Saturday, June 28, 2008


It wasn't an easy week. Our fridge died for the third time. I did my best to not bludgeon the repair guy. I was also trying (sometimes in vain) to get the house in order for my sister's visit. She arrived yesterday from Kansas.

Jamie is a trooper with the kids. They climb all over her. Yesterday she and Sarah made a "memory box" with a kit from Lowe's. Jamie is good about playing with marbles and erasers and Barbies. She reads the Barbie-themed books to Sarah which I love so well (just kidding).

Erik got a new bike yesterday. He'd been pining for a "full suspension" mountain bike. He divides riding time between road and trail riding. Perhaps there's a road bike in my future so I can join him on rides.

This morning we attended the annual "Greenwood Freedom Festival" parade. It's so very small town and campy. We never miss it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Small Thing of the Day

Strawberry Soy Smoothie

We love this smoothie recipe from Everyday Food. It's easy to use with other fruit combinations, too. The kids love it frozen into popsicles.

Strawberry Soy Smoothie

In a blender, combine 1 ripe banana, thickly sliced, 2 cups strawberries, hulled, 1 cup soy milk, and 1 to 2 tablespoons honey. Puree until smooth. Generously serves 2.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Bag

This bag is going to a mama who needs our prayers.

Wild Turkey

It's not what you think––I'm not hitting the hard stuff after long days with the kids. This morning we saw a wild turkey on our run. In our neighbor's front yard. ???!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Peaches and Lots of Cream

We tried these yummy peach cobblers yesterday. The peaches were ever so sweet and syrup-y. Here's the recipe. It was very quick and easy. The leftovers are proving just as tasty today.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Kids at Play, Mom at Work

This is my 100th post and I'd hoped to write something pithy and enlightening. But in the last day I've been busy with kids and clients. Right now I'm so exhausted, the space under my desk looks like a good spot to nap. My inclination as a mom sometimes is to think, "what did I get accomplished today?" Did I actually "do" anything? I have to remind myself. Here's a wrap for the last day:
  • swim lessons holding hollering 3-year-old (the water is freezing right now!)
  • run 4 miles, pushing Matt's jogger, chasing Sarah on bike
  • baby pool drag-out and take down (and kid mud cleanup/mosquito bite triage)
  • read with both kids
  • proposal for new client website (is this the easiest thing on the list?!)
  • Sarah summer math worksheets
  • watch Magic School Bus - Human Body video with kids
  • get purple irises from friend (thanks, Jen!)
  • visit Clementine's (get fabric for new bag, adore Cami's new Butler solids)
  • visit toy store (get birthday present)
  • sew on custom order bag (pics to come)
  • visit Jo-Ann fabrics (buttons and thread are 50% off through tomorrow)
  • help Sarah with piano practice
  • meals, diapers, laundry, half-hearted attempt at house cleaning
I need to put together a grocery list and hit Target but ordering pizza is sounding very good...

This idyllic moment lasted about ten minutes. Then Matt started screaming because Sarah wasn't sharing the water. And, I found Sarah painting all of her exposed skin with blackish-purple paint.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Small Thing of the Day

Homemade Granola

To my father, God and homemade granola were the two foundational forces in his life. I have a picture of him stirring it, wearing his pajamas. The photo is double-exposed with an image of my cousin petting my dog––and it looks like our dachshund is in the bowl.

I swear by the same granola myself. If I were Superman, granola would be my kryptonite. If I were Samson, granola would be my long hair. Aliens would render me powerless if they took my granola (you get the idea). I eat it every single day.

From start to finish, the recipe takes less than 30 minutes. It's not for those folks requiring sticky sweetness––this recipe is basic and rustic as a barn (I like to think it's "honest"). I sprinkle on a little Basic 4 cereal on the top of my scoop to add variety. The combination will stay with you all morning. Here's the recipe:

Thomson Homemade Granola
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a very large bowl, mix together 5 cups of quick oats, 2 cups of wheat bran, 1 cup of toasted wheat germ, 1.5 t. cinnamon, 1 t. salt, and .5 t. nutmeg. In a smaller bowl, mix .5 c. vegetable oil and 1.5 c. honey. Heat oil/honey in microwave for a minute. Stir everything together in large bowl. Spread half of mixture on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Follow with second half of mixture. Enjoy warm or cold.

Granola keeps in well-sealed container.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Small Thing of the Day

New Blooms and Not-So Random Thoughts

Sarah and I had a chance to spend a long morning weeding. So much more to do out there. The kids and I have been busy with swim lessons, tennis, and reading. Both kids have been utterly fascinated with a muddy hole in the backyard (translate: laundry for mom). Sarah has learned how to tell time. Matt has learned how to say the word "yes." And, both have been creating their own living spaces inside. Sarah's is a covered tent arrangement, with just enough room for her. Matt's is composed of stacked stools, benches and several trays of his favorite small things: dinosaurs, colored magnetic letters, Thomas trains, rocks and more. We all seem to be living full force in a wild, unstructured pattern right now. Erik was home this last week and we saw the new Indiana Jones movie. More house headache: after fixing the fridge the week before, we noticed our A/C was leaking––a big watery spill bowing the wood base. We opted for a temporary fix since the quote was so outrageous (perhaps more than the cost of a new unit). Trying to get a bit of sewing done when possible. More on that and more when I can soon.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Matter of Seeing

"The spiritual life is, at root, a matter of seeing." ––John Shea (Catholic theologian)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Small Thing of the Day

Tickle Tree

Today we are taking a deep breath and breathing in summer. Slow, suntanned, popsicle-licking, sandal-wearing, smiling, shorts-donning, sunny summer. (did you hear the news about some monkeys loose from the zoo?)

On our runs, sometimes I push Matt's jogger close to a tree that brushes up against him. He's recently been calling the tree "the tickle tree." And, running into other shorter trees (like our contorted hazelnut here) to have them "tickle" him.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Small Thing of the Day

The Rainy Season

My refrigerator was fixed today and I am exceedingly happy. Near giddy, in fact. The darn thing hasn't been reliable for a week. Throwing out "good" food and resorting to peanut butter sandwiches is enough to make anyone cranky.

It's been one of those "one thing after another" weeks. Sickness? Flooding? Insect infestation? It's felt like the biblical plagues in my house. Many people in Indiana are dealing with serious flooding and we were lucky enough to stay dry (and please keep our friends in your prayers). But there has been an uncanny list of little things (if can call the broken fridge, leaking air conditioner and swarms of carpenter ants devouring our fence "little"). I am learning more about laughing and keeping my cool. Here's an example: Sarah: "Uh, I think Matt missed his pull-up and pooped all over the floor." Me: "Um, really?" Perhaps the small things really are, well, small. I am trying so hard to see the good in everything.

So today I feel very lucky and the sun is shining. We are making chocolate cake to celebrate.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


"If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for." – Thomas Merton

Sew Sarah

Sarah is participating this year in Mini-4H, allowing her to complete two projects for the county fair in July. For one she must learn 3 hand stitches before outlining two shapes (a "kool kat" and  "honey bear"). So far she's not sure how she feels about sewing. She's fiercely independent, refusing all instruction. I'm not sure what lessons both of us will learn with this exercise. I like that she is enthusiastic and very, very determined.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Small Thing of the Day


There is nothing like the common cold to knock you flat. I went to bed last night at 7:45 to get 11 hours of sleep. Today I am accomplishing zilch. Running errands, it feels like there is a wall in my head and I can't get to my brain.  I have funny thoughts like, if armed robbers came into the bank right now, I would not care. And, what month is it really? I realize there is a reason for the "do not use this product when driving a vehicle or operating machinery" warning on cold medicine. But go out I must: to deliver kids, replace spoiled food in fridge (which is suspiciously working now), and return library books. I have a client meeting tomorrow and hope something will line up inside so I will not blather and lay my head down on the conference table. Back home I have the guilty feeling I get when I'm sick: that it feels good to let everything go. Even if I'm sick it feels indulgent to just sit, read my Selvedge. I love the sound of the air kicking on, the house cool and dark, Sarah absorbed in her play. Holding a kleenex to my face I say it's not so bad having a summer cold.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Small Thing of the Day


Right now I prefer to think of the calm before the storm: the afternoon of gentle rain, me finishing up a custom order bag (above). Sarah, quietly creating clothes at my side for "Nicki." Matt awoke and we took a relaxing walk when the skies cleared. Ah... domestic bliss.

Things went downhill after that. It clouded over, lightening started up again and Erik came home to discover the refrigerator wasn't cool inside (and yes, I did my weekly shopping yesterday). After a few hours of pointless wishing, we filled a small cooler and crammed what we could into the freezer (miraculously still working). I wanted to go out for more ice but tornadoes were spotted less than ten miles away. So, at 9:30 the kids, the 70-pound dog and I huddled in the downstairs bathroom (no basement). In that moment I wasn't sure which seemed worse––the immediate reality of spoiled food or the chance we could get the roof blown off. I woke up today with a nasty cold. Today the fridge seems to be cold but I'm still expecting a technician. I'm trying to decide what to do about lunch––should I chance what's in the fridge?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Small Thing of the Day

Tennis Lessons

One sign that it's summer in our house: the silt the kids leave in the bathtub. I spent yesterday doing triage on the house, the laundry and the bills. Between being gone over the weekend and the busy-ness of the last few weeks, I felt really behind. I wouldn't say I'm caught up but I have crossed a few things off the list. And, we all have clean underwear.

Sarah started her tennis lessons yesterday. She whined about going but she was all smiles when I picked her up. My lessons began last night. They were really, really FUN. I loved it. The "teachers" are high school students but they are very good and I've already improved my technique. The group is small and friendly. There are mostly women, ranging from a minxy woman (who wore a "don't call me a cowgirl until you see me ride" tee) to bedraggled middle aged moms (like me) who would subject themselves to nearly anything to be away from kids for 2 hours. There is one token man––an attractive Brazilian; he's very good and I can't help thinking that he's a plant to increase class attendance.

Taking lessons in something sporty is new to me. I've run for years but at heart still feel like the girl always picked second-to-last for gym class. I felt like I had the heart of a ten-year-old playing tennis, even if my body felt like it was 38. Perhaps it's exhilarating to do something just because it's fun.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Sarah and I returned yesterday from our trip to St. Charles, IL. We had a great time celebrating my friend Sabine's wedding and spending time with my friend Amy and her family. Above is a picture of Sarah (flower girl) with Amy's son, Liam (ring bearer). The kids were so cute together and couldn't have enjoyed each other's company more.

Erik and Matt did well together while we were gone. It was the first time Erik had watched Matt this long. They both not only seemed to have survived the experience, but enjoyed it. Matt cried and cried this morning when he couldn't ride in Erik's green truck.

Yesterday was Erik's and my 12-year anniversary, as well. He surprised me (BIG surprise) with a 60 mm micro lens for our camera. Despite being bone tired from the trip, I immediately snapped on the lens and took it outside. It's amazing what the right tools will do. I'm completely motivated now to get to know the camera (Nikon D200) and have a better sense of what I'm doing.

After taking some shots, I analyzed them in Photoshop. This picture of Sarah moved me to tears. In the raw file, I could see every hair on her face. The detail was absolutely incredible.

Erik said he bought it so I could start taking better pictures of my bags, getting down to the stitching. So, the camera may result in improved sewing, as well!
The thing that strikes me about seeing closely (with a camera or otherwise) is that the details were there all along. A wise soul told me once that the microcosms in our lives are as amazing (and worthy of our attention) as the macrocosm and I think she was right.