Thursday, September 30, 2010

Movie Day . . .

Once again, I'm in an asthma flare that requires a lot of sitting and nebbing . . . and no, it's not fun for me as an adult so it's ESPECIALLY not fun for a four and a half year old. BUT, I think I have the best four and a half year old in the entire world - she is loving and patience and sweet and wonderful . . . she comes along to doctors appointments, helps get medicine and takes good care of her momma. Yesterday, I was apologizing for not being more fun for the day. She replied, "Momma, don't say that . . . you are always fun!" It melts my heart to see how tender she has become.

Anyway, sappy story aside, she decided today would be movie day so we could do some nebbin, sittin and snugglin . . . in order to pick the perfect show, she set up a movie store for us . . .

I think every movie we own was stretched out across the floor . . . I did appreciate the nice rows she made (Sarah - does this count for anything in the home school guide book? Patterns? Math? OCD? :)

We had a wonderful day together. Thank you Haley for your patience with the "pesky asthma" (as we now call it in our house) and your great ideas to play!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Girly Movie

With great excitement, our family purchased the new Disney Tinker Bell movie in the, so far, three movie series. We have so enjoyed the magic, adventure and family friendly morals in these movies. We, like everyone else, are in a tight financial spot which doesn't allow for eating out or splurging on activities or purchases but every once in a while, you must. For us, this splurge was well worth the price . . . we popped some popcorn, snuggled under blankets and let ourselves be transported to another world full of pixie dust. And yes, my fabulous masculine football coaching husband of over nine years, sits down with his girls and watches right along . . . I love you Travis!! (and what an incredible daddy you are - what more does a 7 and 4 year old want then their daddy to watch their dream movie with them?! You're the best!)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another Book Review . . .

Just completed the sequel to Eat, Pray, Love although I wouldn't necessarily expect it to be a sequel. It does follow Elizabeth and the Brazilian man she met at the end of the first book but most of the chapters, pages, and paragraphs are summaries of a huge amount of research the author does about marriage.
If you've read the first book (or seen the movie) you know she experienced a terrible divorce catapulting her into a year of self discovery and search for God. This traumatic experience of divorce however, creates a lot of fear and trepidation (ok - full on disdain) for marriage as an institution, commitment or choice. Due to difficult visa issues, it becomes necessary for her boyfriend to marry her or lose any possibility to ever return to America again. So - in the middle of visa applications, interviews by Homeland Security, and lots more world traveling, Elizabeth pours herself into an extensive study of marriage - where it came from, why we do it, and what it truly is about. Although I was hoping for more life story and real life plot of characters, I did find quite a few sections interesting.

Before I share them . . . two things. First - I hardly ever ever ever buy a book anymore. The first reason is financial - they get expensive (although I occasionally stumble across some great thrift store finds and will also buy one I love and must read again from Amazon - the used section rocks) and our one income family budget with a ridiculous high amount of medical costs each month doesn't allow for such an expense. The second reason is you never know how you'll feel about a book once you read it - it looked great on the shelf - turned out to be weird or boring or non-eventful and you never want to read it again. Thirdly, we have a fabulously easy, wonderful, extensive and free public library system. I remember pre-kiddos enjoying casually perusing the aisles in search of the perfect read . . . with children, the life of casually perusing anything is over . . . for now. SO, I've become a big fan of the online reservation system. If you live in Snohomish County, type enter a title, author or keyword in the "search traditional catalog" box, scroll down the "search by" box and press "go" . . . a list of possible books pop up . . . click on the book (or books) you want, add checked record from this page under the "personal list manager" and enter the next book (or author or keyword) until you're finished. When you've found all the books you want for now, click on "view personal list." At this point you "place hold on all items from this page" . . . follow directions at this point with library card info, name, preferred location pick up and let the magic happen. Within a day or week or so you'll receive an automated phone call letting you know that the book (or books) you have requested are ready to pick up. Haul your cookies (or children . . . or children and cookies) to the location you've selected and find the hold shelf. Like magic, the book you want to read is waiting for you with a little slip of paper with your name on it . . . YAHOO . . . you just got a fabulous book to read with only a few minutes of work on the computer . . . truly magical . . . and free. (and if you don't live in Snohomish County, find the website for your local library system . . . hoping it's as good as ours!)

The other wonderful thing I have recently found are these little sticky note type pieces of paper . . .

You can see them in the little tablet they come in and in use in the book. Maybe these are common knowledge already but they have totally changed the way I read. For books I've read on the side for fun or personal growth, I'll mark a quote or paragraph that made me laugh or made me think or I wanted to remember then copy them into my journal later. For books I've read to blog about, I've marked things I've wanted to share . . . fun little invention . . . get some!! :)

So . . the passages I've marked from "Committed" . . . these can either wet your appetite to read it yourself, or give you my highlights as a sort of abridged cliff notes if you want to skip it or maybe it's just for me to re-process the book I read and enjoy the highlights in my "journal" online . . . either way, here's what I marked.

pg 81 - "Sometimes life is too hard to be alone, and sometimes life is too good to be alone." (amen!! and I think sometimes it's both at the same time)

pg 125 - "The more tightly woven a couple is within a community of friends and family, the stronger their marriage will be. The fact that Americans today are less likely to know their neighbors, belong to social clubs, or live near kin has had a seriously destabilizing effect on marriage across the board." (thank you to our sweet friends and neighbors and family who make up our community!)

pg 128 - In listing her faults that make her a less than fabulous marriage candidate, "I have far more enthusiasm in life than I have actual energy. In my excitement, I routinely take on more than I can physically or emotionally handle, which causes me to break down in quite predictable displays of dramatic exhaustion. You will be burdened with the job of mopping me up every time I've overextended myself and then fallen apart. This will be unbelievably tedious. I apologize in advance." (does she know me and half my friends? maybe we should have and still possibly now read this to our husbands . . . or thank them for doing so in the past?)

pg 145 - "At some point in our lives we must stop beating ourselves up over bygone blunders - even blunders that seem so painfully obvious to us in retrospect - and we must move on with our lives." (the therapy moment of the day - I need this reminder more often.)

Enjoy your weekend . . . and I'd love to hear what you're reading next . . . (I appreciate those fun friendly comments . . . and have checked out the recommended reading so far!!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Two Days of "T" . . .

Haley and I picked another letter . . . and were having so much fun with it, we included Hannah after school and drew it out for two days . . .

Haley made a T with her body, helped some Twins find their class at MOPS (our neighbor is taking care of the cutest little twin girls and Haley loves being a helper!), had a Tea party, ate some Treats and not sure how the costume works with T but I think my little bug is hilarious and Terrific (and awfully adorable!)

The second "T" day, we went to cheer on the T-Birds as they Tried for Touchdowns . . . go Daddy Coach go!! It was a gorgeous fall day with the sun peeking out and a crisp breeze . . . the girls love to go to Dad's games . . . although they can't quite figure out why he has to yell so much?! The team lost the game but the greatest thing about little girls is that they had no idea the score or the details of all the plays - they just know they got so see Daddy coach and got to cheer him on and they were thrilled. A nice welcome home and perspective for Daddy - doesn't matter how crazy life gets or if you win or lose the game when you have two sweet girls who love you no matter what!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Breathing . . .

Irony never ceases to amaze me . . . and I'm not a big fan of random selection - meaning I believe everything/most things happen for a reason . . . that being said, the reason is not always obvious or know - and sometimes it's blaringly funny and down right ironic.

This book I just finished is a sweet little love story about a girl with severe asthma who loves to read . . . ironic because I was nebbing while I read it . . . a severe asthmatic who loves to read . . . cute and ironic!

And cuter still, after I finished the book about two high school sweethearts, I read the author bio who married her high school sweetheart and has been married for 20years now. . . .

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bellingham State of Mind

Move over Jay Z . . . going back to my roots . . . B HAM!!

This guy - Nathen - was the DJ at my sister's wedding . . . and notice, this video has already been viewed over 108,000 times!! Enjoy the laugh . . . and I can't wait to buy a t-shirt . . . "B Ham - City of Subdued Excitement" . . .

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Self Portrait

Haley drew me a picture today and gave it to me with great enthusiasm because . . .

"Momma!! It looks JUST LIKE YOU!!!"

There are so many moments and stages that are so frustrating in this journey of raising kids . . . but at the end of the day, I love being a mom!!

A Crazy Life . . .

So I found this wacky dude by accident when I was at the library about a year ago when I picked up a book titled "The Year of Living Biblically" . . . for a reason unknown, A. J. Jacobs decides to live the bible literally . . . not cut his hair based on an old testament verse, follow protocol for a real offering etc. His writing is hilarious, his mission interesting and the results worth a read.

Imagine my delight when I realize this interesting fellow wrote another book. This time, it's a chapter by chapter account of different "rules" or "missions" he decides to live out for a month each. Some of the ideas include outsourcing his daily tasks for a month (think buying his spouse a birthday gift, emailing his boss, ordering stuff on line and even calling his mother for him) and pretending to be famous even attending an awards show.

Why would anyone want to put themselves in crazy situations when life is crazy enough? As he says in his intro, "I'm drawn to these experiments because I'm a writer. And a writer who is cursed with a relatively uneventful upbringing. My dad was not a carny or a drunk or a spy, as far as I know. My ordinary life doesn't merit a book. So I put myself in extraordinary situations, and see what happens."

I found him quirky, goofy, down right ridiculous sometimes but overall intrigued and interested . . . when I'd read a section to Travis however, he'd just shake his head and say, "He's one strange dude."

Have a great weekend . . . off to read more books.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Beth Moore . . .

I've mentioned her before - I love her to pieces . . . I have been so blessed and have grown so much with her studies and books . . . just got a new one in the mail yesterday and I can't wait to dig in . . . check out the promo video - then get you some Beth Moore!!

FYI - I've done Living Beyond Yourself (fruit of the spirit - AMAZING!!), A Woman's Heart, Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman (very relevant and you can't help but respond to the challenges set before you), Stepping Up (a journey through the Psalms of ascent - so much great history), The Patriarchs: Encountering the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (one of the most difficult but well worth the effort), So Long Insecurity (not a study - just a book - a MUST READ for every woman - even if you don't think you struggle from insecurity - it's part of our womanly make up and this book will change the way you think about yourself and your sisters around you). Praying God's Word (an ongoing process - have the book and the box of scripture cards - they are wonderful - I use them as bookmarks so I'm looking at them all the time . . . also leave them around the house, on my hubby's night stand, bathroom counter etc. so they can encourage and remind us on a daily basis), Loving Well Retreat in a Box (we've used this fun and fabulous video and study for MOPS leadership training - it would make a fun grown up slumber party with a bunch of friends!), 90 Days with Jesus (a daily devotional in a beautiful hard bound book - it was an amazing journey - and I didn't finish it in 90 days - it took longer - but worth finishing!), Get Out of That Pit (also not a study but another MUST READ BOOK!!! It truly transformed my life - it transformed the way I looked at my past and my issues and my freedom available to me from Christ and how to avoid falling right back into the same old pit you climbed out of - I re-read this one often!!)

Amazon is a great place to buy these as sometimes you can buy a new book through the used section - people get rid of their books. Also, Christian Book Distributor is a great website to buy all kinds of encouraging books including Beth Moore at discount prices . . . lots of deals if you buy multiple copies too (if you're going to do a group study) . . . the teaching videos that go along with each study are spendy but TOTALLY worth every penny . . . a lot of churches are willing to buy them for corporate use - or you could combine resources as a group of friends (not necessary though - you can do the studies without the videos). . . enjoy - grow - learn - laugh . . .

Thursday, September 16, 2010


The air has turned crisper, the school bus is a twice a day sight, the sun goes to bed earlier, I'm wanting to curl up on the couch each night (who am I kidding - all day too) with a good book a cup of coffee . . . it must be fall . . .

This year, we have welcomed in fall with a few bits of decorating . . .

A new purse for momma (a $5 thrift store find . . . I LOVE LABELS - in Bellingham - worth the drive!!)

A huge crockpot full of our favorite fall soup and a crusty loaf of bread (homemade by Winco this morning) . .

(can be made on the stove or in a crock pot - I prefer the later as the house smells heavenly)

4 Tbl butter
2 small minced onion
6 cups cubed butternut squash
1/2 quarts chicken stock
3 cups cubed potatoes (I leave the skins on and no one will notice!!)
2 teas paprika

After crock potting for the whole day or simmering 35-40 min on the stove, carefully blend the hot mix
To finish, stir in a cup of whipping cream and salt and pepper to taste


And my fabulous photographer friend is even offering a fall photo special . . .

Check out her website . . . and you will see just how amazing she is! She is incredible at catching the real spirit of the family . . . no cheesy shots here! She did our family photos this year before spring and I treasure everyone . . . with the colors changing on the trees, Christmas cards coming up, and a sweet family - you really should check her out!!

All this to say, WELCOME FALL - we are glad you're here . . .

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday for the Marsh Family

There is no catchy title or letter of the day today . . . it was one of those full-to-the-brim-finally-catching-my-breath days.

It started out with a 6:16am check in at the GI surgery center for an upper endoscopy (the third in a year for those keeping track at home). The reason was to check on the Nissen Fundoplication surgery I had back in August (super not "fun" in my book) as it could have contributed to the continuation of asthma symptoms. My hubby drove me in (we stopped at Starbucks to fuel his tank - torture for me as I couldn't eat or drink till after the test and you know how much I love my coffee!!!) . . . then my sweet friend Carrie picked me up at 7:30am . . . good times. The test showed that the surgery is still intact (good because I didn't want to go through surgery again - slightly frustrating as it still gives us no asthma answers.) Meanwhile, on the home front, my mom swooped in again to save the day by feeding breakfast, dressing and sending our little school girl on the bus.

While waiting for my fabulously entertaining procedure, I finished another book entitled "Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time - my life doing dumb stuff with animals." It was a random selection made at the library as it was set up in the new book display. It was a true story of a writer for national geographic. Each chapter is another animal that he has traveled for, spent time with an expert in the field, and written an article about. Although I must admit I was over my head with some of the scientific specifics of some of the chapters, I was also surprisingly entertained. Most unbelievably was how extreme some peoples lives are . . . like the man who spends his entire life categorizing levels of pain for stings and bites . . . or the lemur lady who has sacrificed her whole life and family and comfort to live in a jungle and count lemurs all day . . . It was a definite journey in which I learned more about animals and more about the wide world of writing for such an interesting magazine.

The highlight of the whole day, however, was when Hannah got off the bus and began educating Haley and I on the ins and outs of the new pop star . . . for our moms and grandmas it was Elvis, for us in the 80's New Kids on the Block, for the younger ones out there, Backstreet Boys . . . you know - the ones the girls scream over? Apparently, second grade is the point in which you begin to discuss such heartthrobs on the playgrounds and buses of the public schools of America. The humor came not in the remix sung in my kitchen or the silly giggle Hannah got telling me about one girls binder covered in admiring pictures but when Haley, the little sister quietly taking it all in the background, finally spoke up and said, "What's so great about this Justin BEAVER anyway?!" (For those of you our of the loop, his real name is Justin Bieber, he's 16 but looks 12 on you tube - which of course, I had to look up later) . . . I wish I could post the laughter that exploded in my kitchen . . . I had to literally wipe tears from my eyes . . . and as I enjoy a moment of quiet tonight as Travis is at a late coaches meeting and the girls are finally in bed, I can't help but chuckle at the irony of finishing a nature type book then having a four year old deconstruct the "now" pop star into a furry stick biting animal . . . and I ask you - what's so great about a beaver anyway?!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Preschool "O" Day . . .

Hannah is having a fabulous time in second grade . . . has already made some new friends, enjoying the projects and papers and comes off the bus each day with fun stories from her classroom.

Haley and I are still having a wonderful time with preschool . . . and today was "O" day . . . did I mention before that the picking of the letter is done completely random each morning by Haley?!

Today Haley decided to make an O with her body, a puzzle of the Ocean, learn how to write an O, color Oscar the grouch the color Orange, break an Orange crayon with an uh Oh, Open the mailbox and ride her bike Outside . . .

The funniest part to me after a few days of the letter theme is how much Haley is getting into thinking up activities and making sure we "take a picture for our bloggety blog" . . . enjoying the time together!

Weekend Project . . .

We all enjoyed some sort of relaxation this weekend including movie watching, dinner dating and playing outside but we also decided to take on a family project . . .

We have been talking about painting our walls since we moved in three and a half years ago and have never done it . . . not sure what prompted this decision but we went to Loews, picked a color and got to painting. Everyone had turns and it looks great! Yesterday, my fabulous decorating friend Melissa came over and set everything up - it is sooo cozy and warm and I love it sooo much!! Only 20 more walls to paint and areas to decorate!! (Has anyone read "If you give a mouse a cookie"?)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Preschool "B" Day . . .

Today Haley informed me that it was "B" day . . .

We started out the day eating homemade Bread and Butter (Brought By a friend yesterday) . . . watched little Bear . . . practiced writing the letter B . . . played Bingo . . . put on our Ballerina outfit . . . Bought a Betta fish . . . made sure he was Blue and named him Beauty . . . then made a pan of Brownies for dessert tonight . . .

I am having so much fun exploring the world through the eyes of a 4 1/2 year old and the letter theme has been a kick!

As it is the Beginning of the month, I should probably Be Bothering with the Bills . . . BUT it's much to Boring . . .

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Second Grade and Preschool . . . Day One!!

Today was a big day . . . Hannah's first day of second grade!! She woke up at 7am, dressed herself and had her backpack already on by 7:15am!! Here are some photos of the morning . . .

The first picture is definitely a high fashion photo - with the number two in the air for second grade . .  photos three and four are waiting for the bus with friend Kaylee and the fourth is Hannah getting off the bus at the end of the day and Haley RUNNING to hug her - sweet sisters!!

And while Hannah was at school, Haley and I had our first day of preschool together. We decided the letter of the day was "P" . . .

We Put together a Pirate Puzzle . . . ate Pirate booty . . . Practiced the Penmanship of the letter "P" . . . Put our hair in Ponytails . . . Painted a Project . . . Played cards . . . and read about a Pigeon . . .

Over the top? Probably . . . Worth every minute? Absolutely . . . and now, as the girls are watching a movie, I am officially POOPED!! Can't wait to see what tomorrow holds!