Friday, August 29, 2008

From Monarchs to Chesterbay...and back!

My blogs these days are coming so close together...there is just so much to share!
I met with the florist this week! She is wonderful! The thing that I love about her is exactly what sets her apart from all the other florists in Rochester...she doesn't just think FLOWERS!! We've got kale, acorns, bittersweet, crab apples and grains, and of course, mums and dahlias and gerber daisies, I'm LOVING IT!!!!! After our initial meeting, I went back that afternoon to purchase plants with the boys, and while we were there she showed the boys the monarch caterpillars that she had all over her garden. She offered to let them take one home, so we did. All week we have been watching the caterpillar devour leaf after leaf, and pooh, my word how much can such a small thing pooh? It has made for interesting conversations and learning in our house this week! To make it better, Benjamin has been invited to go Monarch tagging on Sunday afternoon! I can't wait to hear how it goes!
This weekend we are watching our Goddaughter Callie Ann. Her parents have a wedding in SD this weekend so we have her through Monday! So far its been good! I'm a little nervous about 5 days with a 2 year old again...but its a good reminder of what those days were like with the boys!
While Brian and Benjamin were at football, Christian, Callie and I went to Thursdays on First again, but this time to watch ChesterBay.
DEC 2006
The boys just LOVE them! They don't play in venues appropriate for the boys very often, so it is rare that the boys actually get to see them live, but tonight was a perfect opportunity! The first time the boys met the band in Dec 06, they got to hang out on stage, play their guitars, and the band was just incredibly gracious! So tonight, while they took a break Christian (carefully and nervously)went and talked to one of the brothers (Jake) who remembered him!
AUG 08
It was a great icebreaker when Jake recalled the night on the stage (which is such a vivid memory for Christian) Benjamin and Brian were able to catch the last 15 min of the show, and we were able to get some pictures with Christian and Jake when the concert was over. I am grateful to ChesterBay, they don't have to take any time to talk to the boys, they are just typical college kids who live the college life...but they are making a difference in my boys' lives, and I appreciate that!
AUG 08 we get home from the concert, after carefully looking over the caterpillar Benjamin has concern that the caterpillar is not OK, but I send him to bed assuring him that the darn thing will be alive and well in the am. So off he goes with a goodnight to the yellow and black striped gizmo hanging in the bowl....NOT EVEN AN HOUR LATER, this is what I find.

Now mind you, it is in a glass bowl and it is attached to the leaves around it, so I couldn't move things out of the way to take a pix from the inside but HOW COOL!!! The boys will be excited when they wake up! I just wish I had gotten around to taking a picture of it before it made the chrysalis!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Darlene, Groovy Dude and Gouda....

We welcomed 2 new members to our family today. Darlene and Groovy Dude are a big hit! Brian bought them yesterday, and before the boys came home to meet them I played with them for awhile and it turns out they jam well to Dave Matthews! Christian has been wanting marionettes since we saw them at Thursdays on First months ago! We have been looking but haven't really found ones that would be easy enough for him to manuever, but these are perfect! And the best part was that instead of $16+ they were only 25 cents each! I love a good find!
Last night Benjamin went to the Vikings game for another of the incentive trips that our Principal has access to. The tickets were donated to Mr. Sonju and when they thought of who they should take, Benjamin and Bennett came to mind! So off he went into the 24th row in the end zone with Mike (student teacher) and Megan (4/5 grade teacher) and his bf Bennett! Benjamin is a lucky kid!

Brian and I are trying to eat less meat...I won't get into all the reasons, but never the less we are trying more vegetarian dishes, sooo, dinner tonight was a spin on mac and cheese. A friend gave me the recipe Friday and tonight we had it for dinner and it was delicious!! So good I thought I would pass it along for you to try! The boys LOVED it! Thanks Lauren!

Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups fat-free milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
1/3 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
5 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach
4 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.
Crumb the bread so it measures a 1/2 cup.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, salt, and pepper, stirring constantly with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil; cook until thick (about 2 minutes). Add cheeses; stir until melted.

Add spinach and macaroni to cheese sauce, stirring until well blended. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until bubbly.

It is out of the Cooking Light magazine that I have been hearing about from nearly everyone...I may just have to break down and get a subscription now.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Summer is coming to a close

We came back from the cabin today, and I am proud to say that cabin laundry is no match for me!! I have the last load in the dryer! It was a beautiful weekend in Nisswa, the kids had a blast and we enjoyed our time with the Vulcans. On Saturday we took a walk into Nisswa with all of the kids to do some shopping and get ice cream and shop at the toy store. The boys earned some money when they dog sat a month ago and it has just been burning away in their pockets. But each time they try to spend it they leave the store vowing that they are going to save for something big. Benjamin has been saving quite a bit of his money lately from Christmas and bdays etc...but Christian found something he couldn't live w/o this weekend in one of the shops. I absolutely adore downtown Nisswa, all of the shops have great decor ideas and smell wonderful. Of course we can't go to Nisswa w/o a stop at the Chocolate Ox for ice cream, so after we left to come home today, Brian the boys and I stopped downtown again to have a little family time and get some ice cream cones. Its too bad we weren't able to spend more time up there, it ended way too quickly.

Tomorrow is the beginning of football...5-6 days a week! Thankfully Brian coaches too so I don't have to do the carpooling! ViE duties are starting to pick up, as well as auction crunch time and PPT. While I am not looking forward to summer being over, I am looking forward to seeing my Lincoln peeps, being involved, and having a regular routine again. We have no more out of town plans for the summer. I hope to have some more play dates, sleepovers, maybe a dinner party then BOOM Sept will be here! Then it will be the countdown to my marvelous wedding.....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Its over

This week has been exhausting...but grampa's funeral was Thursday, so now we can begin the healing. I have been affected by his passing much more than I thought I would. I keep thinking about my grandma and how she is doing, and it makes my heart hurt. We know God will provide comfort for her, we know she will find company in her family and we know she is not alone....but I bet she feels alone anyway, and that is hard to think about. I pray that God will bring her peace in knowing that grampa is with Him now and protecting her not in body but in spirit. The wake and the funeral brought my entire family together, and I feel blessed to have seen them all. I saw 3 cousins that I haven't seen in years and it was wonderful. The wake last night and the funeral today were beautiful celebrations of grampa's life.

After the funeral and burial today we went to my aunt and uncle's house where the kids swam and swam, then the rains came...and they swam some more! Even while it poured the bigger kids (including both of our boys) stayed in the pool. Of course, once it started looking more like a storm, and less like just a shower we pulled them out.

It took me back to childhood when my cousins and I would spend hours in the pool while the adults just waited for us to need something...a towel, some goggles, the restroom, a floaty...You know the drill, just waited. :) Now the roles have changed and I enjoy it just as much. I only wish we could all be together like that more often. It turned out to be a really nice day (all things considered).
Today we leave for up north-ish to the cabin on Lake Hubert. Brian and I have been looking forward to this weekend all summer and I just can not wait to get up there, get settled and sit on the dock with a cocktail. Especially after this past week. 5 hours and we're gone!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Today we say goodbye....

Today we said goodbye to my Grampa Thompson. Once again we were shown that God is a good God, we feel comforted knowing that he was in his own bed, in his home and he was sleeping. God's grace was proven again when my uncle Tim and his wife decided to take an impromptu drive from the cities to visit my grandparents unannounced, so when the discovery was made my grandmother was not alone. He is a remarkable God who looked out for my grandmother and surrounded her today with daughters and sons and grandchildren who love her.
Todays experience taught me to never take time for granted. I was able to spend a few precious moments with my grandma alone while we sat with grandpa, and I will cherish that time as long as I am able. We know of God's goodness and love and it is what will keep us strong as a family as we head into this week of preparations.
As I stood in the living room, as they wheeled my grandpa out the door, I happened to look out the door, and the scene that I saw gave me peace. I don't know why it did, but I felt a wave come over me, and for a moment I smiled inside. Later I took a picture of that scene because when I think of this day, and think of all that was happening, I want to remember the moment that I felt peaceful. Something about the view of the city from high above on the hill, and the beauty of the was comforting to me.

Friday, August 8, 2008

My vacation

The boys have been gone for their last week of summer activities all this week, so I took a little vaca too...from housework! Oh boy! I reverted back to the days of high school, when my parents were out of town, and I made messes just because I could. Of course before they came back there was always a scramble to undo my messes, sometimes successfully, other times not so much. In this case, I have created a mountain of laundry, and oodles of little things to do. I love to have their rooms spick and span, clean bedding, dusted surfaces and everything in its place when they come home from being gone. And I will accomplish that today (if I get off the computer). If I learned anything this week, it is that making messes now isn't nearly as much fun as it was back then. I keep looking around and more week vacations from housework. Even my plants are looking a little sad. And in true Jodie fashion, it always gets worse before it gets no drop bys today folks!
On a very exciting note...We got our first RSVP today!!! Our first 2 guests have confirmed...YEA!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Blog Blog Bloggin away...

Have you ever had one of those days where you just CAN NOT wait for your loved one to come home so you can vent about your day? And then when he (or she) walks in the door you can just tell that maybe his (yes, or her) day was worse? Well, tonight Brian came home looking like he got run over by a train...probably not in the mood for my venting, so I figured I would just write it down. Who knew? It worked! Not only do I feel a little better, but Brian didn't have to listen to me ramble.
Here's the deal...When you go into a fitting room, it is not your bedroom. Nor is it your bathroom, in fact, the fitting room is NOT in your home at all! So when you remove the clothes that you have tried on, and decided not to purchase DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT leave them on the floor. Do not leave pants with one leg pulled through the top. Do not hang shirts from a hook with the arms inside right, but the body inside out. And then, for the love of all retail sales ladies DO NOT say to her as you walk away having purchased nothing "I hope its ok, I left them in the room." Because NO! It is not OK that you left 600 items on the floor in that 3X3 room with hangers everywhere and every item turned inside out!! But at this point what is she to say? "Go back in there and get them." or "Come clean your room or don't come back?" She is not your maid, your mother, or a slave!
This summer since the boys aren't in school I work so when I go into my fun relaxing part time job, I get so frustrated by women who do this! It astonishes me! I couldn't even imagine leaving a fitting room in such disarray! If you don't pass Shopping Ettiquette 101, then you are not allowed to use a fitting room. A license should be presented before you are allowed into a room! If only!
Ahhhh....I feel a little better now, but I work again tomorrow cross your fingers!