"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang

Saturday, December 31, 2011

reflection

2011 was an awesome year for us.  it is great to reflect over it and see God's blessings, miracles, and hand working in our life over and over... month after month.
in january, aleemay turned 6 and i started my last year of my 20s.  we were blessed in many ways including receiving a new (to us van) as a gift and sold our old one for $500 (blessing someone else).  we were involved in a couple self-enrichment classes, and a bible study too.  God was faithful in providing ways to support us financial even through a slow motorcycle-mechanic-season.
in february, boo turned 3.  God continued to provide for us, especially in that we got our taxes back.  we started a rigorous cleaning routine and got some good deep-cleaning done in our home.  also, not most importantly, but most excitingly... i introduced my youngest child to the potty (in great success.  -for that month.)
in march, we ended some things and started new ones... we started getting ready for spring, starting with some little boy haircuts, and ended with a great week of spring break.  my one babysitting job ended abruptly, but was replaced with another the very exact day.  God is good.
in april, we focused a lot on our blessings, the weather started looking like spring, we celebrated Christ's resurrection, and read quite a bit more than normal. 
in may, i really slowed down my blog.  otter pop and i (separately) were able to go to the school and give aleemay's class a little "who's your parent orientation".  i taught them some wonderful parts of being a mom, read them a story, and then taught them all how to fold and diaper a baby.  otter pop brought them a motorcycle and showed them the different parts and stuff.  the girls wrapped up their school year and practiced lots on their end-of-the-year talent show.  otter pop and i also started our summer softball league. 
in june, the girls finished school and my other babysitting job ended, we started a summer routine, wolfie started piano lessons and jones turned 5.  we went on an awesome road trip, just around our little area but up in the mountains a bit... for history, but it ended up being more just for scenery.  the little kids also had their first vacation bible school (pandamania), which ended up being a highlight of the summer!  also, God allowed us a miracle when otter pop and i made a little sweet baby girl inside my uterus to spend the next 10 months growing and developing. 
in july, we watched some beautiful fireworks, from the back deck of our wonderful friends' house (while they were out of town), went up to the mountain-lake-town of my dreams (and many memories), attended another VBS, and spent some good time with some of otter pop's family that came to visit.  on the 16th, sophie (nana) took a good hard fell, broke her wrist, and had a pretty bad head injury as well.  on the 18th, otter pop got t-boned as he was test driving a motorcycle.  both of these events slowed up the plans for the rest of our summer.  july was also the month that boo decided to see what scissors would do to her beautiful head of hair... :(  that was really sad!
in august, i tried to schedule some posts for the blog, so that it wouldn't be neglected completely.  i added a few that i've been faithful to (fairly faithful), and some that i haven't.  we started the month with our last vacation bible school of the summer (learning and studying the lord's prayer).  we traded in our free van for one that wasn't so free and then took a trip to visit some family in a boardering state.  we spent almost a whole week there and made some great memories.  God blessed us with a very great summer break, and provided in great ways for our needs to be met.  the girls AND jones started school.
in september, we adjusted to the new school routine rather well, and i started a new bible study. 
in october, i started watching 3 kiddos in the afternoon (m,tu, and w) from 12-5ish.  i also starteded trading babysitting so that i could volunteer at the kids' school every other week.  i saw the cardiologist for the first time and was put on a 30-day moniter.  on the 31st, starboy turned 2 and we found out our little miracle inside was female. 
november was a busy month.  binkins had several birthday parties to attend, i had a wonderful women's retreat to attend, and on the 13th, wolfie celebrated her golden birthday (turning 13).  the kids all (except starboy) had dental exams, binkins had an eye exam and was prescribed glasses again, i got some maternity shirts.  i was put on some medication to help with my heart episodes and we finished the month off by visiting some local botanical gardens to see some extraordinary beautiful christmas lights with sophie (nana)'s work. 
december continued the business, but in a jesus-was-born-excited kind of way.  otter pop and i had a fun date with a couple from his work, we met with some school representatives to discuss jones, and had a few dr's appointments of my own.  otter pop visited the dentist and had some oral surgery done to help fix up his mouth a bit.  later in the month he went back and had some cavities filled.  he's spent the majority of december in oral pain!!!  after celebrating Christ's birth at home on the morning of christmas, we traveled a couple hours away to unite with my parents and siblings (and their families).  we met a niece and nephew (cousins) and we had a great time, took some family pictures (LOTS of family pictures), ate, and played a few games.  otter pop took some vacation days to end this wonderful year and get some things done that can't be done while he's working full time. 
2011 has been one of the best years of my life and i'm excited to see what God has in store for us for 2012.  God is faithful.  we don't know the extent of His plan, but i can trust that He will take care of us and love us no matter what.  those things carry me through day to day and year to year.  i pray that you can trust Him in the same way and place your life in His loving and caring hands.  may you have a happy and healthy new year!!!
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

memories

when do your memories start???

i have some really early memories, but as i get older i can see that the ones that are the strongest are triggered by photo-capture.  my REAL memories that i can recall rather vividly, start at about 5th grade... age ~10ish. 
perhaps my memory span is approximately 20 years though, because i remember recalling things earlier a few years ago...  i dunno, maybe not.  my eldest daughter is 16 years my junior (or i am 16 years her senior, rather).  it's been great raising her since i truly CAN remember what it's like to be her age.  however, it's not as easy, since she's not my blood-line and is very very VERY different than i am/was. 

for christmas i was blessed to have all my siblings together in the same city, in which i drove down (with my family) to visit.  my oldest brother is only 4 years older than me... but unfortunate for him, i don't have very many memories growing up with him.  he was out of our house at 16, and that's just 2 years after my memory stopped working.  and the 2 years prior... he wasn't around much.  it's kinda weird how that worked out for us.  4 years isn't that big of an age gap!  wolfie has a full 6 years before binkins.  i think THAT's a spread... but even between my oldest brother and i, there's another squirt that should help tie the memories (my other brother)...  but alas... no memories tied. 

anyway, what're your thoughts?  when did your memory start giving up?  does it REALLY get worse with age???

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Monday, December 12, 2011

friday food post : muligan stew

here's a great beef stew recipe that's totally different than all the others.  the noticable difference is tomatoes... but the taste is the big one.  it's a family recipe.  it's the beef stew i grew up knowing...  we did a lot of things different!  try it out, let me know what you think!
GRANNY'S FAMOUS (TO US, AT LEAST) MULLIGAN STEW:
no ingredients, just directions... 'cause that's the way we do things... (different, remember?!)

put 1/3 c. crisco in a big soup pot and brown the stew meat in it.  --as most stews go, the more meat the better.  after the beef (or venison) is browned, cover it with COLD water.  chop up and add veggies (1 qt. stewed tomatoes --tomato soup will suffice--,  celery, onion, green bell peppers, carrots, potatoes, garlic, etc) plus 1 T. salt and 1/2 c. barley (opt.) and heat on high.  boil real well (2-3 hours).  add 1/2 c. rice and set to low for another hour but don't stir (it'll bring all the rice to the bottom and then it'll stick or burn). 
that's it. 

so if you want it in easy-read format:
1/3 c. crisco
2 lb. stew meat
COLD water
2-3 cans stewed tomatoes (tomato soup will suffice)
1-2 c. chopped celery
2-3 cloves garlic (minced or chopped)
1 chopped onion
1-2 chopped green bell peppers
1-2 c. chopped carrots
4 c. chopped potatoes
1/2 c. barley
1 T. salt
1/2 c. rice
(now, use the directions given above)

how's that?!  let me know...

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

friday food post : floating tacos

this is a family favorite:
FLOATING TACOS from Liz Christensen (thanks liz!)
1 lb. hamburger
1 onion (chopped)
6 oz. tomato paste
8 oz. tomato sauce
24 oz. water
2 T. sugar
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. each: accent, oregano, chili powder, cumin, and salt
1 c. cooked rice
brown hamburger and onion.  drain.  then add everything else except rice.  simmer for 40 minutes and then add rice.  while simmering, make sauce (below).
ranch sauce: 
4 oz. cream cheese
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. mayo
1/2 tsp. each: salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder
whip ingredients together and full speed and refrigerate for the remainder of the simmer time for the meat.
serve meat sauce over corn chips and topped with whatever taco toppings you desire (such as, but not limited to: lettuce, cheese, olives, and tomato) and then the ranch sauce.
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

friday food post : chicken enchiladas


this was my first recipe i collected from someone other than my mom.  and it was from a complete stranger.  at a hispanic food store.  a hispanic stranger...
my purpose was to get an authentic mexican enchilada recipe.  at that point i had never had an enchilada before, authentic or not.  we didn't eat much mexican food growing up. 
over the past 10 years (or so), i have perFECTed it.  i'll write down what she wrote down for me as the recipe, but add my little "i'm dumb, so i have to spell it out for myself" notes that i didn't get from her pretty clear instructions.  they were good the first time i messed them up, but this last time i made them i actually got the recipe out and made sense of it and they were the best. 
AUTHENTIC MEXICAN ENCHILADAS
cook chicken - boil.  season with garlic, cumin, peppar (i've bbq'd the chicken most of the time to get that yummy bbq flavor... but finally this last time, i diced it up as small as i could while it was raw, and fried it up with a little water and lots of these seasonings --since they're all watered down---)
drain chicken set aside (i just spooned out the chicken and left all the seasoned broth for the sauce -below.  when i bbq'd the chicken, i'd let it cool and then dice it up.)
for enchilada sauce - heat skillet with oil.  optional add flour -about 2 teaspoons.  brown.  add california chili powder.  brown.  add garlic and salt to taste.  add water.  (my biggest problem was the enchilada sauce... 'cause it's homemade.  and i had never seen, nor tasted the canned kind.  so i didn't know what i was aiming for.  i should have known it was a sauce (from the name), rather than a paste... but well, i'm dumb, so i have to spell it out for myself sometimes.  so i took the broth from the chicken and added a bunch --like 2 Tbsp-- of chili powder.  then i added 2 tsp. of flour and mixed it around as if i was making gravy.  since my broth was already seasoned, i didn't have to add as much garlic and salt... but i still had to add some.  you don't want it TOO flavorful, but it needs some flavor.)
dip tortilla in sauce -> add chicken to tortilla.  wrap.  sprinkle with cheese.  put in oven and let cheese melt.  (the more cheese, the better!  i usually open up a can of mild green chilis and add them to the chicken, but they're not necessary.  'nother note: i had extra sauce when i actually made it into sauce this last time instead of paste.  i poured the extra sauce over the cheese-sprinkled enchiladas and baked them for about 20 minutes.  it really helped moisten them up.  otter pop exclaimed that they didn't even need any ranch --or sour cream and salsa is how i like them.  delish!)
here you are.  with some pictures too. (but i guess they'll come later, because it seems i haven't uploaded them yet.)

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

friday food post : christmas sweetness galore

there was a gal on facebook looking to expand her christmas baking.  besides pointing her in the direction of this most treasured blog, i also emailed her a list of some of my favorite recipes.  then, i found some more.  and then i found a little book with a few pages tagged down for me to try this year.  so this fantastic friday food post will be all of them! 
all my christmas baking goodness:  (in no particular order)
CARMELS:
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. corn syrup
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
4 tsp. butter
1 c. canned milk
cook to still ball stage (when you drop a drop in a small glass of water it turns to a ball as it sinks, when you pour out the water and pick up the ball, it is stiff) & pour in a small buttered baking sheet or pan to cool.
optional: spread nuts on bottom of pan before pouring in carmel. --i think putting nuts down helps it to be not so sticky... but that could just be me.
EASY FUDGE (none easier than this):
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cube of butter
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
bag of chopped walnuts (however much or little as you like)
mix together (no cooking) and pour into a loaf pan and refridgerate until solid.
PEANUT BRITTLE:
2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
2 c. raw spanish peanuts (you can get these in bulk at winco, i think)
1 T. butter
1 tsp. baking soda
heat and stir sugar, syrup, and 1 c. water in heavy 3 qt. saucepan 'till sugar dissolves. cook over medium heat to soft ball stage (when you drop a drop in a small glass of water it turns to a ball, but when you feel it... it's soft still, not hard like the carmel ball. or 234 degrees if you have a candy thermometer). add nuts and 1/2 tsp. salt. cook to hard crack stage (305 degrees --sorry no ball note), stirring often; remove from heat. quickly stir in butter and soda. pour at once onto 2 well buttered 15-1/2 X 10-1/2 X 1" pans, spreading with a spatula. if desired, cool slightly and pull with forks to stretch thin. break up when cold. this will make 1-1/2 pounds.
OREO BALLS:
1 pkg. of regular oreo cookies
1 pkg. (8oz.) of cream cheese.
break/mash up the oreos and then put in the cream cheese (i use my cuisanart to chop up the oreos and then to mix in the cream cheese). mix together until it's a big black mash. if you have a 1" cookie scoop that works great, if not, roll them into about 1" balls and put them on a cookie sheet and refridgerate.
these are by far the BEST with the amount of work to make them! you can also use a package of nutter butter cookies instead of oreos if you like. i made both last year. they're so good!
to make them look pretty/fancy, you can melt white chocolate (in winco's bulk they sell melting chips) and drizzle it over the balls before you refridgerate them.
SODA CRACKER TOFFEE:
soda crackers (saltines)
semi-sweet chocolate chips
crushed walnuts
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. butter
line a baking sheet with foil and then oil the foil well. mix the sugar and butter together in a small saucepan until it boils, stirring constantly (be careful, it boils up and boils over easily.)  lay the crackers down one right next to the other on the sheet. pour the carmel sauce (sugar and butter) over the crackers and sprinkle some chocolate chips over the top.  place the sheet in the oven at 350 for 5 minutes.  take it out and take a butter knife to spread the chocolate out evenly. sprinkle as much or as little walnuts over the top and then refridgerate. break apart to serve.
this is another totally easy one and probably my families very favorite. we have a girl that's allergic to nuts, so i make a little section without nuts for her. she LOVES it too, so if you don't like nuts, you don't have to use them at all.
NO-BAKE COOKIES (without peanut butter!):
2 c. sugar
2-1/2 T cocoa
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. butter
2-1/2 c. oatmeal
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. shredded coconut
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
combine the first 4 ingredients (sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter) in saucepan and boil for 1 minute.  take off heat and mix in the oatmeal.  then add the vanilla, coconut, and walnuts.  drop by spoonful on sheet of waxed paper and let cook completely.
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BARS:
heat oven to 350 degrees.  spread cookie dough* in ungreased 13 X 9" pan.  bake 19-21 minutes or until golden brown.  sprinkle with 2 c. semisweet chocolate chips.  bake 2 min. or until chocolate melts.  spread with metal spatula.
*this came from a package of pre-made choc. chip. cookie dough, so i'll insert in my favorite chocolate chip recipe as a bonus.
EXTRAORDINARY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: (bonus recipe)
1-1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened (to room temperature)
1-1/4 c. granulated sugar
1-1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 T vanilla
2 eggs
4 c gold medal unbleached all-purpose flour (you guessed it.  i got this from the back of this type of flour.)
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 bag (24 oz. OR 4 c.) semisweet choclate chips
heat oven to 350 degrees.  in large bowl, beat butter, sugars, vanilla, and eggs on medium speed or with spoon until light and fluffy.  stir in flour, baking soda, and salt (cough will be stiff).  stir in choclate chips. 
on ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by tablespoonfuls or #40 cookie/ice cream scoop, 2 inches apart.  flatten slightly. 
bake 11-13 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft).  cool 1-2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.
CHOLATE CRINKLES:
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
2 tsp. vanilla
4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
4 eggs
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. powdered sugar
mix sugar, oil, vanilla, and chocolate in large bowl.  stir in eggs, one at a time.  stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.  cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
heat oven to 350 degrees.  grease cookie sheet.  drop dough by teaspoonfuls into powdered sugar; roll in sugar to coat.  shape dough into balls.  place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
bake 10-12 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched.  remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  top these just-baked cookies with a chocolate kiss for an extra-rich treat.
PRALINE PUFFS:
1 c. water
1/2 c. butter or margarine
3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. pecan halves, toasted* and coarsely ground
4 eggs
praline cream filling (below)
caramel topping, if desired
finely chopped pecans, if desired
heat oven to 400 degrees.  heat water and butter to rolling boil in 2 qt. saucepan.  stir in flour and ground pecans.  stir vigorously over low heat about 1 min. or until mixture forms a ball; remove from heat.  beat in eggs, all at once, with spoon; continue beating until smooth.
drop dough by slightly rounded teaspoonfuls about 2" apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.  bake 18-20 minutes or until puffede and golden.  cool completely on wire rack. 
cut off tops of puffs with sharp knife; remove any filaments of soft dough.  fill puffs with praline cream filling (below) ; replace tops.  serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours.  just before serving, add topping and chopped pecans.
praline cream filling:
1-1/2 c. heavy wipping cream
1/4 c. caramel topping
15 oval-shaped hard carmel candies, unwrapped and crushed. 
beat whipping cream and caramel topping in chilled large bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff.  fold in crushed candies.
CARMEL PECAN TARTS:
1 c. flour
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
1/4 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 T butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, slightly abused
carmel topping (below)
heat oven to 350 degrees.  mix flour, 1/2 c. butter and powdered sugar.  devide dough into 24 equal pieces.  press each piece in botom and up side of ungreased small muffin cup, 1-3/4 X 1", or line with foil or paper baking cups.
mix remaining ingredients except caramel topping.  spoon slightly less than 1 T. mixture into each cup.
bake about 20 minutes or until filling is set and crust is light brown.  cool slightly; loosen from cups with tip of knife.  remove from pan to wire rack.  cool completely.  spoon caramel topping (below) onto tarts.
caramel topping:
12 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
1 T. milk
heat caramels and milk in 1 qt. saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth.
GRASSHOPPER BARS:
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2/3 c. flour
1/2 c. baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. butter or margarine, softened
2 T. green creme de menthe (or 1/4 c. milk plus 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract for the liqueurs)
2 T. white creme de cacao (or the above substitute if you're substituting)
1-1/2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
heat oven to 350 degrees.  grease square pan, 8 X 8 X 2".  beat sugar, 1/2 c. butter, the vanilla, and eggs in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or stir with spoon.  stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.  spread in pan.
bake 25-30 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; cool 15 min.  mix remaining ingredients except chocolate; spread over brownies.  refrigerate 15 min.
heat chocolate over low heat until melted; spread evenly over powdered sugar mixture.  refigerated at least 3 hours.  for bars, cut into 5 rows by 5 rows.  cut each bar diagonally in half to form triangles.

there's still 3 more, but i'm getting tired of copying and typing.  maybe later.  maybe tomorrow.  probalby another post though.  i don't think i'll make all of these... that's A LOT of sweets!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

gratituesday : friends

i have several true friends.  i don't know if every woman can say that.  i am so thankful that God has placed individuals throughout my life to lift me up, to support me, for me to lean on, that i can help, that i can lift up and support... individuals that take my hand as i walk through life. 
my husband is a great friend and i really love him deeply, but i'm specifically referring about some other friends.  don't get me wrong, i am SO EVERLY thankful for my wonderful husband!
i have several good and true friends.  i'm blessed that my family are also my friends (my little sister is my best), but again, i'm referring to non-relatives.  i have friends that have stayed with me for decades upon decades (but i'm only 29... so i can't exaggerate too many decades there.)  i am still friends with my best friend from 1st grade.  and by still friends, i could tell you about her current life and she could tell you some about mine.  i have a great friend from middle school who i can call or see at any time after lengthy no communication and it's like no time has passed at all.  and in high school i made several friends who i can't imagine i'll ever "break up" with.  friends who have grown in Christ with me.  and then we've grown up, with Christ. 
and now, as an adult, i have friends of many shapes and sizes.  i love them all the same.  there's nothing like having someone that i can call and cry my prayer requests to, knowing that when i hang up, they'll be on their knees for me.  there's also nothing like having accountability in friendships, someone that holds me to the standard that God has given me...
i love my friends.  i love my friends from way back when i was just a knee-high to a grasshopper.  i love my friends from middle school and the memories we have together.  and i love my friends from high school that have helped me grow in so many ways.  and i love my friends that i've only known for a couple years... but it seems like i was born next to them. 
God is so good.  i'm so glad he gives me instruction in friendship, so that i can return these friendships with love...  the love that God equipped me with...  His love.  1 Cor. 13.
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Monday, December 5, 2011

let's double it up for menu this week

i'm doubling a lot of my meals this week for buttercup's arrival.  my freezer was (before i went shopping) starting to look sparse.  so, i'll get some fresh meals in there.
  • taco salad or floating tacos.  i bought tortilla chips though instead of fritos... so maybe it'll be a mixture.  i'm doubling the meat sauce for the freezer.
  • bbq chicken (doubled) with rice and garlicky corn.
  • hamburger ramen with green beans and perhaps fried rice, if i have some left over.  (it seemed like a lot of my meals went with rice, so that was a write in.)
  • chicken enchiladas (doubled) with rice and refried beans.
  • white chili (doubled) maybe with some cornbread.  has anyone of you readers made cornbread out of white cornmeal???
  • chicken noodle soup with grillled cheese sandwiches.
  • mulligan stew (doubled) with fresh bread and butter.
  • sloppy joes (with my bbq sauce) with french fries (carried over from the last menu).
another reason why i'm doubling a lot of my meals is that i decided that i needed to have a plan b in case the placenta previa prevailed and i ended up on bed rest.  if you read my buttercup post, you found out that the placenta moved and i'm not high risk... but still, no one knows how to cook in my house except for me and loverboy (otter pop). 
i taught binkins how to make fried eggs last month and she's gotten up almost every morning since and asked if she could make them.  (SOOOOOO much healthier than the usual: cereal!)  wolfie knows how to make macaroni and cheese and oatmeal.  yeah... that wouldn't make a great week, much less month or more of meals!  so, off i venture do cover some bases that should've been covered YEARS ago!!!  it might be a challenge... or it might not... i'll let you know. 
however, before i do that i want to challenge you with young sweet daughters to teach them and train them while they're still sweet and young.  binkins is tickled with the idea.  wolfie, on the other hand ,was less than pleased with the decision.  she had several excuses why not to.  such as: "me and cooking just don't go together."  and "you know i have a fear of ovens..."  and then, "what benefits come with cooking the meals?  do i not have to eat everything on my plate now?" was a good one.  but come to find out, they're both as good as i am at it.  better maybe.  wolfie insisted on mashing up the meatloaf with her hands, which i've read makes the best meatloaf out there, but i've never done it.  well, it was a lot better than mine usually is and i LOVE my meatloaf.  and it was the same recipe.  so... i'm just giving it to her.  she did it!  well, she and binkins.  and the cornbread???  yeah... we poured it into muffin tins instead of a pan, and they were MUCH MUCH MUCH better than usual.  (usually we have about 3/4 of the pan as leftovers that a week later gets thrown out to the dog.  we had three leftover that got scarfed up for breakfast the next morning.  honey butter may or may not have been involved in the scarfing.)
anyway, these girls are going to cook up a storm with me this week. 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Saturday, December 3, 2011

it's time to decorate!

today we're spending the day cleaning and decorating (finally) for christmas.  i've been aching to get the tree up and the decorations for WEEKS!  even before thanksgiving i was yearning for christmas lights and songs!!!  seriously, it must be the weather or something. 
i L.O.V.E. the holiday season.  to me, the "holiday season" is thanksgiving, then christmas, then new years... it's glorious!  it's holy.  it's lovely.  i just love it.  ---mostly christmas. 

on a not so lovely note: we're missing our joseph.  someone said he might have cracked and broke... but our nativity looks kinda fatherless without him.  poor mary. 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

say hello to our sweet baby, buttercup

so, it was difficult to come up with all the names for all our chitlins for this blog.  two of which (adejay and aleemay) i don't really like and have since given them an aka name (wolfie and binkins.  --these are nicknames that they have in our home anyway).  jones was easy because for whatever reason anyone wants to think of, i've always called him jones.  boo was also pretty easy, because she's always reminded us of "boo" off of monsters inc.  she's just that cute!  and then starboy was also easy.  when he was still inside me, we couldn't finalize a name for him.  binkins (that's aleemay's new aka) wanted to be in on the process, as she likes to be in on everything... and decided that starboy was a PERFECT name for a little baby boy.  (and it is, right?  i mean, what little boy wouldn't want to be called starboy?!!!)  so starboy was our name in utero for him. 
well, now comes the story of our newest addition.  the one still inside me.  i mentioned that i thought she was a boy early in pregnancy.  the only one that thought she was a girl was boo.  and she didn't just think she was a girl... she knew.  jones had asked if we could call him "buttercup" because of some show or movie they had watched with a dinosaur named buttercup.  he thought buttercup was a very handsome name.  i didn't tell him yes or no, but he started referring to the baby boy as buttercup.  well, when we had the ultrasound and found out he was a she... boo of course knew and asked if we could still call her buttercup.  it was at that point that jones thought "hope" was a much more suitable name for a baby girl...  well, since "we" had been calling her buttercup all along, i only thought it appropriate for us to continue with it.  it's cute.  and it's a princess name.  and, well, it's not like i'll ever use it on anyone else! 
so, introducing our princess buttercup:



in other news.  -not really.  it's the same news.  it's about the ultrasound today.-  her placenta moved out of the way and is a good 3 cm away from the opening to my cervix.  so that's awesome.  thanks for the prayers!
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

wednesday hair post 5

since my fire incident with my hair... i've been trying lately to find creative, but cute ways to cover up my little "burn aways".  they're a little less than an inch long and sticking straight up these days. 
i used to wear caps and do-rags fairly frequently.  i don't know if they're still in style... but those are the easiest solutions.  i got a few of those really cute little caps (they kinda look like the olden-day golfer hats) that everyone seems to be sporting these days.  i like them.  i like my black one better than the brown one.  and i gave my cream one to my biggest girl.  she looks cute in anything!  i've also wrapped some ribbon around too.  and headbands... right up in front.  i'm sure that looks real awesome... but no one has teased me yet!

what are some ideas you could give me about covering the very front hairline in a feminine way???


Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

gratituesday : sewing machine

i'm SO SO SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO thankful for my sewing machine i got for christmas last year.  otter pop's mom gave it to me and she TOTALLY surprised me with it!  it is one of the greatest gifts i've ever received because it's so useful. 
i've never been taught how to sew... so i went through a period of sewing machine depression.  you know, having one, but not using it.  however, i was encouraged recently that i CAN do it.  and believe it or not, i really can.  my lines are getting straighter and my stitches are holding two pieces of fabric together nicely. 
not everything i make looks like it came from the store... but not all of it looks like it came from my sewing machine either.  so i'm enjoying it.
i don't like to place value in material possessions, but i am sure thankful for my sewing machine!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Friday, November 25, 2011

putting the thanks back in turkey day

it really irks me when people say "happy turkey day".

we had a blessed thanksgiving, full of things i'm thankful for.  1st, my family.  each and every one of them.  they are each so different, but yet i love them all so much.  2nd, for food God provides for us.  we had a wonderful turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams, cranberry sauce, olives, dressing, and rolls.  it wasn't perfect, but it sure was good.  sophie brought over pies for dessert.  we had cherry and pumpkin.  for breakfast i made some pumpkin muffins that were the best muffins i've ever had in my whole entire life!  they were AWESOME!  perhaps i'll make some more and friday food post it today...  3rd, for time with each other.  we spent the whole day just hanging out and enjoying each other's company.  it makes me love my family all the more. 
some things i take for granted.  here's a short list i came up with today when things weren't going "right". 
  1. i'm thankful that usually my car doesn't have a flat tire.  i'm happy that i don't run over screws EVERYDAY.  it's so nice to be able to jump in the vehicle and go where i need... 
  2. i'm thankful that i have a husband that can fix things.  i'm thankful that he appreciates me.  i'm so glad that he is patient.  to expect these things are nonsense!  (i've heard enough "bad husband" stories.)
  3. i'm thankful that my oven works even when the convection option doesn't.  some people don't even have the convection option!
  4. i'm also thankful that 3 of my burners work... 
  5. i'm thankful that we have the means to buy things when we NEED them.  this hasn't always been the case!
  6. i'm thankful for the kids when they obey the first time with a happy heart... to expect more is almost like expecting them not to be sinful. 
i hope you had a happy thanksgiving.  take time to be thankful and not take things for granted...
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

gratituesday : awesome deals!

talk about shallow, but i am taking up the thanksgiving tuesday gratituesday to post about how thankful i am for GOOD DEALS!  no wait.  not good deals, AWESOME DEALS!!!!  yeah, that's better.
i mean, it's not shallow... because in that recent post i did about blessings, we are to be thankful in everything...
let me tell you though about my awesome deal today.  i bought 8 (that's e-i-g-h-t) long sleeved shirts (that's l-o-n-g-s-l-e... you get it) for $35.  and they were new (that's n-e-w)!  ok, it doesn't stop there.  well, the buying part does.  but i was in the store for less that 30 minutes... WITH 3 KIDS!  you heard me right.  i bought 8 shirts for $35 in less than a half hour with three kids in tote.  the trip to the store (old navy) and back home was a total of 39 minutes.  the receipt claims that i saved a total of $101 something.  i usually don't pay attention to those numbers, but the three digit number caught my eye.  and now i have some long sleeved maternity shirts!  hip hip horay!

i don't think life is all about me or that i'm God's favored child... but today He sure was looking for an opportunity to make me smile because i smiled all the way home and am still smiling.  :D  yeah, awesome deals are a gift from God.  thanks God!!!  He's who i'm thankin'...

i forgot to mention that i got out of the mall parking lot in about 30 seconds.  somehow (because even when it's not holiday season that street is never clear) there was NO TRAFFIC crossing the busy street and i was able to just pull on out AND TURN LEFT!!!  yeah, God is GOOD!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

menu for thanksgiving week

last year i forgot about thanksgiving.  i didn't buy groceries for the grand feast.  i think we still had a traditional thanksgiving dinner, but we might not have... i don't remember for sure.
this year i made my menu and remembered about thanksgiving.  and when i went grocery shopping, i also remembered about thanksgiving.  :)  i'm on top of it!
here's my menu with as many recipes as i could link.
  • thanksgiving dinner:  turkey, mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, sweet potatoes (that are actually yams -not from a can- this year.  the "sweet" link is cooking the yams, the "potatoes" link is making them yummy), jellied cranberry sauce (straight from the can to the serving plate), stuffing (that is actually dressing this year, and every year for us.  this year in the crock pot!  ingenious!!!), and rolls (i can't believe i haven't posted this ParkerHouseRolls recipe of gramma's yet!)
  • vodka creme pasta, with chicken and broccoli
  • sloppy joes, using this sauce, with french fries
  • crock pot cheeseburger dinner (a throw-it together crock pot meal with things like: hamburger, onion, potatoes, cheese, tomato soup, etc)
  • meatloaf, twice baked potatoes, and green beans
  • pulled pork sandwiches and corn
  • chicken parmesan over spaghetti noodles, and green peas
  • basil and garlic chicken (baked chicken thighs sprinkled with lots of dried basil, garlic powder, garlic salt, and seasoned black pepper),with rice pilaf and garlicky granny green beans
  • spaghetti and garlic bread sticks (courtesy of jones, he's making them from a recipe he learned at school)

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

13 on the 13th

who has a teenager in the house?  we do!  we do!!!
this is adejay with the lunch ladies that she serves with each day at school.  11/16/11
it's really ridiculously weird to me that our eldest daughter is in her TEENS...  i mean, i know it's been coming now for, like, 13 years... and she's been warning us  for 22 months... but it's still really weird.  she's all old and stuff.  and she's been acting like a teenager for... like, at least 10 years... but it's just weird.  that's all.  weird. 
she only has 5 more years before she's 18.  that's it.  did i mention that it's weird???
this is adejay with starboy at the pumpkin patch.  10/6/11.
so, all this to say, last week, adejay had her 13th birthday.  on the 13th.  it was golden.  i bought a reece's ice cream blizzard cake to celebrate, but since i was gone half of the day, i didn't even get a chance to make her a dinner.  in fact, we had her cake for dinner.  (it was good!)
she asked for pulled pork sandwiches for her dinner, so i figured i'd go shopping the next day and get the stuff.  well, as you might have read, that didn't happen.  or the next day.  or the next.  but then the next day i did, but her aunt took her out that night.  and then the next night her nana took her out and hasn't brought her back since!!!  so... we're having her birthday dinner tonight and i guess i'll just hope she'll join us. 
this is adejay up with the horses when we went to visit some relatives.  8/11.
that's what having a teenager is like, right?!
i'm teasing about that.  adejay is a great kid.  teenagers can be great.  she's very respectful and obliging to our rules and regulations.  i started a new tradition and i hope with the other kids i can remember to do it.  i started a questionnaire-type-survey that i'm going to give to the kids at about age 12 and continue each year.  it will help us be on the same page and respect each other.  hopefully.  it's full of life questions, love questions, and family questions.  it is an honest answer survey where the kids won't have to fear the answer they give because it's all out of love and trust.
adejay with her aunt.  2011.
anyway, here's a little truth and love about my 13 year old blessing:
she's beautiful, funny, talented, imaginative, natural on the piano, wolf-crazy.  she loves to sing, loves to be "in" on things (everything).  she's God-loving, emotionally reserved, tall, smart, athletic, very thoughtful, responsible, growing, boy-crazy, friend-centered, social, serving, animal lover, compassionate, good sister, red-haired, nice and kind, dare devil, adventurous, strong-willed, argumentative, morally driven, artistic, obedient, respectful, vocal, buff,  good daughter, grand-daughter, niece, cousin, a swimmin' fool, and a fun gal!
adejay with 2 of her aunts and 1 of her grandmas.  2011.

adejay on a rafting trip she took this past summer 2011.

in the comments, if you know adejay, you can post your own thoughts or memories with/of her.


Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

gratituesday: grace

mmm am i ever thankful for grace.  God's unending grace, yes, but also all the other gifts of grace that i've been (and am) blessed with on a daily basis.  i'm soooooo not perfect and therefore i'm blessed with random acts of grace daily.  hourly.  sometimes even minutely. 
we were driving somewhere today and boo was telling me something i had done wrong.  i couldn't fully understand her, but she was really telling me about it.  i told her, "boo, i'm sorry that i didn't do that the way you wanted me to.  but you need to realize i'm not perfect and i'm going to mess up sometimes too."  she sat for about 1 second and then replied, "oh mom!  you are TOO perfect!  i love you!"
i guess i still have a few people fooled.... 

what is grace, you may ask?  well, ask away and i'll just do a little click click for you.  i googled it.  because that's how one finds answers, right???  i'll include my favorite answer but maybe it's a made-up word for what i'm using it for.  i found many answers that don't have anything to do with what i'm thankful for (in this post).  but "Definition: Grace is God's unmerited favor. It is kindness from God we don't deserve. There is nothing we have done, nor can ever do to earn this favor. It is a gift from God. Grace is divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration (rebirth) or sanctification; a virtue coming from God; a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine favor." (By , About.com Guide) had the closest to what i'm trying to get at.  that's God's grace.  i'm also thankful for grace from others.  i'd just take that definition and word it like this:
grace is unmerited favor... it's kindness that we don't deserve.  it's looking past wrongs, sinfulness, and imperfection and still receiving favor.  there's nothing we do to deserve it...

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  

my backside

boy i am BEHIND this week in my blog posts.  let me tell you why.  in bullet format.  because that's my favorite way.
  • the boys got sick last thursday night.  all night.  midnight on.  all over.  the good part: they conveniently waited a laundry cycle before getting sick again each time.  starboy ended up sleeping in the bathtub because he just really couldn't understand the leaning into a bucket or running to the toilet thing.  unfortunately i'm just not as quick as i used to be, so after three beds made it to the wash i became a brilliant thinker with the bathtub.  the plus to my brilliance? it was closer to our room, so i was quicker to get there, and it was closer to the toilet, so i didn't have to run him as far.  bonus points for brilliance? no.  none.
  • i had a retreat up in the mountains with a bunch of wonderful God-loving women who deeply desire to draw closer to Him and His plan for their lives.  friday night through sunday.  it was awesome.  i felt horrible leaving sickies at home, but was reassured by my husband that EVERYTHING would be just fine.  which they were.  the boys didn't have any more sickness that had to be cleaned up.  boo threw up saturday night.  i came back sunday.  it was just fine.  just like he said it would be.
  • we celebrated adejay's 13th birthday on the 13th with a great big (a little too big) ice cream cake from dairy queen (reece's blizzard flavored).  it's weird that we have a TEENager!
  • aleemay was sick and had to stay home from school on monday.  :(  starboy also started showing signs that he wasn't all the way over the sickness... or he caught something else.  he had a horrible cough...
  • while getting up every two hours with starboy monday night to take him on a drive to let the cool air cool his croup cough, i started feeling sick.  i wasn't sure if it was lack of sleep or what... until the 1:00 drive ended and i up-chucked all of my innards.  the upchucking didn't really stop until about 6am... and then they started chucking out the other end.  i called the dr. because i was pretty sure i was going to up-chuck my baby too.  she reassured me that all was ok as long as i keep trying to keep liquids down.  so i started drinking as much as i could.  even though it was all coming out simultaneously.  at about 4pm i felt strong enough to walk from one side of the house to the other and then back.  but that wiped me out, so i didn't try it again until about 8pm.  it was a really rough day.  to make it worse...
  • otter pop and adejay were also sick.  they both felt awful (just as awful as me, i presume), but otter pop didn't throw up at all (just felt like it) and adejay only threw up once... so i left them out in the living room to "supervise" the others.  (the littler ones).  aleemay didn't feel horrible, but i didn't mind letting her stay home again with the condition of the rest of us.  boo didn't complain about being sick... she just enjoyed the endless movie selection and the endless choice of cuddle buddies.  and then starboy.  poor starboy.  he is just really struggling in feeling well.  just miserable.  still lots of diarrhea and achy body and fevers on and off.  he was a great little sicko to be sick with.  he cuddled and slept closest to me a good part of the day.  so who's left?  well jones.  he wasn't feeling a bit sick.  he felt just fine.  however, i couldn't let him go to school since i knew there was no way over the moon that i (or anyone) could pick him up... and since leaving your child in care of a school all day is ok in some states... i just couldn't do it.  so he stayed home and complained of no breakfast, lunch, or dinner... all day long.  :(  i think he found some apples to chew on.  maybe some carrots too.  i dug out a kiwi for him once.  and he said something about cheese sticks and pepperoni.  ...actually i'm only being a little sarcastic.  it's all true.  but at about 3 (ish), otter pop asked me what was for lunch too.  and then had the audacity to suggest tortilla soup.  thankfully i had some in the freezer.  so not only did i pull through in great-wifing, but also got an award for the best sick mom ever because they (whoever "they" were that ate it) actually got dinner!  --i just didn't get up for any of it.--
  • wednesday at 3am i woke up and felt like normal human again.  and everyone else must've too because everyone went to school and work.  !!!!!  however, i missed my wednesday hair post because i was so busy disinfecting the house and doing load after load after load after load after load after load of laundry! (and you could double that sentence.)
  • so, today, thursday, i am finally caught up.  i even made a grocery list and meal plan for the next week and a little bit.  i bought the meat-portion of the groceries already too.  i had to take a quick (hopefully quick) little break so that the little ones could rest their weary heads... so here is my quick break to type this little diddy up.  we're not really all well.  jones in next to me coughing his head off and starboy
  • i'll try and get a gratituesday post off for you all to endure too.  i also have a hair post to catch up with... when i get a round tuit.

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

does it matter???

i really could be the only one, but i'm just curious here... does anyone else think that it matters which side is down and which side is up when you're eating things like sandwiches or burgers??? 
just so ya know:
we had hawaiian chicken sandwiches for dinner tonight and i flipped mine up-side-down so that my tongue was touching the pineapple and cheese and the chicken was on the roof of my mouth.  it was SO MUCH BETTER that way!  seriously.
i know it makes a difference with pb&j sandwiches, but i don't eat them often enough to tell you the "right" way. 
and with meat and cheese sandwiches, if the cheese is on the bottom (tongue side) it's better just because then it doesn't stick to the roof of your mouth on accident. 
just so ya know.

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

yesterday's post gratituesday - blessings

is it redundant to say i'm grateful for blessings?  i don't think so.  and even if it is, i guess i don't mind being redundant.  we are told in scripture to be thankful: 
1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV --Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Ephesians 5:20 ESV--Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,        
Psalm 107:1 ESV --Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!         
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

saturday

  • hubby's home.
  • took the family to the discovery center.  the local nurses and some drs brought the operating room to the center.  = SO MUCH FUN!
  • took a 6-year-old to an ice skating birthday party.
  • relaxed just a little bit.
  • gonna get some pizza
  • take the kids to the "fun place"
  • relax while they're there.
  • come home and cuddle
  • watch a movie
that sounds fabulous doesn't it?! 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Friday, November 4, 2011

speaking of dynamite... i can sure light up a room!

now this is a real life anwat post!  in fact, after it happened i had to call someone and get some info... and i was too proud to admit what had happened.  i was just too embarrassed at my stupidity.  here.  i'll just tell you what happened. 
it started with a shower and doing my doll boo's hair.  it's finally getting long enough that not only does it need done (because it's been that way for a couple months now) but now it's even long enough to DO it!  yeah!  yeah for growing hair!  yeah boo!!!!!



so, this totally could've been a hair post.  and that's why these photos were taken... so, maybe they'll make a hair post too... but not today.  those are on wednesday.  and very infrequently, if you hadn't noticed.
anyway, the cute little 3-1/2 year old was so precious that i thought i'd pose her and take a few pictures that weren't focused on her hair and where i could position her in the poses that I think are cute and would hang well on a wall.  so, i looked around and decided the fireplace would make a great backdrop.  but, it'd make an even better backdrop if it were on.  so, i decided to light it.

i should back up and say that we've been having trouble with our furnace.  well, if we don't use it, the pilot light goes out.  our garage is quite a pile-up... so lighting the pilot isn't as easy as it should be.  the weather has been warm and cool and just a little cold and then warm again.  we've only turned the heat on once this fall (when we discovered the problem) and only for a day, but then it warmed back up.  yesterday it was cool enough that the heater should be on, but the pilot had gone out again.  since the mr. is in pennsylvania, i just decided we could beef it for a night.  i put our extra winter blankets on all our beds and we were fine.  i had THOUGHT about our fire place last night... but it's caused us problems (ex. the smoke alarm or co2 detector goes off every time we light it and/or it gives me a headache after about 10 minutes) ever since we moved in.  that and since we've always had little hands (and little brains) living with us, we just figured it's safest to not use the fireplace. 
anyway... all that to just add a little substance to the story i guess.  because i wasn't going to light the fireplace for heat.  just for looks.  and just for the picture.  so no biggie. 
well, otter pop had to buy one of those fancy lighters with a long bendy lighter-stick-thingamajig to light the pilot back then, so i decided that lighting the fireplace would be a good chance for me to get to use it.  it looked cool!  (if my word description doesn't work for you, that link should show you what i'm talking about.)
i turned on the gas just a little and put the long bendy-thing down by the fake logs.  (that could totally be a line of a joke, but i'll resist.)  i pushed the "you should start" button but nothing happened.  (that could too.)  anyway, i tried again and again.  hmph.  i guess i'll have to turn the gas up.  so i did a little and tried again and to no fire.  so, i pumped up the gas all the way and then decided that maybe it'd be "bright" to light the long bendy-thingy before i stick it by the fake logs.  so i push all the right buttons and click the "you should start" button and... BOOM! 
the fire place was ablaze.
and so was my face.
and hair.
and seriously, i flew back about five feet without any effort on this big pregnant body.  i landed a few feet in front of my little kids waiting [in terror now] for their picture to be taken. 
i put my hands up to my face and felt singed eyebrow hairs.  i rolled my eyes at my complete stupidity.  oh my gosh... how dumb could i be?!  i turned the gas way back down and got the fire looking about normal and then turned to the kids.  boo had this look of amazement on her face and she wouldn't stop looking at my eyebrows (or what i thought was my eyebrows).  i asked her if i looked silly and she nodded, her eyes not leaving my face.
it was about then the smoke detectors went off.  if you want to make total chaos in a totally chaotic environment, throw in a high pitched beep that no one can ignore!  i opened the doors and the close windows and it shortly turned off.  boo had ran to the hallway (the LOUDEST place possible) to get away from the noise.  starboy had just somehow hidden under the great big 50 lb. love sac. 
i gathered them back to reassure them that everything was ok.  i closed the fireplace and tried to get boo into a posing position.  she kept telling me to please get away from the fire so it didn't burn me up again.  :(  i told her it was all ok now.  i swept the ashes away and sat there to show her.  she just wouldn't have it. 
when i finally got her in front of the place, she looked cute and perfect except the look of terror on her face... and the fact that she couldn't TURN her face from the fire to look at the camera!  and then when we were just so close (well, not any closer than i just described)... the smoke detector went off again and this time boo went up in tears!  i chased her with my hands over her hands over her ears and told her to sit in the kitchen instead of the hallway.  i also told starboy to follow her.  and i also gave up on the photo session.  turned the gas off, put all the fire equipment up, and decided to go see what was so eye-catching about my disastrous face. 
this is what i found:

yep.  it wasn't just the eyebrows.  apparently my eyebrows must've been highly overgrown and shaggy, because they don't look harmed hardly at all! 

i hadn't done my hair yet, and since i had braided it yesterday it had a million fly-aways that decided to just burn away.  this picture was taken after i had thoroughly patted away all the singed hairs that were just floating above my head.
yeah.  this is a real story.  this is the real me.  you can tell because i'm not even fake enough to smile at the camera when i'm really just not feeling the smile!


Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

tampons: dynamite or candy?

we watched a smidgen of AFV tonight and there was this clip of these two boys who found a tampon out in their lawn (???), unwrapped it, and were convinced that it was a stick of dynamite.  this humorously reminded me of my own boy/tampon story:
jones flooded our bathroom a few weeks ago by using too much tp.  that was such a disgusting mess!  i had an old box of tampons sitting behind the toilet on the floor because that bathroom doesn't have any storage space.  when i was cleaning the mess i just threw the whole box away because i didn't think it'd be safe to even assume they might be ok... if you know what i mean. 
anyway, jones is responsible for emptying the bathroom trash cans.  he came up to me the next day with a wrapped up tampon and a smile on his face. 
"why did you throw a whole box of these away?"  he asked
"because you flooded the bathroom and they got all poopy gross wet.  they're no good anymore," i replied.
"oh,"  he sighed, as he remembered the mess.  "what are they?  candy???"
...
"no, sweetie.  just throw them away."  is all i could answer through muffled giggles and smiles.  if he only knew.

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

what's up, doc?

on sunday, my love otter pop, flew away to philadelphia, pa for a mechanic's training class.  he gets back friday night... late! 
sunday was alright.  it was different than most sundays, but we went to church and my parents came over to celebrate starboys birthday... so we were kept busy to keep our minds off the missing mister.
monday was fine too because i had my dr's appointment in the morning and it was starboys birthday, so we really kept busy monday too.
but monday night i had two bad dreams.  the first one was so bad i really didn't think i'd be able to go back to sleep.  i've never actually woke up screaming before... i've woke up crying before, but not literally screaming.  but i did monday night.  well it was tuesday morning, really.  (3:30am)  then i had another bad dream after i finally did go back to sleep... so that sucked.  when i have bad dreams all i want is my hubby.  i almost called him too because he would be in bed sleeping... but i didn't.  i just prayed.
tuesday went along fine.  the kids that i babysit have been sick.  they didn't come monday or tuesday.  however, i still watched an extra two tuesday morning for the volunteer swap i do at the school.  maybe i haven't said, but each tuesday i either volunteer in aleemay or jones' class, or i watch the lady who watches my kids' kids so that she can volunteer in her daughter's classroom.  it's really nice.  i really enjoy it.  little boo has made a best friend with the little girl too, so she really looks forward to tuesdays with her "my best friend".  they're really cute together too.  for such young girls, they play REALLY well together! 
i had another heart episode tuesday morning.  that's the first one since i've been on the heart medication.  i called the cardiologist, but didn't hear anything back...  they called and got all the info and were going to call me back, but didn't.  so, i don't know what to make of that.  it was a pretty shaking episode, so i wonder what's next...  thankfully i was on the phone with a sister, so i felt safe through it. 
after the girls got home from school we went to the girl scout store to get aleemay her little daisy tunic and patches.  she's really excited about that.  she's loving her first girl scout experience!  and little boo said, "i want to be a girl scout like aleemay when i get bigger."
the boys are doing well, but i think they miss their daddy the most.  jones asks every night when daddy's getting home. 
we only have three more days... we can do it!  i just hope he doesn't have to work on saturday when he gets back.  i really miss him!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

gratituesday - autumn

i LOVE the colors in a city full of trees!
i LOVE the crisp fresh air.  the air that's cool enough that if you leave the window open a crack, you REALLY have to cuddle.  the air that's cool enough that in the morning you want to wrap up in a blanket or a big fluffy robe.  the air that's cool enough you think twice before running out to the mailbox without shoes or a jacket.  ... yeah, that crisp fresh fall air!
i LOVE the mums that are so colorful and pretty while it seems everything else is dying.
i LOVE the trees showing personality.  some keep covered.  some keep green.  some turn yellow, while others get red, orange, yellow, and brown.  some turn bright red, while others darken to a deep purple.  some shed their tops first, others shed all at once.  i like the ones who seem modest and cover their "crotch" as long as they can.  the trees really have great personality this time of year.
i LOVE fall!  i LOVE autumn! 
i LOVE the harvest. 
i LOVE the foods.
i LOVE the smells, the spices, the baking!

God is so perfect.  He knows just what to do.  ALL four seasons are so wonderful to watch and be a part of.  i am so thankful for this time of year.  the time of year where we're reminded to be thankful.  what a great time of year!  thank you, God, for autumn... and what a pretty name, don't you think?!  autumn...  ;)

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Monday, October 31, 2011

baby and pregnancy update (gender spoiler alert)

i had my mid-term ultrasound today.  i was wrong, he's not a boy after all.  turns out he never was.  this little baby inside me is following our pattern.  he's a GIRL!  and SHE's awfully cute.

that's the good news.  the other good news is that we had a girls name picked out too... but you won't squeeze that info out of me until she's born.  don't even try.

so then that's two good news, here's the catch.  that little sweet thing has already misplaced her placenta.  (it is hers right?  it's surely not MY misplaced placenta... i got rid of mine almost 30 years ago --and it wasn't misplaced i might add.)  i might have placenta previa.  i get to say "might" because they say that often times it will scootch on over to a better place where it isn't touching my cervix.  currently though, the edge of it is a little above my cervix... so that's no good. 

a little info:  the placenta is the baby's bag o' nutrients.  the "afterbirth".  the placenta attaches itself on the uterine wall via blood vessels.  it attaches itself wherever it chooses with no reasoning.  so if it attaches itself over a hole(like, oh, let's just say a cervix... because it's the only hole you've got in your uterus -if in fact you have a uterus-), when the hole starts to open (or as some might say, dilate) the blood vessels are in turn just pretty much turned on (kinda like a faucet).  like an open wound.  that can't really scab up because it's an internal open wound.  well, until the hole closes... then it "scabs" so to speak... but really it just closes its faucet. 

anyway, like i said before, the placenta might move as the uterus grows...  and that's what we need to pray for.  otherwise i'm in for a c-section.  but, we need to be specific in praying for it to move the right way (as in, not towards, but AWAY FROM my cervix).  otherwise i'm in for a whole lot of bed rest as well as the c-section.  i'm not wanting either of those.  so please pray right and pray hard.  God is powerful and He can move mountains... so certainly He can move my baby's placenta if He wills. 
ready, set, pray!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

oct 31 post

"this is the day that the lord has made.  let us REJOICE and be glad in it!"

previously, i have a hard time rejoicing on this day.  however, two years ago God gave me another son on THIS PARTICULAR DAY and now i can be reminded that this too is the day that the Lord has made... 

my little starboy isn't a baby.  he isn't even a toddler.  he's a little boy!  he's TWO YEARS OLD! 

tonight we all went out to a planet kid play place and partied it up all by ourselves.  there wasn't another single soul (besides the guy behind the desk) to even talk to.  it was awesome.  little boy starboy was running around like a banchee.  the others weren't far behind.  they climbed, they tumbled, they crawled, they slid, they jumped, they threw and kicked balls, they landed in balls, they... well, maybe that's it.  but they sure had fun. 

happy birthday my sweet gift.  i love you.

(pictures may or may not be added at a later date.  they'd be nice, you have to admit.)


Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

gratituesday - the Bible

i know i've posted on how awesome it is to have God's Holy Word right at our fingertips before... but i haven't done a gratituesday post on it... so i am going to today. 
i am everly grateful that God gave us an instruction book, written by Him, on how to live our lives.  when we're struggling with day to day struggles, we can always go to this manual and find the answer.  when we're struggling with parenting, there are hundreds of verses to assist us. 
when we're struggling with work, there are hundreds of verses and stories to aid us.
when we're struggling in relationships, there are hundreds of chapters to give us instruction. 
seriously, there isn't really anything that the Bible doesn't cover.  we just need to go to it and talk with the Author and ... there ya have it!

God is so amazing.  the closer we get in relationship with Him, the easier it is to live on this earth.  not that He'll make life easy for you by giving you things... but He will make life easy for you, by giving you peace.  Trust in Him. 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Monday, October 24, 2011

cardiologist update

here are my notes from the cardiologist appointment last thursday.  for those of you who are not "up" on my health issues, you can read this and then the linked post within that one for my whole heart story.


Cardiologist questionnaire:

What’s going on?  SVT  most likely AVNRT

Do the meds help?  apparently, since i haven't had an episode since taking them.  Why or why not?  they don't mess with anything other than the extra beat, IF it happens.  How can you tell?  What are they doing?  Block out the AV node extra electrical pulse.  Why did you choose them?  they don't lower the blood pressure.  they won't mess with the baby at all.  OB was on-board.  are there any other options for treatment?  (side effects)

What was my heart rhythm?  Was it the PSVT like Dr. Harris thought?  yes.  but that's a broad term.

How often is it happening and for how long?  At least 3 min. Is that a bearing on your treatment?  yes.  How fast?  200-250

What would happen if it didn’t automatically resolve when I laid down?   it would eventually go back to rhythm, but it would be a miserable 20 or so minutes for me if i didn't pass out before then.

What are your thoughts on this happening during pregnancy?  Is this effecting the baby?  How/why?  What are your thought on this happening not in pregnancy?  Why?
(i forgot to ask those... except for the baby question.  -answered above)

she's recommending me to consider the surgery for this after this pregnancy is over.  it's really pretty serious...

that's all i've got. 
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

some things i forget. others i remember to forget.

wow, so i haven't gotten around to posting about my cardiologist update i had on thursday.  i also didn't post about parent teacher conferences, and the happenings there around them. 
there's a lot that's been going on, but i've been trying to live.  i've had absolute no gumption lately.  i'm still struggling with a happy heart.  i'm working on living life.
i think that i might get around to these posts... but please don't hold it against me if i lag.  i'm a big lag lately. 


Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

saturday adejay art day 5


entitled:  "hige"
10/24/11