Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

After Pumpkin Carving

One Halloween tradition Rocky & I have continued since we got married is carving 2011-10-29_09-31-46_372 pumpkins.  The first year, we bought the kits and found a couple of stencils we thought we could handle and I think we did a pretty good job.  When Maggie came along, well, that first year, we did skip carving because she was still tiny and we were pretty tired.  She did get into it the following year and now that we have a garden, she has looked forward to our pumpkin carving the past 2 years.  This year, our garden produced 3 fairly small pumpkins and Maggie went to the pumpkin patch with her Kindergarten class, so we have 4 small-ish sized pumpkins.  2 that Maggie decided could be carved and the other 2 would be decorated by Maggie.  She took the job very seriously, but I think she came up with some nice pumpkins:

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And after:

 2011 pumpkins2

2011 pumpkins

Friday, October 28, 2011


Who doesn't love cupcakes? So on Twitter many people I follow have raved about Cupcake wine. I've tried a couple of their wines and enjoyed them, but tonight, tonight I am drinking Red Velvet. Talk about a wine that stands up to its name. This wine is red, duh, and velvety like an Elvis print. Hints of chocolate. Deep deep red color. The label speaks of blackberries and enjoying this wine with a nice hearty steak. I wish I had a dark chocolate cupcake to enjoy along side. I do believe I have found my first ever favorite red wine that I'll be enjoying on a regular basis.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Visiting Grandma

This past weekend, we took a trip across Montana to visit my Grandmother in Deer Lodge. We made a fun trip out of it, stopping for a few hours in Bozeman to allow Rocky to do some interviews for his dissertation and give the girls a chance to play at the "Dinosaur Museum" aka Museum of the Rockies. Both girls had a great time, especially in the Yellowstone Room, which allowed them to play camping, house, fishing, dress up and get scared by the gushing geysers.

After getting worn out there, we headed to Butte. Butte is about 30 minutes or so from Deer Lodge and as Grandma doesn't have much room, we thought it would be fun to stay in a hotel with a pool -- and of course we were right! Both Maggie & Jessie had fun in the pool and hot tub. We also got to experience Jessie's first restaurant melt down when we attempted to go to supper that night.

We had kind of been building up the trip to see Grandma to Maggie as I can remember going to visit great-grandmas as a kid and it was never much fun. A lot of sitting, listening to visiting. We packed toys and books for Maggie to help keep her occupied. But I do think we did a good job as she was very excited to see Grandma and even gave her a big hug. She sat on Grandma's lap and they read jokes (and Grandma let her take the book home!) And, Grandma had Harvey, Uncle Doug's dog, staying with her, which gave Rocky and Maggie the opportunity to get out of the house to throw the ball around with Harvey. All 3 enjoyed that!

These trips to visit Grandma are much different than the ones growing up. Visits back then all revolved around food. Grandma was always in the kitchen cooking or baking something. Our first visit to Grandma after moving to Montana was like that. She fried chicken, got up early to make us fried eggs, made a roast for dinner. I have wonderful memories of eating her donuts fresh from the fryer (why yes, I grew up with a lot of fried food), and bread right from the oven. But now, at 93, Grandma can't stand well on her own. She has a walker and doesn't leave the house much. To me, though, she still looks good. She still has her own mind and still lives in her own house. And, she's 93 and has 13 kids, 30 grandkids and 40+ great-grandkids. I think she's earned the right to sit.

I feel blessed that Maggie and Rocky have had a chance to get to know Grandma Lucille in a way that they don't get to with Grandma Alberta (as she is in a nursing home and not well after numerous strokes) and in a way that the girls and I won't get to with Rocky's grandmothers (as they both passed away a number of years ago). I don't know how much Jessie will be able to remember, and I guess that all depends on how long Grandma is with us and how many more times we are able to make that trip west.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Psalm 46:10

Be still and know that He is God.

This weekend, I had the opportunity to spend Friday evening and Saturday with some wonderful women from my church in a sea side themed retreat.  We decorated a room in the Sunday School area to look like a retreat, with beach gear, ocean photos & sounds.  I lead the music worship team and enjoyed singing some beautiful songs of praise with these talented women.  I also loved getting to spend some additional time with the leader of the weekend and get to know her better.  Diane & I have had some time this past summer to spend more time together and it has been fun to see this other side of her.  There was a wonderful turn out of women of all ages within the church and I hope we find the time to do this again (perhaps in a true retreat format).

By using things from the beach, we studied Sarai & Hagar, which is one of my favorite stories in the Bible.  I love Sarai.  She is a strong woman, who, even though she is revered for being a “faithful wife”, “obedient to Abram”, she was not afraid to take matters into her own hands.  She obviously tried to force God’s hand and paid for that (as did Hagar) [and I can pinpoint times in my own life where I have done the same].  I also learned something new about Peter [whom I’ve never really liked, with all his “rules” for women].  In his letter “1 Peter”, he writes about Sarah:

“For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master.  You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.” 1 Peter 3:6

Isn’t that interesting? WITHOUT FEAR.  I do not think I have ever heard that verse.  I have to admit I rolled my eyes when I realized that this retreat was going to use Peter to prove a point about Sarah – really, Peter? the woman-hater? [maybe hate is a strong word, but I have learned that he was not fond of the “fairer sex.”  I thought it was going to be more about the “good & faithful wife” [which, really, was she? Sending her servant to Abram to try to “help” God? Laughing at God?]  But the other thing that struck me is that whenever I’ve heard people either preaching or complaining about the Bible stating that women should “submit” to their husbands, they leave out this part, the part about doing what is right WITHOUT FEAR.  To me, that means that if I am to submit to my husband, I should not fear him.

We talked about doubts, friendship and spending time being still and recognizing when God is speaking to us.  It is so hard to find that quiet time necessary to hear God and I have, lately, been wondering about His voice as I haven’t heard him.  I know it is me, that I haven’t taken the time to listen for him.  I know if I can find some time in my day, each day, I will be able to hear his voice and feel his presence.

Be still and know that He is God. Be still and know that He is holy.  Be still, oh, restless soul of mine. Bow before the Prince of Peace. Let the noise & clamor cease.   Be still and know that He is God.  Be still and know that He is faithful.  Consider all that he has done, Stand in awe and be amazed and know that He will never change.  Be Still.  Be Speechless.  Be still and know that He is God.  Be still and know He is our Father.  Come rest your head upon his breast.  Listen to the rhythm of his unfailing hear of love. Beating for his little ones, calling each of us to come.  Be still. – Stephen Curtis Chapman.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

la Maialina Gertrude

gertrude “Little Pig” wine.  This is actually my last bottle of wine from the September Wine Club.  I had put it down in my “cellar” in hopes that I could make the 3 bottles last through the month.  Then Rocky bought me a box red which, while not fancy, is nice enough for a glass or two on a week night.  And now, here it is October.  I have 3 new bottles awaiting me, yet here was my little pig, Gertrude, just waiting for me.  I’m not sure what happened to my cheat sheet from Simply Wine, so this is from the label:

Rosso Toscana, 2008.  Dry Red Wine.  La Maialina celebrates the history, culture and cuisine of Tuscany, prized since antiquity for its rich soil and favorable climate.  The name La Maialina “little pig” references the Cinta Senese heirloom breed that originated in the Siena area during the 1300 and is the only Tuscan native pig to survive extinction.  Gertrude is unique because she does not have the cinta (belt) marking but rather is all pink.  Her name is symbolic of artistic character and strength, and within the wines of La Maialina, she represents diversity and expression. Gertrude is a simple, yet powerful Tuscan wine, ready to be enjoyed now or in the next few years.

I opened Gertrude Friday evening.  I think I need to get a decanter because she is definitely much better today, after spending 2 days in the fridge and sitting for about 30 minutes before I poured my glass this afternoon.  She is advertised as a dry red wine and she does not disappoint.  As the weather turns colder, my wine selections turn more to reds anyway and even though dry reds are not my first choice, I’m enjoying this one.  She is a blend of 3 grapes, Sangiovese, Merlot & Cabernet. 

I think I would enjoy her with a nice pasta dinner with my homemade meat sauce, which this time around got rather spicy.  I think this unassuming wine would be a nice compliment.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Babies are Growing Up

Today Jessie is 16 months old and Rusty is 5 months old. Rusty is definitely growing faster. He's very leggy and his backside sometimes moves faster than his front. He is a sweet dog who is pretty darn smart: he knows sit, crate, out, and is getting good at fetch! He is getting along well with both girls and even lets Jessie give him hugs.

Jessie is growing fast too. She has 7 teeth and her hair is starting to come in. Though I think it will be awhile before she needs a haircut! She has started going to Sunday School though I don't know that she gets anything out if it. They try to get her to color but I think she mostly chews on the crayons!

She fights sleeps as much as her sister and doesn't nap well at home, unless we're in the car! She loves playing with her babies, wrapping them in blankets, giving them bottles and carrying them in the doll carrier.
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