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Archive for November, 2007

Congratulations to Huberhadley for making me laugh and laugh!

“Your call is very important to us. Please stay on the line. The approximate waiting time to speak to a representative is…

Some days I feel as if my life is plagued by phone queues. Thanks to a healthy dose of laughter, I may be able to pick up the phone and call my insurance company without grimacing. If only I could sleep so peacefully while waiting for Blue Cross Blue Shield to PICK-UP! Okay, perhaps I’m not completely healed, but it’s a start.

Way to go Huberhadley, the Starbuck’s gift certificate and internet fame is yours!

Runner ups are:

“Can you hear me now.” Shanel, I loved this one as you know. It still makes me crack up.

“I hear the secrets that you keep, when you’re talking in your sleep.” Nice work, Jennifer! This was very clever and one of Nate’s favorites: “Oh, that’s a good one.”

Thanks to everyone for playing! It was so fun to hear all your creative entries. You all are an impressive bunch.

Oh, and the Pioneer Woman is this sassy photographer lady who lives on a working cattle ranch out west. She regularly hosts name-the-photo contests on her equally sassy blog. While her prizes are unquestionable superior to a latte of your choice, your odds of winning substantially better here. Her last contest attracted 1698 contenders!

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sweet surprise

Look what was waiting outside our door this evening when Nate, Ava and I returned from our family night out.


Ava ran up to the basket and yelled back to me. “Mama it’s presents. It’s presents for you Mama. They’re for you, Mama”

Apparently Ava learned to read on the way home from Fudruckers, because written on the envelope nestled among the shiny red packages was “Rachel, read this first.”

I excitedly ripped into the card as Nate wandered up to the door, “Whoa, what is all this?”

“It’s for Mama. It’s Mama’s for Christmas! Maybe Heather and Nick gave it to her. ‘Cause she is such a special Mama.”

I have no idea how she knew it was for me, perhaps she’s in cahoots with the giftbearer.

Here was the message in the basket:

Dear Sister,

This Advent Basket is a gift to you, a reminder that as you
wait for JESUS He gives you gifts every day. May He draw near to you during this Advent Season!

Beginning December 1st, open one gift each day with the corresponding number. On the 25th, celebrate the reality of Christ’s birth (and find out who gave you this basket)!

I am simply overwhelmed with joy by the sweet, sweet, kindness of this mysterious basket bearer. Oh, how I love surprises and acts of thoughtfulness. I cannot believe that someone thought to find twenty-five presents for me, wrapped them all up in beautiful foil paper, arrange them in a basket, drive to my house, and put them outside my door. And then to be told that this sweet gesture is only a symbol of my great Savior’s love for me. It’s really all too beautiful to imagine!

I was so giddy Nate thought it best to remove the basket from my hands and place it out of my reach lest I spoil my surprise.


Believe me he will be the enforcer of one gift per day.

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a bubba for all times

Three and half years ago, a mewing little rosebud made her debut bringing a sweetness to my life which I savor most every day. Also making her first appearance that May day was a little pink bunny blanket affectionately known as Bubba.

Shanel brought it to Ava the day she was born and I immediately swaddled her in it. Bubba was Ava’s first and possibly favorite friend.

Look how she keeps baby Ava so cozy in her Maclaren.

Bubba has gone just about everywhere with Ava. Car rides, stroller rides, burley rides, plane rides and sling rides. She has been to every doctor visit and dentist visit. She has gone to the gym, the grocery store, the mall, post office, the babysitters, and the church nursery. She is a scarf, a pillow, a pacifier, a buddy, a chew toy, and a tissue. And most importantly Bubba falls asleep every night in Ava’s arms.

There have been only two fitful nights that Bubba and Ava spent apart. When Ava was about fourteen months old, she lost her Bubba in the church nursery. I looked for her, the volunteers looked for her, and even the nursery coordinator looked for her. I was sure that Bubba had been accidentally sent home with some other child. If only they had a claim tag for Bubba.

On Tuesday morning Ava went back to the nursery for a mom’s morning gathering. When I came to pick her up she had Bubba clenched in her fists. Astonished, I asked the volunteer who had found the bunny. The lady held her hands up and said, “It was the strangest thing. All of the sudden she had that bunny in her arms. We don’t know where it came from.” However she found her Bubba is unknown, but I can tell you she has not let her out of her sight since.

Now look at her.


Ava has loved away the pink and the fluff. The stuffing in her head has been relocated to the right side and her face has been powdered in a dingy shade of gray. The tops of her ears have been gnawed off and little holes have scratched through her neck. With this much love, Bubba may not see another three and a half years.

Several months ago, I found Ava rocking her beloved bunny and singing her daddy’s lullaby with Bubba’s name replacing her own, “Sweetie, Bubba, Sweetie Bubba. I love my sweetie Bubbie.”

Three and half years of giggles, peek-a-boos, tears, hugs, scents, fears, comforts, cuddles, dreams, stories, and songs are stored in this little sixteen by sixteen inch chenille blanket. Bubba is a treasure chest of Ava’s love.


Oh, and Happy Half Birthday to you Ava!

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Wow, nice work on the photo titles. This judging thing is going to be a lot harder than I anticipated. You are a creative bunch! And there is even a bona fide Kristi-pun in the mix not to mention the pressure of Jennifer’s “need” to win. What is the mama to do?

Hopefully I will figure it out before Monday morning.

This is the scene that I found when I went to wake Ava up from her nap today.

Yes, that is her daddy’s retired phone, which he gave her last Saturday. “How come it’s not pink?” she asked him as she stuffed it in her fluffy pink poodle purse. The phone has become her constant companion, with which she communicates with just about everyone she has met and hasn’t met.

Today that phone accompanied her to bed.

Apparently the person on the other line got severely long winded.

This photo is in need of a good name, don’t you think? And so I’m turning it over to you, my creative internets.

In honor of the Pioneer Woman and her fabulous blog, I am hosting a name-the-photo-contest (I really like contests). Of course, I don’t have the ad kickbacks to put up $350 gift certificates to Williams Sonoma (which I did not win by the way). I can, however, buy you a cup of joe to keep you from falling asleep while chatting with me on the phone.

So there you have it, name this photo and a $5 gift certificate to Starbucks is yours! As well as internet fame, and you really can’t put a pricetag on that.

To enter this contest, please write your clever title in the Comments section of this post by Saturday at noon (CST). The savvy Winner will be announced Monday morning.

Happy Naming!

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infectious farewell

or what you don’t want to hear when you pick your healthy child up from preschool.

“Okay, everyone, remember what I said. You need to go home and get good rest. There were too many coughs today. You need to take a nap and go to bed early. And if you wake up and are still coughing. Do not come to school. We don’t want you to come to school and cough on everybody. There were too many coughs here today.”

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petal pushover

Drat! The flower stickers succumbed to the same fate as the nails below them. Pink and purple petals have got nothing on teeth. That urge to bite is a powerful one!

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deja vu

2004: Sweet Pea & Skunk
2007: Fairy Princess Ballerina & SkunkIs it just me or is Ava the only one growing?
Henri may have passed on his costume to his mini-me sister,
but he has certainly retained his old tricks.
Miss Fairy Princess Ballerina, You will always be my Sweet Pea!

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flower power

Here’s hoping these floral stickers
will curve the urge to bite!

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Boy Genius Wins

Ah you guys are great. Thanks for humoring me and my counting game.

So the first time I counted the candy, I counted 99. If I hadn’t found four suckers stuck in the interior knitting of the bag, Yvette would have been spot on. Lucky for late-comer Kieran and lollipop-craver Ava, I did find the suckers bringing the total to 103.

So neither previous-winner Shanel nor near-winner Yvette will claim the prize. And while I would love some Norwegian chocolate, 81 isn’t close enough. With a guess of 100, boy wonder Kieran is the winner!

Congratulations Kieran!

How any 3-year-old brings home 103 pieces of candy after visiting less than 30 houses is beyond me.

How many pieces did she eat on Halloween? One. Yes, just one. A pink Tootsie Roll.
How many pieces has she eaten since? Three.
How many pieces are left in her stash? Never going to tell.
How many pieces will be left after I’ve posted this post? Nah, not going to share that either.

So, congratulations again to you Kieran!

The Minstrels are in the post.

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I wasn’t being facetious, I really was hoping that you would guess how many sweets my sprite reaped during her Halloween candy harvest. It’s like the candy in the jar game, except you can zoom in.

If you guess how many treats were in Ava’s purse, I will send you one of my favorite treats.

My last bag of Minstrels from Northern Ireland.Mmm, they’re so good.

Let the guessing begin!

**Unless someone guesses spot on, the person closes to the number without going over wins.

Edited to add: Contest ends on Sunday night or when someone guesses the right number.

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