Andrea's blog

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Itza Pizza

After nap today, Ayla was playing in her playhouse and she said something about pizza.  Which reminded me that I've been meaning to make her some pizzas for her playhouse.  So, Ayla helped me "cook" them up this afternoon.  She even blew on them because they were "hot" (aka...the glue was drying). 
 

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The Long Way Round

Ben and I just finished watching a 7-episode mini-series documentary called "The Long Way Round".  Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorgman are two best friends and motorbike enthusiasts (they also happen to be actors) that decided to go on an adventure together by riding motorcycles from London to New York -- going east -- all the way around the world.  
 

Their adventure is unbelievable, astonishing, painful, breathtaking, stressful, enlightening, remarkable, eye-opening, and so many other powerful adjectives that I can't come up with right now.  The two of them are hilarious and determined to succeed in their adventure as well as enjoy it as it happens (which sometimes was very difficult).  They meet all kinds of interesting people from the most unique places and remote places you'd ever imagine, traveling through Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Siberia, and finally across Canada and the United States.  
 
I absolutely recommend you pick this up at the library, video rental place or download the episodes from their web site.   It was like going around the world and seeing things we'll never likely get a chance to see--because very few do!  Do you know many people who travel the Road of Bones in Siberia?  
 
I see now that they've done another adventure together called The Long Way Down where they go from Scotland down through to the southernmost tip of Africa.  I'll be looking out for that one to watch next time! 
3

Playhouse

 
Ayla's playhouse arrived last night....and so did Noni. We spent an hour or so fixing it up with curtains, house numbers (616--her birthday), flowers, a tree, an American flag and even a framed photo on the wall.
 
 
 
 
 
We thought the rolling toy looked like a good little lawn mower for her front lawn. It's a good thing it's pretend-world, because the stove and microwave and table are all outside!
 
 
 

I love the little shoebox shelf above the sink!
 
 
 
 
 
Already, she has to duck to get inside...she's getting tall!
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And, I thought all my northern friends would get a good laugh out of this weather that interrupted television shows last night several times with winter storm warnings:
 
 
 
 
 
 
This is what they call a snowstorm in Alabama.
 
6

Home is a Four Letter Word

My pictures came in the mail today, so I was able to fill our four frames in the kitchen--FINALLY. You guys got me thinking about four-letter words, and then I ran across this article I had written a while back for Scrapjazz, and I thought, "duh! I'll do a word collage!" How easy is that? So I took some photos of letters around our house, cropped and enlarged them to 8" x 10" and hung 'em up!

 

 

I'm likin' it. It wasn't on purpose really, but I like the black and red thing I've got going with them too..

Now, for a special pat on the back...who can identify where each of these photos was taken in our house? I guess this only works for those who have been here....

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Deals

I made it home, which means I must have had a successful shopping trip....(this makes sense if you read my "Today I am..." ticker. Today's says: Today I am not coming home until I have purchased a new pair of tennis shoes. My current pair is 6 years old...I bought them in Searcy, AR! (3/4))

 

 
The most crucial purchase of the day, from Dicks Sporting Goods (on sale for $39.99):
 
 

 
 

 

And, while I was in shoe-shopping mode, I picked these up at DSW (also on sale for $24.26):
 

 

 

 
 

 

But before we went shoe shopping, Ayla and I walked the aisles of the Kids Market & Mom consignment sale. I was not in the mood to shop for kid clothes...they were way too overpriced for consignment, so we took a look at the toys and picked up these gems for only $2 each:
 

 

 

 

Then, I spotted this for only $25 (usually $80 new), which I've been eyeing for a long time at various consignment sales. It's a little big for her now, but Ayla just HAS to have her own scrapbooking and craft desk. And it fits just perfectly right by mine! Now we need to find a chair and stuff to fill it up with. Some little artist has sharpie-d the dry erase board, so I'm going to try and clean it, paint it (maybe with chalkboard paint), or replace it.

 

 
 
 

 

Nothing feels better than snagging good deals on things you "need".

 

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U23D

This afternoon, Rachel graciously offered to watch Ayla so that Ben and I could join Josh, Zach and Janel at the theater for U23D. We'd planned to go a couple of weeks ago for Zach's birthday, but it kept getting bumped back because of Hannah Montana in 3D...I guess she's more popular around here. Especially since there were only about 10 people in the theater this afternoon...including the 5 of us!

 
Regardless, it was pretty cool. Kind of like having a box seat to a huge concert. I was never a big U2 fan and actually I used to tease Zach because as long as I'd known him, I'd never known a conversation with him that didn't somehow come back to Bono or U2. A couple of years ago though, he showed us a DVD of a U2 concert in Dublin. I was so impressed with their talent and ever since I've considered myself a fan--although not anywhere close to as big a fan as Zach is!
 
But now I can say I reached out and "touched" Bono's hand at a concert....and it'll be virtually true...
 

 

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Startcooking.com

I ran across this site today in my blog-reading, and I'm LOVING it.  It's a web site made for people like me, who aren't even sure how to boil an egg. They have all kinds of step-by-step videos for dummies like me.  
 
 
Check it out!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Fours

So, my question about "What Comes in Fours" does have a project behind it.  I loved everyone's responses, but I haven't necessarily narrowed my plan down to what we should use.  You see, we're looking for photograph ideas to put into four frames in our kitchen.  And, although the 4 Ninja Turtles would definitely be a guaranteed conversation piece (Thanks Rachel), I'm not sure it's quite what I had in mind! :)
 
I do like the idea of seasons, US time zones, and Janel suggested photographs of the 4 states we've lived in (IL, AR, MN, and AL).  Earth, Fire, Air & Water might be neat, and I liked Sweet, Salty, Bitter, Sour too (since it's for the kitchen).  Any more ideas budding now that you know what it's for?
 
1

Those Who Save Us

I just finished reading
Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum. It was a book my grandmother recommended. Written by a Jewish author, it flashes between the late 90's and the 1930's - 40's and follows the story of a German mother and her daughter. The mother lived in Germany during WWII and falls in love with a Jewish doctor, has a baby, and so on... (don't want to ruin the story too much). The daughter is a German history professor (in Minneapolis, of all places) and is doing research on the experiences of Germans during the war.
 
It reads just like a Lynn Austin book, which I love, teaching all about the history and pulling you into the time frame with a captivating story. Although the author is Jewish, I found it to be remarkably
un-religious. Actually there are very few Jewish characters in the
book.
 
I had never read a book about the Holocaust before, and it's very sobering to read about how awful people were treated. Hearing about it in school and in history books doesn't really pull you in emotionally like a story like this does.
 
I definitely recommend this book. Very interesting and easy-to-read. Thanks Grandma! :)

 

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Question for you...

What things come in 4's? I'm asking for a reason, but I don't want to limit anyone's answers...so let's brainstorm:

  1. winter, spring, summer, fall
  2. heart, diamond, spade, club
  3. north, south, east, west
  4. up, down, left, right
  5. morning, afternoon, evening, night (? - that's probably a stretch)
  6.  ---  help me think of more!
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