Thursday, October 16, 2008


Today was very autumn-y. The sky is cloudy but the sun is shining so the leaves are really bright while the sky is somewhat dark. My favorite. It's cold enough to layer but not so cold that mittens and hats are needed.

I've mentioned we live across the street from a cemetery. It's really not at all creepy and is one of the prettier spots in town. I have a good view from my kitchen and the leaves over there are especially bright. This morning I watched as the workers set up a tent for a funeral. It was a military funeral and there were men in their dress blues (is that right?) with flags and rifles. I stood in my sliding glass door and watched as they saluted with their bright, white gloves and spun the rifles around in sync. Beautiful. The hearse entered through the wrought iron gate with the procession behind it. I didn't even know who the funeral was for (it's a small town so it's not unusual to know exactly who's funeral it is) but I watched until there were too many cars to see the military men anymore.

It was a sobering moment in an otherwise normal day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I like classic-y things. A lot of the kids books we have are books that I read when I was a kid. Same with a lot of our toys. I'm all about wooden toys, musical instruments, wooden puzzles, Eric Carle books, Shel Silverstein...classics.

When Henry was a newborn I signed him up for a book club in our town where kids from birth to age 5 get a free book mailed to them once a month. There was a HUGE waiting list so imagine my surprise when his first book arrived yesterday. Woohoo! It was the classic The Little Engine that Could. I was thrilled and Henry carried that book around all day.

When I went in to tuck him in last night he was flipping through his new book. So I asked him, "How do you like your new book?"


"Is it The Little Engine that Could?"

"No. It's Thomas the Train."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

A couple of my high school friends and I have a yearly tradition of visiting the pumpkin patch with our little ones. There are three of us and we all had our first two kids around the same time (I pulled ahead with Elisabeth this summer)! Here are some of my favorite shots that Betsy took:

Betsy is the Martha Stewart of my friends. She and her mom made these shirts after seeing them in Family Fun Magazine. Elisabeth got a matching bib.

Since Elisabeth couldn't stand along the fenceline she gets her own close-up:

And this year we made the husbands come, too. There is no way we could chase the kids through the maze, playground, and patch without them. However, when you bring men and they see pumpkins they inevitably go for the biggest one. And then prove how manly they are by lugging it on their shoulder. See how strong he is?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I did it.

Barely. I "ran" my 5k today and my legs are killing me. I ran a lot harder than I normally do because there were people watching (of all things). My time was so bad that I laughed out loud at the 2 mile when they called it out. Lets just say that by the time I hit the 2 mile mark my friend Brandi was crossing the finish line. Yeah.

But I wasn't last! There were 2 runners behind me and a pack of walkers behind them. And I kept my pace with the runner ahead of me the whole time so that was nice. I still despise running but actually being in the race was sort of fun. I got a t-shirt and a medal which Charlie has been wearing all day. He and Henry have no idea how badly I did...they just saw MOM! in a RACE! COOL! And I got water, fruit and a granola bar at the finish. Bonus.

Chad took the camera but he had Henry in a stroller, Elisabeth in a carrier on his chest, Charlie and our niece Caylee walking beside him. And he was trying to get to different points on the course to cheer me on. He did good! And pictures would have been truly embarrassing anyway.

So, I persevered (Charlie was cheering that from "Sumo of the Opera"), I ran the race (Hebrews 12:1) and what have I learned?

My legs hurt.

Actually, I did learn to get up, work hard, and get moving. And maybe next time I'll do even better...(wait, did I just say next time)?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Finding Time

I don't have a hobby. I'm pretty sure I never really had one but at this point in my life even if I wanted one I don't know where I'd fit it in. My hobby is keeping my life from imploding. I jealously look at others who are doing fun things or hobbyish things and think "How'd you manage that?"

I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm running in 5k. I use the term "running" very loosely. It's still a jog- more like a speed walk with a hop. I don't know what possessed me to think this was a good idea. Getting off the couch and moving after a baby takes some effort and I thought giving myself a goal would help me get back in shape. The problem is running is NOT fun. And I have to find at least an hour to change, run, and get cleaned up on top of everything else in my life. Only a few more days and I'm done. This is my new motivator- after Saturday I will NEVER run again. Unless someone is chasing me- and I'll only run if it's life or death.

What surprised me the most in my "training" was that I did find time to practice. It was necessary and I wanted to run in the race so it had to be done. My excuses for not doing certain things because there is no time don't seem to hold water anymore. I guess we make time for what we think is important. We make time for what's necessary...I wouldn't skip grocery shopping or putting gas in my car because there's no time. I don't get to make that choice. So when this race is over I'm freeing up some time...will I let it get wasted again or will I find something productive to do? Hopefully I'll figure out what's most important...and remind myself there's time.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Here she is...

A friend of mine took some pictures of Elisabeth for me. Here is my favorite! I wish she wasn't hiding her mouth but getting a perfect shot of a baby is nearly impossible.

Henry snuck in at one point so they took a couple of pictures of him for good measure...

Charlie was no where near the camera. He hates getting his picture taken. Last year we had an awful argument the day of school pictures because he was determined his hair would be combed and I wanted it spiked. Right before pictures he flattened his hair AND he didn't smile. Grrrr. This year we got his pictures back and HOORAY! He smiled! The smile is a little crooked but his eyes are can see that look like he's up to something which is so Charlie.

(And, yes, my scanner is FILTHY)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Big thanks to loavesandfishes in the comments the other day. I followed her directions step by step and have a couple of podcasts!

I've been catching up with an old friend of my husband's through facebook and her blog. She's big on Thankful Thursdays so I thought I'd join in today.

What I'm thankful for might sound a little silly but I'm really thankful for the internet! I can't tell you how much I've learned from sites like The Simple Dollar, Money Saving Mom, and MomAdvice when it comes to our finances, paying down medical bills, and saving.

I've made some friends at The Homespun Heart and With All That I've Been Given. But the best is when I've been visiting a site and they link to another one that I haven't been to. I love finding new sites. And alot of times it feels like the Lord sent me specifically to certain sites.

I've been struggling with some trust issues lately. Specifically trusting that God can meet my needs. I tend to do things myself and say "God, I'm good today...I don't need you but I'll let you know when I do..." And often times I just figure I won't bother him. I've been hashing it out with Chad almost daily (I'm sure he's getting sick and tired of the same conversation over and over). It mostly consists of him saying "Why don't you trust him?" and me saying "Because what if he wants me to fail?" and back and forth and back and forth.

Yesterday I was reading one blog which led me to another and another and finally to this post. I was shocked. The whole post was exactly what I needed to hear. Especially the part where she says she'll praise him if she can pay her bills and she'll praise him if she can't. The other day I actually listed the ways I feel like God has let me down. Listed them! I have this image of God working out his plan and me being an afterthought. I'm not an afterthought. As a mom I should know better:

Luke 11:11-13 (ESV) What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent? or if he asks for an egg will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

So, I'm thankful for the internet but really I'm thankful that God is listening to me even when I'm not saying much...and he leads me where I need to go! What are YOU thankful for?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Confession: I hate my IPOD

We've had our IPOD for a year and a half and it has 7 songs it. I love the songs we picked but really 7 isn't very many- go ahead and hit "shuffle" and you still hear the same songs over and over. I'm pretty sure I put those on in one day and have never put any other songs on it. Because I hate it.

It's not the IPOD itself that I hate. It's one of the tiny shuffle ones and it's pretty handy with it's little clip that I can stick on my clothes. Actually getting those songs onto the IPOD gives me a headache. People are always raving about how easy and user friendly apple products are. I'm beginning to think they say that just to make people like me feel stupid.

The other night I decided I would download some podcasts. There are some radio shows that come on while I'm at work and I'd love to listen to them whenever I feel like it. I went to itunes and picked out my podcasts. They downloaded into my library and I thought "Hey, this is really easy." Then I tried to get them from my library onto the actual IPOD. I didn't just try, I read the directions, I googled more directions, and TWO HOURS later I still don't have the podcasts.

Here's my idea...there should be a button that says "Load" or something simple like that. Push the button and there you go. IS there a button like that? Am I missing something? I really, really, really want to put some stuff on there. Can anyone help me?

Friday, September 26, 2008

My 100th Post

Man! I totally missed the 100th post! This is blogland I'm supposed to type 100 things about me once I reach post number 100. I promise you there are nowhere near 100 things that are even remotely interesting about me. Let's shoot for 25 shall we? (Ugh, I've read over my list and I'm warning you it's completely random. I was hoping for some form of order. Oh, well.)

1. I had a doll named "Doll-y" and one named "Doll-y Sister". I was very imaginative child.
2. I stepped on a piece of glass when I was seven and had to get stitches in my foot without some form of numbing medicine so I screamed the entire time and made my dad pass out.
3. I love run on sentences.
4. And sarcasm (which is a shame because I use it inappropriately too often).
5. Once I saw Joey Lawrence in Target while vacationing in Florida- it was disappointing.
6. President Bush drove through our town in 2004 and he waved to me- that was awesome.
7. My favorite book is "Bridge to Terabithia" and I didn't see the movie because I knew it wouldn't be as good.
8. I have a huge phobia of holes (especially when they are somewhere they shouldn't be-like a wound or something which is an entire post in and of itself).
9. I used to have my scuba diving license but now I also have a phobia of deep water. For some reason I think I might drown.
10. I never win ANYTHING except for one summer at the library I won a "guess how many gummy fish are in the jar" contest. I won the fish- gross.
11. I've destroyed all pictures of me taken in 7th grade...except for the ones my friend Heidi has (but I will find those, too!).
12. I loved summer camp so much as a kid that I went every summer until college, then worked at one until I got married, and then lived at one for four more years. It was liking being a kid until I was in my mid 20's.
13. My mom told me I was going to marry Chad before I even met him.
14. I can watch 7th Heaven reruns over and over (which makes everyone in this house crazy).
15. The smell of lavender makes me gag.
16. I can never get enough of vanilla (or coffee).
17. I love cold weather.
18. I love everything about Michigan except for humidity and mosquitoes.
19. I used to love doing laundry but with three kids it is my nemesis.
20. My mattress is so awesome that every night I tell my bed "Oh, bed, I love you." Seriously.
21. Peas are my favorite.
22. I worked at a hardware store the first year we were married and for a short period of time I knew some things my husband didn't.
23. My children are born with awesome hair. It's a good trade for the wicked heartburn I endure while I'm pregnant.
24. I had five booklights in my nightstand but the boys have stolen/hid/broken them all.
25. I'm really good at getting the string back in a sweatshirt hood or the waistband of wind pants when a kid yanks it out (lots of practice!)

Aren't you so glad I stopped at 25? That took FOREVER.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I still have no pictures...

I know. Actually, I really wish I could post a video somehow of Elisabeth in her bouncy seat. Although I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who would find it interesting. She is a professional bouncer, I say. She sits really still and stares at her toys and then goes CRAZY kicking and swinging until her toys are flying all over. She gets the biggest grin on her face like "Hey! Look what I can do!" See? Soooo interesting.

I'm desperately searching for a good book to read. I had a "to read" pile on my nightstand but none of them were that great. I don't have loads of time to read so if it doesn't grab my attention pretty much on the first page (or at least the first few chapters) I don't stick with it. I'm not looking for much- something interesting, exciting, life altering, but not with lots of big's that for high expectations? When Charlie was a baby until he was about two I averaged four books per week. Now I'm reading one a year. I'm truly BORED with most of the books I've started. I'm open to suggestions! Just no big words!

Speaking of boys are big time bookworms. They go to bed reasonably well at night because we let them take books to bed- one for each year. Charlie gets 6 and Henry gets 2. For awhile Henry would flip out because Charlie had more books than he did. Lately he hasn't said much. As I was making his bed this morning I found around 15 books under his pillow and down towards the bottom of his blankets. Two lessons here- 1) He's clever enough to know he's got to hide his books so there are more to read and 2) I'm too lazy to make his bed and therefore his stores of books has had plenty of time to grow.

At least he reads.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I should be fired

Good thing blogging isn't my day job.

Elisabeth is now a little over 2 months old and so far we are all still alive. Henry now affectionately calls her "E-Wizzy-Biff". And it looks like he'll let us keep her. I've taken a million pictures of her but I've yet to develop any. Poor, poor, third baby.

I turned 30 shortly after her birth so now I'm officially old. I LIKE being thirty. It makes me feel like I'm finally an adult! Although my body is totally acting like it's 30 and this baby weight is hanging on for dear life. My solution? I'm training for a 5k. And by "training" I mean lightly jogging/mostly walking then collapsing on my living room floor and eating ice cream. So far so good.

Going from two kids to three has been an adjustment. Mostly I see it when one of them is missing. If just one is not home or I go somewhere and only take two I feel like "Woohoo! Vacation!" How sad is that? When Charlie is at school all day Henry and I have tons of bonding time. He is awesome. The other day he told me he loved me a whole bunch of times. But because he is a boy and a brute he tried to tackle me every time he said it. We are always looking for new ways to beat on each other, apparently.

One thing I'm doing differently this time around is I wear Elisabeth in a sling. A lot. Pretty much all the time. She loves it in there and it keeps my hands free to do other things like reach out and yank one of the big boys off the top off the tv cabinet.

Charlie is off to first grade and I'm super excited that he's so big and freaking out that he's so big. I love milestones and hate them all at the same time. The days I walk him to school it rips my heart out to watch him walk in the doors. I smile and wave and act like it's just another day when in reality it's one more day behind us which means one less day he's my little boy. Sigh.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Elisabeth Emory

July 1, 2008 @ 3:28pm
7lbs 10oz
20 inches

Hopefully the hair stays as pretty as the boys' hair did! So far she's been relatively easy (as babies go) but the boys have been away at Nana's so we are definitely in real world mode quite yet. Charlie is totally in love with her and Henry wouldn't care if we sent her back where she came from. We're working on that.

For now we are keeping our heads above water...trying to balance when to eat (for her and for us) and when to sleep (mostly for us...she tends to sleep when we need her to be awake and vice versa- the curse of the baby).

Friday, June 13, 2008


I find myself at an odd stage in the pregnancy. The baby is due in three weeks and I alternate between wanting the baby to come right now and wanting it to wait until I can finish up one more thing. I try to will the baby here on "convenient" days and will it to cook a little longer on "inconvenient days." My will power isn't all that powerful, I've discovered.

I read the chapter on labor and delivery in "What to Expect When You're Expecting" which should not be allowed. There are things better left forgotten when it comes to labor and delivery. Although, they had tips for the coach my personal favorite being "If she tells you not to touch her, don't be offended, just take a few steps back." Thank you. It's a little hard to speak kindly to people when you can't even remember how to breathe correctly.

Also, something that should not be allowed- watching baby shows on TLC. The one I just saw the other day followed a family home from the hospital and showed how they adjusted during the first 36 hours at home. Don't show people the HARDEST part of having a baby. That first sleepless night, the...*ahem* discomfort after giving birth, not to mention the oh so fun discomfort of the feeding process. And for my male readers I will leave that topic alone.

The weirdest part of all of this is I find myself thinking once the baby comes it will immediately start to grow up. And then not be a baby anymore. Which makes me want another one. Which I realize is INSANE but I'm just telling you my thought process. Chad's take is "Well, if you want 4 you might as well go for five. Or stop at 3." Which I think means he wants to stop at three because 5 makes me hyperventilate a little (a lot).

Friday, March 21, 2008

And it's fixed!

Sorry about that...didn't mean to leave you wondering for so long!

The instructions from the computer fix it guy were to take the laptop apart piece by piece. Certain pieces were then submerged (yes- SUBMERGED) in distilled water overnight. I was hyperventilating at that point because in my mind submerging computer parts in water was a bad idea. The pieces then needed to completely dry out over a couple of days and then put back together. Not only did it work but the laptop works better than it has in awhile. I think it needed a good cleaning.

Now, here's the lesson learned (and, no, it's not to keep hot drinks away from the laptop- I'm drinking hot cocoa as we speak)- what if I decided the computer guy was crazy and refused to do what he said? Logically, it didn't make sense. If I would have ignored him the laptop would be forever broken and I would be out quite a sum of money. But instead, I trusted the professional and all is well.

Isn't that just like life? How often does God want us to do things that don't logically make sense? It's something I've been pondering for a good two weeks. Something to think about.

Friday, March 7, 2008

An Awful, Horrible Thing

I may have quite possibly done the worst possible thing ever. I mean, really, the worst thing ever.

Last night after dinner, Chad was cleaning up and I was sitting at the island with his laptop looking up various things he tossed my way...random information I can't seem to remember because of the horrible thing I did. Because he is so wonderful he made us both some green tea with honey (our new obsession since he's had to medically give up coffee). It was delicious and sweet and scalding hot just the way I like it...with extra honey.

Chad took out the garbage and Charlie stood next to me to see what I was typing and reading. I have tried and tried to remember what happened next but I can't figure out what I did. All I can remember is the burning feeling in my lap and the shock of seeing my tea cup UPSIDE DOWN on Chad's laptop. His work laptop. His work laptop full of sermon notes and various other VERY IMPORTANT things.

I sat frozen, with my mouth open, staring at the laptop. Next to me, Charlie made this horrible "ooooohhhhh...." sound. Sort of half-moan, half-whisper. Then he freaked out and started saying "Where's Dad? Oh, man! Where's Dad? This is BAD, Mom. This IS BAD!"

At that moment Chad came back into the kitchen while I still hadn't moved (the laptop had gone black the instant the tea hit the keyboard) and tears where rolling down my face. Charlie yelled out "Mom spilled the hot tea!" and Chad immediately ran over and grabbed my arms.

"Did you burn yourself?"

I couldn't answer. Yes, I had burned my legs and they HURT but all I could do was lift up the laptop and watch the hot tea ran off the sides. The look of horror on Chad's face made me so nauseated I almost lost it. He turned back to me.

"Did you burn yourself?"

I nodded but still didn't speak.

"Let's clean you up." He took a dishtowel to soak up the excess then sent me to the bedroom to change. I took my time. I took a shower, found my softest pj's, and basically moved as slowly as possible, dreading what was waiting for me when I returned to the kitchen.

When I opened the bedroom door Chad and the boys were snuggling on the couch. They'd saved me a spot. I cried a lot more and couldn't do the words justice that Chad said to me. He wasn't mad. He wasn't stressed out. The laptop was broken- we'd try to fix it and if we couldn't we'd figure out what to do after that. He called "the computer guy" and followed some very specific instructions.

And then he went to the store and got us ice cream. Because he's just that great.

I've spent the evening downloading his library programs ( ), Bibles, commentaries, etc. So he can redo some of his work this week. He's a smart guy and backs up his computer regularly so most of his files were reachable.

And for the next few days we wait while the computer dries out. And I pace for whatever reason while he peaceably goes about his day. I wish I could be like that.

Monday, March 3, 2008


For the first time ever I saw one of my children suffer an injustice at the hands of an adult. I see it kid-to-kid almost daily and though it is hard I can handle it and most of the time so can Charlie. But an adult being harsh, unkind, and unfair? That's a different story.

It started last week when Charlie told me about his school day over lunch. He got his "clip moved" which means he got in trouble (not by his teacher who is FANTASTIC but by a note to his teacher). He told me the story and it sounded unfair but I thought maybe since he's only five I wasn't getting the whole picture or I wasn't understanding it right. I shared the story with Chad and we decided if it didn't come up again we'd let it go.

This week, not only did it happen again, it happened to the extreme. It led to serious embarrassment to Charlie, a visit to the secretary, and a tearful phone call home. Needless to say I was upset. However, in my emotional pregnant state I knew better than to march into the school and unload on someone. I walked in calmly, greeted the secretary politely,m and thanked her for her discretion. I then proceeded to quietly sneak Charlie out to the van without his classmates seeing. And then I called Chad- and HE marched into the school.

First off, Charlie's school is wonderful. I love, love, love his teacher and her aide. Love the principal, love the secretary, love the librarian...but every now and then a school will have a staff member who doesn't like kids. Especially little ones. Secondly, my husband rocks. He followed the chain of command, spoke with confidence and *AHEM* made sure the offending staff member would be doing no more offending.

A couple of days later we had parent teacher conferences and can I say again how much I love Charlie's teacher? She brought up the incident (there had been a substitute teacher that day) and let us know she was behind us. It was awesome. It's so comforting when a non-relative truly knows and loves the heart of your child.

The big struggle here was deciding when to let Charlie deal with the hard stuff of life and when to stand up and defend. This isn't to say he doesn't misbehave- he does and we deal with it. There was no misbehaving involved here- only pure meanness from an adult. I had high hopes of staying under the radar during the school years. I didn't want to be the parent that made teachers groan when they saw me coming. But when an adult acts like a child and intentionally hurts the pride of one of my kids? My reputation doesn't matter much after that. Letting Charlie know we will protect him matters more.

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Party

I'm not exactly sure who's party it was last night. Charlie kind of took control as apparently I wasn't doing a good job. He decided Henry needed a VeggieTales party but we live in a small town and finding veggie decorations is pretty difficult. So Charlie made some.
He decorated the cake:
He made "Pin the Plunger on Larry Boy" (I can't figure out how to turn the picture):

He made Veggie Balloons (Bob, Jr., Larry, and Laura):

He made a centerpiece and drew Bob the Tomato on all the red cake plates.

When Henry woke up from his name he kept saying "Veggie for me? Veggie for me?" He was thrilled! So, it's official- Charlie is in charge of all party planning from now on.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Busy Day

Today is Henry's second birthday! So it's 9:30 and he's still in his pj's. Actually, I'm letting him watch whatever Veggie video he wants to since Charlie isn't here to commandeer the television. Henry is in heaven.

I made a list of things to do but I've lost it. This is what happens when we go away to a conference for a couple of days. I always clean before I go so I can return to a nice house but then our things sort of explode everywhere and stay that way for an indefinite amount of time. The red longish looking thing is Henry's present that hasn't been wrapped yet. It's a tent. There's also a veggie book under the laundry basket. See, I know where things are.

Monica has announced her Spring Cleaning Contest again, thank the Lord, because I'm highly motivated to clean when there are prizes involved. Plus, my mom reads my blog and she'll die when she sees my before pictures so it will be nice for her to see the after pictures as well.
And now I'm off to clean my kitchen, bake a cake, cook some "cheeken" (Henry's favorite), and run around town getting things I forgot.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

For some reason I had it in my head that I was doing a great job blogging. And then I realized I only blogged three times this month. I think I write lots of posts in my head and THINK I blogged them but I really didn't. Those were some great posts, too. I wondered why no one commented...

I finally got myself a planner for 2008. We're two months in and I'm finally ready for the new year (yeah, it's gonna be rough). I've filled it in with my work schedule, appointments, school calendar events, church calendar events...and I've still managed to double-book myself- TWICE. And I say that like I have this super active social life. I don't. I just remember in my head that Friday we are going out with so-and-so and February 29 we have a church thing- not realizing FRIDAY and FEB. 29 are the SAME DAY. If I have anymore pregnancies I will have no more brain cells left. I had a teacher in high school once say that babies suck all the vitamins out of you leaving you with mousy hair and pasty skin and this empty look in your eyes- I think she was trying to scare me into staying away from boys but I do agree I lose brain cells. But my planner is very pretty and compact and works for me! When I remember to write in it. Actually, I get really attached to my planner and can't go anywhere without it. I'm one of those people who will lose their minds if I lose my planner.

But on a much happier note I've purchased two adorable little girl dresses and I've been given the cutest little pink polka dot swimsuit. It's tiny! Having a "baby" in size 5 diapers and then pulling out the newborn stuff makes Henry look huge. Huge. I can't wait until I get the newborn diapers. I love how they look like toy diapers for a baby doll. And I can't wait to hold that wrinkly, snuggly little baby! I've got a long wait...being buried in all this snow makes July 4 seem a long ways away.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Because I don't have a point

I have one of those random's not crafty, or frugal, or about fashion, or I can pretty much write about whatever I want. And since I'm still snowed in I feel like cooking. One of my FAVORITE new blogs is The Pioneer Woman Cooks! She makes me feel like I can cook. Now, there are some cooking shows on Food Network that make me think that I can cook, too but then I attempt the recipe and fail miserably. Not at TPWC. She is awesome. She takes TONS of step by step pictures and gives tons of easy to follow directions. So far I've made:

1. Holiday Bacon Appetizers (for my MOPS Christmas party)
2. Beans and Cornbread (for my guys- they gobbled it up)
3. Pot Roast (the best EVER)

And I'd like to try:
1. Olive Cheese Bread
2. Pico De Gallo

And this week she's doing a Valentine's Day meal with steak and roasted garlic potatoes. She hasn't posted it yet but I can't wait! If you are snowed in like me try some of these great meals!

Snow Day...Again

When winter first starts and the snowstorms are quaint and exciting, we look forward to snuggling under the covers and sleeping a little later. However, after snowday #7, the staying inside with our faces mashed against the cold glass is no longer fun. We feel trapped and long to play outside. The boys have been watching "Jerry" plow the church parking lot into our backyard leaving behind massive snow hills for sledding. But with the wind chill still sitting at NEGATIVE 20 degrees "Mean Mom" won't let them play outside. We have run out of hot chocolate, we're sick of the coloring books, we've somehow lost the scissors but we don't really have anything left to cut anyway. Even the television is annoying. A new show will start and Charlie will sigh and say "I've seen this one..." and aimlessly flip through the channels. Even the library is closed due to weather. We are out of luck.

This afternoon we are going grocery shopping (once the roads are cleared a bit better) and the boys can hardly wait. We've resorted to grocery shopping for fun. It's been a long winter.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Carrie did a recipe question/answer exchange on her blog this week and she mentioned she needed some recipes for lentils. We LOVE lentils in this house and there are two recipes we use frequently. Lentils are cheap and yummy and we usual have them once a week or so.

The first recipe I found on Happy Foody (a really awesome vegan blog) so I'll send you there. It's a one pot meal (which is my favorite way to cook). Stir all the ingredients together in a covered baking dish and let it cook! Her blog just moved to wordpress but the recipe is on her old blogspot blog.

The second recipe I've used for five years. It's called Mazidra and it's a layered lentil dish. It's from an old spiral bound vegetarian cookbook called "100% Vegetarian" by Julianne Pickle.


Combine the following in a saucepan and bring to a boil:
1 c lentils
3 c water
1/2 c chopped onion
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sweet basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp oregeno

Reduce heat and simmer on lowest setting 1 1/2 - 2 hours until lentils are soft and cooking liquid becomes cloudy.

Meanwhile, prepare cooked brown rice (3 c after it's cooked).

When the lentils are ready you can build the mazidra like this:

1. Cooked rice
2. Cooked lentils
3. Diced tomatoes
4. Diced cucumber
5. Sliced green onion
6. Top with chopped avocado or guacamole/avocado dip

We pig out on mazidra. It's sooooooo good!

Today we are snowed in...AGAIN. We live next door to church and had to close because we can't see the church. Not too mention the wind chill is -25 degrees and the path Chad shoveled to the church this morning is already buried knee deep. I cooked a spiral ham that I was saving for Easter because I was grumpy with all the snow and a sugary ham seemed like a good idea. I've snitched a few bites already and it's delicious! I'm off to make some rice and veggies to eat with our ham. Enjoy your Sunday!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Better Day

My mom got me some new shoes which of course doesn't fix the problem but they sure are cute! They are really a dark red and not so pink looking but my camera decided to make them look pink.

I did find out today that there will be much more pink in this ultrasound today says we're having a girl! I was thrilled! And then my next thought:
What on earth will I do with a girl?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Terrible Day

Really terrible. So terrible I really should be crying but when I'm pregnant I'd much rather cry about things that are irrational and petty. Big things, like what happened today, don't make me cry. They make me clean. I clean every corner, drawer, cupboard, and hiding place with much anger and frustration. And when I'm done I don't feel any better but I have a sparkly home to sit in so there is a little consolation in that.

Chad has been having some troubles with his health again. We decided to visit some local doctors first before making the trek to Mayo clinic. We talked to his doctor out there first and he made suggestions for what tests to request, etc. Here is what is frustrating- as soon as Chad says "I have MEN-1" you can see the new doctor's eyes light up and the two worst possible things he can say are "Fascinating!" (or "Interesting!" is popular as well) followed by "You're the first case I've seen!" Those statements are not a good sign.

Thursday we saw one set of doctors. Friday we saw a completely different set at the same hospital who had no record of the fact that we had been there the day before and they essentially asked all the same questions and ran all the same tests (our insurance company will be so happy). Today we saw another set of doctors- 2 specialists and 2 surgeons who poked and prodded and generally messed with Chad for over an hour. The diagnosis of EVERY SINGLE DOCTOR over the past week? "Here! Have some more pills! Call us in a week, or a month, or never and take these pills that make you feel worse forever!" So frustrating.

In the end Chad has an early morning appointment in Minnesota on Monday. His doctors out there are equally disappointed with the diagnosis (or lack of it) from the specialists over here. It feels good to know we have doctors who care and are ready to help.

In the meantime my house is going to "shine like the top of the Chrysler building." 100 points for anyone that can tell me what movie that's from.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saturday afternoon...

We are all sleepy and bored and sick of the TV. Today we all huddled in the kitchen, Chad and I drinking coffee, and the boys coloring. Henry is at the color-the-walls stage so he can't be left alone with crayons. I HATE to draw. And color. And do any kind of art whatsoever. And I'm a grumpy mom about it, too. I won't help or trace or anything. I'll watch but that's it. I try to tell myself it will teach them responsibility and enable them to do things for themselves but really it's because I truly HATE to draw.
But, as seen by today's drawings, they don't need my help anyway.

Charlie, age 5 (no help)
Henry, 23 months (he has informed me it's "Bob", "Spiderman", and "pretty")

I'm hoping they really develop their crafts and can one day redesign my house. How cool would that be?

Friday, January 25, 2008

I broke the law

If they arrest me my defense will be that I'm pregnant. My brain does not work effectively while I'm pregnant.

I went in to work for half a day today and left in time to pick up Charlie from school. I had a few minutes to spare so I decided to fill up the van, get some milk, and get some half and half for snow ice cream (there has to be something good about two fresh feet of snow). I filled up, went inside, purchased my stuff, and left. I made it to school with two minutes before Charlie got dismissed. While I waited I read over my receipt to see how many points I'd earned for my purchases. Next to "fuel" on my receipt it said "0." That was weird....I should have earned some points.

And then it hit me- I paid for my purchases but not my gas! I was a 'drive-off'! I'd seen the signs on the pumps that say "Drive offs will be prosecuted." Prosecuted! I can' t go to jail! I quickly picked up my cell phone and had my husband call the gas station and tell them I'd be right there.

I told Charlie we needed to go back and pay and he said, "Mom! Are the police after you?"

The police aren't after me, the attendant was very polite and understanding and even admitted he'd done that once himself.

So much for thinking I had my act together.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'm changing my name

I think "The Sporadic Blogger" is more fitting, don't you? Without focusing on what a terrible blogger I am I will instead focus on my plethora of excuses...

1) Finally after years of hoping I am at last a work-at-home mom! We came to a crossroads over Christmas break and it was decision making time. There was a small window open where I could make the jump from 3 full days in the office to a few hours a day at home so I took it! Three weeks are under my belt and so far it's going well! Each week gets a little easier and a few more kinks are worked out. It helps that I have a sitter come over so I have solid blocks of working time (nap times are never a guarantee in this house!).

2) The snow days are killing me. I live in Michigan and I love the winter. I even love snuggling under the covers in the morning with great anticipation reading all the school closings and hoping ours is on the list. Why? I must, in those early morning hours, have visions of board games, hot cocoa, and being warm and toasty inside. Instead there are cries of boredom, cries of hair pulling (do boys normally do that???) and cries of "I want to play outside!!" (and when the wind chill is below zero the answer is a most definite no).

3) I've got a whole new routine with this WAHM thing. I have to plan ahead and make schedules and lists and menus and take out the meat to thaw, etc., etc., .... I'm a fairly lazy person (I like to say laid-back) so I tend to never plan. Ever. This month we've all had regularly scheduled doctor, eye doctor, dentist, and OB appointments. How those all fell in the same month is a testament to my non-planning lifestyle. I have a mess of New Year's resolutions to fix this problem. However, it's now January 23 and I don't have a planner yet. Just sheets of scrap paper. I'm off to a great start.

4) I've started teaching a budget class for one hour every Tuesday night (it's during the bedtime routine that night so Chad takes over and they have 'boys night'). I love it! It's at a local ministry that helps people get out of debt and get ahead. It's been great fun and my class is teaching me so much. Most importantly- EVERYONE has a story. Never assume you know someone else's life. You don't.

5) So, hopefully my resolution to actually blog will work out. I have big plans and lots to blog about. If I could just find the scrap paper where I wrote it all down...