Thursday, September 03, 2009


I've moved. Please follow me to

Monday, February 02, 2009


Remember the resolution to build a website. Well this is what happens when someone totally inept with techno things tries to build a website. Please go away and let me figure this out. I'm crying...., not too hard though.
I am in the process of exporting this blog to another site. Until then, I'm sorry for the lack of line breaks on this site. It's all part of the export.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Here's a new address for you.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

eye candy

Just a little eye-candy. This is Romie Boy today. Isn't he just soooo cute?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

scrapbooks etc.

I've mentioned my photograper niece Mindi before. Well the following post is directly from her blog. I wanted to humbly bask in the fame of my niece and great niece. This is too cool.

Mindi writes:
guess who is on the cover of October's "Scrapbooks etc."????? my annabelle!

i've been keeping this a secret for SEVERAL months, in fear of it falling through and me looking like an idiot. you have no idea how hard it's been! but i finally picked up my copy at my local scrapbook store tonight (they should hit the shelves at Wal-Mart/Hobby Lobby/Michael's/other bookstores, sometime around September 11th, i think.

aside from the fact that they seemed to "edit" my photo and make it incredibly over brightened, i'm happy. (as a photographer, the editing is really making me cringe, i have to admit, but hey, what can you do?)

annabelle is so over the top excited and can't wait to take it to school. dustin went out of town tonight for business, and took the copy with him to show everybody.

as soon as i can, i plan to buy a few more copies and probably frame one!

so here's how it went down:
i have a few pictures of my kids posted on a scrapbooking website (under photography) and one of the editors for this magazine (which is put out by Better Homes and Gardens) emailed me back in December, asking to use a picture of Julian as a possible cover idea for March/April. She wanted the picture in color, not b/w which is what i had posted. i sent them a copy, and they all debated it, and ended up going with a different photo.

however, for the next couple of months, i started getting submission requests that they sent out to a slew of photographers/scrapbookers, which you have no idea how excited/honored/flattered that made me.

then, a month or two later, another editor contacted me about possibly using Annabelle's soccer photo for the Oct. issue, since it was "sports themed". I told them yes, but didn't really get my hopes up. But this time, they voted to use it, and finally, months and months later, I have it in my hands!

There is a little write-up about the photo on one of the first few pages of the magazine, that gives photo credit to "Mindi Bartell", and talks about what we were doing when we took the photo. so neat, because 2 years ago, i added to my list of "goals", to
"Have SOMETHING published. anything. a story, picture, scrapbook page, anything."

finally, something to cross off the list. although, tonight julian made me promise that he can be on the cover of a magazine next.
we'll see what we can do about that...

Labels: ,

Monday, September 10, 2007

Monday's question

Last week's question was a lead balloon. But thanks to Sue and Jill for taking the lead balloon and giving it air. I think their answers were very good. But in the interest of participation, I will drop the philosophical jazz and be a bit less airy and more down to earth. Please play along. This week's question is,

What is the best book you've ever read and why did you like it so much?

Feel free to name more than one book.



Saturday while walking downtown I saw a lady approaching with something bright red in her mouth. It wasn't until she was right up to me that I realized that bright red something in her mouth was actually her lipstick. She had full round lips and an unusually pale face. I smiled; it reminded me...

When I was a teenager, my friend Susan was going to introduce me to her nephew. I had grandiose ideas of him falling in love with me and sweeping me away to bliss-dom. Before he came over to her house, I brushed my hair and went through her enormous selection of lipsticks. Finding a light pink gloss, I applied it, confident I looked cute. When I heard him arrive I went into the living room for her to introduce us. With creased eyebrows Susan grimaced as she looked at me. Her nephew was noticably uninterested. I knew something wasn't right but hadn't a clue what it was.

The nephew left a few minutes later, clearly not swooning. When the door was closed behind him, Susan wasted no time turning to me and yelling, "What on earth were you thinking?"

I was totally in the dark and didn't know what I had done.

She yelled, "Your lips!! Why on earth did you do that?"

I ran to a mirror. My lips were as red as red gets and my skin was its usual pale color. I looked like a clown. I was horrified and grabbed the lipstick to show her.

Moments later she was howling. That light pink lip gloss I'd chosen was actually a "mood lipstick."


nasty slang

Rachael is in Junior High now. This has brought a few challenges to our home. Last week in a fun-loving way she said "screw you" to a friend. I told her not to say it and she said it didn't mean anything bad. I told her it meant the same thing as "f---you." She said it didn't either.

I guess they went to school the next day and asked what it means. That evening they told me I was wrong. "F--- you" means what it says. "Screw you," means "hump you." This was supposed to comfort me and make me willing to let them say it.

I told them that all those expressions mean the same thing. They were amazed at my ignorance yelling, "Mom, no they don't. Everyone says 'screw you.'"

I countered with, "I don't."

They let out wails of unbelief. I defended with "I know what humping is, I know what the 'f word' is, I know what screwing is; they are all nasty expressions for the same thing. Can we respect sex between a husband and wife enough to call is something besides any of those words?"

Hannah let out an exasperated sigh, "Mom it's been 8 years for you. Things have changed."

"8 years?," I said.

She said, "YEEESSS! 8 years since Deborah was born. Things have changed."

Labels: , ,


Hi everyone. Nothing all that noteworthy happening here. I'm thoroughly enjoying this life I have. It's a wonderful life. Quiet and savory. That isn't the case much longer though. I've given notice at my little job and will be quitting at the end of September. Then I'll be headed to Arkansas for October to see my adorable grandson Roman. (I'll see a lot of other people too but at this moment Roman is the drawing card.:-)) Gordon is taking some time off work and since the girls are in school, he's arranging his schedule to be both Mom and Dad for a few weeks. Bless his heart, he is good.

When I get back home from Arkansas, things will pick up enormously. We are going to start foster parenting again. We did that from 1998 - 2002 (with lots of breaks to maintain sanity). There was a straight up learning curve, so I'm happy to be familiar with and fairly aware of what it will be like. For the most part our experience was good. Our hearts were broken in 2002 and we got out of it saying we'd never do it again.

Several months ago a baby died in foster care in Edmonton. The foster mother was charged. The media was all over it and it awakened the desire to foster in me again. Despite our own heartbreak in 2002, I know that every child that came through our home left better than they arrived, many left very noticeably improved. It was hard work, but enormously fulfilling. We had 19 foster children in that time frame, most of them short-term. Our longest stints were 1 year. We had 3 for a year or nearly a year.

Back then we were more open to what ages we would take. We took mostly teenagers and babies and we had an 8-year-old girl for a year. But now we're committed to only getting children younger than our own. We're thinking 4-8 year olds.

The girls are pretty excited about it. We have given them a lot of veto powers. When they say "no more" we will comply. I know of people whose natural children got emotionally hurt in the fostering process and we don't want that. Deborah and Hannah can't wait to foster. Rachael is happy some days and against it other days. We shall see where she levels out.

That's the most exciting news around here.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

My children are back in school and I am happy and gleeful. They are in new schools this year and so far it's been a wonderful experience. I drive them. I was spoiled as they have walked to school for the past three years. No more. I leave with them every morning at 8:15. But it's good for me. It jump-starts my day and I'm having very productive days.

This morning I read a quote from Helen Keller. "The best, most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." It got me to thinking about the invisible great things in my life. So fittingly, here is my Thursday Thirteen list:

Invisible Beautiful Things in My Life (in no particular order).

1. prayer; talking to God
2. sensing God's presence
3. love
4. commitment
5. discipline; self-control
6. knowing God is in control
7. joy
8. acceptance
9. peace
12.thankfulness; gratitude

Labels: ,

Monday, September 03, 2007

Monday's Question

Well it's getting late on Monday and I've not posted a question. So I will now. I am curious on your take on this question. So please participate. Give me some fun.

How does one live a life well?


Saturday, September 01, 2007

blue brain

Your Brain is Blue

Of all the brain types, yours is the most mellow.
You tend to be in a meditative state most of the time. You don't try to think away your troubles.
Your thoughts are realistic, fresh, and honest. You truly see things as how they are.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about your friends, your surroundings, and your life.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen one (or two) liners from stand-up comedians:

Women don’t want to hear what you think. Women want to hear what they think—in a deeper voice.
-- Bill Cosby

Gay people invented sports. Think about it. Boxing: two topless men ... in silk shorts ... fighting over a belt.
-- Ant

I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, “Where’s the self-help section?” She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.
-- Brian Kiley

I didn’t understand NASCAR until I met some NASCAR fans. You talk to a couple of NASCAR fans and you’ll see where a shiny car driving in a circle would fascinate them all day. I can make fun of NASCAR fans because if they chase me, I just turn right.
-- Alonzo Bodden

The problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.
-- Robin Williams

Michael Jackson is the spokesperson for people who cut off their noses to spite their face.
-- Dennis Miller

You know you’re getting old when work is a lot less fun and fun is a lot more work.
-- Joan Rivers

I called a discount exterminator. A guy came by with a rolled-up magazine.
-- Will Shriner

Have you seen the deer heads on the walls of bars, the ones wearing party hats, sunglasses and streamers? I feel sorry for them because obviously they were at a party having a good time...
-- Ellen DeGeneres

Did you know babies are nauseated by the smell of a clean shirt?
-- Jeff Foxworthy

How many people here have telekinetic powers? Raise my hand.
-- Emo Phillips

You know, marriage is making a big comeback. I know personally that in Hollywood people are marrying people they never married before.
-- Bob Hope

I constantly walk into a room and I don’t remember why. But for some reason, I think there’s going to be a clue in the fridge.
-- Caroline Rhea

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Chinese Food

Tonight we went out for Chinese food. Hannah passed off a piece of ginger beef that she thought looked "disgusting." That reminded me of something that happened to me about 10 years ago.

We had a Korean teenager living with us and Rachael and Hannah were both babies. After church one day we went to a Chinese buffet.

I asked Gordon to fix my plate as I stayed behind putting babies in high-chairs. Shortly he and HanEy returned with all of our plates. We prayed and began eating. Before long I came across what I was sure was an aborted baby's hand in my ginger beef. I was mortified -- stricken completely speechless. I sat 100% stunned, unable to even raise my head.

My mind was racing, computing dozens of scenarios. I knew I had stumbled onto serious criminal activity and was trying desperately to ascertain a working plan of how to handle this. I knew if I went to the proprietor with such I thing, he could grab it from me and destroy the evidence. I was thinking the logical thing to do was wrap it in a napkin and take it to a police station. Still I sat there very close to vomiting, unable to speak.

Aware of nothing but the horror in my plate, I slowly became conscious of laughter beside me. I looked up prepared to shatter any light mood that existed at the table. HanEy and Gordon were looking at me laughing. They were saying things like, "It's a chicken's foot," and "It's just a joke." They had no idea the horrifying images running through my head.

When I finally grasped what they were saying, that what I thought was an aborted baby's hand was actually a battered and fried chicken's foot, it was way too late to redeem the situation. I was sick to my stomach and very near tears.

I took one of the girls and went and sat in the car while they finished eating. I was so upset. Not by their joke, but by the horrible images that had just been in my head. My adrenaline was pumping as if I'd just witnessed a murder. I cried.

It was several years before I ate ginger beef again. We never went back to that restaurant which before that day had been considered a "special" place. And until tonight, I guess I've not thought of that most horrific image in several years.