31 December, 2008


As 2008 comes to a close, I'm reminded of how blessed we've been this year. Even though there were several events that tested my faith, strained my marriage, questioned my sanity and broke my heart, there were many more moments where my faith was made stronger, a fire lit under my marriage and my heart jumped for joy. In each and every moment, good or bad, God was there. He was the one constant in my life throughout 2008.

I pray your eyes are open to God's blessings throughout 2009!

30 December, 2008

{pray for baby Stellan}

Please go to McMama's blog and pray for her little baby boy Stellan. He is super sick w/RSV and in the PICU.

Pray, pray, pray!

24 December, 2008

{a Savior has been born to you}

I love Nativity Scenes! I love the story they tell. I love to listen to my kids tell their version of that wondrous night. I love that the first people to know the Savior had been born were the lowly shepherds. I love that the "wise men" traveled so far to see this new King and they brought Him gifts only given to royalty. I love that God chose to send His only Son to earth as a baby to one day give up His life on the cross for me. Wow!

I think my favorite part of the whole "Christmas" story is found in verse 19 of Luke chapter 2. "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." While Mary sat holding her newborn baby, whom she knew was sent to save the world, she didn't fuss w/making sure the shepherds and wise men were comfortable. She didn't go on and on about how cute he was or how perfect he was. She sat quietly and took in all that was now, literally, in her lap. She saw the expression on the shepherds faces when they realized that the tiny baby she was holding was the Messiah. She heard the awe in the voices of the wise men as they welcomed the Christ-child. "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."

It's a good thing God didn't choose me to be Jesus' mother. I would have been a blubbering mess...and that's the truth! Gracious, Eli was baby Jesus in our church's Passion Play the year he was born...he was 3 weeks old. If you saw that play that year, I was the one holding the tiny baby with a smile the size of Texas! My fabulous bff told me afterwards that she had not been aware that my teeth were as white as they appeared...good friend, huh?

I got this as a gift when I graduated from high school...15 yrs ago. I love how it sparkles! It's made from sand...interesting, huh?

My mom gave me this carved nativity for Christmas a few years ago. Isn't it beautiful! I think Baby Jesus looks a bit like an almond. ;)

I pray you and your loved ones have a blessed Christmas. Don't forget to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus tomorrow!

{we interrupt this normally very serious and proper blog with a bit of inappropriate humor}

Let me set the stage for you a little. I was deep into my morning devotional time this morning. The house was quiet. Rich and the kids were asleep. The sun was still hidden and the ground was covered in a fine layer of freshly fallen snow. Suddenly, the joyous sounds coming from Emma's room alerted me to the fact that my offspring had risen from their slumber. Their laughter filled the air and I could faintly make out what they were talking and laughing about. Then in his sweet, little 4yr old voice, my favorite boy ever said, "Emma, I just farted 2 times!" Followed by much laughter. I knew instantly that my precious communion time w/Jesus had come to a rather abrupt halt.

Why are farts so funny? They really are quite gross. But, boy, are they funny! I'm sure not all families are like this, but my family thinks farts are some of the funniest things ever! I grew up in a family where one little slip of a toot could double an entire family over in gut-busting laughter. Of course, there was also the endless games of Pull My Finger...who can resist! Now, it seems Rich and I are raising our beloved children to appreciate the fine art which is tooting.

When I was in high school, our art class took a trip to the Nelson-Atkins art gallery in Kansas City and we were able to walk around the Plaza for awhile too. My friends, Kerry & Heather, and I made a stop in the public bathroom on the Plaza. Unbeknownst to us, there was a lone tooter already in there. We each went into a stall and that's when the assailant started firing. Since us girls were very mature teenagers, we didn't just bust out laughing...well not right away, we truly tried to keep it in. You know that laugh that just keeps building up and bursts through your lips in little spurts...that's what we did until we were all three laughing so hard tears were dripping from our eyes.

When Rich and I were dating we went to this newly organized church in Manhattan. It met in the gym of a school and had metal folding chairs...no big deal, it was quite cozy. The service was a little different than any church service I'd been in before, so there were some uncomfortable moments and Rich was totally out of his element. Until the baby next to us let out the loudest toot in babydom during prayer time. We, being the mature adults we were, did the "whole body jiggling" laugh and stared straight ahead to prevent the full on "fall to your knees" laugh that comes when you're in a situation where you want to die laughing and know you will if you make eye contact with your partner in crime. We never went back to that church.

I could go on and on w/toot stories, but instead I'll leave you with a few "make me pee my pants" videos from youtube.

Farting in Bed...welcome to my world

Wedding Vows...so funny

Blind Date...introduced to us by our Manhattan friends, the Carson's, who think farts are funny too

Farting Preacher 5...hello!

Jurassic Fart...let's not leave the kids out

Jurassic Fart 2

I hope I never grow to old, pretentious or stuffy to get a good laugh from the gas we pass!

23 December, 2008

{a little chirstmas cheer}

A few weeks ago, the kids made these adorable candy sleds to give to their friends. Chrissie over at flipflops & applesauce had made them w/her girls. She's got some super fun ideas of things to do w/your kiddos...and she's sweet as honey!

Emma has been making this kid-friendly treat since she was old enough to unwrap a Hershey's Kiss. It's so easy to make and the kids LOVE them...so do the big people! Just lay the tiny pretzel twists on the baking sheet, place a Kiss on top, then pop them in a warm over just long enough for the kisses to soften. Then push an M&M down into the melted Kiss. I then pop the whole thing in the freezer for a few minutes to harden. Then enjoy the fruits of your kids' labor! {my super cool, hairstylist makes another version of these using the square waffle-like pretzles and rolos...doesn't that sounds sinfully delicious?!}

{the best part is getting to lick your fingers when you're finished!}

{Em & Eli posing w/their creation!}

{a few goofy egyptians!}

Today, we're frosting the gingerbread and sugar cookies we made yesterday! Should be a fun, sugar-filled day!

19 December, 2008

Deep thoughts from a 4 yr old...

Yesterday we drove by a cemetery where a graveside service was taking place. I commented how sad it was and Eli asked me what was going on. I told him someone had died and they were having a funeral. My sweet, tender-hearted little boy just began to cry {ya know the quite, chin-trembling, tears streaming down the face cry}. Then he started saying, over and over, that he doesn't want to die. It was so sad! I wanted to just pull the car over, wrap him in my arms and promise him that he wouldn't die for a VERY long time.

Then, last night, the kids were at my BFF's for the evening and Eli had another "death" meltdown. Jean's sweet, little Luke went out to her saying that Eli was very sad and missed Uncle Francis {Rich's uncle who died 2 1/2 yrs ago}. That got Luke goin' and Luke was crying about missing his great-grandma. Both those sweet, little guys just hugged each other and cried together!

After Eli had been in bed for a little bit, he got up and came downstairs with the saddest look on his face. He crawled up in my lap and just cried and wouldn't say a word. I took him back up to his bed and tried to get him to talk to me. When he did finally start talking, he just kept saying that he didn't want to die. It took everything in me not to totally breakdown and sob with him. Poor little guy!

I'm tellin' ya, if he's this emotional at 4, I just might take an extended vacation during his teen years!

04 December, 2008

Quick update...

The mouse is dead!!! Emma was intrigued. Eli cried. Rich disposed of it. Mommas happy!

01 December, 2008

I would like to thank the academy...

I've been given 2 fabulous awards by super sweet
Mandi at Miss(es) Canadian Pie. She is just a sugar and my first blog-world friend. I'm sure if we lived close to each other we'd be great friends. She's super creative and so stinkin' cute too! Be sure to swing by her blog and say hi!

So now it's up to me to nominate some of you gals. Here are some rockin' blogs that I'm totally lovin'!

1. Jean at Finding Jean. Jean's my bff in real life. You'll come away from her blog laughing and maybe with a little pee in your pants. You'll thank me for that warning later, I promise.

2. Angie at Bring the Rain. Take a tissue and be prepared to bawl your eyes out. God has gifted Angie with the gift of writing and she is not letting Him down. Her stories are thought provoking, heart wrenching and sometimes gut busting. AND she's married to Todd who sings w/Selah...hello, can you say amazing voice! I think if I knew Angie in real life, I couldn't be friends w/her b/c she's so stinkin' cute. I try not to have friends that are cuter than me! ;)

3. Courtney at cjanerun. She has an amazing way with words. She's also about the most generous person ever...she took in 2 nieces and a nephew after her sister and brother-in-law were in a horrific plane crash in Aug. Be sure to check out her blog and pray for her family. God is working miracles and it's awesome!

4. Mckmama at my charming kids. Wanna read about God's love her us? Wanna see living proof of a miracle? Wanna have your faith renewed? Go visit Mckmama. Don't forget to take a tissue.

5. Amanda at Baby Bangs. Amanda is the oldest daughter of Beth Moore. She is so incredibly gifted w/words just like her Momma. She also has the cutest little man and is preggers w/a baby girl. She writes from her heart and it comes across the screen like you were sitting across a table from her enjoying a steamy cup of hot chocolate{it's cold in KS today} and visiting with an old friend. Stop by Amanda's blog sometime.

Here are the rules girls....

1. Post the award on your blog

2. Link me for giving it to you

3. Link back to the originating post nominating you

4. Pass the award on to 5 more deserving people

5. Post these rules for your recipients

The 2nd award:

With this award, I'm to list 6 things y'all may not know about me and then pass the award on to 6 other deserving blogs.

So, here ya go:
#1- I am a middle child! Middle children seem to get a bad rap, but I think we get screwed! Just kidding, that's what a middle child would say! ;)

#2- I HATE frogs! Don't know why, just hate 'em. If you ever try to force me to look at, touch or be near a frog, you will be forever removed from my list of friends...not kidding.

#3- I have abnormally small hands. Got it from my dad's side of the family. I can wear children's gloves and can't reach an octave on the piano.

#4- I like to have secret affairs with Ben & Jerry. Please don't tell Rich...I'm not willing to give them up.

#5- I love to drive! If I didn't have a life here, I'd be happy to live in an RV and drive across the country.

#6- I hate the taste of yellow play-dough...especially at 1am.

Now, for the blogs I'm passing the award on to:
1- Chrissie at flipflops & applesauce She's got some amazing ideas of ways to interact w/your kids that go above just reading a book or coloring a picture. She had even created several coloring books that you can purchase. Crazy cool!

2- Nicol at Our Cozy Nest. Her home looks like it's ready for a Better Homes & Garden spread. Seriously, so cute AND she's made or revamped tons of her decor and furniture herself. It helps that she's about the sweetest thing in Utah!

3- Jody at Nitty.Gritty. Jody creates amazing stuff for some big wig paper crafting people. She also has a truly heart-wrenching story and she's quick to give God all the glory for carrying her and her family through all the ugliness. Her and her hubby have 6 of the most adorable babies ever! Seriously, she does more crafty stuff w/her kiddos than I've ever dreamed of doing w/my 2...AND one of those kiddos is a tiny baby! If she wasn't so sweet and fun, it'd be easy to hate her! ;)

4- Candy at No Room to Swing a Cat. How funny is that name?! Candy is one of my real life friends. From trying different recipes to making slip covers, Candy certainly got the creative bug in our group of friends. She just moved into this adorable house that's she's dyin' to put her adorable touch on so her adorable family can prepare to welcome another adorable baby. Stop by and say hi!

5- Dawn at lil bit of nothing. I also know Dawn in real life and she's super creative. She makes all sorts of awesome stuff w/card stock and stamps. She also runs a home daycare and does awesome projects w/her kiddos.

6- Cindy at Skip To My Lou. Cindy is another super creative mom who has awesome ideas of things to do w/your kiddos. Her blog is so fun too. You'll be filled w/inspiration after visiting her blog.

The post of all posts...

Yeah, I know! I haven't posted in FOREVER! But, in my defense, I've been crazy busy with school, editing pictures and designing a new church directory. Anyway, let's see if my memory is good enough to remember all the great stuff that I haven't blogged about.

Oh, here's the greatest thing that's happened in the last few weeks...Eli is a CHRISTIAN! How cool is that?! Our church has a fall VBS and a few weeks ago Eli asked Jesus to come live in his heart! On the way home we were talking about it and Eli asked Emma what Pastor Steve said he was now that he(Eli) did that. Emma said "you're a Christian". So, Eli proceeded to yell...about a million times..."I'M A CHRISTIAN! I'M A CHRISTIAN!" Then he turned to me and asked "Mom, what's a Christian?" It was hilarious! When we got home he wanted to call my parents and tell them that he was a Christian now like them. I could just eat that boy up he's so sweet!


We still haven't caught that blasted little varmint that's running around my kitchen! I don't know what the deal it, but I've had about enough of this stupid thing. Anyone have any tried and true mouse killing advice? Please don't tell PETA!


Thanksgiving was another super special time for our family. The kids and I made a cornucopia of thankfulness {at least that's what I called it}. It was just some scrapbook paper rolled into a cone w/craft sticks inside so you can write what you're thankful for. The kids had a blast! Eli got to use a paper punch and let me tell ya, he LOVED it. Loved it so much that he's still picking up teensy pieces of paper that he punched! I've been visiting this amazing blog of things to do w/your kiddos and let me tell ya, this girl is an awesome mom. Be sure to check her out, she's super fun! flipflops and applesauce

We spent Thanksgiving morning w/Rich's Dad and sister's family. Rich's aunt Naomi was also here from Alaska for her good friends funeral. So, it was great to see Naomi, but super sad why she was here.

We went to my parents for the afternoon and evening. My mom always has the most amazing food...I think I'm still full! My Mamaw and grandpa George were there, as well as my Grandma Mitchell. There were 4 loud children running around so it was hard to really visit w/them. {ok, there were really only 2 loud children running around...Eli and Lilly can make some noise!} Our ears did get a reprieve when the kids all jumped in the hot tub...ahhhh, blessed silence! I was going to go out and take some pictures, but it was too stinkin' cold and I didn't want to get splashed. Mom, Dad, Travis, Christy, Rich and I were finally able to get a game of cards in once the kids were out and dried off. I love, love, love playing cards w/my family! I usually totally suck at cards, but I'm not ashamed to say that I rocked at the one we played Thanksgiving night. It was called Oh Rats and please don't ask me how to play it b/c yes, I've already forgotten. That's my problem, I've played all sorts of card games, but I forget how to play them. Then when I play them again it takes me a while to catch back on to the game. I'm also a pretty sore loser and my family is full of a bunch of smart aleks(sp?) and pouters...we all hate to lose and love to let everyone know when we're winning! It's a great combo! We seriously had a great time!


Black Friday Shopping! My alarm went off at 3:20am. {yikes!} I met my bff at Walmart at 4:10am. {yikes again!} I was back home w/almost all my Christmas shopping done by 9:30am. {not too bad} I was asleep in my bed at about 10:30am. {hallelujah!}

I'm not exactly sure what it is I love about Black Friday b/c it goes against everything I claim to be about. I hate large crowds, I don't even really like to shop and I hate how Christmas has become so commercialized. But I still drug my sleepy self out of bed just to throw myself into the very mess I so despise.

This was about the 3rd or 4th year I've gone and it was the worst. I was shocked at how rude, inconsiderate and just plain hateful some of the people were that morning. I've truly never seen anything like it. It really made me sad to see and hear all the ugliness. I pray I don't ever let a "good deal" turn me into someone so ugly.

Oh yeah, I saw a kid walking very calmly towards the bathroom w/puke on his shirt and face. Then he puked all over the floor. I about died!!!

OK, this post is getting entirely too long! I'm gonna end it now and start a new post about some awesome blog awards I've recently received!

19 November, 2008

Mama Mia!

If you haven't gone to see Mama Mia w/a group of girlfriend yet, you NEED to!!!
Here's a little taste for ya...Mama Mia!

Here are some pictures of my crazy friends {I'm not sure how Deb and Emily were able to get out of being in any of the pictures...I'll get you girls next time!} the night we went to see Mama Mia! We had a pre-viewing "dance" party w/Jean and Cindy rockin' it. Then the wigs came out. Wowza, some girls are not meant to be blondes!

Now, doesn't this just make you want to run out and see Mama Mia? You'll love it!

18 November, 2008

2 good-for-nothing cats for sale...don't tell the kids

In our old, old house, there are many places where little rodents can get into our basement. Much to my chagrin, we currently have a little visitor. My question to you, my faithful reader, is how in the world does a mouse survive in a home w/2 cats and a dog? This is the 1st mouse we've had since getting the cats about 2yrs ago.

I HATE mice and I HATE thinking about all the places their tiny little feet have been when I haven't been looking. Oh, it just makes my skin crawl!

I have been known to pack up the kids and leave my own home upon sight of a mouse. About 5 yrs ago, I had Jean's oldest two kiddos for the day. Mags was taking her morning nap and I started lunch...hot dogs and mac & cheese. I got Emma and Brock set up at the table and went up to get Maggie. Before I went up to get Mags, I set her hot dog on a plate on the counter to cool. When I came back downstairs, there was a stinkin' mouse nibbling on Maggie's hot dog. Seriously!!! Then, like every good parent/aunt, I proceeded to climb on a chair, call Jean and whisper that there was a mouse in my kitchen eating Maggie's hot dog while throwing gumballs at the stupid thing. My husband got home from work to find gumballs EVERYWHERE!

I'll tell you the truth, seeing these stinkin' things makes me want to cuss...A LOT! I don't think I'm going to be able to make dinner for my family tonight b/c that dang thing was on my stove. GROSS!!!!!!

Why, oh why, don't Goldy and Pablo just do their feline duty and eat the dang thing?!?

07 November, 2008

I haven't been listening...

I read this devotional this morning in my Grace For the Moment by Max Lucado.

Are You Listening?
Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. Matthew 7:8

Once there was a man who dared God to speak: Burn the bush like you did for Moses, God. And I will follow. Collapse the walls like you did for Joshua, God. And I will fight. Still the waves like you did on Galilee, God. And I will listen.

And so the man sat by a bush, near a wall, close to the sea and waited for God to speak.

And God heard the man, so God answered. He sent fire, not for a bush, but for a church. He brought down a wall, not of brick, but of sin. He stilled a storm, not of the sea, but of a soul.

And God waited for the man to respond. And He waited...and waited.

But because the man was looking at bushes, not hearts; bricks and not lives, seas and not souls, he decided that God had done nothing.

Finally he looked to God and asked, Have you lost Your power?

And God looked at him and said, Have you lost your hearing?

How about you...have you lost your hearing? I think I have. I have not been taking the time to quite myself before God and listen for His voice. I have not been opening His word and searching for His answers. I have been sitting in church waiting for Him to show me what He wants for me. I have been looking in the obvious places. But He rarely turns up in the obvious places for me. He sits and waits patiently for me to get over myself and find Him in the places He wants me to be. Sometimes that does happen while sitting in a church service. More often than not, I find Him and hear Him in the quite of my living room...while my family is still asleep...before I let the business of my day get the best of me. I hear Him in the words of a song. I hear Him in the laughter of my kids. I feel Him in the embrace of my husband. I feel Him when in the presence of my girlfriends.

Lord, I'm so sorry I haven't been listening for Your voice. My ears are open.

03 November, 2008

{who lives in a pineapple under the sea?}

I'll give you three quesses as to who loves Spongebob.

1-It's not me.

2-It's not Rich.

3-And it's not Emma.

{oh, my emma}

I took Em w/me the other day to scout out some shoot locations. I can't believe how much she's grown in the last few years. She keeps telling me that she's almost as tall as me. Little does she know that her being able to say that she's taller than her 5'1" mom isn't saying much!

Enjoy these photos of my beautiful girl!