Friday, February 27, 2009

Someone's Missing?

Something happened yesterday that has left me a little bit puzzled.

When all three of my children were present and accounted for, I continued to search for one more child. Because there was a sense that one missing. As in a fourth. You know, a fourth child that I really do not have.

And not only did this happen once, it happened twice. Hours apart. In two different locations.

And yes, I was wide awake. Both times.

It was strange. Really strange. Leaving me shaking my head at myself and wondering if perhaps I had taken a step closer to complete madness. I did momentarily forget what side of the road to drive on the other day... Sad, but true.

It makes me pause and wonder if it's God speaking to me. I've made no secret of my desire to see Abigail have a sister - even though I do know that's not how it works. But wow, some days three kids seems like more than I can handle. I was encouraged to hear from a mother of six recently that she had felt overwhelmed at three.

Okay, I was elated to hear that. Because in my mixed up brain, those feelings make me feel like a failure as a mother. Just being real here. The days can feel lllllooooonnnnnggggg. Knowing other moms have those feelings too is just nice.

I don't really know if there are more children in our future, but this strange feeling of wondering where my fourth child is has definitely caught my attention.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

No More Tears

I know, sounds like a Johnson and Johnson ad. Or a sappy Hallmark movie.

Yet I speak of a silent, round enemy. One that sends me into tears almost immediately when I see it...the onion.

I recently discovered a trick that has eliminated the not so joyful task of cutting onions. I had never heard of it, but it has saved me a lot of pain. The burning, wanna rub my eyes out kind of pain.

Simply keep your onions in your refrigerator. That's it. Honest. No more tears.

I don't keep mine in the refrigerator, but I try to plan ahead and stick one in when I know I will need it in a day or two. I have also read that you can place an onion in your freezer for 5-10 minutes before cutting and you'll yield the same effect, but I personally have not tried this method.

Not crying over split onions totally works for me!

Check out more Works for me Wednesdays at We Are THAT Family...


Starbucks Winner



You won the $5 Starbucks gift card! I will e-mail you to arrange the delivery of your prize. Davene writes at Life on Sylvan Drive and if you have never visited, you are in for a real treat! She has a beautifully written blog and a beautiful family.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Always Check Your Pockets

Before washing...

and drying.

We've been having some problems with Samuel getting into the washer and dryer. I think we've finally gone a full week without him getting in one, so hopefully he's learned. Thankfully, he never shut the doors, because then I would have probably lost it and entered into my own version of a spin cycle. This child keeps me on my toes. I just keep wondering why I don't lose any weight from all the chasing I do. all. day. long.

Then I'm reminded that my Heavenly Father probably has to pull me out of my very own "washing machine" several times a day too. The sin that I just keep walking back into. The one that I keep insisting of partaking. Yeah, puts a whole new perspective on it for me. May I exercise the same amount of patience and mercy with my own children that God generously measures out to me daily.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Swagbucks and a Giveaway

Search & Win

Okay, I've talked about Swagbucks a
couple of times now and the last time I mentioned my sister was having a little issue. Well, it ended up being a small misunderstanding (on her part) and the Swag guy was very helpful and speedy in helping her resolve her issue.

Before she got her problem worked out, I decided to trade in some of my swagbucks for a gift card. Just to see if I would have as smooth a transaction as my first time. And then I got the brilliant idea that I should get something that I could give to one of you. And since it's been a time of scaling back on budgets these days, it should be something fun.

I had another great transaction with
Swagbucks. So...

I'm giving away a $5 gift card to Starbucks.

Since I'm all about convenience and ease in my life and I'm feeling so excited about someone smiling and enjoying some wonderful concoction, all you have to do is leave a comment. Yep, any plain, old comment. Just be sure to leave me some way to get in contact with you if you win. If not, the prize will go to someone else and it will ruin my fun. *grin*

You know what, I'm feeling reckless and wild, so if you decide to sign up for Swagbucks through my link, I'll enter you another two times. Just leave a comment letting me know so I can verify it. Then you can start searching your own way to more gift cards or other prizes! Updated: And that's the problem with going reckless and wild, you do not have a chance to think. This looks shady, so since this is my blog, I'm changing it up. Everyone gets three chances to win. Period.

So there you have it. You get three entries for leaving any random comment. (Please leave me an e-mail address if it's not in your profile. I wasn't kidding when I said it would ruin my fun if I have to pick someone else.)

I'll pick the winner on Tuesday, February 24th.

Oh, and both companies might like me to state that they have absolutely nothing to do with this giveaway or my blog. Just a feeling...


P.S. If the thought of leaving a random comment makes you nervous and your hands sweaty, please feel free to share your favorite money saving tip. I wouldn't want you to leave here uncomfortable.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Funerals As Viewed From An 8 Year Old

Let me apologize in advance if this offends anyone. That's always a great way to start isn't it?

We had a dear sister in the Lord recently pass away and as we were discussing the viewing and funeral, I had a humorous conversation with Caleb that I want to remember. And I think Darlene would have gotten a chuckle from it anyway. (Since she's dancing with Jesus right now I especially don't think she'd care...)

Me: I'm going to be leaving in about 15 minutes.
Caleb: Can I come with you?
Me: No, you guys are going to stay here with Daddy while I go.
Caleb: Aw, I really want to go.
Me: Why do you want to go?
Caleb: Ugh, because I want the food. It is so good.
Me: Caleb, I'm going to the viewing, not the funeral. There won't be any food there.
Caleb: Oh. *insert pause* What's an interviewing for anyway?...

Someone better make sure I have really good food at my funeral or this boy is going to be awfully disappointed. *grin* In his defense, he has attended two funerals, one of my grandmother's and Richie's dad. Both had very good church potluck meals for us.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

You Are...

You are the apple of my eye,
the pumpkin in my pie.
The soft, blooming flower in spring.

You are the funnel cake at the fair,
the smell of autumn in the air.
The brilliant color in my world.

You are the snowflake on my tongue,
the silliest song ever sung.
The warm breeze on a summer day.

You are the puddle in which I jump,
the juiciest strawberry, nice and plump.
The sparkling dew on the grass.

You are the eskimo kiss on my nose,
the tickle on my toes.
The laughter dancing in the air.

You are the finer things of my world,
You add so much to my life.
I thank God for making you mine.

You are so very precious to me,
yet there is One who loves you more.
And His you will always be.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Testing The Waters

The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it. -Michelangelo

I was visiting a friend's blog last week, when I happened to see the above quote in a little sidebar gadget. It made me chuckle as I had just posted some new year goals I had made for myself and I wondered if I should have aimed higher. You know, perhaps shoot for 15 pounds of weight loss instead of 10? But I decided to practice making boundaries and left it at 10...

But the more I chewed on it, the more I thought about my spiritual walk. And if I'm brutally honest with myself, I know that I've been aiming low.

Coming through a season of deep pain and hurt, I found myself in a place of distrust, anger, and fear. And inadvertently, a portion of it became directed at The Kingdom.

I stopped seeking and reaching out for His supernatural power. I wanted very little to do with it. I knew that I loved God and that He loved me, but I just could not . It wasn't about my relationship with Him, it was with the supernatural. I just wasn't sure how deep I could go in the Water anymore. Keeping what I deemed to be a safe distance.

I became skittish. Much like a swimmer who is taken out into deep waters by someone trusted and then is abandoned. That's how it felt. Suddenly, I was all alone. Everything I thought I knew, I began to question. Healings I watched take place with my own eyes. Questioned. People being set free. Questioned. Prophetic words. Questioned.

I really don't know how to adequately describe it. God in it all has been so patient. So gentle. Loving and tender. Helping me come through it. At a much slower pace than I'd like to admit, but through it nonetheless. And that's the important thing.

Because I don't want to have any limitations in my life when it comes to God. I expect the extraordinary to happen. I long to be in that deep place of communion with my Father. Sitting in His lap as He shows me His glorious Kingdom. Because once you've tasted it, you're ruined. Nothing else can satisfy.

So, I find myself ready to step back into the water. A bit hesitant, a little nervous, but knowing fully well that my Daddy God has called me there. It's time to reposition myself and aim high again. And I have to admit, the anticipation and the excitement bring a smile to my face.


Sweating Profusely, Dying Slowly

Oh. *gasp* My. *huff* Stars. *puff*

Exercise is so overrated.

Just kidding. Kind of.

I had the genius idea of walking to pick up our milk today. It was good exercise and the kids and I enjoyed it. What I realized about 1/2 way there was that I forgot to factor in two large hills. And when you are pushing almost 70 pounds, that is just not a thought you want to have. Tomorrow I may malfunction...


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Foul Play - A Call For Action

At risk of being completely ineloquent (versus only slightly), urgency pushes me to rush this post.

America needs to be concerned. Christians need to rise up and find their voice. We are being hoodwinked.

This stimulus package is outrageous. And as outrageous as it is, I do not understand why we are not coming together to fight it. The speed at which they are trying to pass this thing should be a red flag to all of us.

Find a news source you trust (if there is one) and get informed. 'Cause honey, there's a whole lot more to this so called "stimulus" package than what they want us to know. I talked a little bit about it here, but I'm fired up again. After not interceding for our country and its leaders, the worst thing we could do is passively lay aside and watch this happen. So, if you haven't contacted your representative or senators yet, consider the following on just a few topics...

One of the more disturbing items hidden within the ginormously long bill will move our country toward national health care. Okay, you thought waiting 30 minutes in a waiting room was bad, try 3 hours.

You will now also have the privilege of letting the government decide if it is cost effective for you (your parents, your children) to receive medical treatment or if you should pass on medication and treatment and learn to accept your illness and fate. Specifically for our older generation, it will be compared to their anticipated life expectancy. I have also heard that they plan to digitize all medical records into a federal database for governmental access, but I haven't found a good source to double check this one yet.

Also disturbing is the fact that it would have the Census Bureau report directly to the President. Um, hello, can we just say redistrict much? The census is used to determine congressional districts. Why would we give any president that kind of power?

The stimulus package has a lot of ridiculous allotments for renovation in it, but it also includes verbage that bans universities and colleges from using this money to renovate buildings where students engage in "religious worship." This basically would keep groups like Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Crusade for Christ, etc., from being able to use the buildings that have been renovated.

And let's talk about wasteful spending for another minute (which could easily be turned into an hour), because $650 million dollars has been allocated to make the switch from analog to digital TV. Of which, $90 million is set aside to "educate vulnerable persons" about their need to purchase a converter.

If this doesn't concern you, I don't know what will. I'm adding links to make it super easy for you to just take 5 minutes and send an e-mail to ask your representative and senators to vote against this. The phone number to reach all three is 202-224-3121. It is simple, but is one way to make your voice heard. It's your responsibility. It's your right.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Gift of Time

One of the greatest gifts that we can give to those we love is that of ourselves. The gift of our time. I was reminded of that this weekend.

I planned a mini-date with Caleb this weekend. We would run a couple of errands in town and while we were out we were going to have an ice cream together. But not just any old ice cream. Cold Stone Creamery, baby. Oh. yeah.

I had a coupon for buy one get one free and thought it would be a nice time to enjoy a treat and just talk with him. We had fun and I'll treasure the memory of just being with my biggest boy. Just me and him. Something that needs to happen a lot more often.

As we were spending our afternoon and ice cream together, I realized that I'm not really engaging with him in the things that he really likes. Legos and Star Wars just really don't do anything for me. BUT, that's where my son is at. So, it's where I need to meet him. Light saber and all.

I sat down and played Lego Star Wars the video game with him last night and I hope I never ever forget this night. I wish I had a video tape of it. He was thrilled that his mom was playing with him. He loved showing me how to do everything and we had a lot of good laughs. The game was not my source of entertainment, the pure delight that my son got from having me play that game with him was. He was so appreciative.

And this morning, when he got up, he kissed me and thanked me again for playing. In making that decision to give my time to be with him and doing what he wanted, something changed in our relationship. He knows that I chose him over all the other things that I could have been doing. He knows that he is important to me.

And I know that another session of Lego Star Wars is in my near future.


Friday, February 6, 2009

It All Began With Butter

That's right. Butter.

Butter and baby steps.

I used to be so overwhlemed by all the information on healthy and natural eating. Throwing up my hands and wondering how I could ever do it all. There was just no way. It would be too time consuming. Too much money. No one will like the food. Yada, yada, yada.

Then, revelation slapped it's firm hand on my face.

Do what you can and take one step at a time. Because any step forward is a step in the right direction. Earth shattering, I know - you can take a minute to catch your breath if you need to...

I've had a lot of fun reflecting on the changes that we made in the last year. Because suddenly, my baby steps have turned into a huge leap over the course of one year. I certainly have not "arrived", but there has been significant change. And when you can say that in a positive manner, it just feels good.

And it all began with butter. My first step in changing my family's eating habits was switching from using margarine to using butter. And the rest, my friends, is history. So, since I can't figure out how to post a celebratory dance for you, I'll just post my list of some steps we took to eating healthier.

  • Butter - As I stated before, our journey began with butter replacing margarine. And this was probably the change that the family had the biggest grumbles about...because it was more difficult to spread. I'd like to be able to get organic butter.

  • Cold Cereal - We cut out cold cereal. It was a big deal because we were big cereal eaters. We do keep some cheerios on hand and I'll pick up organic cereal on sale every once in a while for when we are really in a rush on hand. And I've really come to enjoy making a yummy and nourishing breakfast for the boys every morning.

  • Water - Water, water, and more water. We purchased a Pur brand water pitcher and we are all doing so much better about drinking water. I am so thankful to have the chlorine taste gone from our water.

  • Raw Milk - We were very blessed to be introduced to a source for organic raw milk.

  • Whole Wheat Flour - The flour of choice in our cabinets. When it comes down to it, white flour just really doesn't have any nutritional value.

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup - I am trying to avoid products with high fructose corn syrup like the plague. I just checked yesterday and I think I found 3 things in my kitchen that have it. I threw away one, so two more to go...if I didn't miss something.

  • Whole Grains - I've tried to add more grains to our diet. Quinoa, barley, polenta. This is an area that I could improve a lot in.

  • Snacks - Snack food is not something I always had tons of, but I've managed to get a lot of it out of the house. I'm making snacks instead. Again, I could/should be making more. I do buy organic snack bars, etc. when I find them on clearance for quick snack fixes. Better planning would do me wonders in this area.

  • Brown Rice - Out went the white rice, and brown rice now reigns supreme in our house.

  • Garden Fresh - We grew our garden with moderate success this past summer. It has been so joyful to make foods this winter with fruit and veggies that we put away ourselves.

  • Baking Powder - I tossed our baking powder and made sure I bought a brand that did not contain aluminum.

  • Organic Eggs - When I found my raw milk source, I also found a free range egg source. Yummy! The difference in taste is amazing. I need to find a more reliable source for these though.

  • Sandwich Meat - I no longer purchase cold cuts. They are not only expensive, but not very healthy either. This was easier to do in conjunction with my pregnancy since I couldn't eat them during this time anyway.

So, that's what I could think of off the top of my head. I am so excited looking at this list and seeing the progress that we've made. My cabinets and refrigerator look so different now. Much more whole foods and a lot less processed foods. 'Cause I mean really, who can give up Kraft macaroni and cheese? *grin*

One of the great things about taking baby steps is that it all feels doable. And it is much more likely to become habit. If I had tried all this at one time, I would have given up. I am really excited to continue making changes this next year and crossing things off my list. We really can see the health benefits in our family.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Swagbucks Follow-Up

Update 2/6 - I'm doing an experiment and ordered a gift card to see if it would be as easy to redeem as my first experience...because my sister is having an issue with one she ordered. So, stay tuned because I'm going to give it away when/if it gets here...

Back in November, I did a post talking about Swagbucks. Just in case anyone was wondering what I thought about it...

Search & Win

My original goal in using
Swagbucks was to be able to get a rookie Cal Ripken baseball card for Richie for Christmas. He was pleasantly surprised by this small gift and I felt extra good that I got it for free. *grin* I did think it was pretty cool.

Since then, I have continued to earn swagbucks and I am half way to a gift card that I want. I don't use it very often, so I'm slow in earning them. It helps that I had two people sign up under me, so I benefit from earning some while they do their searching and winning. Who knows, I might change my mind if they add some new, cool prize that I can turn into a gift again. *wink*

The only issue that I've had is that my searches don't seem quite as extensive as if I was using another search engine. Most of the time this is not a problem for me because I'm still finding what I need, but it could be a problem for some types of searches.

So, I'm slowly searching my way to some nifty prizes. You can sign up here through
my link if you're interested in trying it out. If you've been using it, I'd love to hear what you have to say.


Caught Red Handed

Or rather blue handed.

About an hour after my post yesterday, I walked into the kitchen to find this face staring at me.


He got into the blueberries. Again.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Five O'Clock Shadow

It's been a while since we've had a multiple choice question. Past due if you ask me, so I present to you the following picture of my boy, Samuel...

Which best describes this picture:

A) Samuel was enrolled into a research study on the effects of fertilizer run-off in water after he began sprouting premature facial hair.

B) He discovered a small, mushroom village outside and satisfied his hunger with helpless, blue Smurfs.

C) It's an adverse reaction to helping Jo Ann lick stamps.

D) Samuel raided Jo Ann's grape Fanta stash.

Doesn't this picture look like his little hand got horribly smashed by something? It almost upset my stomach, silly huh? Ah, motherhood. *grin*

And the answer is...

Boo-behwies. I had a cute video of him saying blueberries, but I couldn't get it to work. Anyway, I made muffins today and had given him some in a bowl. I left the kitchen and when I returned I found him eating from the bag (which was in the freezer I might add) and turning very purple.


P.S. I do not have a Fanta stash. I repeat, I do not have Fanta stash. Oh, and I don't make the kids lick stamps. Anymore.

I Resolve...

Knowing that I am extremely structured, disciplined, and organized, *cough, cough, gasp*, you won't be surprised to learn that I actually have been piecing some goals together for this year.

Quit being dramatic and pick yourself up off the floor.

I tend to be rebellious about resolutions, being a sick perfectionist who does not desire the feelings of failure resulting from broken resolutions. And who has a problem with procrastination. And distraction, don't forget distraction. Um, what were we talking about?...

Anyway, this year I have made a few goals for myself and well, now that I'm posting them, I'll have to stick with it.

Without further ado, drumroll please.

In 2009, I resolve to :

  1. Cut the number of times I say, "Hold on a minute", to the kids in half. Now, I have no way to realistically measure this, it's just something I'll know. Somewhere my Methods professor is banging his head against a wall...

  2. Find a loose schedule for cleaning, chores/allowance, etc., that works for us. I'm really hoping routine (*shudder*) and I can find some way to coexist this year.

  3. Expand the garden this year and preserve at least half the fruit and vegetables we go through in a year. I've got a lot of learning to do in this area and hopefully I'll find some other affordable resources to obtain organic food to put away. (By the way, has anyone been to the local produce auction? I'd love to hear about your experience.)

  4. Finally nail down a budget. The last time I tried this, I ended up in tears. First from the frustration of not being able to make it all work, then from gratitude to God for the fact that I couldn't make it all work. He clearly extends His hand of provision to us.

  5. Have the house in order by April 1st. It doesn't have to be perfect, but there's a lot of room for improvement. I love to have company and want those in my home to feel comfortable.

  6. Become better friends with consistency and discipline. Personal prayer time, obedience to God, 'nuff said.

  7. Lose 10 pounds and find ways to incorporate exercise into my daily routine at least 4 days a week.

  8. Nourish the relationships in my life. In a culture that is focused on things, I want to be focused on people. It's possible to be surrounded by people and feel very alone.

So there you have it. Eight ways you can help keep me accountable this year.