Saturday, November 6, 2010

Days of Play--Cold, Hot Picnic Lunch

Is it chilly where you are?  We are having unseasonably warm weather here and it is delightful!

But I won't rub it in.

If your favorite picnic spot looks like this--don't despair.

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Sometimes the best thing we can do for our kids is surprise them!

So today, bundle up the family, pack a hot lunch and picnic outside!

Take soup in a thermos, crackers (enough to share with outside critters), and hot cocoa.

Eat quickly and discuss the steam rising off the food or have kiddos try to catch their "white breath."

The chill might take your breath away but this cold, hot lunch will be a memory maker.

Snow angels optional, but highly recommended.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Date Night In--Unplugged!

Confession:  I hate my husband's Blackberry.

Don't get me wrong, there are times when it is super handy to be able to be contacted all the times.  But there are times when it is down-right irritating to be "plugged in" to the world ALL THE TIME!

Who knew a little device could get me so jealous!?!

My intense dislike of beeping, texting, ringing ... while on dates with my man inspired this date and it's all about being UNPLUGGED!
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 You will need:
  • candles/flashlights
  • games/cards
  • drinks (wine, hot cocoa...)
  • s'more's fixin's
  • shower items
What to do:
  1. Send your husband a text, a phone message, and an e-mail inviting him on go "unplugged" at a certain time/date.  My invitation read:  Lovers remain in the dark, working hard to keep out daylight. *~Mason Cooley~*  You are invited to Intimacy: Unplugged.  Please join me on Friday evening for an evening of leisure and love.
  2. Light candles everywhere.  Tea lights/votives are very inexpensive so go all out!  If you have a fireplace, light it up!
  3. Turn off (I did not say--set to vibrate--I said turn off) EVERYTHING--phones, TVs, IPods, Wiis, DVDs ... Flip a breaker if you have to!
  4. Break out some card games and board games and spend some time talking and playing by candle light. 
  5. Make s'mores over your candles and feed them to each other.
  6. Have your husband relax while you get a shower ready.
  7. Light candles in the bathroom, set out fluffy towels and robes, get the water going to get the bathroom steamy.
  8. Take a long, hot shower together (I hate baths but insert bath here if you prefer).  Enjoy the steam, the quiet, the dark and each other.
  9. Well, for #9 you get to use your imagination.  A lady never talks ... :)

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

{Holiday} Things I Love: Christmas Cards (on a Grinch budget)

Can you believe it is already time to think about Christmas?

To usher in the holiday cheer that is Thanksgiving, fighting greedy Black Friday crowds, Christmas parades, cocoa, and merry-making, the next few Things I Love will be holiday themed.

First up--Christmas cards.  (I know you can technically wait until December 23rd to think about mailing your family card but why add all the stress?)

Before I had children I used to write out a cutesy family Christmas card, fold it, and mail it to relatives.  But then I had kids and the whole concept of typing a family greeting card to the tune of "You're a Mean One, Mister Grinch" baffled me.

Lucky for me--and you--Christmas cards have come a long way!

I'm a flat holiday photo card type of gal!  No folding!

I've tried several photo-card companies in the past and I must admit that I think the quantity of options and quality of product from Shutterfly is pretty darn unbeatable.

This season Shutterfly is offering a lot of retro-colors and patterns.  I'm totally digging the
reds/browns/greens. 
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I also LOVE that Shutterfly has flat stationary cards printed out on card stock.   Here are a few of my faves!
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Of course there is a selection of Christian Christmas cards, too!

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After mulling it over, I've decided that I *really* love the photo collages.  So it looks like the winner of the 2010 Kaufman family Christmas cards is (drum roll, please ....)

THIS ONE
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The warm, holiday colors (if you came to my house you would notice that I decorate in reds, blues, greens, and browns), the modern take on a scrapbook feel, the subtle mix of retro-traditional, and the use of a photo collage all made this particular style a real winner for me!

When it comes down to it, I love Shutterfly.  I love their selection of holiday cards, gifts (like calendars), and prices!

If you are ready to beat the holiday rush, may I suggest heading over to Shutterfly and picking out your card--TODAY (really, don't wait until the last minute.  You'll hate yourself if you wait until February to send Christmas cards.  I know.  I've been there).

Disclaimer: I received a promo code for free photo cards for writing this post. However, my review was my honest opinion and was not in any way influenced by receiving the free photo cards.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What I Think About--Annoying Christians {part II}

Our pastor has been doing a series called "Why Christians are Annoying."  He originally wanted to call the series "Why I Hate Christians" but decided that was too strong and out there (even for our modern church).

Can I just say I have NEVER been challenged by a series as much as I've been challenged by this one?  For the next few weeks I'll be sharing the ways in which our current series has convicted ME of being an annoying Christian.

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Gandhi said that he loved the Christ but hated Christians.

Sometimes I feel like more people would love and follow Jesus if it weren't for Christians.

My biggest pet-peeve concerning Christians?  Christians are so judgmental (for more on this see my Cannibal Christian post). Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you"--why don't Christians?

A few weeks ago Pastor Jeff led us through John 8:1-11 (which I also talk about in my Cannibal Christian post) and the "big question" was: "How do we stop throwing stones?"

1.  Care more about the person than we do our position. 

The Pharisees were willing to interrupt the ministry of Jesus to push their own selfish agenda.  They needed to be right--even if that meant sacrificing righteousness. 

Don't Christians do that all the time? 

We get so riled up about issues we forget the PEOPLE.  Whether the issue is abortion, gay marriage, or porn, we want OUR way to be the right way and we'll mow down anyone who gets in our way--this is not exactly the way to get people interested in knowing Jesus!

Christians I need a paradigm shift!

I loved Pastor Jeff's challenge:
What if we loved people instead of yelled at them.  Fasted FOR them instead of fought WITH them.  What if we got to KNOW them, instead of focusing on knowing how to GET them.
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2.  Remember who I am and who I used to be

When Jesus told the Pharisees that those who were without sin could cast the first stone, He was reminding everyone that they were sinners deserving of death.

Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  It doesn't matter what the sin is--because of our sin we deserve to die a sinner's death.

How quickly I forget my sins.

How quick I am to point out the sins of others (Matt, if you just "amened" that you could be in trouble).

When I reflect on how much transformation has taken part in my life and heart because of Jesus, I am humbled.  How can I not offer grace and love to others in response to the undeserved gift I received?

3.  Step away from them so they can step to Him.

When all of the Pharisees realized that they were sinners and stepped away, Jesus was left standing with the adulterous woman.   Jesus was with the woman--in her sin, in her shame.  He was with her.

Jesus is with those we oppose.  And when I throw stones at people, I'm throwing them at Jesus. YIKES!

Pastor Jeff stated:
I wonder if sometimes people can’t hear Jesus [be]cause all they can hear is us?  If they can’t see Jesus [be]cause all they see is us?
How often are Christians the reasons people refuse Christ?  How often am I the reason people refuse Christ?  Will I be accountable for the times my judgments keep people away from Christ?

I pray that my heart would be transformed--that I would be humbled before Jesus.  That I would be tender toward those with whom I disagree.

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What I think is that Christians can be judgmental. 

It's time for me to stop throwing stones.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday's Too Clean Tip--Toilets

There are few things in life more disgusting than going into the bathroom at a gas station.  (Except, of course, having to *clean* a gas station bathroom {do they actually get cleaned???  There's today's debatable topic!}).

I try to remember that every time I have to turn my attention to the dreaded cleaning of the toilets.

Toilet cleaning--not my favorite thing.  There's instant "eww" factor every time.  But, there are some quick tricks to try make the task a little less ewwey.
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1.   Drop a couple of denture cleaning tablets or alka seltzer tabs into the bowl and let them fizz and work for up to an hour.

OR (don't mix the two suggestions)

2.  Pour two cups of white vinegar into the bowl and letting it sit for up to an hour.

Scrubbing should be minimal and that's about all the hope and happiness I can give you when it comes to cleaning the commode.

Well that and this ...
This disgusting potty found here but I kind of judge you if you go looking for more.
Don't you feel a little better about your bathroom now?

I may have missed my calling to be a motivator!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Costume Reveal

A few weeks ago I admitted that I don't really love Halloween BUT some of our great friends do love the event and throw an annual costume party (read the earlier post click here).

We generally try to go in costumes that aren't really costumes (nudists on strike ...).  This year we decided to go all out.

I asked for your suggestions--great ones by the way--but we ended going with Matt's suggestion.

His first idea was to do a Star Wars theme--Chewy and gold bikini-clad Leia.  I agreed to this on these conditions: that I be Chewy and he be Leia.

Plan B--Ghostbusters characters Dana Barrett and Louis Tully.

Now I don't want to brag or anything but we took FIRST PLACE with these babies!
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Well, our first place was more like a second place because Molly and Bryant remove themselves from the contest so the rest of us has a chance.  Thank goodness because Beetlejuice and Lidia are pretty unbeatable!

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Third place was Marie Antoinette and her lover.  Talk about some steep competition!
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For pumpkins this year we carved a "shape monster," a pirate ship, and Yoda. Only Yoda was truly photo worthy!
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Wow. Sorry about the format today. I keep re-sizing photos but blogger hasn't noticed yet. Oh well, you get the idea. Hope you had a lovely weekend and a great week!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What's Cookin'--11/1-11/7

Monday--Mexican Corn Chowder (not healthy but so darn good)
Tuesday--Honey Pepper pork loin with apple harvest stuffing
Wednesday--Tacos
Thursday--Garlic Chicken over salad greens
Friday--Teriyaki steak stir fry
Saturday--Manicotti
Sunday--Enchiladas