Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fundraising for Friends

My friends, the Rubenstien's, are bringing home more preciousness from China and they are in the final push of fund-raising. Soon, very soon they will receive the last paperwork OK to go to China to bring Max home. :D

Here is the link to their family blog.

Please look it over and consider if you'd like to donate and in doing so, you could win an IPad 2!!! An IPAD 2, people!! ::squeeeal::

You can win additional chances by linking your blog to theirs, or linking their blog to your FB. Remember, we are not all called to adopt, but we are all called to assist the widow and the orphan in their distress. Honestly, once you get started, it's rather addicting. :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Dreams ... and Letting Go

Since CollegeGirl was 14, she has declared she has wanted to be a realtor. Out local state university has such a program, a realdeal 4 year program. CollegeGirl has worked hard and is ahead of the curve, as far as credits, because she took many college-level courses, while still a high school student.

But, she is not happy with the real estate program. We are not surprised by this, as the coursework is heavily focused on numbers, accounting, etc. She took a elective course that really seemed like a great fit for her. She loved the creative outlet it provided for her. The photo is a project she had to present for the class. She was presenting a nursery design. I'd hire her. :)

So, we encouraged her to change majors and finish up her degree in design, vs. real estate. Annnd we thought that's what the fall would bring. But, we were wrong.

CollegeGirl will become EastCoastGirl in a matter of a few days. She feels she needs to be in NYC. She has a friend there, but nothing else. And by 'nothing else', I mean *nothing else*. No job, no school, no place to live, no money, no plan.

And no amount of logic and reasoning will dissuade her form trying her wings. She is going. And I am worried and sad and worried and sad and worried and sad. lol I do not know where God is in all this, but of course, I trust that He is.

So, if you think of my dear, sweet, treasure of a daughter, would you please pray for her ? I am concerned, most of all, for her safety. Midwest girl meets the mean streets of NY? ugh

This is a song I used to sing over BabyGirl, LittleGirl and soon, EastCoastGirl. I will lay hands on her and bless her with this verse/song, as she heads out into the big world:

"The Lord bless you and keep you,
The Lord make His face shine upon you.
And give you peace forever.

The Lord be gracious to you,
The Lord turn His face toward you
And give you peace forever".

*To be a mother, is to forever consent to having your heart walking outside your body".*

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Helping Hand

EWWWW!! What *is* that creepy thing?

Hi!! I'm waving to you!! Do you see me??

Yes. We see you. What ARE you?

Oh. I see now. You're a back scratcher. hahaha

But, wait. WHY are you here? Weirdo. ::snorts::

On FB one evening, I mentioned that I had an itch in the middle of my back, where I could not reach it myself and jokingly asked it anyone was willing to either come over and scratch my back or bring me a back scratcher so I could do it myself.

Several days later, one the front porch was THIS. And I laughed and laughed and laughed. And I knew immediately which lovely friend had left the gift for me. Because really? How many friends does a person have who would do this for her?

Anyway. I love that creeeepy thing. It says 'LOVE' to me. :D

Sunday, July 17, 2011

On my husband's dashboard --UPDATED with related link

This is from God's mouth to my ears, if you ask me. We are looking at a very challenging upcoming school year, as budget cuts and other changes will change the way we do our jobs.

I am not in control of any thing but my attitude. I will require God's help *daily*, as I navigate the changes, live in the tension and strive to serve the children well.

Prayers appreciated. XO

UPDATED: PS here is a blog I love, with similar concerns, only she had the energy to think the problem through and do the math related to the changes in her job description. Please know that, although she and I are both school-based speech/language pathologists, we do not know one another and do not work in the same state. These problems are severe and widespread. I am sure most parents do not know what is about to hit them (metaphorically speaking) regarding their child's school-based speech services. God help us.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Warm Evening Light


Last Week's Offerings

Came home last weekend to this ::gasp:: worthy arrangement of blooms. I love them! The bright colors, the shapes?

Magnificent job, LittleGirl.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Where I Started ...

... Is (hopefully) not where I am going.

I do this once every two weeks (set up my medicines). I feel like I live in a nursing home. ugh

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cancer Sux

Yeah. After Mark's brother's recent cancer diagnosis, I bought us ALL these buttons to wear or display. Love that boy's mischievous smile. Heh.

Crude? I don't even wanna hear about it. CANCER is an icky, hateful thing and we know soooo many people who currently struggle or who have lost their battle.

I pray we can help Lee fight well.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I know very little about my family of origin. I have questions and no-one to ask. So, I have a new hobby:

I have few hobbies. I shop at Goodwill and drive an 11 year old car. So, I finally gave myself permission to pay the fee and have access to all portions of the site. And I have been having a blast.

Part detective, part history and part family tree ... I am into discovering what I can.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Exciting Times to be an Iowan

I was able to attend the recent, hometown announcement of Michelle Bachmann's Presidential candidacy.

Yes, I really was *that* close. She is a tiny (but mighty) little thing.

Some of Michelle's family members: daughters, son, mom, etc.

It is too soon for me to know who I will support in the upcoming primary and nomination. But Michelle Bachmann is the real deal: she is a true conservative, patriot, mom, Christian, etc. I feel she is a strong contender. I had a great time at her rally, getting to know her better.

And yes, that is little ole me, shaking Michelle's hand (captured by our local paper, The Waterloo Courier).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


One serving per day of this stuff is supposed to help the inflammation in my body. At this point, I will try it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Just like any Kid ...

... Scout likes to lick the beaters. lol This is from Mark's Father's Day cake (which he made himself). Poor guy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Breakfast in Paradise

CollegeGirl and her friend from NYC (formerly a classmate) and I enjoyed breakfast together this AM. What a treat. <3

Saturday, June 18, 2011

All My Peeps

My brother, Russell, in the front, the Hubs, CollegeGirl, Mindy (CollegeGradBoy's gf), CollegeGradBoy and Michelle, Russell's wife. On my couch. Having fun.

We had a great week together. And I miss them already.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our Naughty Doggie

So, our doggie is old. Since we adopted her from the Humane Society, we don't know HOW old, but based on her health and behavior, let's just say our Scout it likely in her 'happy, golden years'. haha

Only she's not so happy. She's a bit cranky. And snappish. Unless you are leaving her alone or giving her a treat of boiled chicken breast. She especially hates to be 'messed with', which translates to holding, petting, and most of all *grooming*. She HATES that ... even bathing. Poor thing.

So, she is the naughty dog at the doggie spa. The one that requires her dog mother to be called and to come and pick her up from the groomer, half-shaved. haha Please refer to photo #1 in the sequence. Doesn't she look like a lioness? ::snort::

The groomer was mortified to send her home like that, but we had told her to please call us, if Scout was grumpy. We knew we needed to make a Plan B. So, we did. It included the doggie equivalent of valium. heh Please refer to photo #2 to see how our doggie spent her next 16 hours ... She was a MESS. Unable to walk, *wanting* to be held and near us--totally not herself.

Lastly, we told the groomer to essentially shave her. No more "Best in Show" hairstyles for Scoutie. No sir. Since she hates all things dog spa, we wanted to have her as easy care and sanitary as possible (that means her flow-y tail is shaved like a rat--haha).

She looks quite a bit different (see photo #3), but we think she will be happier. And that's what matters to us. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Livin' on the Edge

Recent loaner car drama ^^^. 0 miles to empty? Yikes!!

Thankfully, I coasted into a gas station just in the nick of time. Phew...

Friday, June 10, 2011

For A Good Cause

Not that I needed a real reason (Oh, OK ... I wouldn't normally spend this much on jewelry), but purchasing these two lovelies allowed us to help send a friend of our daughter's to dance camp.

I really like them. And I have noticed that, with jewelry, like everything else, you get what you pay for. I'm slow like that. lol

Sweet Girl

CollegeGirl house sat and dog sat for us last weekend and when we came home, we found a clean house and well-cared-for elderly dog, homemade peanut butter cookies and lovely fresh flowers on the table.

What a pleasant surprise. :D

Just before I took the photo, it was 100 ...

In early June, this is just too much SUMMER for me. Thankfully, a cool front came in yesterday and has made everything more spring-like. Ahhhhh ...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Brother is Here!!

My brother and I at ages (?) 1 and 3? I love our outfits, the bossy way I am gripping his waist (ahaa!!), our smiles and my blue eyes and his brown ones.

My brother and his wife are here!! Since they live and work in India, we see each other only once per yer. And this time, they are here for almost 10 days!! Yay!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Mama Robin and her two (three?) babies. Aren't they so ugly, they're CUTE? I love watching them from my window.

The Hip and Historic Black Hawk Hotel

This place was beautifully restored, immaculate and was staffed by the most professional, customer-service-minded people we have encountered in a looong while. Our room was comfy (though I did miss my Tempurpedic mattress) and luxuriously appointed: including a TV screen built into the vanity mirror in the bathroom and a well-stocked (and untouched, because we are CHEAP) minibar.

Thank you, Hotel Black Hawk for an awesome weekend. We would happily return!

Suiter History

The Jacob Suiter House.
The John Suiter House.

The Horton-Suiter House

These are three of four homes in Le Claire (home of the American Pickers, remember?) which were inhabited looong ago by people who share my married name. They were early settlers and river pilots. Cool, huh? Here is a link to follow, just in case you'd like to read more.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Our Annual Celebrations Get Away

We ate here on Sunday afternoon on the way home. It was fabulous. It is a sister restaurant to the original Vinny Vanucci's in Galena. Same menu. Same atmosphere. But, I tried a new dish and LOVED it! Sometimes, change is good.

We ate here on Saturday evening. This was the 3rd time we had been there. It is in Moline, IL., right on the Mighty Mississippi. Catfish for me and blue crab cakes for the hubs. Everybody was happy.

Friday afternoon, we stopped in this tiny little town (Wilton) for a light lunch and ice cream. The Wilton Candy Kitchen has been in the same family since 1909. The Napolous family actually waited on us--George and Thelma. They must be in their 80's. So sweet. I had a chocolate malt and the hubs went all wild and tried something called a 'Hadocal'. We also bought a homemade chocolate turtle candy to share. Yumm.

Love me some retro neon.

Yipppe!! Saturday (my birthday), I slept till ::gasp:: 10 AM and the hubs surprised me with his gifts for me while I was still in bed. Then, we got ready and headed off to the tiny town of Le Calire, IA ... home of the History Channel's 'American Pickers'.

They happened to be having their second annual American Picker's City-wide Festival. Oh. Em. Gee. The CROWDS, people. The CROWDS. lol

Only two of the three TV show stars were in town (Danielle and Mike), but the line to see them was L O N G and it was so. stinkin. HOT, we decided it wasn't worth it to get a photo with them. Maybe another day. LOL

So, we spent the weekend celebrating 11 YEARS of marriage and celebrated our 49th and 59 years of life, respectively. It was great to play and nap and eat and drive around and look at cool things with my best friend. I love that man fiercely and would marry him again. Oh, yes I would. <3

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Remembering ...

My MIL's parents. We bought fresh stem-dyed flowers, because we liked the strong color. We liked it on our hands, too. NOT! lol

Mark and his mom at my FIL's grave.

We still miss him every day, especially Virginia. He will be gone 2 years on July 9th.

This is Mark's Grandmother (his paternal). She was quite a lady. I surely loved her. And we miss her, too.

Eternity beckons ...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Nom Nom Nom ...

How cute and retro!! Reminds me of my teen years. Hubby brought these home.

Oh my, this was yummy. And it was on 'clearance' at Tarjay. :D