

All good stuff!

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Weddings: Pinterest Style

I was talking with a dad a while back and he told me how his 13-year-old daughter is already pinning wedding ideas on pinterest.  I don’t know if it’s a major problem or not, but I think that’s pretty common. When my sister and I were in elementary school, we’d devour the latest JC Penney catalog section that had wedding and bridesmaid dresses.  Pinterest is to young girls what JC Penney was for me.

But pinterest is more than just theoretical wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses.  They are pictures of real life brides, real life hair styles, real life photos, real life programs and receptions.  20 years ago, if you wanted to get ideas for your wedding, you had to cut things out of magazines or from weddings that you’ve been to.  Today the comparision isn’t with the few weddings you’ve personally been to – instead its with the hundreds that are online.  Thousands if you start looking at wedding stuff when you’re 13!

It can become a crazy game if you let it.  If you compare your wedding to the best that’s out there on the internet, you’ll feel disappointed.  It can be hard to forget when you’re in the middle of planning, but your wedding isn’t about the best programs or the reception or the dresses or hairstyles.  Look at pinterest.  Get ideas.  Find out what options are out there.  But remember: your wedding is a success if, at the end of the day, you’re married.  It isn’t the best day of your life – at least it shouldn’t be, but it is the first day of your marriage.  And that’s a wonderful thing!

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If I had my way…

If I had my way:

  • Toilets, like ovens, would be self-cleaning.
  • Coca-Cola would sell a variety pack: 6 Cokes, 6 Diet Cokes, 6 Cherry Cokes and 6 Sprites…that’d be great for a party!
  • Grocery stores would tell you a month in advance what will be on sale each week.
  • Chipotle would have a drive thru.
  • There’d be a heating & cooling system that would keep your house at the right temperature even on days when it starts out super cold, then goes to hot within a few hours.  One temperature = that’s what you get.
  • A Starbucks Carmel Apple Spice wouldn’t cost $23.90/gallon.
  • Window blinds would be self-cleaning too.
  • Cable companies would let you order channels ala-carte.  I could get just HGTV without all the other stuff.
  • Nebraska Huskers would be on a non-cable channel each week.

I’m probably not going to get my way, am I?

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