Saturday, July 31, 2010

proverbs 31:10

An excellent wife, who can find?For her worth is far above jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.
She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight.
She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar.
She rises also while it is still night And gives food to her household And portions to her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength And makes her arms strong.
She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night.
She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hands grasp the spindle.
She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen
Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.
She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying
Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.

Friday, July 30, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

the Porters go green!

Align Center
This past weekend, after thinking about it for months,
we finally got a composter(the turn-y kind from Sam's Club):
and a rain barrel:
Incidentally, we just got this set up before the storm the other night and by morning the overflow hose was shooting water out onto the ground!(it's a 50 gallon barrel)- wow, that's a lot of water! Now I want one under every gutter and I would never have to use the tap to water our yard again! I know this one isn't very "pretty" but it's in the back and it was on sale at Menards for $55(reg. $70)- and it gets really great ratings. The more attractive ones are about $200 and you have to order them online. I might consider this next summer to put one in the front on the side of the house(where people will see it). I thought this would be a good starter one for us. I never in a million years thought it could fill up that fast(considering it didn't really start raining until 4 in the am that night and John saw it overflowing at 7ish! Crazy!

for Nonna{grandma in Italian}

Love, Mary Beth :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

oh what a night...{nights}

(picture taken by Craig Gerlach for the Fargo Forum)

Last night was CRAZY! We were awoken out of a dead sleep at 1:30am to the sound of the tornado siren going off. Then we ran down to check the tv(1 of the 3 channels we get with rabbit ears) and they said the worst part of the storm was heading toward downtown Fargo and get in the basement. But I didn't want to wake the kids! I decided we better be safe than sorry so down we all went(MB was delirious) and meanwhile... nothing happened. Just some lightening. I wouldn't say I was disappointed exactly... but SOMETHING to justify waking us all up and ruining a perfectly lovely night's sleep would have been nice. Jeez.
THEN at 4ish a BIG storm came through(just a thunderstorm, no tornado warning) and it would have been fine EXCEPT it eventually knocked out the power so my box fan that blows right on me from the window sill and saves me from from death by heat stroke each night- turned off. (side note: the air conditioning refuses to make an appearance in our bedroom so even though it was on and all the kids were comfy- it was still 106 degrees in our room) Then after I managed to fall back asleep MB showed up to let me know that the power was indeed off in her room too. Thank you peanut! Then the thunder was SO loud without my fan to drown it out that I had to shut my window. This resulted in my room changing temperature to 135 degrees with a humidity of 100%. I tossed and turned for the next 2 hours, sweating and hallucinating until John's alarm(battery powered) went off 3 times(pet peeve) and I mumbled something about not leaving me there with a bunch of rancid food to deal with from the warm fridge. He ignored my "lunacy", per usual, and went to get ready for work. The power came on an hour later and my fan sent me back into a happy nap. Best night EVER. And by best I mean worst.

And now for tonight. Here's what we did- Applebees-yum! thanks again Amber!- (she gave us a $25 coupon/voucher thing) and then off to Target for this...

Now, I went to Target with the whole fam(mistake number 1) and was armed with 8 million coupons(mistake #2) with the expectation that since all of them were legit everything would work out perfectly at the register(mistake #3). I even split the stuff up between me and John so that there would be less to keep track of(mistake #4). Low and behold- it was agonizing going through all 44 of MY coupons with my cashier(I LOVE how Target puts out their own coupons but then their register always beeps when you use them) and then when I checked John's receipt I found a $3.50 coupon didn't come off and that turned into a 1/2 hour fiasco... Needless to say John and the kids were not happy campers and I'm vowing once again not to do that
1. with them and 2. using so many coupons at once. Oh well, all and all it turned out ok since I got all of that for $20 and I saved $100 in coupons. In case you are curious, that's: 8 boxes of kashi granola bars, 4 juice box packs, 3 bags of bare naked granola, 4 jugs of yogurt, 3 packs of pens, 2 packs of boys socks, 2 dishwasher Finish kits, 4 bagel bites(for John), 4 ritz cracker thing-ys, 4 cans of soup, 4 sobee waters, 5 pudding packs(occasional treats for lunch boxes), 4 willy wonka bars(free so what the heck- there might be a golden ticket inside!!), 3 diced peaches packs(treats again), 1 pack of markers for MB, and a partridge and a pear tree. Not too shabby I guess.
Now I'm off to lay in front of my fan and watch a couple more episodes of the Tudors- I'm obsessed!
Boy, this was a long post. Sorry. Good night everyone.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

in the fairy garden

The kids and I put together a fairy garden this year- something I had wanted to do for a long time. It's so adorable! They are always adding things to it and sprucing it up... Mary Beth always makes sure the fairies have their tea party table all set up and clean.

a new beach

We have finally checked out Buffalo River beach and we love it. The kids want to go back every day. And that is fine with me- as long as it's not on a Saturday or Sunday. We were warned but we thought yeah right, how busy could it really be?? BUSY.

We found a tiny area on the sand to squeeze into and the kids promptly got into the pond/watering hole/teeny tiny lake- whatever it was- and spent the whole afternoon in there. They said it was very warm(I suppose it would be since the mass of water was astonishingly small.

It was difficult for the kids to work on anything in the sand because apparently this gang of beach ruffians thought the entire stretch of shoreline belonged to them. They would come over and throw our toys out of the way and carve out additions to their 3 mile series of canals and various waterways. I stood an inch from them- nothing. I glared at them with my missy glare- nothing. So then I had to yell at them not to touch my kids' toys and castles- they glared at me and moved 2 feet down. Kids today...

As usual, I was the only one bothered and the kids and John just had the time of their life. John says I worry and obsess too much?!?!?!?!?! I have no idea what he means by that.

Look at this little cutie.

Here's one of the smaller ponds the thugs dug up. Jeffrey tried to take possession.

Not many pictures of Mickey- he was way out in the middle of the water for most of the day. We think we like the concept and temperature better than Detroit Lakes plus it's closer. Now, just as long as the no one else is there on the same day as us I'll be fine. :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

{this moment}

a friday ritual (inspired by soulemama) a single photo capturing a moment from the week. a simple, special, extraordinary moment. a moment to pause, savor and remember. if you're inspired to do the same, share a link to your 'moment' in the comments!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"my new 'merican girl"

meet mary beth's new "merican girl" Lanie. she is also (according to mary beth) suzie's(her bitty baby) big sister.
while we were in chicago my mom surprised mb and julia by telling them they would be able to go to the big american girl store and pick out their own big american girl. the girls were so excited!
we kind of thought mb would pick out one of the historic girls but she insisted she wanted one that looked like her. but she also loved the new girl lanie- so she got the doll that looked like herself and then named her lanie and we got some of lanie's clothes and accessories to go with her. julia picked the real lanie.

mb said "i finally get the big bag!"(shopping bag)- I think it was bigger than her...
so jeffrey offered to hold it and she held a smaller one. i think jeffrey was just as excited as mb was! he kept helping and smiling and talking about her new doll. he's so sweet- i think he just really feels great joy and happiness when mary beth is happy. he rarely ever acts jealous.
here are the girls with their new dolls- they were so thankful and smiley. it was a fun memory for everyone. thank you again mom for getting mb her special doll- she shows and tells everyone that comes to the house about it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

{this moment}

a friday ritual (inspired by soulemama) a single photo capturing a moment from the week. a simple, special, extraordinary moment. a moment to pause, savor and remember. if you're inspired to do the same, share a link to your 'moment' in the comments!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

rock painting

Yesterday the kids each painted one of my garden rocks to add some art to our yard. :) They got to choose where they placed them and now when I'm watering or weeding I get to see I little piece of their artwork in my gardens!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

puddle jumping

Yesterday it rained all morning and then when the sun came out the kids put on their rainboots and went out to jump in the puddles. They could only find 3 near our house but that was plenty for them to have tons of splashy fun!

Then last night there were SEVERE thunderstorms and tornados in surrounding areas! But the sun is shining today and the kids are busy doing projects and playing in the muddy yard. :) I'm working on cleaning out the loft above the garage to make way for my new "studio"! I'm so excited- I'll keep you updated on the progress.
It feels so good to be rid of all the extra "stuff" we had up there- the yard sale last weekend was a HUGE success! I broke my record BIG TIME(as Mickey would say)- $1700!!!!(that should take care of Mickey's retainer- hooray!) I told everyone that it does pay to be a hoarder! :)haha We donated the leftovers to good-will and now I'm organizing the rest of our storage. NOT fun but necessary. Have a wonderful summer day...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

which eggs should we buy?

I refuse to buy the regular eggs from the grocery store after seeing and reading about where they come from. But there are also "cage-free", "natural", "free-range", ect.- it's pretty confusing! There has been some debate lately as to what all those different labels mean and if it's worth it to buy organic eggs. I just found this article that really helped clear things up and I thought maybe some of you might be interested in reading it too.

Monday, July 12, 2010

yesterday and today

here's what we did yesterday:

and here's what I did today:
made the yummiest, moistest, 100% whole wheat bread in my $10 yard sale bread machine
it was my first time trying the machine out and I used a recipe I found online and tweaked it a bit. I was really nervous it wouldn't turn out because: 1. i'd never used a breadmaker before
2. i'd never made whole wheat bread before and heard it can turn out really dense
3. i changed some stuff in the recipe
(used almond milk instead of milk powder and honey instead of sugar) &
4. i didn't have a thermometer to check how warm the almond milk was
but, despite all of this it turned out AMAZING! i am going to have to make a loaf everyday now to keep up with how fast we go through it but it's so quick and easy that it will be no problem!
now i won't have to buy bread anymore and we will have healthier, tastier bread to eat!
let me know if anyone wants the recipe and i'll post it.
Now I'm getting ready to make Pioneer Woman's Baked Lemon Pasta and a side salad with lettuce from my garden- I'll let you know how it turns out.

Friday, July 9, 2010

{this moment}

a friday ritual (inspired by soulemama) a single photo capturing a moment from the week. a simple, special, extraordinary moment. a moment to pause, savor and remember. if you're inspired to do the same, share a link to your 'moment' in the comments!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July 2010

red, white, and blue outfits and patriotic pancakes
mary beth has had this dress for months and has been DYING to wear it

this little turtle is their favorite "fireworks"
it runs around on wheels and shoots out smoke and sparks
this provides great enjoyment for the kids
all of these are illegal in the city. we live in the city. {rebels}
picking out what to light up next...
mary beth was getting ready to swim. hence the goggles.
mickey got a retainer this week- neon, glow-in-dark green. he loves it.
when I ask him if it hurts he says "yes, but it's supposed to!"

this was the first half of the day- i'll share the rest tomorrow.
hope everyone had a wonderful 4th!