Saturday, November 29, 2008


-We finished up our Turkey Day gluttony today. We've had 3 turkey day celebrations between church, my family, and Jared's family. I don't feel like I over did much at all but at this stage I feel bloated and full on lettuce :)

-I am really proud of the Weight Watchers members that came to the meeting this morning. It's hard to weigh in just days after an eating holiday and not only did they show up, the majority lost. I was super impressed. Good job ladies. You inspire me.

-Graham has become more and more outgoing with each day. He was quite the ham at Grandma's today. He's got quite a sense of humor for 2.

-Anneliese is kicking super strong and can be felt outside my belly. So far Elijah and Jared have both felt her knocking. Elijah was so excited he squealed, "I felt her twice and it felt like I got bonked with a trampoline." I'm not sure what that means but he was thrilled.

-I cut Brennan's hair yesterday. I was working diligently and really felt like I gave him the best hair cut so far. I was just straitening up the sides and the guard broke. It went flying and I scalped my son. He now has a 2 inch bald spot on the back right of his head. I cried. Poor little guy. He's particular and I'm sure doesn't appreciate Jared's constant teasing about how when he grows up he'll be able to afford real hair cuts.

-Saturday looks to be a crazy day. I have a Weight Watchers meeting first thing in the morning and then Dustin and I were hired to carol at a craft show for a few hours in the mid morning and early afternoon. Saturday evening is the annual "Woman of Wyandotte" at the church and Anita asked me to sing. Whew. Momma's going to be ready for bed.

-While weighing a member this morning I was told, "wow you just keep growing." Yep and since I'm just 25 weeks it's looking like it's not going to stop anytime soon.

-This evening a friend of the family said,"I guess I won't see you until after the baby comes." I replied, "Surely I'll see you before then." She looked me up and down and said, "When are you due." Ugh, "Not til March."

-I'm nervous (I don't know if you've noticed but I'm REALLY not a fan of change)but starting to get excited about who in the world God is going to bring to Wyandotte. Jarod and Laura are moving and we are looking to hire a youth minister. We have about 250 people that attend our church and about 95 are under 18. Being a mom of 5 I am super eager to see what the future holds for our kids and this ministry. Please be in prayer for all of us as we begin this transition.

Friday, November 28, 2008


It has become a family tradition to put up our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving evening. Last night after my family left we spent a couple hours moving furniture around and putting up the tree.

We moved our couch to a location it's never seen. The idea being it will save the carpet that connects to the kitchen and gives us a change of scenery. We were hoping to have the carpets cleaned but due to the previous post it's been permanently postponed. I'm not sure if we'll leave it this way but I think I like it.

The day after Christmas last year I picked up some adorable lights at Lowes. They were little glass snowmen and had been $24 a package. I bought the last two boxes for $2.50 each. They are SO cute. Check out our tree!

Well That Right There's Your Problem

When we bought our house and renovated it we put in all new appliances minus the fridge. After we'd been here 6 months or less I had the dishwasher repair man out because all our dishes looked hazy. He explained that our water was extremely hard and our dishwasher wouldn't work right until we put in a water softener.

We put in a water softener to the tune of $500 to help our appliances but more because 2 of our boys have eczema and the water was irritating their skin. The softener worked great for about 3 years and then started having issues. We had a repair man out and he charged us $140 to tell me that it needed a part that would cost $150. I decided to put it off since it wasn't a necessity and it's been about a year since it was in working order.

Our dishwasher has been moaning at us during the wash cycles and after running it several times in two days over the holiday everything looked like it had been dipped in milk. Today I squatted down and looked into the basin to see what looked like food stuck around the big ol' circle thingy (that's Mom terms, not technical in any way).

Assuming taking it apart couldn't possibly hurt anything I got the tool box and started unscrewing screws. Luckily it all comes apart rather easily and this is what I found:

Apparently our water is harder than I thought. It took me about a hour, some Lime Away, and a steak knife to pry all the calcification off the big ol' round thingy and any part connected to it. Keep in mind that this build up had to have happened over the last year since we had a water softener in place the rest of the time we've lived here.

I have several concerns...

1) We HAVE to have a water softener or all our appliances including my new washer and dryer are going to have a very short life. Hence costing hundreds to replace.

2)My current water softener looks like a rust bucket due to being in a damp basement. Will repairing the $150 circuit board be all it needs or just the beginning. It only cost $500 to start with. It could get too pricey to fix fast.

3)The dry winter is hard on our skin and the boys should start showing signs soon and what about Anneliese. Will our brand new baby's skin be okay in our water? She's the first baby since the softener broke.

4)How much is this going to cost? The timing is lousy with the holidays and car tags due in Feb. Ugh.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Whatcha Doin?

Tomorrow morning Jared and I are taking the kids to the 10:10 showing of Bolt. We would love to have any friends and family join us. We'll be at the Legends 14 rain or shine. If you're good we may even let you sit near us.

Happy Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good...oh sorry wrong holiday.

Just a quick reminder to be full of grace, quick to listen, slow to speak and enjoy the people God gave you as family. Remember His wisdom and He placed you together for a purpose.

Take today and make it a day of reconciliation and love. Oh, and there's usually some good food too. Beware! The average weight gain just for Thanksgiving is 7 lbs. WOWZA. Take it easy and fill your day with friends and family and allow the food to be an extra not the main event.

God Bless you and your families.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Anneliese Week 24

Usually when I do the bi-weekly updates on Anneliese I just google how ever many weeks gestation and click on images. The bulk of the pictures I've used so far have been from a website in Texas that's based on a woman's right to know.

Today I googled like normal and the first image that was on the list was that of an aborted 22 week baby girl. I am not encouraging anyone to look at the following link unless you are prepared for a very gruesome sight. This is what a precious baby of just 22 weeks looks like outside of the womb after a mother decided she did not want her baby.

It is images like this that make me question our nation as a whole. How, How can anyone claim Pro Choice when you look at that infant girl. Where is her choice, her rights. I am so incredibly grateful for this gift of life we have been blessed with. I pray that each woman regardless of the circumstance can find the silver lining in their own situation and realize that two wrongs do not create a right let alone justice. This little girl felt pain, heard her mothers voice and had a 70-80% survival rate had she been born at the same gestational age. How can we refuse that this is a life.


8,000 hits. Thanks so much for reading!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We Gotta Love Them

We gotta love our dogs but do our neighbors?

Tonight I got home from work/family outing to find my dogs desperately screeching more than normal. I tried to call them in and they didn't come they only barked, cried, and screeched some more but never came in.

I turned on the light out back to see them chained up. I'm assuming our neighbors brought them home and chained them up with their own equipment to keep us from losing our beloved yet obnoxious animals.

I am so frustrated with the two of them digging out. One neighbor to the West of us has two puggles that roam free and our little pooches can't handle the temptation. Whenever those puggles are out Sophie and Maury lose it.

We currently have a small forest of logs lining our beautiful privacy fence as a barrier but that apparently isn't working.

My next step is to purchase the underground electrical fence and collars. I plan to place the fence a foot inside our privacy fence so if the dogs even think of getting near it they'll get a nice little zap encouraging them to leave the stinking fence alone.

We love our dogs and the benefit to the kids is priceless but the upkeep is pricey :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Just For The Record

Jared told me this evening that his reasoning for not being able to keep up on my blog is that I don't write daily. Apparently the key to keeping readers is constant blogging 5-6 days a week.

So in order to keep my husband as a reader I thought I better write something to keep your interest. I have been super busy with work and was gone all day today and will work again tomorrow.

I really hope to write more as soon as life slows enough for me to catch my breath. I do have one thing I would like to mention.

My mother in law came over to watch my kids today while I was working. I was extremely thrilled to come home to a house I did not recognize. Unfortunately with all the time wrapped up in Weight Watchers my house has become last priority. I am some what particular about keeping house but I just can't do everything. I am SO thankful for her hard work. While watching 4 precious boys she managed to find my kitchen and my laundry room while I was away.

THANK YOU!!! I am so appreciative.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Just How Full?

It has been brought to my attention that the image of a quiver at the top of my blog actually has 6 arrows lying next to it (thanks Alanna).

I would just like to clarify. If I were younger and healthier and if we were independently wealthy Jared and I would have 6 kids or more if the Lord decided to bless us. The truth is that pregnancy is hard on our family as a whole. Momma's tired, emotional and desperate for the baby.

Jared came home last night and was telling me that for the first time he is actually concerned about the economy. He's worried that we may over the next year suffer from a depression. There have been a lot of "the sky is falling" theories over the years (remember Y2K?) but there are actual rational reasons for concern.

So, are we done with 5. It sure seems like it. We feel strongly about being responsible and recognizing just how many children we can reasonably afford to raise. We are currently talking about preparing for the upcoming year and stocking up on things just in case. It can't be bad to have food on hand regardless of the economy when your family consists of 7 people.

We strongly believe children are a blessing and the more we look at the 4 we have the stronger we feel about adding to our family. I am so thankful that God put it on our hearts to have just one more. We made a difficult decision but feel like the Lord has blessed us in trusting Him. As far as we know our family is complete.

As a side I have to say that when we decided on the name Anneliese several of our friends and family showed great relief that we did not go with Hazel. In response to that my conservative husband said, "It's not like we decided all of a sudden we hated the name. If God decided to bless us with another daughter she would more than likely be Hazel."

Guess What I Found!

Okay remember the previous post about the amazing crib at Nebraska Furniture Mart? Jared and I have been blessed with a gift and he told me to go see if it was still there. It was gone of course. It had originally been $890 and was marked down to $220. I didn't figure it would last very long.

Since Jared gave the go ahead to find a girlie crib I started checking out craigslist. The thing I really liked about the crib at the mart is that it was a transition crib that grows with the child. We currently just have bunk beds for the boys and even though it's several years away I liked the idea of making one purchase and having her crib as well as her big girl bed.

So this afternoon I am going to pick up this:

The second picture is what it looks like as a day bed/toddler bed. If you look at the other image it shows the 3 stages of the bed. It's very similar to the crib at the mart but instead of $220 it's only $100. I am very excited. Now I'm on the hunt for an old buffet to paint to match.

A buffet you ask! Why yes, I thought it would not only be unique but would have lots of storage and double as a changing table with a nice wide top at the perfect height. I'm thinking something like this if I can find one for a reasonable price:

There actually was one on craigslist for $25!!! No kidding but I didn't get there in time. It had already sold. So if you know of one that's just collecting dust somewhere let me know.

I can't wait to share final pics of our little lady's bedroom. I think it will be quite frugal yet gorgeous.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Today our Anneliese ticker on the side bar has changed. We completed a full 23 weeks today and she's growing!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Giving Thanks

I know Turkey day is a week from today but I'm already really feeling the love. Last night our church had our annual Thanksgiving meal and it was very well attended and had tons of yummy food. As a bonus they had a Pastor Appreciation presentation. Jared works very hard, long hours, and we have dedicated our lives and hearts to this church and it is extremely moving to see that our family here loves us too. We are forever grateful for the generosity but more importantly the love that it represents.

I have been thinking about writing a blog of things I love. These are people/things I love not in any particular order.

My God, My Father, My Savior
Jared Richard
Brennan, Tanner, Elijah, Graham, Anneliese
Our Church family
Our extended families on both sides
Our home (that was largely a gift from most of the listed above)
The Church's eldership
All our friends new and old
My expanding middle and the precious child that resides within
Our furbabies
dependable vehicles
A stable income that completely supplies the needs and most of the wants for our family.
Home Schooling (not a type-o) I feel blessed watching my children grow and develop knowing I play a huge part in that.
Our children (have I mentioned them yet?)
My marriage of almost 13 years
Oh, and the kids :)

I have a list as long as my arm of goofy little things that the Lord has blessed us with that mean the world to me. Like appliances for example ;) The song "Count Your Blessings" just dances through my mind as I think of all the amazing people and things that are constantly adorning our lives.

I love you all. Thank you for who you are and all you do.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Home Made Bread

Home made bread is a staple in our house and in our church. Jared and I love rolls and my kids think they're candy. While getting ready for the meal this evening at church I decided to make some bread to make stuffing and then I was asked to make rolls. I ran to the store yesterday morning to pick up enough supplies for two days of bread making.

I typically buy most of everything at Aldi. I decided to buy my flour at Wal-Mart in order to get bread flour. Since this was for the church and not our own personal meal I made the bread with real butter and bread flour. WOW what a difference. They are delectable. They are just as yummy as usual but the texture is lighter and the flavor richer. I thought I would share the rediculously easy recipe so that you too could enjoy a little home made roll heaven.

This recipe is for a bread machine so put the ingredients in the order that they are listed:

1 cup warm water
1 egg
2 TBS butter
3 1/4 cup Gold Medal Bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp active dry yeast

Set your machine to the dough cycle. I have two machines and one takes 1 hour and 20 minutes while the other takes 1 hour 30 minutes. Once your dough is done remove it from the machine and divide it into 16-18 equel parts. Allow to rise 45 minutes covered with a light weight towel. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes or until slightly golden. I like to then take a fresh stick of butter and glaze the tops while they're nice and hot. They also make amazing garlic sticks. Make the recipe as stated just roll them out into long sticks and allow to rise. When they are fresh out of the oven apply butter and immediately top with garlic salt.

If you want to try some amazing stuffing use the same recipe in a large bread machine (2lb machine) and allow the dough to cook through a regular bread cycle. Once you have your fresh bread tear it up and allow to dry over night. Use it in place of bread crumbs from the store in your favorite recipe and you will NOT be disappointed. 2 loaves will stuff a large bird as well as fill a 9X13 pan to almost over flowing. It feeds my extended family of 12 big eaters with left overs each year.

For you Weight Watchers ladies out there these rolls are only 2 pts a piece when you make 18 out of a batch. They are fantastic. Just be careful once you master it. They will become all you'll ever be asked to bring to a family/church gathering for the rest of your life :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's Up

-I currently have 1 of 2 loaves of homemade bread baking for my scrumptious stuffing. Tomorrow night is our Thanksgiving meal at church and I'm bringing tons of stuffing and homemade rolls. Can you say YUM?

-After just being more aware of my eating and doing a better job handling stress my weight is down 7lbs since Thursday. EEk. I would just like to say that I am not dieting I'm just making better choices and apparently I was working pretty hard at maintaining the weight I was at. While my goal at this point is not weight loss, I would like to maintain where I am for a month or two to just balance out the onslaught of weight gained in the first 6 months. I was already dealing with significant swelling in my hands and feet and that has now corrected itself. YAY. Being healthy both physically and emotionally is definitely better.

-Yesterday was some what exhausting and my goofy hip issue has flared up pretty significantly today. I have been fortunate so far this pregnancy with just small bouts of pain. I'm hoping that this month of working on my feet doesn't bring it back in full force. I would greatly appreciate your prayers on this one.

-Turkey day is next week!! That's shocking!

-I purchased new blades for my hair clippers today and some quality hair cutting scissors. The boys all have fresh new dos and Jared's next. It's amazing how much easier it is to cut hair with quality tools. Such handsome little boys. Just for your information: If Tanner seems a little shaggy over the upcoming months please be patient with us. Tanner has decided that he would like his hair a bit longer. After talking it over with Dad we decided that he has the freedom to choose as long as it's not in his eyes or passed his collar. Think Jim Halpert at 7 years old. This is what he's aiming for (minus the open shirt):
We'll see how it goes. It's fun for us to see our boys individuality really starting to come out. If he wants somewhat shaggy hair we'll try it out. Think of it this way, you won't struggle with which is which anymore when it comes to Brennan and Tanner.

-I'm off to work again this evening. Jared's been going in so much earlier in order to get a full day in. It's important to make sure his job always take priority.

Monday, November 17, 2008

So It Begins

The month of Weight Watchers begins today. It's already not as bad as I'd thought. My sweet friend Tashy has offered to watch the kids today so that Jared can put in a full day. He was up and at em' at 8 am.

Because of her generosity we will have a day later in the week (Friday hopefully) that Jared can take off and have a day home with the family. Today is my big day with 3 meetings back to back. I start at 130 and won't be home until around 8.

The other meetings I'll do this week have much less time involved because they are single meetings and those tend to go pretty quick.

As far as homeschooling goes I remembered that we have the week of Thanksgiving off so 1 of the 4 weeks we won't have school. That will definitely help.

A positive to all this is that it has made me more conscience of my own eating. There has been a lot of stress as of late and I'm eating my way through it. When I went into the doctor for my toe the doctor mentioned that I had gained 10lbs in 2 weeks. YIKES. She asked sweetly if there had been any new stress in my life and I just broke down. I felt foolish because as a Weight Watchers leader it is my job to train people to work through stress and other emotions without turning to food. I have been falling back into my old ways of eating and all the emotions are intensified due to my pregnancy.

I have been doing soo much better since that appointment. When the emotions come I just cry verses stuffing my face. May seem silly but at least I'm working through the emotion verses feeding it and leaving it for later. I greatly look forward to Glory when all my faults and strongholds will be removed and I will be made whole.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nice and Fresh, Not Spoiled at All

Jared and I were having an in depth conversation about parenting. I feel very strongly that my job as a mother is to prepare my children to leave me. From birth on I am to give them all the skills they need to live an independent life with their new family. The whole leave and cleave idea.

I told Jared that if he were to ever see me behaving in a way that would some how jeopardize that goal to please bring it to my attention. He then smiled and said, "how old was Graham before he slept through the night?'

He was about 6 months old before we had a full nights sleep on a regular basis. Jared then started to tell me how much I babied him since I thought he was the last one. He said the older boys were crying it out at 3 months (and slept through the night by 8 weeks) and with Graham I would say, "but he's a baby..." and grab him up.

It was really funny because as he was talking I was thinking, but he was just a baby :(

Jared (and others) is a little concerned it will only be worse with Anneliese since I am sure she's the 5th and final and that she's, well a she. I can't imagine such a thing. Okay, that's a total lie. I'm a little concerned myself.

I don't want a little brat no one wants to be around because I can't tell her no. I already feel so smitten by her. With every little bump and thump I ooze love and affection. I have been having a ball just thinking about her room, clothes and such. I can't wait until she has enough hair for a french braid. I bought a small chandelier for her bedroom and I was browsing pink mosquito netting to drape her crib.

My mom and I were in Nebraska Furniture Mart yesterday and I found a GORGEOUS crib and a matching dresser in the clearance and I was just desperate to get them for her. We've always bought all our stuff second hand through garage sales and such and for some reason I just really want something pretty and new for her. It's so silly. My rational side kicks in and I recognize that a newborn isn't really concerned with a bedroom suit that matches. Plus paying for her birth is far more important than new furniture.

With each of the kids I've gotten really excited and either purchased or made their bedding sets and wanted new things for each of them. I guess it's not totally abnormal but I just want to make sure that I keep things in check. I love her but I don't want to spoil her.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Deep Breath, in out, in out, in out

I wrote in an earlier blog about my working for Weight Watchers over the next month. I have been feeling somewhat overwhelmed but at the same time encouraged to know that I was helping someone and knowing it was the right thing.

This morning I received an email from a contact at the meeting I had tried to start up at the State Pen. Two weeks ago I went up for the informational meeting and only 6 of 27 showed up. The rules on "at work" meetings are that they have to have at least 15 paid in order to secure the meeting. Obviously with 6 I wasn't able to do the meeting and I thought it was a bust.

When agreeing to take on my ill co-worker's meetings it was under the assumption that this meeting was not going to take place. In the email this morning she was letting me know that she indeed had the 15 needed to start the meeting and it will resume on Monday.

EEK. One more meeting may not seem like a lot but think of it more as the brick on the pile that caused the pile to topple. Jared encouraged me this morning that we can do anything for a month. Even 7 meetings in a week for 4 weeks. I know that I am capable enough to do the meetings. That's not my concern.

My concern is that my family comes first and this will be a busy month with little time with them and no time with Jared. Anytime we would have had together he'll be watching the kids while I'm gone. (Brennan and Tanner are screaming at each other while I type. Maybe this will be a good thing :))

Jared keeps reminding me of how spoiled we are. I agree that we have more time together as a family than most. With his job he has the flexibility to be with us for all the important things and often on our days off together he's able to be here for nothing but a day of rest. I know we will make it through and be better off for it. It's just intimidating to think of it.

I keep focusing on the fact that we have hoped to purchase a new computer this next year for the kids schooling. Our current computer is over 5 years old and was the most basic model available when we purchased it. Working this month will give us 75% of the funds we need to do just that.

Romans 8:28
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who[b] have been called according to his purpose.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Anneliese Week 22

22 Weeks Gestation
Rapid brain growth continues.
The eyebrows and eyelashes are well formed.
The eyes are fully functional and capable of movement.
The vocal cords are active.
Reflexes are present.
There is little chance for survival outside the uterus.
The weight is about one pound.
The length is about 7 to 8 inches.

My belly is growing rapidly. I'm already outgrowing maternity clothing and I know with the holidays just around the corner my "growth" won't slow down too much. It's really comical to compare bellies. There is another gal in our church expecting next month and I'm already protruding significantly farther than she is. I'm hoping that I'll still be mobile by 9 months :)

Thankful for Antibiotics

While at the doctor yesterday she was even grossed out and a bit alarmed at my toe. That's never good. I started Augmentin yesterday and after 2 doses the pressure is already leaving my toe.

She also told me to soak it like crazy and that has brought great relief. I tried to explain my hesitation to come in since it was just some inflammation but in the previous 24 hours it went from annoying to scary. She just made an off handed comment, "I know coming in seemed unnecessary but you don't want to lose your leg over an infected toe, and I don't think your baby would appreciate a blood infection."

Wow, that seems a little dramatic but no, I don't want to lose my leg and Anneliese's safety is one of the main reasons I went in when I saw the infection spreading towards my foot. The good news is it already seems to be improving. Hopefully within another couple days it will be back to normal. Thanks for your concerns.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Having Purpose

My co-worker and friend has just found out she has breast cancer and will need immediate surgery. My boss called yesterday to ask if I could help fill her meetings.

Jared and I talked and we decided that under the circumstances we didn't see how we could refuse. She obviously has no choice but to take the medical leave and with my being the only other leader in Leavenworth if I were to decline my boss would be in a pickle trying to find someone, anyone to fill these meetings.

Starting next week I will be working Mondays (my normal night), Tuesday night, Thursday morning, and Saturday morning. As of now this will only be for 4 weeks and I'm honestly a little overwhelmed by it. I know it was the right decision and God will grant me the energies needed to do this. I also babysit twice a week on Wed and Thurs so the Thursday morning meeting will affect my ability to watch Nadia. Jared is planning on stepping in to help since Nadia's family really doesn't have any alternative.

Add to all that home schooling, pregnancy and just keeping house and you can see my reason for feeling overwhelmed. The good news is that this will bring in $600-$800 of income right before the holidays and car tags are due. I will be helping a friend who now does not need to be concerned with filling her meetings. Working multiple meetings in my own center will only benefit my long term meetings. The reason being I will be introducing myself and my teaching style to new members who would not even know me otherwise. If there were only a couple who decided to attend my Monday meetings that would be beneficial.

The other day on the way to work I had the boys with me and Brennan asked why I work. I chuckled and said, "for the cash bud." As soon as I said that I realized how untrue that statement was. I then corrected myself and began to explain to Brennan how I help people. I told him that when people overeat it makes them sick in lots of ways. It not only can make them physically sick because of the obesity but it also makes them sad and unhappy with themselves and others. It makes it hard for them to do things that they love like playing on the floor with their kids or going for a walk on a nice afternoon.

I told him about how unhappy and unhealthy I was and how God wants us to worship Him with all we are even our bodies. I don't just lead meetings I help people realize that there is a better way to live this life. That nothing they ever did or anything that was done to them can take away their right to be happy healthy and thin.

I have had multiple opportunities to pray with my members and share God's love and most importantly His grace. The people that step in those doors need so much more than a smaller dress size. Many of them are hurting and are desperate for a friend and someone to serve as an encourager. I have made the decision to use this opportunity to help and show God's love and grace.


Apparently my toe is rebelling against my body. I had a small irritation that has turned into a raging infection.

In the last 24 hours it has become so painful that I can't apply pressure anywhere near it when I walk. This is not helping the waddle that I seem to have picked up somewhere.

Last night was miserable as I checked my heart rate with the throbbing that was ever present through out the night. I decided to go ahead and call the doctor this morning when I noticed the red inflamed area is starting to spread down my toe to the big knuckle. I'm assuming the baby wouldn't appreciate a blood infection.

When I explained the situation to the nurse she decided the throbbing mass needed immediate attention. I'm off this afternoon to see if it can be salvaged. OUCH!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Well, That Back Fired

I don't take kindly to my kids calling each other names, picking at each other, or anything else that resembles sibling rivalry. We have taught our boys from birth that they are blessed to have each other. God gave them their brothers as gifts and we treat gifts with gratitude and respect.

I will not have a house of children/young men who throttle each other on a regular basis just for the fun of it and definitely not out of anger. It is my job to teach the self discipline, respect, honor, loyalty and the like.

Elijah is one who really struggles when he's angry with spouting off at the mouth or even smacking who ever is in reach. When he says things like, "I hate you" he is quickly disciplined with a dose of apple cider vinegar. When he hits out of anger he gets appropriately punished. We have a NO tolerance policy when it comes to hurting someone either physically or emotionally.

Tanner has taken to calling Brennan a "stupid idiot." The reason being is that Brennan is very smart and prides himself on it. Nothing gets to him quicker than calling him stupid or dumb. It always brings forth wailing and gnashing of teeth.

This afternoon Tanner was on one of his mean streaks and was calling Brennan names. I immediately called him down and got out the apple cider vinegar. Tanner has not had this punishment yet. I dosed him with 1/4 tsp. He immediately started choking and gagging asking me, "what is that!!!?!" I told him he will continue to get it any time he decides to tear someone down with his mouth.

I sent him upstairs and then...

He PUKED all over the landing and the bottom 3 steps. Nice. I guess if he chooses to call names again I'll have to dose him and then send him to the bathroom for safe measure. Nasty!

Indulge Me For A Blog...

Hi my name is Shannon and I hate laundry. Well at least until yesterday. My mom in law and I have a running joke of sorts about how I don't do laundry, don't do it well, don't do it often, don't do it right etc. I'm a smart girl and enjoy taking care of my family. It's not that I'm too dense to get the skill of laundering clothing. I would just rather drink bleach.

I think everyone has a household chore that they would like to hire out. Mine has been laundry. Maybe I should be more specific. I don't mind loading the washer. It's more moving the clean clothes to the dryer in a timely manner to avoid the stink (sour clothes) and then waiting for the dryer to get done and remove the clothing just in time to avoid having to iron your underwear in order to recognize them.

Things changed for me yesterday. Call me a "gadget girl" but having been married to my handsome husband for nearly 13 years has given me a love and admiration for all things electronic.

Jared and I have been talking for months about replacing our washer and dryer. I found a set on Craigslist that seemed too good to be true. It is a Maytag front loading set that is barely 3 years old. The previous owners moved into an older house and realized the night before moving that this set would not fit through the small doors of the new older house. He put the set on craigslist at an amazing price hoping to sell them within 24 hours so they would not have to move them and store them in their garage.

Long story longer, I called and talked to the owner only to find out his delima and I hung up the phone dissapointed knowing that there was no way we could manage purchasing the set in such a short amount of time. I thanked him and moved on. He actually called me the next morning and said that he and his wife thought we were nice christian people (wow we have him fooled :)) and they decided to move them and keep them for us until we were able to make the purchase.

God is GOOD. Amazingly everything fell into place within a week and we were able to pick them up Sunday night and have them up and running first thing Monday morning. THEY ARE SO COOL! I dried a large load of bath towels in 40 minutes. Completely dry! No joke! The dryer has a senser and as the clothes tumble it decides how long the cycle needs to be and to my shock it was right.

I washed all of our whites and they came out 4 shades lighter. Jared and I stared in amazement at the brightness of his socks. The washer has a specific setting for whites and apparently it knows what it's doing. The clothes smell amazing.

I actually enjoy doing laundry. I have washed just about everything in our house that can be washed. The washer has a ridiculous capacity and our king size comforter fits with ease. My goal today is to wash all the kids bedding.

I...I...I...I love doing laundry. All the buttons and digital read out. It's a technical geeks dream and I'm in heaven :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sweet Boys

-Graham spent a couple days with my mom while we were at camp. While out driving looking for a garage sale my mom got frustrated when she finally found it and it was closed down. She said, "Well, thank you very much!" To which Graham replied, "You welcome NeNe."

-While we were at camp the boys were playing in the sand volleyball pit with their coats and gloves on. They came in for some hot cocoa and I asked, "are you building sand castles?'" Tanner said, "No we're building igloos."

-Brennan asked me yesterday what taxes are. I home school him to keep him shielded from such disgusting things trying to preserve his innocence as long as possible. I am on a search to find out who would say such an inappropriate thing to my little boy :)

-When Graham woke up Sunday morning for church he asked if he could go home. I told him he was home and he corrected me, "No I not, I go to NeNe's home." Nice...

-While the boys were building their igloos in the sand Tanner built a large ridge and came in to proudly tell me about it. He said, "look mom I built Cododado." I asked what he meant and he said, "where Aunt Vicki and Uncle Ron live, Cododado (Colorado)." He even built a little square in the side of a "mountain" that was their house. We went out there to see the 2 1/2 years ago and those sweet boys still remember that visit and are desperate to return.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Jared and I have purchased a nice used washer and dryer! I am so excited and we get to pick them up tomorrow. In order to afford this fancy new set I needed to sell my current pair.

We both really feel it is important to make sure anything we sell is in as good of shape as possible before it's sold. Simply because as a ministerial family something as simple as selling something is a witness.

I decided since my dryer is 5 years old and I do A LOT of laundry I should replace the dryer belt for good measure before we sold them. I ordered the part off the internet and this evening started in on the project since they are going to their new owner tomorrow afternoon.

While removing the drum from the dryer I noticed fine black dust all over the place. I couldn't see an obvious source but as I got further into the project it all became very clear. There is a small plastic pulley in the new set and I couldn't find anything like it in my dryer. I knew where it should be but it appears that the plastic wheel of the pulley had been completely worn and no longer existed. The belt was rubbing on the metal frame that once house the little wheel. That belt was the source of the black dust and it had definitely seen better days. In about 15 minutes I replaced the pulley, the new belt and had it all reassembled.

It runs like new! It's so quiet and the drum rotates at such a quicker pace. I'm shocked at what a difference a new belt/pulley makes! I am so thankful that we replaced that belt. I would hate for the new owners to take it home, have it break (soon I'm sure) and then decide that all Christians are hypocrites and God stinks.

That may be a little dramatic but we all know that what we do truly affects our witness. I hope that by taking a little extra precaution that this set will last a very long time and this gentleman will feel he got a great deal from a preacher man :)

We're HOME!

Jared, Brennan, Tanner, Elijah and I just walked in the door from a tiring two days at camp. Jared was preaching a men's retreat and I cooked 3 meals for the hungry crew.

We ended up leaving Graham with NeNe (my mom) and she's threatening to keep him. That seems to happen whenever we leave him with anyone. We left him with Grandma Anita during camp this summer and she cried and cried as we left the driveway. Apparently he's quite the charmer.

We all headed out around 1 on Friday afternoon. After a stop at Wal-Mart for groceries we headed the rest of the way up to camp. Friday night I made homemade chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, and bread. It went over better than hotcakes!

For breakfast I got a recipe from Amy for a hearty breakfast casserole. I quadrupled it which consisted of 24 eggs, 6lbs of sausage, and entire loaf of bread and tons of cheese and milk. I worried it'd be too much along with Chris C. amazing cinnamon rolls but by the end it looked like a heard of locusts had come through my line! I could have easily made two more batches of the casserole and it would have been eaten I'm sure.

As our parting lunch we had tacos, cheese dip (with sausage and pepper jack cheese!), chips, salsa, and all the fixins. It was soo yummy.

The sweet part was John F. apparently thought I deserved a tip so he passed Eric Y's hat around and they blessed me with a very generous offering. I really enjoy doing things like this. It's such a blessing to me and I'm thankful that they feel blessed by my serving.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


We have had our little Maury for nearly a year. That's hard to believe! I took him today to be groomed for the first time. He was getting extremely shaggy and was very uneven due to his previous cut done by yours truly.

I took him to Shampooch here on Leavenworth road and they did a great job. They even put a male doggy cologne on him. He smells great and looks adorable. Check him out.



It's hard to see in pictures but he looks like an entirely different dog. SO CUTE!! I've always thought that professional grooming was unnecessary but now that I see the results I'm SOLD! We won't do it monthly just due to cost but it will be more than once a year :)

P.S. The reason for the very revealing image is simply because when I tell him to sit he lays down and rolls over. We've actually got him to do it when you make your hand like a gun and yell "SIT." Very funny.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


-This week quickly became Weight Watcher's week. I started a new meeting Monday afternoon so I was in Leavenworth from 1:30 til 8ish. Tuesday night I filled in for a fellow leader who had surgery and found out that she will also need me to fill in on Thursday morning. Add the mandatory staff meeting on Sunday and it's a full week!

-This weekend is the Men's Retreat at Mission Lake. Jared is organizing and teaching and I'll be cooking for the men. The boys are thrilled to go along. I did it last year and the men seemed to enjoy my cooking. Hopefully it will go as well this year!

-A member of our church lost her mother this week. Jared will be doing the funeral on Friday before we leave for camp.

-Jared and I found a great deal on Craigslist for a new washer and dryer and are supposed to pick it up some time this weekend! I'm not real sure how that's going to work. I'm sure we'll be able to find an extra hour or two somewhere in the midst of all this. BTW anyone have a truck and the ability to help? There's a tank of gas in it for you :)

-We are definitely eager to meet our little girl and being this busy is making time pass quickly. The only problem is the quicker the time passes the sooner we have to say good bye to dear friends that we love like family. I'm actually wishing time would slow a bit. I love you Jarod and Laura.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Growing and Growing and Growing

I had a doctor's appointment this morning and everything seems to be, well...growing. Dr. Sheridan was surprised to see our little girl was already measuring a good week and a half to two weeks ahead.

We both had a chuckle when I reminded him that Altic babies usually come in large or extra large. Our Graham was 6 weeks premature and weighed in at a hefty 6lbs 13oz. The NICU nurses kept calling him the "big fat premie." He honestly looked like he could smoosh the little 3lb baby girl lying near him that was the same gestational age.

Anneliese's heartbeat was strong and easy to find. She rejected the doplar and insisted on kicking it whenever he would push on her. It is so exciting to think that in just a matter of months we will get to see her and hold her. We're all having a hard time being patient :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Jared and I took the kids to Grandpa and Grandma's last night for some trick or treating. The weather was so nice. I honestly don't remember a Halloween like that. In my youth I remember rain and really cold.

I did realize that having several children is the way to go on a holiday such as this. The four boys headed out with dad and their cousins last night and came back with about 4 pounds of candy. It's unreal the amount they brought home. We're set for quite a while.

Check out our pictures! They're stinking adorable!