Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm a lazy blogger

So this is all you get today.

Make this lentil soup.

It looks terrible, doesn't it? But you must believe me - it is yummy! (And easy. And made with stuff you probably have in your pantry - if you are the type of person that keeps a bag of lentils in her pantry.) You can make it even more delightful if you top it with a blob of sour cream or mashed avocado. It is a thick, wintry type soup, and with only 21 days left of winter, you better get cooking. You must puree it with an immersion blender, so if you don't have one, go and buy one. I am not sorry I have added it to my collection of kitchen gadgets.

And just for kicks:

Katie, the biggest kook in our house.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Katie and Me time (with lots of pizza)

My mom watched Joey for most of yesterday, and I enjoyed some time with just my girl. We shopped at JCPenney, where I was prepared to spend the big bucks and finally get some curtains up on some bare windows in my house, but left only spending $1.97 on 2 pairs of pink gloves for next year.

Then we had lunch together at Cici's Pizza. It was my first time eating at Cici's and I really enjoyed it. I am a pizza lover, and while it was not the best pizza I have ever had, it was yummy, and I could eat as much as i wanted for $5.79. And let's just say I wanted a lot. The employees and manager lived up to their friendly reputation. Since I was there with Katie and no other adult to sit with her while I went up to the buffet line, the manager would get me whatever I needed every time he did his dining room circle to make sure everything was okay with all the diners.

It was so much fun to have one-on-one time with Katie. She was happy, and talkative, and very pleasant. It seems that quite a lot of the squealing that comes out of her is caused by her pesky, big brother.

After we had our fill of salad and pizza, Katie and I finished up with a large helping of some cinnamon rolls that had just come out of the oven. They were hot, gooey, and sugary, and I could have eaten more, but I was already treading too far into the land of gluttony as it was. So I sat and sipped my diet soda waiting for Katie to finish her "cake," which she had to eat with a fork, because a proper lady does not eat a cinnamon roll with her fingers. (I am not a proper lady.)

With our bellies full, we went into Ross for a quick look, and again, it was rather fun to have Katie in tow while shopping. She told me how pretty she thought every garment with sequins was, pointed out every pair of shoes she saw, and even made it to the bathroom for a potty victory.

It was a neat glimpse into future dates with my daughter -- how much fun it will be to have a girlfriend to go shopping with, a motor-mouth like me to sit and chat with, and a lunch buddy with an appetite that will keep up with mine at the pizza buffet.

Good times.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Rapunzel

Katie was born with a full head of hair that stood straight up; it was a cute little baby mohawk. The hair has continued to grow and grow, and is so long now with her second birthday still a few weeks away. Last night after her bath, and a blow dry, I took a picture so I could remember just how long it is (and so I can pretend this is how nicely kept and combed it looks on a daily basis.)

Here is a side view (kissing her favorite boy):

Adam loves this look: long hair, no-bangs, swept softly to the side.

I wish I could leave it like that. But the reality is this:

In two seconds it is in her face, and her hands are kept busy with unskillfully brushing it away.

And completely unrelated, but aren't kids somehow cuter when they're in their jammies? I want to squeeze them more when they're covered in fuzzy fleece.

Now, pardon me while I look at the beautiful, shiny, brushed hair one more time, and trick my brain into remembering it as an everyday look for Katie.

Brain-washing complete.

Monday, February 23, 2009

take out my earplugs

Psalm 51:8
Make me to hear joy and gladness...

There are times in life when things are going badly, and it is hard to see the light in the cold, dark valley, and the prayer goes up to be able to see or hear something good, feel a little gladness, know that there is hope in spite of the troubles all around.

Then there are times when things are going along just fine, but our eyes are darkened to the goodness around us. The hope and joy is there, but discontentment has silenced their song; we need to pray to be made to hear the joy and gladness.

I had a day like that last week. Nothing was wrong with the little world around me, but something was wrong with my heart. After I took a moment to search myself out, I knew I was being discontent with the daily-ness of motherhood. I prayed for the Lord to make me content. It felt silly. My life was great, and I knew it, and I was praying for contentment.

Then I read through Psalm 51 and came across verse eight with that phrase, "Make me to hear joy and gladness." I know that David wrote this after he committed his terrible sin with Bathsheba and was in the middle of a terrible mess as a result of it. But I also know that I was sinning with my ungrateful attitude and discontent thoughts. So it isn't really silly to pray for the Lord to give me the victory over my sin. That phrase has been my prayer over the past few days now.

Make me to hear joy and gladness.

I must take out my sinful earplugs of discontent and selfishness. I will hear the joy and gladness my God has for me.

Friday, February 20, 2009

makes me happy

This sight:

This assortment of "bee-guh" (big girl) panties:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

1 adult, 6 kids, 5 gingerbread houses

Today was gingerbread house day, done in February because I wait until after Christmas when the kits are $1 on the clearance shelf at Wegman's, plus it took a while to figure out a good day to have the four cousins over for some sugary fun.

But it snowed so that our activity would feel season appropriate.

All the cookie pieces, candy, icing sugar, and the icing bag and tip for one dollar!

I was giddy with frugal excitement when I bought them. It was one of those times checking out when I shared my joy with the cashier because I was so excited. I'm a dork. I know.

It was all for great fun. Every builder has his or her own personal building philosophy.

Katie's philosophy was "Eat as much icing as I can possibly eat."

Rowan had no philosophy because she wanted nothing to do with our confection creations. (but after her nap thoroughly enjoyed a snack of rainbow sprinkles)

Gavin's philosophy was "This lady seems to know what she is talking about, so I will do whatever she tells me, quietly and carefully, and just sneak a few candies here and there."

Austin's philosophy was "This is the third time I have done this. I am a pro. I do not need to hear instructions, and my final product will be unique and have my own special touch."

Grayson's was, "I don't want to fail. I don't want this to turn out wrong. I want mine to be great."

And then there was Joey, whose philosophy was, "I could really care less about this gingerbread house, but it is what I have to do to hang out with my cousins and have a good time, so I'll do it. Oh, and I will eat as many candies as I can possibly sneak when Mommy isn't looking."

Here are the finished products:

It was a fun day with cousins. Maybe a memory or two.
(Minimal stress, and not too much mess.)

Good times.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Today was time at the hospital with a friend and her sick baby girl who is getting better - praise the Lord, lunch with my mom and the kids at McDonald's (who knew the southwest chicken salad was so delicious?), home now to do laundry, make dinner, and tidy up.

And I gave these beauties fresh water.

And I watched Joey enjoy his new skill. He loves swinging as much as I remember loving it when I was a child.

Then an evening with Adam and the kids -- a trip to the library is planned.

After all that, I think I'll be tired. Last night Adam and I fell asleep on the sofa watching the flames flicker in our fireplace. It was quite nice, and I hope to do it again sometime.

Maybe tonight. That would make for a delightful today.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I just loaded the dishwasher and this is how empty it left my kitchen sink:

Happy Monday to you all. May you take pleasure in my filth.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

little things

Last night, we watched the last five minutes of a show that was detailing "the world's most expensive." Million dollar cars, diamond studded dog collars, $160 a pound coffee -- stuff I will never, ever have. But I have to say my feelings are just like those of Adam when he turned to me and said, "I can honestly say I have no desire to have any of that stuff." Would it be nice to have enough money to never have to think about it again? Sure. However, I think if I had enough money to buy a dog collar that costs more than my house, I would still be thinking about money all the time.

I am glad that as I go about my life, I am able to treasure and find value in the little things. Little things like my husband taking a minute out of his morning to change Katie's diaper. Little things like a smile and hug from a friend at church on Sunday evening. Little things like a sister-in-law thanking me for being me and taking good care of her brother. Little things like a son's forgiveness when I apologize for yelling. Little things like watching my little girl learn a new skill and then "fwush" it down the toilet.

When you add them all up, these little things equal one really big thing -- the lovingkindness of my Savior. I have all I need through Him, for this life and for eternity. Food, clothes, house, family, health - God takes care of me. Love, forgiveness, guidance, wisdom, grace -- God takes care of me.

My God is so great and mighty, but He cares for and loves the little things. Little things like me.

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
II Corinthians 8:9

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Friday, February 13, 2009

so far

It is 8:30 in the morning, and Katie has already painted her fingernails with lip gloss and decorated Joey's bedroom carpet with fish food.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mighty gusts

The high winds woke both Katie and me in the middle of the night. The window screens were shaking so badly, it was hard to fall back asleep. When I woke up this morning, I truly was expecting to look around and see felled limbs and branches. I looked out Katie's window to check out the front yard, and I saw all the trees stood strong, but the recyclable container blew away along with most of the recyclables, and the kids sandbox cover was in the front yard.

Then I noticed next to the sandbox cover a large, round, shiny disk, with a small hole in the center. It looked like a CD, three feet wide, sitting there in the grass. I was working my brain trying to figure out what it was when I realized it was the glass table top from our patio table on the back deck! Somehow the wind lifted it off the table, dropped it nine feet off the deck, and then rolled it all the way to the front yard without it shattering into a million pieces. How is that possible?

Thanks to the Lord that we don't have to buy a new table, and that I am not spending my day combing the yard to pick up broken glass.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

and poof, it's gone

Balance of Marshalls gift card: $0.00

That didn't take long, did it?

And not one item added to my wardrobe. HomeGoods sucked me in.

But now my guest bedroom has pillows, my bed has a new down comforter, my kitchen has a crepe pan, as well as a muffin pan that isn't rusty, and my powder room has a waste basket. (Plus something else I can't remember right now.)

I received my first $25 gift card to JCPenney this week from MyPoints for opening junk email advertisements, and I will be getting almost $20 from ebates this weekend, so that means more "free" shopping. I hope to use it to get some window treatments for the guest bedroom.

Then it will be ready to host an overnight guest.
*Please book at least 48 hours in advance*

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sweet people

Hello, my fabulous readers (all 11 of you). I am so glad you come here, and read, and comment. Oh, how I love your comments!

I am sorry that all I have to give you tonight is a "hello" and a "thank you." My husband has bronchitis and the flu, and Katie is potty training...

But thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a wonderful evening with those you love.

Psalm 100:2
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

smelly gas

When you come home from a day out, it is never a good thing to smell a stinky smell on your living room carpet, only to discover that the stinky smell is propane leaking from your gas-burning fireplace and settling to the floor. Luckily I wasn't wearing any of my shoes that shoot sparks, and my helpful father told me how to shut off the propane line to the fireplace. I am pretty sure the leak is stopped, and after an hour of open windows and fresh air, I am going to make dinner with my gas stove.

Will be back to blog again if my house doesn't explode into a giant ball of flames.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Winter getaway

January and February are very busy months for my husband at work, and therefore are the months that give us the longest work days and weeks to get through. On Wednesday Adam took us away to Great Wolf Lodge as a special treat for staying happy, and to give us some much needed family time. We had a terrific time! A friend from work told Adam to ask for a free room upgrade when we checked in, so we asked, and they gave us one! We got the Wolf Den room that has a little "cabin" inside with bunk beds for the kids to sleep in.

When we walked in the room we saw this:

I thought it was really cool and I am thirty-year-old grown-up, so I have to think that is pretty awesome to a four-year-old boy.

Here are the kids enjoying the bunk beds:

Joey's cousins have bunk beds, so they have always fallen into the realm of cool and desirable. He was a little nervous on the ladder at first, but by the end of the trip he could go up and down without any assistance.

I thought the artwork was adorable; he thought having a TV in his "room" was fantastic. We didn't use the TV because you had to pay to play the video games, so he would hold the controller and pretend to play. Sometimes he is so weird.

Katie enjoyed the animal artwork too. Here she is looking at a "duck."

Katie calls all birds ducks. She has not yet processed that ducks are birds, but not all birds are ducks. She has picked her label for flying creatures, and that is "duck", no matter how many times I say "bird."

Katie slept on the bottom bunk at night. It was her first time sleeping on a bed that was not also a cage (crib or pack 'n play). I put two chairs by it to keep her from falling out, and I was surprised that she only climbed out of bed once before falling asleep. The bigger surprise was that she slept the whole night without waking up, and didn't wake up too early.

The indoor water park is absolutely perfect. Every age group and thrill-level is satisfied. They have slides the size of a playground sliding board, one-story high body slides, two story high body slides, and then the 3-4 story high tube slides. Joey says he loved the highest body slides best, I think because they provided a thrill without any fear factor. They were also fun because the two slides are right beside each other and we would race down together. He got a huge thrill out of beating me to the bottom. Joey also did the tube slides with either Adam or me and enjoyed them, though they did give your gut quite the tickle. Joey also really enjoyed the wave pool. I didn't get too many photos in the water park because it was so humid the lens fogged up right away, and the ones I took are very fuzzy.

So here is Joey on the little slide.

And even Katie went down - which I never would have thought when we first walked into the water park as she clung to me with fright and buried her head in my neck. The huge bucket that dumps 1000 gallons of water over one portion of the park every ten minutes or so, was a little intimidating terrifying to her at first. After she realized that this warm, noisy room presented no immediate threat, she let me put her down, and soon she was having a great time. When she showed some interest in doing the same slides that big brother was doing, I went up the stairs with her and pushed her down and Adam caught her at the bottom. When I would ask her if she wanted to do it again she would say "No", but eventually she would walk up the stairs to do it again. (sorry the picture is so fuzzy)

She looked so cute in her little life vest. When Katie is wet, she has a very pathetic "drowned rat" look about her, so she was a cute, little drowned-rat in a cute, little life vest.

Adam and I were both thrilled with what a great time we all had. I prayed for some sweet family time, and the Lord answered those prayers. The kids had fun and so did Dad and Mom. The room was clean, comfortable and adorable, and we got a great deal with some help from Adam's co-worker. It was two days of enjoying each other's company, which truly was the best part. If this is one of the first trips Joey is able to remember later on in life, I think it will be a great memory.

I am so thankful for my husband who realized we could use a family fun retreat, and I am so thankful for the Lord providing for us to be able to go. (And thanks for letting me share it with all of you.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I love Adam because
  • he tells me he loves me many times everyday
  • he makes the best cheesy eggs in the world
  • he is who he is and never pretends to be anything else
  • he is my best friend
  • he is faithful to his family and his God
  • he is in love with our kids
  • he is in love with me
  • he is Adam, and he's mine.

Monday, February 2, 2009

please, Mommy, please!

The shopping carts made for mothers shopping with children that have a little car on the front with cramped space for 2 children to sit in and pretend to drive while mommy pushes are evil.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Do you agree or disagree?