Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for January, 2007

The Toonebucks Coffee Shop

21st January 2007

The "Toonebucks" Coffee Shop – Open for Business

Our friend Corrie sent us a cool new logo for our new coffee shop. I was inspired to go ahead and retrofit our coffee bar with the new logos. Note the logo on the cabinet above the espresso machine and the logo on the coffee mug which is filled with the fourth Toonebucks espresso drink … let’s see … at an average of $3.50 / drink from Starbucks, we’ve already saved $14 minus of course the coffee used and syrup … which is far less than $14 maybe on the order of two bucks. Thanks Corrie!!!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »


19th January 2007

Heavy steam rises all around the machine in the middle of the inaugural brewing

Towards the end of the inaugural brewing.

Well, it’s official. "Toonebucks" is open for business! Last night, we bought an espresso machine. Here’s the story of how it all came about. We had dinner at my parents house, and afterwards my parents took Analise to an event celebrating National Pooh Day at the Hoover Public library. While they were out, Kristine and I took Josiah over to Patton Creek to run a few errands. I got my haircut while Kristine and Josiah picked up a few things at Linens ‘N Things.

Kristine was just about ready to checkout when I made it back from the haircut place. As I helped her load things onto the checkout counter, she mentioned that she had seen a Krups espresso machine on the clearance rack for 50% off. We had an additional 20% off any single item coupon so I said we should get the espresso machine to help kick my expensive Starbucks addiction. For a grand total of $74 including tax, we got a Krups "Il Cafe Bistro" Type 867 espresso machine / coffee maker which normally retails for $170.

We didn’t have any whole bean coffee that we could grind in our new grinder Kristine got as a Christmas present from Anna and Hal so we had to wait until I was able to bike to the store today before we could make any. That didn’t stop me from trying it out last night with just water and no coffee. I put the switch on the wrong setting and water started to spew out the end of the frother attachment like a miniature fire hydrant. Fortunately, it was aimed directly at the middle of our kitchen floor and made a small pool there.

Today, I followed all 17 steps posted on the cabinet right above the espresso machine and made our first espresso drinks. I used about two tablespoons too much coffee and ground it way too fine, so I think I have the equivalent of six-shot coffee drink that I am sipping slowly this afternoon. Any professional baristas (hint, hint: Anna!) any suggestions or tips about making good espresso would be greatly appreciated!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

My Star Cycling Husband!

19th January 2007

Someone on Brian’s Birmingham cycling team stumbled across this photo, which was taken in September of 2005 during a road race in Tennesse.  What a great photo!!  Doesn’t he look intense?

The actual page is here: and the main page for the VeloNews Photo Contest that it was in is found here: There are some great pictures in the gallery… he’s among good company!

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I hate the dentist

18th January 2007

I don’t hate dentists personally, but I really despise going to the dentist, like most people.  I’ve got pretty good teeth, and so I’ve been very very lucky to have had fairly good experiences with dentists.  Even years of orthodontics didn’t leave me with a bad feeling about them.  And Brian knows when I go to the dentist, I’ll come home glowing with the praises I’ve heard about my "Hollywood smile" (should be after all the $$ that went into making them beautifully straight!).  Usually, it’s just a regular cleaning and exam.  I haven’t had a filling in YEARS.  I do have very sensitive gums (and I’m notorious for not flossing – Brian flosses enough for both of us, I feel), and so I do hate when a hygienist isn’t very gentle. 

But today I had a tiny filling that the dentist had mentioned in July that needed to be taken care of after my cleaning. ARG.  I started stressing about it last night, and I was just grumpy this morning as I left.  The hygienist is my least favorite – not very gentle, and of course my gums were sore when she was done.  "You’ve done a really great job," she said.  Sure felt like she was scraping hard and catching my gums with the probe-y thing.  Then the dentist looked at the tiny "pit" in my tooth, and despite my saying that maybe it really wasn’t anything to worry about, he thought we should do it.  Really quick, he said, and it probably doesn’t even need novocaine.  He started drilling and after about 15 seconds he said, "I think maybe we should numb it."  ARG, though I had definitely been feeling the grinding.   He numbed it up, chatted with me for a few minutes and started again.  He hadn’t waited very long, though and I could still definitely feel all the drilling.  He finished up, and my mouth was getting progressively more numb as I got up to leave.  Now I’m at home and my mouth is fully numb on one side, and I didn’t enjoy my tasty lunch of leftover Chicken Divan and a piece of yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  Bummer.  Maybe I won’t have to worry about getting a filling for another couple of years… (fingers crossed)…

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Little tidbits of life from the Toone house…

16th January 2007

First, some Josiah adventures …

Josiah likes to crawl backwards … sometimes finding his way under the couch!

Sitting up very well with a big smile!

Analise is still in the middle of potty training. Honestly, it’s like 2 steps forward, one step back, ‘cept we’ve gone back a couple steps in the last week for some reason. Some days are completely accident free in big girl underwear, others are full of accidents, cleaning-up and pull-ups. I’m getting frustrated, but it sure is nice to have half the diapers! Today was a Good day – only one "miss" at school in her pull-up diaper. Tomorrow could be better!

Josiah’s sleeping still isn’t great, but it’s so much better than on our trip Up North. While we were gone, it was so bad. We were all in the same room most of the time, and with all his fussy sleeping, I nursed him practically all night to keep him from waking Analise. Or I’d end up on a couch, letting him sleep on my chest. Not good sleeping for 16 days straight. But now that we’re back home, he’ll start in his bed, wake up after about 5 hours and come to bed with me to nurse for 30 minutes to an hour, then he’s so restless I’ll put him in his swing, where he stays until the early morning. Not ideal, but I’m getting some rest, finally, so I guess it’ll work for a while. He has been putting himself to sleep for his naps, though, which is a nice relief, and he’s napping a little more regularly. He’s crawling backwards all over the place, and I think since he’s figured out how to navigate in revers, he may not ever go forwards! He just loves his big sister… it’s the sweetest thing, and it just melts my heart to see him stare at her and light up with a big smile when she talks to him or plays with her. But then there are the moments when he reaches out to her tantalizingly beautiful hair and gets a handful…

Funny story… The alarm clock next to our bed was fast about a week ago. We thought at first that Brian was changing the time when he was changing his alarm in the middle of the night/early morning. But then he realized he wasn’t doing it, and we thought Analise might be messing with it. But after resetting it before going to bed, and waking up to find it more than an hour and a half fast, we were thoroughly stumped. Even unplugging it and resetting it didn’t work, so it’s consistently fast… and not just fast, but getting faster. So in our interrupted sleep state, we kind of feel like we’re in a time warp. I’ll ask Brian what time he came to bed, or try to remember what time I fed Josiah, and we try to figure it out based on the other clocks we might have glimpsed. For a while, though, those other clocks were all off due to a brief power outage. We were a mess. On the to-get list THIS WEEK… a new alarm clock. This is driving me crazy!

We’ve been on a mission to get our basement cleaned up and organized. We’ve got a nice little area set up for my scrapbooking and other work, and an area cleaned up to be a play area. Brian’s working on his office area. It feels so good to have another space in the house for the kids to do things while we get things done downstairs! We’ve gotten our bedroom completely back to pre-baby, which is so WONDERFUL. No more co-sleeper next to the bed, no more changing table, no more diapers overflowing off the bookshelf, no more Josiah clothes taking over my dresser. I even have my quiet time corner back with it’s comfy chair and candles. AND I’ve even had a couple quiet times there. Feels good! Josiah’s room is looking great, and I think he’s getting more comfortable in it every day. He’s even happy to go play in his crib while I do a few things.

Analise on our way home last night: "I want a coffee macchiato, too, Daddy."
"No, sweetheart, you’re too little for coffee. I’ll make you a hot chocolate at home."
"Ok, I’m going to like hot chocolate. Go get it now."
"No, I’ll make it when we get home, ok?"
"No, from the coffee store, please."
(We didn’t go back to Starbucks to feed her expensive tastes. I made her a tepid chocolate – bc she thinks things that are too hot are "spicy" – at home. She sat in her little chair holding onto her mug with both hands, slurping it up and enjoying the marshmallows. It was so cute. Until she had a wet-pants accident. Then it wasn’t so cute.)

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Monday night Date-night – woohoo!

15th January 2007

Our date night tonight almost didn’t happen. After dinner tonight, we loaded the kiddos up into the car to get ourselves some coffee for our in-house date night, regularly scheduled for Monday evenings, 9-10pm, after the little ones are asleep. Usually, one of us goes out for Starbucks. But tonight, we had a 50% coupon from our Entertainment Book (a Christmas present from Brian’s dad) for a new place, so we headed there. When we got to where we thought it was, there was nothing there! I swear the last time I drove by, Bean’s Coffeehouse was there, in a little corner spot in a strip mall. Bummer!

Starbucks was just down the road, so Brian dropped me off at Walgreens where I was going to get a package of diapers with a coupon, using my Walgreens gift card. I got my diapers, got to the cashier only to find out that my wallet wasn’t in my purse. Bummer again!

When Brian arrived, my wallet wasn’t in the car either, so since I didn’t have my Walgreens gift card, I didn’t get the diapers. As I took a sip of my decaf hazelnut latte, Brian related his Starbucks experience. When he got to the drive-up window to pay, he found his Starbucks gift card wasn’t in his wallet. Bummer again. He had to pay with "real" money.

Gotta go, though, as my date night has commenced. Brian’s setting up a game of Othello for us, and our Starbucks have been reheated for enjoying together.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I keep trying to do Christmas cards…

15th January 2007

I’m just not meant to do Christmas cards. It’s unbelievable all the things that have happened to make it not happen thus far.

First, we got our family pictures taken at the beginning of NOVEMBER, in plenty of time to get them ready to send out. The photo place gave us 6 photo cards, but they were $1 each to order more, and I was getting a big enough package to get a disc with the images. I figured I’d make our own at one of the many places that does that. When I got home, I found the images were not high-resolution, essentially not good enough quality to print out at 4×6. ARG.

I played around with them in Photoshop and created a nice collage of the family picture and the individual pictures of Analise and Josiah smiling. Printed out, it looked great, so I planned to upload it to Sam’s Club and pick up the prints before we headed Up North for Christmas. After uploading as I was placing my order, I came to the page where you had to agree that you weren’t using copyrighted material. Stumped again, needing to see what my morally-upright husband thought of this (he’s got strong feelings about copyright issues).

He and I both felt that we’d bought the disc, and I was using the low-res images, and never were we told that we couldn’t use these images in any way. The photo place never says anything about copyright, and so we both felt it was ok for us to use them, especially since they were the low-res images we’d paid for. But I know for a fact that Wal-Mart and Sam’s are very strict about not printing anything that looks even remotely professional, so I didn’t get them printed before we left or even while we were gone.

Finally Brian took the file to CVS to print on their kiosk, and we got the printed 4×6 pictures late last week – and they look very very nice. I was excited to put them in photo-frame Christmas cards that Brian’s mom had given us. I’d been planning to use these all along.

I just sat down to put them in the photo frame and found that the frame area is cut to fit either a 3 1/2×5" picture or a 4×6" picture. Unfortunately, that means that a good part of my picture – notably the kids – is hidden behind the frame. Stumped again!! AG!

Thankfully, in writing this, I just remembered that I bought some beautiful Christmas cards on deep discount last week, intending to use them next year, so I may use those instead. Maybe you’ll see one in your mailbox before March…

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

In the spirit of weddings…

13th January 2007

We had a lovely night out tonight. A friend of ours from Clearwater Community Church, Andy, got married this evening, to a young woman Brian grew up with at Lakeside Baptist, Lindsay. His parents were also invited, so we went with them. We had to hire a babysitter for the first time ever, since they usually babysit for us. The wedding was beautiful and the church was packed. Many people from our little church were there, as Andy had been a founding member and an elder, before he left last fall to take a youth ministry position at another church. Many, many people from Lakeside were there, because Lindsay has grown up in the church, and her parents are very well-known and involved. There were 7 bridesmaids and groomesmen, 6 honorary bridesmaids and 8 ushers, along with a flower girl and ring bearer. Whew! Andy is a seminary student, and his father is a minister, so he officiated the wedding. It was beautiful, and it’s always so sweet to be at a wedding with my husband, thinking back to all the memories of our day, and praying the same blessings fall on them as we’ve experienced.

The reception was at the Homewood City Hall, in a brand new building called Soho Square. Very classy. Lots of little food stations, like a chocolate candy table, 2 cake tables – the bride’s classic white cake and the groom’s most delicious chocolate cake, a grits station with toppings like peppers, ham, gravy, cheese and more (I don’t remember because I don’t like grits, even fancy-style), Indian chicken skewers with egg rolls and dipping sauces, fondue with bread and veggies, soup station, pork tenderloin with biscuits and roasted veggies and mango sauce, and mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes with toppings like cheese, bacon, garlic, honey butter, brown sugar, ham. It was GOOD. Quite a beautifully done affair. Made us realize that we’d better get started on saving for Analise’s wedding someday… they’re fancy events down here!

We came home to find our babysitters, Abigail (14) and her brother, Jesse (16), had gotten both kids in bed and they were asleep! WOOHOO! What a treat! I was a bit worried, because it can be quite a juggling job to get both of them ready for bed and actually get them to sleep. Sweet. That was the best part of the evening.

Sorry you’ve not heard much from us. Brian’s working on a few little projects and helping me out with all kinds of things I’ve wanted to get gone. We’re organizing the basement with my scrapbooking stuff, we’ve got Josiah’s room all set up, and my room is clear of all baby stuff. Yippee! It’s nice to have "my space" back… though, at least one kiddo will visit for part of the night, of course. We’re doing well, and really enjoying the relaxed pace of our winter break. We’ve all needed the down time together. Since Brian hit 10,000 miles on December 30th, he’s eased off on his cycling just a bit to give his body some rest.

I’d better go get ready for Sunday School tomorrow. Hope you’re all having a good weekend!

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

How much could we get on Ebay??

10th January 2007

Here’s a smile for you… No, we did NOT make this ourselves.  This smiley face showed up on the inside of the chocolate syrup cap.  Pretty cool!  I think we should try to sell it on Ebay!  How much do you think we could get?  People paid for a grilled cheese with the Mother Mary burned into it… surely they’d want a chocolate syrup smiley lid!    

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Christmas 2006 Pictures

10th January 2007

It may be a day late and a dollar short, but here are our pictures from our Christmas adventure. Enjoy!

Aunt Kat and Analise walking on the Ice Age Trail.

Analise and I went sledding. Analise is actually pulling me on the sled down a short hill here.

This football field was at the bottom of the hill where Analise was pulling me.

Analise and I made a wee little snowman before it snowed later that afternoon.

I biked 113 miles from Shell Lake, WI to Duluth, MN one day. I met everyone in
Canal Park where we spent the night and had a great time.

Here’s a picture from the top of the ridge overlooking Duluth back down at the port area.
Note the curved line where the bay is frozen over. We were lucky that it has been a warmer winter
and the entire bay is not frozen. Normally, the shipping season would be over, but we saw several
large ships entering and leaving the harbor right next to our hotel where we were staying.

Even though there was barely any snow on the ground, there was lots of ice around Duluth. These ice falls
were located very close to where I took the previous picture up on top of the ridge.

Here is a genuine homemade ice rink. No more than a garden hose and a few boards required!

Finally, it started snowing!

More snow!

Sledding in the street out front.

The smiling pink princess!

Analise went down the hill all by herself!

Lots of times!

Other people sledding (and falling) down the hill.
In the background, you can see the snow family we helped make.

Somebody else had already made this large snow man.

We made the two smaller snowmen named Analise and Josiah next to the larger one.

Here’s the church, Salem Lutheran, where Kristine and I got married three and a half years ago.

Analise helped brush the snow off the nativity in front of the church.

Analise also decided to participate in the nativity and see baby Jesus!

It was too cold outside for Josiah, but he had a great time inside by the Christmas tree!

Finally, on the way home I rode my bike from La Porte, Indiana
to New Buffalo, Michigan and took this picture of Lake Michigan.

The lighthouse in New Buffalo, Michigan.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »