Beets are beautiful. . .

and so are my hands after I've finished cutting them up!

Beets and prickly pears are the only two edible sources of a valuable family of pigments called "betalains". Research shows that these pigments are powerful antioxidants, which fight aganist the damage caused by free radicals in our blood.

Beets are also rich in potassium, vitamins A and C, magnesium, riboflavin, iron, copper, calcium, and zinc.

In addition, beets contain betain, whis is very beneficial to the liver and gallbladder. If the liver is unhealthy, the body is unable to process and use vital nutrients and vitamins. Also, the body's ability to process fats and rid itself of toxins and waste is greatly diminished. A low-functioning liver can lead to disorders such as malnutrition, toxcicity, and unhealthy body weight (weight loss or gain).

And lastly, I was posting this while I waited for my beets to finish boiling and all the water boiled out and I burnt the bottom of my pot! Dang it! Does anyone know how to get that black, burned on residue off??
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I'm not sure what they were all doing, but now I have proof that all three of them are capable of playing nicely within several inches of each other!
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Today was the day. When I opened the drivers side door, I instantly felt shaky and my neck and back started to hurt like it was right after the crash. I was prepared to feel a little sad, saying goodbye, but not prepared for an actual physical reaction. It was really strange. . .

If you look closely at the center of the picture, you can see the light blue thing hanging down under the headlight. That, my friends, is the wiper fluid tank, and it is completely full. How do I know this? On the morning of the accident, I was trying to spray the windshield to clean it and nothing came out. I just assumed that it was frozen, but brilliant Sarah in the seat beside me suggested that we buy some fluid and see if it needed to be filled up.
Now, I've never done anything to the van except fill it with gas and clean it. Sarah, however, talked me through it. She told me what fluid to buy at the gas station, and held the hood up because we couldn't figure out how to make that stick thingy fit in the right holes to prop it. I was so proud of myself, but hey- at least I'll know how to fill it up in our new van!

I initially thought there wasn't much to take out, just some maps and a couple of bags to be donated to the Goodwill store. I was pretty suprised when I opened the sliding door and saw the front bumper, other assorted bits of the front end, and what looked like several shovel-fulls of road gravel and broken glass! I guess that's one way to clean up the road after an accident. . .

Finally, here's Marvin, trying his hand at stereo-removal. We had recently purchased a stereo and our insurance company said that since it was an after-market, it was considered personal property and we could remove it. We were excited, because the new (used) car that Marvin just got doesn't have a working CD player in it, so we'll put this one in.

The only other thing that I wish I could have taken out of the van was our Lakeside sticker from the back window. It makes me happy and I look forward to summertime every time I see it. We'll have to wait till August when we go again to get another one. We're still "Lakesiders", though, even without our sticker!

I didn't cry when we drove away from the van, but I cried later after dinner. I don't know what it is about the van; I guess I spend so much time in it, taking the kids here and there and we spend long hours in it going on vacation- it just starts to seem like another room of our house. It's so silly to get so attached to a mode of transportation; it might have been especially hard because we weren't selling it purposefully to another family, we are just being forced to sign it over to the insurance company so they can sell its parts.

I thought I'd be able to settle for another color of van as a replacement, but I'm thinking I may change my mind. . .
Or maybe the tan one, fully loaded, with leather seats that we looked at over the weekend will change my mind back again?
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After a long day, this is what we have in the backseat of our too-small-for-the-five-of-us Accord.

We started the morning with Mommy sleeping in (yay!). Then we went to the annual Maple Syrup Festival at the local Boy Scouts camp. We've been every year since I can remember, and now that Alec is a Cub Scout, it's even more special (for the boys). It involves being very cold and/or wet and muddy and the investigation of all things primitive and male. That being said, mommy doesn't always enjoy herself!
After that, we headed to the next town north of us to look at a couple of prospective vans to replace our totaled one. The one we decided on is a couple of years newer than our old one, and has some upgrades that we didn't have before (keyless entry and power sliding doors! YIPEEE!!). We're waiting to iron out all the details till Monday, but if all goes well, we should have a new vehicle by Wednesday or so!!!
Tomorrow we are going to say goodby to our old smashed up van. We have to remove our remaining personal property from it before we sign it over to the insurance company so they can sell it part by part. I'm sure I'll be a tad emotional, and I'm going to take pictures of it; I'll post them as a reminder to everyone to wear your seatbelts!!
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Today was a good day.
I've been needing one of those!
I went to my chiropractor this morning after I dropped Benji off at Nana's house. After the appointment, Ava and I visited the thrift store nearby and found an adorable pair of shoes, but they didn't fit anybody!
We picked up Benji, went home and picked Alec up from school and I had the boys help me pick up the downstairs (first time in probably two weeks).
Marvin is still home sick today (strep and the flu), but he's feeling some better. While we were picking up, he was talking to the insurance company who finally told us how much they were going to reimburse us for the van.
As much as I don't like to car shop, I"m very relieved to finally be able to do it and get this whole thing over with.
So, here I am at 7:30, with the downstairs neat as a pin (including the kitchen), Ava in bed and the boys waiting for me in the bathtub.
Mommy is looking forward to an early bedtime with a cup of tea and American Idol (anyone else a fan??)


Ok, does anyone else get annoyed when your husband is home sick? I don't know what it is, but when Marvin is home sick, I get so irritated with him. He doesn't ask for anything really, and it's pretty much like he's not even there; he just sleeps with a pillow over his head or watches the History channel quietly in the bedroom.
Maybe that's exactly what it is- I know he's here, but he doesn't do anything to help me, he just lays there and listens to the pandemonium. Of course, on the rare days that I'm sick and he's home (usually I'm sick and he's at work!) I do lay in bed, but hey- I think I'm entitled once in a while!
So, what is it? Why do I just want to throttle him when the poor guy gets sick and takes a break from work? Why can't I be kind and sensitive towards him like I am towards the kids when they're sick? Anyone have the answer??


This needs no explaination. . .
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I feel some depression coming on. Pardon me while I complain, vent, cry, etc.
My life totally SUCKS right now!!! (Well, not really, I have tons that I'm thankful for, just hear me out.) After a bad January full of Marvin's Explorer losing it's transmission and being forced to buy a new car, we're two weeks into Febuary and faced with the aftermath of a car accident and again being forced to buy another new car.

We had plans for Marvin's bonus and our tax return; we were intending to pay off the rest of our kitchen. I'm wandering around in a brain fog, wondering what will happen next. Alec has been sick with a hard-to-get-rid-of cold for the past two weeks, Ava is cutting in two more molars, I got a cold last week after the accident, and now I have a sinus infection, complete with a sinus headache that appears at approximately the same time every day. It feels like someone is chopping me in the eyebrows with a dull ax.

Marvin came home from work Friday and told me that someone had called him from our insurance company and told him that the van was probably totaled and I spent the next hour or so crying. All I could think was that I didn't want another van, I didn't want to go car shopping, and BOOO-HOOO, we had brought Benji and Ava home from the hospital as newborns in that van!!!!

Today, Alec and Benji were invited to a birthday party at a bowling alley. Fun for them and everyone else going who didn't have a very busy and curious 14 month old to keep track of AND a sinus headache. . .I took them there and after tracking down Ava's very expensive shoe that had fallen off and picking up nearly every ball in the place in an attempt to find one that Benji wouldn't drop on his toe, I gave up and came home.
Ava is napping and I'm griping to my computer while I wait for the three Extra Strength Tylenol to do their thing on my pain. . .

Now that I've said all that, let me say this: I love Jesus. I believe wholeheartedly that He is in total control of our family and our situation. I am incredibly grateful for everything, everyday that He has given us. We are so blessed in many, many ways. I know that He will be glorified in our situation, and I am excited to watch Him provide for us.

Just because I'm holding fast to God's promises, though, doesn't mean I'm perfect. Sometimes it's good to get stuff off your chest and then step back and take a look at the bigger picture. I'm typing this to help me get things back into perspective (and so that I don't have to dump it all on the next unsuspecting friend that calls my house!).
I'm going to the grocery store later after the birthday party, so I'm going to jump back into reality and plan our meals for the week now (after my headache goes away!).


That's some kind of depressing, isn't it?! (yes, that is my stove under there) This is just a drop in the bucket of what happens when Mommy doesn't do anything for a week.

It took me close to two hours to put the kitchen back in order yesterday, despite the fact that my dear Sarah had partially cleaned it for me the day before.

Not only was it messy and cluttered, but VERY dirty! Ewww! This was one of only a handful of mornings that I came out to a dirty sink. Can't stand to come out to the kitchen and start my day by cleaning up last night's mess. Gotta love the FlyLady! She taught me the benefits of shining my sink every night before bed.
On a side note, I can get the boys to pick up after themselves, but does anyone know how to actually make them care that things are messy?!
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I forgot to post this picture yesterday; how sweet that Ava's first rose was from her Daddy for Valentine's Day!
I have yet to get my night out with Marvin; today he worked and Alec went to a birthday party. Tonight is the annual Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts. I'm supposed to be at it right now, but have been attacked by a fierce sinus headache. . .
Tomorrow, we have church and then my niece's birthday party. Hmmm, I wonder if we'll end up going out this weekend at all?
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So, with all the uproar over the accident and most of us being sick, I kind of forgot that yesterday was Valentine's Day. Marvin is a big card person, so I knew I had to do something, but I wasn't willing to join the masses who love to procrastinate and buy stuff on the day of. Fortunately I'm very creative :-), so I raided the scrapbooking section at the local Cord Camera, had a picture printed, and made this card. I started with one 12x12 sheet of cardstock, a sheet of themed "love letter" stickers, and a pair of scrapbooking scissors that make a design.

Next, I folded the cardstock in half, cut out the heart and the pretty design at the bottom with my cool scissors! (We have several pairs that I found at Big Lots for $1 apiece and the boys love them!)

I stuck on another heart the same size as the one I had cut out of the front to write the words on, and after embellishing with the stickers, this is the finished product.

I left it on his pillow with a bag of Valentines Hershey's Miniatures (he loves those. . .). Unfortunately because I'm still feeling a bit yucky and Benji had a fever, the night didn't end well. I have been promised an evening out, though. . .
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Well, here I am again! I have lots to update on; some musings on makeup, a fun sewing project, how I treat my kids for colds and flu. Today, though, here's the latest. . .

Last Friday, Sarah and I had taken Noah (her 4 year old), Benji and Ava to COSI (for those of you who don't live around here, it's our local children's museum) for the morning. We were on our way home after lunch and were hit by another car as we were making a left hand turn. I was driving, and all I remember was hearing Sarah in the passenger seat scream, being really annoyed that there were white things in front of me that blocked my view (the airbags), and then finally actually feeling the crash and realizing what had happened.

I had a really hard time dealing with the aftermath. I laid in bed for two days straight afterwards. Every time I closed my eyes I could hear Sarah's warning scream, the mean, concrete crush of the cars hitting together, and Benji screaming in panic and terror. My body hurt so badly, and all I could think of was "what if. . ." If I had been going about 1 second faster, the car would have plowed into Sarah's door, about two seconds faster, and it would have hit Ava's door.

At some point during those two days, my mind started replaying more than just the sounds of the accident and I remembered something that I had told Benji on the way home afterwards. "Did you know that Jesus had His arms around us when we crashed?", I said to him. "Well, mom", Benji said indignantly, "I didn't see any arms!". It made others chuckle when I told them, but as I thought about it, I realized that if I looked closer, I really would be able to see His arms. They're Sarah and Noah and Ava, who walked away totally unharmed, they're the kind, capeable police officers who came before we thought to call them, they're the auto engineers who thought of "crumple zones" for the front ends of cars, they're the fact that I'm sitting here today typing this and not in a hospital with a broken body.

I could fill the rest of the page with examples, but I think you get the point. I'm no longer chewing on the guilty thoughts of being a bad driver, endangering the lives of my friends and children, or worring about the insurance companies. I'm reminding myself each time I see the palm-sized bruise on my knee that it's there because my Heavenly Father was squeezing me so tightly to keep me safe.

I did sustain some minor injuries; bruising on my left knee, bruising on my chest and abdomen where the seatbelt was, a burn on my left hand from the airbag chemicals, and spinal and muscular damage. Benji's neck was hurt, but we're both being treated by our chiropractor and are feeling almost totally better.

In case anyone is curious, I did get cited for the accident, simply because of where I was at the time. Accidents are called "accidents" for a reason, but there is still the law that has to be satisfied. We're waiting to hear from our claims adjuster about the liability, best case scenario would be that they would be able to get some admission of guilt from the other driver and our insurance company would only have to pay for the repairs on our vehicle.

I'm sure someone has read all the way to the end of this and is still wondering what in the world that picture of Alec and Ava has to do with any of this. . .
That picture is evidence of the distinct benefit of having a school-aged child who can read and a toddler who loves books! Alec kept Ava so happy for lots of the time that mommy was in bed trying to hide from the world and recover. Thanks, "Ah-yah" (as Ava calls him)! And thanks, Marvin, for keeping the kids fed, happy, and doing the dishes from Friday night till last night! (I got a cold on the tail end of accident recovery!) I'm sure you'll be very relieved to come home from work tonight and find me up, dressed, and smell dinner on the stove. I can't promise the house will be cleaned, though, because Benji is sick now!
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We had a power outage on Tuesday morning. The computer went off and I just didn't turn it back on!! It was actually kind of nice to walk by it during the day and not see the small green light at the bottom of the monitor beckoning to me! Hubby went and turned it on last night to work on taxes, so I guess I'm back! Stay tuned. . .


I"m fairly new to blogging. I originally started this blog to keep long distance relatives and friends up to date on our lives and the kids.
However, the more blogs I read, the more I realize that most people use them as a sort of public forum to unload mental baggage, make statements about their beliefs and lifestyle, or to inform and teach their readers about something they feel is important or valuable.
So, dear reader, beware! Be prepared for well-written essays about what I like to call "Shelly-ville"; what I"ve got spinning around in my head on a daily basis. I'm passionate about a great many things, some a bit controversial, so I'm looking forward to the comments that I"m sure will pour in!
Know that it will all be written with a great deal of thought and honesty; please take no offense, but instead, enjoy reading about a fresh perspective.
Of course, you may also feel free to skip the words altogether and just enjoy the pictures!


Today I. . .got 4 people dressed, started a load of laundry, fixed breakfast, packed a lunch, unloaded the dishwasher, cleaned up from breakfast, mopped the kitchen floor, vaccumed the upstairs carpets, packed the diaper bag, took two kids to school, took two kids to my mom's house, got a haircut, picked the two kids back up, drove home, picked up three kids from school, dropped three kids off, drove home again, took two kids to a playdate, drove home again, fixed dinner, cleaned up from dinner, swept the kitchen floor, sent one kid out the door for another playdate, got two kids ready for bed, washed two pots and a sippy cup because they wouldn't fit in the dishwasher, started the dishwasher, cleaned my kitchen sink, and ATE A BROWNIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and now I"m going to bed. . .
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