NMM: Vacation Recap


Monday again!  Today’s the day we link up with MckMama for the sweet blog carnival she started.

Seeing that we’re recently back from a vacation, I figured I would NOT talk about it.  Because it was NOT anything to write home about.

We did NOT endure several hours of kids-stuck-in-the-van, with lots of  “I have to pee!” and “When will we be there?” and “I want THAAAAT book!” and “I’m HUNGRY!”  all the way to “The Big City.”  We did NOT happily crash at our friend’s house, and wish the kids would settle down in the tent soon so we could sleep!

I did NOT sleep through The Bull’s leg cramps on Saturday night and Sunday night, one of which did NOT involve him taking a 3 a.m. trip to the grocery store for tonic water (which contains quinine, which his doctor has said will immediately stop leg cramps) and Gatorade (to drink all day long, which is supposed to prevent them.)

(I did NOT have cramps of my own, of a different variety, last week.)

(I did NOT just blog about “girly things.”)

We did NOT invade our friend’s house after only two nights in the tent.  The Bull was NOT relieved to sleep on a bed, after working so hard during those days.  I am NOT unhappy that this was our only camping trip for the summer!  And I was NOT thrilled with the idea of “camping” where we’d have hot showers, real food, and wireless Internet connection.  🙂

I did NOT try to arrange last-minute play dates with friends in the area.  I am usually much more prepared than that and make arrangements in advance! The problem was that I did NOT have any idea how The Bull’s work on Aunt Mel’s project would go, how long it would take, if I’d be able to help him, etc.

I did NOT take the three mooselets to our old church by myself on Sunday morning.  We usually attend as a family.  I did NOT feel very sad when friend after friend asked “where is The Bull?”  And my heart did NOT soar when I saw him drive into the parking lot after hitting the local Home Depot for yet more building materials needed for the project.  I did NOT tear up again, to be in the church we were married in ten years ago, and see purple lilacs on the altar (which is my favorite flower and the one I carried in my bouquet!)

I did NOT hang around Aunt Mel’s project with the children, hoping to be able to help with something and instead spend much time “Leave that alone,” “Get out of there,” and “Stop playing with Daddy’s tools!”  I did NOT quickly realize that small children plus building materials plus tools plus a deck under reconstruction is NOT a good combination.  So I did NOT instead spend time at Target, and Wal*mart, and Fred Meyer’s, and Sears, and Wal*Mart again, each and every day of the project (about one store a day), looking for the Best Gift Ever for the Best Father Ever.

(I did NOT hide all my purchases from The Bull right under his nose!  He did NOT have any clue that that the bags he unpacked from the van when we returned home hid his Father’s Day gifts!)

I did NOT ditch my hubby and children one day to go hang out with Aunt Mel during her chemotherapy.  I did NOT almost laugh out loud when her doctor walked into the room . . . wearing a Hawaiian shirt, jeans, and sandals!  I did NOT have to bite my tongue when I realized that the doctor looks just like Lance Armstrong, maybe in a few years.  I did NOT spend the three hours of her treatment re-learning to play cribbage.  Her brother taught me years ago and I did NOT forget how to play because I hadn’t played in sooo long.

We did NOT experience warmer-than-normal temperatures Sunday through Wednesday, while The Bull was doing the work.  70 degrees in Alaska in June?  So NOT normal!  We are NOT used to this kind of warm weather so we did NOT have to drink extra fluids and run air conditioning in the van as we drove around.  (Interestingly enough, the day we married, 10 years ago, was a hot day too. ) I did NOT pack mainly long sleeve shirts for the children and me, since the weather was predicted to be cool and cloudy.  Then I did NOT regret this when the weather ended up being so warm!!!

I did NOT drive around extra so that Calf #3 could nap in her car seat in the van on Saturday.  And Sunday.  Oh, and Monday too.  And on Tuesday and Wednesday.  And Thursday as well. Anyway! I did NOT park the van in the shade at Aunt Mel’s and leave the doors and windows open on a breezy day while she napped so she wouldn’t get too hot, which led to her being eaten up by mosquitoes. And I did NOT leave the van running and the air conditioning on another day, so she wouldn’t get too hot or eaten by mosquitoes. And she did NOT take extra short naps last week. So she was NOT extra crabby last week, and neither was I!

On Tuesday night, we did NOT drive around “The Big City” for twenty minutes, after dropping the calves off with a dear friend, to have an anniversary date.  We did NOT decide to just go to the Lone Star Steakhouse, since we had a coupon.  We did NOT then spend another half hour driving up one street, and down the next, looking for a coffee shop affiliated with a church that I remember from “way back when” (before The Bull and I married.)  I remembered the name of the coffee shop, but I could NOT remember the name of the church.  Since we could NOT find it, we did NOT decide to just go to the Barnes & Knobles’ coffee shop for cheesecake and decaffeinated beverages and play cribbage. I did NOT keep looking at my watch during this lovely date, hoping to get back to the calves before it got too late, as our friend had early-morning obligations and The Bull wanted an early start to the work day.

We did NOT scramble to finish the project on Wednesday night, so as to spend Thursday as a family.  We did NOT wake up Thursday morning to 50-degree weather, after several hot 70-degree days, and then decide to spend the day outside at the zoo!  I was NOT happy to go into the bathroom at the zoo because it was HEATED and I was COLD!  Ugh!  It is normal to have 50-degree days here, we are used to it and don’t complain about it.

I am NOT going to show any pictures from our vacation today, but if you want to see some you can go here and here and here and here and here (and maybe more soon, check back later.)  And maybe I’ll post zoo pics later.

I did NOT feel awkward when we arrived home after vacation, as if we were in a new place and I couldn’t remember what to do or where to put things.  This is my home, for crying in the mud; we were only gone a week!

We did NOT have chips with our dinner Saturday night, since I was NOT feeling a bit creative after a week’s vacation from menu planning.  I did NOT take several minutes of video of the little girl calf, hoping to capture her adorable pronunciation of “chip.”  We NOT make our children ask politely for what they want, which does NOT make them scream and fuss and cry all the more.

In case you can’t quite hear it, it is “Pla ple.”

I did NOT just include FOUR videos of my baby girl having a fit in this post!

See ya next time!


NMMMPM: Mixed Up

notmemondaymeal plan monday buttonAh, the joys of vacation! And the convenience of scheduling posts (thanks so much, Debi! Great idea!)

Today I am relaxing on a beach somewhere, lying under an umbrella, with a cool iced tea in my hand, listening to the waves crash softly at my feet, feeling the warmth of the summer sun on my toes.

Or not! But doesn’t that sound good?  (Except maybe the iced tea, I don’t care for that much.)

And we are NOT doing a tour of the Grand Canyon, we are NOT exploring the Great Wall of China, and we are definitely NOT climbing Mt. McKinley, the largest peak on North American continent!  (No, really, we are NOT doing any of these things!)

But we ARE on vacation.  🙂

And if we are very, very lucky we might get to see Mt. McKinley.  For real!

This week, I am NOT making dinner.  (Did you hear that scream? That would be The Bull . . . it’s ok, honey, I’m doing my “Not Me! Monday”!  You will get some food this week!)

I’m NOT doing my menu this week (really not!) because I don’t know what we’ll come up with.  I hope that this week’s menu plan involves a lot of BBQ’ing and paper plates and ice cream.  And rumour has it that our hosts make an awesome camp pie. 🙂  We’ll just have to see.


I am NOT making these this week (really not!)  I have NOT made them and taken them to potlucks before, and grinned when kids eat them because I’m NOT up to sneaking good food into them!  I did NOT promise this recipe to Heidi three months ago.  (OK, it may have only been two months.)

Lentil Brownies (I think it comes from Magic Beans, by Patti Bazel Geil.)  It’s low fat but you certainly don’t have to make it that way! 🙂

1/2 cup lentils, uncooked
1.5 cups water
1 cup egg substitute (or 4 eggs)
1.75 cups sugar
.25 cups corn oil
.75 cups applesauce (or more oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
.5 cup plus 2 Tablespoons cocoa
.5 teaspoon salt
.5 cup chocolate chips
1 cup marshmallows
Nonstick cooking spray

Rinse the lentils; combine with water in a pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until tender.  Drain off excess liquid.

In the meantime, beat the egg substitute and sugar.  Add the oil, applesauce, vanilla, flour, cocoa, and salt to the sugar and egg substitute mixture.  Stir in the cooked lentils, chocolate chips, and marshmallows.

Press into a 9×13 pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool and cut.

I also do NOT have other sneaky recipes. . . I may share others if you like!


Oh yeah, to link up your menu plan, go here.  To play along with Not Me! Monday, go here.

Until we meet again . . .

NMM: I guess I will


It’s still Monday, and I have a little time, so I guess I’ll join MckMama over at her blog for this fun carnival she created.

This past week I did NOT do a lot of things.  Like chase a little girl calf through the grass at a park.  And then lay in the grass myself, totally soaking up the sun and letting The Bull chase the kids for a while!  Aaaaahhhh, this is what I like about spring summer in Alaska. Green grass and warm days.  Why, today got up to about 65 degrees!  It’s downright tropical (especially compared to December/January’s 20 below zero!)  Really, we need to enjoy this now, because it’s NOT usually this nice here in May.

(Which explains why I am NOT at the computer, but instead outside enjoying the sun.)

And the long daylight hours are NOT getting to me, too.  Since it’s light until nearly midnight, and I mean light enough to read, I am NOT having a hard time getting to bed.  I have NOT had to tell the boy calves a few times this week, “No, it’s NOT day time, it’s bedtime.  Go to bed!” because they, too are fooled into believing that it’s earlier than it really is.

I did NOT set my watch timer for a reasonable 9:15 p.m. to have an audible reminder that it is time to get myself and the little ones ready for bed.

We did NOT have such a busy weekend that the dishes did NOT fill up BOTH sinks in the kitchen.  Ick!  I did NOT spend a bunch of time this morning scrubbing off dried-on food and loading the dishwasher (since we do NOT have one of those dishwashers that requires one to pre-wash the dishes) and then I did NOT have to re-run the lousy thing because the soap hadn’t rinsed off completely.  (Exactly how is this a time saving device? And energy efficient?  Puh-leeze!!)

And speaking of the busy weekend, I did NOT find myself bawling at our friend’s graduation.  I did  NOT feel even a tiny bit of emotion as I realized that the photos in the slideshow–of the graduates at different ages–are exactly like the photos I am taking now, of my children!  And that in another decade I’ll be looking through these photos I’m taking every day and choosing some to embarrass highlight our graduate.  And that we’ll then be kissing him good bye as he goes off to the military or to college or to his first “real” job. . . Oh excuse me a moment, I do NOT need a kleenex. . .

If you can handle a little honesty, head over to MckMama’s to read what others have NOT done this past week!

NMM: Tuesday’s Party Week


Welcome to another edition of this wonderful blog carnival, started by the very energetic and very lovely MckMama!

In honor of the Tuesday Blog Party this week, I’m sharing some things I did NOT do the past week during the party.

I did NOT visit each and every blog advertising a give away.

I did NOT enter a bunch of give aways!  Heck, it’s only $1 to enter, that’s not bad at all!

I did NOT decide NOT to post about my favorites, so as to limit my competition. 😉  I will NOT tell you about the gift cards, the cute little baby shoes, the darling children’s jewelry, the hats and scarves, the DVDs and books, coffee mugs, gift baskets, T-shirts, and sunglasses that are available through this party.

I did NOT spend several hours re-reading the Whitt family’s blog before writing a post or two.

I did NOT spend several hours researching neuroblastoma and other childhood cancers, and then writing this and this. (And I do NOT better understand neuroblastoma now, childhood cancers in general, cancer funding, etc.)

I was NOT excited to see such an overwhelming response to the blog party!

I am NOT hoping that we’ll reach our goal–$3000–today.

I did NOT almost forget to put in my donation for those give aways I did NOT enter.

I am NOT going to say, yet a-GAIN, “please go to Debi’s blog to join us for the Tuesday Blog Party!”

I am NOT going to wrap up Tuesday’s week tomorrow with yet another post about Tuesday and other stuff.

I do NOT wish ya’all to have a lovely spring day!

NMM: Back To The Routine!


We are back to Not Me’ing!  YAY!  This is what, six weeks after Baby Stellan’s initial hospital visit? If you haven’t heard, he is doing great!

I’m just  not sure what to do.  How did I do this again?  Let me think.  What have I NOT done recently?

Well, let’s see.  Several weeks ago, we were blessed with a healthy dose of chicken pox!  We’d been waiting for a long time for it.  But, I did NOT realize how much laundry that would create for me.   The little calves bathed four or five times a day, since being submerged in oatmeal-y or baking soda-y water made them less itchy. That did NOT create loads and loads of laundry:  bathtowels, and washcloths, and shirts, etc., etc.!

And at about the same time, I did NOT need to do middle-of-the-night baths and bedding changes with the little girl with vomit and/or leaky diarrhea.  One of those instances did NOT involve a cloth diaper, and leaking all the way down to her toes, and throwing away the whole mess (diaper, diaper cover, and jammies.) This did NOT carry on for several days. I am NOT going to admit that one of those leaky diarrhea instances was while the baby girl calf was sitting on the afghan which I am crocheting in my “spare time.”  Said afghan does NOT smell funny.  Normally I wash the things when I’m finished with them, but this one did NOT end up with a pre-washing.

I did NOT wake up early one Friday morning, a few weeks ago, to have The Bull asking me about the candle I’d left burning the night before.  OOPS!!!  Have to NOT do that one again!

Over the last seven weeks, I did NOT spend days by the computer, during Stellan’s hospitalization, clicking “Refresh” over and over and over and over and over, looking for updates on Stellan’s health. I did NOT spend time praying for them to be able to go home soon. I am NOT relieved, really thrilled, that Stellan is back home where he belongs with the rest of his Happy Meal siblings.

Whew, they say that confession is good for the soul.  I feel better, how about you?  I have missed this lovely habit and I’m glad that you’re back,  MckMama!  Head to MckMama’s blog and you will find everything you need to know about doing your own Not Me!

NMM: Stellan Style

Not Me! Monday is the blog carnival started by the lovely and admirable MckMama.

Unfortunately, she has been in the hospital for one week and one day with her handsome five month old baby, Stellan.  He was having difficulty breathing Sunday afternoon (March 22), so they went to the hospital.  While he was there, his heart went into SVT (Supraventricular Tachycardia.)  His heart has been beating super fast for over a week now!  Needless to say, MckMama has been unable to post the Not Me! Monday linky last week and this.

A friend of hers, Mrs. Cline, has offered to host Not Me! Monday today, in honor of MckMama.

And, since we are all following Stellan’s story with great anxiety, today we are talking about what we have NOT done while praying for Stellan to recover and go home from the hospital.

I did NOT wake up early on Monday morning (for other reasons.)  I did NOT figure that, since I was up anyway, I might as well check on the baby.  I did NOT go sit at the computer at 2 am! I was NOT concerned that there was no update at that time.  MckMama is sleeping. . . they are fine . . . she forgot to update . . . the Twitter updates didn’t go through . . . I did NOT figure that there was a valid reason that her last update that night was “We are going to the hospital.”

Of course, the next update was NOT “things went haywire and we are still in the hospital.”

I have NOT been praying for this sweet boy, and his dear mama, all week.

They are NOT in my thoughts as I go to bed.  When I wake overnight, I do NOT wonder how they are doing.  I do NOT have a difficult time resisting the urge to run to the computer, at 2 or 3 am, to see how he is doing.

I do NOT sit close to the computer all day, clicking “Refresh” periodically.

I did NOT email a bloggy friend to ask her to pray, and post for others to pray.  Said email was NOT written in a panic.

Stellan and his wonderful family have NOT found their way deep into my heart.  I have NOT become so incredibly close to a family that I have never met.

MckMama does NOT inspire me with her ongoing persistence and patience.  I’m sure she doesn’t feel very patient, but I think by now I’d have needed to be carried out of there on a stretcher.  Maybe patience isn’t the right word.  I mean the way she continues to look to the LORD, even when things look very bad for her baby.

I am NOT continuing to pray that the LORD would intervene in this family’s life, and specifically in this little boy’s heart.  I am NOT finding myself closer to Him.

I did NOT go check again, right now, just to see if there is a new update before I publish my Not Me! Monday post.

I am NOT begging you to pray for them and to visit MckMama’s blog and leave a thoughtful comment.

I am NOT grateful to our LORD, who continues to surround them with love and friends.  And I am NOT grateful to the people who live nearby who have showered them with gifts and love and taken care of their needs.

Oh wait, I AM grateful!

Praying for Stellan

So, if you read my blog regularly you know that I am a fan of  “Not Me! Monday.”  I found MckMama’s lovely blog oh, I don’t know, sometime in December? and have been following since then.

Last night I thought I’d see if she had posted “Not Me” yet.  Instead, there was a little Twitter update about taking Stellan to ER that had been posted several hours before, but no update past that.  Odd. . . I wasn’t sure if it was a big problem or not.

Since I was up early this morning anyway, I figured I’d check in and see.  No news.  Nothing. That was scary to me, as MckMama is known to twitter frequently.  I went back to bed, praying, and hoping for good news in the morning.

Unfortunately, today’s updates gave more bad news.  Stellan’s heart continues to beat fast and irregular despite all the usual treatments for this sort of thing.  Problems with IVs.  Big medical words.

I don’t know where the docs will go from here.  MckMama has said that his heart can’t keep up this high rate.  Still–she continues to cling to God and know that He is in control. . . no matter what happens.

This afternoon, Calf #2 wanted to do handwriting practice for school (it is his favorite subject.)  The letter of the day is J, as in Jacket.  He wanted to name the little boy in his handwriting book Joe, since that starts with the letter J.  So I was listing off other J names: Joshua, Jacob, Jehoshaphat.  The boys thought that name was silly. Well, I just had to tell them the story of Jehoshaphat.  (This is the simplified-for-kids version, to read the whole thing, you can find it in II Chronicles chapter 20.)

Jehoshaphat was the king of Israel.  He was a good king.  One day the watchmen came and said, “King Jehoshaphat, the bad guys are coming to get us!”  And the king did something very good:  He went to ask God what to do.  And God they wouldn’t need to fight!  So King Jehoshaphat got together all the people who could sing and praise the LORD.  They went out to meet the enemy and found them all dead.  God won the battle for the Israelites. All they needed to do was to pick up the food and supplies that the enemy left behind.

This passage has always impressed me.  God wasn’t surprised about the enemy and He took care of His people in an amazing way.

I think it’s a great idea right now, for me.  I have been anxious, fearful, and worried about this little boy all day long.  I need to praise the LORD instead. God knows the outcome.  Whatever happens, He is still taking care of MckMama and her family.

Please join us in praying for little Stellan.

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