Friday, December 19, 2008

A Couple Pictures

Some random pictures from our week....

It turns out Charlotte LOVES sour-cream. I put some on top of her beans and rice the other night and she ate it right off the top. And then asked for more.

I've been on a quest to find all-natural food dye. I've wanted to do our traditional Christmas cookies, but Brennan can't have the food coloring that I would normally put in the icing. I could special order it, but it's SO expensive. So I tried some of my own. I used beet juice and turmeric powder (with milk and powdered sugar). You really can't taste the beet juice at all, and the turmeric I could only taste, slightly, on the cookies with ALL yellow icing. So we used the yellow as an accent color :). We frosted our sugar cookies with pink, yellow and white frosting...and my kids had no clue that this wasn't quite normal.
(you can see the beet juice and turmeric in the background)

We've hit another new phase in life. The phase when your children can actually take pictures of YOU! Brennan felt so grown up the other night when we asked him to take our picture. Not bad huh?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I love chocolate covered cherries!

Tyler does not. He calls them a conflict of interests.

That makes me laugh really hard :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Weekend in Numbers

4- number of people in our house who've had the stomach flu in the past 48 hours.

12- loads of laundry I've done in 48 hours. Apparently I have a "sanitize" option on my washer. I'm not exactly sure what it does, or how, but you better believe I've pushed that button with every load I've done.

6- sets of sheets that have been washed.

1- number of "beds" I've made on the bathroom floor so as to contain bodily fluids to tiled area.

50- (at least) the number of Clorox wipes I've used on doorknobs, sinks, toilets, tables, toys, etc.

2- number of pillows that fit safely in my washer.

3- number of people that are able to reach the toilet before throwing up...or at least make it off the carpet.

1- number of babies who give absolutely NO warning before throwing up all over anything( and anyone) within 10 feet.

6- number of hours it's lasted with each person

4- number of consecutive hours of sleep I've had in the last 3 days.

Other Notables:

I have a superpower. I do NOT get the stomach flu. I've not had the stomach flu since I was in elementary school, despite having it in my house every year since having children. (I am knocking on wood right now)

Calvin said last night "let's pray to Jesus so I won't be sick anymore."

Calvin says "spitting up" instead of "throwing up". This would be funny to you if you had seen the amount of nastiness that came out of him yesterday, definitely NOT spit up.

Although Tyler is in bed with a stomach ache, he has not thrown up yet. There is NOTHING worse than seeing a 6'5" man hunched over a toilet. I hope not to, but I have a feeling I'll be seeing that later today.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I have been RIDICULOUSLY hormonal the past 24 hours. Here are some of the things I've cried over....

* I went to a new eye doctor this morning. He goes to our church and, apparently, is very kind to people in full-time ministry. He charged me NOTHING for my eye exam. I blamed my tears on my sensitive eyes :)

*That same doctor also got me new glasses for COST and samples galore. I waited to cry until I was in the car.

* While at World Market I found several Christmas candies that Brennan can eat, meaning they have NO artificial flavors or colors. Candy canes, chocolate santa's and chocolate snowmen, gingerbread men dipped in white chocolate. He will be SO excited to eat candy!! This REALLY made me tear up. It's so great to find treats he can have because I feel like there's so much he can't have.

* I talked to a friend, who I consider the expert on the Feingold Diet (the diet we have Brennan on), and she told me how to make red, yellow and green food coloring. I've been trying to figure out how to do all natural frosting for Christmas cookies. She has been so kind to me and I've never even met her in person. I'm actually tearing up just thinking about what this journey would have been like without her help.

* I was so tired when my alarm went off this morning I WANTED to cry, seriously!

* I'm taking a salad to a Christmas party we have tonight but I forgot to go to the store this morning when I only had 2 kids with me. Now I have to go after school and take ALL 3 kids with me. There's a chance that by the time we're out of the store we'll ALL be crying!

* We're getting new storm windows and we've been waiting for weeks to have them installed. They came today to put them in! I have NO IDEA why this made me teary.

As a side note...I really need to take a shower (yes, it's 2:00 in the afternoon, so what?). But there's a window in our bathroom. What if they decide to replace that window while I'm in there? I KNEW I should have showered this morning!!

Monday, December 1, 2008


I had always wanted to start something, a tradition if you will, to mark the season of advent for my children. I wanted to prepare my children for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. We do quite a bit to prepare for Christmas but most of it revolves around decorating, gifts, food, etc. We talk plenty about the real reason for Christmas, but I wanted something tangible to do with my kids during the season of Advent to help them understand it all.

Last year a sweet friend gave us an amazing gift, The Jesse Tree. The Jesse Tree seeks to tell the story of God's redemptive plan for us through 25 symbols from the old and new testament. The symbols trace the heritage of Christ from the beginning of creation. Ours has a devotional book and 25 ornaments (symbols) to hang on a small tree. So everyday, starting December 1st, our kids open an ornament from under the tree, and we read the corresponding devotion in our book. Each devotion explains the symbol using scripture, songs, questions and prayers. Today's ornament was a small globe to signify that Christ, in God, existed before all of creation, and that God created everything. Other symbols signify sin and our need for a savior, God's covenant with His chosen people, prophesies foretelling characteristics or events concerning the "new shoot" from the stump of Jesse, prophesies of Bethlehem, the Shepherd and the suffering servant.

This is the book...

These are all the ornaments (symbols) before I wrapped them.

This is our little tree we use as our Jesse Tree. The kids unwrap one ornament each day and hang it on the tree.

When I got out the ornaments and the book today the boys were so excited. Even on those days when we're rushing from dawn to dusk, it's the boys who at the end of the day say "we have to do our Jesse Tree".

What a Week

I apologize for leaving you all hanging like that. I'm sure it's been an agonizing week as you've awaited the results of the contest. Well, you were ALL right, but it's not all that fair since I know everyone that commented. The virtual high-five will go to Sherri though because she hasn't seen my children in years. In fact, I think the last time we were together I was very pregnant with Calvin (is that right sherri?).

Anyway, Calvin (3) is on the left and Brennan (5) is on the right. B is still taller than Cal (although Cal outweighs him), but he has longer legs and Cal has a longer torso. So when they're sitting Calvin looks like he's taller. Quite funny.

So here's the reason I didn't post a conclusion last Sunday like I said I would...I was in the hospital with Charlotte! UGGGGGG. All day Saturday she had the symptoms of a run of the mill cold. But by Saturday night she couldn't breathe very well. Her diaphragm was working so hard but she was struggling to move air through her lungs. She couldn't sleep so I held her for a couple of hours just watching her and praying that she would begin to breathe easier. At about 11:00pm her nostrils started to flare with each breath (that's the tell tale sign all you moms out there) so I took her into the ER. Her oxygen saturation levels were very low and she was getting pale and listless. To make a long story short she had bronchitis and her lungs just couldn't take it. Her doctor admitted her and we stayed until Monday. It was a VERY LONG 36 hours. With all the drugs in her system she couldn't sleep at all and she was terrified every time a nurse came close.

But all is well now. She is still a little sicky and fussy, but she's breathing! We came home from the hospital and went full force into a week of Thanksgiving celebrations. It was a great way to end a week that started out pretty scary.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, we had a great one! This year we were with Tyler's side of the family. His dad's on Thursday and his mom's of Friday. Yes, back to back turkey dinners. I really shouldn't eat again until Christmas. We have much to be thankful for. We woke up on Thursday morning and sat in our jammies on the living room floor with the kids and asked them what they were thankful for. They gave many answers like our house, our toys, our family, all great answers. We are abundantly blessed in material ways. But as we shared with our kids, those things all pale in comparison to our real reason for thankfulness. We are loved by a God who sent His Son to die for us. We are thankful because Christ has made us thankful! In the words of Calvin "I am fankful that Jesus died".

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Alright, here's a little contest for you, my faithful readers. The winner will receive a virtual high 5 from me...I know, I know I'm so generous.

So here's the contest. Can you tell which boy is the 3 year old and which is the 5 year old?

Leave your guess in the comment section. I'll end the contest tomorrow evening, I imagine the suspense will be unbearable!

In the Words Of...

Hi my name is Charlotte. Some call me Charlie, Char Char, Char-latte, baby girl, girlie girl, the list goes on. I have the face of an angel but I've got a bit of sass in me :)

I started out life the perfect baby. I slept great, I ate like a champ, and I loved to sit and watch what was going on around me. And really, I still do all those things, but I've got a few tricks up my sleeve. I think I've got just about everyone fooled.

Oh and one more thing. I love my big brother. Really I love both my big brothers. But this one, my big BIG brother, he's really great. I have a hard time keeping my hands off of him. He reads me books and he can make me laugh so hard that I slip into that silent laugh thing where you laugh so hard you run out of air. You know what I'm talking about? It's really quiet embarrassing.

Well, I'd better get going. I've got several things on my "to do" list today.... flushing some toilets, ripping a magazine, drinking out of my brothers sippy cups, hiding toys in my mom's shoes, putting my shoes on, then off, then on, then off know, important stuff!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just Keeping It Real

I hope you all realize that this blog is just a snippet of my life. Those of you who know me well know WAY more than this blog allows to be seen. I try to blog about the things that I want to look back and remember 20 years from now.
But I do want to keep it real for those of you who don't know me.

So in that's what my house looked like at 10:00 this morning. I hope to have it all turned around by 10:00 tonight.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chicken Chili

I've made this soup 2 times in 8's THAT good. My kids even like it!

2 T oil
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 onion chopped
1 lb chicken, shredded
2-4 cups chicken broth (depends on what consistency you like)
1 jar salsa verde about 15oz
2 cans white beans
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans corn, or frozen
1/2 t oregano
1/4 t cumin
salt and pepper
serve with any of these: shredded cheese, sour cream, avacado, lime, totillas, etc.

Start by sauteing the garlic and onion in the oil. Add broth, salsa verde, tomatoes, and seasoning and bring to a boil, simmer for 10 min. Then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer as long as you'd like. I usually make this during nap time and then simmer until dinner.

This week I made my own chicken broth and used the chicken and the broth for this soup (with lots of broth left over to freeze for later). Here's what I did...

Put all these into a BIG pot...
1 whole chicken (take out the "inards") and rinse
2 carrots, don't bother to peel
2-3 celery sticks with the leaves
1 onion chopped in half
2 basil leaves
(or whatever herbs you like)
Cover it all with water, I fill the pot about 4 inches from the top.

Bring to a boil and simmer for 1.5-2 hours. Take the chicken out, pull the meat from the bones, put the chicken carcass back in the broth and continue to boil another couple hours. When it's been at least 4 hours, drain the broth from the pot using a large stainer over a large bowl. (Throw out the veges and chicken carcass, you've boiled anything good out of them.) This makes a ton of chicken broth and lots of great tasting chicken. What I don't use I divide into 2 cup servings in ziplock bags and freeze.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Letter

I did not write this, but I share this woman's sentiments.


Dear President-Elect Obama,

Today I shed tears of joy, along with hundreds of thousands of Americans, for the great victory of your election. The significance of this moment cannot be overstated. Our African-American friends have been oppressed and cast aside for generations in this country of ours. Now, may the shame be completely wiped away and may the glory that this nation represents and strives for become a reality for more and more of our once silenced citizens.

I confess I did not cast my vote for you. Not because you failed to inspire me with your speeches, because you did. Not because you do not impress me with your leadership and vision, because you do. I cast my vote for another based upon my concern for another segment of our society which is downtrodden and cast aside, the weak, the innocent; the unborn.

Mr. President-Elect, I pray that your heart would be burdened as well to do all in your power to encourage the life that is even now forming in many to come to fruition, to share in this great moment in our nation’s history. We all know the times are difficult and no one will escape the trials at hand. Just as this is true, so is the gift and privilege we have to live it. May the millions of unborn get this chance as well. May the virtue of responsibility reign as mothers choose to carry the fruit of their wombs to term, to give the gift of life to another. I ask, President Obama, that you would prayerfully consider your pay grade since indeed it has now risen at this moment in our history. May you be the champion of all those who are weak yet share the same right to life.

May God bless you and your beautiful family.


This was published on one of my favorite blogs, Girl Talk.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

18 months old

Miss Charlie is 18 months old! Here she is in all her yumminess.

Here are her stats...
Height 35 in 99.8%
Weight 27lbs 85%

The amazing thing is, that even for as tall as she is, she's still smaller than her brothers were at this age.

In case you're wondering where I stand on Immunizations...she had 4 shots today.
Here's a great article in TIME about that. If you don't want to read the whole thing, here's an excerpt....

Some parents have taken to cherry-picking vaccines, leaving out only the shots they believe their children don't need such as those for chicken pox and hepatitis B—and keeping up with what they see as the life-or-death ones. But that can be a high-stakes game, as Kelly Lacek, a Pennsylvania mother of three, learned. She stopped vaccinating her 2-month-old son Matthew when her chiropractor raised questions about mercury in the shots. Three years later, she came home to find the little boy feverish and gasping for breath. Emergency-room doctors couldn't find the cause—until one experienced physician finally asked the right question. "He took one look at Matthew and asked me if he was fully vaccinated," says Lacek. "I said no." It turned out Matthew had been infected with Hib, bacteria that causes meningitis, swelling of the airway and, in severe cases, swelling of the brain tissue. After relying on a breathing tube for several days, Matthew recovered without any neurological effects, and a grateful Lacek immediately got him and his siblings up to date on their immunizations. "I am angry that people are promoting not getting vaccinated and messing with people's lives like that," she now says.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Calvin, this morning:

"Mom, my shorts are choking my tummy"

Could it be that my 3 yr old is outgrowing his size 5 clothing? wow

Monday, November 3, 2008


Wow, this was our first BIG Halloween. With a child in school, holiday celebrations jump to a new level. I've always held to the idea that we don't as much "celebrate" Halloween as "participate" in it. Brennan's school had a fall party but there was nothing fall about it. It was a full spread of Halloween themed foods (none of which he could eat), ghosts hanging from the ceiling, etc. It was fun, but somewhat overwhelming.

The boys did have a great time in their costumes though!

Charlotte dressed up as a cute 18 month old. Clever, eh?

(a note about this picture. see the tooth brush and baby in her arms? she is rarely without one of these. she carries them all over the house. she comes to me with her toothbrush and toothpaste and hands it to me so that I'll put the toothpaste on the toothbrush for her. then she walks around "brushing her teeth" endlessly)

(another note about this picture. those of you who know me well know that the fact that she loves her "baby" makes me break out into a HUGE grin. this was SOO me as a child. in fact, this picture might bring a tear to my daddy's eyes.)

For those of you following Brennan's all natural diet, Halloween was easy-shmeezy! I really couldn't believe how well it went. In fact, he really acted as if it were no big deal. I signed up to bring treats for his school party (along with several other parents). So he was excited about the snack I brought and didn't even ask for any of the other food there. That night, I had bought a few organic candies, and when he came back from trick-or-treating he just traded all the candy he had received for the all natural candy. He loved it and was perfectly happy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Garage Sale

I LOVE garage sales. Wanna know why? See all those toys in the picture below? They are GONE, as in NOT IN MY HOUSE ANYMORE. We also sold quite a bit of other stuff as well. I have friends who are very organized garage sale havers (I have no idea how else to say that, so I'll make up my own words). I, on the other hand, am not so organized when it comes to garage sales. Throughout the year I have a couple of boxes in the basement that I throw garage sale items into. The night before the garage sale (I'm not kidding) I haul it up to the garage and loosely categorize it. The morning of, we put it on make shift tables out on the driveway. And THEN people take our junk and give us money for it.

Yes I know, we could probably make more money if we were more organized, but I like low stress garage sales better than high profit garage sales.

Here's the secret reason I love garage sales. I really like to hang out in the driveway all morning long, for 2 days, with my family. The kids think it's great fun, I get to drink coffee all morning and not put makeup on, Tyler always goes out and gets donuts (although finding preservative free donuts this year was tricky). We do this every fall and seriously, our kids love it. It's a great family activity and one I think will be a sweet memory for them.

Oh yes, and one more reason I love garage sales. I get to sound "green" and use those trendy buzz words...I'm SIMPLIFYING life and RECYCLING our used goods. (But most of those toys were plastic and someone who was REALLY "green" would never have bought plastic toys in the first place...oh whatever. )

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Here are some funny things we've heard the boys say lately.....

As we're driving by a car lot...

Cal: Mom, why are those cars for sale?
Me: Why do you think they're for sale?
Cal: Because if somebody's car breaks they have to buy a new one.
Brennan: No Cal, people buy a new car when they're getting ready to have a new baby.
*** this has been true in our case, so I didn't really correct him***

At the dinner table....

Brennan: There was a girl teacher in PE today.
Ty/Dad: Instead of your normal teacher?
Brennan: Yea
Ty/Dad: Was she a substitute?
Brennan and Cal: (uncontrollable laughter)
Ty/Dad: What's so funny?
Brennan: you said "toot"
***tyler then had to explain what a substitute teacher was***

Driving past a cemetery the other day....

The boys asked about the gravestones. Tyler explained that when people die we put their bodies into a box and bury it in the ground. Then he explained where their souls go.
Brennan: Are the graves with the flowers the ones where girls are buried?

Monday, October 6, 2008

making do (or is it due?)

I haven't been to the grocery store in over a week. I usually do my shopping on Mondays but it just hasn't happened today. So it's slim pickin's around here. The boys weren't approving of the after school snack options I was giving them so I had to get creative.
Warm, pumpkin shaped biscuits with butter and honey.....ummmmm, my creativity is getting better and better tasting.

Here's the recipe I used (from THIS blog I enjoy reading)

2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 - 1 cup heavy cream (or much as needed)

Mix the dry ingredients together. Add in the heavy cream until your dough is slightly sticky. Knead on a floured surface 10-15 times to make a soft ball. Roll out to 3/4 inch thickness; cut into biscuits. Place biscuits on a cookie sheet, close together but without touching. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Now, if you want to use butter, substitute the heavy cream with 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup of butter, cut in with a pastry knife. Proceed with the next steps.

I do not normally have heavy cream on hand so I used the butter/milk option. SO easy, SO simple and SO yummy!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby

I do not deserve this man. But God graciously granted me my wildest dreams.

Top 10 reasons I love this man....

10. When he comes home from work he kisses ME first and then the kids.
9. In the winter, when he gets in bed before me, he puts his legs on my side of the bed to warm up the sheets.
8. He does laundry...without being asked.
7. Because he's so tall, even at my most pregnant, I'll never outweigh him.
6. He's so stinkin' funny...seriously, he can still make me laugh so hard I pee my pants.
4. He's such a fun, hands on, purposeful daddy.
3. He saw me push out a 10 lb baby, with no drugs, and he's not afraid of me.
2. He has more patience in his big toe than I have in my whole body.
1. "The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor." Proverbs 15:33

I love you baby and I'm really glad you were born.
xoxo la

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The reason for my lack of posts.....

I've got a little time
I've got a lot of inspiration
WHY oh WHY do they never appear at the same time?!?!?!

Sorry for those of you who check here often (mom, dad). I keep telling myself someday I'll have more time...stop laughing.

***** Updated to Include*****
Yesterday the boys had a blast with their cousins, Jaydon and Paxton, playing house in our basement. So today we invited them back over to play but only Jaydon could come.
I'm listening to them figure out how to play house without Paxton. Here's the solution I just heard....

"I'll be the Dad, you be the son, you be the pet, and we'll pretend our mom is dead."

uhhh, come again?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The closest I'll probably come to a *political* post....

Putting aside my thoughts on the candidates (and I have quite a few) and where I fall along party lines (let's just say I get out of line quite often) here are my thoughts on one of the many political topics these days.

"O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear
To vindicate the orphan and the oppressed,
So that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror."
Psalm 10:17-18

No matter the social justice issues of our generation, despite the rockstars and their newest trendy cause, my hope lies elsewhere. My hope lies in the God who created heaven and earth. It is God who will vindicate the orphans and the oppressed. It is not the government or actors that will bring justice, it is my God.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

the end of the world and follow up on dinner

Just a little FYI for you all. I think Jesus may return today....
This morning I worked out, read my bible, spent some time in prayer and showered all before 8 am. The only reasonable explanation I have for that is that the world must be ending today.

Oh and about dinner last night...It was fabulous! I honestly have never met a pot roast that I liked. In general I'm not a big fan of huge chunks of meat. I'm tellin' ya, that Pioneer Woman is doing wonders for my marriage. I had one happy hubby last night!

The pot roast was a huge relief for me. This summer we bought a 1/4 cow from a local farmer and I have 10, give or take a few, roasts in my freezer. If you to are in need of a recipe that tells you what to do with a big chunk of meat (and have it turn out fabulous) go HERE ( just substitute beef roast for pork) and HERE.

Monday, September 8, 2008


This is very uncharacteristic of me, but I made THIS for dinner tonight and MAN does my house smell good.
I love The Pioneer Woman, she might actually turn me into a good cook...we'll see. I'll let you know how dinner turns out.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A New Phase

I have hit a new phase in my parenting life. I'll call this stage the "able to take a shower without fear of kids burning down the house, hurting each other, running off down the street or chocking to death" stage. I have to say, it's a good one. I remember clearly when B, my oldest, turned 14 months old and stopped his morning nap. I thought, when in the world will I take a shower or read my bible? For the next 5 years those things were relegated to times when the kiddos were sleeping. Weeeelllllll, not any more! The last couple weeks I've taken a shower WITH MY KIDS AWAKE!! I put Charlotte in her room for some "crib time" with books. Calvin usually hangs out in his room or on my bed with books. And Brennan, well I'm not sure exactly what he does, but he does so without being destructive. Amazing!

Now do not misunderstand, this does not mean that I take a shower before noon everyday now. I've spent the last 5 years pretty nasty until nap-time. It will take more than a few weeks to retrain this momma!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bad Blogger

Hey there friends and strangers. Yes, I know, I've been a very bad blogger lately. You see, my husband is working on a very large video project right now and keeps stealing my (tee hee) computer!! So here's a little catch up in the way of pictures and of course some random ramblings.....

First up, Cal started Preschool today. He's been waiting 2 years for this day. He's going to the same preschool B went to, so he's been going with me to drop off/pick up for quite awhile. He's twice the size of all the other kids in his class. This child is going to be huge! Notice the basketball shorts. Why do my boys have such a problem with khaki shorts? I refuse to fight the clothing battle (except on sunday mornings) but oh how I wanted to put them in little khaki's and polo's on their first day *sigh*.

Have you seen these?

They have no fat, no preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors, and honestly they are GOOD. If you're looking for a chocolate fix, look no further.

Brennan is growing up too fast. I've never said that before. Most days I thought he would NEVER grow up. For the first time ever (as a parent) I'm wishing time would slow down a little. During the month of August he lost his first 2 teeth, learned to tie his shoes, started kindergarten. Now don't get me wrong, I'm really glad all these things are happening. I've been looking forward to them as much as he has. But COME ON, all in one month?!?

And lastly...

I want to eat her. Those curls, those dimples, those chubby thighs, even the dirt under her too-long fingernails, I could eat it all. She's delightfully yummy. Tyler said the other night, as we were discussing having more babies *gasp*, that if we could clone her he'd do it immediately. She's SOOO close to walking, hopefully that post will be coming soon!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Asking Questions

Man, oh man, would I love to have a clue as to what goes on in Brennan's classroom. But, oh no, that would make things way too easy. Last week I tried the whole "come home from school, sit at the table with milk and cookies and talk about your day" thing. Yeah, well, that didn't work. Getting info from this kid is like forcing a baby to fall asleep! Honestly, I hang out with a lot of teenagers and I think they're much easier to talk too!

So these are the types of questions I've resorted to in order to elicit some sort of response from him.....
1. Did anyone get in trouble today? (why?)
2. Did anyone have their shoes on the wrong feet?
3. Did anyone toot in class? (was it stinky?)
4. Did anyone pick their nose and eat it?

These questions get him laughing and then, amazingly enough, laughter turns into....talking!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Little Joseph went to heaven this afternoon. He no longer needs our prayers, for he now sits with the King of Glory! Pray for his family as they endure this side of life without him.

Please Pray

I've not done this before, but I want to ask you to pray today. This is a friend of a friend from our days in Nashville. They have a little boy named Joseph who was diagnosed several months ago with a brain tumor. He will go to be with his Heavenly Father soon and he and his family need our prayers. Here is his story...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Milestones and Random Ramblings

Well, I did it. I just dropped Brennan off at Kindergarten. These are hot off the press...

So everyone is asking me, and you might be am I feeling? I HAVE NO IDEA!!! I have a small lump in my throat, yes, but I'm really OK. Does that make me weird? According to what everyone says, I'm supposed to be sobbing right now. Is something wrong with me? More than anything, I'm feeling nostalgic. I can't *honestly* say the past 5 years have flown by, but looking back I'm not sure how he got he got to be 5 (not to mention the fact that he even survived years 2 and 3!). The lump in my throat comes from the fact that he acted so old today. No nervousness, no tears, no clinginess. He took the whole thing in stride. Usually B likes the idea of something new and then when he comes face to face with it he gets quite nervous. The first day of both preschool years were filled with tears. But today he walked right in the room, sat down on the rug and turned and give me a big smile......OK, now the tears are coming.......

The other funny thing going on in my mind is that I keep imagining Charlotte on her first day of Kindergarten. I keep thinking that her brothers will be in 2nd and 4th grade! What a different experience she'll have.

How wrong is it that I keep spelling Kindergarten with a "d", as in Kindergarden. And my trusty ol' spellcheck isn't catching it. What is Kindergarden? Maybe I'm the one that should be going to Kindergarten.

My house is really quiet right now. Both Charlotte and Calvin are napping. I can't make a habit of blogging during this time. I should do something productive. My natural inclination will be to be on the computer or napping during the afternoons now....but I can't let that happen! My bible and house must reign supreme during these quiet hours.

Oh and one more thing. Brennan lost his first tooth this week. It came out on the way home from Minnesota on Sunday. This has been a monumental week in his life! Here's the pic I snapped right after he pulled it out...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Northern Minnesota is beautiful and the weather is perfect. And there's ZERO humidity! We went on vacation with some of Tyler's family and the trip concluded with the annual family reunion (Tyler's Dad's side o' the fam). Our little cabin in the woods was right on the beach. It was a rock beach and the boys tried their darnedest to empty the beach of all the good skipping rocks. They literally spent HOURS throwing rocks into the lake. We had a campfire on the beach every night, a train ride to a nearby small, quaint, town, lots of swimming and lots of napping! The kids also got lots of quality time with Grandpa, Grandma and their Aunts...priceless.

Kids on the beach

Check out the view over Charlie's shoulder

Smores (we let B have them even though they weren't preservative free and we payed for it the next day...uggg!)

Train ride (and Charlie asking for "more")

Our afternoon in Two Harbors

Monday, August 11, 2008

We're Home

We had a wonderful vacation. Relaxing, fun, restful, all those things that make coming home so hard! We went (way) north and the weather was unbelievable. It would be tempting to live there if not for the ridiculous winters. I'll be sharing pictures and stories all week...stay tuned.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Another One Bites The Dust

Charlie had her first taste of chocolate...and declared it was good!

What you can't see in this picture is the amount of chocolate on the highchair and on her hands. A little bit of chocolate goes a long way!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A True Jedi

I may have mentioned this before but our boys LOVE Star Wars. Much of their day is spent recreating scenes, watching parts of the movies and dressing up as Darth Vader. Tyler had a little fun with his computer last night (he loves him some Mac's!) and now Brennan thinks he's the coolest thing around.

Brennan got a Darth Vader costume and a storm trooper costume for his birthday. They are great costumes and really look like the real deal. Whenever Brennan and Calvin are playing Star Wars, B always gets to wear the costumes. Calvin, being the younger brother always gets a raw deal....but he has no idea! The other day I walk into the living room and find them jumping off a chair. Brennan is dressed as Darth and loves the fact that when he jumps off the chair, his cape flies out behind him....just like the real Darth. And then I see Cal. He has my yoga mat, with the strap on one end, slung around his neck thinkin' he looks just like Darth Vader. Oh the innocence!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

My kids have been killin' me lately. Here's the latest....

Brennan (5) really loves to answer the phone. These days he actually considers it his job around the house. This afternoon before I got in the shower (hey, at least I got a shower) we had a little talk about phone etiquette. I tried explaining to him that if someone called he should NOT tell them his mom is in the shower. He should say "my mom can't come to the phone right now." So I suggested we practice. Here's what happened...

Me: So, if someone asks to talk to your mommy, what do you say?

Brennan: She can't come to the phone, she's in the shower.

Me: NO, NO, NO, that's too much information, don't tell them I'm in the shower. Try again, what do you say if they want to talk to your mommy?

Brennan: (looking at me very quizzically) She can't come to the phone, because she's NOT in the shower?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Is this kid cute or what? This story makes him even cuter.

He was sitting in my bathroom the other day while I was making my bed in the bedroom. Here's the conversation that ensued.

Cal: "Mommy, can we say poopy in the bathroom?"
Me: "Yes Calvin, it's OK to say poopy if you're in the bathroom."
Cal: "Mom, you're a poopy head."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday Mornings

The alarm goes off at 5:35. I fumble for the snooze button and manage to hit it. Again at 5:45, finally at 5:50 I roll out of bed. I stumble to the bathroom trying not to make any noise. Brush my teeth, wash my face, put in contacts and slip on my flip flops. I leave the house literally still in my jammies. When I arrive at 6:00 there are 3, sometimes 5, close friends, and hot coffee. We talk only briefly. And then we pray. For one hour we sit before the Lord and acknowledge that He is sovereign, powerful, loving, patient, just. We confess our sinfulness. We thank God for who He is and what He has done and continues to do for us. And we beseech Him to heal, strengthen, lift up, protect, guide, impart wisdom and above all to show His glory. And He is faithful, He is always faithful.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dessert for Dinner #1

We may have started a new tradition tonight. We had dessert for dinner! I had to actually explain this to Tyler several times before he fully understood that dessert WAS dinner. Once he got it he was very happy. And it was the excitement of the day for the kids.
Here was my reasoning. It's so stinkin' HOT out! I had all this beautiful fruit. It's so stinkin' HOT out. I wanted to try this new cobbler recipe but I didn't want to "slave over a hot stove" for dinner and dessert. Thus the answer, dessert for dinner.

The menu:
Apple, Blackberry, Raspberry Cobbler (I used this blackberry cobbler recipe and added apples and raspberries)
Vanilla Ice Cream
(and it was all preservative free!)

Here are some pics of my kiddos lovin it.



Oh my!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Today at 4:30 Calvin was trying to convince me to go on a jog with him in the stroller. Today at 4:30 it was 100 degrees outside. I tried to explain to him that it was WAY to hot to be outside. It wasn't working. I told him that playing outside in this heat could actually make you sick. I tried to explain dehydration to a 3 and 5 year old. It still wasn't working. So I told them if you played outside in this heat it would make you so sick you would throw up. They stopped asking.

About an hour later the Orkin man walked up the driveway. He wanted me to pay him money several times a year to kill our bugs. I politely told him I wasn't interested. Then I told him that they (meaning his employers) really shouldn't make him go door to door on a day like today. He was drenched in sweat. I said goodbye.

Then as I turned to walk back to the porch where the boys were waiting, here's what I heard....

Calvin (yelling): Go inside or your gonna throw up!
Brennan (yelling): You're gonna throw up on our driveway!

So maybe they do actually listen to me.
excuse my mess while I try to figure out what my "style" is

actually, what I'm finding is that I have no "style" or maybe that my "style" is a mix of lots of things

does this mean I'm quirky?

I seriously can't make up my mind on a stinkin' blog sad is that?

this is, however, one thing I WILL NOT lose sleep over

thank you

Friday, July 18, 2008

Various Bellies

I seem to be mentioning My Mid Section on this blog quite frequently. So I thought I'd let you SEE how it is that I lost all control over it.

A few notes to begin with....

* These images are not appropriate for children
* If you are newly pregnant with you first child, stop here, do not, I repeat, do not look at these pictures
* I may be a tall woman, but I am all legs, I have a very short torso. Which, as you will see means my belly must stretch WAY out.
* I have very large babies (thank you Tyler).
baby #1 9lb 12 oz
baby #2 10lb 1oz
baby #3 8lb 12 oz (but she was 3 weeks early)

Ok, are you ready? I'm not kidding, prepare yourself for THE BELLY.


Belly #1
I'm to lazy to scan a picture in and there's not one on my computer

Belly #2

Belly #3

(if you're brave enough enlarge this puppy and take a look)

And to this I say...this body was "fearfully and wonderfully made".

Monday, July 14, 2008

The War on my Mid Section

Alternately titled:
"How My Mother-in-Law is Trying to Sabotage Me"

Um, yeah, so I'm just hangin' out these days and tryin' to lose a little weight. Have I mentioned my Mid Section to you all yet? It's out of control. Except for those days it's tucked safely into my Spanx, and on those days there's so much control I can only take sharp little breaths.
But I digress. So I'm just hangin' out trying to lose a little weight. I decide to take a little jaunt down the driveway and get the mail. Oh how fun, a package! I come inside, rip it open and this is what I find.....

For those of you wandering THIS IN ONLY THE BEST FUDGE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD! I'm not the kind or girl that normally goes gaga over fudge, but this stuff is unreal. This is the kind of fudge that even if the house is on fire, the baby is oozing hippo size poopies out the side of her diaper, the boys are bringing dead bunnies in the house, or digging holes in the yard and peeing in them, you'll find me in my secret corner licking heavenly chocolate off my fingers singing a sweet little song about Joann's Fudge. It's THAT good....seriously.

My Mother-in-Law, also known as the otha' motha', is in Mackinac Island, MI this week and mailed this to us. Isn't she great?!?!?! Seriously though, thanks Janet and Bill!

Now about my mid section, hmmmm, I guess it will just have to wait until next week to begin the shrinking. Oh and if you know me in real life feel free to stop over for a bite, I'll share!

Friday, July 11, 2008

When Nouns are Verbs

I love listening to my children's language develop. Most times I find it so cute I don't bother to correct them. Here's a sampling of the latest...

- "Mom, I'll sit on the couch and you doctor me."

- "Watch out, this is gonna firework you."

- "I'm gonna fire you up."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hear ye, Hear ye....

I would like to announce to the blogosphere that I no longer have any guilt over feeding my kids copious amounts of homemade chocolate chip cookies. Ya know why? Because they have no preservatives, additives or food coloring (as long as you use Ghirardelli chocolate chips).

Last week I would have been taken aback by the amount of fat and sugar in these cookies. I would have thought to myself "Self, should I be feeding these delightful cookies to my kids? What if they become obese sitting right here on their cute little bottoms?"

But oh no, not this week. You see, this week, I have seen the light. This week I see that it's all the preservatives, additives and food coloring that are actually worse for our kids.

But of course next week I will once again be swayed by whatever magazine lands in my mailbox and it'll be flaxseed that will be deemed bad for my kids.

All joking aside, these are difficult waters to navigate. Do you struggle with this?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Menu Planning Monday


I don't know that I'll do this every Monday, but I thought I'd join in today. The timing works well because I normally do my meal planning on Sunday night and my grocery shopping on Monday mornings. Tyler takes Monday mornings off, which is GREAT because I get to shop with zero or minimal children!

I don't assign my meals to a day, I'm much to finicky for that. I just buy ingredients for a certain number of meals and then decide that day what we'll eat. So here's what we'll be eating this week....

Whole Wheat Pesto Pasta...with basil from our garden. I'll also puree zucchini and "hide" it in the pesto.

Bun-less Burgers with sauteed mushrooms and onions. Green beans from our garden and potato fries.

BLT's with corn on the cob and cantaloupe.

Chicken Salad on homemade bread (this chicken salad is to die for!)

If your interested in what others are eating this week, go here.

The 4th