II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In the past month...

On December 18th, Grant was awarded "Tiger Cub of the Month" at school. Here is a picture of him getting his ribbon put on and then smiling proudly for the camera!

These are a couple of pictures I took from Brooklyn's class Christmas party. In this first one she is standing in line waiting her turn to play the game. I just thought she looked sweet and pretty.
Here she is playing the game. The girls were racing against the boys to reach into "Santa's bag" pull out a hat and gloves, put them on, open a peice of gum, chew it up and say Ho! Ho! Ho!
Here is one of Grant doing one of his favorite things: Chin-ups! He's gonna be one strong kindergartner! He can do about 5 at a time right now! (and he does them all throughout the day!--over-handed even!)

On Christmas Eve while we were getting "snowed in", our power went out for a few hours. During that time we had our big Mag-Lite flashlight out so we could see. While Matt, me and Grant were in the bedroom, Brooklyn turned it on and decided to hold it out in front of her while she spun in circles in the living room floor. Well, a minute later Grant entered the room and CRACK!!!-the maglite hit him SMACK in the head! It was so loud I thought she had dropped it on the tile floor or something. Then the screaming started. Not so much him--as her screaming, "MOM HURRY! GRANT'S HURT!!!" It bled a little but mostly I think it was just the impact. He's got a wound there for sure...but I'm sure it'll heal up just fine.Also during our power outage, Brooklyn made this and I found it laying on my desk. I thought it was so cute...I had to take a pic.

On Christmas morning, Matt and I got up and made chocolate chip snowman pancakes with bacon for us, my parents and my brother (who all came over from next door).
My handsome big brother, Doug!
The REAL Santa (my dad):
After our yummy food, Brooklyn read us the Christmas story from the Bible. It was precious and I caught the whole thing on video tape! (yay!)
After we opened our gifts and stockings, Kinley found her "spot" on top of my stocking.
And Sam kept his "spot" right in front of the treat cabinet, where he pretty much hangs out 24/7 just in case someone should walk by and get him a treat out of it! ha ha Doesn't he look handsome with the Santa hat on? He's such a sweetheart. He's getting so old that I'm pretty sure his hearing is 90% gone now. He rarely hears anything and the only way we can signal him to come in from outside is to flash the porch light on and off. (sniff, sniff) He was my first baby...it's gonna be soooooooo hard to ever let him go!I was determined not to be behind the camera this whole holiday season, so this is the only picture I got of the kids opening their gifts on Christmas morning. With our budget being so tight this year, the kids pretty much only got practical gifts from Matt and I. Now that it's over, I see that I was making a much bigger deal of this than the kids did. They didn't even care (or notice) yet Matt and I were fretting on Christmas Eve that they were going to be so disappointed. Here they are: Grant is showing off a new t-shirt he got and Brooklyn is showing off her new socks.
On Sunday, the 27th, we decided to make a last minute trip to our hometown (3 hours away) to celebrate Christmas with Matt's family. I did AWFUL at taking pictures and only snapped a couple. Here is one of the kids getting their stockings at Matt's Nane's house. I guess I should have warned Brooklyn I was snapping a picture. That's not her nicest looking face! This is Matt's Nane (grandma) and also where the red hair in our family originates! We just looooove her! Here is one of Kinley. I don't know what or why this was taken, but I thought it was cute so it went on the blog! ha ha And lastly, me and my girlie. I hate to admit it, but I really LOVE this little pup. I mean...it's a different kind of love than I have for Sam. He is my BABY. He has woven his paw prints on every inch of my heart....but Kinley...she's my little cuddle-bug and we're starting to bond even more than ever here lately. (probably because I am constantly resquing her from a certain rowdy little 5 year old boy who thinks it's pure bliss to tie her up to things and shoot her with nerf darts!)

Monday, December 28, 2009

there's gotta be more to life...

I bet most, if not all of you, have heard the Stacy Orrico song that came out a few years ago called "There's gotta be more". Here are the lyrics to refresh your memory:

I've got it all, but I feel so deprived
I go up, I come down and I'm emptier inside
Tell me what is this thing that I feel like I'm missing
And why can't I let it go

There's gotta be more to life...Than chasing down every temporary high to satisfy me
Cause the more that I'm...Tripping out thinking there must be more to life
Well it's life, but I'm sure... there's gotta be more
Than wanting more

I've got the time and I'm wasting it slowly
Here in this moment I'm half way out the door
Onto the next thing, I'm searching for something that's missing

I'm always waiting on something other than this

Yup...that's pretty much how I feel today. I'm sick of "chasing down every temporary high to satisfy me".

Today on the way home from our holiday trip, Brooklyn and I were playing one of her Nintendo DS games. You write a question to the other person on your DS and send it to them and they answer and send it to your DS.
Well, I wrote "What is one thing that makes Mommy happy?"
You wanna know what her answer was???
"Being away from me and Grant".
Yes...that was her serious answer. It made me cry.
Why......why am I like this? Why are my kids growing up thinking that the only time I'm happy is when I'm AWAY from them? Where did I miss it? What if I don't figure "it" out soon and their whole childhoods are ruined and wasted?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dirty Santa goes Dirty!

Dirty Santa...most all of us have played this Christmas gift-giving game at one time or another. This year, I will be involved in 4 different Dirty Santa's. One at our Sunday School party, one at my family's Christmas party (last weekend) and 2 more this next weekend with Matt's family.
It has come to my attention, disappointingly, that this game has turned truely "dirty" and has none of the Christmas spirit of joy and giving included. I suppose it could be played "nicely" but really, the whole point is to "steal" your gift of choice, thus giving it the name "Dirty Santa" right?
This year, and in recent years past, there has been an increasing number of people "stealing". In the last Dirty Santa I played, people were stealing things just to take them away from the person who REALLY wanted and needed it! (and even vocalized that they didn't want or need X-gift but was "just playing the game haha"). And it's become more acceptable to show obvious disapproval of the gift you open. (RUDE!) Furthermore, when the price limit is set at $25 per gift, and you bring something that you were given as a gift that you thought was dog-ugly and didn't actually spend a penny on it, but then expect to receive a gift that someone actually went out and purchased and especially picked out, in my opinion, this is just WRONG.
I know it's all "meant in fun" but don't tell me that if you went out and spent $25 on something that you LOVE and think that everyone else will LOVE and instead the person who gets it opens it and says, "NO FAIR! I don't want this! Somebody please steal this thing from me" that wouldn't hurt your feelings just a bit?

In one game, there were 16 people playing. Everyone hoped to get #16 so they could go last and pick from anything. Oh...no! It did NO GOOD for #16 this time. By the time we got to that person, everything that anyone wanted had been stolen 3 times and was already frozen. Poor #16 was left to either steal something that noone wanted (the re-gifted items) OR open the last gift, which turned out to be something for a girl..and he was a single guy. Bummer.

I'm just saying that there has to be a better option. We've tried the drawing names thing. That doesn't work either because these days, not everyone keeps their word or will commit to coming, and so you end up with a few people not showing up-which means they didn't bring the gift they were supposed to get and they aren't there to collect the gift that was brought for them.

I know, you might say, just drop the whole gift thing altogether. It's crossed my mind, but I think that would be sad. Even us adults enjoy getting a little sumpin-sumpin for Christmas and quite honestly, in our family, if we cancelled the Dirty Santa games, the adults would get NO gifts for Christmas except for what their spouse and children buy them.

Maybe I'm too hung up on the gifts. Call me materialistic if you want, but I do recognize that I LOVE gifts. When I read Gary Chapman's "The 5 Love Languages" I hated to hear it (it just feels selfish and non-important) but one of my love languages is definitely gifts. I LOVE to give gifts and I LOVE to receive gifts. So there. Say what you want. :o)

So I'm wondering, does anyone have any other suggestions for ways to give gifts among families without it turning into this awful, mean, rude stealing game?

Monday, December 07, 2009


What's new?---December is crazy-busy around here. I just thought I'd drop in and say HI to all my buddies! TOTALLY looking forward to the Biggest Loser finale tomorrow...and then on Saturday we celebrate Christmas with my side of the family. I'm hosting again this year and we're playing Bunco as well as Dirty Santa. It should be a fun time if we can (somehow) leave the drama out. Lots of crazy stuff is happening in my family this year and it's really frustrating for a control-freak organized person like me!

A house divided against itself cannot stand...and I think that goes for families too! :o( sniff, sniff

Anyway, I hope you are all doing well and enjoying this Christmas season!! It's funny...we are on the tightest buget we've ever been on this year--which means WAYYYY less shopping--which has actually been a blessing as crazy as that sounds, because for the FIRST time EVER, I am not stressing about gifts OR money!!! I am enjoying the simple (free) delights of the season like hot cooca (from HOME not Starbucks!) and driving around looking at Christmas lights and decorating the house, making homemade gifts and reading my kiddos lots of Christmas stories! We've played more games, watched more movies and laughed more this year than probably ever. Yesterday Matt and I were hugging and I said into his ear "You're my best friend!" and for some reason, that threw us into a fit of giggles that was uncontrollable. It sounded good in my head but when I said it, I felt like I was back in junior high! Ha ha (maybe had to be there!?!)

Anyway, my point is....even in the "bad", if you look hard enough, you can totally find some "good". Maybe even way more than you would have imagined! :o)

Friday, December 04, 2009


If this doesn't get you giggling...you need to loosen up! This is HILARIOUS!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Good Friends Warm the Heart!

This past weekend I got to meet up with one of my "oldest" friends, Amy. She's actually only 3 days older than me...but we go wayyyyyyyy back. If I'm not mistaken, she is the only person I'm still friends with from that far back (4th grade). She has been one of the most special people in my life all these years and the love I have for her (and her beautiful little family) grows more each year! It is always such a joy and blessing to get to see her when they come for a visit. Here are a few pics from our lunch together!

She is actually the one who talked me into blogging in the first place! I hadn't even ever heard of a "blog" before her...and now look at me. I'm a full-blown addict! ha ha

Monday, November 30, 2009

Doggie Troubles

We have an issue with Kinley (our 1 year old yorkie) that needs to be dealt with. I'm curious if any of you have any ideas. This is the deal:
If we put her in "her bedroom" a.k.a. the laundry room at night, she won't go potty on the floor and she sleeps in her crate with the door open. The problem is that she barks ALL. NIGHT. LONG. off and on. It is beyond FRUSTRATING. I can not sleep while she is barking. I've tried "white noise" such as the radio playing softly, a big box fan blowing loudly, the dryer running...and nothing blocks it out enough for me to sleep. The only solution is to get up out of bed and let her outside for about 5 minutes. The problem is...we have to do this every night...sometimes 5 or 6 times PER night! It is making me EXTREMELY cranky and I'm not getting any good, solid sleep. I keep saying we might as well hve another BABY for crying out loud if I'm gonna have to get up that many times a night!
On the other hand, if we leave her out in the house (to roam freely) throughout the night, she never makes a peep. I sleep wonderfully and all is good until we get up and find pile upon pile of doggie doo-doo and step in puddle after puddle of doggie pee-pee!
She is completely "potty trained" during the day and she NEVER goes potty in the laundry room (where we put here when we're not home) even if we're gone for 8-10 hours. So there is NO REASON she can't hold it while we sleep at night for 6-8 hours.

Last night we put her in her room and she did okay until about 4 am. I got up and let her out and then instead of putting her back in her room, I left her out in the house. When I got up at 6, there were TWELVE poo-poos to clean up. Little teensy tiny ones polka-dotting my dining room floor. How can an 8 pound dog make 12 poo's in 2 hours? And it's not like we feed them late at night. We feed them at 6 pm every night without fail. They always use the bathroom several times before we go to bed.

I am just at the end of my rope. At this point, the only option I can think of is to 1. Put her in her crate somewhere far, far away from my bedroom where I can't hear her bark--which probably means in the COLD garage or maybe even inside the van-inside the garage...??
Or 2. Buy a muzzle...?? That just sounds HORRIBLE-to have your mouth strapped shut...but I really don't know what to do.

I just KNOW I cannot go on like this. I either lose sleep all night letting her out, or else my house smells like a gas-station mens room from all the poo and pee spots on the floor.

Anyone have any ideas? I'm desperate!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What does my future hold?

Today I received an e-mail from my boss (the doctor I transcribe for) telling me that my last day will be Dec. 31. He is going to EMR (electronic medical records) and will no longer need my services.
---insert a 'just-got-punched-in-the-stomach' feeling right here---
Okay, well...that means that in exactly 37 days our income is going to decrease significantly.
A part of me wants to completely freak out at the idea of that. We are hardly making ends meet as it is right now, but this means we will have to live on about $700-$1,000 less than we are used to!
Oh. My. Gosh.

PRAISE THE LORD that my trust and my hope is in HIM and not in my circumstances. He is Jehovah Jirah, my provider! HE is my source and my very present help in time of need.

The question I guess I have right now is: Do I sit back and "have faith" and just see what God does in this situation as I pray and seek His will?? Or...do I start 'taking matters into my own hands' and looking for another job?

As most of you know, I've been pursuing fitness instructing recently and I've been very sure that it is God's way of preparing me for something else. Maybe this is "my time." Oh, I hope so! Anyway, I'm not posting this to get sympathy from anyone. I'm posting it because...well...for one, I'm pretty much an open book and there's not much I "hide"...but also because I would love for you all to agree with me in faith for an even better opportunity to come my way! You are all such wonderful friends! Thanks!

Oh and..HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! in case I don't get to post again before then! Remember how much you have to be thankful for!

Monday, November 16, 2009

silly little boy

Grant just said to me, "I'm having a staring contest with the deer, mom."
I said, "The deer that is hanging on our living room wall??"
"Yep" he said.
"Well, I hope you win!" I said.
"Aw man! I blunk!" he said.

That kid keeps a smile on my face and a giggle in my heart!

Inbox slacker

I have so many e-mails in my "inbox" that I need to respond to that I feel overwhelmed. It's not that I'm "so popular" that everyone sends me e-mails...it's that I don't like to write responses to e-mails unless I can really spend time and give it my undivided attention and since I NEVER hardly EVER have that opportunity...they just keep stacking up. Right now I have an important e-mail to answer from just about every single one of my good friends waiting for me in my inbox.
I feel like such a lousy friend for taking so long to write back.
So which is better? A quick, thoughtless response....or waiting a long time but sending a long, thought-out response?
Obviously (but just to be clear) I am not talking about every day e-mails like "what are you bringing to the luncheon on Friday?" I'm talking about deep-subject e-mails that you can't answer with a quick 'yes' or 'no'.

Anyway, if you're one of my friends who is thinking, "she's NEVER going to write me back"...I am so sorry! I promise I haven't forgotten you...I just am waiting for the right time when I can really give you my undivided attention! I love you all and I thank you SO MUCH for being my friends!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lying to your kids...is it really that bad?

So I just lied to my daughter. Right now-this very moment at 4:15 pm on Wednesday afternoon! But I didn't mean to...

She asked me a question that I was TOTALLY not prepared to answer and I said the first thing that came to my mind.
I wonder how bad this is???
It's like this: Matt took the kids to Walmart the other day to get me a card and a little gift. (MAJOR BROWNIE POINTS BABE!!!!) Apparently he picked out the card but he let the kids sign it too.
The front says "I love spooning with you." and then the inside says "And, well, the forking too."
Okay...so it's cute and corny...no big deal. Except Brooklyn wants to understand everything and I guess Matt wouldn't explain the card to her so this is what she wrote in it.

It says, "Hey mom, I don't get this at all but I love you. Love Brook."

Well today she decided she wants to know what spooning and forking is.

Here was my explanation:

Spooning is where you lay on your side with your knees bent and the other person lays in front of you the same way and you cuddle.

I was hoping that would be good enough...but no...then she wanted to know what forking was.

I said, "well, forking is the opposite. Where you lay on your side with your knees bent and the other person lays on their side facing the opposite direction with their back to you looking at the opposite wall as you are."

She bought it. I feel kinda bad....but golly...what was I supposed to say?

Also in that first picture is a GORGEOUS card that my good friend Amy sent me! She made it. She is such a sweetheart and it came on a day when I really needed a pick-me-up! Thanks Amy!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Age: It's only a number, right?

My dad turned 60 on Thursday. That's been about as hard for me to swallow as me turning 30. Sixty just seems so....elderly. My dad is NOT elderly. I'm not sure if I'm in denial about the fact that he is getting older, or if age truely is "JUST" a number and that he's as young and healthy and active as when he was 40 (when I was just a kid). To me, he's the same old dad....nothing has changed other than the color of his hair a little. But then sometimes, when I see him resting more in his recliner or when he's down with an injury (like right now) or when I look at these pictures from his party, I think...maybe I'm being naive? Maybe he is really as old as all the other 60-year-olds out there...!?! I just can't bear to think my years with him are numbered...

Nevertheless, a birthday deserves a party, especially the big "decade" years...so I threw him a party this past weekend and invited all our family and some friends. I had reserved a room for the party so we wouldn't have to cram everyone into my house-which was a great idea-except for the a/c went out that day in the place and it was about 85 degrees! It was HOT in there...and of all things...I had prepared a big chili dinner for everyone! (who'd have thought we'd be having temperatures near 90 in November!?!)

Anyway, the party actually went VERY great regardless of all the sweating we all did! Here are some pics:
This first one is of my mom and dad. Aren't they cute? I am blessed far beyond what words can explain to have had these 2 people as my parents! They (and God) have made me what I am today! I love you sooooo much mom and dad!Dad blowing out his "60" candles! I'm so proud that he wore the silly hat even though I'm sure he didn't want to mess his hair up! Thank you daddy!Me playing Uno with the kids. I never want to "graduate" from the kids table! It's where all the fun is!Me and my hunky hubby! My dad was first....but he holds the key to my heart now-and forever!

The infamous mens "Spades" game: Matt, dad, my brother Doug and my nephew Bobby.Me and my OLDER sister! I'm mad at her for this picture though...she looks younger than I do...and she's ten years older than me! ha ha...just kiddin' Stef!This is my brother Paul, my dad and my brother Doug. See what knuckle-heads I had to deal with all growing up? hee hee

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Gathering

I don't think I've ever talked about my Sunday School class on here...but we are one fun group of God-lovin' people! This past Friday night we got together at the youth building for some food & fellowship. They have pool tables and air hockey and ping pong and basketball courts, etc. It was so much fun! Here are a few pics:

Our Amazing Teachers: Geoff & Lisa
Me playing air hockey and getting beat baaaaad.
Matt and Josh playing pool, I think.

Me playing ping-pong and making good competition for the little kids!
Me and a friend chatting.

Me posing for the camera--had NO idea Matt was behind me until I saw the pic!

Brooklyn with her buddies Asia & Emily.

The most fun we had was during a mean game of basketball: guys vs. girls. There was only 1 of us girls in the whole group that knew ANYTHING about basketball...thanks Rachel for schooling the rest of us girls! We women may not have won...but we definitely gave the guys a good game and we certainly got some great exercise out of it! Plus, it was a BLAST!

Friday, November 06, 2009

The joys??? of country living...

WARNING!!!! If you have a weak stomach right now (Kate) DON'T scroll down and look at the 2nd picture!!!

So...the other day I was outside pitching baseballs to Grant so he could practice his hitting and I couldn't resist taking a picture of my front yard with all it's beautiful trees and leaves everywhere. This truely is a JOY of country living!
On the flip side, my sweet little tiny soft cuddly yorkie brought me another suprise this morning! One of the NOT-joy's of country living! (it's headless again, nonetheless!) UGH! GAG ME!

But....being the country girl that I am, I just picked the little (stiff) fella up and threw him over the fence. :o)

Lastly, so I don't leave you with that pukey-feeling in your stomach...here is a cute pic of my pups laying beside my computer while I work. This is where they camp out most of the time when I'm here at my desk. They are so loyal (to the one who feeds them lots of tablescraps!)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

It seems a little late for this...

I couldn't believe my eyes when I peeked out the back door today and saw bright red "balls" in our garden! WHAT? I guess from all the sunshine we've been having lately, my tomato and pepper plants perked back up. I really thought they were dead and its been on my to-do list to go out there and yank'em all out and mow over it. Good thing I didn't! Look at what all I picked this morning...on the 4th of November! Crazy weather!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

My handsome scholar...

I came into the dining room the other day to find Matt pouring over all these books, study guides and a concordance preparing for his "lesson" for Bible study later that day. He looked so scholarly, I had to snap a pic. How appropriate that his shirt says "Disciple". I am so blessed to be married to this handsome, thoughtful, witty, sweet man of God!!!

Halloween Pics

Happy Halloween!

Here's a couple of pics of the kids from Halloween. We went to the Hallelujah Party at our church.
My little pirate and my hula girl!
Brooklyn's friend Fallon posed for a pic with Brooklyn...and Grant just had to jump in. (Boys!)
Fallon & Brooklyn, buddies!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Jeans under my DRESS?

So...keeping with the topic we've been discussing lately---hip, modest fashion. What do you guys think of this look?

I wore jeans underneath this sweater dress today. I have always worn this as a dress but it's sorta short and I always feel self-concious about it. Today I stuck the jeans under it and I thought it looked cute....but.....a few times throughout the day I also felt really self-concious and weird like people were thinking I was very strange for wearing jeans under a dress....

I'm so not sure...

What do you say?

I'm SO done with holiday baking already!

So....if I ever say I'm gonna make such-and-such little treats for such-and-such little occasion again--SLAP ME and remind me of this!
I found this recipe for Pumpkin Pie Bites on one of my FAVORITE baking websites: Bakerella. She touted the recipe as "easy" so I printed it out and decided THIS is what I was going to make for Brooklyn's class for Halloween. Since I was making them anyway, might as well make an extra batch for Sunday School on Sunday since it's our day to bring food.
What I learned in a nutshell: EASY does NOT equal QUICK. I honestly took a little nap right on my countertop in the kitchen waiting for the last (of FOUR) batches to bake!
Whew! It took me 3 hours to make about 45 of these little babies and although they ARE delicious and absolutely adorable and they were VERY easy.....they were NOT quick. The "hard" or time consuming part of this was forming all the little tiny pie crusts with my fingers.
About 2 hours in, I decided that since I was doing all this work, I was going to do TRIPLE duty with this little recipe and take a batch of them to the doctor's office I work for also...
At about 11:47 pm when I finally finished last night...I had to enjoy one. Mmmmm....yum!

And by the way...those of you who know me very well know that the title of this post is totally untrue. I will be baking again in no time....probably as soon as the pumpkin pie bites are all eaten. :o)