Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Boys First Snowman!

The kids came to the front door and asked for a carrot.

Hmmm that could only mean one thing :) They made a snowman! And he's adorable and in true boy fashion he is now demolished into a pile of snow. Thankfully before they took him apart flake by flake I took these pics!


Pretty Bags!

I love purses and with the new arrival of our little Zachary I met a friend of Erin's who's Aunt makes the neatest bags!

I thought I would share her info just in case anyone out there may want to shop. Erin bought one for my mom for Christmas and it was beautiful. I love the upholstery fabrics matched with velvets, satin and fringe! Very feminine.

Happy Shopping!

My favorites are the Serendipity! Just beautiful.

About 65.9% Better

Today's better day for me but not so much for the family. Poor Tanner was up in the night with a ear ache and then first thing this morning he was vomiting.

The silver lining is after having severe abdominal pain for 2 days I lost 2.6 lbs due to being scared to death to eat. I never "got sick" I just was in a lot of pain. I almost think having the relief of being sick may have been more tolerable. I'm out of bed, bathed, and thinking of coffee. All 3 major improvements over yesterday.

I'm praying this doesn't run through my family on their remaining days of vacation. We still have Christmas with Jared's family and who wants to have the flu on break?!

Okay, back to bed. I've expended the energy I had to offer for the day.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

600th Post!

It seems like this should be monumental. Something fancy or pertinent but I've got nothing.

Yesterday I felt weird all day and last night about 11 I started running fever and having severe abdominal pain. Apparently I have the flu and I'm miserable. I woke up at 11 this morning to my husband cleaning my house, making lunch and hushing the kids. He's so good to me. Unfortunately he had to leave for an appointment so now I'm on my own with 5 little creatures that are not interested in my resting. Not even a little bit.

Sis just laid down for her nap so hopefully the new DS games, the Wii and Nickelodeon can entertain them while I moan uncomfortably in my bed.

Thankfully we are still on Christmas break. School starts back up for us on Monday. Hopefully if this spreads we'll be all better by then.

Thank you for reading my goofy ramblings. 600 posts? Apparently I'm just as chatty in Cyber land as I am in the real world.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Home Stretch!

Tomorrow officially starts my 15lb count down.

I have 15 pounds to lose to be exactly where I want to be. I decided to take it easy over Christmas because...well...I wanted to :)

I've lost just shy of 70lbs and have worked hard for 9 months and I wanted to enjoy our Christmas. For those of you who know my craziness you should be making a mental note about how much less crazy I am than in past years. I have gained prospective and patience. My goal is health not a particular size and even though my Wii fit claims I'm obese I know I'm well on my way to having an ideal BMI.

With each of my 5 babies I have gained and then lost so much weight that this feels like old hat. I'm in the "I'm freezing" stage of my weight loss and it's come at a slightly inconvenient time due to the blizzard and all. I spend most of the day in sweats, wrapped in my pink fluffy robe, sipping coffee.

It is my goal to be 15lbs lighter by my birthday in March. That seems completely reasonable and I also plan to take full advantage of my new Wii Fit Plus my husband gifted me for Christmas. It's a huge improvement over Wii fit. I love that you can customize an actual workout and it tells you how many calories you've burned.

What are your health/fitness goals for 2010?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Random Happenings

-Yesterday my family braved the weather and still made it for Christmas. You guys were extremely generous and we appreciate not only the gifts but your willingness and desire to spend the day together as family! We had BBQ meatballs, ribs, rolls, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and cream corn. It was absolutely delicious!

-I'm desperate to take the tree down. Well kinda. I have all the desire for it to be down but none of the energy to start the process. The decorations go up Thanksgiving evening and typically come down Christmas evening. It may have to wait until tomorrow afternoon.

-Mealtime at the Altic's has become a battle of wills. I will them to eat what I make and they will to complain and argue. As you can imagine with 4 little bodies requesting and refusing different things it gets very frustrating. I have begun timing our meals. I set a timer and if the food is not consumed before the ding it's off to bed for the night even if it's only 6:30. They sit and chat, stall, and goof off until the food they did not want gets cold and shockingly enough they really don't want it then. The worst part is I can't predict what they'll like. One night spaghetti and meatballs is a hit with everyone and the next week Eli will arbitrarily decide red sauce nauseates him. I will win, I will win, I will win...

-Christmas with the Altic's has been postponed due to the ridiculous snow. Apparently it's even worse up North. The kids were really disappointed but Jared was relieved. This has been a very busy week for him and he has worked every day. He's up at church now and I'm hoping he'll be able to be home for nightly prayers.

-Graham had a terrible allergic reaction to something last night. His right eye was red and his face started to swell. He had trouble breathing and required a breathing treatment. The poor little guy was a mess. It seems obvious to blame the new kitten except she's been in our house for 3 days and Graham's had his hands and face all over her. I would have thought if he was allergic to her specifically he would have reacted the first night when she was new, fresh from the barn and all in his face. He did this one other time at church and I had to rush him home for a breathing treatment and we never did figure out what triggered that reaction. The good news is he perfectly fine today and back to his goofy self. He's had Mellie in his arms most of the day (much to Tanner's disapproval) and not a sneeze.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Scoot Down Low

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will." -Romans 12:1&2

I have been praying for a special verse. A verse that would be a reminder of why I do what I do and why I am who I am. I prayed for a very specific verse to be an encouragement when ministry is hard and home schooling is tiresome. I wanted God's reassurance that I was in His will for when the days are a little too much for me. Romans 12:1&2 is my Christmas gift from Christ himself. While reading and rereading my new scripture I found this devotion on the opposite page of my Devotional bible.

Merry Christmas, Emmanuel God with Us

Scoot Down Low
Read Romans 12:1-21
"Humble" comes from the word HUMUS, meaning "earth" or "brought down low." Yes, the Creator of the universe who flung the stars into space is also a very down-to-earth God. Why was Jesus "brought down low"-why did he come down to earth in our form?

I was pondering that thought one day as I was busy in the kitchen, my "hive of five" grandkids buzzing around the living room. I put dinner on the table and gave the "y'all come" signal. My grown children and their children began to make their way toward the feast and the smells of my home-cooked turnip greens, buttered carrots, okra gumbo, mashed potatoes, brisket, baked chicken and corn bread (with ice cream waiting in the freezer to top it all off a little later)!

But two of my darlin's were too busy playing to answer the call. "Alyssa, Alaya!" I called again. Still they paid no attention. So I did the only thing I could do. I went over to where they were engrossed in their baby dolls and scooted down on my achy knees to look them in the eyes.

Now I had their full attention. "Girls," I said with loving firmness, "did you not hear me calling you?"
They shook their heads no, their dark braids flying, their brown eyes wide with surprise.


"Well sweet things, now that I have your attention, help your old Grammy up and let's go eat." Together the girls tugged on my arms and off we went toward the banquet.

As I walked with them, I thought about having to go to all that trouble , to physically scoot down low to get the attention of my granddaughters. It was then I realized that this is exactly what Jesus did for me.

God had a wonderful feast prepared for us in heaven and he called his people to come and eat and enjoy! But most often, caught up in their own little dramas, they ignored his call. So, in the form of his Son, Jesus "scooted down low" and became on of us. Why? To get our attention, to meet us eye to eye-to take us by the hand and lead us to the feast.
-Carol Kent, Thelmas Wells

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Introducing Mellie Snowflake Altic!

The boys and I had the opportunity to go meet Mr. Sterling (a.k.a. the grey fluff ball). I'm so thankful for the chance to meet him before we decided to take him into our home for the next 15 years. He was a spitfire who snagged Tanner's thumb and made it bleed something fierce. He was so cute but wanted nothing to do with us. It may be because he found out Jared wanted to name him Cletus (I love you sweety, I couldn't help myself.)

I was super thankful when as we were leaving Tanner said, "I don't think he's for me." Jess T. had sent me some pics of a few kittens they had. Her mother was so touched by our story that she desperately wanted to give Tanner a new kitty. We decided that we should meet Sterling before we decided since we had already contacted them. So once we decided no on Sterling we headed over to Ms. Jess' house. Her mom had already went out into the mud to retrieve our new baby.

As soon as Tanner came in the house the kitty snuggled right into his arms and started her little motor. She purrs so loud and was soo sweet. Tanner couldn't quit smiling. It was love at first purr.

Her name is Mellie Snowflake, Mellie is Greek for dark, and Snowflake is obvious. It's perfect for her little grey and white self. We are so thankful to have her and it's been surprising how very different she is than Leukas. He was obviously so sick and we just didn't know. She leaps and plays. Even while Tanner holds her she's alert and bats at his face or chews on his hoodie string. We love her and are so very thankful.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

His Mercies Are New Every Morning

Blech, blah, waaaaa

What a stinky day. My head hurts and my heart is sad.

On a positive note I pulled an old box of lego type toys from the garage and my 5 children have been playing in the living room together for over a hour. They are wonderfully distracted and playing very well together. They are working together to create a monstrosity and it's super cute.

Tanner had a very rough day but we've not had any tears since 2pm. I collected all of Leukas' odds and ends and stored them upstairs in the attic for the time being. We fully intend on another kitty so all those things will be put to good use eventually.

I have to say there is a lot of anxiety at the prospect of a new kitten. I don't know how many of you have met our cat of 11 years but she's not nice. We wanted a new kitten to be raised around and with the kids so that he would sleep with them and allow them to love on him. We were thrilled with little Leuk because he was a love bug. He preferred to be on us or with us at all times. I really don't want another Kayla. Jared and I feel strongly about keeping our pets for their lifetime and we wouldn't ever get rid of an animal even if it wasn't the demeanor we hoped for.

So, now we're starting our search all over again. We're sad and we're broke. I would seriously consider waiting a while so our checking account and our hearts can recover but a very sad little boy asked me today if we could find him a new kitty to sleep in his bed.

It's actually difficult to find a healthy, freshly weaned kitten 4 days before Christmas. I feel a lot like a 8 year old little girl and I just want my kitty back.

***A sweet update***
Pam R. came by the house tonight bringing a precious gift to our sad little Tanner. A friend of hers came across some Zhu Zhu pets and purchased more than she needed. Pam brought Tanner two new hamster friends. For those of you who know Tanner know what a perfect gift this was. Thank you Pam we love you.

Sad Day :(

We are having a rough day.

Our little Leukas died today and Tanner's a mess.

We had him 10 days and in that time the tiny 1.6 lb blue eyed love bug stole our hearts. It may seem silly to some of you but we are devastated at the loss. It's heart breaking to see my son so very sad due to an animal I introduced into his life.

Last night around 11 he vomited a couple times but since our older cat Kala deals with hair balls regularly we didn't think too much of it. This morning however he struggled to walk and was limp. It was obvious something was very wrong. I rushed him to the vet only to find out a few hours later that he would not make it.

In the 10 days we had him we incurred a large vet bill and a large void now that he's gone. Please pray for Tanner and the rest of the family as the children learn a very hard life lesson.

You will be missed Leukas Snowflake Maxwell III

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Menu

While reading my book Home Schooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell there is an entire chapter about organization and how disorganization can be a quiet robber. I can really relate to that so I decided to try out the weekly menu idea that several of my friends have adopted. It not only helps with grocery shopping but I'm hoping for less stress come 4 pm when everyone starts asking, "what's for dinner."

It may seem minor but when there are 4 talking children and a husband and they all ask at least once this mommy starts answering with less and less kindness with each passing question. So here is our menu for the week and thankfully I already have the bulk of what I need for groceries. If there is a recipe that you would like just request it in the comments and I'll post it.

Monday-Chicken and stuffing (this is a crock pot recipe that I prefer to make in the oven, super easy and a family fav)

Tuesday-Creamy chicken and rice

Wednesday-Spaghetti and Meatballs w/homemade garlic bread

Thursday-Hodge podge and leftovers due to Christmas Eve service at 6:00

Friday-MERRY CHRISTMAS!! My family is coming over for dinner and I plan to have Grandma Jean's cinnamon rolls for breakfast, BBQ meatballs, ribs, rolls, mashed potatoes, and Texas sheet cake for dinner!

Saturday-Christmas at the in-laws! Homemade chicken and noodles (with my very own noodles, yumm!) rolls, and whatever else the Altic's/Rice families create.

Sunday-Pot roast with carrots and potatoes

Saturday, December 19, 2009

5 days Til Christmas!

Saturday before Christmas and all through the house lots of creatures are stirring but I doubt one's a mouse (because of the cats, get it...)

I'd have to look up Night Before Christmas to keep that going since I barely know the story so that'll have to do.

I started laundry when I woke up this morning. Today marks the beginning of our 2 week Christmas vacation and I decided to get caught up on everything. The scary part is that it's 9:00 pm and the washer and dryer are still going. They've only had brief breaks in between loads. I'm trying to decided whether or not to stay up until it's complete but as you all know laundry is never really done.

I've ran my dishwasher 3 times just today so apparently I've let things go longer than I should've. In my defense I've also made 2 dozen home made cinnamon rolls and fed my family 3 times.

We have a guest tonight. Reese M. is staying over for Tanner's birthday. He came bearing gifts. The sweet little boy insisted his mom buy me a gift for inviting him over. My kitchen smells like fresh flowers thanks to my new candle. What a polite, sweet boy. He's pretty taken with our menagerie. Dana said he wrote an entire paper for school about his "pets" all of which are neighborhood strays. He and Tanner definitely connect on that level. Reese was giddy that Leukas (the new kitty) would be sleeping with he and Tanner.

Christmas is nearly here. Jared and I are so excited for the kids to open their gifts since most of them have been purchased for months now. We desperately try to stretch our holiday dollars as far as possible. We figured out (thanks to my husband's holiday gift spreadsheet) that we have twice the money in value than actual dollars spent due to thrifty shopping and getting started early. The kids will be thrilled and so will we.

Tomorrow is our first Sunday going back to one service. It's really nice that we are having one service for Christmas Sunday. It's always so nice to see everyone and having two services made that difficult. I always worry people slip through the cracks because you assume they were at the other service.

God is really blessing WCCC and I can't wait to be with my church family and worship our King.

Cinnamony Sweet

I had a request via facebook for Grandma Jean's cinnamon roll recipe. Since she published it her church's cookbook I assume it's safe to share :)

Tomorrow we are having cinnamon rolls before Sunday school and several different ladies in the church are contributing. We love Grandma's rolls so I thought I'd create a yummy batch for all the Altic/Rice clan.

1/4 c. warm water
3 pkg yeast (1 pkg = 2 1/4 tsp)
1 Tbsp of sugar
Pinch of ginger
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1/2 c sugar
3 eggs
1 Tbsp salt
6 Tbsp Crisco or margarine (I prefer butter flavored Crisco)

Combine first 4 ingredients and let set 10 minutes. Combine milk, sugar, eggs, salt and Crisco. Add yeast mixture. Add about 3 cups of flour (I use Gold Medal Bread flour for a lighter roll) and mix well. Let rest and then add enough flour to make a soft dough (about another 3 cups). Turn out on floured surface and knead til smooth. Let rise until doubled. Roll 1/2 out into a rectangle. Smear with softened butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon (I eyeball this until it looks good and bad for you). Roll up and cut in 1" slices (a pizza cutter is AWESOME for this). Place in greased pan and let rise about a hour. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. It yields about 2 dozen rolls.

Once they're baked and somewhat cooled off I like to ice them with a basic powdered sugar icing. I dump an entire bag of powdered sugar into my Kitchenaid Mixer and then add 2 tsp vanilla, 2 Tbsp butter and then milk until it's the right consistency. Then I just goop it all over the tops of the rolls. If you wait until they're too cool the icing just sits on top. We like to put it on when they're warm enough to melt the icing.

Let me know what you think! They take a lot of time but it's time well spent :)

Our Sweet Tanner

Yesterday (18th) was Tanner's 8th birthday. I typically try to post a birthday blog for the kids on their actual birthday but yesterday was a very full day that started awful early so sweet Tanner gets his birthday blog today. Here is a slide show of some of my very favorite Tanner pictures. I went through our iPhoto and found over 20 images I wanted to include but I narrowed it down to the ones that show his personality the most. Happy Birthday precious boy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I'm a Popsicle

-We took Leuk to the vet today. He has been sleeping about 23.5 hours a day. He needed a well kitten check as well as his vaccinations. Apparently the sleeping is due to a bacterial bug in his gut and with some canned food and a little dewormer he should be good as new in no time. He weighs a whopping 1.6lbs. He's a heavy weight, they just kept commenting on how tiny he is. I wish there was some way to keep his little fuzzy self just like he is.

-I started into my book Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit again. It's a really good read for all mom's since we all teach our children and most of us need more patience. I'm still doing well with my quiet time and this book has an entire chapter on how important it is to take time in the Word. It asks what are "robbers" of meekness and quiet in your life and honestly disorganization and a lack of connection with the Lord are my top two. If I'm nurturing my relationship with Christ life in general is just more tolerable.

-Friday is a big day! Tanner turns 8 and we have Zachary's last court date. As of Friday all the T's are crossed and I's dotted and Zach's permanently a Hancock! I can't wait. I don't know if my family is aware but I'm planing to head to Topeka and celebrate both boys so get ready for us :)

-Anneliese is pulling up to a standing position now. Just last night we put her to bed and a hour later she was crying and wouldn't stop. I went up to check on her and she was standing in the corner and was too timid to lay/sit down. She was stuck and was soo tired! I laid her down and she went right to sleep. FUNNY!

-I found a guy on Craigslist that is selling a barbie set that has Princess Anneliese and all her cohorts. I'm trying to decide if I should get it and put it away for her until she's old enough to appreciate it. I'm a little concerned that by the time she's old enough it will be impossible to find Princess Anneliese gear. All you Barbie fans out there let me know if you think this is a good deal.

-Brennan my 3rd grader is on chapter 10 of the first Harry Potter book. I was curious what level of reading it is so I looked it up and it's 5.1. Way to go Brennan! He's really enjoying it and wants to watch the first movie but I wanted him to read the book first. He has his daddy's hunger for knowledge and love of reading. I don't think there's anyway you could have convinced me to read a thick chapter book without pictures in third grade. I was still reading Judy Bloom at that stage.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Catch Scratch Fever

Jared and I have been a little hesitant to announce the newest member of our family simply because several of you drop a jaw when you find out we have 5 kids, 2 dogs, and a cat. We have been considering adding to our brood for quite some time and decided long ago it would NOT be another dog simply because they require so much. Yesterday Jared let the cat out of the bag during church and mentioned our little bundle several times so here's how he came to us:

Tanner is our tender heart who loves animals and his birthday is Friday. He'll turn 8 and since all his hamsters have gone to hamster heaven (at no fault of his, the kind of hamster he had only lives 12-18 mos in captivity) we decided to find him a kitten of his very own.

It may shock some of you into coma to find out that Jared and I have been researching for years the ragdoll breed due to our desire to breed them. This first came up before Maury joined our house (2 1/2 years ago) and has resurfaced due to our desire to have kittens for the kids.

It seemed very Proverbs 31 to me. Jared and I have stretched our dollars until they scream hallelujah and having a small cattery, caring for, raising, and then selling the kittens seemed like a way to add some cushion to our financial year and pay of some of our mountains of medical debt all while teaching the kids the facts of life, the business model etc.

Regardless of how much I search the web and beg wisdom from experienced breeders no one seems to want to help. Buying a breeding pair is an investment that we just can't afford even though the first litter would pay for it's parent's purchase.

I've come to the conclusion that my days as a cat woman are going to have to wait. So instead we rescued a precious little polydactyl Siamese. He is 8 weeks old and Tanner has named him Leukas (greek for white) Maxwell Snowflake. It's a mouth full so we just call him Leuk.
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Answered Prayer

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Just 14 months ago we were deep in prayer and petition.

Just 14 months ago we received news that our tiny baby may have a genetic malformation.

Just 14 months ago Jared and I discussed where we would bury our baby if the results were positive for Trisomy 18.

Just 14 months ago I wrote this blog about being Sleepless but NOT Hopeless.

Tomorrow Anneliese turns 9 months old and it is not lost on me that this precious little life is a gift and our prayers were answered.

Thank you Lord for all of our children, and thank you for our little girl.

More of Him Less Of Me

It has been my goal for quite some time to spend more time in the Word. Jared reminds me regularly that life wouldn't seem quite so overwhelming if I would dwell on God's promises.

Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)
5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you"

Jer 29:11 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I have a partner that has agreed to keep me accountable and it is working. At first I was just really convicted that I needed daily time reading something, anything in scripture. I struggled for a couple weeks with severe conviction but I couldn't move to action.

As you can imagine life is very busy and sometimes hectic with 5 children and all that comes with it. I would go 2 days and not stop and spend just a few moments reading. After talking to my accountability partner she asked if I did anything during my day that was just for me. Well, of course I do. I enjoy Facebook and catching up with friends and family, I love to play Scrabble on my phone and I love to snuggle into my bed and catch a few minutes of a show now and then. I do have the time I just choose to spend it otherwise.

So she challenged me. Her challenge was to read at least a couple chapters of scripture before I got online. Since I typically check my email and Facebook first thing this has been a great idea! Now before I do anything I am spending some time dwelling on HIS promises!

I want the Word to be a daily part of my life for lots of reasons. I want to be an example to my children that He is my priority. I don't want the stress of this life to take my joy and reading about God's provision and His unconditional love for me and my family grants peace!

I am so thankful to my sweet friend who has had the courage to challenge me and I'm taking it a step further by putting out there so you too can be challenged and we can encourage each other to make our God our Lord.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Well Hello There

-When I look at our Christmas picture I just think, "Wow that whole crowd came from my womb." That is really odd & overwhelmingly wonderful.

-Our sweet Jess T. made Elijah's little world today. Brennan and Tanner both own Nintendo DS' and Elijah has been longingly looking on. He's been quiet and doesn't demand anything but he desperately wants in on the action. We explained he simply needs to be able to read before he could really benefit from one. Today Jess brought him a Game Boy Advance that she's had hiding in a drawer for nearly a decade. She found a simple Mario game and he's in heaven. He came up to me at church and shyly placed his forehead against my belly, held the game system over his head and said, "This is all I want for Christmas, I love it. It's so fun." He couldn't be happier and neither could I. It's really true, love my babies and I'll love you forever. Thank you Ms. Jess, your generous sweet spirit is truly a gift.

-Anneliese is sick. The poor little thing just looks awful. She went to bed tonight looking as if someone dipped her nose first into a vat of ointment. Her little face is cracked and chaffed from all the nose wiping. We've resorted to blotting vs wiping due to the pain she's in. I decided the only way she'll survive with her nose in tact is with a dose of benedryl and some heavy nose lubrication. Poor baby.

-I have really been enjoying going through all our pics on the new computer. The facial recognition software is fascinating. It thinks Brennan and Elijah are my dad. It thought Anita and I were the same person (weird!). Apparently all of you who think Sis and Graham look identical are right. It's really interesting and a lot of fun. Be prepared for a lot of videos and pics in future blogs.

Merry Christmas 09'


Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
From left to right: Brennan 9, Graham 3.5, Anneliese 9 mos, Elijah 5.5, Tanner 8

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Want Homemade Bread For Christmas? Let Us Help!





Jess T. and I want to make your family homemade rolls for your Holiday dinner! These are actually not just homemade but handmade from scratch. This particular batch is garlic bread to go with tomorrow night's dinner at church. They are definitely best fresh so you would want to pick them up no earlier than 1 day before your meal. We are asking $5 per dozen and will make as many as you need with a 2 dozen minimum. Please send me an email at wornslick@sbcglobal.net if you want to place an order. YAY yummy bread :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

New Video of Sis!

I have been having some fun with our new iMovie application on the computer. I can do all kinds of stuff with the little clips of video I've accumulated. I didn't post this one when I originally videoed it because it was on it's side. I was able to simply correct and edit it and now you get to enjoy!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Blog Blog Blog...Blog...Blog

I am blogging simply because I want to play on our new computer.

Jared and I have a eMac that we've used for 6 years and it has been a great computer. Over the last two years we have saved up enough to buy a new computer so the eMac could be used primarily for school and each time we've had to spend the money on more emergent needs.

Finally we have two functioning computers and as a home school family with soon to be 5 students this is such a blessing!

The keyboard is tiny and is taking a bit to get used to but I'll manage :)

Caroling went great this morning. I really enjoyed Jessica and the crowd enjoyed the two of us. We had several episodes of applauding. At one point we had our picture taken and our information taken down for a small publication. They asked if we were professional. We get paid so I guess that makes us professional by definition but Jessica and I are a tad too goofy to be "professional."

The rolls that Jess and I made yesterday seemed to go over really well at the Altic's today. Unfortunately Jared and Graham stayed home due to being under the weather. Graham had a fever all morning and is having labored breathing. Brennan, Tanner, Elijah, Anneliese and I went up for a few hours and had a yummy dinner and some fellowship before returning home with leftovers in hand.

Jess T. has introduced me to a new way of baking my rolls and it requires several muffin pans. If you have some that you don't need/use I would love to take them off your hands and offer you more space in your kitchen cabinets :)

Merry Thanksgiving?

Today is an interesting day!

This morning Jessica R. and I are heading to the Piper High School to carol at the craft fair. This is my 3rd or 4th year doing this. People look at us kinda weird at first but end up singing along and really enjoying it by the end of the day. Karen B. hires us and the extra money is always nice to help with Christmas gifts for the boys. My favorite part is looking through all the crafty crafts while we sing.

This afternoon we are having Thanksgiving with all of Jared's extended family. It was just the best day for us to get together. As soon as caroling wraps up the family is heading to Platte City for the rest of the day. Yesterday Ms. Jess and I made 9.5 dozen of homemade rolls. She cooks for camp all summer and has the large batch making down to a science. I'm super thankful for her help because I would have been making small batch after small batch.

We ended up making two of her enormous batches of bread because one wasn't quite enough and two is wayyy too much but this way there's extra vs not enough. I know my mom in law will appreciate that.

I'm off to get all dolled up so the customers at the craft fair assume I'm supposed to be singing at them vs some vagrant that has wandered in for warmth.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Anneliese is All Done!



In this clip Anneliese does the sign for "all done" (waving both hands at the same time) twice before she finally verbalizes it with a tone of "seriously, I'm all done!"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Randomness Is All I Can Muster...

-Mom, the kids, and I went to UMKC Dental school today for Graham to receive laughing gas and a filling. He was sweet and super cute while under the influence. He told the dentist that Mommy calls him cute and handsome while daddy refers to him as Squirt. The dentist was trying to numb his cheek and kept calling Graham "friend" to which Graham replied, "You are not my friend!" Can you blame him? The guy had a needle and was using it freely.

-Since we had already driven down there we decided to head to Union Station and check out the trains. Graham is our little Engineer second only to Brennan in his obsession with Thomas the Tank Engine. The kids were mesmerized by the display and had a wonderful time. Tanner at one point grabbed my mom around the waist and said it was the best day he'd ever had. So sweet.

-Graham's best friend is Clara Jean. He loves her dearly and constantly talks about her and how he wants to share this or that with "Cara Jean." Today he announced he wanted to marry her. I briefly explained he couldn't marry her because she is his cousin. He looked right at me and said,"I'm going to go to a different church where they will let me marry Cara Jean." I didn't expect to lose one so young :)

-Jess and I are still walking our little legs off each morning while freezing our tootsies. Oprah said once that you burn more calories in the cold because your body works extra hard to regulate your body temp. I may have to start running however just to create enough heat not to be miserable. The wind in our faces this morning was just painful.

-I weighed after Thanksgiving and I weighed exactly the same as I did the week before! I am super happy with that. I have lost 65lbs and have another 20 to be super happy or 15 to be content :) It may be taking longer this time but I can honestly say I am happy to be on the journey and enjoying life during the process verses being a woman obsessed.

-I am so in love with my family and my friends. It may be Christmas or Thanksgiving or the fact that God is soo good. Regardless I am happy and so thankful for all of you, so much so I can't stop thinking about it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving!




We started out our day with a big breakfast of eggs, sausage, and bacon. The boys absolutely love the crunchy meat (bacon) since they rarely get such a treat!
Anneliese wore her first hair clip for the holiday :) It stayed in all of about 20 minutes but it was precious! Ms. Anneliese wanted to be wherever cousin Zachary was. She was drawn to him and his bottle :) We had a wonderful day of snuggling babies, boys wrestling, watching football, giggling, eating and chatting. I'm so thankful that we were able to celebrate Zach's arrival and spend the day together with family.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Turkey

I'm sure I won't have the time or the desire to write tomorrow so I figure I better check in today.

I currently have a 21 lb turkey brining in the fridge. Apparently anyone that knows anything about turkeys brine their turkeys each year. I hadn't ever heard of it until this morning and fortunately for my family I had everything I needed so I'll let you know if it's as delish as they claim.

My mom, brother, sis in law, nephew, other brother and his fiance are all coming tomorrow and I've been preparing for two days. I have dough in the fridge for rolls, I made two batches of bread yesterday for stuffing, and we've been working on the house as well.

I'm really excited to just hang out and eat yummy food.

We are so thankful for so many things. God is good all the time, all the time God is good.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Random Thoughts

Our first afternoon off the kids enjoyed some popcorn and an old favorite; Chicken Run.


-Jenny H. gave me Wal-Mart's version of Pro-Active and my face is already better after just 24 hours. Thank you Jenny! The bulk of the redness is gone, there are no new blemishes and the old ones are obviously healing.

-Today I plan to do some deep cleaning and a bunch of baking. Jess T. is heading over to lend a hand and I'm excited to see what we can accomplish today. I need to get my bread baked for Thursday's stuffing, I want to make some chocolate chip cookies, rolls, and whatever else I can think of.

-The boys think that vacation is too good to be true. Brennan asked me this morning if we would have to make up the days off we are enjoying. He seems pretty concerned :)

-Apparently as I've gotten older I've acquired a shellfish allergy. Over the last couple years if I get anywhere near shrimp when I'm pregnant I end up with horrific abdominal pain and vomiting. Typically once the baby is born I'm okay and can eat it again without issue. That's not the case anymore. I have eaten shrimp 2 or 3 times while not pregnant and even though I don't have the violent vomiting I have terrible abdominal pain that is on the verge of intolerable. We went out to dinner last night and I had shrimp and sure enough within a hour of eating it I was seriously regretting it. No more shrimp for me thank you very much.

-My family is coming on Thursday and Jared's family is celebrating on Dec. 5 so we get to spread out our thankfulness this year. I'm just really excited to spend time with family. We have so much to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Goings On

-Our family has been sick now for 2 weeks! It's just the never ending head cold that just won't let you feel somewhat normal. I was really starting to feel better for about 24 hours when another cold hit. This one is a bit different so now I have head congestion with the horrible chest congestion and cough. YAY, grrr. I know you can relate. This stuff is everywhere.

-We have put in an order to cancel our land line. If you need our cell numbers please contact us and we will give them to you. This is just a way to save a little each month and the only people who really use it anymore are 1800 numbers anyway.

-Has anyone tried Proactive? My face didn't get the memo that I'm not 16 anymore. I have a ridiculous breakout on my jawline right now and it's painful and embarrassing. I would try it if it meant I'd look post-pubescent.

-I spent some time yesterday organizing the boys dresser. They each have a drawer of pants that fit just them. The funny thing was during said organization I realized that my 5 year old and my 9 year old wear the same size pants.

-Thanksgiving is Thursday! Wow that came fast. My family is coming over for a traditional gluttony feast. I love days to just hang out and munch. I can't wait to get my hands on Zachary. I better be over this mess by then. I went to his shower on Sunday and wasn't able to kiss him once. Courtney, we will miss you and the babies!

-We are officially canceling cards on Sundays. Jared and I really feel called to start a bible study or something. We're still working out the details but the idea is to reach people outside of our circle of regulars. It's been a lot of fun over the last couple years but it's time to reach beyond our comfortable snuggly little group and into our community :). We encourage you to do the same!

-Did I mention we're done with school for a week! YAY I'm so thankful for the break. I've been thinking all day, "I don't have to do school today,or tomorrow, or the next day, or the next. whoo hoo!"

-Our church rocks. I love you all so very much. We feel so blessed to be here and want to do our very best in the ministry God has provided. Thank you for your support and love. Wyandotte is home simply because you've made it that way.

Friday, November 20, 2009

We Made It!!

Today is the last day of school until the Monday after Thanksgiving.

We made it through October and we are finally at mid winter breaks! We take a week now and two weeks at Christmas!

The hardest part about home schooling is staying motivated when it seems breaks will never come. October seems to be my hardest month. I just want to be done but it's still so early in the year. Christmas marks the half way point and brings wonderful breaks full of fun and family.

The boys are doing remarkable and the long days of school that we had at the beginning are shrinking since they know the material and are eager to get done. What once took a good 3 1/2 hours or more is now complete in a mere hour and a half to two max. I'm really proud of my intelligent little self starters. It really does get better with time. I never thought I would enjoy home schooling and by George look at us now.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jared Says It Best

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thank You

Our lovely church family has outdone itself again. In the midst of very difficult economic times, our church gave us (Chris and me) very generous Pastor Appreciation gifts last night.

Considering the circumstances, I was totally okay with a handful of McDonald's coupons. That would be reasonable in a time when most families are really struggling. In fact, I was content to have already received my gift in July with my rock, which some of the church guys brought from Winchester to my house in Piper.

But our church family has showered us with cards and gifts, giving sacrificially to show their love for us. I was speechless, emotional, and greatly endeared to everyone last night. So…

Thank you. Thank you for your commitment to us and to the Lord's church. Words will never fully express how much this church family means to me. I thank God for how irreplaceable you are in my heart.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Okay So She's Not So Tiny Anymore

Warning to my multitude *wink* of male readers....Nursing info ahead! Warning!!

Anneliese is 8 months and a week and she is on a nursing strike. Last night I had a volleyball tourny and was gone from 5:30 until 9:45 and Jared took care of Sis and put her to bed without trouble.

Yesterday afternoon she woke up from a 2 1/2 hour nap and as soon as I sat down with her to feed she started throwing a holy fit; screaming, arching her back and wailing. I had no idea what was wrong so I tried to soothe her and loved on her. She just kept on until I thought I should try some cereal. As soon as I started making her cereal her little hands started wiggling and she began working her mouth. She ate an entire bowl full and was fat and happy.

This was the second or third incident. My big concern is if she decides she's done while nursing in public there's NO way I can keep her covered with all that thrashing. I'm afraid my tiny baby that has 8 teeth is ready for real food and I'm not sure what to do about it.

1)Is she old enough to go without formula? 8 months seems young to completely cease bottle or breast. She's not a good sippy cup user just yet.

2)Will I be able to get past the weird emotional guilt and pressure I put on myself when it comes to nursing. My plan was to nurse for the first year. I went through a lot to be able to nurse her and it feels like quitting to stop when it's only been good for about 4 months.

3)Jared and I feel completely content with our family and I know you've heard it before but we really do feel she is the last one and it makes me sad to think that my last nursing experience is over.

Regardless she'll decide what we're doing. I can't force her to feed and there are obvious perks to being done. I'm just working through it all in my heart and mind.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Not Where I Left Her




My daughter is crawling. I keep finding her in different places and they are not where I left her. Thankfully she has not found the stairs yet. She pretty much keeps to the kitchen where her fleece p.j.'s glide smoothly across the floor.

I Pity The Poor Fool

I want to know when it happened.

There has been a transition in my life in how people perceive me. People in general, not necessarily those who actually know me. I would hope that's because they know me well and know better.

When I am out grocery shopping or just out and about I have started to notice looks and a condescending tone from clerks and total strangers.

There was a time when I would get dolled up just to go to Wal-Mart or Qt. I was unable to leave the house without my "face on." Once in a blue moon I would notice someone notice me or if the kids were in toe they'd comment on their behavior or overall cuteness.

Over the course of the last couple years I have come to the mature understanding that I need to be concerned with an audience of 1...Jared. So I go to Wal-Mart in my pajama bottoms if it means I can leave the house quickly and go alone. I only wear my hair down when I'm headed to church or a nice date since Jared prefers it in a pony tail.

The occasional glances from random people have ceased and it has been replaced by an heir of pity from total strangers.

-Is it because I have 5 children?

-Is it because I am confident in my relationship with Jared and don't feel the need to wear a fitted shirt and mascara to QT?

An Aldi clerk today assumed I was using a Vision card while shopping for my family. She was obviously surprised when I paid in cash. She clearly didn't have time for me.

I feel blessed beyond measure by the 5 precious people God has allowed me to raise. My husband is a precious man that is a hard worker, has integrity, and has a passion for being an amazing father, husband and minister. I feel the need to inform these strangers that I am happy and content.

If nothing else I have learned that when I deal with others I will extend God's grace, God's love, and God's patience.

No one
likes to feel as if they are not worth your time.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Baby It's Not Very Cold Outside

-My baby girl is 8 months old today! How can that be?!

-I have a new nephew in case you haven't heard :) Welcome to the family Zachary! We promise to love you and cherish you!

-Jess and I are still walking about 4 miles a morning and it's mid November. We went out today with no jackets. I appreciate the ability to exercise but it just doesn't seem real that Thanksgiving is just around the corner when I had on short pants just two days ago.

-This week marks the end of lesson 60! The kids are quickly nearing the halfway mark for school. Eli read his first sentence today. "Jan fed the hens." It may not seem like much but I'm pretty impressed my 5 year old is rah-eee-dah-ing!!

-Tomorrow Chris C. and I are taking the kids to Crown Center for a field trip. They are going to watch a play at Coterie Theatre and go to Kaleidoscope. I am so excited!

-We are blessed. In light of our new nephew and God's amazing providence I can't help but just sit in awe of His blessings being poured out like Niagara Falls over the mountain's edge. Thank you Lord.

Celebrate, The Lord is Good!!!

It's official!! Baby Zachary is ours!

We are so thankful to all of you who have been praying for this adoption. It has been a labor of love for sure!

Congratulations Jason and Erin!!

Zachary means "the one the Lord remembered."

Thank you Lord for remembering our little nephew and granting him a home where he will be loved and cherished.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm An Uncle! :)

Philippians 4:6-7
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Please be in prayer for my family today and over the next couple days. Today marks a new beginning for my brother Jason and his wife Erin. There is a tiny baby boy to be born this afternoon via c-section.

We would appreciate prayers for the birth mother and the completely selfless act she's about to do. We would appreciate prayers for Jason and Erin while they wait to take their son home with the confidence that he is theirs for a lifetime.

Jason and Erin have desperately wanted a family for over a decade. It is fair to say that they have been praying for and waiting for sweet little Zach that entire time and he's finally here.

"Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, You didn't grow under my heart - but in it"
--- Fleur Conkling Heylinger

We are so excited for you guys and are giddy that your dream is finally coming true.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Argghh...Ahoy There Matey

Graham was our pirate for Halloween but the other day he put his hat on Anneliese, propped the skull pillow on her lap and came running asking me to take a picture. I thought they turned out great and apparently my 3 year old has an eye for photography!



While Dad's Away

While Dad's away the girls will play :)

Jared left this afternoon for a men's retreat so Sis and I had a little fun while the boys were jumping on the trampoline. You'll notice it's not perfect but painting a 7.5 month old's toenails while she's awake is not an easy task.

Taking Inventory

Have you ever gone through a spell where you just felt like every word and every action done by others was being used by God to convict and refine you?

I am really there right now.

It's a painful place but I am fully aware that this is a good thing that will leave me closer to Him, and create in me a better mother, wife, and friend.

My current convictions/goals:

-Engage! It is my desire to make eye contact and respond to my children every time they approach me. It's easy with 5 little people vying for my attention to wear out and stop giving them the attention and time they deserve and desire.

-Read! I do not spend enough time reading and dwelling on God's promises. I have decided that it is essential for my spiritual growth and depth to dig deeper into scripture and allow it to comfort and convict!

-Hush! My mouth is a dangerous place. I have got to get my tongue and my heart under God's control.

I would appreciate your prayers as the Lord continues to take inventory of my spiritual closet. I am eager and willing to follow His leading and His will.

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Long Time

I'm not real sure why but I've not been in the blogging mood lately.

I've been working really hard on organizing and cleaning the house. We have cleaned the garage partly, I cleaned out the basement and even painted the walls. Today Jess T. and I organized the attic space above the living room and went through all of Sis' clothes.

It just seems like with a family our size we need to utilize every square inch of space. We hadn't really used our basement at all since we moved in. It's a smaller space that is really more of a fruit cellar than a basement but it can be used for storage and as a pantry for canned goods.

The basement proved quite the project but now that it's done I'm really thankful. When my house is clean and organized I couldn't be more content. Now I'm ready to take on painting the hallways. I may have just figured out why I haven't had time to blog lately :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

He Loves Her Yah Yah Yah

I woke this morning at 7am to the sounds of my little girl cooing and yelling playfully. I checked the monitor and it was silent. It took me a couple minutes to get my bearings and then I realized it was coming from the living room.

I stumbled out to find Brennan and Anneliese sitting on the couch watching Sponge Bob. A little befuddled I asked Brennan when she woke up etc. He said he heard her talking at 6:23 am (he likes to be precise) and decided to get her up and bring her down.

The two of them were bonding. It amazes me that she didn't want to nurse for the first 37 minutes she was awake. Typically a baby wants to eat first thing. My heart is warmed by my big boy who just decided to take care of his little sis without hesitation. It didn't even occur to him to leave her or to bring her to me since she was fine.

I appreciated the extra snooze time and when she saw me she decided she was hungry. I picked her up and headed to my room to feed her when Brennan said,"Can I have her back when you're done?"

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Recent Pics of Our Progeny





Melting Down Isn't Just for Fondue

Yesterday was a stinky day. It was my mom's birthday and she mistakenly decided to spend it with her cranky daughter. Sorry Mom. Our sweet Jess brought over a pot roast, rolls, cupcakes, Weight Watchers cookies, and diet Mt. Dew for Pastor appreciation. I'm so thankful she did otherwise my family may have gone hungry.

I woke up really not feeling well. My head and neck hurt plus nasty congestion. I ended up with a bad headache for the entire day. At 10:30 last night I finally gave in and just had a good cry. I text my sweet friend for encouragement and she said, "His joy comes with the morning."

With those words I drifted off to sleep and awoke this morning at 8:30 to my baby still slumbering peacefully. Jared and I laid in bed and watched T.V. and had a lazy morning. We're about to eat a breakfast casserole provided by Danielle P. and later we're heading to the outlaws :) for some Trick or Treating.

God is good all the time, all the time God is good.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What's For Dinner?

Since we headed out to Price Chopper for some serious chicken I thought I cook some for dinner. Tonight we're having chicken and stuffing.

What you need:
boneless skinless chicken breast, we use 6-8 due to our family size
2 cans chicken broth
2 boxes chicken flavored stuffing
1 can 98% fat free cream of mushroom (we use cream of chicken due to an aversion to fungi)

Line a 9x13 pan with chicken breasts.
Mix 1 can of broth with the cream of soup and pour over chicken
dump stuffing into a bowl and pour remaining can of broth over stuffing and let sit for 5 minutes
take stuffing and spoon in over chicken
Bake covered for 35 mins at 350 degrees
Uncover and allow to bake another 10 minutes or until stuffing is brown and crisp on top.

This is an old Weight Watchers recipe and is 3 pts for the chicken breast and 4pts for a cup of stuffing. It's really yummy and quite the comfort food. You can also slow cook this in a crock pot. Follow the same directions just layer in a large crock pot and then cook on low for 6-8 hours. I prefer the oven version just because the stuffing isn't quite as mushy.

Who Am I Again?

-I've not chewed my fingernails in two weeks and 5 days. I actually have nails and they're light pink. Yay nice hands.

-Engage! I've realized in the last couple days I zone in mid conversation only to zone back out again. Brennan prayed during prayer time last night that he wanted me to have a good day today. I'm not sure what's caused the distance but the kids are picking up on it and I really want to re-engage I'm just out to lunch apparently. I'll be back soon I hope.

-Sticking things out in the garage only to have the children rediscover them months later is the best tool for keeping them occupied. I am notorious for moving bags of things to the garage with the intent of donating them to Goodwill. Once in a while the boys will help me unload groceries into the freezer out there and they'll "shop" the castoffs and find something great. Today it's a pop up tent and they've been playing quietly for a hour so far.

-Price Chopper has boneless skinless chicken on sale for $1.49 a pound but it ends today so GO GET SOME CHICKEN! We bought some chicken and roasts and saved $58! If we weren't at the end of a pay period I would have bought a lot more. It's a staple in our house and saves us a ton when it's priced so reasonably. I heard from Jess T. that Thriftway has 73% ground beef for $.98/lb. I'm not sure for how long.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Peek A Boo

My veiw as I climbed the stairs to get someone up from their nap :)







Randomness

-I know you are all dying to know how my cat's litter box is doing. I figured I better hurry and give you an update :) So far it's purrrfect. I've read some pretty stinky (the puns for this are awesome) reviews for it online but I'm really happy with it. It seemed that the people that were unhappy with it had 3-4 or more cats. I venture to say such people couldn't ever be happy about anything since they own 3-4 or more cats.

-My daughter loves me. She is sleeping 12+ hours every night now for 8 days. For those of you who's children slept through the night at 2 minutes old you're thinking, "it's about time, how old is she?!" Then there are those of you who are cursing my very name for mentioning it because your 13 year old still gets up and 12 and 4 for a sippy cup. The reason why it's such a big deal to me is I home school and I am not nice when I'm exhausted. The boys, Jared and I all appreciate her willingness to slumber in her snugglie little bed all the way upstairs for the whole night. YAY Anneliese, KEEP IT UP (or mommy will turn off the monitor :)).

-I will be attending a wedding tomorrow. Just the thought of this wedding makes me smile and warms my heart. God is good and works all things to His glory for those who love Him!

-Sis is days from crawling. She currently gets on all fours rocks back and forth. It will happen in no time I'm sure.

-I just proof read my blog before posting and deleted multiple really's. Apparently I really want you to understand how strongly I feel about things. Really.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Do You Need Some Pink?

Anneliese is quickly outgrowing her infant accessories. I am looking to sell a few things to help with her older brothers dental bills :)

-A beautiful Boppy Bouncy seat that is soft pink and tan from Target. It was $30 ish new and she's only used it maybe 10 times. I put her in it last week and she ended up upside down and hollering because she tried to weasel out of it and she was strapped in. I think she may be too big for it now.

-A pink bathtub also from Target that has a detachable sling for when they're brand new. I loved this tub and she's just now stopped using it since she can sit in the sink on her own. It was $20 new.

-A Boppy with two different soft pink covers (one striped one floral). I used this when she was tiny to prop her up in and haven't really used it much since. It's a great tool but honestly I was too chubby post baby to use it comfortably for nursing. The pillow itself was $30 ish and I have the original packaging and the covers were $10 each.

-A pink bumbo with tray. The bumbo was $30 new and the tray was $10. I'm not quite ready to part with this but she'll simply be too big for it soon. I have LOVED this thing. It's a portable high chair, toy station, and all around baby entertainer as well as beautiful table center piece (when the baby is using it :)). I still have the original boxes for these as well. If you want to reserve this I'll let you know as soon as I'm ready to let it go.

-A black and white toile Evenflo sling. A lot of you saw my little princess sound asleep in this wonderful invention. She is officially ridiculous when I try to put her in it. I used it as long as possible. These are $20-$30 new and are meant for 0-6 months. This was the only thing that got us through those evening colic spells.

If you're interested in one or more shoot me an email or leave a comment with an offer or any questions. I honestly feel guilty these wonderful things have only had one baby to use them. I'm used to wearing things out so hopefully someone out there can get some more wear out of these super cute pink baby gems.

Love Is In the Air

-I love fall rainy days and fresh coffee.

-I love 5 little people that call me mom. They're so unique and creative. Graham told me the other day, "Pirates have hooks on day hands. Day use duh hooks to pull on people rudely."

-I love that my husband and I are so on the same page when it comes to everything. Life is so much easier when your spouse is your best friend and confidant. We are in the best season of our marriage so far. He gets me when no one else does. We have come soo far.

-I love that we serve a God that redeems us and our situations. There are several people in my life right now that are either deeply in love or finding love again after a long time. He makes all things beautiful in His time.

-I love that we serve in a congregation with Godly leaders that seek desperately the will of God and constantly and consistently provide for our family no only through financial means but as spiritual leaders, confidants and friends.

-I love my God and creator. He knows my name, He knows my every thought. He sees each tear that falls and hears me when I call.

-I love that I have a Father who calls me His own. He'll never leave me no matter where I go. He Knows My Name
Words and Music by Tommy Walker
© 1996 Doulos Publishing




Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Purrfect Purrchase

You may think I'm nuts but I am very very excited about my new purrrrchase.

Jared and I are now the proud owners of an automatic litter box.

We have company on a regular basis and my nemesis is the odor that wafts through the back of the house from the litter. We aren't good about cleaning it regularly and often while I'm doing laundry I'm accosted by the smell of well...ick.

I don't really mind the cat. In fact since I've adopted two dogs I have a new found respect and love for Kayla. She is self sufficient and very low maintenance. I've always thought if it weren't for the litter box she'd be perfect!

Well we have a computerized potty for our cat. If that isn't ridiculous I'm not real sure what is, but...

1) It smells remarkably better

2) I am significantly more content with my home since it does not smell of ammonia and I've regained the cat bathroom, I mean second bathroom.

3) I have 1 less job to do and as a mother of 5 you can see that alone makes it worth it!

4) Last but most definitely not least, the dogs can no longer snack from the box. It has a sensor and cleans itself 10 seconds after the cat leaves. The cat's business is pushed into a closed receptacle for later disposal.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Anneliese & Sara

Anneliese meets Ms. Sara for the first time:

The second video is when Anneliese discovered Sara's bottle...

Randomness

-I just had to buy normal sized hangers for the boys clothing. The little kid hangers aren't wide enough for their shirts. It may sound silly but that really gave me pause. My boys are too big for little hangers...

-Anneliese has a new dolly. Her name is Sara. In fact all of her dolls will be named Sara until she's able to protest. When I was a little girl my dollies carried that name. Not sure why but it just seems appropriate to pass that down :) There is a video of Anneliese meeting Sara for the first time. Watch for it, it's precious.

-Tonight is the Jones bonfire. It starts at 6 and I look forward to it all year. I LOVE THE JONES' BONFIRE! I will be making chocolate chip cookies all afternoon and the kids and I will be bundled up and ready to go far before it's time simply due to the giddiness we all share. YAY fall, YAY bonfires, YAY hayrides, YAY jack-o-lanterns, YAY hot cocoa!!!

-Jared's ankle is much improved visually. It was crazy swollen and even his toes were purple with bruising. He's still hobbling quite a bit but after he heeded my advice, iced it, and wrapped it you can actually identify it as an ankle. Poor guy, it is a nasty sprain.

-Having had a manicure I think it just maybe what I need to stop chewing my nails. My little nubs look so nice and my cuticles are in great shape I simply don't want to mess it up. I am still surprised at just how much that day recharged me. Jared said he didn't know that I would enjoy stuff like that so much and I couldn't help but reply, "neither did I!" As a mom of 5 that home schools, time to myself is priceless and having that time filled with pampering was heavenly. I think I may have figured out my love language for this stage of my life. I really felt loved through that gift.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Washing Woes

Just a reminder last Saturday my washing machine flooded the laundry room. I called about the warranty immediately and they came Tuesday to tell me what I already knew. The large seal is torn and I told them that on Saturday. The repair man looked at it, sighed and said, "Yep you'll need a new seal. It won't be here until Thursday or Friday I'm going to have to order it."

My question is why it wasn't ordered on Saturday. Apparently they had to send someone out to look at it in order to confirm I wasn't a ding bat. It's Friday and I still haven't heard from them. As you can imagine by Tuesday my back hallway and bathrooms was under a mountain of laundry.

Since it appears I will have to wait the weekend leaving me without a washer for 8-9 days I got creative. I took some duct tape and went to work. It's not pretty or perfectly sealed but if I strategically place a small towel in the right place and only use the Quick Wash setting I can get by.

We have clean unders, towels, and sweatshirts. I look forward to using the full capabilities of my machine again soon. Here's hoping for Monday.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Spa-tastic

I feel like I need to start this blog off with fully admitting I was majorly stressed and nervous about leaving my little girl (who is nursed) for the bulk of the day. Mrs. Pam called and very sweetly suggested that I may want to please leave her home because having a facial is not conducive to holding a 7 month old. Jared reassured me they would be fine so I left her... for 6 hours.

Had I any clue what I was about to experience I would have insisted on leaving her simply because it wouldn't have worked at all.

I was picked up at my front door a little after 9 am and whisked away to Academy of Aesthetic Arts for a full on facial. They very quietly escorted me to a gently lit room and asked me to lay down. A really sweet girl began to massage my neck, shoulders, and face. She applied several different concoctions to my face while warm steam trickled across me. I was super chatty when I first arrived and about 10 minutes into it I just zoned out.

She applied a lotion to my hands and then wrapped them in plastic and placed them in warming mitts. It was amazing!

When we finished there we headed to Riverside Cafe for brunch. Pam, Cindy and I enjoyed a leisurely brunch all while chatting about this and that.

With our bellies full Pam took us up North for manicures and pedicures. I have been rubbed down, slicked up, exfoliated and painted. My toes are French manicured with a cute little pink flower, my fingernails are a soft pink and my hands, face and feet are super soft!

What an amazing day. I can't even begin to express enough gratitude to Pam for such a generous gift. I can honestly say I haven't ever experienced anything like it. In fact I didn't know a day like today existed.

I also need to take a minute and give a huge thank you to my precious husband. He had all 5 kids which obviously includes Anneliese who is primarily nursed. They did amazing and everyone was in one piece and smiling when I got home.

I have to say I definitely feel appreciated :) I honestly couldn't wait to come home to my wonderful family. I do believe I have been refreshed and what a wonderful feeling that is!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

7 Months!!! Anneliese is 7 Months!!

Momentus Randomness

-Anneliese took her 1st bath as a big girl today! She sat confidently in the tub splashing and kicking. So big!

-I have 5 pairs of size 10 jeans that fit. I would say that officially makes me a 10! I'm down 60lbs and a only 10 lbs from my prepregnancy weight! Do you hear that cute little size 6's? I'm on my way!!

-Brennan recieved his appliances today. His mouth looks like he swallowed a shiny robot. He's self conscience but he actually speaks really well.

-October is pastor appreciation month. I dare to say NO ONE appreciates their pastors and their families as generously as WCCC. Tomorrow morning Cindy and I are being taken out for a facial, pedicure, and brunch! Cindy and I are giddy. Thank you Pam!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tanner & Anneliese


Tanner and Anneliese were having a leisurely morning watching cartoons and sipping on some apple juice. Yeah, she's loved :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Who's Murphy and What's His Beef with Me?

My new washer from 1/28/09 flooded my laundry room tonight.

I have this false idea that new stuff will work better/longer than used stuff. Apparently new or old everything is subject to Murphy's Law. Especially when you average 2-3 loads of laundry a day.

Praise the Lord for warranties (and Mother in Laws who insist on extended ones) . I called this evening and they'll have someone out here at the break of Wednesday to fix it. I'm not real sure what a family of 7 does without a washer for 3-4 days but I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Cowabunga!!!

30,000 hits some 100 hits ago! I can't believe it you rock my face off!


Oh, and here's a picture of Anneliese at Red Barn Farm just to make your stop by my blog a little warm and fuzzy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

God Bless Thanksgiving?


My mom and I took the kids to Weston today. We had the best time and the kids were remarkably well behaved. We leisurely went in and out of all the shops. While in one shop I saw several of these sets shown above.

I thought it said ,"God Ble" and I thought it strange that the two s' were missing to complete God Bless. It wasn't until the 2nd and then 3rd sets that I really investigated due to the total lack of s' throughout the store. As I looked closer I saw the Turkey sitting on the G.

Suddenly the word Gobble jumped out at me and I couldn't quit giggling.

There was no S thief, I just can't read apparently.

Oh and I home egumacate my chillens...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

YAY Lunch!

Jared and I are going out for his birthday today. His birthday was Sunday but due to busy schedules we are just now getting to celebrate. We are super excited to go to our favorite place for lunch; BD's mongolian BBQ!

Gary and Tina S are our lunch dates and Grandma Anita is babysitting. We are so thankful for amazing family, great friends, and delicious food!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Skulls, Squirrels & Savings

I took the kids to goodwill in Bonner today to rid ourselves of 3 trash bags full of unwantedness.

While we were there I decided to check out the boys wear and see what was available for Brennan and Tanner.

They actually had quite a bit and the cashier said typically there's lots of girls clothing and not anything for boys. Thankfully they've seen a huge influx of boy wear and are planning to put out tons more (fyi).

We purchased more than 10 shirts/hoodies and 4 pairs of nice jeans plus a new pair of Nike all for $54!!! Now that's a bargain.

I just let the boys browse for what interested them. Tanner picked out a black hoodie with a glow in the dark skull on the front and a shirt with small fuzzy squirrels on it. I know that sounds diverse but that's our Tanner; skater dude with a mix of sensitivity and a love of all things fuzzy.

Brennan really likes shirts with witty sayings on them. So he ended up with a red shirt that says, "Does anyone want my parents?" I don't mind since I know he is respectful of Jared and I. The part that made me giggle is when he found a plain gray turtle neck. He begged for it and I let in. He immediately asked if I would wash it so he could wear it today. Tanner with his skulls and fuzzies, Brennan with his wit and conservatism hmmmm.

Where Does The Time Go?

-Brennan requested a Nintendo DS yesterday. Brennan's never requested anything like this before. His wish list usually includes the newest Star Wars Lego set or a new Bionicle (both in the $10 range). The part that seemed "older" to me was his list of reasons why this would be such a good investment for him :) I've started looking into used ones and games. He offered to use his birthday money to aid in purchasing it. The whole interaction just seemed too mature for my little boy.

-Tanner is reading. He has a voracious appetite for reading. Yesterday he spent the evening seeking out books that he could finish easily and then added up the pages. He read 63 pages last night just for fun. Dyslexia schmexia my little boy is amazingly smart and determined.

-Elijah no longer has a lisp or impediment of any kind. I've realized as of late when I quote him I don't sound anything like him. He speaks clearly and sounds really eloquent. Where'd my fuzzy little brown bear go? Before bed last night he ran to me and asked for a hug and kiss. After I loved on him he smiled and said, "I love you so very much mom."

-Graham loves other children his age. Clara is his "best friend" and he is giddy when she's around. Yesterday Kelly B came by with her little Tyler and he couldn't wait to play with her. He successfully coaxed her away from her mother and they played dinosaurs in the boys room while we sorted through maternity wear. He's potty trained, independent, and loves to socialize. He's quite the charmer.

-Anneliese is almost 7 months. She sits up, eats from the table, and the other night I heard, "maa maaa maaa maaa" through the monitor.

I need to stop typing and go get a kleenex.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy!

You're an amazing father, husband, friend, confidant, and spiritual leader. We love and cherish you. We are so very thankful God blessed us with you and we thank you so much for taking such good care of us. Happy Birthday!