Friday, July 29, 2011

5 Minute Fridays ~ Still...


"Still..."
I have never participated in Gypsy Mama's 5 minute Fridays before but this one spoke to me. Still is not something I do well. It is not something I do often. I hear of people who go on trips just to be quiet, reflective, still.. I am in awe of them, those brave few who can be alone with their thoughts for that long.
I am not sure if I could do it. Not for the sake of being alone. Which for those that know me that would a huge feat also. (I am rarely alone, by choice)
But to take carved out time to be still. I am more like my Grandma in that even in TV watching I prefer to have my hands making something.
Though some where I can feel it this desire to be still. To reflect. To draw strength for the silence.

Gypsy Mama at inCourage today
Wow.. my five minutes are up. I didn't get much written in that time. But it's a start.
~ Cassi

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Picnic with Mouse

This work week we had extended family time in the form of a picnic.  Mouse was taking a photo class at the park that Cassi and I frequent during our lunches (See previous dates here).  Mouse and her Grandma stayed after the class and joined us for sandwiches, fruit and chips.  Mouse is very happy about her photo class.  She took pictures of nature and then made a book out of it.  I'm excited that she enjoyed this class, and is enjoying her summer.
I'm also happy that Mouse has a Grandma (Cassi's Mom) that is so helpful.  Grandma watches Mouse for us while we are at work. She also works part-time at the school Mouse attends.  Mouse gets to spend a lot of extra time with Grandma, they have a special bond.
Currently Mouse gets to do one of her favorite things, head over to Grandma's neighbors and help with the new born kitties.  She interacts with each kitten and I believe this helps with the kitten's human social skills.  The kittens are used to kids and being held by the time they head to adoption.

Having lunch with Cassi everyday is great.  It breaks up the work day, and we get to spend extra time together!  Spending time with Cassi and Mouse over lunch, twice this week, has been special.

~Steve

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday ~ M*A*S*H Style

I must confess I am a M*A*S*H fan. I grew up watching the show and when ever I see it on TV I will watch it. Hawk-eye is is one of the best characters ever. But it wasn't just him that made the show, he had an amazing cast of characters in which to play off of. So the other weekend when we were out shopping, I found the best thing ever for a M*A*S*H fan. A GRAPE NEHI!!
Isn't it great! I did tell you I was a fan, I have had the t-shirt for a while now. I knew when I found the Nehi that I had to do a WWIW with the t-shirt.
 I am really not sure what Radar loved about these drinks. Because in truth the syrupy drink was not that good. I might be biased on this since I am not a grape flavor fan. In fact I couldn't even finish the soda.
What I Wore:
T-shirt: Target
Jeans: American Rag
Shoes: So old I can't remember
Soda: Grape Nehi in honor of good old Radar.

Which M*A*S*H character was your favorite?


~ Cassi
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fellowship and fun

This past Sunday we had a group of friends over to the house. We planned the event when we were at Red Rock Camp. It was so great to get us all together outside of the camp setting. There was twelve of us including the kids (OK thirteen if count the one couple who has one on the way). This group was refreshing; the conversation was positive and laid back. The day started at 1:30 and before we knew it, it was 8 o'clock. Words can't express how perfect the day was.

To prepare for the BBQ, I got some inspiration from Pinterest. I decided to put together some picnic cans.
Taking a soup can, (Of course I washed it out) then wrapped it in scrapbook paper. I then added a ribbon around the top. To the ribbon I added hand printed name tags. In each can we added all the items each family would need with their plate. I also added a straw for the kids.
 Aren't they cute! The names have been blurred to protect the innocent. Alright, I just never asked them if I could post their last name out on the web. And since I don't post our name I thought it would be bad taste to show theirs. Except for one I wanted to show the tags. One of the families that came has the last name of Johnson which is probably the most common Minnesotan name. So here is the none blurred cans.
I am not sure how efficient these were but they added a nice touch of whimsy to the day. I hope all of you had as good of a weekend as we did.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Inspire Me ~ Summer BBQ


This weekend we are so excited to have a group of friends coming over for a summer bbq. We planned this get together back in June. It will be so good to have us all in one place, which hasn't happened since camp.

In preparation for Sunday's event. We have a huge pork roast slow cooking in Texas style seasoning. The house is getting cleaned (which is one reason for us to have people over it is the only time we do a thorough clean). We (Ok really just me) have also put together some cute bbq accessories.



~ Cassi

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Rain, rivers, running ~ His side / Her side

Tuesday Cassi and I had lunch together.  We met at the restaurant, went in and sat down.  When our food arrived we noticed the wait staff going to the windows.  We looked outside to see dark storm clouds.  No big deal, we'll eat and the storm will pass.  It didn't turn out that way.  The rain came and stayed.  Rain, wind, hail.  Poor cars, hail was, at times, the size of ping pong balls.  We had to leave to get back to work.  Oh oh. We have to run through this rain to get to the cars...

Adventures during lunch seem to be the norm for us. Which is great we wanted to add some adventures to our lives. When we arrived at Hazel's the weather was clear (very hot but clear). The news had stated rain in a neighboring county but nothing we should have to worry about. Then suddenly the skies went blackish green. Everyone in the restaurant stopped and stared out the windows. We thought that it would pass as quickly as it came but half hour later it was still going strong. The water was coming up over the sidewalks.

Cassi looked great in the dress she was wearing.  (Oh thanks Steve) Dress and high heels, not the best outfit to run to a car in while the driving rain falls fast.  I went around the corner of the restaurant to try and unlock the cars.  Her car was just to far out of the way for me to unlock it.  The time came to run.  We kissed then made a run for it.  Cassi running through the rain, splashing in the puddles rivers on the streets.  I felt bad I didn't have an umbrella to cover her in.  We made a mental note to buy extra umbrellas to leave in the cars! 

The shoes were not good to run in the rain in. Steve's car was parked closer to the place than mine. I had to run about a block. Which wasn't horrible till I had to cross the alley. The alley had turned into a small stream, that went above the heels of my shoes. I was afraid to try and jump it and then slip and fall in it. By the time I got to my car I was drenched. I know Steve wants us to get umbrellas but I am not sure they would have helped in this case since we didn't know it was going to rain.

~Steve & Cassi

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why...

I tell Cassi that I love her quite often.  There are times when she asks me why.  She likes to put me on the spot.  I tell her why, keeping in mind to not state the obvious.  I try to dig deep into my feelings with the answer.  I like to think of the question of why I love her throughout the day.  Every day there is a reason to love her more and more and every time I think of the question I can find great things about her that makes me love and want to show her love more and more.

For example, earlier this week I had a softball game.  The heat wave has settled over Minnesota.  Air temp was 97 degrees.  Heat index went up to 114 degrees.  Through the heat she sat and watched not only one but two softball games.  The second game was a surprise game that came about because other teams did not show from the heat.  We talked it over and she said, "let's stay and you play"  This impressed me so much.  She sat through the heat to support me.

A great thing about her is her love of trying new food.  If it was up to me the weekly menu would not change much.  Meat, potatoes, pizza, and tacos every once in a while.  On the weekends Cassi sits down and comes up with a menu and tries to incorporate new food into the meals.  I have eaten things I never would have tried if not for her.  Indian food is the biggest item she has added to our menu.  Her biggest challenge is to get me to eat a raw tomato.  That may be a life long challenge!

We should all take time to think of the answers to the question of "Why do you love me"  Significant others need to hear these answers.  Be sure to take time to let yours know why you love them!

~Steve

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday ~ Before the heat wave

Last week before the heat wave hit we had one nice cool day. Summer in Minnesota is fleeting at best. But really I am ok with it. I prefer the cool air of Spring and Fall. I love jackets, scarfs and hats. Where it is just cool enough to wear those items with out having to hide them behind a winter coat. So here is what I wore on that brief mild summer day.
Jacket: Thrifted
T-shirt and Tank:Target
Yellow Necklace: Charlotte Rouse
Ring: Boutique in Chicago
Jeans: American Rag
Shoes: I have had since 1998 (seriously)
The other necklace I have worn in most pictures was a gift from my Mom this Christmas. It says "Be the change you wish to see in the world", which is one of my favorite quotes.

 Granted this week has been nothing even close to mild. We have had a heat index of 115 for the past few days. Trying to stay cool is the priority over everything right now. I haven't even taken new what I wore since by the time I get home from work I am limp from the humidity.

~Cassi
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Monday, July 18, 2011

The look of new paint!

There is nothing as great as the look of fresh paint, especially if the walls have needed it for about 3 years. See those still pale doors in this picture they are now clean looking. I love how the finished doors look. I promise to post a picture once the electrical overs are on the wall.

My in-laws came over this weekend and helped us paint. We painted our 2 and half story entry way. This was a lot of ladder moving to get to the edges.

 Then we painted that same color downstairs to the top half of our game room and TV room. Not that you can see either of these two things in the unfinished basement. But it is getting there.
The bottom half of the room will be board and batten. I can't wait to see it finished. The floors will be carpet in the part you are seeing and the wood flooring for the rest of the rooms.

 We also painted my craft room. I wanted this one to be very pale gray and white. I will have a lot of fabric on display along with buttons and all sorts of colorful stuff. So I wanted to have a very calm backdrop to that. I think the color worked perfect.
Look at Steve paint my room! We also pained the bathroom. We don't have lights in there yet so the pictures don't look right. The paint color in the first pictures is Behr Studio Taupe and in the last picture it is Behr Graceful Gray.
Next up the ceiling guy meets with us next week. Then we pick out some flooring.


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Friday, July 15, 2011

Marshmallows.. Oh how I love thee

Alright you should know this by now but I have a huge obsession with marshmallows. I will eat s'mores year round. I make homemade marshmallows. But my favorite is just slightly roasted marshmallows straight from the fire. Then Jet Puff comes up with JUMBO marshmallows. They are huge! Like three marshmallows in one. When we were at the lake the cabin owner roasted one, just perfect lightly browned on all sides. And then he handed it over to me..
Then as I was taking it off the stick half the melted marshmallow slid down the stick. But I wasn't about to let that perfectly good gooey deliciousness go wasted. Steve thought it was so funny he started clicking pictures.  
 I did mean every last piece of melted perfection.
 And did I mention JUMBO! Here is the other half of the marshmallow, and yes I ate that too.
Then Steve had his style of charred marshmallow. He says they are good that way but he is wrong.
~ Cassi

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Late to the show...again




Netflix has been saving us from watching regular TV/Cable for a few months now.  It has been fun watching shows that have not been on the air for years or taking chances on movies that we would not pay theater prices to see.  Recently we took a chance on a show called Dr. Who.  Yea, I know, it's been around forever but the biggest reason for not watching is that we figured it would be like Star Trek, bad writing and graphics.  Dr. Who began in 1963.  We have been watching the version that started in 2005.  Why watch it?  British TV for one reason.  Second reason is that it is actually a fun show to get caught up in with decent writing and current graphics! 

The episode(s) that really hooked me started with The Empty Child then The Doctor Dances.  These episodes had both Cassi and I on edge, similar to the feeling of watching a Twilight Zone episode.  Now not all Dr. Who shows were as edgy or suspenseful as these episodes but it is still a good series that we look forward to watching nightly.
Watching the show reminded me of a song from years ago, 1988.  Doctorin' The Tardis by the Timelords.  Watch the very bad video here  I now understand that the song references the Tardis, not a tortoise.  When I was young my image of this song was a doctor walking around with a tortoise.  Ah, to be an early teen again with simple thoughts.

We also went online to look at T-shirts.   Just for fun.  We are spreading the word about this show.  If you watch it, let us know about your favorite episode!

~Steve

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday- Give me some shade

Minnesota has about 6 weeks of great summer weather. I unfortunately decided to get Lyme's disease and have to spend them in the shade. The medication for Lyme's is a strong dose of anti-biotics and this particular kind make you very sensitive to the sun. Since I burn looking out a window this was a little worrisome to me.
But Steve knew what to do, he had me go out and buy a big floppy hat to cover my face and some 50 proof (yes, you read that right 50, no tan for me) sunscreen. I also picked up some long sleeve shirts. But I found my best coverage came from a swimsuit cover-up I bought for a trip last year.
So this is how I spent the weekend at the lake with the family. You will see I have on a cover-up, a big floppy hat, swim suit and am sitting under the awning of the pontoon. And like always when at the lake a book is considered an accessory.
Hat: Gap
Sunglasses, Cover-Up & Sandal: Target
Book: Reluctant Burglar by: Jill Elizabeth Nelson (great book)
Swim Suit: Sears

I also have been looking at long skirts as I said in yesterdays post. So here is the skirt I made to attend a baby shower this weekend.
Shirt: Thrifted
Belt & Tank: Target
Pearls: A gift from Steve, Macy's
Shoes: So old I forgot
Skirt: Made by me

And just for fun


~ Cassi
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New skirt

This weekend I had a baby shower to go to with nothing to wear. I have been to a few stores looking for the perfect long skirt. But I have yet to find exactly what I am looking for.
So when you can't find what you want.. you make it. Or at least that's how it works at my house. But then it only works when you actually have the material to make a long white skirt. I was quite bummed when I looked through my fabric stash to find that I only had enough white material to make a skirt for Mouse not me. But I did have this vintage fabric I inherited from my Grandmother.
I cut the skirt to the size and then put one seem up the back with a slit about to my knees.
I wanted to keep the flowy look to bottom of the skirt so I followed a new trend that I am seeing in the boutiques. I added some rouching to the various spots  from the knee down. This gave it a some body to the body. I like how it turned out. Check out tomorrows post to see how the whole outfit looked.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Steve's Sunday Faith Sharing

My experiences at Red Rock
In June Cassi, Mouse and I went to Red Rock Camp as a family for the first time.  Cassi has been going for years and Mouse has been going since she was born.  This was my first time at camp for the whole week.
The week was full of seeing Gods work.   Seeing the joy in the young kids faces after children’s church or craft time.  Watching the teenagers at each table saying grace before meals.  The diversity of people leading prayers during Bible studies and share time, from pastors to regular campers like me.   I enjoyed meeting the families that come year after year, meeting past campers that came for part of the week and getting to know the youth speaker, one of the most energetic guys I have ever met.
Red Rock camp is located at Lake Koronis in Paynesville.  The grounds are perfect with a lake, many benches and a playground. I spent a lot of time on the benches.  Watching Mouse play in the playground, watching the waves on the lake.  Bench time gave me time to reflect on what happened during the day.  Reflect on how I can improve my life by living the way God wants me to live.
For me Alter Call was an important, powerful time at Red Rock.  Alter Call was each night at the end of evening service.  During this time Cassi and I prayed for each other, friends prayed for us.  I spent time in deep prayer which is something I have never done before.  It was during Alter Call that I really felt God’s presence working to answer prayers.  Working through others to help in prayer.  During breakfast we would hear stories about how the prayer time helped people.  One example was after a healing service.  A friend of ours was prayed over to heal constant back pain.  The next day he was elated to say he was no longer feeling any pain in his back.  Alter Calls are an amazing experience.
The pastor who married Cassi and I has been attending camp for years, he is the reason Cassi started to attend.  He and I prayed about me becoming the spiritual leader of the family.  I really took this prayer time to heart.  After this prayer time I felt calmness, a peace a feeling of confidence that, with Gods help, I can lead my family spiritually.

Since camp: It is hard to go back to the “real” world after camp.  Every day we, as a family, work on making things that were prayed about a reality.  Look to spend time with other Christians and are already planning for next year.  Rumor has it I will be leading the crafts for the Junior Campers!
Changes in our family since Red Rock:  Prayer time at night as a family, Cassi and I are doing a Friday night Bible verse – sharing Bible verse we read during the week and discussing it.
I will never forget my experiences of my first full week at Red Rock camp. 
Thank You

~Steve
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Mouse caught a fish

This week Mouse had one of her firsts. She went fishing! Mouse has been talking about fishing for a few years now. We have never been sure how she got this fascination with this Minnesota past time, since neither Steve or I fish. But she has wanted to for ages. My Dad even set up one of their rods with a weight on the end so she could practice casting in the yard. And for the last year or two that has been the extent of her fishing, until this past week.
While up at the cabin last weekend she got to go fishing out on the boat. Sadly though they didn't catch anything. But Mouse wasn't ready to give up when they got back to the dock she cast her line again. This time she was able to reel in a tiny big sunfish. She was soo excited.
Then yesterday my Mom and Grandmother took her up north to the lake I grew up on to visit some old family friends. They took her fishing on the lake my brother and I learned to fish on. There she caught her first keeper fish. I guess she told my Mom this was one of the best days of her life.
The whole experience was so heart warming to me. To see the pictures of my daughter learning to fish next to the man who fished with my brother and I so often. I am so glad my Mom and Grandma were able to take her.
~Cassi

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sunday Faith Sharing

This Sunday I will be doing the Faith Sharing part of our worship at church.  I am excited to do this.  My topic will be my experiences at Red Rock camp.  Our pastor was at camp and after asking him a question about a sermon he gave around Easter he asked if I would share my experiences at Red Rock to the church.  I may have hesitated for a second or two but then said Yes!

Writing the Faith Sharing has been harder than I thought.  It would be easy to write a promo for Red Rock but after talking to Cassi about the format I decided to write a more heart felt, here is what happened to me at Red Rock story.

Check back Sunday to read my Faith Sharing.

~Steve

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Stupid little tick

The last few weeks has been a crazy. Not only have we been to camp and to the lake we have also seen the medical industry way more than I would have liked.

About three weeks ago, my right arm started hurting, by the next morning the right side pinkie finger and along that edge of my arm was numb. Within in a few hours I started to get sever headaches. But they were brief, almost like an icy headache (or brain freeze). This continued throughout the day, by night the headaches were coming more often so we went into the ER.

This started around of test. That night we did a CAT scan and some basic tests. They looked for all sorts of scary reasons to why I would be having sensation issues (as they called it). They came to the conclusion that my right side is now 10% weaker than my left and for a right handed person that is wrong. So the Dr. recommended that I see a neurologist and get an MRI. Then next morning I got an MRI and then had to wait two weeks before I saw the neurologist.

Our meeting with the neurologist was pretty funny actually. He had a great sense of humor and kept Steve laughing through most the appointment. Which was good Steve was getting pretty nervous about my health by this time. This Dr decided on another MRI and some blood tests. We can praise God that all my MRI's came back fine. Once those came back fine, I was really at peace with whatever the blood work came back with. The really scary stuff was out of the way.

Two days later and one day before camp started I got the last of my blood tests back.

Lyme's Disease...

The Dr. recommended I start treatment right away. Even though I did beg to wait until I returned from camp. The first treatment is a round of a high dose of antibiotics. This means that I have to be careful in the sun. Stay covered up, wear sunscreen all stuff I would rather not do in a state where we only get a few weeks of summer. But I found out quick those precautions are stated for a reason. I haven't burned to much yet. I will be on this medication for the rest of July and then meet up with the neurologist again to see where my levels are at. And really from there I have no idea.

This is all still so new. I have only been able to gather stuff from the Internet to understand what is going on with my body. All I know is I went to bed at 32 and woke up one morning feeling 82. Lyme's symptoms vary a lot from person to person. For me it is swollen and painful hands, elbows, shoulders and feet. It is kind of like getting sudden arthritis.

But this too shall pass.. and Steve says I look cute in my big floppy sun hat.

~ Cassi

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

the Sands of time

Cheesy title, I know, but I couldn't help it. This weekend the three of us headed up to a friends cabin. Steve spent a lot of his summers here growing up. It is great to share in this tradition with him. He gets to show Mouse the things he liked to do when he was young. In fact Mouse caught her first fish this weekend. It was just a little sunny but she was pretty excited.
Steve and I were also excited to start a new project this weekend. We have decided to start collecting sand and bits of rock or shells from where ever we go on vacations. Then putting it all in a jar with a tag stating the place and year.  This has been done numerous times I know, we are slow on the bandwagon to somethings. Mouse is always collecting rocks from everywhere. She was ecstatic that her rocks could be included in the jars.
Here is what we have so far. The jar is topped off with plastic wrap and the metal lid. I couldn't find the metal top part of the jar so the plastic wrap will have to do for now. Next I will add a piece of twine and a tag to show the location and year. Ok for some weird reason the picture will only show up on it's side!
Here are some of the ones that inspired us to start this project.
BHG
The Inspired Room
~ Cassi

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Inspire Me - Lake Side

This weekend we are looking forward to getting some lake time in. There is nothing like the peace that comes with early mornings; sipping coffee on the deck looking at the lake. When the only ripples are from the landings of loons. Then at night the air gets filled with the sent of smoke and the flames dance in front of your eyes. The taste of perfectly browned marshmallows, makes you go for the third one you know you shouldn't have.
We can't wait to take it all in.


We hope you have a blessed Independence Day.

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