Monday, June 30, 2008

Feliz cumpleaƱos!!

Today is my favorite sister's birthday.

Rene, we'll celebrate when you get back in the States. In the meantime, I hope your day is special!

Upon Tasting a Cookie

Master Munchkin, upon tasting a chocolate meringue cookie for the first time.

"These cookies are sooo good! I love them with all my heart and soul and liver and brain."

Sunday, June 29, 2008


We had a little surprise party for Miss Munchkin yesterday. She is turning 14 and will be out of town on her birthday, so the Big Mister lured her out of the house for a few hours while Miss Munchkin's sweet friends sneaked over to help decorate.

When Master Munchkin sounded the alarm, the girls took cover.

There were hot dogs and s'mores over the campfire, silly movies and lots of giggles.

Happy Birthday Miss Munchkin.
You can stop growing up so fast, you know.

Friday, June 27, 2008

All the Beauty

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.
Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl, 1952

Easy Gourmet Summer Salad

During our recent Road Trip, Miss Munchkin and I had lunch together at a fancy restaurant. The food was divine! The salad I ordered was simple, but incredibly fresh and tasty. I studied it between bites, so I could reproduce it at home. This is the perfect thing to throw together to treat your girlfriends or impress your mother-in-law.

Gather these ingredients (or ones very much like them) and combine:

Toss and serve.

See, wasn't that easy?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Piece of News

The Munchkins and I passed our martial arts belt tests last night. We had to escape various chokes, hair grabs and headlocks, perform specific punch/kick combinations, and do defensive blocks, parries and covers. In addition, The Master had to demonstrate his "Forms", which are specific combinations of punches, kicks and blocks. Miss Munchkin got kudos for her high kicks (she can kick over her head!).

Miss M and I received our Purple belts in class and the Master will get his Orange belt at an official ceremony later this week. I'm just glad I passed - I feel like I have to be one of the most unathletic people who has ever entered the dojo!

Next week Miss Munchkin and I will join the scary Advanced class (the one with all of the upper belts). You all can pray for me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Belt Test

Tonight is Belt Testing. Miss Munchkin and I will be going for our Purple; the Master, his Orange. In honor of the event, I have created a little Wordle.

(Since it is rather little, you can click on the box below to enlarge)

What! You too?

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Some Help from my Corner

You may already know that I am trying to get fit and somewhat not-fat before I reach forty. This week I received my latest cholesterol test results. The overall number went from 245 to 220; That is still high, but I'm heading in the right direction. Honestly, I was disappointed that it wasn't normal. I have been exercising 5 days a week, eating fairly healthy (hey, I gave up butter!) and have lost almost 20 pounds.

My next goal, becoming a Lightweight, is now within reach. I've been teetering near it for awhile, but with a little encouragement from my Corner (you, dear readers), I might actually make it. I have about 2 1/2 lbs to go.

Go MrsMama - you can do it! Oh wait - that's your line. :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sights from the Back Seat

Sometime during our recent 16 hour drive, Miss Munchkin found my camera and started shooting. I think she got some pretty good photos, considering that that she was taking them through a dirty window of a van that was going 70 mph!

What To Do

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

J. R. R. Tolkien The Fellowship of the Ring

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Praise Indeed

My grandparents are pretty amazing.

1. They have been married 69 years.
2. They have visited 49/50 States in America.
3. My grandfather survived a seven-way valve bypass on his heart.
4. My grandmother once saved my grandfather's life by breathing for him until help arrived.
5. My grandfather could pick up the front of a car. Any car.
6. My grandfather has driven over 1 million miles.
7. My grandfather once scared away a grizzly bear by clapping his hands and walking towards it.
8. At age 90, my grandfather does push-ups, leg lifts, hand grips and 100 petals on a bike daily (even though he's in a wheelchair).
9. My grandparents played ping pong regularly into their 70s.
10. I've never heard them raise their voices - to me or to each other.
11. They built their home by hand 50 years ago and are still living in it today.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Beginning of the End

We are reaching the beginning of the end of our Road Trip. I sure will miss the magical fairy maids who come and clean our room whenever we are away. I will miss visiting with my grandparents. I will miss not having to cook. I will not miss late bedtimes, single parenting and fast food.

1930's Wife

Here is an interesting quiz from the 1930's. I have never given my husband a shampoo or manicure but I do let him sleep in on Sundays and holidays. :)


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


For the Munchkins, one of the highlights of our trip has been the chance to explore various nooks and crannies in my grandparent's house. We're talking crawlspaces, under-the-attic eves, "trap doors" and musty, dusty storage closets. Master Munchkin was thrilled to discover my father's childhood knife, cap gun and slingshot. The toy gun was so sturdy and well-made that I had to double check and make sure it wasn't real!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Five Generations

This photo represents five generations of my family. Me, my grandmother, my father, my son, and the grave of my grandmother's parents (Master Munchkin's great, great grandparents!).


My grandmother gazes at the pond that she fell into 81 years ago. She was walking to school in the winter, slipped and fell through the ice. The water was up to her neck and she remembers seeing her lunch pail floating next to her. A friend helped her out. My grandmother was only 7.

Here is Master Munchkin (also age 7) reenacting the event:

Notice the small black object he is clutching in his hand; it is an all-purpose handy-dandy pocket tool. If he fell through the ice, at least he could hack his way free. The Master is clever like that.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.

C. S. Lewis

Monday, June 16, 2008


Today we stopped by a local farmer's stand and bought some garden-fresh, red ripe strawberries. Once we got home, my grandmother whipped up a strawberry shortcake and (drool) we had it for dinner.

Rene, I almost saved you a bite, but you know how sensitive Grandma is. I didn't want to hurt her feelings by not cleaning my plate so I reluctantly finished mine. And Master Munchkin's. :)

Comfort Indeed

The Munchkins and I are on a road trip. Yesterday brought 15 hours crammed in the car, a late night drive though a raging thunderstorm and more than a few thinly-stretched nerves.

This morning brought fragrant hot coffee, thick white towels after a hot shower and high speed internet. How did people travel even a hundred years ago? I can't imagine sheltering in a covered wagon after a jarring day's ride, eating cornmeal mush over a campfire and swatting mosquitoes though the night. Can you tell that I am feeling grateful today? :)

Too True

It's a job that's never started that takes the longest to finish.
J. R. R. Tolkien

What are you putting off today?

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies.

Charles E. Jefferson (1860 - 1937)

What are you grateful for today?

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.

C. S. Lewis

Friday, June 13, 2008


I'm getting ready for a road trip so it may be a bit sparse around here the next few days.

What are your favorite take-alongs for a road trip? (snacks, audiobooks, etc.)

Fond of Fonts

I am fond of fonts. Perhaps it's because my own handwriting is so bad creative, but I love seeing the intricate swirls and nuisances that lend character to an ordinary script.

Here are some beautiful fonts that can be downloaded for free, including a gorgeous Jane Austen font. The artist uses authentic, old documents for inspiration and I think the results are timeless and elegant.

And for Lord of the Ring fans, here is a ubercool Tolkien font.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Inspection, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

Our orchard is coming along nicely this year. We have 2 apple trees, 2 pear trees and one little cherry tree. As of this week, I've only seen fruit on the apple trees and 1 of the pear trees but I'm thrilled; Last year a late frost killed all of the blossoms and we didn't have any fruit. I am really looking forward to apple pie and apple crisp this Fall!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


., originally uploaded by MrsMama.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fowl Play

This morning we stopped by one of our favorite local places - an arboretum featuring several ponds, lovely bike paths and gorgeous landscaping. I left the Master happily playing by a little waterfall while I jogged around the path. I could see him racing tiny bits of wood (boats) over the rocks as I ran nearby. At one point he flagged me down and pointed to a blue heron that was wading nearby. Amazing!

As I jogged, I passed other mothers chatting with each other, pushing stollers and watching wobbly preschoolers balance on their training wheels. Eventually all the kids ended up by the pond, watching a family of geese. By this time, my child had finished racing boats over the waterfall and was standing up to his knees in the pond, feeding the geese muddy plants that he was scooping from the murky depths. The other mothers looked around in horror, wondering where the mother was that would let her boy do that. Some of their boys wanted to join in, but were promptly called back and quickly herded towards the safety of the sidewalk.

By the time we left, Master Munchkin was wet, happy, muddy and full of stories of his adventures. I was sweaty, and wishing I had brought my camera. Ah well, there's always next time.

Purple Pause

Miss Munchkin and I are testing for our purple belts in martial arts class at the end of this month. The test itself won't be too hard, but I'm a little nervous about what comes after. You see, the purple belts attend the Advanced class, which includes all of the upper belts - even the black belts! I am totally slightly intimidated by those guys (and girls). I've seen them grappling on the ground, doing crazy jump kicks and tossing each other to the mat. What the heck am I getting into!? Actually, the groundwork looks kinda fun and I guess it will come in handy to be able to take the Munchkins down (tackle - you're not going anywhere until your room is clean!), but gravity is not my friend and I don't know if I can ever do those jumps. Ugh.

Note: unlike the photo above, in our school the purple belts come after orange - so I'm still kinda the new kid on the block. And there are a bunch of stripes that come once you reach red and brown, so that black belt is still far, far away...

My kickboxing class is going to be offering a Fight Class - where you actually wear sparring gear and learn how to kickbox on, well, each other. I think I'm going to sign up so you'll hear more about that in a few weeks.

Monday, June 09, 2008


They're back.

Every summer, tiny evil creatures emerge from the yard and try to hold us captive in our house. Our only defense is to tuck our socks over our pantlegs, stuff our shirts into our pants and douse ourselves in bugspray. It's not pretty. If you leave the house unprotected, they will scamper up your legs, find your most vulnerable parts and dig in. The aftermath is almost unbearable - just one bite brings an insane itch that will drive you to distraction and will keep you awake at night, scratching until your skin dissolves into bloody shreds protests.

I speak from experience. Once, I had over 80 bites on my body at the same time.

Of course, I am talking about Chiggers.

If you live in the Midwest, you know what they are. If you don't, stop and offer up a prayer of thanksgiving. No, really - do it. (scratch scratch) Now.

Next week, I am visiting Ohio, where there are no chiggers. I can't wait to sit in the grass again and not be afraid. Until then, I'm going to spend some quality time indoors.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Politeness is the art of choosing among your thoughts.
- Madame de Stael, writer (1766-1817)

I would probably amend this quote to say: choosing wisely. It would definitely not be considered polite to share some of the choice thoughts that I have occasionally! See Open Mouth, Insert Foot.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Who Would Win?

Batman Vs Superman - two guys near and dear to Master Munchkin's heart.

Who do you think would win?

Friday, June 06, 2008


Details, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

I love the contrast in textures between the brick and the weathered wood on this old barn door. When I saw the wandering vine and the vivid color, I was smitten and absolutely had to take a picture.

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.

Thursday, June 05, 2008



A few minutes ago, a feeble voice came from the living room. I pried myself from the computer and went to see what Master Munchkin wanted.

"Will you hand me the remote?" He had just woken up and staggered sleepily to the couch.

"What's wrong?", I glanced at the remote control for the TV, which was sitting about 16 inches from his hand.

"My hands are asleep."

"Pfffft! You know, when I was a kid, we didn't even have remotes. We had to get up and actually walk across the room to change the channel."

His eyes widened with horror and disbelief.

"That's terrible," he whispered.

Come to think about it, when I was a kid, I didn't have a computer. Or the internet. That's a bit unthinkable to me. I wonder what Master Munchkin's children will grow up with that they couldn't image living without.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Silent Gratitude

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
-Gladys Browyn Stern, writer (1890-1973)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Fight Like a Girl

My Kickboxing instructor is a very nice, soft spoken mother of two.

Oh, and she can do this:

How cool is that?!

Monday, June 02, 2008

It's Official

Last week I started Physical Therapy for my right arm. I officially have "Tennis Elbow", but mine is a result of boxing (and maybe repetitive cookie eating). I am wearing a wrist brace, which keeps me from putting extra tension on the damaged tendons in my arm, and am under strict orders not to punch with it or do push ups. For now, we are treating it with a combination of stretches, massage, ultrasound and moist heat. I am still going to Martial Arts classes, but I took a few weeks off of Kickboxing. I just started back and I can't tell you how much I hate not being able to throw my right cross!