Friday, January 30, 2009

Interviewed by my momma

Okay, so I agree to my mother's game last week of letting her interview me.

I was expecting much more difficult questions from her.

So here we go:

1. Tell me who outside of your parents has had the greatest influence on who you are today.

Wow, that is kind of a tough one now that I have to think about it. There have been lots of great influences in my life. Lucky me. The greatest would have to be Pastor Ray and Trudy (the pastor and his wife from the church we grew up in). Ms. Trudy always made sure that I felt loved, even when I didn't think I was loved at home. She always knew when I was having a case of "fifth child" syndrome (which was probably most of the time) and would do something small to remind me that I was loved!When I was 18 and struggling to find my way in life 3000 miles away from my parents, Pastor Ray and Trudy took me in. Gave me a place to live and lots of gentle, loving guidance. They are truly amazing saints who never wavered in demonstrating God's love by being loving, gracious, generous and caring to me. I have two small gifts that Ms. Trudy gave me years ago, that to this day I count as my most precious possessions.

2. What was your aha moment when you understood the Truth of the Salvation message?
I can't say that I've ever had an 'AHA' moment. I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was 9. Ms. Trudy had invited me over to their house for a sleepover. It was near my birthday time, and I remember that she had a couple of gifts for me and a cake that we got to eat in the living room! It was just she, Pastor Ray and I. Ohhh, how I loved those sleepovers! It was such a special treat for me to go to their house and be an only child for that time. Well, that particular evening after cake and presents she and Pastor Ray explained the gospel to me and asked if I wanted to pray and ask Jesus into my heart. And I did.
There have been many a time since then that I have strayed from the Lord and tried to do things on my own only to discover it was the wrong way, but I do count that night when I was nine as the moment that I accepted Christ.

3. What is your favorite childhood memory?
I had a good childhood! A few things that come to mind are:
*Going to the bakery on school mornings with Dad. We would have hot cocoa and a donut while we wrote silly notes on napkins about why I was late for school.
*Bible Club House and Potlucks at Burn Road Bible Church.
*Floating down the Jordan River on inner tubes in the heat of August.
*Building leprechaun traps in Grampas raspberry patch. We never did catch a leprechaun. They always sprung the traps and would leave us candy under them.
*Going to Grandma Margaret's apartment complex that she managed and she would open the pop machine and let us get one for free! I always picked Mr. Pibb.
4. Would you rather read the book or see the movie?
Without a doubt, I would rather read the book. I love to read and I believe my imagination to be WAY better than Hollywood's. I have instilled the rule at our house that if you want to see a movie that is made from a book, then you MUST read the book first.
I did recently break that rule by seeing Marley and Me, but I now have the book in my possession to read.

5. What is your love story, how did you and your husband meet?
Well, I moved to Portland to go to college at Multnomah Bible College. I had decided that I wasn't going to 'date' for my entire first semester. I had just come out of a very bad relationship a few months before and just needed time. About 3 weeks after moving to Portland I got involved in working with a middle school youth group and on my first night there I met Dave. He was so funny and had me cracking up the whole time. I also noticed how he interacted with the middle school kids! That night I went back to my dorm and told my friend Meagan "don't laugh, but I think I met the guy I'm going to marry." She laughed.
I was not going to ask Dave out for two reasons: I wasn't dating that semester and I found out he was 9 years older than me! So we spent the nest five months working together with our middles school kids, hanging out with mutual friends and getting to know each other. In June of that year some good friends of ours (Bruce and Tom) cornered Dave at the same time their wives (Vicky and Shawn) had me cornered and started asking us why we weren't dating. Apparently it was obvious that we liked each other! Shortly after that Dave asked me out. Our first date was dinner at the Olive Garden and the movie Dave. Three months later we were engaged and 10 months after that we were married. This summer we celebrate our 15th anniversary!
This last one is not really a question, but more like a command from my mother.
In this post, I made a confession that she would like to know more about.
So I'll humor her:
(my sister confessed to the same infraction in a post recently too. Funny thing is we were not together when we did it and neither of us had knowledge that the other had partaken in such heinous behavior!)
Trish and Gina, I am still curious about that skinny dipping you both confessed to on a meme. My question is who, where, when, why?
Me, three other girls, four boys.
Lakeside Bible Camp, Whidbey Island
Summer 1989
Because we were 16 year old Christian kids who wanted to break the rules in a bad way.

Now I would love to interview you and you and you. So here is what you do. Come on now, don't be shy. I will be nice I promise. It is a great way to get to know you.

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

So come on, let the good times roll!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


**ETA** Thank you Sue and Julie for being smarter than me! They both were able to e-mail me my profile picture. So...........


Now stop licking me.

Earlier today I had lost all my web hosted pictures from my blog.

I was able to recover all of my blog design pictures but have not been able to find my profile picture. You know the one of me wearing the goggles. It has become my signature, my identity, who I am...............

what's a girl to do?

For now I am a pile of tootsie pops.

Will you still love me?

PS. Please know that i do realize that this is not a CRISIS in the true sense of the word.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Menu Planning

Since being laid off from my job in October I have found myself with a little more time at home and a lot less money to spend. So I have taken the task of saving money as my new part time job in order to not have to go out and find a job outside of my home.

In an effort to really be mindful of my families finances I have started paying more attention to our grocery shopping budget. A few months ago I started clipping coupons and watching the grocery store ads for great deals on the items that my family uses. This actually is a pretty easy task since I have three major grocery stores (including my favorite one stop shopping center) within a mile of each other and a fourth (but my least favorite to shop at) not far the other direction. After having pretty good success with my coupons I decided to add another step to my grocery budget consciouness; menu planning.

Now granted, we have always had some sort of "menu plan" around our house. And by that I mean that there has always been food in the pantry from which something could be concocted for dinner, but rarely has there been a "plan" about what that might actually be anytime before one hour prior to dinner. There has also been a lot of nights where I had no idea or motivation for what to make so we just went out and, well, that no longer fits into the budget.

So last week I took the leap (with my blog friend Meredith as my guide) and wrote out ten meals to cover two weeks (I only did ten to allow for the consumption of leftovers and because sometimes I just don't feel like making dinner and so we eat cereal!). I then made a shopping list based on those ten meals, making note of what I already had on hand, gathered my coupons and headed out to the store. I did all the shopping for those meals along with stuff for breakfast and lunches. My total grocery amount came to $126. Now that did include a few household items (laundry soap, dryer sheets, and toothpaste) but it did not include much meat because I already had most of what I needed in my freezer.

At home, after the groceries were put away, I set to work doing a little prep work, such as cooking up all my ground beef and chicken (see here for a great way to cook your chicken) and seperating it into meal portioned freezer bags and shredding all my cheese and doing the same with it (we are not big cheese eaters, so shredded seems to be the only way it get's eaten here.) Then since I was feeling motivated I went ahead and assembled the enchiladas that were on the menu plan and stuck them in the freezer. (I also had enough ingredients to deliver a small pan of enchiladas to our neighbors who are always blessing us!)

We are now headed into week two of our two week menu plan and so far it is going great! I did have to run back to the grocery store one day last week for two forgotten items, but have not stepped foot in there since last Tuesday. Although I will probably have to go sometime this week and pick up some more milk and bread. Our fresh produce and vegetables are starting to run low, but we should make it through most of the week, and when it runs out I've got frozen veggies and fruit that I canned this summer to tide us over.

I'll share my actual meal plan with you in another post but for now I am setting to work on my next two week (ten meals) plan and would love any suggestions for what your favorite family meals are.

I am also working on getting all my meals and their required ingredients into an Excel spreadheet (because I truly LOVE spreadsheets! honestly, they make my heart race, especially ones that I can use the merge feature on!) with the idea that I'll get all of our meals in and be able to create my shopping list through a merge document. That makes my heart go pitter-patter!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Wii might need a twelve step program

Exciting times around here at the Hull house.


We had a low key wiikend.

And by low key, this is what I mean:

We hung out with good friends at their house on Friday night. They served us adults a yummy dinner and the kids had pizza, which they all thought was yummy too! Then we played Wii.

Saturday morning Cooper had a soccer game. He scored 12 goals. Yep, 12. Then we came home and played Wii.

Saturday evening the boys and I were getting ready to head over to some other friends house to babysit their kids and play more Wii. I was reaching down to turn off our Wii and my back went out. OUCH! I have a recurring back injury that makes itself known at the least opportune times. But the show must go on and so we went to babysit and play Wii.

Saturday night I slept on the living room floor, and only slept because my good friend "nidociv" (spelled backwards to keep the weirdos away!) was in my system.

Sunday morning there was no way I was going to be able to get to church and sit for an hour and a half without the use of my above mentioned good friend. And since he makes me very drowsy, there was no use going, so I stayed home and slept.

After getting home, the boys played more Wii. Then I kicked them out to play outside, in the sunshine, because the sun don't shine here all that often. They then proceeded to tromp in the front door every fifteen minutes begging to come in and play the Wii. After nearly an hour of that I told them that if they came in again before 4pm for anything other than the potty, I was going to sell the Wii. That was an idle threat, but it worked.

I then decided to try out the Wii Fit that we had bought on Friday. After about 30 minutes of yoga, I discovered that my back had loosened up and was feeling a little bit better. Another reason to play the Wii.

Then some friends came over for dinner and the kids proceeded to play the Wii for the next three hours. They did have to take turns because we have only two controllers and there was four kids............

Monday dawned bright and new and brought with it more Wii playing. I was first, with more yoga. It helped again. My back felt a bit better (until I pushed a full shopping cart around the grocery store). The boys played a little Wii while I prepared my two week meal plan and grocery list.

After the grocery store guess what we did?

Yep, more Wii. but just a little. There was homework to be done.

Then the weekend was over, but not before a little..............

Wrestling with DAD!
(you thought I was going to say Wii!)

Now, I know that you all think that all we did is play Wii all weekend.

That's not completely true.

You see, when I wasn't playing Wii or passed out on the floor from the pain meds, I was over at the Stretch Marks Blog watching this:

I wonder if there is a Wii game that can teach me to dance like that.

(when my back feels better!)

PS. Please disregard my previous post about my children's favorite Christmas gifts. Who was I kidding?

Monday, January 12, 2009

One of the things I love about my kids

These were their favorite Christmas gifts this year

Chef Hat, Apron with 'Chef Ben' stitched on it (stitched by the fabulous Emily), and cookbook.


Cowboy boots, cowboy vest (made by the fabulous gramma), cowboy hat, rope and guns.

I'm so glad that simple things still make them happy!

(although I do know that our days of cell phones, i-pods and 'cool clothes' are not to far away)

Photo's courtesy of Gramma's blog.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My 99.....

Things I have done are listed in BOLD (along with commentary, because we all know I like to commentary!)

1. Started your own blog - duh
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band - jr. high band, and last night I played Rock Band, they both count right?
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning - Christmas 1990, BAAAADDD MEMORY!
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping - don't ask mom.
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance - More than once......
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check - oops!
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life - my boss' son was choking on a butterscotch disk. I gave him the heimlich and the candy came shooting out. I should have used that moment to negotiate a raise!
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby - or two
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee - summer camp, 1987. Playing a game where we had to hide in the woods. I stepped into a nest on the ground. 13 bee stings and a night in the infirmary!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Beautiful Friendship

Do you have a beautiful friendship?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

this, that and some linky love

Don't look now (cuz ya still have to read my post), but my brother has a blog. (Did you all just hear me snort as I laughed?) He is honest to goodnessly (is goodnessly a word?) the LAST person I would have expected to have a blog. I'm not sure why I thought that, I just did. He is an artist (and I say that in the loosest, most masculine sense of the word). His first mastered art was free enterprise, in grade school he ran a candy store from his desk. He would buy (or steal? it's still up for debate.) candy from the store, take it to school to sell to his classmates for a profit. As an adult he discovered the art of laying hardwood floors. He creates beautiful hardwood floor designs. Some of his work can be seen here. Most recently he has taken up the art of Nature Photography. He hikes the many trails of the Pacific Northwest with his baby boy on his back and his camera on his front and has started sharing the beauty that he finds through his camera lens, and apparently that is what this blog will be about. (please take no offense to his blog address, i'm pretty sure he is referring to the fact that he is my parents one and only son, not that he is THE ONE And ONLY SON. I think.)

Now, a few other things I'd like to share with you:

My friends in real life, Delores and Meredith, both recently posted wonderfully amazing truths that spoke right to my heart. You should read them and while you are reading Meredith's, turn up your volume and listen to the song.

Beckie has inspired me. She is an amazingly crafty woman. She has dedicated the next few weeks, while she waits for her baby girl to arrive, to crafty ideas. She's calling it Operation Project Month and she got me to thinking 'gee, if Beckie can be all crafty while she's 38 weeks pregnant, than surely Trish can finish the ONE craft that has been sitting on her kitchen counter for 6 months'. So today I went and bought the couple of supplies that I needed to finish it and that is what I am doing tomorrow. Stay tuned for pictures. (I also bought some supplies for another craft that I want to do, but i'm not gonna tell you about that, because we all know that it will be a few months before I get it done!)

I've been following the Confessions of a CF Husband blog for over a year now, and today if a day of celebration for them! If you haven't read their story yet, head over there to visit. It is an amazing story and today their miracle baby turns one. Happy Birthday Gwyneth!

We all know that his blogosphere is an amazing 'community' and right now one of our neighbors needs our prayers and support. Kori over at Between a Whisper and a Roar has been dealt a tough blow. Her husband has Cystic Fibrosis AND stage 4 Colon Cancer and now Kori has found a couple of lumps in her breasts. Her doctors are concerned and she is now waiting results of her mammogram to determine the next step. Please lift her and her family up in prayer and if you don't mind stopping by her blog and letting her know that you are praying for her I'm sure she would love it.

And finally, my bloggy friend Meredith took drastic measures yesterday in order to accomplish some tasks around her house. Today I will be doing the same thing, only I can't send my whole computer to work with Dave because it is a desktop, so instead I will be sending the mouse with him. I have a lot of things that need my attention around my house, including this disaster:

and this disaster:

I've gotta get these messes cleaned up, my in-laws are coming to dinner on Friday and I don't want the nasty clutter to tarnish their image of me.

So ta-ta for Thursday, I'm unplugging all in the name of productivity.

Monday, January 5, 2009

we're gonna have a little laugh here

At my husband. Well, actually we're not laughing AT him we're laughing WITH him. Normally I wouldn't post anything at the expense of my husband, but this one is just too funny!
And besides he gave me permission.
(Now you may have read this over on my mom's blog, but go ahead and laugh again and then leave a comment, cuz I dig em.)

As you know the boys and I hopped a train North last Monday to spend the week with my parents. The two and a half hour train ride was fantastic, I was able to enjoy all the scenery with my eyes closed while the boys chatted up the very friendly older lady that had the privilege of being seated next to us. And chat they did. About everything. About half way through the 2.5 hour trip she excused herself to go buy some coffee and came back with hot cocoa's for both the boys. I think she was hoping it would keep their mouths busy for the rest of the ride! But I digress......

Dave had to work Monday and Tuesday so we planned that he would make the drive to my parents house on Wednesday, we would all be there to celebrate Christmas with my family on New Years Day and then would drive back home together, thus saving another unsuspecting Amtrak customer from my children's perennial chatter.

Well, Wednesday rolls around and my mom, my sister and I have places to go and things to do, so I called Dave to let him know that the front door will be unlocked when he get there and we all head out to do our thing. Two hours later I get a call from him on my cell, and he says "let me talk to your mom please." So I hand the phone over to my mom and within seconds she is laughing so hard that she about brings up a lung. And this is how that story goes:

See this house?

It's my mom and dad's.

They live in one of those cookie cutter neighborhoods where every third house looks alike from the outside. Dave can honestly tell you that isn't necessarily true about the inside though.

You see Dave pulled up to this house that Wednesday afternoon:

He walked up to the front door, turned the door knob and walked in. He says his first thought was "wow, why are all these dirty diapers laying around on the floor? Usually Evy keeps a much cleaner house." Then up the stairs he went to place his grocery sack of beer, homemade pickles, and smoked salmon in the fridge. After doing so, he looked around and though to himself "wow, they have made some changes around here." Dave then proceeded to make himself comfortable at the table and read the paper for about 15 minutes before duty called. When he walked into the hall bathroom he was shocked at the filth and again thought to himself "Evy usually keeps her house much cleaner than this" and suddenly an odd feeling ran through his body. He walked back down the hall and opened the door of the Master bedroom where he was greeted with an unmade bed and a big screen TV mounted on the wall............"hmmmm, the only TV Evy and Stan have has always been in the basement, and besides Evy makes the beds EVERY day." So down the stairs he went to confirm his suspicion. He opened the door to the guest room that we usually sleep in and sure enough, it was not as he remembered. Instead of containing a beautifully made bed, the room was lined with junk and shotgun targets. At that moment Dave knew that twenty minutes earlier he had entered the wrong house! He slipped his shoes back on and beat feet out of there, hopping in his car and heading out of the neighborhood before someone else realized he didn't belong in that house. He decided to head down to the nearby town where my dad's office is to confirm that my parents had not actually moved in the year since he had been to visit. During the short drive to my dad's office Dave remembered that he had put his bag of stuff in the refrigerator at the house that was not my parents! It was then that we received the phone call from him desperately wanting to talk to my mom. He wanted to know if she knew the neighbors and how they would take it when he went back to retrieve his beer, pickles and salmon and had to tell them why it was in their fridge!

Once it was determined what house Dave had mistaken as my parents, my mom said that she did not actually know the neighbors but would go over with him later to introduce herself and explain what had happened.

About an hour later we get another phone call from Dave saying that it would not be necessary to go over, that he had already gone over and gotten his stuff from the neighbors fridge. I said, "oh were they home?". To which he replied, "No. I knocked on the door, opened it and hollered HELLO. When no one answered I ran up the stairs, got my stuff and ran back out of the house."

The neighbors are none the wiser..............

Dave is though.

He now knows that my parents live in the fifth house on the right, not the third!
Parent's on the left, neighbor's on the right

Friday, January 2, 2009

Dear Supervised PlayRoom Inventor,

Reposted from sometime last spring.......

I love you.


Do you realize what you have done for me?

You have made it possible for me to drop my child off in a colorful, toy filled room at the front of my favorite super store for one hour of uninterrupted time "one-stop shopping". I know that the big-wigs think that they have made a smart move by offering this service in hopes that I will be more relaxed while shopping and in turn fill my cart with beautiful and lovely things that I don't need. However, I am smarter than those big-wigs and sometimes, after I place my four year old in the loving hands of that employee (who, by the way, knows us by first name and NEVER matches up our security band numbers when I come to claim him), I simply head over to the in-store coffee stand, purchase my overpriced, overly sweetened, overly fattening drink and head to the magazine aisle, where I pick a few of my favorite brain stimulating periodicals like People and US Weekly and then I go sit on the floor sample couches and read for THE ENTIRE HOUR! I certainly never get one hour of uninterrupted periodical perusing time at my house. Except for that one time I locked my self in my bathroom with the fan on and the shower running and sat, fully clothed, on the porcelain throne. Even then the natives were pounding down the door every ten minutes wanting fruit snacks.

Then there is the gym and again I declare you genius. While certainly not free, it is well worth the expense. You see, my children beg to go there. Daily. There I get one and a half hours of child free time. Yes, I know the purpose of this playroom is to entertain my children in order that I may get my tush onto one or more of those sweat inducing machines in the other room. And most of the time I do. However, I must confess that, once in a while, I place my children in the care of those perky high-school girls and I go sit in the whirlpool spa in the ladies locker room. Yes, I am usually the youngest, least wrinkled lady in there. But damn, I look goooooooood in a bathing suit next to those ladies.

Let us not forget the favorite Supervised PlayRoom of all time. This one has a great name. It is called Smal Land, yes with just one 'L' because it is Swedish. And those Swedes love my children and me so much that they too have made it possible for me to wander their mega store for one hour unencumbered by offspring. What they don't realize is that I almost never grab one of their paper tape measures, pencils, or giant yellow shopping bag. Instead I walk through their rat-like maze, straight for their 325 sq. ft. model home. There I seat myself on the lovely, cherry red striped ektorp chair, pull out my cell phone, call my sister Kris and enjoy a peaceful phone conversation for once. Oh, and sometimes I go to their brightly lit cafeteria and buy me some meatballs with gravy and lingonberry sauce. I love not sharing my meatballs.

So to you, Mr (or Miss) Supervise Playroom Inventor, I tip my hat and in the words of Budweiser I call you my "real man of genius".

What you don't realize is that I am the "real mom of genius" and have figured out how to use all three Supervised PlayRooms in one day. Can you say THREE AND A HALF HOURS of alone time without having to pay a single babysitter!

With much admiration of your ingenuity and mine,

The mom