Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Herding Grasshoppers

What a week!  Well it was only 4 days but I'm exhausted!

The older three boys and I headed out on Sunday for 3rd and 4th grade camp.  I served as a teacher and family leader.  Make no mistake this is a lot of work.  Caring and managing this age group is much like 24 hour VBS.  I'm so thankful that it was a short week due to the staff being completely wiped.

Even though it is a lot more work than the older age groups I feel that I am currently somewhat of a specialist with this age group.  This is where my family is right now and it's the Sunday school age I teach.  The week went really well even though we had a few incidents.

Grace went home with a fever Tuesday night.  I had an ulcer attack of epic proportions all day Tuesday.  It was by far the worst I've ever had and it lasted for 8 hours.  I am going to a new doc as soon as possible in order to avoid a repeat.  I can't take it.  It was a perfect storm since I forgot my meds on Monday.  I ate the foods offered and they were all big "no no's."

Today we lost Tanner's $1400 mouth piece.  I offered free canteen as a reward to the kid that found it.  They all looked diligently but we can home without a clue where it could be.  Tanner kept insisting I had it.  I had no memory of him giving it back.  Thankfully after dinner tonight Graham was desperate for a Lego man.  Stay with me...I, of course, have a Lego man in my makeup bag.  Don't you?  While explaining to Graham where it was he dug through the bag and Tanner's mouth piece dropped out.  Apparently Tanner had given it back to me and I owed a serious apology to my Tan Man.

Thank you to Mom, Anita, and the Rice's for keeping Graham and Anneliese so Jared could work and I could serve up at camp.  They were in a pinch and I'm so glad I was able to go and be a part of making a difference in these kids' lives.

I have a very exciting lunch date tomorrow and I can't wait to tell you all about it!  Right after I sleep...a lot...and then take a nap :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

3 Generations of Ginger

Ginger is a term associated with red heads or strawberry blonds. This first image is my mom, Rebecca Ann. The second image is me, Shannon Kathleen. The third is my girl, Anneliese Keegan.

Hot Off The Press

I just took this precious pic of my baby girl.  She's started posing and looking to the camera with a sweet smile.  She absolutely melts my heart :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

No Shoes, No Shirt, No service

Yesterday the kids and I were invited to Amy's mom's house for a swim.  So we loaded up and headed out.  After a super relaxing afternoon I stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up a jug of milk and return an air mattress I had purchased for camp but didn't use. 

The boys had on swim trunks, socks, shoes and a slight sun burn.  Brennan had reservations about going into Wally World sans shirt but I encouraged him we'd be brief and it wasn't a big deal.

When we walked in a familiar old man scanned the air mattress and motioned us towards customer service.  I returned the mattress without difficulty and summoned the kids to follow me to the back of the store where the milk resides.  We were walking rather quickly since Jared was home sick and he had alerted me that Anneliese had awoken from her nap.

Halfway down the main walkway I heard a rather raspy, yet firm voice yelling, "Ma'am! Ma'am! Ma'am!"  When it continued I looked just to make sure it wasn't directed at me.  There was that familiar old face again only this time it was agitated.  He firmly informs me that my children cannot be in the store without shirts on.  

Stunned and bewildered I pleaded with him.  I told him I just needed milk and had no intention of wandering around the store and that we had just gone swimming.  I was so close, just steps away from the cooler.  He informed me that I needed to leave my children with him or leave the store.  I just looked at him a bit wild eyed and said, "I am not leaving my children with you.  They are too young and I just need milk!"

I had and internal debate going on.  Do I ignore the old man and go ahead with grabbing my groceries or do I obey?  I tell my kids all the time that they are to obey anyone older than them and respect their elders.  Here I was in the middle of Wal-Mart with this crotchety old man yelling at me demanding my children or demanding I leave.  I wanted to get the milk just out of defiance but instead I left flabbergasted and spent my money else where.

As I exited the store I looked on the door for a No Shoes/No Shirt/No Service sign and there was not one.  I can't help but think of all the times I've been in Wal-Mart and seen babies in just diapers, women with their cleavage and rear ends hanging out.  Men and boys alike with their pants barely on their rears, underwear exposed and my 4 little boys in swim trunks was somehow unacceptable?!

Wal-Mart security footage is infamous online due to what people will wear while shopping.  Jared said I needed to yell for a manager stating this man was insisting on taking my kids.  I was honestly too shocked and discombobulated to come up with anything other than leaving stunned. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Random Updates

-Worlds of fun Tuesday was a blast.  It's unfortunate that Tanner struggled with an icky belly.  The good news is he still had a wonderful time and it's all they can talk about.  There were virtually no lines so we rode non stop from 1-9:30.  Once we were completely exhausted we headed home.

-I have been on Prilosec OTC now for close to a month and I'm doing better.  The "attacks" of terrible pain are becoming less common.  Praise God!  If I get overly stressed or eat too much fruit I still have quite a bit of discomfort but I'm really trying to manage both.

-We've been struck with another round of the plague.  This version has a temp, sore throat, stuffy nose and body aches.  So far Anneliese started us out, followed by Brennan, Me, and now Daddy is struggling this morning.  Good news is we were healthy for a couple weeks.  That's something!

-I'm still running!  As of Saturday I will have completed the first 3 weeks of training.  Monday starts week 4.  There are 19 weeks total.  I am currently running about 20 miles a week broken up into 4 runs (3 short, 1 long).  I headed out this morning with a stuffy head.  The Lord had mercy and the weather was super pleasant so it wasn't so bad. 

-I leave Sunday with the older boys for camp.  Brennan and Tanner go from Sun-Wed as campers.  Bob D (that week's Dean) asked if I'd teach due to low staff numbers.  Since this is Tanner's first time away I am more than happy to go along.  I promise to let them be and do their own thing but for Tanner's sake I think it will be nice to have mom within reach, just in case.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pizza Dough

Jared and I have been having home made pizza about once a week for the last few months. I found this dough recipe and we're all hooked! I love it because you can make it in a machine or not. If you use a bread machine just follow the directions. If you want to make it by hand all you do is put the water, yeast and sugar in a bowl and let rest about 5 mins. Then just start dumping all the rest of the ingredients until you have a soft dough. Cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled. I add 1 TBS of Oregano to the dough. This makes one pizza so I always double it. Doubled I can make two pizzas on my Pampered Chef cookie sheets and it's the perfect thickness. Enjoy!

Pizza Hut Style Pizza Dough (Bread Machine) Recipe #51209

I came across the recipe from a copy cat recipe source. The 2 hours includes dough cycle time. This is one of the best pizza dough recipes I have found.

2½ hours | 2 hours prep


  1. Add ingredients (except for cornmeal) to machine bread pan in order as per manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Set to "Dough" cycle.
  3. Lightly grease one 9 x 13-inch pan and sprinkle with cornmeal.
  4. When the dough cycle is complete, roll out dough and place in pan.
  5. Let rest in pans for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add toppings of your choice.
  7. Bake at 350°F until done (approximately 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of toppings).
  8. I make the pizza in 9x13 rectangular pans rather than the round pizza pans, because the squares pieces are easier to reheat and pack in school lunches.

© 2009 Recipezaar. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 21, 2010

World's Of Fun!

Tomorrow Jared and I are taking Brennan and Tanner to World's of Fun for the day. We received a tip that there is going to be a presentation for ministers. We get there at noon for lunch and a presentation on fund raisers for the youth group and then we get four free passes to the park until 10! That's a $150 value and I'm so excited.

Jared and I have talked about taking the older boys but assumed it would be something they did with the youth group as they aged. It's just too pricey to take a family our size.

Jared got online and checked. The boys are both tall enough to ride all the rides. I just really hope we don't end up with a kid that doesn't like roller coasters. Jared and I are both big fans of all the rides. It really is perfect to be just the 4 of us because we can pair up.

We told Brennan a couple days ago and he's done real well not sharing the information. When Brennan came down with fever I was concerned Tanner would also get sick and foil our plans. I made the executive decision not to tell them due to Elijah. This will be hard for him and I didn't want any taunting going on. Today we offered to tell Tanner but warned him if he taunted Eli he wouldn't go. We'd take a friend of Brennan's instead. He opted out of knowing in order to keep himself safe. Jared and I were both super impressed with his wisdom. He put off the instant gratification of knowing the surprise in order not to jeopardize the surprise all together. Go Tanner!

The younger three are going to hang out with Grandma Anita for the day. It's so exciting for me to take the older boys. They've never been to anything like this. It's going to be a memory they have for their lifetime!


Sunday, June 20, 2010


I am so very blessed to have several Daddies in my life.

Jared, You are everything I ever hoped for in a Daddy. I feel so blessed that my children have you as their spiritual leader, protector, provider, and encourager. I have always loved you deeply and watching you parent our children makes that love so much deeper and stronger.

Richard, When I think about how much I cherish you it makes me cry. You are absolutely precious to me. You took me into your family when I was just 15 and at that point became a Daddy to me. You love unconditionally and are the most self sacrificing person I've ever met. There isn't anything you wouldn't do for your family. Jared says I remind him of you in my work ethic and I can't think of a higher compliment. I love you.
Jason, These last 7 months have been such a fun time. I have loved watching you take on the role of Daddy. It's so obvious it's what God intended for you. Zachary is so blessed to have you both and I praise God that he brought Zach into our lives. You are a wonderful provider and so involved in his life. You are a great Daddy. I'm proud of you and love you to pieces.
Craig, Ever since Hannah was born Jared and I agree you are the best Daddy to girls. We love to watch you be so tender and loving towards them. The complete adoration in Hannah and Grace's eyes is proof. You work so very hard and provide such a blessed life for your girls (Sonya included). It warms our hearts to see you love on our babies as well. You are a precious man and we love you!
Dustin, You have grown so much over the last few years. It became evident to me this week while helping care for your kids just how much they cherish you. There wasn't a day that those girls didn't ask to talk to you, kiss, or hug you. You are present and involved with your kids and I'm so proud of how well your doing at your job. You are providing stability and love in a home based on Christ. We are so blessed to have you at WCCC. You have really stepped up with the worship team over the last year and half and made it great. I don't know what we'd do without you. Jared loves you as his brother and his best friend. We love you so much.

In a world where Fathers are absent physically and or emotionally we are so blessed by your commitments to your families. You provide love, security, and protection. Your children will be better people and be better parents because of your commitment.

Thank you and Happy Father's Day! Men like you are why we celebrate today!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Zach Attack!

I know I'm a bit partial but have you seen my nephew? He's stinking adorable.

Jason and Erin (Dad and Mom) have a close friend who is getting started in photography. She takes the best pics of Zach and I wanted to share some of them. We're in talks with her about getting some pics of the fam. Our last family pic Elijah was 6 months old. We've had a couple additions since then :)

Forget Me Not Photography. Jessica Hamman 785-554-8231.

If I travel I charge and extra $10. I can do outside photos around your area if you want. 4 Wallets $4 8 Wallets $6 4x6 $4 5x7 $5 8x10 $10. I do have other options available upon request. Let me know, if you are wanting outdoor photos I would wait until September-ish when it is not as hot and humid.

Jessica lives in Topeka. I'm sure she would love to take some pics of your precious peeps!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Some More Camp Pics

I told Dustin and Alanna that Cora seriously needs a pet. She absolutely loved having Sophie around. She may have been the only one :)
The girl and I on Monday hanging out in the caf.
Tuesday morning Daddy was the person to be. Anneliese fussed and reached for him immediately and Graham snuggled right up under his arm. Those babies LOVE their daddy :)
We had 8 kids 9 and under in one cabin. Nap time was relatively painless each day. We napped Clara (4), Graham (4), Kennedy (2), and Anneliese (1). They did great all but Thursday. Anneliese came down with a cold and wasn't sleeping well. She kept fussing and in order to quiet her I played some old hymns. She was mesmerized and laid perfectly still listening to My Jesus I love Thee.
This pic of Clara and Graham is awesome. The kids had a ball at the park in Horton. Cindy and I loaded up 11 kids and 1 beagle and took them to the park for a couple hours.

This is a picture of Brennan and Tanner at the same park when they were 4 and 3.
They've grown a bit :) But look pretty much the same.
Graham has been left behind the last few years with Jared's family. This was his first real camp experience and he had the best time. It was extra special that he had his best friend "Cara Jean."
I absolutely love this pic of Kennedy. She must have told me 400 times this week that she "wuv you too." It melted my heart each time.
If you'll notice Noah is wearing the same shirt the boys had on in the older pic. One huge benefit of being friends with a family of 4 boys is serious hand me downs!!!
What a week! I'm so glad I was able to go. Cindy and I had a great time hanging out and chatting about nothing and everything. Our family is so blessed to have the Cokers. We look forward to many more summers spent just like this one! (Well almost like it, the kids getting older and more self sufficient wouldn't be so bad :))

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Graham the frog hanging out poolside.

Kennedy laying around waiting for canteen.

Cousins by birth, best friends by choice.

Location:Mission,United States

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This Little Light Of Mine

Daddy sharing the Gospel with his son.

Location:125th St,Horton,United States

My Fab Five Campin' Out

Location:Mission,United States

Young Families

Who volunteers to staff Junior High week? Typically parents of young children. What do the young children do?

This week there are 13 staff children 9 and under. Cindy and I have been doing our best to manage them. Today was a challenge due to the rain so we set up Madagascar 2 and they love it.

In future weeks I could see offering an old VBS curriculum so there is some structure. It would be awesome to have some planned activities for their mornings.

The kids are absolutely loving having time with their best friends/cousins. I'm enjoying loving on my sweet niece Kennedy and getting to know the Coker boys better.

God moves in amazing ways and lately He moves me through these precious babies. Thank you Lord for the gift of life. Their innocense is refreshing and their snuggles priceless!

Location:Mission Lake Christian Camp

Rainy Day

What do 8 Altic kids and 2 Cokers (ages 1-9) do early in the morning during a monsoon?

Sit and color of course! Only 2 crayons were eaten during this activity :)

Location:Mission Lake Christian Camp

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bath Time

Graham found the beach volleyball court.

I'm going to enter this in the Skinned Knees photo challenge I saw over on Alisa's blog. It's pretty silly don't you think?

Precious Polka-Dot Princess

We're at camp!!

Plans changed and I decided to take the kids and watch them here verses being home alone.

This is Graham and Anneliese's first camp experience and they are loving it. They play hard and then sleep hard.

I woke up at 5:30 am to Clara begging to potty. I decided since I was up to go ahead and run. It was a beautiful cool morning in the country. My crazy beagle went along and it was a great run.

I was made to be here and I'm so thankful to be able to share all that is MLCC with my babies.

Jared and I are sharing a cabin with 8 Altic children (Cora is staying in the dorm with mom). They all slept great last night & then took a 3 hour nap this afternoon.

Life is good ;)

Location:Mission Lake Christian Camp

Saturday, June 12, 2010

This Week's Grind

Tomorrow more than 1/2 my brood is leaving the nest. Jared, Brennan, Tanner and Elijah are all heading for camp tomorrow and won't return until Friday. This will mark the first time my family went to camp without me.

I'll be here with Graham, Anneliese, and Sophie. During the day M-F I'll have my nieces, Clara and Kennedy. I'm kinda excited to have the time with my younger two. In the evenings it'll just be us and all afternoon/evening tomorrow.

It hasn't been lost on me that my babies go to bed by 8:30. I'm not real sure what I'll do all alone for 2 hours each night (10:30 is my bedtime). I think I may read if I can remember how :)

The idea is Jared and Alanna will take the older 5 since they're pretty self sufficient and I'll have the younger ones that wouldn't be super safe wandering MLCC for a week. That way Jared and Alanna will be able to really plug in and help and not be so worried about managing the younger ones. I know it's the right thing and the best thing but I'm feeling a bit melancholy.

I'm sure it will be just fine and Graham will soak up every second with his "Cara Jean" and Anneliese will love having girls in the house. She is really drawn to other girls and will love having Kennedy for a week.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Snaps By Tanner

Jared and I picked up a "Quick" Set pool from Aldi. Last year we had a small pool on our deck and we all loved it. Jared and I even soaked in it with the kids. This year I thought it would be fun to get something a little bigger and they had these deceptive pools for super cheap.

The word Quick is a relative term. They aren't kind enough to elaborate on the box. Quicker than...watching paint dry? Nope, I really think paint could've dried in half the time.

Add to the fact that if you aren't perfectly level you're flat out of luck. The pool will bulge and eventually matter how level you think it is. Apparently we are going to have to move some earth to make this functional.
Luckily everyone got a little wet and enjoyed the cool water in the tedious process.
Anneliese even got in on the action and she LOVED it. She's always been a huge fan of baths so it makes sense.
Tanner was in charge of the camera since I was laboring away trying desperately to make this stinking thing work. While wielding the camera he got a rare shot of me in my swim suit. This will be the only image ever of me in a swim suit. Enjoy...
Isn't it nice to see all that running is really paying off :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summer Running Snaps

This morning I headed out for another training run. This is the first time I've run back to back days. Typically I ran MWF, but with this new schedule I'll be running 4 days a week. I'm really surprised at how much a 4 mile run absolutely kicked my tale. Apparently running 8 miles in two days vs 6.5 miles in one day is harder on the body. Add the horrible humidity and I thought I would die!

Apparently that's what he was waiting for:

The good news is I live in a absolutely breathtaking area. I took some pics of some of the scenery the Lord granted. This was in no way an excuse to stop and take a guzzle of water from my hydration belt (I'm Batman!).
Running on Donohoo between 123rd and 115th is very much depending on the Lord for your safety. I may not do that again, let alone the crazy hills and zero shoulder. It sure is pretty though!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Summer Snaps

These are some pics of my two oldest doing what they love! Riding bikes with their Daddy!!!

This is the boys doing the seated V pose. They start out making fun of me during Yoga but they eventually join in :)