Markus’s 1st Birthday, a bit late

Realized last week that I never blogged pics from my boy’s first birthday party, other than the cakesmash ones on my photo blog. ¬†Oops!

Here’s a couple from his actual first birthday.

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He had a kinda sorta “balls” theme going on (since they are his favorite toy), so I made a basketball cake out of a tried-and-true banana cake with caramel frosting recipe I’ve used for Husband’s birthday many times.

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The banner was hung ’round the living room with care…

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As you can see, my decorations were FAN. CEE. Some balls on the coffee table. ūüôā

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Super-easy apps.
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A little sign using the available magnets on the fridge. (Markus is trying to figure out what it says.)
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A bunch of balloons, which he LOVED.
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Simple stuff. That’s how we do young kid birthdays around here.

And speaking of birthdays, Happy 1/2 Birthday to my girl!!

Sunday Sunshine 02.27.11

Loosen the Grip of More StuffSmall Notebook

Where the Happiness IsA Holy Experience

“Red is Red, Blue is Blue,” said HushLifenut (please, Lord, may I have this pleasure?)

The Hardest Thing About Blogging for MeUnder the Sycamore (ain’t that the truth!)


As I’ve mentioned in my Daybook entries, I have been reading lately. ¬†It is not always an easy read, but it is a good read. ¬†Today my heart is heavy with friends’ news. ¬†My eyes welled with tears as these words rent soul:

I grip the card and I know all our days are struggle and warfare (Job 14:14) and that the spirit-to-spirit combat I endlessly wage with Satan is this ferocious thrash for joy. ¬†He sneers at all the things that seem to have gone hideously mad in this sin-drunk world, and I gasp to say God is good. ¬†The liar defiantly scrawls his graffiti across God’s glory, and I heave to enjoy God…and Satan strangles, and I whiten knuckles to grasp real Truth and fix that beast to the floor. ¬†~Ann Voskamp

When my daddy was sick, and when he died, I wrestled so long, so hard with the goodness of God. ¬† Through a sermon my pastor spoke, a hot Sunday morning in August, the parking lot a sea of folding chairs and umbrellas and sweaty tots, I came to see God’s mercy in the apparent evil.

Twice I’d stood in the same pew as John had at the funerals of both of his sons, and I had turned and I had seen for myself, how John stood with the congregation and sang it clear, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” ¬†Twice John sang his lifelong favorite Scripture before the coffins of his sons. ¬†I can still see him brave through each line sung, the tears of faith streaming down his cheeks into his smile. ¬†My throat had swelled raw in this sad awe, and I had turned away, drowning in grief waters all my own. ¬†The kind of faith I had witnessed in John, that spoke in the dead boy’s home, that kind of faith puts real vertebrae into a verse like Ephesians 5:20: “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (NASB, emphasis added).

This is the hard thanksgiving.  In the face of great loss, we grieve.  And God, who allowed his own son to be crucified, relates.  Understands.

God, who gives and takes away.  God, an ever-present help in trouble.  God who holds all truth.  God, we pray for your grace and peace and thank you for your mercy, especially for those who cannot find the words to pray right now.

Simple Woman’s Daybook 02.23.11

Outside my window…the snow piles again, softly covering the old, dirty snow. I am thankful for it Рthe white instead of the muddy blackish-brown.

I am thinking‚Ķabout children’s prayers. Did you have a simple prayer you were taught as a child, or did you pray for specific things?

I am thankful for…a kitchen where I can create, even if it is currently quite messy.

From the kitchen…Pesto Pasta.

I am wearing…jeans, a white long-sleeve t-shirt and a brown poncho.

I am creating…a batch of steamed carrots for my son.

I am going…to a MOPS Swap today!

I am reading…One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

I am hoping…that my move-in can wait until April. Funny how things change.

I am hearing‚Ķthe computer’s hum and the squeak of my daughter’s (my old) bed.

Around the house…is a tent, a bunch of scrapbooking supplies, and a pile of mail that needs going through.

One of my favorite things…is peanut butter.

A few plans for the rest of the week: chiropractor, small group, touring a swimming facility where Anja will take lessons, and hopefully more home renovations.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing‚Ķmy sweet boy, wondering why I’m making him lie on the floor for pictures.

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Read more Daybook entries here.

Last Weeks in Pictures

Haven’t had a lot of time to blog lately, so thought I’d just do a quick recap/share.

Sick girl snacks
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No bathing privacy in this house! He’s recently figured out how to open the toilets, too (joy…), so we leave the bathroom doors closed at all times.
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Sweetest. Thing. Ever. Husband may or may not kill me for posting this. (To be fair, he just used the stuff that was lying around from Anja’s Valentine-making…he’s not normally a puffy paint kinda guy.)
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An up-do for the dance.
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A different kind of dance.
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A tradition. And the second one is blurry, but I like it anyway. The Valentine “Angel” was a special request from Anja. I aim to please! ūüėČ
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A sucker from a classmate.
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A makeup-less self-portrait. I don’t often post photos of myself, so why this one? I do not know.
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And some cookies I made are here.

Simple Woman’s Daybook 02.16.11

Outside my window…the birdfeeder that, last week, lay on a huge drift of snow, today lies on the deck!

I am thinking…about giving thanks.

I am thankful for…creativity in its many forms.  I love to marvel at the beauty of what God has created and all that I see others creating.

From the kitchen…Black Bean and Yam Quesadillas.
I am wearing…jeans, a sky blue camisole and a brown long-sleeve top.
I am creating…a big mess, mostly.
I am going…a little bit crazy trying to catch up with all that I got behind in while I was sick.
I am reading…Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson and One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  Still.
I am hoping‚Ķfor an early spring. ¬†I am sick of the snow, but I don’t want things to get flooded up north. ¬†So whatever God wills.

I am hearing…Markus yelling at his new truck toy in the other room.
Around the house…is mostly that mess I was talking about.  And some new Valentine stuff I got for the kids.
One of my favorite things…is soft hair.

A few plans for the rest of the week: work, library field trip, chiropractor, small gropu, more work, a possibly visit from family?

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…another old one from the files!

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For more entries, read here.

Abdallah Candies in Burnsville

Once a year I make the trek to Abdallah Candies in Burnsville, MN to buy an assortment of chocolates for Husband for Valentine’s Day. ¬†I have seen their little boxes here and there at retail stores locally, but for some reason I like to go and “pick and choose” my own.

My favorites, of the ones I’ve tried? ¬†The chocolate mints and the dark chocolate caramels. ¬†Yum!

I do realize that candy is a fairly cliche V-day gift, but I think Husband likes them. ¬†Bonus: He usually, ahem, shares a few with me. ¬†ūüôā

Is there a special treat you traditionally give or get on Valentine’s Day?