Sunday, September 30, 2012

Things to cherish

I drove to the church last night after a full day of soccer games, football games, marching bands and Fall colors.  Even with the gloomy weather, I couldn't help but enjoy the views everywhere I looked. 
 Before listening to the General Relief Society Broadcast from Salt Lake, about 20 of the greatest gals in Central Massachusetts gathered to work on a service project, eat salads and just enjoy each other. 
Being a member of the world's oldest organization for Women is something I cherish.  Henry B. Eyring summed up nicely how I feel about Relief Society.  We are a unified organization of sisters who cherish, watch over and comfort each other.  We celebrate the goodness we see in others.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

It's about the way we can work shoulder-to-shoulder and like each other

Mr. Dub and I have been working for quite a little while now on updating our bedroom.  A little bit of paint and some clean, new electrical outlets go a long way.
It really IS the little things that make the difference.
Freshly painted walls, clean white trim, and then there were these nasty, dingy outlets.
But hey--guess what?
I happen to be married to a guy that can swap those things out like some people swap out their shoes
(Ahem. I did some of that today, too.)
 Mr. Dub is not like me. He loves his shoes. He wears them to death. He is very loyal to his footwear... he changes the dingy outlets because I bat my eyes at him. I tilt my head and blink, and he performs manly deeds. I, on the other hand, find the fairly regular shoe swap necessary. Even therapeutic.  These are the adorable Fall wedges Roonie found for me at one of my favorite consignment shops today.
It was post-dental-chair-trauma-therapy. She looks out for me. I count on her to keep my look current.
Darling, no?
I deviate.
Back to Mr. Dub and the room re-do.
It is not just Mr. Dub who is smitten. 
He happens to make my heart go pitter-patter.  Please notice the unintentional yet fetching way he wears paint splatters on his face.
He put down a beautiful new bedroom floor, which is way WAY better than nasty twenty-something-year-old carpet.
 I'm back to staring at the new outlets.
Really, it's about the hands on that tool.
And the man attached.
(lucky me!)

Friday, September 28, 2012

getting ready...

We're tidying up the spare room, clearing off some shelf space and getting EXCITED about a homecoming that's going to happen in SIX days!
I can hardly stand it!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wachusett Aqueduct at Northborough

I drive past this aqueduct (which spans the Assabet River) every time I drive to my parents' house.  I love it in all the seasons.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall: When EVERY day's my birthday

I sat in the grass yesterday afternoon, tooth throbbing and all, and I just couldn't help but not care so much that I have dentist anxiety and the girls weren't winning their soccer match.
Really?  With this kind of a show going on in the background?
Nature is crooning and I'm swooning.
 And she's just getting warmed up.
 Today I'm driving to my parents' house. I'm planning to take the scenic route. (I'm also going to pack an extra large bottle of pain reliever in my bag, because I'm procrastinating the call--teensy bit anxious)
Fall, thanks for being here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

rambling on

Is there anything more tedious than painting windows?  For me, there is not.  I've been procrastinating this chore for weeks.  A good rock and roll station got me through the first coat. (Van Halen and Pink Floyd were my painting pals... I channeled my inner-Enrique for about 90 minutes.) As it turns out, I'm going to be procrastinating the second coat for at least a few more hours, because I have places to be!
Besides, how can I be painting white paint over dirty cream-colored wood (blah) and not get distracted by looking out the window, and noticing Fall, who is creeping into town?
Oh--and there's this: It's Friday!
We have some big celebrations on deck.  One of which happens in 13 days. I'm feeling the need to be ready.  (One must be ready to party at ALL times) I baked cupcakes to celebrate the beginning of another wonderful weekend.  It will be full of soccer and end-of-September New England at her finest.
Won't the kids be much happier to come home to cupcakes, than newly painted windows?
I think so.
And won't the JV soccer team be happy to see these at the end of their game this afternoon?  I submit that they will.
Someone got new soccer shin pads, and they were a bit snug around the ankles.  Stretching them over canning jars seemed like a good idea to get them ready for tomorrow... and then they transformed themselves into a mini marching band... (at a night game)
Oh; and this: I treated myself to a pair of new candles with a bag of candy corn on the side. I've had to separately lecture five people in one house about not mistaking my centerpiece for a bowl of candy. It's a toxic decoration, people!
For the love of Fall.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

the neighborhood is beginning to look all Fall-ish...

Isn't it GLORIOUS?!?
 the days are cooler
 the colors are brighter
 and I'm beginning to feel intoxicated with the beauty of Autumn.
 Bring on Fall.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

September Saturday Soccer

Today was so beautiful!
We sat in the September sun and watched three soccer games;
it was glorious.
I forgot to mention that Roonie made the JV squad for the High School... she's played in two games so far as starting striker. 
She's got some pretty sweet moves.
Watching her soccer style reminds me a LOT of watching her older brother in his high school days.  She comes off the field equally dirty, too.
Go #18!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Band Sistahs

Tonight was the season home opener.
The football team lost, but Hey: There's always the band!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


 Guess who woke up another year older this morning?... The only thing Roonie asked for (well, really, it was more like a polite suggestion) was cinnamon rolls for breakfast.
 She did NOT ask to wear a big dorky birthday button around the High School...
 She did not ask for a cute friend to sneak over before she got home from school, and set up her own personal birthday walk-of-fame with treats at every lamp post...

 She didn't even ask for a certain type of cake. (She got coconut)
We sure got lucky when we got HER...
Happy Birthday Fourteen-year-old!
I hope all her wishes come true!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


It's a good day for remembering.
Today I'm thinking about and remembering family.
We attended a lovely funeral service yesterday in southern Connecticut for Dub's Uncle.
It was a perfect weather day, and so nice to connect with relatives we don't see very often. 
It leaves me remembering why I think so fondly of them, and feeling grateful to have my life touched by theirs.
Uncle Rich was a wonderful man.
Many paid tribute to his character and integrity.
Two of the things that I learned about him yesterday (that I love) are:
He always held his wife's hand when they went to bed at night, no matter the circumstance and even if they were being disagreeable.  Despite the mood, he felt it important to let his wife know of his undying devotion and love for her every single time they said good night.
During his adult life, he enjoyed Oreo cookies and milk EVERY SINGLE DAY.
At the luncheon following the services, his grandchildren passed around cookies and milk, and his wife toasted him.
Here's to YOU, Uncle Rich.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Canobie Lake Day

My memory may not be all it's cracked up to be most of the time, but I do remember with clarity our family outing last year, when I spent more than an hour flat on my back recovering from  all the fun we were having.  This year, I was careful to take my fun in moderate doses.
In the spirit of taking up where older brothers left off, the girls were proud of their ability to covertly cover their dad's back with the family's catering stickers after lunch.
Mission accomplished.
 It was a PERFECT day.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dynamic Duo

"Perhaps the greatest reason for missionary work is to give the world its chance to hear and accept the gospel."
-Spencer W. Kimball
Last week I connected with my dear friend Cynthia in Utah, who happens to know this other missionary (Elder Clarke) and his family really well--they're neighbors and attend church together.  She shared a letter that Elder Clarke had sent his parents about being assigned to serve with Yonder.  Here's a portion:

"So,... I recieved my new comp!! I don´t know if you guys remember me mentioning an Elder Whitcomb (picture is attached) a few weeks back?? My old zone leader from Boston, who´s friends with the Parsons family? Well, HE is my new companion. Am I the luckiest elder in the world or what?? Elder Whitcomb is going home October 4 - he currently has 23 months in the mission... I feel so blessed to be able to learn from him...  Elder Whitcomb is known by many as the best missionary in the whole mission. He previously shared a house with the assistants in the heart of the city, and is coming from one of the strongest wards in all of the country. The Lord has blessed me so greatly to have him as a companion - I´ve already learned so much! And I´m so excited to be able to learn all his tips and tricks. Pres. told us he was excited to send two good elders to this tough area - I know together, we can see miracles."
-Elder Clarke

These two are happy together!  And they're doing all they can to make sure their part of the world is given its chance.
SO... update on 9/11/2012:
Got a letter today and this is what it says:

  That´s not Elder Clarke on your blog!!!! (Thats Elder Nielsen...) Thats ok ;) "
I'm laughing.
What else can I do?!?

Friday, September 7, 2012

project complete

Every little boy should have a tin can phone.
(He's now taking orders on the bus--25 cents per foot of string--the rest is free.  He might be eating a LOT of soup.  They're going like hot cakes.  He said he's going to donate the proceeds to charity.  This made me laugh, but I was impressed.  He picked the local food bank.  Who needs cell phones when you can have one of THESE classics?)
Just call with your order.
You might have to hold the line...

afternoon escape

 After school on Wednesday, Morning Boy and I escaped to the tree house to do some snacking while we planned a project.
He had some soup and I ate cake.
 In the middle of our escape, Mesquite came out with the phone, and insisted that I take the call.  I figured that since we were in the tree house, we could insist that she use the bucket to deliver the phone.
 She was a good sport.
Mr. Dub was a good sport, too.
He was the caller.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

For a couple of hours yesterday, my mom and I lunched leisurely.  We had soup and salad on trays and watched The Country Girl in the middle of the afternoon.
Three cheers for lunch and a movie with Mom!!
And Grace Kelly--what a treat.
 Speaking of treats, I stopped to visit my SIL extraordinaire Rachael before my re-entry into reality.  I had peeled, cored and sliced a few dozen apples during the movie, and brought some to share with her.  She inspires me.  And boom!--I came home to find a recipe for apple cake in my email inbox.  (Thanks, Rach!)
So THIS is what we all ate for breakfast this morning.
You should make it.
It's apple season you know.

After-School Apple Cake
 (in our case, BEFORE school)
6 apples peeled, sliced and chopped
2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 cup white flour
1 cup wheat flour

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour a 13x9 inch pan.  Put apples in a bowl, sprinkle with cinnamon, set aside.  In mixer, blend oil, eggs, and sugar.  Add the baking powder and flours and blend until combined.  Pour the batter over the apples, gently stirring until the apples are just coated.  Pour this mix in to the prepared baking pan, arranging the apples in an even layer, and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  When the cake is cool, cut it into small squares. 
Makes 16 to 18 pieces.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day upgrades

 The tree house now boasts a bucket on a rope and pulley
and a remote lunch-delivery system.
Some kids were destined to live in the trees.