Friday, February 25, 2011


Yesterday a good friend and extended family member of ours... lost his Dad.

When you hear news like that your mind starts to spiral out of control with how, when, and for me... what if's?!
You start to think of the families involved.... the wife, the children, and the grandchildren. The memories that they made with that person and more sadly... the memories they will never get to make.... and all because a life was cut short.

But more than anything when you hear news like this... your heart just breaks and makes you ask the question... "What if this had happened to me?" "What if it was my family going through this tragedy?"

I have never been good with death... nor have I had to face it that often.... and for that I am thankful! But again... my heart just feels so heavy for the Smethurst family today.

So hear I sit not knowing what to say but wanting to let that family know how truly, truly sorry we are for their loss.
The loss of a father and best friend can not be easy. I can't even begin to imagine what that feels like.

Mainly I just want to lift that family up in prayer today in hopes that God will give them the peace to walk through this, the comfort to cling to Him when they think they can't go on another day with this hurt, and the strength to know that each day will get better.

I am humbly reminded how thankful I am for each and every day I spend with my parents, my family, my husband, and my children.

With deepest sympathies to the Smethurst family.


"God gives, God takes. God's name be ever blessed."
Job 1:21

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Creativity... a 10!

Ladies, ladies... let me tell you... I am one lucky gal!

My Loren is probably the most perfect hubby there ever was!
Yes he makes messes and doesn't clean them up, loses his temper at times, and can lack a fire under his butt.... but all in all he is just a peach! - (literally, I got a word from a pastor once that really didn't know me and had never even met Loren, she really did say he was "a peach!")

Anyways, when it comes to things that matter he is top notch and really knows how to treat a lady! And when it comes to the little things... well, he is gettin' better!

Just check this out!

When I rolled out of bed this morning... this is what I saw on the wall next to my bed side table!

A collage of my favorite men with the cutest notes that read...

"I bet you never thought you'd wake up next to one of these hunks!" - "Not one of us compares to you"

Hahaha! How stinkin' cute and not to mention.... creative!
After being in each others lives for 9 years, married for almost 5, 2 kids and 1 dog later... you really have to be creative with fun new ways to remind each other of your love!

And my honey did a super great job of it this morning!

Thanks Babe!
You're the best!

I can only hope when Greta grows up she marries someone just like her Daddy!
And when Tuck gets bigger I hope he knows what steps to follow in!

Hope you all are havin' a good week! - Now go do something creative to remind your loved one's just how much you really care about them!

Chat later,


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Snow Day!!!

When I look back to when I was little, I remember that feeling sitting in front of the tv in my jammies, hoping, praying, and anxiously awaiting our school to call a snow day!
However, here in Minnesota we know how to handle our fair share of snow... so it didn't usually happen!

There was nothing better than assuming you would be spending your day in school and then... BAM, your whole day changed!

Well, that was my day yesterday!
And let me tell you... snow days as an adult are just as good as snow days as a kid!

7:38 am - Gramps calls me to tell me the snow storm was pretty bad, the roads are terrible, and he thinks there is no reason to come in and open up the shop! - NICE!

All of a sudden my day took on a whole new plan! I no longer had to work...

Well it just so happened that months and months prior... Grandma Janel had continually promised Greta that when she finally became fully potty trained she would take her to Chuck E Cheese to celebrate!
The day had come... G was potty trained and Grammy didn't have to work... so it was set in stone... Monday they would go to Chuck E Cheese!

When I heard the plan last week, I'll have to admit I was a little bummed I couldn't go...
then BAM!
I get something more precious than gold.... a snow day!

Turns out, fate would have it that I was able to go to Chuck E Cheese and help fulfill Grandma's promise.... Celebrating Greta being potty trained!

Here is a look at how I spent my glorious snow day....

The newly potty trained Greta and her favorite mouse... Chuck E Cheese!
Greta's face is a tad weird... but both babes were beyond excited to be at Chuck E Cheese!
They loved the rides and rode them for hours....

All smiles and loving our mini celebration for his big sis!
Me and my big girl!
They even got to meet Chuck E Cheese himself and dance around shakin' their maraca's!
Then Chuck E Cheese gathered all the kids together for a little dance and a storm of free TICKETS! There's Greta... ready to catch any tickets that fell her way!
We had so much fun!

The babes were able to run around, play games, go on some rides, win tickets, eat pizza, and all in all... just have a really great day!

I am so thankful for my snow day and that I was able to share in a wonderful day celebrating an accomplishment with my not so little... little girl!

And to think... I would have missed all of that if it wasn't for a snow storm that brought us 10 inches of snow!

Way to go Greta!

And thank you Jesus for snow days!

Chat later,


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Greta says...

I recently got a t-shirt from my friend Jamie that looks similar to this...

for my birthday!

I love the shirt! I think it is so fun!

Dirty Dancing is one of my all time favorite movies... so I wear the shirt proudly!

Well, when I was wearing it the other night Greta says to me....

G: "Mommy what is that on your shirt"

Mommy: "It's a shirt about a movie!"

G: "What movie?"

Mommy: "My favorite movie.... Dirty Dancing!"

G: "I like dancing!"

Mommy: "I know you do... and you're a very good dancer!"

G: "I want to go dirty dancing with Jack!"

Mommy: "OH really?!"

G: "Yes, and you should go dirty dancing with Daddy!"

Some of the conversations I have with this girl just about cracks me up!

She is so funny and so witty and says the most completely innocent things at the most uncanny times!
Having conversations with my little G makes me realize what a grown up she is becoming!

Pretty sure this girl will be one of my best friends when she grows up!

I couldn't have asked for a sweeter, funnier, little version of me!

I know we'll butt heads, because we already do, but boy do I love those innocently funny conversations with my baby girl! :)

Well, here's to a great movie and a little dancing... dirty or not!

How about your babes? Said anything crazy funny lately?!

Chat later,


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day - and my 100th Post!

How fun that my 100th post falls on Valentine's Day!

Well hip hip hooray for 100 posts!
It has taken me a little while to work up to that mark but I am so excited that I have a mix of 100 tidbits, memories, letters to my babes, recipes, crafts, and random things all documented! - too fun!

That is the main reason I love to blog!

Anyways.... onto Valentine's Day!

So today is of course a big commercialized holiday all about love! And although some don't like it or some don't care... it is still a day about love... and in my opinion love is something to be celebrated big or small!

So, you all know this guy and how totally smitten I am with him....

I really don't want to brag or go mushy on you... you all know how I feel about him! lol
(but if you're looking for a little somethin' lovey dovey to read, you can check out this post, which was one of my favs!)

No Loren and I don't do huge Valentine's Day things.... of course we did when we were younger and had all the free time and money in the world! ... since those days we have had children and life set in. So all though we don't do a big "ta-do" we like to atleast do a little something special to make sure one another knows they are loved.

I also like to celebrate Valentine's Day with my babes! I think it is fun to let the kids in on some little traditions so that they can share in the fun of celebrating love!

With that being said, we all as a family baked up a little Valentine's Day treat over the weekend and that is what I wanted to share on today's post!

I have loved a blog called Bakerella for awhile now and can remember way back in the day when she whipped up a recipe and called them Cake Balls! Well now she is a big time famous blogger with a book... called Cake Pops and my mother in law just happened to buy it for me for my birthday!

So over the weekend that is the treat we set out to make!
(if you want the recipe... here is the one that I roughly followed.)

I started out with these general ingredients & my new book of course! ....

Pretty much you bake a cake....

Quarter it and rub it together till it crumbles and you are left with a whole cake that looks like this....

Then mix in some frosting (I did red for Vday) and roll your cake and frosting mixture into little balls... cake balls...

Careful because colored frosting can stain your hands....

Put the cake balls onto a sheet lined with wax paper and let them cool really well...

Once they are cooled you can start rolling them or covering them in chocolate! We used chocolate & white chocolate almond bark. The book uses candy melts...

I rolled them and the babes decorated them with tons and TONS of sprinkles....

Then grandma and I decorated our own grown up batch...

Don't they look delicious?! Cake and frosting rolled into a ball and covered with chocolate! What's not to love?!

They looked too cute in our little cupcake liners and decorative toothpicks!

So cute and so yummy! Like little truffles or bon bons!

It was a fun little Valentine's Day treat that the whole fam got to make!

It is a bummer that Valentine's Day falls on a Monday this year... my most busy with work and all... but I still wanted to make and do a little something special!

The main goal is that I hope that my hubby and wonderful babes know just how much they are loved!

Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day!



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

She's Got This!

This day has been a long time in the making and I just want to shout it from the roof tops.....

Woo hoo!!!

I can't believe it actually and finally happened!

Way back in February of last year... 2010, Greta had just turned two and so we thought it would be a good idea to just get her familiar with the potty chair to see how she would do.

It started out like this...

She sat on the potty but had no interest what so ever!
They say (and who "they" are I have no clue) that around two your child should be potty trained. So I was confused and nervous that G wasn't gettin' it.

She went through the spring and summer not caring about the potty at all and truthfully not wanting anything to do with it!

But then came fall... October to be exact... Greta was more curious about sitting on the potty. Well one day her sitting turned in to pushing out a teeny tiny little bit of pee! We were so excited that this was the first time she had officially peed on the potty!
I had a present on hand waiting for that moment and so of course we made a big deal of it!

Here she is that very day, just shy of turning three, very excited she actually peed on the potty!

But needless to say... after that day, she reverted right back to not wanting anything to do with the potty! She actually after that point almost became afraid of the potty and didn't even want to sit on it!

With multiple jobs, another babe, a life, and a house to tend to... I decide not to push her in fear that I would scare her! I just hoped and prayed that one day she would get it! So for the time being I left it alone.

Now that brings us up to speed to about three weeks ago!

We decided it was finally time for us to start gently nudging Greta in the direction of the potty! Her Auntie (which is also our nanny) had just had a baby and left for maternity leave and I was bound and determined that Jes would only have to be changing 2 butts when she came back to work... not 3!

So with that being said we set out on potty training - for real this time!

Three weeks ago - week one - is when we put her in her underpants on my days home and just let her wonder around the house. I was asking her constantly as a reminder if she had to go potty. There were multiple accidents, some tears shed, and multiple diapers still being worn. But in the midst of all that there was some success. So we took it with a grain of salt and kept moving forward!

Two weeks ago - week two - this is when Greta started to realize we were not giving up this time and that using the potty was going to become her new reality.
So, like any 3 year old (that is like her Mommy).... Greta threw a fit and revolted! That week there were a lot of tears, a lot of fits, and a lot of diapers! It was as if we had taken ANOTHER step back! I didn't get it and was so frustrated! I thought about giving up... but my calm hubby reminded me that that was not an option this time! We just needed to take a step back and start the new week with a fresh out look and a fresh hope!

As of this week - week three - that mind set totally worked! It's like I have a brand new little girl! It's like it finally just clicked!!! Greta totally gets it!
She pees in the potty ALL OF THE TIME! And not to be super graphic... but poops too!
You don't have to remind her or coax her at all! She will just walk up to me and say...
"Mommy, I have to go potty."

Wow! What a total change a week makes!
She is all of a sudden so big and grown up looking to me....

... and not to mention the cutest thing I have ever laid my eyes on!

All Greta needed was time!
She needed to learn to use the potty when she was ready.
She didn't do it when "they" said she would... she did it when she said she would.

It was actually a very valuable parenting lesson I will have to remember and take forward with me.

The one thing I've learned about my daughter... is she is not one to follow any one's time line but her own! And that is ok with me. That is what makes Greta... Greta!

So, Ms. Greta Janel Appleberry...
Welcome to the diaper free world of big girls!!!
Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you and this milestone in your life! I know we will share many more with you... but for right now... this is huge and we are just so excited this day has finally come!
We love you and think you are beyond wonderful!

What a great success this has been to our household!

I am so very thankful there is only ONE butt to change in the Appleberry house!

Hope you're having a great week.

Chat later,


Oh, and P.S. - like the new look to the blog?!
I wanted to sass things up a bit with a little red for Valentine's Day!
And I even got some fun new buttons... on the right side over there. --->

Monday, February 7, 2011

Valentine Craft

Since Valentine's Day is coming up I thought it was only right that I do a post with a little Valentine Craft!
And you guys are gonna love this one! It's cheap and it's easy... only the 2 greatest things, right?!

To be honest with you... I don't even decorate for this holiday. I think maybe I would like to someday. But definitely not a big corny display of Valentine's crap, but more of a tasteful display... like a little touch here, or a little heart there! You know just a tad of pink and red!

So anyways, here is my take on just a little touch of Valentine love...

Really no instructions required! Just an inexpensive black frame...

...with some scrapbook paper mod podged onto the top of the glass and then some scrabble letters hot glued to the top of the paper!

I even made a second one with a little different take on it.

They actually turned out quite cute for such a simple idea! I did putts around with some different scrapbook paper for a little while but landed on this simple black and cream look!

(click on this picture so you can see them a little bigger - when the photo is enlarged they look better.)

The nice thing about these is that "technically" they don't have to be for Valentine's Day. They would look cute out all year round! I'm thinkin' our library table in the Master Bedroom might look good with one of these babies!

But regardless, I was feelin' the love and wanted to throw out a cute little idea for Valentine's Day.

So there ya' have it! Grab yourselves a cheap black frame (or any frame you have & paint it whatever color), some cute scrapbook paper of your choice, and dig around for some scrabble tiles! I realize you all may not have a stash of them like me... but you could easily use any of those cute sticker letters down the scrapbook aisle.... and that's it!

Let me know if you come up with a fun rendition of this for your own house... I'd love to see any of them!

Hope you all are having a decent Monday and gettin' back into the groove of the week!

Chat later,


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Things That Make Me Happy...

... building a fort with my babes on a Friday afternoon!

Blankets, pillows, a portable dvd player, apple juice, and some blueberries... all the makings of a great fort!!!

They were having so much fun that it kept them content long enough for Mommy to whip up a batch of cookies!

"Who wants to lick the beaters?"
These babes do!

Some days home with the babes are rough... other days are fun, relaxing, and just priceless!

I will add this fort to the list of things I loved about my birthday week!
Have a great weekend everyone!
I know I will! I have a birthday party to attend! Woo hoo!
Chat later,

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Random Facts:

Since I can't think of anything else to post about, I mean... it was my birthday yesterday, I thought I would ramble off
28 Random Facts About Me:

Here we go...

1. I was born the day of a terrile snow storm back in 1983 and snow has seemed to follow my birthday every single stinkin' year!

2. Every day, religiously, I use lotion immediately after getting out of the shower.
Jergen's Original Scent for every day use... Bath and Body Works Twilight Woods for special days, date nights, church, or get togethers.

3. The show Friends was and is the best show that has ever been on t.v.!

I own every season and watch them all the time. I start off with disc one, Season one and go clear through the entire run of the show to Season 10.
In 2010 I did it again and watched the entire run of the show... so as of January 1st I started back over and now am watching Season one for probably the 6th or 7th time!

4. My favorite cereal is a tie between Peanut Butter Captain Crunch or Cocoa Pebbles.
I know... totally not healthy... so sue me!

5. I love the smell of bleach.
I clean with it, wash with it, scrub just about any surface with it, I just love it!
NOTE - Fill both sides of your sink up with hot hot water and a splash of bleach in each side. Let that stand for roughly 30 minutes. Let out some of the water so you can take a rag, sponge, green scrubby, whatev, and scrub your sinks while the water/bleach is still in there. Drain the water... wipe out your sink... then take a little windex and wipe it down to make it shine!
Your sink will never look so good! ;)

6. Yesterday we had cupcakes and coffee for breakfast! It was my birthday... we got to splurge!
The babes loved it! - Oh and you see that sign on the table?! Yep, that was from Greta... she got me a "Lotso Bear" for my birthday.

7. Loren and I never took a honeymoon after our wedding.
It is sad, it is terrible, and one day... one day I tell you... I will remedy that! Mark my words... some day my hubby and I will get our long lost honeymoon! - I will be taking contributions as of tomorrow! LOL

8. My favorite color... the color that usually grabs my eye, is red! My favorite color to dress with is black. The color that always brings a smile to my face is a gorgeous creamy yellow. And the color I would love to incorporate more into my home is a light robins egg blue. I however do not like the color purple! And no, I am not talking about the movie.

9. I used to be 5' 9" and a half... but over the last year or so of doctors appointments I must have started to shrink because they keep saying I am a flat 5' 9" ?!?! Weird!

10. I love Nutella!

You can spread it on anything, bake with it, dunk stuff in it, or eat it plain by the spoonful! It is to die for! Next time you are at the store... you need to pick some up!
This recipe for Nutella Cupcakes looks amazing. Or make some of these for Valentines Day! Yum-O!

11. Sunday is my favorite day of the week!

12. I do all of my grocery shopping at Aldi!
With the small exception of buying some groceries at Target... but other than that it's all Aldi baby!
Taco Chips for 99 cents... check! Baby Carrots for 59 cents a bag... check! Eggs for $1.09... check! A girls gotta save, where a girls gotta save!

13. Speaking of saving... I box dye my hair. The color I use is Color Brilliance by Ion in Dark Brown. It's the liquid kind you mix half and half with developer and I get it at Sally's on the cheap!

14. This guy....

... is the BEST thing that ever happened to me!!!

15. I love coffee but only with cream.
If there is no cream and I have to drink it black... I will not drink it.

16. I hate scary movies!
Hate, hate, hate them! Ecspecially movies that mess with your mind... like with ghosts and spirits. Or movies that deal with scary little kids! Why would I want to watch a movie where there is some scary little girl standing at the foot of your bed...... when Greta comes and stands at the foot of our bed to wake us up in the morning some times! Agh, yikes!
Grandma Jan would say I don't need to fill my brain with that kind of stuff or those images and I agree 100%!

17. Some people's favorite food group is Mexican or Italian... mine is "breakfast!"
I love all things breakfast food! Eggs, bacon, pancakes, cinnamon rolls, orange juice, waffles, sausage, doughnuts, scones! Love it all!

18. Speaking of breakfast... the thing I order EVERY single time we eat at Denny's (or Denny's House as G likes to call it) is the Moons Over My Hammy.
All I have to say is De-lish!

19. Loren and I met on a chat site called "Just a Chat. com."
We were so not looking to find each other or even on there for dating purposes! I even went under the user name of "erickson83" to throw men off into thinking I was a girl. Good thing I did! - Loren thought I was a dude and started talking to me about cars and finding car parts for his old Galaxy!
After he wouldn't stop buggin' me... we chatted... 2 weeks later felt a connection so we talked on the phone.... 1 year later met in person.... another year later decided we couldn't live with out each other.... 2 years later we were married! And that is the story of how my southern boy became a Minnesotan!

20. When I was pregnant with Greta I loved McDonalds and Honeybuns. When I was pregnant with Tuck it was a gallon of milk with a straw in it and pickles... mainly drinking the juice after I finished off the jar of pickles themselves.

21. I have worked at Bennett Cooper Floors for 11 years!!!
But beside Bennett Cooper... I have worked at a flower shop, Prom Catering, delivered papers for the Star Tribune, sold wall decals for Uppercase Living, been a PCA (personal care assitant) for a quadriplegic, and a vendor for a home furnishings store!

22. My babes are better bowlers than me!

Seriously... they both got higher scores than their Mother! In my defense... they had bumpers and this ramp thing that was a shoe in for strikes and spares!!! Whatever, I'm over it! lol

23. My favorite current t.v. shoe is Modern Family! - so funny!

24. While we're on t.v. - Ellen is my favorite talk show host!
I think she is kind, and sweet, and funny, and a hilarious dancer! Her show just makes me smile.

25. My life and relationship with God has completely changed now that we have found Eaglebrook Church! We usually go Saturday nights for the 6:05 service and out of all 3 pastors my favorite is Bob Merritt, the head Pastor. Something about him and his way of teaching just grabs me!

26. I have a hard time sleeping if Loren and Walter aren't in bed with me.

27. Two of the best books I have ever read are...

This book is great for married couples! It really helps you understand your mate and how they need to be shown love... and same goes for yourself. Do you feel most loved when your hubby buys you a little gift? Does your husband know you love him when you put your love to action and help him out with a project or maybe when you just give him a hug?
Seriously... super good read!

And than this book...

Great if you have kids or so interesting if you just like to know how people work... or why you are they way you are!

28. I am so blessed!
And funny thing is... it's not because of anything I have done... it's all because my Father takes care of me!

...but I guess if you read this blog, you might have already known that about me! :)

Hope you all are having a great Wednesday!

Chat later,


Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I can hardly believe it... but today I am twenty eight years old!

How can this be?! How has time gone by so fast?!

It wasn't that long ago I remember singing "Jesus Loves Me" for my 5th grade talent show, or watching my Mom bring home my brand new baby brother Jacob, or having sleepovers with my best friend Adriann, or getting my license and driving the Corsica with no muffler, or spraying my hair red and cheering C A R - D I N - A L S! at our High School Football games, or chatting on the internet with some stranger, or driving 437 miles to meet him, or welcoming not one but two beautiful babies into this world!!!

My goodness how time flies!
Because, if I close my eyes and think back hard enough, I can vividly remember all of these wonderful moments in my life and feel like they just happened yesterday!
Time is strange like that I guess. Some things feel like they happened just yesterday but in the same sense feels like its been your whole life!

Take meeting my hubby for example! It feels like not very long ago that we just met! But can you believe I was 19 when I met him. That was 9 years ago! But on the other hand, I feel like I have known Loren my whole life! Or maybe it's just that life never really started or had this kind of meaning till I met him!

Who knows how time works or how it flies... all I know is time is a funny thing!

I have always said I think birthday's are a big deal! It is the one day out of the whole entire year that the world (or your world of friends and family) get to celebrate you! It's a day that you get to honor, cherish, and enjoy... because it is all yours! - a day for just you!

And so there it is... 28 years ago today at 3:03 pm my wonderful Momma brought me into the world. And just look at how that one life she created has changed and impacted so many things!
I'm not tootin' my own horn here because it is the same for every single one of you!
Look at the life you lead, the lives you have changed, the children you have bore, the relationships you have formed... that's your life... that's called your legacy!

I remember back in the days of JCP... Pastor Nate often asked us... "What kind of legacy are you leaving?!" And that question has always stuck with me.

And I hope after 28 years I have started to pave the way to leaving a great legacy for myself and my family. A legacy full of love, kindness, prayer, loyalty, blessings, home cookin' and big hair!!!
I'm still young (well kind of!) so I am super excited to see where life and my legacy leads me!

So I guess... if it's not too self indulgent...
Happy Birthday To Me!!!!!!!

I said today was going to be a great day and so far... it sure has!
I'd like to give a special shout out to my hubby who has made it a very special day so far! He knows how to make a birthday girl feel special... and for that I am greatful and so very blessed!

Here's to an amazing next year of life! May 28 be one of my best years yet!!!

Chat later,
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