Sunday, January 31, 2010

Food for Thought




"The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it."

-Anonymous

Saturday, January 30, 2010

More Bagels

The great thing about making something more than once is that you start to get the hang of it and can then pass along the skill. The last time we made bagels, Buttercup was involved with the entire process. I love knowing that she'll know how to do all these things for herself.

From boiling to baking, she was part of the process.

When it was all said and done, I was so proud of her.

Even better, she was proud of herself.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Photo Flashback

It is that time again: Friday Photo Flashback time. It is time for me to pull something out of our pre-digital (or at least really, really old) files and share a flashback photo with you. This walk down Memory Lane is the brilliant idea of Alicia at More Than Words and I've been having a terrific time revisiting the past. Don't forget to check in to see what the rest of the gang has come up with...their memories might take you back, too.


The picture I've picked to share this week dates back to Halloween 1994. Charming was 3 1/2 and I made his costume. Following in the family business, Charming wanted to be a superhero. He wanted to be Superman. Okay. I can do that. Tights, a leotard, red briefs, a homemade cape and, of course, the "S" made out of felt. He was, as you can see, adorable. The funniest part of this costume was the the concern Charming had while we were making it. He had a long conversation with the lady at the store where we sourced the tights and leotard about how he needed "boy tights". I remember frantically signaling behind him to get her to agree that these were, in fact, boy tights. (She almost didn't!) Once assured that his leotard and tights were "boy" tights, he allowed himself to have a blast.


This picture was taken at a neighbor's house...she was just so tickled at how much fun he was having. I know the boy still doesn't believe it, but he, too, will be a superhero...it is obviously in his genes!

What do you think? Pretty darned adorable, wasn't he?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shoot Me! 4 of 52

Well, it is week four of the 52 week challenge to get myself in the picture. Carin at Forever in Blue Jeans hosts this challenge every week and I'm committed to participating.

We have had terrific weather the past few weeks and one day Buttercup convinced us to head out to do our PE in the great outdoors because it was soooo warm! Yes, it was topping out at 45 degrees Farenheit - downright balmy!

So, this is Valiant with me as we headed out...oh, and that is the back of Buttercup's. The jacket I'm wearing was given to us as a hand-me-down for the boys, but I nabbed it. The other amusing thing about this photo? Look at the landscape...no snow anywhere and the plants don't look dead...you'd never guess this is the middle of January from the picture and the sunshine. Very cool!


So, there you have it, yet another picture of me...this time with a few of my kids...proof positive they have a mother!

I'll Get There

I know today is the day I'm supposed to post my 4 of 52 for Shoot Me! and I will, but first I just have to say: I'm tired. Seriously. Superman will be the first person to admit that he didn't do a ton of stuff in the managing of our household, but obviously he did enough (especially on weekends) that I could recharge my batteries. With Superman gone, it is falling on me exclusively and by yesterday evening I realized that I was seriously tired. The kids were at youth group and I could do nothing...I couldn't come up with any task (other than folding the laundry from earlier in the day) that I was willing to do. I ended up Skyping with Superman for two hours and it was wonderful, but when we were done, I couldn't rouse myself to do more than play BeJeweled on the computer and then head upstairs for bed.

Oh, I know I'll get there, but for now? I have new-found respect for single moms (and my friend who never stops moving, even when her husband is deployed).

I'm tired.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Making Your Home Sing Monday


It is Making Your Home Sing Monday and this week Nan is talking about "failing" in her post for Making Your Home Sing Monday. How you feel so frustrated with yourself when you spend too long on the internet, or eat that donut, or don't get done what you planned to do. "Failure?" As I was contemplating last week and looking ahead to this week, I just couldn't use the word failure.

Here I gave you my list of things I needed to get done. I didn't get them all done. Not even close. Yet, I don't feel like a failure. Why not? Because making your home sing is not always about getting certain things done. The list I made last week did what it needed to do: it gave me a sense of order after too long without it. I took charge again and felt fantastic, even though many of the things on my list fell to the wayside as I had other things that needed my attention.

I did exercise five days last week and I picked right up with it today. Much of my time last week was spent on things I didn't think to put on the list. I got our taxes done. Valiant had a tough time after having his wisdom teeth pulled. It feels like I rearranged the entire house in a few days and we did host an awesome craft night, leading to a day of sewing with my daughter - priceless.

The rest of the stuff? Not done. I still need to work on the curriculum for the kids and our New Year's letters are sealed and ready to be mailed tomorrow. The thank-you's are going to be printed and written tonight and added to tomorrow's mail. (I'm using images from Indie Fixx's Feed Your Soul to make the cards...they are free and they are so cute.)

What does this have to do with making my home sing? Everything! I think it is important that we remind ourselves harmony happens when we decide to be happy and happiness has a sound all its own. It is not always about the results, but the attitude. Last week our began my week feeling so out of control, I just knew that things would spiral if I didn't get a handle on my own feelings. This week, I have more things to do than last week, but I'm feeling full ready and able to cope with them all. Attitude is everything and we are in charge of our own attitudes. This week will be a terrific one, regardless of what I get crossed off my to-do list.

No matter how much remains undone at the end of the week our house will be singing right along...and failure will not be how we describe ourselves.

To see what everyone else is up to this week, head over to Momstheword and check in with Nan.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Food For Thought


Missing someone gets easier everyday because even though you are one day further from the last time you saw them, you are one day closer to the next time you will. - Anonymous

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Game Night has morphed into Craft Night

With all the men in the neighborhood gone (or super busy with school, like Mr. N), the ladies and I decided that Saturday night Game Night was out and Craft Night was in. Our dining room table hosted four sewing machines, the kitchen table was a cutting table and the den floor was covered in fabric. The boys hid in the basement playing video games.


I must admit it was awkward at first, the girls all milling about, sure there was some trick to the statement, "Make whatever you'd like." Soon, however, they were entranced by the fabric choices three households came up with. By the end of the evening, we saw the making of a purse, two fleece blankets, and some embellished dish towels...with plans already under way for what they were going to make next week.

As always, Kaleb was a hit.

When I asked if Craft Night was something they wanted to do again, the answer was an emphatic, "yes". My only problem? Valiant doesn't want to be relegated to gaming. He wants to craft, too

Squirrel with Apple

Art by Buttercup

Obviously it is an inherited trait...

Did you think I was the only one? Valiant finally demonstrated it is not just me and not just the girls in the family who need to rearrange furniture when highly stressed. Despite having his wisdom teeth pulled earlier this week, by Wednesday his stress level with all that has been happening around here had reached critical mass, so he did what I would have done: He decided his bedroom was no longer working for him and MUST be changed IMMEDIATELY. The original layout of his bedroom was constrained by his need for "floor space for Lego building". He no longer feels the need to make accommodations for Legos, giving himself more flexibility in furniture arrangement. I think he did great...what do you think?

Before:



After:



The same view. The desk is gone (it was just a junk catcher) and has been replaced by a Klippan loveseat from Ikea that was elsewhere in the house.



And this is the view from the bed. Everyone in the Nagle family loves to read, so a comfortable place to relax is a must. As you can see, Sam I Am has wasted no time christening this new furniture arrangement...basking in the rare sunlight and on a couch at the same time? Sublime.

Ah, this little nut didn't fall far from the tree...and he wasn't the only one who did some furniture rearranging after Superman left...stay tuned.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hoover Dam


Friday Photo Flashback time again? I must say that this week has flown by. Fortunately, I'd done a bit of advanced planning and have a picture from the pre-digital days to share with you, just as Alicia at More Than Words asks us to.

August 25, 2004 - the summer before Buttercup started kindergarten. Superman had business in Las Vegas and so we loaded up the family and headed over, too. (Southern California to Vegas is less than 4 hours drive.) We stayed at the Luxor and the kids still talk about "when they stayed in a pyramid". We lounged around the pool and we decided to head to Hoover Dam. Not the best time to head out into the desert (oh, it was hot!), but Hoover Dam is an absolutely amazing site to see with your own eyes. It is massive. Did you know that the concrete is still curing and will still be curing for years to come? Isn't that crazy? We took the guided tour and spent a lot of time in the education center. They still weren't letting you go across the dam, but the sheer scale was astounding. The photos of the people who came to work on the dam in the 30s were humbling. Desperate for work, willing to live in the desert with no running water, no air conditioning, and no refrigeration. Families came by the droves for the opportunity. Can you imagine living like that? The photos tell the story.

Of course, we had the obligatory tour photo. I had dark hair...I loved my dark hair. I wish I could still have dark hair, but I have way too much grey to do it. Let's see. Buttercup was 5, Valiant was 8, and Charming was 13. We had no idea that would be our last full year in Southern California and could not have predicted then where life would be taking us. Seems like so long ago, but it was only five and half years.


Thanks for letting me share with you. To see what everyone dug up, head over to More Than Words and check out their photos.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Prayers, please...

My dear friend, KM, has a young cousin who is facing some serious health challenges and is in need of your prayers. Mary has had Ulcerative Colitis since the age of two. Recently, they discovered she also has Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, which is a chronic liver disease caused by progressive inflammation and scarring of the bile ducts of the liver. This little ninth grader has been in the hospital since November '09. Her symptoms have worsened, changed, and challenged the people who are dedicated to helping her. The doctors are struggling to get her weight up over 100 pounds and they can't get a handle on what is wrong with her. She can't keep anything down, even the most benign formula. They have been on a roller coaster of possible answers, possible fixes, heartbreak and hope.

I know it is easy to worry about brand new babies, but this young woman desperately needs your prayers. To read more about Mary and the battle she's fighting please read her Caring Bridge page.

Thanks.

Shoot Me - 3 of 52

Oops! I almost forgot! Today is week three of my participation in Shoot Me, a year long challenge to get myself into the pictures hosted by Carin at Forever in Blue Jeans. Fortunately, LoveAphid did NOT drop the ball and I saw her timely blog post - phew!


Buttercup took this picture to show you my new haircut. I finally went and had almost six inches cut off last week. Also, I'm trying the whole "side swept instead of straight across" bangs. We'll see how that goes...they're bugging me.

To see how everyone else got into their own stories, head over to Carin's place.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It Doesn't Take Much...

...to make me smile. This morning, I got up and started to "do" things. I worked out (LifeCycle and Wii Yoga), cleaned quite a bit, did some laundry, got the kids started with school, took my friend to lunch for her birthday, took our trash to the dump, got the boy to Boy Scouts, and went to Hancock Fabrics with the girl. Baby steps, I know, but the sense of accomplishment at the end of the day is wonderful.

I even found these cheerful little kitchen updates at Target when I headed out to get dog food.

Aren't those polka dots cute? I think these are so cheerful. (I spent a total of $14.00.)

When I head downstairs to make breakfast tomorrow, I know these polka dots will put a smile on my face.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dear LoveAphid,

Christmas has been removed from the blog...

Love,

Erin

P.S. See how responsive to feedback I am?

Normal?


This time last year, I was well into the swing of things. The holidays ended, the neighborhood kids went back to school, albeit later than normal, and the Nagle household settled into its rhythm. This year, I'm not feeling it. With Superman's approaching departure, we let lots of things go in the household and, since I knew about his job long before I could tell you about it, the slide actually started before the holidays.

I don't know. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I should have stuck to a rigid schedule, kept the routine going, and worked around it all to get Superman ready. I am struggling to find a rhythm these days and, so far, I just can't seem to find it. I'm feeling out of control. For someone like me, feeling out of control is the worst. Seriously, I hate feeling out of control.

I was sitting on the couch with Valiant, getting ready watch another movie with the patient, when I realized I needed to do something. I needed to do anything. Floundering around isn't working for me and, frankly, it isn't working for my kids. Right then, I jumped up. I informed Valiant that he'd be searching the internet to find a part for the helicopter Superman broke Christmas Day before the kids even got to touch it (oops, did I just tattle?) and I headed outside to wash Superman's car and get the garage back in order. It felt good to accomplish something tangible after spending two months being "supportive".

I think to tackle this, I'm going to have to go backwards. I think I'm going to make lists of things I need to get done and cross them off. One thing at a time, I am going to regain a feeling of control. I need this. It makes me a better mother, a better friend, and a better wife, which I still am, even though Superman and I will be 10000 miles apart.

I know it is Tuesday night, but I'm not going to wait for Monday. I am desperate to feel better and the only way I know how to do this is to take charge.

Here is my list for this week:

Mail my "supposed to be Christmas cards, but turned into New Year's Letters" by Friday. (I was waiting for details of Scott's departure and then the task got lost in the shuffle. The sad part? The envelopes have been addressed since Thanksgiving.

Get all of our Christmas thank-you's written. I am never, ever, ever this late. I am actually embarrassed to share this task. These will be mailed by Saturday.

Get back onto my 6 days a week exercise schedule. I exercised today for the first time since 1/7/10. I'll just keep going and by the end of the week, I'll be in a pattern.

Get one month of curriculum done for each of the kids and figure out some of the extra-curricular activities we'll be doing for the next two months. This must be done by Sunday night.

So, there you have it. These are the things I am going to be working on. I need to get these tasks off my list and off my mind. The failure to get them done has been weighing on me and I need to get them off my back and feel like I'm moving forward.

What about you? Do you ever find yourself stalled? How do you break out of the rut? Am I the only one that feels the need to do something? What do you think?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Even down, this boy is a super-hero in-training!

Poor Valiant! He had all his wisdom teeth extracted this morning. He really looks like a chipmunk. (Sorry, Dude, but it is true.) He's been living on ice cream and cold scrambled eggs since about 4 p.m. today and still, he's my hero.

Despite half an hour on the phone with Superman, we couldn't get our Vonage to stop cutting out our internet. Finally, we gave up and he snuck back into his roo (he had snuck out past lights out in the barracks to help me). I forwarded our phone to my cell phone and figured I'd deal with it tomorrow.

(Wouldn't it figure I'd start having computer problems when Superman left? He's a computer guy and he's got us wired. Normally, we have no issues. Since he flew out on Friday? Two huge ones!)

Anyway, Valiant just overheard me telling someone about our situation and that boy jumped up, did something magical, and fixed the entire problem. Seriously! Drugged up, puffy faced, and hurting, that boy saved the day!

Here I sit, typing away on the internet, and I have a dial tone on my phone! Woo Hoo!

That seals the deal, I'm keeping him!

You're Invited

Superman decided that blogging was one of the ways he was going to share his adventures over the next year and you're invited to join us. Yep, you read that correctly. Superman has begun a blog to share his overseas adventures with us all.

He's called it "365 and a wake-up" which I'm told is the way military personnel reference their time at a specific duty station.

He's asked the children and me to join him to share what we're doing back home. So, if you're interested in a man's point of view, head over to see what Superman has to say. Yesterday's post? "How NOT to get kidnapped?" Well, um, okay then. Oh, yay, that made me excited - not!

Feel free to comment on any of our posts. Don't be confused even though mine are written as letters to Superman. That format is helping me to gather my thoughts. the kids will begin posting this week, too. I'm actually pretty excited about that, as I'm looking forward to seeing what they have to say about all this.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Making Your Home Sing Monday


Monday again. It is already the third Monday in January! Can you believe it? It is already time for Making Your Home Sing Monday and I must admit that I am feeling like I am reinventing the wheel these days. Seriously.


As you know, Superman has begun employment as a civilian contractor overseas and shipped out Friday. Oh, he's still in the US until Friday morning, but for the family's purposes, he's begun "Clark's Overseas Adventure". What does that mean for us? It means that we've gone from seven people at the holidays down to three people for the rest of the year. It means that we are no longer scheduling our days to be finished "before Daddy gets home from work". It means our weekends aren't dedicated for "family time". Instead, as homeschoolers the kids and I are looking at an entire year where our schedule will not be determined by outside influences and instead be entirely up to us. Think about it? Have you ever experienced such a thing? I haven't and I'm already finding it, well, weird.

Since we all thrive on routine, my task will be to come up with and maintain a schedule and routine for our "little" family. So many of our routines, however, were necessitated by Superman's work schedule. Without his work schedule to determine the order of things, we'll be figuring out what works for us. A neighbor needs me to watch her son before school, so I'll be starting my day before he arrives at 8:15 a.m. Since the children still want to be done with school when their friends might be available to play, our school day will be done by 4:00 p.m. Laundry, cleaning, and dishes, etc. will still be done daily, but won't take as long.

So, how will our days flow? I will confess that I don't know how it will all end up, but I do know that the kids are counting on me to demonstrate leadership and confidence so even if I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants, I will do it deliberately one day at a time.

One way or another, we'll be singing a happy song, even if I don't know the words yet. What will be doing to make your home sing this week? Head over to the Momstheword to see what everyone else is doing to keep their homes in harmony.

New Picture...

Okay, Melissa, I changed my profile picture so I don't look so "old". Thanks for the head's up.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

More Bagels...

May I tell you something? I am loving home-made bagels. Seriously. I'm using the bagel recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice that I used last time and it is very easy to follow.


I won't lie to you. There a bit of work, but they are so worth it. I made two different batches a few weeks ago and I've been meaning to tell you about them. First, I made regular old water bagels (aka plain bagels). It was the first time I'd tried this recipe and I was pleasantly surprised by how well they turned out. These were not just "round bread"...they really had that chewy bagel texture.

In fact, I was so pleased that I made cinnamon raisin bagels the very next day! The cinnamon raisin bagels had an amazing flavor. They were so good. Unfortunately, I made the dough a little too wet, so our cinnamon raisin bagels were a bit flat.


I really, really urge you to be brave and try to make bagels. You won't regret it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

He's On His Way...

After weeks of preparation, Superman left today for his new job. He'll be in the United States for one more week as he does processing at a military base, then he'll leave from there next Friday for his assignment overseas. He's excited to have the opportunity, even as he's worried about leaving us behind. One way or another, however, it begins today.

We rolled the kids out of bed this morning and headed to the airport. Superman's bag was crazy heavy...seriously: 63 pounds! To give you an idea of just how big and heavy it was, please keep in mind that Superman is 6'4". Look at the bag compared to him. It was huge!


(Also note just how tall my 13-year old Valiant has gotten. When did that happen?)

We got him checked in, stalled as long as we could, and walked him to the TSA checkpoint. May I just say how much I miss the way airports used to be? Sitting at the gates and watching all the arriving and departing planes as you waited for your loved one's plane to load. No such memories for today's kids. Nope. Instead, they got to watch their dad unload his pockets, take off his shoes, take his laptop from his backpack, all to finish up with a trip through the metal detector. Sigh. Not the poignant leave-takings from my childhood, that is for sure.


As you can imagine, there were tears and hugs and then we were on our way home. As for Superman? Duh! He was on his way to the wild blue yonder. (He's flying commercial instead of using his cape...he's traveling incognito these days.)

P.S. Sorry if the pictures aren't particularly good. We got a new camera so Superman could take mine with him. So far, I'm thinking I'm heading back to Costco to return the new one tomorrow. Out of 15 pictures, I've got 4 usable ones. Darn it!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Shoot Me! 2 of 52...


Did you think I'd forget? No way! I've been busy getting Superman ready to leave tomorrow, but I wanted to share this picture we took right before the Game Night good-bye party for Superman and Mr. M.


Arent' we goofy?

In other news, we just got back from turning in passport applications for the kids and me Unfortunately, we were only able to turn in our applications for Buttercup and me. Apparently the "certified abstract" I've always used for Valiant doesn't count as a "certified" birth certificate (who knew?), so now we need to rush out and get Superman's consent for Valiant to get a passport notarized before Superman leaves so that when I get the properly "certified" birth certificate, I can apply for a passport for Valiant without Superman being there. Fun times!

Anyway, to see how everyone else got themselves in the picture, head over to Forever in Blue Jeans and check out their submissions!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Making Your Home Sing Monday - The Don't-Forget-Anything Edition...


Sorry I'm so late today, but this is definitely going to be a hectic week! It is Making Your Home Sing Monday and this week is no different than any other: How Mom handles things determines the mood of the household. I'm doing my best to "go with the flow".


I won't lie to you, I'm feeling the pressure. I'm stressed about so many different things. First the mundane:


Packing: Will Superman's packing do well? Have we forgotten anything he'll need before we can ship it to him? Fortunately, we'll have APO privileges, so we can ship things to him easily, but still, how do you plan for a year?


The house: Have I thought about asking about all the things that he normally takes care of around the house? This part of the country has four seasons and means doing far more things to the house throughout the year than I ever did in So Cal. Blowing out the sprinklers? You're kidding me, right? Will the sprinklers work when we turn the water back on in April (oh please, oh please!)?


The cars: Does my car need any attention? What about his car?


Then the emotional:


How will we do this? What will it be like to be without my husband of 20 years for a year? What will it be like for the kids to only see their father via Skype? What about Charmings college graduation? Superman will miss it.


Honestly, we won't know anything until we are actually living it. In the meantime, we're just moving right along. What do they say? "Worrying about tomorrow robs today of its joy", so we're just not worrying.


I took Valiant to the oral surgeon for his pre-surgery consult...he's getting four wisdom teeth out next Monday and we have an appointment later in the week for an orthodontist consultation. He's got a Scout camping trip scheduled for the weekend of the 22 (doesn't snow camping sound fun to you?) and Stage Combat starts for both kids on the 30th. I even got my hair cut for the first time in 16 months this morning.


As I've been imagining life with Superman on the other side of the world, it has occurred to me that life goes on and things just need to get done. Dwelling on things won't help us accomplish those things. So, to make my house sing this week, I'm just putting one foot in front of the other and not looking too far ahead.


So here is where we are: Superman leaves on Friday...his flight leaves at 9:30 a.m., so we'll be saying "good-bye" at 8:30 when he crosses into the "ticketed passengers only" section of the airport. I really wish the kids and I could sit with him at the gate the way we used to do these days. Before he leaves, we're getting the kids passports, so we can go visit him if the opportunity arises.


So there you have it, Making Your Home Sing Monday at the Nagle5 household is a bit off-key this week, but we're moving right along. To see what everyone else is up to this second full week of 2010, head over to Momstheword and check in with them.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'm Thinking...

That I should stop while I'm so far behind! If I never, ever do the Body Test again on the Wii Fit Plus, can I just stay 16 years younger than I am?

Just asking...

Tonight is a Game Night Going Away Party for Superman and Mr. M (who, you might recall, is active Air Force and is deploying overseas on Monday for at least four months). Mr. M is the father of that adorable newborn baby you saw here. Since both of the men are leaving next week, we decided to have Game Night do double duty. We're serving "man food" (ribs, fried chicken, baked beans, potato salad, rolls) and a salad for those of us who just can't face "man food". Should be super fun and send them off with a smile and full stomachs.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Photo Flashback

I can't believe it is Friday Photo Flashback already. I know, I know. For some of you it is the second one you're doing this year, but for me, this is the first one of the new year.

As you probably already know, this is the time Alicia at More Than Words asks us to dig through our old photos and share something fun with you all. When I found this one in November, I knew it was perfect for this meme.

So, here is the deal...my sister calls me and says, "I need a picture of Charming when he was little so I can put it on a Red Robin gift card." Of course, being the good mother and sister that I am, I put it off until she called me three times. (Hey, what can I say? I've been a bit distracted!) Originally, LoveAphid was asking for a picture of Charming with his beloved Mr. Lion, his constant companion from the time he was six months old until he was six or seven. I knew just what picture she was talking about, but I just couldn't find it. (Actually, I still can't find it...sigh.) Instead, I found this picture and it was even better.



Look at this! Isn't it terrific? It is Charming at 2 1/2 with Mr. Lion is sitting on the table as we finish up lunch on the patio at the Red Robin in Calabasas. You can clearly see the Red Robin logo on his cup. Obviously, this was the picture for the gift card. Look how hip and happening Charming is in his Hard Rock Cafe sweatshirt.

See what I mean? This picture was perfect for the Red Robin Gift Card. And Charming looks, well, Charming!

Head over to Alicia's to see what everyone else came up with for the 2010 edition of Friday Photo Flashback.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Shoot Me: 1 of 52



Since Superman will be gone for almost a year, I thought he'd like it if I actually appear in some of the pictures I will be taking for him. To encourage me to do just that, I'm going to be participating in "Shoot Me", hosted by Carin at Forever in Blue Jeans.

Look, I'm notorious for not wanting to be in the picture, but I really think it is time for me to get past that. "Shoot Me" is how I'm going to do it. So, I hope you won't mind, but you'll be seeing a bit more of me for the next year. (After all, I don't want Superman to forget what I look like!)

Here is the first one...

This is a picture of me with Buttercup in the backseat of my car as we drove my sister and her husband back to the airport to continue with their holiday excursion on December 28, 2009. I was tired, in sweats, and only wearing concealer. (Yeah, I decided to share the nitty gritty of my life with you all--no glamorous photo shoots here.)

There you have it...a picture of me...by the end of the year, there will be 52 of them. Superman will have proof he has a wife and my children will look back and remember times with me, too.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Go To Recipes from 2009

If you've been reading my blog for any time, you know I've been trying tons of new recipes this past year. Some were fantastic, some were okay, and a few became staples in our menu.

Three recipes, in particular, became go-to recipes for me in 2009.

First, LaFujiMama's One Hour Bread recipe. If you haven't yet tried this bread, you should try it this week. It is consistently fantastic and because it is done so quickly, you can make it at the last second.

Second, Andrea at the Train to Crazy/Hatch shared an amazing pancake recipe and it is so good that it has replaced every other pancake recipe I've tried. (In case you're wondering, I keep powdered buttermilk on hand and I make my own cake flour using corn starch and unbleached all-purpose flour.)

Finally, these Simple Chocolate Drop Cookies are so good and so easy and so different from your typical cookies that whenever I'm wanting something a little different.

So, there you have it...the three recipes that went from "brand new" to "go to" for me in 2009. It is 2010...don't you think you should try them yourself? Honestly, do you think I'd steer you wrong?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Biggest Loser (No Spoiler)

Best line from tonight's episode of Biggest Loser?

"There is puke... and snot and tears and we haven't even touched them yet!" Jillian

A New Season of Biggest Loser Starts Tonight!

If you haven't ever watched Biggest Loser, you might think (as I did) that is just a show that makes fun of fat people. You couldn't be farther from the truth. I find this show so inspiring and am humbled by the contestants, even the ones I really decide I don't care for. As these people tackle the daunting task of losing hundreds of pounds of excess weight, they also tackle the issues that the weight is a symptom of. Through their journey, I'm inspired to continue my own.

If you're at all interested, you can read about this season's contestants here and the show will be on tonight on your NBC channel at 8:oo p.m. I know I'll be watching.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Making Your Home Sing Monday - Seriously?


Okay, so it is the first Monday of the year and I had very good intentions. I was going to join Nan's Making Your Home Sing Monday first thing this morning. I was going to get my errands done early in the day. I was going to get my desk cleaned up. And, of course, I was going to reclaim my home from the holidays.

Only one thing got in my way. Buttercup generously shared. Yes, she did. Unfortunately, what she shared was her pre-New Year's Eve cold. Ugh. I've been sneezing and tired and mentally foggy all day. Oh, don't get me wrong. We still got stuff done.

Superman headed back to work for his last full week with his current employer, Charming headed back to the dorms and Valiant, Buttercup and I set to work at restoring order to our home. Vacuuming, dusting, laundry, and the last of the de-Santa-fying process has been done. Bathrooms were cleaned and donations were made to Goodwill. Newspapers were dropped off at the recycling center and a package of odds and ends she left behind was mailed off to my sister today. (Did you know dirt freezes? I have fake poinsettias stuck in a planter out front...I pulled and pulled and can't get two of the stems out!)

What didn't get done? The guest bedroom sheets need to be changed and the trailer needs to be cleaned and put to bed for a delayed winter's sleep. All of our thank-you's need to be written.

Did I mention I inadvertently locked the cat in the greenhouse this afternoon? At least he got a warm nap while he waited for us to hear him mewing. Sigh.

Honestly, there wasn't much singing today. Maybe we'll have a Monday-on-Tuesday day tomorrow. One could hope.

In the meantime, head over to Nan's and read her thoughts on just how bad husband bashing is for your entire family in this weeks' Making Your Home Sing Monday. I happen to think she's dead right. What do you think?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Food for Thought


"Do not be too timid and squeamish
about your actions. All life is an experience"

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Exercise can be fun? Who knew?


Well, I know this probably isn't news to you, but I don't always find exercise to be fun. Yes, shocking, isn't it? I do it, though, because it makes me feel good, it is good for me, and it makes me look better. So, when Santa brought us a Wii with Wii Fit Plus, I wasn't convinced that I'd love it as much as my friends Generations Gone By and Melissa at 365 Days of Exercise do. I was wrong! I love, love, love the Wii Fit Plus. This "toy" is seriously awesome! Not only are the kids playing it constantly, but adults really, really love it. New Year's Eve found five of us kicking the kids off the Wii and playing Wii Fit Plus games for two and a half hours! We were partial to the bird's eye bull's eye, the obstacle course, the tilty boards, the bubble on the river, and the marching band. Before you know it, you've exercise for 35-45 minutes and had a ball doing it. I've been exploring the yoga and the aerobics sections and am having so much fun.

Think it is just for girls? Not so! As I type this, Superman and Mr. R are jockeying for first place in the Marching Band competition.

Think the kids will turn up their noses at exercise? Think again! First thing in the morning, the kids ask, "May I go play Wii Fit?" Can't you picture me answering: "Um, no, you may not go exercise!" Yeah, right!Oh, and my WiiFit Age? 38 as of today! (Since I'm 46, I'll take anything that thinks I'm 38!)

Thanks a lot, Santa! We love it! Who knew exercise could be this much from for the entire family?

P.S. Adam, you were right...we totally love it.

(Disclaimer: I don't know about other games that the kids might want to play...we only have Wii Fit Plus...I don't play "real" video games, so I can't say if those are better with the Wii.)

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 will be a year of new experiences..

For awhile now, I've been alluding to big changes going on in the Nagle5 world, but until everything was finalized, I couldn't tell anyone. As you know, Superman's employment situation was, in our opinion, getting more and more tenuous each day. We are not people who like waiting for things to happen to us...instead, we prefer to direct the course of our lives. Rather than waiting for him to get laid off and then find himself looking for a job with everyone else, he's decided to take this opportunity to continue adding to his skill base and, thus, his employment options by accepting a position as a civilian contractor in support of the U.S. military overseas. On January 15th, he'll be leaving to fulfill a year-long contract overseas, which means Buttercup, Valiant, and I will be on our own here in Eastern Washington.

To say we're a bit nervous about it all would be an understatement. I understand lots of military families deal well with separations of this nature, but we're not a military family. While I have confidence that we will be fine, I am not underestimating the challenge we face this year. I hope you'll enjoy the Nagle5 News trying-new-things editions this year...I'm sure they will be filled with laughter, tears, triumphs and struggles. Oh, wait...isn't that what life is always about?

Anyway, that's enough about me. What about you? What are you going to be doing in 2010? Anything new and exciting going on at your house? In your life? With your family? Tell me...I really do want to know.