Friday, January 30, 2009

The Most Annoying Toy EVER

My oldest is 4 1/2, so I've had a few years to see different toys. Some are educational, some are just for fun and play. But I still can't understand why my mom and mother-in-law (we got two in one year) decided that my child needed this toy. I guess they wanted me to endure what they did (since this toy has been around for decades)! So today I proclaim that this is, by far, the most annoying toy ever!

Why can't they come out potty trained?

Yesterday was officially my second attempt at potty training Sarah. After Josh left for work, I realized that there were no diapers in the house for her. Bummer. And I was not about to drag three kids to the store with snow-covered streets and freezing temperatures (really, all that snow and temperature talk has nothing to do with it...I just haven't mastered the art of taking three kids to the store by myself yet). So I called Josh and he said he could be home by noon with a package of diapers for her.

There I other option but to put her in underwear.

I filled up her sippy cup with juice in hopes that this would get the process going. After having breakfast and ANOTHER sippy cup of juice, I thought for sure it was about time for this sweet little 2-year-old to GO! But would you believe...three hours passed before she went. She did, in fact, go on her potty seat. How exciting, right?! Then there was her first accident, then her second, then her third. I'm not kidding...that juice must have just hit her and decided to come out in small incriments every five minutes. I was not able to get her back on her potty seat. She was very resistant.

By that evening, she started to look a bit tired, and her eyes looked heavy. I felt her forehead, and it was warm, so Josh took her temperature - 100.4 was the reading. So since she was sick, had a fever, and was incredibly resistant to the idea, we put her back in a diaper. Second attempt - failed.

I suppose I should try again today, get her back in underwear and give it a go! It's still early. I might do that.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Recipes - what a concept!

I have a confession...I am not a good cook. Well, let me rephrase that: I am not good at gathering dinner ideas and putting together a weekly plan. This means that on most days, I'll just throw something together or use "box dinners" like hamburger helper/chicken helper. If it's not that, it's frozen pizza, dinners pre-put-together in a bag in the frozen section, or Stouffer's frozen lasagna. You get the idea.

That was until I wanted to do Weight Watcher's and my mom told me NO PROCESSED FOODS! I thought for sure we would all starve to death because I didn't know how on earth I was going to figure out how to ACTUALLY COOK! :o) Thankfully, my sweet mom went shopping with me on my first trip to the store as a reformed thinker. I now pick out items much differently. I do not get box dinners. And, as a side note, I read labels! We use the Weight Watcher's website for recipe ideas, and they are so yummy. In fact, last night we tried something new, and it was so good I sent the recipe to a few friends. Here's what we had:

Herbed Pork Loin Roast

  • 3 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chives, minced
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 1/2 pound(s) lean pork loin, boneless roast, trimmed
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 spray(s) cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375. Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub pork roast with oil. Rub herb mixture over oil. Place pork roast on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Insert meat thermometer into thickest part of roast. Bake at 375°F for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until thermometer registers 160°. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Yield: 5 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces).

Caleb even said, "Daddy, this is the best dinner you've ever made!" So there ya go, approved by a 4-year-old!

Now don't get me wrong. As far as the weight loss goes, I've not been on track like I wish I was. We are eating much better overall, though, and I hope to get back on board with it. With these new recipes I'm finding, I'm excited to eat healthy. Who knew cooking could be so much fun! :o)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

We love Mrs. Carrie

When I called the preschool director at the Solid Rock Christian Church last spring, I was very excited that Caleb would be starting something new. I looked forward to hearing about his new friends, and let's be honest, I was looking forward to a couple of hours with one less child in the house. Hopefully other moms understand that. And, of course, I looked forward to seeing what he learned each day and communicating with his teachers about the events of his morning.

A week or two ago, I received a message from one of his teachers, Mrs. Carrie:

I have to tell you the cutest thing today. Since today was black and white day at preschool, the kids were to color the things that God made that should be black. There was a spider on the coloring page, and Caleb kept wanting to color it red. We kept telling him that he needed to color it black. He started coloring it red, and Mrs. Cathy and I told him not to...he needed to color it black. He said he didn't want to.

So Mrs. Cathy said, 'Sometimes we can't do what we want to do, we have to do what we are told to do.'

I told him that Jesus tells us to obey our parents and teachers. I said the Bible tells us that.

He said, 'I got a new Bible.'

I asked him, 'Do you read it, or have someone read it to you? The Bible tells us to obey, do you know what obey means?'

He said, 'I think I'll color this black.' It cracked me up! He realized what the right thing to do was and did it. Way to go! I just thought I would share that with you.

I simply LOVE his preschool. I love his teachers and what he learns each day that he's there. I love that they can implement God's Word into any situation and that he's learning about biblical truths. I love that they pray before snack time. All of this has made me begin to think about the future for my kids as far as schooling. Josh and I have discussed and prayed about sending them to a Christian school - there are a few options in Rolla - and I hope God opens those doors for us. I am seeing the benefits of Christian schooling right now. I would love to see it all continue.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Days

If you've read any marriage books or even just watched Dr. Phil, you know that all of us enter into marriage with a preconceived notion of how it's supposed to work. Maybe we don't mean to be this way, but in most cases, our childhood and upbringing has caused us to think that certain things should be done a certain way. Men should take out the trash for instance! :o)

And I know that Josh did not realize when he entered the realm of teaching that snow days would be one of those things that I have set in my mind as to how it's supposed to be. You see, I come from a home of educators - my dad is a retired teacher and my mom has been teaching for 27 years. I can so vividly remember waking up early on mornings when we thought we might not have school (yes, I know...that's a bit opposite of what most kids do)! I would love just sitting on their bed with them - mom and dad would have their morning cups of coffee in hand - and we would wait for the phone call. On some days, the call would come later than the announcement on the radio, so we'd have KZNN turned up to listen to the list of cancellations. Then we'd hear it - Maries County R-2 in Belle and Bland CLOSED...Gasconade County R-2 CLOSED. Ahhh...the words a kid just loves to hear.

So what did the rest of the day look like when a family of four was able to spend time together on a snow day? What's funny is...I don't remember the details! I just remember having time to sit and eat a big breakfast together. Time to watch Regis and Kathy Lee (yes, I'm old), The Price is Right with BOB BARKER, and a few soap operas that dad probably wouldn't admit to watching with us! It was just a wonderful, laid-back day...full of nothingness.

Evidently, I married someone with the inability to just BE! :o) Josh constantly wants something to do. He can hardly just sit and do nothing. So on snow days, when I would like to just sit and watch a show together, he wants to play a game on the Wii or find a project to do around the house. I guess I shouldn't complain. I could tell him to go clean a closet and he'd do it! But for me, my preconceived notion of how a snow day should be makes me a bit irritable because I want it to be the way it was when I was a kid. I'm working on it, really I am. Since this is his 5th year of teaching, we've had 5 years of snow days together! I guess we have many more years of them to get our snow day routine in line...

Monday, January 26, 2009

While mommy is blogging...

I asked Caleb what they were doing, and he said they were pretending to be people. ;o) Not exactly sure, but I think he meant they were being grown ups and that was their house. One time they were pretending to be mommy and daddy...I heard Caleb say, "Ok, get up mommy," to Sarah. I asked him why she had to get up, and he said, "Because you always get up before daddy...and then daddy sleeps!" :o)

For My Church Family

"Come here, Gabriel. I know I can hold you longer than your sister used to let me hold her." :o)

Last night, when we were at our weekly Sunday night fellowship at Ray and Shirley's house, I heard "Mr. Ray" (as all the kids call him) say this as he was about to hold Gabriel. My brain started to process his thoughts drifted to when we were brand new to FBC St. James. It just makes me smile to think that we've been a part of this church family for over two years now. I do remember Ray holding Sarah, and he's right...she'd only let him hold her for about 10 seconds before she'd start to cry! She wasn't quite as good at going to different people! But now, she gets so excited to see Mr. Ray. In fact, on Wednesday nights, she will start to yell, "Mr. Ray! Mr. Ray!" as we begin to pull into the church parking lot. He's her teacher for our AWANA program.

My church family is so very dear to me. If it wasn't for them, I would not feel like this is home. And it was very, very difficult for me to start attending a church that wasn't my "home" church. I had been a member of FBC Owensville since I was 12, and I just felt like I'd never find a place that fit just right. And then...God used an email to drastically change my way of thinking:

"The truth of the matter is...I don't know that you will ever replace that home feeling of the church you grew up in! I know...those memories took years to develop and represent the core of who you are today. I still struggle with that and we have been here for almost 7 years! I say that...not to discourage you but to encourage you! I don't think you need to replace your home church. It's just that God has called you out to worship in another church and in another community for His Kingdom sake." -Anthony Gillen

So I began to get involved, and I met so many people. I love my Sunday school class and our Sunday night fellowships. I love the teachers my children have for Sunday school and AWANA. It's great to be a part of several committees so I can give my input! :o) I enjoy writing for the associational newsletter. It's great to sing in the choir. I miss ringing handbells and hope to get back in the swing of things soon!

And what a blessing to have these people in my life when I was pregnant! Oh, I am such the pathetic, sickly, pregnant person! :o) Several times there were friends from church who offered to watch Caleb and Sarah for me for a morning or afternoon so I could just rest and puke in peace...haha! Friends also helped when I had doctor appointments. And then when Gabriel was born, friends helped to make sure the kids made it to AWANA on Wednesday night and that Caleb could go to preschool on Thursday. They also brought dinners to us for about two weeks so we would have one less thing to have to do with a newborn in the house!

I guess I say all this because I'm so glad to have met these people. They have made me a better mom and wife. They have helped me grow as a Christian. I love you, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Best Nest

On Wednesday nights, I used to serve in our AWANA ministry at church - Josh still does. Since Gabriel was born, I've taken a break from it. Josh loads up Caleb and Sarah in the van and heads to church with them while I stay home and have a little "me" time. Usually Gabriel falls asleep...and then it's very quiet in our house.

In those quiet times, I often just walk through our home. My arms are folded, and I slowly look at each room. Sometimes it's all picked up: kids clothes and toys are put away, furniture is dusted, dishes are clean, beds are made, floors are vacuumed. Other times, it's not so tidy! Either way, I just find myself feeling so thankful for my home. It's a very modest home, nothing spectacular. It's in a nice neighborhood where I know many of the people around me. I would feel comfortable walking next door and asking for a cup of sugar! I have, in fact, gone next door and asked for jumper cables! :o)

And then, sometimes a song comes to mind. It's not one you've heard. When I was a little girl, my mom used to read "The Best Nest" to me. It's a cute story of two birds who live in a tiny bird house. Each morning the husband bird would sing a song - and my mom would put it to a tune.

I love my house
I love my nest
In all the world
My nest is best

The wife bird decided one day that their tiny house wasn't good enough, so she flies away searching for something better. Sorry to ruin the end, but she eventually realizes that their house really is the best! :o) This is how I feel. There are days when I'll search online for something bigger or better. But then when my quiet Wednesday night comes along, I realize that for me, this is right where I should be. And I can hear my mom singing to me...

I love my house
I love my nest
In all the world
My nest is best

Thanks, mom.

Friday, January 23, 2009

"My kids would NEVER do that!"

Usually once a woman becomes a mom, she knows better than to say this phrase: "My kids would NEVER do that!" I don't think it takes long at all. We realize that kids are kids, and the things we thought for sure our kids wouldn't do...they do.

And yet, I do still find myself thinking those thoughts. It could be something silly like, "My kid would never pick his nose in public." (Yeah, right!) Or it could be something more serious like, "My kid would never intentionally hurt another child." So today, since God has a wonderful sense of humor, my sweet, 2-year-old daughter did something I thought for sure my kids would never do.

This is one of the silly things.

As I was sitting and watching Caleb play his morning round of Mario Kart, Sarah was quietly playing in her room...perhaps too quietly. I was laughing with Caleb as he made his wide right turns, falling off cliffs, etc. when all of a sudden, I saw Sarah standing in the hallway. She had unzipped her sleeper and taken it off completely except for the feet. And then, I also realized that she had taken off her diaper. This was no big deal until I realized the diaper was completely FULL OF POOP! I just looked at her and smiled. I said, "Sarah, please just tell mommy you need a diaper change when you have poopy, ok?" Thankfully, the "poopy" stayed contained in the diaper, there was no mess.

But I do remember always thinking, "My kids would NEVER do that!" When will I ever learn? :o)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Testimony for our Ladies' Retreat

Last night, Jeanette Ashley asked me to give my testimony at our annual Ladies' Retreat. To be honest, this did not come as a surprise to me (not even a little). I distinctly remember after last year's retreat feeling a sense of peace come over me as I could hear God telling me, "Next year, she'll ask you."

I am one of those who came to know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior at a very young age - I was six. So throughout my life I struggled when it came to knowing how to share my testimony. I didn't have one of those amazing conversion experiences. Fortunately I've learned throughout the years that my testimony is just as important as anyone else's, and God has revealed to me how to share what He's done for me as His child.

Soon I will start an outline and begin putting together what I feel God is leading me to share. I will probably post it eventually...I have until April 3rd.