Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Funnies

Here are a few little comics that my brother, Jordan, sent me that made me snicker.

I appreciate this one...

And because sometimes I'm too uptight and I need to shock myself...

Hoping you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ham-tastic Holiday Meal

Yeah. That's all I got tonight. Ham-tastic. I can't even try to come up with something better. I am exhausted.

We had some of Richie's family over tonight for a pre-Thanksgiving meal.
It was a good visit and yummy meal. It was also a pretty easy meal.

I'm like that. All about the yummy and easy.

I can enjoy a meal a whole lot better knowing that 6 hours of blood, sweat, and tears is not being consumed in 20 minutes.

Sweet Orange-Glazed Ham has become a holiday staple around my house. I found the recipe on Southern Living's website a year or two ago and have made it a few times. The glaze has three ingredients (brown sugar, orange juice, and prepared mustard) and it is so quick. And oh. so. yummy.

Not to mention that it just sounds impressive and time consuming. I like that part also.

And while I would love to share a picture of it, the above picture will have to do. My camera still doesn't talk to my computer, sorry. So, we will pretend and substitute this other ham from Southern Living's website for it.

I know, I feel cheated, too.

Something else I tried this time was serving baked sweet potatoes with a brown sugar and cinnamon mixture to put on top. It even won over my brother-in-law and his wife who were sweet potato haters. I love victory...

And the best part is I get to freeze the leftover ham bone for a yummy soup I'll make some time next month. Mmmmmm.

P.S. I am also too tired to look up the "o" and "e" rule for potatos/potatoes, so you're going to have to deal with it. Just call me confused. Or Dan. I'll answer to both.

P.S.S. Did I mention that the ham is yummy?

P.S.S.S. Sorry, I just wanted to type P.S.S.S. Did you ever leave numerous P.S.'s on notes when you were in school?


Monday, November 24, 2008

How Much Greater

There are times when I look at my children and my love swells up within me, overtaking all else. Weariness, frustration, discouragement. Man, I love these little people!

And then I remember my Heavenly Father. And how much more He loves them. Incredible. The affection and love He has for them.

Then I'm reminded that it's how He loves me. Mind blowing. I know I need a deeper revelation of His Love.

Then I see a video like this on
another blog and I'm messed up for the rest of the day. Which is what I want. To be ruined by His love.

How much greater He loves us! Carrying us when we cannot carry ourselves. Giving us His strength when we have nothing to give. Surpassing any earthly father's love and devotion.

Abba Father, I am once again in awe of Your love for Your children. Thank You for loving me and never leaving or forsaking me. Thank You for Your faithfulness and steadfastness even when I do not show the same qualities. Thank You for continuing to give to me when I have not felt that I had anything to give to You. Change my heart and help me, Father, to be a reflection of Your love. To love others with Your perfect love.

Participating in GratiTuesday at Heavenly Homemakers on 11/25 because I am so grateful for His amazing, unending love.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

You Might Be A Mommy If...

You have ever picked someone else's nose.

Please tell me this is the only time and reason you have or will ever pick anyone else's nose. No, don't tell me. I do not want to know. I have a bubble that I do not want popped.

We had two little noses that needed attention this week. And that means only one thing, sudden and immediate torture...

by nasal aspirator. A seemingly innocent tool in every prepared mother's arsenal. Innocent until you actually have to use it to fend off all things green and sticky.

I can't use this thing without feeling like I'm going to suck out all sorts of other things with the original offender. Specifically, the brain. An eyeball, maybe. Perhaps some intestines. And I have this feeling Abigail doesn't exactly care for it either. We'll have to chalk it up as a necessary evil. Much like the re*ctal thermometer.

But we won't go there. Remember that bubble I mentioned earlier?

As I've been using this device of nasal torture, I've been wondering what it feels like to be on the recipient's side. But, it scares me. You know, the whole brain sucking thing and all.

So, I leave you with my bubble and brain still intact.

Hey, no comments about the brain. Respect the bubble.


Friday, November 21, 2008

5 Ways I Know It's Cold...

Abigail enjoying the outdoors in October.

  • The liquid soap resembles a solid.
  • I can see my breath...inside. This really hasn't happened yet this year, but it's just a matter of time. Update: It has happened. 11/24
  • We can get a refreshingly, cool drink straight from the kitchen cabinets. You gotta love having extra space in the fridge, right?
  • Children are clothed in outerwear while waiting for the house to warm up in the morning.
  • I give up on shaving my legs.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Kids Are Not Demented...

Well, it might have looked that way to a passerby three weeks ago when Caleb tied Samuel to a tree as they were playing cowboys (no worries, I was just around the shed and quickly intervened). Anyway, I don't watch The View, but what Joy Behar said yesterday about homeschoolers might have been enough to make me stop.

Well, okay it makes me want to write them a letter. Or better yet, appear as a guest host. Let me deliver my view...

The homeschooling part starts around 5:45 in a discussion about where the Obama girls will attend school.


Is 3 The New "Big"?

Last Friday, I was able to take the kids to visit Richie at school. Something we don't do very often. It was a good visit, but there happened to be a very common trend that left me a little baffled. Likewise, the faculty of the school appeared quite shocked.

Forget baggy pants and revealing shirts. Forget the forest of piercings and the all too prevalent crude language.

It was my three kids. Well, not my children themselves - of course, the fact that we homeschool does open up quite a door there. No, it was just the fact that we have three children. There were comments from at least 6 different adults on the size of our family. Apparently, we are a large family. *crickets chirping* Huh?

So I'm left 3 the new "big"?


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Say What?

Confession time. Again. And this one's bad. I didn't even tell Richie yet. Now he'll know.

It makes me very uncomfortable. I'm beginning to squirm.

It's dramatic. I keep hearing Jack Nicholson yelling, "You can't handle the truth!" * Insert me with my head in my heads crying, "I know!" * Sorry, I'm having a moment...

It's especially embarassing since I was shocked and kind of displeased when two Salvation Army ringers wished me a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I mean, Happy Thanksgiving would have sufficed. It made me feel rushed. Anyway, I digress.


I actually had the urge to put up our Christmas tree this weekend.

There I said it. Go ahead, cast your stones. I should cast some stones at myself because I really don't want to hear Christmas music until the Friday after Thanksgiving. I think it should be banned - now, all you Christmas lovers who listen to holiday music year round can cast your stones.

I don't know why, but this year I have felt particularly festive. Eagerly anticipating the "holidays". There have been years when we didn't even put up a tree. *Gasp. Again.* Listen, I'm of the mindset that if we are not going to be home on Christmas, why do I have to unpack it all and then put it away again just because I'll look like the Grinch.

Can't you see the resemblance? Don't answer that.

Which by the way, I just happen to love How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Can't tell you why, I just do. In fact, I think it can be a great conversation starter for some biblical training. But, I digress again.

Grinch aside. I feel ready to decorate and enjoy the season with my family and friends. We are trying to simplify even more this year. Focusing more on the birth of Christ and what that means to our family. To the world, really.

I just can't believe that I feel like joining Wal-Mart's time frame for it all...

P.S. If you have already put up a Christmas tree, please don't be offended. I would love to come stare at it and get my fix. ;)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hard Workin' Man

This past weekend was one of the first weekends in a long time that we had to just be at home. And we put it to good use. We were able to complete several projects around the house and that feels so good! The to-do list still looks daunting, but it is shorter now.

And mostly thanks to Richie. Even though he had a workday on the baseball field, he still got a lot accomplished around the house. I squeezed in a few extra things with the normal kid wrangling and cooking, etc., but I know without Richie's help we really wouldn't be a couple steps closer to being organized again. (If you need a refresher, you can click here, or here, or here for a small taste of what I'm talking about.)

Anyway, I'm thankful to be married to such a hard working man.
Who makes time for his kids, too.

Real men do push ups with their kids on their backs. :)

Helping Samuel dig out a canoe when we visited Jamestown.

A daddy and his girl. Does it get any sweeter than this?

Wrestling time with Daddy. An almost sacred time around here.

Thanks for all you do for us, Richie! We love you.

You can see what others are grateful for at GratiTuesday hosted by Heavenly Homemakers.


Search Much? Have I Got A Deal For You!

Search & Win

So, have you heard about Swagbucks yet? I read about it a couple of weeks ago and just now got around to checking it out. Wishin' I had done it a whole lot sooner! Swagbucks is an internet search engine, like Google, but you earn points for searching. If you're searching the internet, you might as well be getting something for it in return, right?

The actual swagbucks are points based on your internet searching, purchasing, and referral of friends. The last being how you can really maximize your earnings. Swagbucks can then be turned into various gift cards and an assortment of quite a few other things. I already know the first thing I'm going to get. Can't tell because it's going to be a Christmas present if I can get it in time. :)

So, if you're interested, I would really appreciate it if you would
sign up here , it's linked to my Swagbucks account. Plus, right now you can earn 3 points just for signing up.

And if you want a more detailed post about how it works from someone who has been doing it for awhile, visit
this post from Lavonne at Economic Endeavors.

Happy searching!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm Ba-ack

I have been trying to figure out how to post a Graham Cooke video from You Tube for two days now. I give up. It's called Decisions That Define Us. May you be challenged and encouraged as you listen. Update: Melanie graciously taught me what I was doing wrong, so now I've got it here. Thanks, Melanie!

Me, I'm tired of being contained. Feeling constrained. I know there's so much more. I want to be tapping into it on a continual basis. Not just here and there. I'll have to share more later, but let it be known that the fuse that for 2 years seemed to have been cut off...has been re-lit. The very breath of God fanning the flame.

I'm back, revived and armed.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Jo's Show and Tell

Okay, so here are a few things I have "discovered" while surfing around that I wanted to share. Hope you have fun!

1. For all you Jane Austen fans... take this quiz and find out which Austen heroine you are most like.

I am Marianne Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Can't say I know what that really "means", but hey, I have friends who love this one's for you!

2. Homeschoolers - Have you checked out Homeschool Freebie of The Day? Each day they offer a new resource. Some of it is pretty neat.

3. I saw this idea for a simple, homemade "dollhouse" at Having Fun At Home. I think boys would enjoy these too! You could use cut outs from magazines, also. She also has some other really neat (and cheap/free) ideas that I hope to incorporate for family fun some time.

4. On most Mondays, Weeping Cherries does Mason Jar Monday. I love it! Got an empty mason jar you want to do something with? Check it out! Update: Jen will be doing a Christmas theme starting this Monday. Can I just say mega-major fun!

5. Are you a Christian who likes real rap music? Jess at Making Home recommended checking out the rap artist, LeCrae. Yes, this little homeschooling mama really likes this. You may be hearing him soon on my playlist! I love Fanatic and Rebel sounds great!


A Day At The Park

One recent Sunday afternoon we took the kids to a local park we don't normally visit. It's got a huge playground that is so much fun.

Caleb hanging out.

That's my boy!

Samuel showing his skills.

Makes me want to kiss his sweet face.

Abigail used her time to catch up on some sleep.

Richie and Samuel having fun on the slide.

I heard an odd noise as they disappeared around the bend of the slide and became concerned when I never saw them exit. This is what I found at the bottom of the slide.

It was a beautiful fall day enjoyed by all!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Unemployed? Who? Me?

Have you ever filled out a form for something and there is no space for a woman who is home full-time to mark other than unemployed? I hate marking that as my option.

And let me tell you, hate is not a word I tend to use lightly. Loathe. Despise. Abhor. All good substitutes here. Just wanted to make sure I was being clear.

That it makes me grit my teeth and deeply inhale to put a check in that box. 'Cause you know, I'm on call 24-7. My day does not end until my head hits the pillow and even then, all it takes is one little cry and I'm back on duty.

Please hear me, I have worked full-time outside of the home (6 years) in a field that could be pretty demanding, so I know both sides of the story. I'm not going into that now, but I will admit there was a time in my life -it pains me to say this- that I never thought I could stay at home. Sometimes more for sanity reasons than financial.

I am shamed to admit that I thought I would be bored. There I said it. Perhaps that's why God has blessed me with an 8 yr. old who chose his bedtime reading to be The Life of a Neuron tonight. Or why I have a 2 1/2 yr. old who seems to possess hurricane-like qualities. He's making sure there's not a chance I might be bored.

And also please hear me, I absolutely love being at home. And after my above statement, you can see God's change in my heart. I have come to embrace it. To cherish it. Having the ability to be the keeper of my home constantly. To learn to make my home a refuge for my family. A place of comfort. safety. love. A place where others feel welcome.

The fact remains, it's still work. And it is not easy. And at the beginning of my new career *grin*, I found myself inserting the words "I just" before I said "stay home". Giving it an inferior connotation.

I don't just stay at home. I am not unemployed. I work hard. My time is very occupied.

I just don't have a biweekly paycheck to show for it anymore.

No, now I get paid in full with smiles and sweet kisses. And I wouldn't trade it for the world.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Weekend Away

I am so thankful that I got to attend our church's women's retreat this past weekend! I went expecting and God met me exceedingly and abundantly. He's good like that! :)

I had the wonderful privilege of sharing a room with my dear friend, Joy, this past weekend. Joy has been such a blessing in our lives and through her actions I feel like I know what it would be like to have family that lived close to us. She's a sister.

And straight up, I would not have been able to go this weekend if it weren't for her. I can't tell you enough, Joy, how thankful I am for your generosity, your friendship, and your love. In addition, she helped with Abigail, put up with her 1 am fussiness, laughed at my goofiness, and supplied oreos with milk. Need I say more... ;)

As the retreat began Friday night, I was in awe at the beauty of it as I took in all the different women that were there. Each unique creation with her own story to tell. I am thankful that God weaves the most beautiful tapestry out of our lives and knits us together as His Body. I am so thankful to hear other sisters in Christ share of His goodness, faithfulness, and mercy in their lives.

There's so much to share and to give thanks for...fellowship, healing, revival, laughter, comfort, love, restoration, peace.

And being able to take a shower without anyone knocking on the door or asking a question. Something I happen to be very thankful for right now.
My actual post got delayed, but you can still check out GratiTuesday at Heavenly Homemakers!


100th Post

So, this is my 100th post. And from what I gather, this is supposed to be a momentous occasion in my bloggy world.

I've got a gazillion different other things I would like to get down before I forget, but I will take a moment of reflection and jot a few things down for the sake of posterity about my blogerrific thoughts.

1. I could get so caught up in this whole blog world. Too much of a good thing is bad. It's wild to think I didn't know (or really want to know) that this world existed 6 months ago. Really, the last thing I need is something else to distract me from my home, my family, and my God. Yet, here I am...

2. I hate to even admit this, but I feel like I'm connected in some sort of weird way. (Seriously, how excited should I be when I see a comment - pathetic, I know.) It's odd. It's encouraging to know that there are other women going through many of the same things I am and to see how God is working in and through them. Let's be honest, being at home full-time is not easy and it can be lonely, no matter how much you enjoy it.

3. In defense of lurking...insecurity still remains in this virtual world. That doesn't define all lurking, but I'm not too quick to come out of my anonymity. It's made me wonder how in the world this happened...I used to be so wide open. And really, it's still way too easy to compare yourself to others, something else I don't need.

4. I am seriously contemplating my direction and whether I should keep posting. This is why I do:

  • My hope is that one day my kids will be able to look back and see what their mom was about, her struggles, her thoughts, her love, etc. I don't know if I'm capturing it or not.
  • My hope is that my friends and family will have an small idea of what's going on with us and how to pray for us. That they can share in our laughs and trials.
  • My hope is that someone, somewhere will receive encouragement through my life. Which in typing that, I just feel the weight of that comment. My knee jerk reaction is that no one could ever possibly gain something from it. But, I know that God isn't done with me yet and I'm confident that He will continue working on me until the end. Now that's encouraging! :)
Ah, my thoughts. What a challenging, perplexing bit of me. So, here we have it. My 100th.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Indecent Exposure

Here it is, ladies. The moment you've been waiting for...a look at my mess.

Please note: If you are well organized (I confess my envy) and clutter sends chills down your spine, proceed with caution and have your mouse ready to click away at a moment's notice. I am not liable for any convulsion or other side effect you may experience from viewing this blog post. Also, please know this was not easy.

So, for repressed, imperfect housewives everywhere... *insert me pumping my fist in the air yelling, "FREEDOM!" - Braveheart style here* ...let's get the show on the road.

Here you see my living room. Full of boxed kitchen cabinets. They were blocking the front door, a fire hazard I'm sure, they have since been removed. I am not sure why my lamp has a "lean" going on, but it still looks like that today. And no, the love seat does not normally reside where it is resting.

This is another look at a recent hazard, only in my backyard. The old kitchen cabinets. And a couple appliances. Are we screaming junkyard or what?! Our neighbors are glad this is gone.

Now, I could just leave it at that, but...that would be misleading and a gross misrepresentation of my filth and clutter. Let's proceed...

My orange room. It's a lovely room that I have issues with in which I constantly struggle with its functionality, but it provided adequate space for our "new to us" refrigerator and stove as they waited to be installed. (Thanks again, Dad and Kathy!) It also seemed to be a magnet for "stuff". You can see a box of diapers, oranges, an infant car seat, and things that need to be donated. Oh, and one little boy who doesn't seem too badly affected. Adversity builds character, right?

You've probably had enough, but...this is our "Discovery" room. Named because it houses all our "school" stuff, but now it just means, "You never know what you'll discover in there." Boxes (of many different things) neatly stacked have become a mountain of "stuff" ready to wreak havoc in a nasty avalanche on anyone who dares to go near and look for anything. I do have to admit that looking at that picture puts me in the mood for a good game of I Spy. Must be all the educational stuff mixed in... This is the only space that is still in this condition.

And last, the space on my counter (the old one anyway), that gives me continuous challenges. If you look hard (really hard), you'll see the wooden letter holder in the backgroundthat I bought at a yard sale to help me organize our paper well invested *cough*.

I hope this hasn't overwhelmed you too much. That you don't judge me too harshly. I hope you can breathe a sigh of relief and know that not everyone out there has it all together and some are willing to be real about it. So now, I sign off with love for all the women in my life, organized and not.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voter Satisfaction

Today, I am filled with an emotion that I only get to experience once a year. It's hard to describe. Joy. Pride. Anticipation. Satisifaction. Honor.

So, I am thankful once again for the privilege and the responsibility to vote. I am thankful that countless men and women have sacrificed their lives so that I can go fill my ballot. I am thankful for freedom. I am thankful that I got to take my son to share this experience - it is live history in the making.

I am thankful to live in a country where my vote counts. I am thankful for the opportunity to stand for the Truth. I am thankful to get to experience what it is like to choose your candidate - an experience so many others on this earth do not get to have. I am thankful that God is ultimately in control and that He is on the Throne.

I am thankful that regardless of the outcome, it will come as no surprise to Him. I am thankful that He is my God and that He cares what happens to me. I am thankful that He gave His son Jesus for me. Thankful for the freedom I can only receive through Him.

I am so very, very thankful and humbled that I got to vote today.

Wanna know why others are thankful? Head over to GratiTuesday hosted by Heavenly Homemakers.