What color was your dinner?


“Hey everybody, this is important!”

Food is on the table

Getting ready to pray

When I look at the spread before us

And notice

Hey, this is a bi-color dinner!

Quick, grab the camera!

People need to know!

Edamame – green

Massaged kale salad – verdurous with splashes of bright yellow (mango) and sage green (pepitas)

Italian quinoa salad – social butterfly yellow, green pepper green, yellow corn

This is my unintentional bi-color dinner, everybody!)

Within arm’s reach, a shaker of homemade celery powder, made in my dehydrator

Over to the side

Popcorn – hints of soft yellow amidst the white explosions speckled with Fire Dancer seasoning

Then I realize, WHOA!


The plates are

Green plate swirls

Garden spot green

Witty green


Optimistic yellow!

The Pyrex bowl containing the roasted kale (brown green), you ask?

Cut the Mustard gold

I love all the beautiful colors in Pyrex!

I exclaim, “Hey, guys! This is really important!

But no one else noticed,

Neither, the Hubs nor the orange hair, freckle face OS cared.

They were just hungry. Phooey.

This blog post was brought to you by the colors yellow and green and by the word observant

Find your colors at Sherwin Williams and this amazing app on Sherwin Williams ColorSnap. I didn’t know about this app until I started writing this post. But you can use your smart phone to match real-world colors with paint colors. All for free! You can take a picture of your dinner (like I did) and it will tell you the names of the corresponding paint colors! How cool is that! 

One of these things just doesn’t belong here!


My most recent experience with a foreign object trapped in my own body involved a chopstick. I was at our favorite local sushi restaurant and after removing the paper sheath from the chopsticks, I rubbed the tops of them together to enjoy a smooth eating utensil. This was a really bad idea. As my finger slid along the chopstick ever so gingerly, a tiny wood shaving lodged deep inside my finger where it stayed for THREE STINKING WEEKS!

Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t see the sliver nor could I tweeze or soak it out. The Hubs and the OS learned of my sliver woes on a daily, if not hourly basis for nearly a month. Each time my West Point OS called home, I gave him a “sliver update.” I even thought about going to the doctor. And then one day, in a pain I liken to childbirth, the sliver decided to move elsewhere and poof, it was gone. Huh.

oh herro dere, sewing needle! long time, no see!

Many of us have weird corpus alienum stories. Take, for example my cousin’s husband who fell a few days ago. Concerned, Ben went to the doctor and got an x-ray. Ben learned three things that day.  
1. He hadn’t broken anything
2. He had a moderate to severe sprain requiring rest
and 3. (prepare yourselves, friends)…Ben has a sewing needle in his foot. 

Apparently when Ben was a kid, he must have stepped on a sewing needle. It has been living in his heel peacefully for 20+ years.

The post on his facebook has elicited much conversation. I have removed names of people who have commented on Ben’s status but I had to show you what his friends and family have said.

  • That is my lifelong fear.

    Yesterday at 11:29am · Unlike ·  1

  • that is awesome!

    Yesterday at 11:31am · Like

  • That happened to me when I was 6…stepped on a needle and it broke off…had to have it surgically removed:)

    Yesterday at 11:36am · Like

  • coolest thing ever. i hope your heel doesn’t start hurting during bad weather when you’re older.

    Yesterday at 11:37am · Like

  • I had a thorn buried in my head for a couple years that I didn’t know about.

    Yesterday at 11:41am · Like

  • that’s crazy

    Yesterday at 11:53am · Like

  • dude thats crazy..u are the talk of my cubicle group lol.

    Yesterday at 11:54am · Unlike ·  1

  • Ur my new hero. This is pretty crazy.

    Yesterday at 12:20pm · Like

  •  Do you need a hug??

    23 hours ago · Like

  • Man, I stepped on a sewing needle when I was in high school and limped around for a while. After a week, or so it felt beter so I went on about life. Three months later a boil appeared on my thigh and when I popped it I saw what looked like a splinter. I pulled a sewing needle out with tweezers.

    16 hours ago · Like

  • I feel like a terrible mother. The sewing needle had to be mine or Grandma’s.

    14 hours ago · Like

I can’t figure out if my favorite comment is that my uncle had a thorn buried in his head for a couple of years that he didn’t know about (which explains a lot!) or if it’s Ben’s friend who said he stepped on a sewing needle in high school. The guy limped around for a while and after a week or so, he felt better. Then three months later, a boil appeared on his thigh. When he popped it (sorry about the disgusting word picture!), he saw what looked like a splinter. But it wasn’t a splinter, instead he pulled a sewing needle out of his thigh with a pair of tweezers.

At least one of these guys, (all members of 
my extended family, btw), currently has a 
sewing needle living in his foot. Good times. 

So here’s my question. Do you have a strange splinter, chopstick or a sewing needle story? I’d love to hear about it. I’ll even sweeten the deal, I will write on a slip of paper the names of each person who comments on this post and next Friday, January 27th, I will draw a winner. I will then send the person a little something I’ve made with a sewing needle! I’ll announce the winner on January 28th. If you comment on my blog or on my facebook about this post, you’ll be in the epic drawing!

Bring lunch and walk gingerly

A happy mom and a handsome ginger

Apparently my reputation proceeds me. When it comes to my orange hair, freckle-face 14 year old, he has heard the stories of about me embarrassing his brothers intentionally and on accident. 

Since our summer vacation has officially begun, I’m recalling this one particular Friday during eighth grade. Honestly all I was trying to do was be nice. Is that such a big problem? Zheesh.

I bought a pepperoni pizza roll from Great Harvest Bread Company. They are so good! Like a dutiful mother, I drove it still warm to the school. It was near lunch hour and I wanted my Ike to have something to eat. I promised I’d drop it off for him.

Peeking my head through the glass window on the door, I observed an orange hair, freckle face 14 year old boy. I recognized the child as one of my bairn and with the turn of the knob, I entered the classroom. This is an acceptable thing to do at our OS’s school, I didn’t break any regulations, except for the one Isaac had in his mind.

pepperoni rolls are really delish
and they kinda, sorta look like footballs

Instead of merely handing the pepperoni roll to him, which seemed rather dreary, I pretended I was a quarterback. The pepperoni roll was shaped like a football and it didn’t seem like any big deal. With exaggerated, slow-action motion, I simulated a deep pass to my boy. The pepperoni roll remained in my hand. It didn’t go flying. All the kids laughed as Isaac sprang out of his chair for the interception. We hugged, I’m fairly sure I kissed him, closed the door behind me and enjoyed the rest of my day.

But what I learned later is that Ike was aghast at my shenanigans. Especially when one of his buddies said, “Did your mom really just come into class pretending to throw you a pepperoni roll while the teacher was praying?” “Um, yeah,” was my boy’s reply.

I guess in my haste, I hadn’t noticed that Mr. A was praying. I didn’t observe the subtle clues such as silence and head bowing. Oops.

All sorts of fish stories in our family!

Do you know how many times Ike has retold this story? It’s sure to be one of the legends of the W-H family. Each time he recounts this moment, it grows like a fish story.

Which has me wondering…do you have similar MOMents? 

I’ve got the fever…

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Moments away from experiencing the Biebs
Hot mess

Being a girl is fun!

It’s so much fun, I journeyed back in time. Waaaaaaaaaaay back in time and for two hours I became a teenybopper again.

A few weeks ago I truly had the time of my life going to see Never Say Never. My OS thought I was crazy, in fact they were incredulous. “Mom, are you seriously going to see the Justin Bieber movie?”

“Yep.” Nose high in the air, my foot stomped firmly on the ground, with hands on my waist, the reply was certain without a scintilla of shame.

I then rummaged around the house and found appropriate Never Say Never attire. A borrowed flat hat from Nate, a “gold” chain purchased at the Dollar Tree on loan from Aaron, West Point hoodie, oh yeah. I tied the bright pink laces on my new sneaks and hopped into my SUV. 

A good time with some of the wackiest JB fans in town! Woo hoo!

The best way to see “Never Say Never” is with friends and I was blessed to have two ladies from my Bible Study and one of their daughters join me. We squealed with girlish glee and found our seats among the Bieber fans. Just down the row, an adorable four year old girl sat with her parents. Actually she didn’t sit. She jumped throughout the movie. The lights of her shoes blinked while she danced. Obviously, the Lord divinely placed us in the right row, we were kindred spirits ranging in age from 4 to nearly 50.  When does that ever happen??

I’m totally serious, I think he was talking to ME!!!!! 

And while this little girl jumped, my friends and I bounced in our theatre chairs. We took pics on our cell phones, giggled and smiled with shameless abandon. Yes, our hands were in the air when the Biebs sang “Baby” and our untuned voices joined in the chorus. You got a problem with that? I utterly enjoyed myself. I was having fun with my friends. Silly and carefree. All was right in my little world. In every way, I left the movie satisfied and joyful.

We will never say never ever!

Say whatever you want but in my opinion, Justin Bieber is a very talented guy. I liked the movie. He has great hair and amazing potential. Don’t burst my bubble. My OS can tease me all they want, I don’t care. 

I am also willing to purchase one of these shirts if you take me to the movies!

I would do it all over again. If you’re looking for someone to go see the movie, invite me!

Spirit Week 2011 begins

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Oh how I love Spirit Week!

I love it so much, if it were up to me, every school would have a Spirit Week just for parents.

There was no Spirit Week when I was in middle school or high school so I live through the SW of my OS. Yes, according them, I’m kind of like a stage mom when it comes to Spirit Week.

images1With Aaron’s medical struggles, there was less parental involvement in Ike’s SW this year. This resulted in my orange hair, freckle face OS wearing a pair of store-bought pajamas on Pajama Day. We had even picked out special material six months ago for me to make just for him. Alas, Ike decided he wanted to show off these pajamas. He won a gift certificate because of his footed sleepwear.img_20110214_155457

But now that my middle OS is feeling so much better, nearly all of my parental energy pours into Spirit Week 2011.

Monday morning, Aaron pranced into school wearing his designer-made sea turtle pajama pants. I wanted to create a sea turtle applique for the t-shirt but he sternly spurned my suggestion.

photo 24Tuesday was Animal Kingdom Day. Last year my middle OS was a pupa. We twirled yards of brown toile around Aaron to encase him.

It was truly hilarious to see the perplexed looks of students and teachers. They asked Aaron what he was and he confidently stated “a chrysalis in a cocoon.”

Then in the middle of Mrs. Davis’ Spanish Class, Aaron asked if he could go to the restroom.

Let the changes begin!

When Aaron returned he had metamorphosed into a beautiful, extremely large butterfly ~ He wore his grandpa’s really yellow golf pants and custom-made wings.

Truly breathtaking!

We thought this was an apt description of adolescence and doesn’t every teenager want to be reminded of puberty on Animal Kingdom Day? I thought so!

So how do you top being a pupa?carpenter-ant-illustration_530x349


Well, we’re not sure but staying in the insect world, this year Aaron was a carpenter ant.

My middle OS donned a hard hat with antennae, an electric drill and drill bit along with a tool belt. He also “grew” an extra pair of legs which I sewed last night.

p11600282Here is proof that I am a great mother – making carpenter ant legs just before bedtime.

There were many creative animal costumes. For example, Zack, Aaron’s best friend was a swan complete with a feathery behind that wiggled back and forth as he walked. p1160052

Aaron will be a senior in high school next year. I’m already thinking of ideas.

p1160055Just wait, the rest of the week is quite creative and unique also!

PS. I just learned that Aaron and the science teacher were the only invertebrates in the school today! Wow, I’m even prouder now!

Snuggies and snow

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Thank you Lord, thank you, thank you, thank you that I no longer have to live with this!

Everyone is talking about the Blizzard of 2011. Pictures abound of the frozen tundra in the nation’s heartland. I see my family and friends’ facebook statuses and offer a sympathetic shiver your way. It’s rather fun living vicariously with my windows open and a pleasant breeze wafting through my home. Just sayin.’ So in honor of the blizzard, may this post warm your heart wherever you are. 

Here are a few pics taken during Christmas. My sister Lorri visited from Chicago and when several inches of snow landed in our area, she and I set out to be silly. 

I just realized this is a heart-shaped snowball! Awww
Ok, so I might have forgotten how to make a proper snowball, big wup. 

Snow much fun

My dad isn’t in this picture but I bet he was in a line like this! 

Because of this much heralded storm, I also discovered something. I celebrated my fifth birthday during the Storm of ’67! I can still picture my father trudging out in the freezing snow on my birthday. He trekked through that blizzard to  the grocery store to buy me a birthday cake. It was strawberry and I couldn’t recall how old I was until everyone started talking about this wintry blast. How cool is that? Positively serendipitous. 

When Lorri and I were finished with our snowpeople, we went on a lark. Playing in the snow wasn’t simply fun enough. One night prior to her departure, my younger sister and I decided to strut our stuff on the “catwalk.” Btw, I made the items Lorri and I are wearing. We did not pick them up in New York City or Paris. In fact, if you’d like to duplicate my efforts, here’s the link

Here’s Nate posing at home with his new snuggie. 
Dramatic re-enactment of a sleeping cadet

Did you know that snuggies are the rage at West Point too! Nate and I have matching snuggies. That is a sign that we have a very wonderful relationship. We like to wear matching stuff. Kinda creepy but not really. 

Gotta a snuggie story? 

Spirit Week fun


One of my children (who shall remain nameless because I like my life,) is afraid of midgets.

If you want to creep him out, turn on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I’m not exaggerating. We are a short-statured people so I’m not sure what his problem is but I have been known to sing the Oompa Loompa Song or the Wizard of Oz Munchkin Land song around him. It is funny to see this otherwise very macho OS squirm.

So it’s a good thing this un-named OS isn’t home very much (ahem,) because today would have been very unpleasant for him.

I say this because it’s Spirit Week for the middle schoolers and today is Character Day. My anonymous OS would be in a dither because his orange hair, freckle-face brother along with six other buddies dressed up as the Seven Dwarfs!

When Isaac told me about the idea last week, I agreed as long as Ike wasn’t Dopey. Considering our most recent challenges, there was NO way my OS was going to be Dopey. Or Grumpy!

But Ike is Happy and so am I! Several moms including myself banded together and individually added pieces to the boys’ costumes.

One mom and grandma made hats. They even researched pics of the Seven Dwarfs from old Disney books and pictures! Another mom made white beards and wrote the names of each individual dwarf on a colorful t-shirt. Talk about authentic! I purchased seven pair of black sweat pants on sale at Wal-Mart and some twine for a belt. The moms are as excited as the sons and our collective talents made this particular Spirit Day less stressful and totally adorable!

To Ike’s chagrin I came to school twice today to take pictures. Apparently there is nothing worse for a 13 year old boy then seeing his mama two times in one school day, even when she’s wearing makeup! Excitement filled the air, giggles and smiles abounded. I cracked up at the creativity in the middle schoolers. There were two guys who dressed up as Michael Jackson, before and after. There was even a Lucky Charm leprechaun. So fun!

My OS attend a private school. They wear uniforms, adhere to strict behavior policies and must study hard for the stringent academics. Spirit Week is five days when the standards are just as high but the atmosphere is more relaxed. High school Spirit Week begins next Monday and it’s sure to be memorable as well. If Aaron succeeds in his plans for Spirit Week, it will be epic, mark my words!

I leave you with some pics of the recent fun and links to former Spirit Weeks we have enjoyed.

We’re already brain-storming about next year!

Iron Gym Commercial


I have a blog post that is nearly ready to publish but on this, the last day before my oldest OS goes back to West Point, I have chosen to preempt my scheduled post.

The one thing that Nathan said he wanted for Christmas was an Iron Gym. We are such amazing parents, we not only got Nate one, but another one for the middle OS Aaron. Yes, it’s true!

After dinner last night, (and I must share with you the really awesome thing we have been doing as a family), the OS cleaned the kitchen and then scurried upstairs. The next thing I know Aaron bounds downstairs in a skinny t-shirt and a crazy wig. He had applied camo paint all over his face and created slightly lifelike facial hair. Aaron has a flair for the dramatic which is an understatement. But this time Aaron had enlisted the help of his bros. They were going to make a video about the Iron Gym.

As I was sewing aprons downstairs, the Hubs and I could hear the chatter of our OS rehearsing their own Iron Gym commercial. See for yourself and then you’ll know just one more reason why I am going to miss my big boy and all the wacky things the three of them do together.

Crazy Christmas Cookie Time

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And my sisters have an annual tradition in addition to our Christmas Pickle video…

After my sister Lorri arrives from Chicago, the three of us along with other important members of the family, this year being Rachel’s Christmas video debut, we make Christmas cookies. Last year Aaron made a video about it and it was so cool, he’s now the honorary videographer.

Denise was the brains behind the “story” and I will say on behalf of myself, at the risk of stating the obvious, my acting is very natural! We are not a perfect family but it’s moments like this that make me overjoyed to be a part of this clan!

The Christmas Pickle Video 2009

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It has been a family tradition for many years. The day after Thanksgiving, we decorate our Christmas trees. Then when we are done, the Hubs and I dismiss our OS into another room and we continue another family tradition, the Hubs and I hide the Christmas pickle ornament somewhere on the tree. I’m not sure if the Christmas pickle is a Southern thing but we’ve been doing it since we moved here.

You might think that my OS are too old for such shenanigans, that they are too mature, too busy, too manly to engage in this family tradition. But you would be wrong. Very wrong. This year to our surprise, a new OS became the vanquisher and someone very shocking came in last place.

We give each OS an inexpensive gift for finding the pickle. Even at 19, 15 and 13 years old, they still expect a present. When one OS finds the pickle, he is automatically eliminated from the next round. I’m really making this sound more complicated than it is…

Hope you enjoy! Special shout out to middle OS Aaron for making what was now become another family tradition…a Christmas pickle video! And if you’re a glutton for punishment, check this out