Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Reading Ann Voskamp's blog this morning, I was stopped dead in my tracks by this quote.

Belief is not merely an agreement with facts in the head, it is also an appetite for God in the heart, which fastens on Jesus for satisfaction. ...

Therefore eternal life is not given to people who merely think that Jesus is the Son of God.
It is given to people who drink from Jesus as the Son of God... The point of these images of drinking and eating is to make clear the essence of faith. It is more than believing that there is such a thing as water and food.
Faith is coming to Jesus and drinking the water and eating the food so that we find our hearts satisfied in Him.

~ John Piper, Future Grace

As I continue my weightloss/fitness journey, I learn how my body can be pushed beyond what I think it can handle.  Each time I can go a bit further, do a few more reps, comlete a whole set.  But I have become complacent in my relationship with God.  I am not pushing the limits, seeking after Him with my whole heart.  I cook for my family, clean my house, wash clothes, and then, give Him some time.  I do not want to "merely think that Jesus is the Son of God."  I want to "drink from Jesus."  I want my very daily existence to be a complete dependence on Him and my heart to overflow with gratitude for my salvation.  I don't know what this looks like yet, but I am confident that I will be pushed and stretched further than I thought I could be.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Look at my scary face mom!

This is what happens when you have too many kids and not enough room-they must sleep wherever they can.  The dining room rug makes a perfect blanket:)
Hi - my name is Tex!  See those hands on my shoulders?  I'm being attacked by a munchkin!!!!
I'm Tex #2, the cockeyed cowboy
That's better, but still a bit big.
Watch out Aunt KK - I'm getting pretty good!
           Poppy went to the Bahama's and all I got was this postcard - does he not know that I can't read yet!!!
My new bowlish haircut:)

Mom, this is not what we had in mind when we said we wanted to "do something" for Spring Break. (In reality, EK organized this "train" and they were kind enough to include Ryan.  Moments after this was snapped, Ryan toppled over and bonked his noggin on the hardwood floor:(  He survived though and is eating just fine, in case you haven't noticed!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I posted a while back about our decision to make some changes in the foods we bought/ate.  I also wrote that I would post some of our meals.  Yeah, that worked out well:)
Seriously though we have been doing pretty good around here.  We found some chicken that we can buy locally and it costs only a few cents more/lb.  We are still waiting on our 1/4 cow to be killed and processed.  I looked back at our menus for the past 2 weeks and we have eaten 4-5 meatless meals/week.  Last night we had Falafel Pita Pockets - essentially chick peas put into the food processor with some spices and an egg, formed into patties and fried in olive oil.   Topped with a cucumber, red onion, yogurt dressing (for me and Jeff, the kids used ketchup or ranch both of which were are finishing and then NEVER buying again) and paired with a huge salad.  I've served a variation of these chickpea patties before, just by themselves and Jack and EK were not crazy about them.  The spices were different so maybe that was the problem.  Jack has also decided that he doesn't like rice anymore.  We buy spelt pasta and usually have that on hand, but it's still more expensive than the bag of organic rice.  I'll keep putting it on his plate with different twists, but I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle!  He has recently decided that there are several foods that he previously ate with gusto, which are no longer ok.  We try to be sensitive to everyone's palates, but are also on limited funds and I am not a short-order cook!  If there's something leftover from lunch that can be substituted in for what he doesn't like, then we'll try that, but otherwise, tough beans kid:)
So, we're doing well on our journey and I am constantly looking for recipes.  If you have any good ones send them my way!  I did make up a snack for us yesterday. I had some pitas that were on their way out, so I cut them into wedges, brushed them with water, sprinkled on some cinnamon and sugar and then broiled them for a minute.  We dipped them in some low-fat vanilla yogurt (Stoneyfield).  Delish!  This kind of stuff satisfies my snacking tendency - I want several pieces of something, rather than one big thing.  I know it's totally mental, but that's why thinks like frozen grapes are so appealing to me too.  If you're a snacker, how do you satisfy that need while not busting the calories/budget/health issues?

Spring Break Baby!

OK, so the 'baby' part of the title was totally a gratuitous throw back to my hay days of actual spring break trips, pre-children, and pre-thou shall not drink mass quantities of any form of alcohol b/c as parents and health care professionals so aptly point out, it will make you dumb and do dumb stuff.  Plus it makes you fat.  If for no other reason than that, I should have avoided that liquid poison, but alas, my inability to make quality choices, in beverages as well as men, reigned for a good 5 year span.  Thank God (literally) that I survived those years:)
Anyhoo, we are going nowhere this spring break.  We didn't last year either and it all seemed to be OK.  The children were not scarred, at least not that I can tell now.  Maybe in 20 years I'll get a bill from their shrink listing: damages incurred during boring spring vacation, $3,000.  Damages incurred while being made to wear jeans without holes in them, $1,000 (that's for Jack).  Damages incurred while being denied every piece of candy that ever came across his/her path, $4,000. 
Oh well.  Hey, I wasn't allowed to wear jeans to school until I was in high school.  Prior to that it was corduroys and colored jeans (thank goodness they were in style then).  Yes, I am still traumatized thank you very much for asking.  My parents considered jeans, or dungarees, as work/chore/farm pants, certainly not acceptable for school.  School was our 'job' and as they would never wear jeans to work, neither should we wear them to school.  Eye rolling is completely necessary here, so feel free.  While I respect the sentiment, and I cannot blame anyone other than myself for the corduroy knickers that I wore in the 5th grade (you read that right, I wore knickers, with knee-hi socks, and a high-collared blouse with coordinating corduroy blazer), I do think it added fuel to the fire of rebellion that burned deep inside my teen-angst ridden self.  Or not.  I could have just been a rotten kid.  Whose to say.
Speaking of rotten kids.  This one got a much needed haircut last night.  While I dug the shaggy frat boy 'do, it was becoming more of a mountain man/kid 'do so Jeff trimmed him up.

When Jeff first finished I said it looked kind of like a bowl cut, and it does.  But cuter and no so bowlish.  Here's the happy customer with his ice cream cone.  I caught him mid "cheesebooger" which is what all the professional photographers have their subjects say when taking their pics.
Beautiful weather has returned here, so we all hit the walking trail for some bike riding/walking.  Ryan fell asleep in the backpack carrier - too cute, but forgot my camera so no pics.  Trust me it was adorable:)
Hope you all have a great day! 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

How felony got her groove back

So once upon a time I was affectionately nicknamed "Felony," I'm sure it was in no way an indication of my lifestyle at the time.  Er, well, anyhoo.  It always makes me laugh just knowing that I, of all people, ended up marrying a cop.  While Jeff is not your stereotypical cop, on a power trip and just itching to bust somebody, anybody, he  is nevertheless  a member of the law enforcement community.  Ironies abound.  Last week I was in a funk.  Nothing major, just a plain ol' funk.  I ate some cookies.  Watched some old movies.  And by mid-week, was on my way out of Funksville.  Friday we had spring weather, Jeff and I took Will and Ryan for a walk, then, on the first official day of Spring we got the news.  A cold front was headed our way, promising to dump inches of snow on us.  UGH!!!  Now I love snow as much as the next girl, but come on!  Don't tease me with the 70's and then send me back to my wool cardie with the 30's!  For the record, I really didn't believe that we were going to get the snow.  I have zero trust in weather people. I am pretty sure I could just show up at the tv station, look at the satellite images, and give it a go.  Hey, if I'm wrong I still have a job.  Hope there are no touchy weather people reading this.
Ok, back on track here.  The snow started last night and this is what we woke up to.

Not spring.  Winter.  Not happy.  Headed back to Funksville. 
Well, not just yet.  Because I have a funny family.  They make me laugh.  All. The. Time. 
Like my dear hubbie who is willing to play games with our kids.  I personally am not a fan of playing cars, hide-n-seek etc.  Go ahead.  Report me to the bad mommies commission.  I am not afraid of them. 

Here's Jeff  "hiding" from Will during a rowdy game of Hide-n-seek.  Actually it really is fun to do this with Will since he often overlooks the obvious.  One time Jeff just stood in the corner of our dining room with a blanket over him.  We have a very open floor plan, so I use the term 'hiding' very loosely here.  Not kidding, Will walked right by him.  Twice.  As if there was always a 6 foot green blanket in that corner.

This is what Ryan is doing to pass the time in the tundra.  He is almost sitting up on his own.  Hence the surrounding pillow fort.  Happy as always!

Ella-Kathryn yet again conned her little bro into playing dolls.  Unfortunately, Will has adopted this feminine style with an unnerving ease.  He was adamant that he take his purse to Wal-Mart yesterday.  And he about lost his mind when we got home and he left it in the car.  "Purse.  Garage.  Car." he cried to me.  Well, hold onto your pink panties little man, I'll go get your purse in just a minute.  This of course goes well with his hording of all personal items in his pants pockets.  Every coin, and paper currency he has must be carried in his pants. Every day.  No ifs, ands or buts.  Also the collapsible magnifying glass, mini tape measurer, and if he's feeling plucky, his stubby pen.  In case he needs to write something down.

Jack, still in jammies, found solace and quiet in his room.  That lasted for 2 minutes.  Jack went to a sleep over birthday party Fri and apparently at lunch had a caffeinated root beer.  That explained why he was not so grouchy as he usually is when he comes home from spending the night with a friend.  However, by 4 all bets were off and some sort of demon beast clawed its way out of my precious son.  Snarky comments, sassy retorts and a veritable plethora of disobedient acts followed, until he was bathed and put to bed by 7.  A time which was about 2 hours over due if you ask me:)  He is much better this morning, praise the Lord!!! 
Ok, so the world's longest post is over.  I am posting a pics only post too just to get some stuff off of my camera.  Hope your day is wonderful - warm and springy:)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New day

So, yesterday was one of those blah days.  I headed to bed at 8:30, took 2 Tylenol PM's, read my bible, and promptly fell asleep - before 9!  While I can't say I jumped out of bed this morning, I definitely don't have that cloud hanging over me.  Ironic, since it's overcast and rainy today!  Oh well.
I called my sister to give her the update and mentioned that I had to get down the 9-12 month clothes for Ryan.  Jeff had been commenting on the snug fit of all of Ryan's clothes.  His feet are busting out of the feet of his jammies and the sleeves are always too short.  This morning I grabbed a pair of jammies off the top of the pile I had put in his room, and they fit great!  I pulled the tag up to see if was a 9-12 or just a 9 mo and lo and behold it was a month!!!  Oh my gracious this boy is GROWING:)  What a blessing he is and it is such a joy to see him so healthy and happy.  I put one of his NICU pics on the mantle - to be a constant reminder of how far He has brought us.  It's one where he is lying on his side, hands clasped together, tubes everywhere.  He still does that with his hands and it always makes me smile.  Right now he's blowing raspberries as he sits in his exersaucer:) 
Last night in my reading of the end of 2Kings, I was again reminded of how long the Israelites went against God.  So many kings and generations of people were led astray from His commands.  During Jereboam's reign, the Lord finally swept all of the Israelites away to Assyria and the king of Assyria replaced the people of Israel with those from Babylon, Cuthah and others.  but the Lord sent lions to kill some of these, so the Assyrian king sent back to Israel one of the exiled priests to teach the people how to worship the Lord.  So they did worship the Lord, but "they continued to follow the religious customs of the nations from which they came...They follow their former practices instead of truly worshiping the Lord and obeying the laws, regulations, instructions, and commands he gave the descendent's of Jacob, whose name he changed to Israel." 2Kings 17:33-34
What struck me was that as a follower of Christ, how many times to I fall back to my "former practices."  I was never a believer/follower of another "religion," but I did try to do things out of my own strength.  And I find myself failing again and again when I fall back into that practice/habit.  When we turn our hearts and lives over to Him, we are to do all things through Him, our filter is Him.  Furthermore, how often am I reflecting my culture and contemporary surroundings, rather than His death for me?  How often am I watching a movie, reading a book, speaking with language that does not show my nonconformity?  I should stick out like a sore thumb in my culture.  No longer are we bound to those laws and regulations, but the commandment to love one another stands strong in Him and it should in me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A day

Today is a hard day.  No specific reason. Potty-training.  Hospital bills.  Food choices.  Debt repayment.  Life on this planet.  It's just hard sometimes.  I pray.  I cry a bit.  I wipe faces, bottoms, counters, toilet seats, dog paws.  I pray.  I dream.  I hope.  I make time to read His word.  I find reassurance and comfort.  I pray. I move on.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shabby Apple Shakespeare Garden Dress GIVEAWAY!!!!

Love me a give away, and this dress looks so comfy yet chic for spring.  I love dresses, need more of them, and have no $ to spend on them right now, so a give away is perfection (anyone get the reference there?)
So here's the link if you want to enter too.  But if you win you have to share the dress with me:)

Shabby Apple Shakespeare Garden Dress GIVEAWAY!!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happy Anniversary

I never got around to blogging yesterday, so here's a belated (ok, totally funny I just typed bleated haha) shout out to my sister and her hubby - Happy Anniversary!  It's been 8 years for them - easy for me to remember since they got married mere weeks after Jack was born.  The wedding was perfect and my sister looked amazing!  She had a TON of bridesmaids (I can't even remember how many!) and they were all so sweet and helpful to her on the big day.  What is so funny is that Jack was about 8 weeks old and I was breastfeeding him.  I had smooshed my post pregnancy body into a beautiful skirt/top that my sis had picked for us.  I had bought one of those fat-taming undergarments which I highly recommend, and somehow wrangled my loose flesh and nursing tata's into the appropriate places.  We had left the hotel and reconvened at the church awaiting the ceremony.  I wanted to make sure that Jack wouldn't be hungry during the service, so I sat down in the designated room, which happened to be a children's Sunday school classroom.  TINY little chairs!  So I plopped myself down and somehow wrangled the top up around my neck and proceeded to nurse.  All was well, or so I thought, until my lap felt kind or warm and wet!  Sure enough, Jack had pooped and it all went right on through all over my skirt!  We were, I think, within about 30 minutes of starting the ceremony, so those girls went right into action.  One had my skirt off and was washing it in the little bathroom.  Another had Jack and was changing him.  Another ran to her car and grabbed her hairdryer so we could dry off the skirt once it had been cleaned.  I felt like some bizarre beauty pageant contestant, with everyone buzzing around me, doing things for and to me while I just stood there shell-shocked.  My baby had pooped on me, on my sister's wedding day!  Oh cruel world!  In the end, all was well.  The skirt looked fine, my poor aunt had to handle a not so happy baby, but the wedding itself went perfectly.  It was the last big family gathering before my mom's dad passed, and several years before the shadow of cancer would lurk in the corners of our lives.  Those wedding pictures hold memories of a big crazy family, hope for a new marriage, and if you look closely enough to see the miserable baby being held by the mommy with the forced smile, the optimism that is inherent in bringing a child into this wonderful but unpredictable world.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Weekend update and why I can't leave my house for even a few hours

Last week was one of those weeks.  I remember telling my girlfriends back in Feb. that yes, let's get together the first Wed. in March.  Then there was a postponed breakfast with a friend that we agreed to do on Tues. at my house. Then I remember trying to schedule a used book shopping trip with another friend and that got postponed until the first Thurs. in March.  Then, after procrastinating for months visiting with 2 other girlfriends, I ran into one of them at church and she said, "this is a good week for me!"  Alrighty then.  So in the blink of an eye we had 3 days back to back where I was out of the house for at least 2 hours and another where I was home, but was spending time with my sweet friend.  I loved my time with these ladies. They are all so much fun!  Some are in the youngin' stage like me, some are trying to start a family, and some are a bit ahead of me (I highly encourage you to find some friends like this, or just buy some if you have to:))  By Fri. afternoon, after spending 3 hours at Chick-fil-a with Will and Ryan and my 2 friends (Will was a SAINT by the way), I got home and was just overwhelmed with the amount of work that had to be accomplished.  I told Jeff later that when I am gone for even just an hour, the backlog that's created is sometimes a bit daunting.  I look around and am not sure which is more critical - the kids having no clean clothes or not having anything in que for dinner?  It is a blessing to be sure, to have such wonderful women in my life, but lesson learned, spread it out girl!!!  There are 30 days in a month!
We finally got some great weather here too, so that opened up some fun possibilities for the weekend.  We were going to head out to the battle reenactment, but chose to go to Hobbes state park instead.  It was great!  We packed a picnin lunch, hiked an "easy" trail, then sat in on a program about reptiles (yuck!) and toured the visitors center.  It really is a gorgeous place, new I think, and easy for the kids to handle.  Not too big, but interactive and engaging.  The joke was on us with the trail though. I had hopped on line to check out the trail difficulties before we left and found this one that was only 1 1/2 miles and designated as "easy, with some steep trail."  HA, HA!  Those state park tricksters. I'm sure they sat at control center looking at a wall of monitors which captured the hidden trail-cams and my beet-red face panting as I huff and puff up and down the cliffs of doom!  Ok, so it wasn't that bad, but we did end up putting Will in the backpack carrier because after letting him walk for the first quarter mile, we got to this part where literally one misstep and he would have been rolling down the ravine like a pinball, bouncing from boulder, to giant fallen tree, and into the stagnite creek 40 feet below! 
I had Ryan in the Moby and he did great of the first mile facing outward.  Then I turned him around to face me, and he basically hung his head off the side and laughed at Jack for the last 1/2 mile.  He was cracking me up, actually snorted he was laughing so hard at his goofy big brother.

I have a HUGE forehead and must get some bang of some sort, IMMEDIATELY!!!

He is such a happy boy:)

Jack and Ella-Kathryn enjoying the "skulls and skins" exhibit.  Sounds a bit like some S&M convention in Vegas, no?

Oh, Jack.  Please stop making that face/smile whenever I want to take your picture!  EK looks like she just tooted:)  Which, by the by, when Will toots and we say "what do you say?", instead of saying "excuse me," he says,"Simpson!"  I have no idea!
Right before I took this, Jack was standing there looking at the giant bat head and this old guy came up behind him and scared him to death.  It was funny, but Jack wasembarassedd and the guy laughed a bit too much.  Then we went into this simulated cave and the old coot tried to do it again.  It was all I could do to bite my tongue and tell him to find some other form of entertainment for his Sat. afternoon. 

This one's just because!  He is finally enjoying the exersaucer - helps me out a ton.  He has also started holding his bottle.  Again, a big help for me, but also makes me kind of sad!  It's just going by so fast this time.  I don't know if you can see, but after his bath last night, he fell asleep in the bouncy seat and somehow this one bit of hair ended up getting pushed up so that it was sticking straight up.  You can kind of see it against the printer in the background.  Too cute!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New things

Rice cereal mom?  Not sure about this.

Well, I guess it's ok!

Here's Ella-Kathryn in her dress that Poppy brought back from Nicaragua.  It is precious with some beautiful embroidery and little angel sleeves.  We found some cheap leggings at wal-mart and threw on a l/s tee so that she could wear it now.  It was a whopping 48 yesterday, but we're hoping to see the 50's today!

Off to find some used Homeschool books - hope the day is great for you!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


While we don't follow a strict or traditional Lenten Calendar, these days leading up to Easter are still significant.  I don't want to gloss over them, and we are trying to read some scripture each day or so that keeps us in that mind frame.  As a person for whom emotions come very easily, I often find myself overwhelmed with tears and a heavy heart as I imagine my Christ preparing himself for the cross.  He was fully human as much as he was God, thus the emotions he felt were as real as my own.  When he speaks to his friends, his disciples in the garden, asking them, could you not stay awake for even this time?  I cry.  Pride wells and I say, "Oh, I would have made it! I would have stayed awake for you!"  But, truly, I know.  I too would have let him down.  I do daily. 
I came across this quote this morning - it was posted on a blog that inspires me to follow Him more closely, know Him more intimately. 
Self-denial means knowing only Christ and no longer oneself.  It means seeing only Christ, who goes ahead of us, and no longer the path that is too difficult for us.  Again, self-denial is saying only: He goes ahead of us; hold fast to him.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
What sweet relief there is knowing that the one who chose death so that I might have life, goes ahead, every moment of every day.  I may never have to walk into any challenge, or blessing, alone - He is never falling asleep on His watch over me.

For those who asked the 90 day reading plan comes from
and the blog is