Sunday, February 28, 2010

Today was hard...

This morning we traveled to our "home church" in Owensville so we could be with Mike and Kassie during their last church service before they moved to Indiana. I sat there in tears as she sang "How Beautiful" and I'm glad she couldn't see me...evidently I sat back far enough that my tears were not evident to her while she was on stage. For some reason hearing her voice this morning reminded me of when she sang at my grandpa's funeral - yes, she was that dear to my family...even to my dad...that she was asked to sing at something that important to us.

And the tears kept coming as the congregation gathered at the front to pray over them - for safe travels, for encouraged spirits, for a positive outlook on this new beginning.

So then the reality of it all hit me when Kassie told me they were actually leaving today. Just a few moments ago I sent her a text asking if they were all packed up, and she said they were. And they were on the road.

It just doesn't seem like this should be happening. It doesn't seem like a dear friend should be moving away from me again, just like last May when the Causey's moved. It feels like the same wound being wounded again. And it sucks to be honest.

But this is what grown ups do, right? We go. We go where careers take us. We ask that God lead us where He wants us, and we go. And yet...sometimes it just doesn't feel so great for the others who are left behind.

I love her like a sister.

Here are a few of my favorites through the years.

(With our first born babies, August 2004.)

(At a baby shower given to me by my sis and mom, Kassie holding her second born, my second born hadn't come out yet! July 2006.)

(Us being prego with our third borns! I was about 36 weeks and she was 17 weeks. I beat her this time...ha! October 2008.)

(This picture is special because it was at her surprise 30th birthday party. Her hubby asked me and two others to read Proverbs 31 - we took turns with verses - and he explained how Kassie was a Proverbs 31 woman with each verse. I will never forget it. November 2009.)

Ok, enough of my sappiness. I think I need to go run. She's coming back in April for the final weigh in for our contest! Can't let her down!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Our Bedroom

A couple Saturdays ago, I attended a Women's Retreat at the First Christian Church in Rolla. It was a great group of ladies of all ages, and I just loved the speaker and the information she gave us in regard to being the best wife we could be.

One of the sections that stood out to me had to do with making our bedroom for adults only. Here is some of the info that she shared:

I recommend that you make your bedroom a place of escape & rest for your husband and you. You can decorate it in a way that says, “This is our special Hide-A-Way or Resort.” Have photos of your dating years and wedding on display. Framed art is also beautiful. I want to discourage you from having photos of your kids or parents in your bedroom. **As a side note, the women in the room busted out laughing when she explained about the photos and mentioned trying to be intimate with your spouse and then seeing a picture of your in-laws in the room! :o)

Another idea concerning your bedroom is not to put anything in the room that is work/stress related. That means NO kid’s toys, baby supplies, laundry waiting to be folded (been there, done that), a desk, bills, computers, etc…. This room is where your husband and you will go to escape from the demands of life and enjoy one another. Discussions concerning finances and in-laws you may want to exclude as well.

Lastly, I recommend that you do not allow children to sleep with you. Occasionally, a child may have a bad dream and need to sneak under the covers for a few minutes. After he/she calms down, goes potty, and gets a drink, you should escort him/her back to his/her own bed. Your bed is meant for the two of you to be intimate in both conversation and sex. A child present really kills those activities.

As your children get older, you can teach them that your room is your private space. It’s not a place for them to barge into and play. They should always knock and respect Dad and Mom’s personal space.

I could not agree more with what she said. Our room has always been rather neutral, not having pictures of the kids or parents. We have two pictures of us on one of our dressers - one is from our wedding day, one is a picture of just the two of us the summer before I became pregnant with Caleb.

I've worked hard to keep the room cleaned up and tried to not let it become the "dump all" place that it once was. It seemed as though I used to make our room my last priority. Now I try to keep it right up there on my list of rooms to keep tidy! Sometimes I do fold laundry on our bed, but I always put it away as soon as I can.

As for kids sleeping in the same room, I agree that they should not. Josh is way more strict on this than I am, but for the most part, we agree that they belong in their room. This is not only for our sake, though. I believe it creates good sleeping habits for the child as well. But when it comes to husband and wife...I can't think of anything that would ruin the mood (or take away the essence of an escape to our "own" place) like a child in the same room!

So there's a bit of insight that I received from a great speaker. I was glad that I was already attempting to follow what she was talking about. Currently the one thing we really should get out of our room is our computer hutch. I'm just not sure where to put it...but perhaps a living room makeover would fix that? :o)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

When a little girl has brothers... will often find Bob the Builder and his gang hanging out at a My Little Pony house.

And since she has an older brother and a yonger brother, she always has a buddy to play with. Yet...she is the most independent child I've seen. She often just starts doing something on her own (like the above picture) and if one of them wants to join her, she's ok with it.

It's sometimes hard to find time to just be one-on-one with her, but when I am, I just love it. I love our trips together to the store, just the two of us, and once in a while I get to talk with her and see what her little mind is thinking...

I love my time with her. Very insightful. :o)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Week five of joining Kristen over at We Are THAT Family for Works For Me Wednesday!

Really...I know I'm not telling you anything you don't already know on this one. You've probably read about it or heard on the news or something about the benefits of water. But I still wanted to share this with you because I think it needs to be reemphasized.

Upon further investigation, here are the Top 4 Benefits of Drinking Water:

1. Drinking water enhances weight loss.
2. Drinking water combats ailments.
3. Drinking water can reduce hunger.
4. Drinking water hydrates your skin - making you look younger!

So besides wanting to lose weight, Lord knows turning 30 last fall has made me think about looking younger! :o)

You can read more about it by clicking on that link, but I love the information that says, "Experts say that hunger pangs are often misinterpreted cravings for water. Try drinking water before your regular meals and see if it helps you cut down on the amount of food you eat. It really works as an effective appetite suppressant. Avoid counting sodas and juices in your fluid intake. Sodas and juices are too sweet—because the body must dilute them, they cause more dehydration."

I usually feel really good when I've been sure to drink tons of water throughout the day. AND when I completely cut out soda (which is really hard for me but I know it's something I have to do).

Speaking of soda, even diet soda is not an ok alternative. Recent research tends to show that if you drink a sweet-tasting beverage, including those sweetened with artificial sweeteners, it can trigger something that makes you want to eat more sweets. The result may be to eat more calories. So when you hear about diet soda weight gain, the extra pounds aren't from the calories found in the diet beverage itself, but from the extra foods you eat to satisfy the cravings for sweets generated by consuming the diet soda.

Let's stick to water! I know I'm trying!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Been away...

I haven't been on the computer much in the last two days. I haven't had time to blog. Yesterday's was pre-scheduled. I do love that option.

I haven't had time because I have to keep an eye on Caleb. His surgery went well, and I'll try to put together a post about that soon (maybe tonight when all kiddos are in bed) but I'm still not sure how to write about it. Anyway, I just have to keep Gabriel from jumping and climbing on him, so really I can only be away from Caleb when Gabriel is napping (like now). I also want to be available to him if he starts hurting and needs my help to sit up, get up, walk, whatever.

So sorry to disappoint some of my readers who are used to seeing a post up and ready by 8:00 am each day! I'll be working on a few tonight, including my WFMW post for tomorrow.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Not Me My Child! Monday (Video Edition II)

My children have perfect table etiquette. They always eat what is in front of them, and would certainly never toss it off of the table. So it wasn't my child who was throwing Cheerios into a little play-shopping-basket to the side of him, trying to make it in there each time.

Oh, and it wasn't me who found it amusing and thought I'd better capture it on video.

And speaking of table etiquette, it would never be my daughter who would pout and speak "unkindly to mommy" because I told her she'd better finish her dinner. It was not my child who sat down in the kitchen with folded arms and huffed and puffed.

And whose children are allowed to run through muddy mud puddles in their front yard? Certainly not my children.

This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Little Pyramid Poem


For Caleb Stephen.

Tomorrow in St. Louis, MO.

Explained to him in simple terms.

Mommy is doing her best not to freak out.

Far too much information available on the internet.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"I'm not religious, I'm just spiritual"

This morning I stumbled upon a BlogFrog discussion that I found to be interesting. The title was "I'm not religious, I'm just spiritual" and the woman asked, "I hear this quoted a lot by Christians. What do you think? Can you follow the tenets of a world wide religion without being religious? (I'm pretty sure this will just come down to semantics, but I'm curious what everyone thinks.)"

Which got me to thinking. Have Christians made the word "religious" into something that it's not? So I looked it up to see what it's true definition is (out of curiosity...sorry, Josh...I know you hate it when speakers/preachers say "Webster defines such-and-such as...) and it said:

Main Entry: 1re·li·gious

: relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity
: of, relating to, or devoted to religious beliefs or observances
: scrupulously and conscientiously faithful

I guess #2 would be where some Christians would say "we're not religious" because we don't want it to be about a bunch of observances and rules. It's about the relationship with have with our Lord?

But #1 and #3 describes me, doesn't it? Shouldn't it? Shouldn't I have faithful devotion to my Lord and Savior? Shouldn't I be conscientiously faithful?

I guess I never really thought about it, and now I do wonder if it just comes down to semantics. Just playing word games and trying to make ourselves sound like we're better than someone who describes themselves as religious.


On a side note, the ones who said they described themselves this way in the discussion (as spiritual not religious) said they do not subscribe to any organized religion, that they believe in a higher power, the collective universe, etc.


Friday, February 19, 2010

My Baby Boy

He will always be my baby. I don't care if technically he's a toddler. I don't care that someday he will be school-aged. He will always be my baby.


So if you recall I wrote an entry about Gabriel sleeping anywhere. It's so funny that he still continues to do this. But this time, he fell asleep at my feet (literally).

The other two were playing in their room, so I decided to come into my room and check my email. Gabriel came with me, and he usually sits on my lap or plays on the floor. This time, he had a cup with him and just sat there and pretended to drink. But at some point, he laid down. I realized he was being really quiet. I glanced at him and realized...he had fallen asleep!

And just in case I've been sharing too many sleeping pictures, I thought I'd better include one of his sweet face. This was the other night when he just came up to me and smiled, leaning on my leg as I sat on the couch.

Oh, I just love this little face.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thankful For Hand-Me-Downs

Remember the other day when I wrote my ABC's and said that folding laundry was my least favorite chore? Well, for some reason that prompted me to actually do the kids' stuff...AND fold it...AND put it away. So amazing, isn't it? Here's what my bed looked like before I put it away.

Now, I'm not sharing this with you because I'm so proud of myself for doing a basic, household chore. I mean, that would be like me writing a blog entry and saying I'm proud of myself for brushing my teeth or something! And I'm not sharing this with you because of my excellent folding skills because I'm sure someone like Tina has a far superior method (I'm totally teasing you, Tina)!

I'm sharing that picture with you because I am thankful. In fact, I don't think that picture even does it justice as to how many clothes were on the bed...not to mention the fact that there were still clothes in their dressers and hanging in their closets. I am thankful because I'd say over 90% (heck, it might be 95%) of their clothes are hand-me-downs from friends. It's amazing to me. Every time I do laundry, I look at the mass amounts of clothing and think to myself, "Wow, I am so thankful that I was given all these clothes! I sure hope my friends know how thankful I am!"

I rarely buy clothes, and if the kids do need something my mom and mother-in-law are always willing to get those things for me. They are always asking if they can get clothes for the kids. My mother-in-law bought Sarah's Easter dress last year. My mom got the kids their coats this past fall. I made them pose for this picture so I could send it to my mom...she just gave me a check and told me to pick them out...

And I think they are pretty nicely dressed...even if they are (almost) exclusively hand-me-down kids! Below is one of my favorite outfits from a large bag of clothes I received from Sarah C last fall.

So thank you dear friends (Sarah C, Sarah H), Mom, and Mary. When God says He will provide for us, it's always amazing to me how He does that. And I am convinced that this is one way He does it. Thank you for letting Him use you in this way for our family.

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you?" Matthew 6:28-30

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

WFMW - Coffee

Week four of joining Kristen over at We Are THAT Family for Works For Me Wednesday!

This week's tip is definitely something that I just stumbled upon by accident and figured out that it worked for me. I'm not sure when I realized that this works, but I'm glad I did.

There are certain times of the day that I call my GO CRAZY time. It's generally at 3:00 pm and 9:00 pm (if I'm up that late...I'm an "early to bed" kind of girl). My GO CRAZY time is when I want to eat everything in sight. Oh. My. Gosh. If it's edible, it's worthy of my binge.

But when I'm dieting, I have to try to find a way around this.

And that's were coffee comes into play.

An 8 0z cup of coffee (brewed from grounds) has two calories. That's right. Two. I'm not all that fond of plain coffee, though, so I usually add some Coffee Mate creamer and Splenda. Splenda has no calories. Coffee Mate has 10 calories per tsp. So overall I fill up my tummy and keep from eating a dry canister of Stove Top by drinking a warm cup of coffee that usually ends up being about 32 calories. It seriously fills me up, and I am not hungry until dinner time.

And did you know that coffee is actually a natural diuretic? TMI? Oh, I bet you're glad you know now!

So if you have GO CRAZY times, you might want to give this a try. I have a feeling I'm not going to make it to 3:00 pm today...might need to go make some coffee now!

Beautiful Blogger

Yesterday I received the Beautiful Blogger Award from the author of Raising a Quiver Full, and I was really honored that she would give it to me. It's been really fun meeting new bloggers over the last month or so via BlogFrog (from blog hopping or participating in forum discussions). I truly enjoy reading her blog as well.

So the rules for this award are:

1. Link to the person who gave you the award.
2. Pass the award along to fantastic blogs you've recently discovered.
3. Contact the blogs via a comment to let them know you've giving them the award.
4. State seven things about yourself.

I'm giving this award to:

Lessons Learned*
Life As We Know It
This Daddy's Blog
11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven
Pink Moss
Moms Sanity is Making a Come Back
Storing Up Treasures
I'm Living Proof That God Has a Sense of Humor
Because I SAID SO
Roerdink Ramblings
A Lil Story

*I didn't "recently discover" Lessons Learned, but she is just very deserving of this award! :o)

And here are seven things about me:

- I have known my husband since he was 14-years-old.
- In 5th grade I was "Alice" in our school musical "Alice in Wonderland" and the music teacher wanted me to dye my hair blonde. But I didn't.
- If I find something I like on a menu, I RARELY try something different.
- Even as a child, I have never liked Macaroni & Cheese. Yuck.
- I watched the movie Titanic 5 different times in a theater.
- Both of my parents are teachers, my grandma was a teacher, my husband is a teacher, and my sister is a teacher. I wonder how I missed being in this profession!
- I have the same birthday as Laura Bush and Walter Cronkite.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Iron Sharpens Iron

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

I have a confession. I absolutely did not want to run today. Kim and I have given up running in the mornings until the weather "doesn't suck" as I put it. When it's 12 degrees and the wind is pounding on my face, it just doesn't make for a delightful endeavor. So we've decided that afternoons would be best.

But today...I did not want to.

I sent her a text at around 3:00 pm saying, "I don't want to run. Do you?"

She said yes. And guess what. She even came up to my front door and knocked. "It's cold, but we can do this. Even if it's just one time around. Ok?"

Ugh. Ok, Kim. Just because you're such a nice girl.

So when Josh got home, I put on my it's freaking colder than Antarctica clothing and we began our regiment. She said she could only go around once because she had to go pick up her little girl from the sitter. I was glad. I didn't want to be out there anyway.

As we made our last turn, we noticed that they "neighborhood runner" (as we always call him) was coming up behind us. I was excited (I know, I'm weird). "Hey, Kim! Maybe I can jog with him! Think I could do it?"

Being the sweet girl that she is, she replied, "Yeah, I think you could!"

He got closer and starting talking about how great it was that we were out there. He is VERY passionate about fitness. He made small talk with Kim, asked her about her husband, and then we arrived to her house where she had to leave me and get in her car to pick up her cutie.

And there I was...still jogging next to the neighborhood runner. He pulled ahead of me, but I sort of used him as a pace runner. I kept my distance behind, but I did keep up with him. And I continued doing this for two times around...that's one mile. Even though I have to work up to a little over 3 miles for the 5K, we have not done this yet in our Couch to 5K training program. So I was really excited that I made it that far.

But...I could not have done it if Kim didn't make me go outside. I also do not think I could have done it if the neighborhood runner wasn't out there in front of me. I'm not sure why, but when someone else is with me...either right next to me or a few steps ahead, I just do so much better. I don't feel any pain in my legs. I don't feel winded. I have someone to keep me going. And it makes me better at what I'm doing.

In this case, it's running.

But in life there are those who sharpen me in other areas as well. And I am thankful for them.

Who sharpens you?

Learning to Read

If you have a young, preschool-aged child and would like to start working on his or her reading skills, I would like to recommend a book to you.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons was suggested to my husband by a fellow grad student when he was taking his classes back in 08. We ordered the book, but after Gabriel was born, it just sort of sat on the shelf, waiting for us to use it! It seemed like the new family dynamic didn't allow us to work with Caleb right then.

I was a little skeptical at first. I mean, what is easy about teaching a child to read? And would Josh or I be able to really do this?

In short. Yes, it's easy. And yes, Josh did it. I think as long as the child recognizes all letters (capital and lower case) and knows (most of) the sounds each letter makes, they are more than ready to use this book. We are thinking of starting with Sarah. She is 3.

The most recent sentences that Caleb has read are:

Sam is mad at me.
This cat is sick. This cat is sad.
That is a seed. See a ram eat it.

Here are a few pictures of them working together.

And here is a video from last night. It's the fun side of learning!

Josh was being silly and using a principle from the beginning of the book to "say it slow" with each letter. He did this because of the "d" sound..."duhhhhh"! ;o) It was just so funny.

You can find the book on Amazon (as I linked to). I can't let you borrow mine, sorry. I have one child using it, one child who might start soon, and a 15-month-old who will have his turn before I know it!

And I know that some of my bloggy friends read If Only Everyone Thought This Way and recently she did a post on this book, too.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Because I know you want to know...

I enjoyed reading the answers to Jaimee's ABC's, so I thought I'd give it a try. There used to be a day when I would fill out things like this ALL THE TIME and my friends probably became annoyed with how many of them I would send out. So since I haven't done one in a while, I thought I'd do this one!

A - Age: 30 (how traumatic...but I'm making it!)
B - Bed size: Queen (would love a King)
C - Chore you hate: Laundry (specifically folding)
D - Dog's Name: Abby (had her since 2002)
E - Essential start your day item: Blogging (sad, I know)
F - Favorite color: Burgundy (if I paint my fingernails, they are always this color)
G - Gold or Silver: Gold (but I'm starting to like silver)
H - Height: 5’9 (I wonder if I'm shrinking yet?)
I - Instruments you play(ed): French Horn & Mellophone (but I did color guard and was a drum major for marching band)
J - Job title: SAHM (that's Stay At Home Mom, Peggy!) ;o)
K - Kid(s): Caleb, Sarah, and Gabriel (good, strong, biblical names!)
L - Living arrangements: In a small town, in our "first home" (the first one we bought together in 2005), with our three kiddos
M - Mom's name: Susan (my mom) and Mary (Josh's mom)
N - Nicknames: Well, Christina is my "real" name so Chrissy is my nickname I guess. I was often called "Eleven" in my softball days.
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: birth is my only hospital experience
P - Pet Peeve: When there are 200 handicapped parking spaces at Wal-Mart, all empty, and someone with a handicapped sticker parks in a normal spot...a close one...grr...
Q - Quote from a movie: "Samsonite! I was way off! I knew it started with an S though."
R - Right or left handed: Right (but I could write with my left if I had to)
S - Siblings: Sonja
T - Time you wake up: 5:45 am (if I'm running with Kim...which is most days)
U - Underwear: Yes
V - Vegetable you dislike: Lima beans (seriously, who eats these?)
W - Ways you drink your coffee: With 2 tbs Coffee Mate creamer and Splenda
X- X-rays you've had: Teeth, arm (when I was 4), leg (when I was a baby)
Y - Yummy food you make: Gooey Butter Cake
Z - Zoo favorite: Sea Lion Show

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Valentine's Day Gift

When I was younger I viewed Valentine's Day as a time to receive flowers, candy, or jewelry. Perhaps a nice dinner out with my love would replace any of those, not to mention a sappy love movie, watched either in the theater or in the comfort of our own home via a rental.

I still like all those things. Don't get me wrong. But Josh's thoughtfulness this year and practicality made the expression "best Valentine's Day ever" come out of my mouth.

When I saw the sweet gift bag sitting on our dining room table, I was surprised. I didn't know he found time to pick up something for me, and I wasn't sure what on earth he decided to give me! I could tell by the smile on his face when I began to open it that he had been thinking up something for a while.

And there it was. A Canon PowerShot SX120.

I couldn't believe it. I finally have a workable camera again! I had been without one for about a month since our Kodak Easy Share died (the second one that has done this to me by the way). We had talked for weeks about what kind of camera to purchase. Should we take a huge step up and get something like a Nikon D5000 (like someone in my family has...not that I'm jealous or anything) or just get something a little more "middle of the road" since I really just use it for pictures of the kids and outings with family. I knew for sure that I didn't want to get the cheapest one in the store anymore...I wanted to get a brand that was reputable and a model that came recommended.

And that's what I got!

I'm very thankful that Josh decided to get this for me. Evidently he had been researching online and asking our family members who knew about cameras what they thought of that one. I can't wait to start taking fun pictures of the kids again! Gabriel fell asleep on the dining room table the other day and I couldn't capture it via a photo.

Oh...and I didn't mention...he also had a nice vase of tulips sitting on the table as well. Thank you friend who mentioned this idea to him. ;o) They are so pretty. They are my favorite.

I love you, Josh. Thank you for your constant thoughtfulness.

"I am
my beloved's, and my beloved is mine." Song of Solomon 6:3

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Georgia Indiana On My Mind

What exactly is there to say about the state of Indiana? I drove through there once on my way to Ohio. It seemed nice enough...I remember seeing a billboard for The Dave Ramsey Show and thinking, "Indiana must be cool." It's home to the Colts, and who doesn't love Peyton Manning? (If you don't, I don't want to know). It was the birthplace of Michael Jackson and David Letterman, and Bobby Knight threw most of his fits at Indiana University.

And on March 8th, my bestest friend will be moving to Indiana.

We've known each other since middle school, but really only knew "of" each other so to speak. We evidently went to the same band camp once as she recalls, but for some reason I don't remember band camp all that well! She played softball at a fellow Four Rivers Conference school, and she remembers me pitching...I remember her catching.

But it wasn't until we were grown-ups that we became close, and I'm so glad we did.

When she was married in October of 2003 and became pregnant the same month, I couldn't help but tease her. "You sure made quick work of that!" I remember saying. We attended the same church at that point, and each time we'd see each other she would say, "Oh, you're next! I just know it!"

Would you believe...she was right.

And so we journeyed through our first pregnancies together. I believe that connection was what brought us together. We joked about our bellies getting bigger and wondered what this thing called motherhood would really be like.

The funny thing is...we now have three children and have been pregnant together all three times. She was a month ahead of me on the first two, but I took the plunge and got pregnant the third time way ahead of her...ha!

Through the years we have confided in each other about so many things. I've told her about so many very personal issues, and she has told me such things as well. I've called her in tears about spiritual struggles, marriage struggles, family struggles. You name it. We even talk pretty bluntly about sex. That's the sign of a true friendship! ;o) Oh, well that and bowel don't get much closer than that.

Ok, I need to stop laughing.

She has encouraged me on my weight loss journey, and I hope I've done the same for her. She has prayed for me when I felt lost. She has proven to be the Godly woman that she was created to be, and there is so much about her personality that I wish I had.

And even though we don't agree on a variety of things, our friendship has survived and thrived. I think we've made each other better women: better wives, mothers, daughters, sisters...each title has been effected by this friendship.

I will miss her so badly.

Dear Kassie,

Besides mentioning "bowel movement" ;o) I had to keep from bursting into tears while writing this. I know that your move is a HUGE answer to prayer, and I know this is what is best for your family. It's a struggle to rejoice with you while feeling so sad that you're leaving. But I will be praying for your family while you process it all and have to quickly move to a new state. I will also pray that you find a loving church family (especially one where you can use that beautiful voice of yours), new Christian friends, and a nice neighborhood. I will also pray for your children as they make this adjustment as well.

Love you sweet friend.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Gravel Road (Part 2)

Some of you may recall when I wrote The Gravel Road back in August...referring to my home back home and how I wish I could live in a similar place. You the middle of no where...a place where all I could see are trees, grass, and the occasional deer. A place where I would have a "lane" to call my own...

I included this picture (this is driving away from the house):

And when I took it, I envisioned the day when I could also share this picture (this is driving to the house):

Because this is another reason I think it's so beautiful. The drive "down the lane" is just so pretty when it snows. I do miss it.

Mom took the above, snowy picture this past week. She actually took several and included them on her facebook page. I loved looking through's a really peaceful scene looking out their windows...

...or driving down their lane.

Talking to a Celebrity

Last night I was reading MckMama's blog (like I often do). I found it to be very interesting (like I always do) so I left a brief comment (like I sometimes do) which ended in a somewhat rhetorical question (like I rarely do).

Within a few minutes, I noticed an email in my inbox from Disqus which is the comment thingy on her blog. I thought, "Oh, someone must have responded to what I said. That's nice." And then I realized who the response was from when I opened the message...

mckmama wrote, in response to Chrissy:

Yes, it does make perfect sense!

Link to comment:

Oh, my gosh...I think I started hyperventilating.

Josh pretended to be excited for me. In a made-up, girly voice he said, "OH, MY GOSH! SHE REPLIED TO YOU?!!"

I didn't care. I was genuinely excited.

"Well, I'd understand if she was a celebrity or something," he continued (in a normal voice this time).

Who the heck does he think he's talking about? Of course she's famous. Man, he has a lot to learn.

So I just wanted to share with you my brief excitement. It was a fun moment for me. You know, talking to celebrities doesn't happen every day! ;o)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

We've Got Tonight

I have literally waited my entire life for this night. You may chuckle, but it's true.

The memories of walking around with a small, children's tape player every day listening to "We've Got Tonight" is actually quite vivid in my mind - my mom and I used to sing it together as a duet in the car. I also knew all the words to "The Gambler" and "Love Will Turn You Around" among others. I grew up with him as a child so-to-speak, and when I got older, I found myself buying some "Greatest Hits" CD's...not to mention his Christmas CD's!

And tonight...I get to see him in concert.

Being the emotional person that I am, I'm sure you can picture me opening this gift at Christmas. Mom placed the tickets in a cute, money-holding envelope. I thought maybe she was giving us a nice "Christmas check" to treat ourselves to whatever we wanted. But when I opened the card, saw the Metro-tix logo on the tickets, and then saw the words "Kenny Rogers in concert"...I literally burst into tears. I was embarrassed for crying, but I couldn't help it. It was just that exciting for me!

So Josh and I are leaving this afternoon for my concert of a lifetime. Perhaps it's not your artist of choice, but I'm guessing you can tell how much it means to me! :o)

What would be your concert of a lifetime?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

WFMW - Special K

Week three of joining Kristen over at We Are THAT Family for Works For Me Wednesday!

Oh, Special K. How I love thee. Let me count the ways...

You fill me up at breakfast time and I do not crave that horrible McDonald's breakfast that I used to long for - who am I kidding...I still want it...but I really don't crave it when I eat my Special K!

You are sweet and crunchy and come in so many varieties that I still have not become bored with you. I keep buying box after box! And I have a particular fondness for the chocolate delight version of you! A close second is vanilla almond.

You often serve as my nighttime treat because nothing else quite gives me what I'm really wanting that late - unless it's a Twix and Lord knows I can't eat those while I'm dieting.

You are only 150 calories (that's skim milk included) and sometimes if I just don't know what to eat for lunch...or if my 3 o'clock GO CRAZY time hits me, I know that you are there to get me through.

It is quite possible that you are the one food that has single-handedly helped me to be successful during my weight loss journey this time. God and Special K. It's the perfect combination for weight loss success.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What I Thought Would NEVER Happen

As a mother, there are some things that you know FOR SURE your children will NEVER do. You just know it. You know that they would never have a complete meltdown at church (of all places). They would never use a marker on the television screen to draw a pretty smiley face, and they would never take their diaper off when it's full of poop.

Just never.

And among the things I knew my children would never do, the following was most certainly on the top of my list.

Sometime last summer I took my oldest son Caleb to get his hair cut like I usually do. This time, however, I went to a "new" girl at a place I had only been to one time before. It was literally her first day, and while she was very nice, it took her a very long time, and Caleb began to get a little antsy. Overall she did a good job ( ok job), but evidently he did not sit still enough for his bangs to be cut correctly.

So that evening I got out my husband's hair clippers and scissors and worked on Caleb's hair while we were in kids' bathroom. After we were done, I gave Caleb a bath. He looked so handsome.

The next morning I was in the kitchen, probably eating cereal or making coffee, and I heard Sarah go into the bathroom. I didn't really think anything of it; she had officially been potty trained by then and was working on doing everything on her own anyway. I noticed she was taking a while - a long while - so I thought I'd better go check on her. At that point my only fear was that she was messing with the toilet paper.

Until I walked into the bathroom and realized...

...I had left the hair clippers in there.

That's right. My sweet daughter took a huge chunk out of her own hair with daddy's hair clippers. My heart sank. I couldn't believe I forgot about them and left them in there instead of putting them away the night before.

Since the chunk was to one side of her head, I quickly realized that I would need to start parting her bangs to one side in hopes that I could cover the travesty. And it seemed to work. This picture was taken the same day after she had already used the clippers on her bangs:

The ones who knew us personally never realized Sarah had a huge chunk cut out of her hair. I was able to cover it up pretty well!

But I certainly learned my lesson.

And I'm also learning to take everything off of my "they will NEVER do that" list. It's a hard realization!

Monday, February 8, 2010

My First Blog Award

**Edit** Since I received this award again, I am adding a few additional blogs to my award list!! :o)

Thank you so very much Debbie over at A Journey in Motherhood for giving me the Sunshine Award! It means a lot to me that you would say I bring encouragement to your day.

So as is the tradition in blog awards, I now pass along this award to 12 bloggers who bring sunshine to my day! These girls often make me smile, either with their witty writings, Godly perspectives, or just overall sunshiny entries! In no particular order they are (listed by blog title):

The Fabulous Adventures of Mrs. Haid and We're Adults. When Did That Happen?

My Redburn Journal and The Loves of My Life

3 Girls and That Guy and Completely Clueless but Trusting in God

Herman Nation and Life with Brody

Junkyard Gang and Mammalog

Fearless and Faithful and If Only Everyone Thought This Way

730 Moments to Remember and The Well Rounded Mama

Everyday Adventures in Faith and A Moment Cherished

These bloggers truly bring encouragement into my life. Sometimes it's because they share their hearts. Sometimes it's because they make me laugh. Sometimes it's because of an uplifting comment.

Thank you, ladies! :o)

And here are the "rules" if you received this award:

-Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
-Pass the award on to 12 bloggers.
-Link the nominees within your post.
-Let the nominees know they received this award by commenting on their blog.
-Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This Morning at Church

To the woman who was standing next to me this morning at church:

I realize that you saw me do something that would more than likely be considered an odd thing to do while being led in worship. But I wanted to explain it to you so that you don't think I'm a weirdo.

Sometimes when I'm in a big group...among fellow believers...being led in worship...I can't help but want to share it with my mom. So since we were singing one of my favorite songs, and since I could just feel the Holy Spirit among us, I just had to call her during the David Crowder Band song Oh, Praise Him (All This For A King). I just couldn't help it.

I didn't have to say hi. I just listened to make sure she picked up, and then I held the phone in my hand down on the seat in front of me. I kept worshiping with you...with everyone...and I knew that my mom would continue to listen because this isn't the first time I've called her in this situation.

When the song came to an end, I didn't have to say goodbye. I just hit my "end" button, and I knew she would understand.

"Oh, thank you! That was sweet!" was the text message I received a few minutes later.

So I hope you understand why I did what I did. Sometimes I just have to share these kinds of moments with my mom. Those moments make me wish she was standing right next to me.



Saturday, February 6, 2010

On a lighter note...

As we were cleaning our bedroom closet, Josh found a collection of cards that I must have kept (and you thought I never kept cards after reading my anti Christmas card post)! One of them was from our first wedding anniversary, and it brought a smile to my face.

I wanted to share it with you.

It was from my sister. Thanks, Sonja! Even after all these years, it still makes me giggle when I see it!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Women: Did You Know?

After careful consideration and lots of encouragement from a friend (who will remain nameless unless I receive flack about this post...then I'm going to link to her blog and tell you that she made me do it!) I have decided to share some of my findings and personal feelings about a touchy subject. I'm mostly writing about this because I don't think women are fully aware of this (I know I wasn't) and while I realize I'm not an expert, I certainly wanted to put this out there so other women could read what I have found.

With that being goes...

The month before Josh and I were married, I scheduled an appointment with my family physician so he could meet with me and prescribe a birth control method that I thought would work for me. At that point, I was not fully aware of all the options, and I didn't give it much thought. I was really only familiar with the pill, and that's what I asked him to prescribe to me. There wasn't much said at this appointment, I really just wanted the prescription and then I'd be on my way out the door! I already had my yearly exam, so I was good to go.

At some point I remember my cousin Leslie asking me if I had given Natural Family Planning (NFP) any thought. She discussed it with me and didn't come across as pushy at all. I wasn't really interested in it at the time because I guess I just thought everyone used the pill. Even notable Christian authors and radio talk-show hosts weren't against it.

My upbringing - both at home and at church - did not give me any indication that there was anything wrong with chemical birth control methods. So between the years of 2001 - 2003, I took the pill until we decided we'd like to start "trying" to have a baby. I conceived within a month of going off of it.

I then went back on the pill after I had Caleb until the fall of 2005 when we decided to start "trying" to have another. I conceived again within a month of going off of it. And I used the term "trying" loosely. We just weren't preventing.

Then after having Sarah...for some reason...I just felt like I shouldn't go back on it at all. I just started thinking about how it works, even though I actually had no idea how it worked. I don't like being ignorant about something, especially something that effects my body, so I realized I needed to be more aware of what I was doing. So I started researching.

I had no idea there were so many books and other material pertaining to this subject.

Here is one of the first things I read that made my heart sink:

According to multiple references throughout The Physician's Desk Reference, which articulate the research findings of all the birth control pill manufacturers, there are not one but three mechanisms of birth control pills:

1. inhibiting ovulation (the primary mechanism),

2. thickening the cervical mucus, thereby making it more difficult for sperm to travel to the egg, and

3. thinning and shriveling the lining of the uterus to the point that it is unable or less able to facilitate the implantation of the newly fertilized egg.

The first two mechanisms are contraceptive. The third is abortive. [1]

Abortive? How could that be? Why was I never told that? Is it just because I didn't ask, "Will I be ending a potential pregnancy if I take this?"

Then I started wondering about other forms of birth control. What about an IUD? Well, that wasn't any different:

Some forms of contraception, specifically the intrauterine device (IUD), Norplant, and certain low-dose oral contraceptives, often do not prevent conception but prevent implantation of an already fertilized ovum. The result is an early abortion, the killing of an already conceived individual. Tragically, many women are not told this by their physicians, and therefore do not make an informed choice about which contraceptive to use. [1]

Even if you go to the Mirena's website and click on FAQ's - How does Mirena work? it says "Makes the lining in your uterus thin" women realize what that means? It means an already fertilized egg cannot implant.

But if we as women are convinced that we're just not creating life, we keep using these chemical birth control methods. The fact of the matter is, however, that many times we MAY HAVE created life and didn't now it. What a devastating thought.

There is so much information out there about this. We need to be informed.

And I just want to make it clear that I did ask a local OB/GYN about is part of the email response I received:

"It all depends on if you consider a fertilized egg which hasn’t implanted, (therefore not producing any hormones/preg test for mom) is really a pregnancy and thus an abortion or not. Fertilized eggs that don’t implant very likely happen quite frequently with God/Mother Nature in charge, we don’t know because until they implant, there is no way we can know."

And since I do believe that a fertilized egg is life, because I believe that life begins at conception (defined as the fusion of gametes -egg and sperm - to produce a new organism) then I believe that these chemical options are not options for me.

Of course there are methods to prevent pregnancy that are non-chemical. NFP, male or female condoms, diaphragm, cervical cap, or sterilization. For some, none of the "barrier" methods I mentioned are ok and neither is sterilization. I wrestle with this often.

There. I did it. I wrote about a topic that just might be as difficult to discuss as my Santa post! But in all honesty, I pray that you will seek out the information that you need to BE SURE about this topic.

This blogger has some amazing insight. Thanks, Mrs. Haid, for sending me her page.

*Edit* Because someone asked me a question in the comment section, I wanted to include my answer here:

From what I have read, the three you mention [The Patch, The Nuva Ring, and The Shot] list the same "mechanisms" as I listed for the birth control pill. They have have a "last line of defense" of keeping the uterus thin, therefore preventing a fertilized egg from implanting. I do not believe that any chemical birth control 100% of the time keeps an egg and sperm from meeting.

[1]Randy Alcorn, Prolife Answers to ProChoice Arguments (Multnomah Publishers: Sisters, OR: 1992, 1994)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

For My Future Daughters-In-Law

Sweet girls...I am praying for you already. I know that it's possible that you are not even born yet, so sometimes I pray for your parents, who I most likely don't even know!

I am doing my best to train my sons how to treat their mother and how to treat their sister. I believe this will teach them how to love you and how to treat you as well.

But the fact of the matter is, none of this would matter if their daddy didn't teach them, too. And he does. He most certainly does. He respects me and speaks kindly to me. He does not ever raise his voice to me, and he shows me affection daily. He cuddles and gives many hugs and kisses to his daughter, too. I believe my sons will be ready to be a wonderful husband someday because of the examples we have set for them. But mostly...because of the example their daddy has set for them.

Their daddy also shows them that even though I stay home, he can help with housework! So if the day comes that you decide to stay home with your children, my sons will know that they should help you when you need it.

We begin training early:

I love you already, dear ones. I'll continue to pray until we meet. And even then, I'll pray for you until my time on earth is done. :o)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

WFMW - Counting Calories

Week two of joining Kristen over at We Are THAT Family for Works For Me Wednesday!

In the summer of 2006, while I was very pregnant with my second baby, my mom and sister joined Weight Watchers and had lots of success (so while I kept getting bigger, they kept getting smaller...sheesh)! I learned the process by default and joked that they became Weight Watcher snobs (because really...when they were doing so well it made them look at me funny when I ate a Big Mac).

It worked for them. But that's not what works for me. I think the program is wonderful, don't get me wrong. But for me, counting calories is what has worked for me in the past (when I dropped 25 pounds in the spring of 2007 after having Sarah) and it's what's working for me now on my current journey.

My mom has questioned the amount of calories I intake, and my husband has questioned me, too. How do you figure out what is healthy? Well, a friend of mine suggested that I look up my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) to determine how many calories I burn just existing! So I Googled it, and found this BMR calculator. I was told by my friend to never go lower than 500 below that number...especially if I'm working out like I am.

In order to lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit. It is easier and healthier to cut back your calorie intake a little bit at a time. Every 3,500 calories is equivalent to one pound.

So, if you cut back 500 calories a day, you should lose about one pound per week. That said, if you exercise to burn off 500 calories a day you should lose approximately one pound per week. Do both, and ... you get the picture. Ideally, you should do a combination of both, (such as cut back 250 calories; burn an extra 250 calories).

As the weeks progress and I share more about what works for me, I will elaborate on how I fill up my calories with GOOD STUFF which I do attribute to my mom and sister's knowledge that they gained from WW.

But for's just calorie counting!

P.S. I lost 1.5 at last weigh in.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Birth Order

As Kim and I were jogging this morning, I told her I had a billion things on my mind and that I wasn't sure what I would write about today (because sometimes it's hard to sort through thoughts when you have an outlet like this). By the end of our jog, I still had all those things on my mind, but one thing stood out, and I found our conversation to be interesting at the very end.

We somehow got on the topic of birth order and how it plays a role in the dynamics of our marriages. I now can see why it's so easy to talk and get along with Kim because we are both first-born children! :o)

Because we are first-born, we both confessed that we have dominant personalities. As a woman, that can be perceived as a negative trait in a marriage if you believe in submission (however you believe that word is defined...boy, that's another blog entry). The struggle for me personally is that Josh is second-born, and his personality is NOT dominate at all. He is much more happy-go-lucky, laid back, sweet kind of person.'m not.

When I think of other relationships that I know of, it's interesting to me how couples interact, and for the most part I bet I could tell what their birth order is just by the small amount of information I know about their personalities and family dynamics.

My mom was the baby in her family (third child...and she followed a that added even more to the "baby" factor I'm guessing). My dad was the middle child. Looking back I can see how this made for an interesting dynamic between the two of them. I bet you can see how that would be an intricate dynamic.

So what about you? Have you thought about how your birth order has shaped you as a person and how it effects your relationships? Especially your marriage?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Not Me My Child! Monday (Video Edition)

If you are here from My Movie Monday, the second video is what I was referring to!

My children are humbled, well-adjusted, thankful human beings. So there is no way that it was my son who was so upset when someone in the family thought it would be funny to give him underwear for Christmas:

And since you may have read this post where my children found the Nesquick powder, you know that it really couldn't have been my two youngest children who also found my Coffee Mate and decided to do the same (and it wasn't me who left it in reach):

And since I know that the best way to stay healthy in a family (or anywhere) is to not share drinks or food, it most certainly was not my baby boy (or husband for that matter) who would do something like this:

Did you hear what Sarah said at the end? "Look! It's Gabriel! My little bother." Of course it would not be my daughter who said this incorrectly...on purpose...because she heard it on a TV show on Nick Jr. I wouldn't let her watch something that implied that.

This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.